Málaga: The Complete Guide

Malaga

Málaga is a modern yet historical city, the capital of its Province and is located in the center of Andalucia’s Costa del Sol, in Spain. It is the second-most largest city in Andalusia and the sixth-largest in Spain.  It lies 100 kilometres east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km north of Africa. Apart from its castle, Cathedral and several museums Malaga offers a large quantity of fantastic beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the great weather.

The painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, the Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol and the actor Antonio Banderas were all born in Málaga.

History of Málaga

Málaga’s history spans about 2,800 years being founded in about 770 BC by the Phoenicians and was called Malaka. From the 6th century BC the city was under the hegemony of Ancient Carthage, from 218 BC Rome followed by the Visigoths, Moors and finally the Spanish Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. The archaeological remains from its Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian past have left their mark on the city’s architecture and culture, making Malaga an absolute must on any Andalusia itinerary.

Visiting Málaga for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Málaga on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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24 Best places to See in Málaga

This complete guide to Málaga not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Málaga and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Catedral de Málaga

Catedral De Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Danielmlg86
The Catedral de Málaga or Málaga Cathedral was built in the 16th century on the site of the former mosque. Of the mosque, only the Patio de los Naranjos survives, a small courtyard of orange trees. The Cathedral of Málaga was designed in the Renaissance style by Diego de Siloe. It is located in the […]
Location: Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga Calle Molina Lario, 9 29015 Málaga Spain | Hours: 10am-6pm Sat, 2-6pm Sun year-round, 10am-8pm Mon-Fri Apr-Jun & Oct, to 9pm Jun-Sep, to 6.30pm Nov-Mar | Price: Cathedral & Ars Málaga €6, incl roof €10 | Website | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Catedral de Málaga

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Calle Larios

Calle Marques De Larios, Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Mstyslav Chernov
Calle Marqués de Larios, also known simply as Calle Larios, is a pedestrian and shopping street in Málaga, Spain. It is located in the historic center of the city and is the most expensive street to live on in Málaga. It is a hub of prestigious businesses, shops and hotels. The street hosts many of the […]
Location: Calle Marqués de Larios 29005 Málaga | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Calle Larios

Click here to read our blog about Exploring Picasso’s Málaga

Picasso Museum Málaga

Museo Picasso Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Llecco
The Museo Picasso Málaga is a museum in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain, dedicated to the artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso and gives a great overview of the artist and his work. The museum was inaugurated  by the King and Queen of Spain in 2003 and is housed in the Palacio de Buenavista. It is located in the […]
Location: Picasso Museum Málaga Palacio de Buenavista Calle San Agustín, 8 29015 Málaga Spain | Hours: 10am-8pm Jul & Aug, to 7pm Mar-Jun, Sep & Oct, to 6pm Nov-Feb | Price: €9, incl temporary exhibition €12, free last 2hr before closing Sun | Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Picasso Museum Málaga

We recommend to rent a car in Spain through Discover Cars, they compare prices and review multiple car rental agencies. Book your rental car here.

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Church of San Agustin

Church Of San Agustin Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Gab416
The Church of San Agustin is located Calle San Agustín next to the Palacio de Buenavista, in the Historic Center of the city of Malaga, Spain. The building has three parts: church, school and monks’ residence. The church’s beautiful courtyard is next to the Museo Picasso Málaga, on one of the streets that best preserves […]
Visiting Church of San Agustin

Click here to read our blog about 10 Awesome things to do in Malaga

Athenaeum of Malaga

Picasso And The Old School Of San Telmo
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Miwipedia
The Ateneo de Málaga or Athenaeum of Malaga is an artistic-literary association founded in 1966 in the city of Málaga, Spain. An athenaeum  is an institution for the promotion of literary or scientific learning. a library or reading room. Since 2002 it has been based in the old School of San Telmo de la Calle […]
| Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Athenaeum of Malaga

Carmen Thyssen Museum

Outlaws Ambushed In The Cueva Del Gato 1869
Public Domain / Manuel Barrón y Carrillo
The Museo Carmen Thyssen or Carmen Thyssen Museum is an art museum in the Spanish city Málaga. It holds the most comprehensive collection of 19th-century Andalusian painting in Spain. The permanent collection consists of 230 works that brilliantly summaries 19th-century Spanish art. Most famous Spanish painters are in this collection such as  Zurbaran, Sorolla, Zuloaga, […]
Location: Carmen Thyssen Museum Calle Compañía, 10 29008 Málaga Spain | Hours: 10am-8pm Tue-Sun | Price: €10, afternoons 2.30-4pm €6 | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Carmen Thyssen Museum

Teatro Romano, Malaga

Alcazaba De Malaga With Roman Theater In Foreground
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Maksym Abramov
The Teatro Romano de Málaga or the Roman theater in Malaga are the archaeological remains of the Malacca’s ancient theater which stems from the 1st century AD. and the Empire of Augustus. It is located at the foot of the famous Alcazaba fortress. Alongside it sits the remains is a modern interpretation center which recreate […]
Location: Teatro Romano de Málaga Calle Alcazabilla, s/n 29015 Málaga Spain | Hours: Summer: From 09.30 to 13.30 and from 17.00 to 20.00.Winter: From 09.30 to 13.30 and from 16.00 to 19.00. | Price: Free | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Teatro Romano, Malaga
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Iglesia de Santiago

