Málaga is thought as the capital of the Costa del Sol and it boasts some of the most significant cultural infrastructures and heritages in the country. Málaga has a wealth of things to offer from beaches and hiking trails to century-old castle structures, stylish harbors and excellent restaurants.

During the city’s famous festival season you can also get to know Andalusian culture, with flamenco shows and sherry tasting, in the country where they originate.

While you will have variety of activities to choose from, we will explore the top 10 essential site, which you need to see on your next trip here.

1. Puerto de Málaga

Pergola Palmeral, In Malaga
CC BY-SA 2.0 / DraXus

As the de facto capital of the Costa del Sol, Málaga boasts some of the most fantastic beaches and coasts in the country. The east end of the port is located only a few minutes outside of the city center and its impressive redevelopment will provide plenty to see and do. There are a variety of shops and restaurants located around the area which make for a perfect spot to sit after and look down over the the yachts and cruise ships in the harbor.

Read more about the Port of Málaga

2. El Castillo De Gibralfaro

Entrance Of Castillo De Gibralfaro, Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Danielmlg86

The Castillo de Gibralfaro, is a Moorish palace – fortress, which dates back to the 10th century. The castle was rebuilt in the 14th century to protect the Alcazaba. The fortress is located on Gibralfaro hill and dominates the Alcazaba and Malaga city.

The castle has been mostly restored and also houses a military museum. The visit is mainly worth it for the view over Malaga and the sea from the ramparts. On clear days it’s even possible to see the Strait of Gibraltar.

Read more about the Castillo de Gibralfaro

3. Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga

Catedral De Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Danielmlg86

The Cathedral of Málaga is located in the historic center of town and was designed in the Renaissance style by Diego de Siloe and constructed between 1528 and 1782 – taking over 150 years to build.

Due to a lack of funds only the North tower was completed, money for the South Tower was diverted to help America gain independence from the British!

It is worth climbing the 200 steps of the North Tower to enjoy the views over the whole city, the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro castle.

The stunning Baroque façade was one of the last parts to be completed, and represents a unique contrast to the magnificent and numerous frescos on the inside, its decorated ceiling, and the sculptural works of Pedro de Mena being among the most noteworthy.

Read more about the Catedral de Málaga

4. Picasso Museum Málaga

Museo Picasso Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Llecco

Málaga is not only the birthplace of Pablo Ruiz Picasso, but also offers a marvelous collection of his works. This is an unmissable museum which provides a solid overview of the great master and his work.  The Museo Picasso Málaga is located in the center of the old town, housed in the Buenavista Palace, is a stunning example of Andalusian architecture. The museum exhibits a over 230 different works selection of Picasso’s work from the late 19th century until his death in 1973.

Read more about the Picasso Museum Málaga

5. Roman Theater

Alcazaba De Malaga With Roman Theater In Foreground
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Maksym Abramov

At the foot of the Alcabaza can be found the oldest monument in Málaga, it’s Roman theater. It was constructed in the first century A.D. under the first Roman emperor Augustus’ reign and remained in use until the third century. At that point it was used as a source of building material by the Arab conquerors. At the time of its construction, Málaga represented one of the most important cities in the region. There is a small interpretive center next door to the theater which outlines its history and displays a few artifacts that were found in during excavations.

Read more about the Teatro Romano, Malaga

6. La Concepión Botanic Garden

Mirador Historico La Concepcion
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Daniel Capilla

Málaga’s botanic garden is  is an English landscape garden, spread out over 25,000 square meters and was constructed in 1850 by the aristocratic couple, Jorge Loring Oyarzábal and Amalia Heredia Livermore. Located at the northern entrance of the Spanish city of Malaga, and can be reached by bus within half an hour. The garden combines formal gardens with more tropical gardens.

A garden with more than three thousand species of tropical and subtropical plants which include more than 100 species of palms, bamboo and underwater plants. It has plant species from Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, as well as a huge variety of bird species.

Read more about the Jardin Botanico Malaga

7. Alcazaba

Alcazaba De Malaga From The Catedral
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Pedro J Pacheco

Alcazaba, a palatial fortification at the foot of the Gibralfaro hill. Built from 1040 onwards on a hill dominating the town, the fortress is Málaga’s most iconic landmark and one of the largest Muslim military buildings preserved in Spain. The fortress was constructed by the the Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century. The Alcazaba is the Arab word for a fortified citadel.  and this citadel held within its strong walls an entire palace complex typical of the Nasrid dynasty, the high point of Muslim culture in the kingdom of Al Andalus.

It was later captured by Ferdinand and Isabel after the siege of Málaga in 1487.

Read more about the Alcazaba, Malaga

8. Shop on Calle Larios

Calle Marques De Larios, Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Mstyslav Chernov

This was the most elegant street in Spain, when it was built at the end of the 19th century. Walk along this marble-lined pedestrian to find chic national and international brands as well as bars, ice cream stores, restaurants, terraces and a amazing atmosphere.

Read more about the Calle Larios

9. Ataranzas market

Stained Glass Window At Mercado De Atarazanas, Malaga
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Maksym Abramov

Stroll through the Atarazanas food market. Not only is it one of the most beautiful covered food markets in Spain, with a strong variety of Fish, meat, cheese, fruits, and vegetables it is set in an impressive century old wrought iron and glass building.

It is also a great place to taste a bit of Manchego cheese, and sample a glass of local Malaga wine, throw in a few oysters or a plate of Ibérico ham and you will be feeling very Spanish!

Read more about the Mercado de Atarazanas

10. La Malagueta

View Of Malaga From Castillo Gibralfaro. Spain
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Ввласенко

In the heart of the city of Málaga in the neighborhood that gives it its name, lies La Malagueta. This neo-Mudéjar style bullring opened on 11 June 1876 and still hosts bullfights. The bullring also houses a museum dedicated to famous matador Antonio Oróñez.

Read more about the Malagueta Bullring