Church Of Santiago In Malaga
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Morancio
The Iglesia de Santiago  or St. James Church was established in 1490 and is Málaga’s oldest church.  It was extended in 1545, taking over part of the adjoining mosque. Of the original mosque only the central door of the building and its adjoining square tower remain. The square tower was first built separated from the […]
Location: Parroquia Santiago Apóstol Málaga Calle Granada, 78 29015 Málaga Spain | Hours: 9.00 – 13.30 and 18.00 – 20.00 | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Iglesia de Santiago

Museo de Málaga

Palacio De La Aduana Malaga
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Luis García
The Museo de Málaga is a museum located  in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. It was formed in 1973, when the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes or Provincial Museum of Fine Arts and the Museo Arqueológico Provincial or Provincial Archeological Museum were combined. The museum is spread out over two floors in Málaga’s neoclassical Palacio de Aduana. […]
Location: Malaga Museum Plaza de la Aduana 29015 Málaga Spain | Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-8pm. Sunday from 9am to 3pm. Closed: Monday. | Price: Free for EU citizens, 1.50 euro for others | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Museo de Málaga

Alcazaba, Malaga

Alcazaba De Malaga From The Catedral
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Pedro J Pacheco
The Alcazaba is an early 11th century palatial fortification located in Málaga, Spain. This fortress palace, whose name in Arabic means citadel, is one of the city’s historical monuments and is much visited because of its history and beauty. The History of the Alcazaba in Malaga The Alcazaba was built as a military fortress by […]
Location: Alcazaba Calle Alcazabilla, 2 29012 Málaga Spain | Hours: Summer: 9am to 8pm. Winter: 9am to 6pm. | Price: Overall: 3,50 € Visit Alcazaba-Gibralfaro: 5,50 € Free tour every Sunday at 2 pm. | Website | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Alcazaba, Malaga
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Mercado de Atarazanas

Stained Glass Window At Mercado De Atarazanas, Malaga
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Maksym Abramov
The Mercado Central de Atarazanas is a municipal market in the Spanish city of Malaga. It is housed in a striking 19th-century wrought iron and glass building which used to be a naval workshop for Málaga’s old port.  Although it’s an important shopping centers in the city where the people of Malaga come to buy […]
Location: Mercado Central de Atarazanas Calle Atarazanas, 10 29005 Málaga Spain | Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8 am. to 3 pm. | Price: Free | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Mercado de Atarazanas

Plaza de la Merced

Spain Malaga Plaza De La Merced
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Banja-Frans Mulder
Plaza de la Merced is a public square in the central Málaga, Spain. It is located in the barrio La Merced in the top end of Calle Granada which is the minor continuation of major Calle Llarios at Plaza de la Constitution. The square is a popular meeting place in the evening and open air […]
| Hours: 24 Hours | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Plaza de la Merced

Museo Casa Natal

Casa Natal De Pablo Picasso
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Maksym Abramov
The Museo Casa Natal in was the birthplace of Pablo Picasso in 1881 and is now a Picasso museum. It is Located in Málaga in Spain. Picasso lived there until 1884 and the building has been an official heritage site since 1983. It now houses works and personal belongings of the artist and his family. […]
Location: Museo Casa Natal de Picasso Plaza de la Merced, 15 29012 Málaga Spain | Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m | Price: Museo Casa Natal (Plaza de la Merced, 15): € 3 Temporary exhibition (Exhibition hall in Plaza de la Merced, 13): € 3 Combined ticket: Museum Casa Natal and temporary exhibition: € 4.FREE ENTRANCE: Sundays from 4:00 p.m. | Website | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Museo Casa Natal

Teatro Cervantes

Teatro Cervantes, Malaga
CC BY-SA 2.0 / rey perezoso
The Cervantes Theater is located in the Spanish city of Malaga. It is Malaga’s oldest theater and dates from 1870 and has 1,200 seats. The  art-deco theater is the main venue for the Malaga Festival. El Teatro Cervantes is situated right in the center of the city, near Plaza de la Merced. The theatre has […]
Location: Teatro Cervantes Calle Ramos Marín, 1 29012 Málaga Spain | Website | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Teatro Cervantes

Port of Málaga

Malaga
The port of Málaga is an international seaport and fishing port located in the city of Málaga in southern Spain. It is the oldest continuously-operated port in Spain, founded by Phoenicians and is situated in a natural bay, which is protected by the shape of coastline. Two of the quays at the east end of […]
Location: Paseo del Muelle Uno, 1, 29016 Málaga, Spain | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Port of Málaga

Museo del Vidrio y Cristal

Museo Del Vidrio Y Cristal View
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Tyk
The Museo del Vidrio y Cristal or Glass and Crystal Museum is located in a palatial three story 18th century building in Málaga. This private collection was restored by aristocratic owner and historian Gonzalo Fernández-Prieto. The building has been in the same family of Belgian aristocrats for generations and the tour guide is often a […]
Location: Plazuela Santísimo Cristo de la Sangre 2 | Hours: 11am-7pm Tue-Sun | Price: €6 | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Museo del Vidrio y Cristal

Museo del Patrimonio Municipal

Old Municipal Museum Malga
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Miwipedia
The Museo del Patrimonio Municipal or Municipal Heritage Museum is all about Malaga’s art and culture. The museum is often known as known as MUPAM. This museum takes you on a journey through time using artwork of various periods. Usually, it also hosts very good, temporary exhibitions about different aspects of life in Malaga. The […]
Location: Museo del Patrimonio Municipal Paseo Reding, 1 29016 Málaga Spain | Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am. to 2 pm. and from 5 pm. to 8 pm. Summer (from June 1): Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am. to 2 pm. and 6 pm. to 9 pm. On Mondays is closed. | Price: Free for EU citizens, 1.50 euro for others | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Museo del Patrimonio Municipal

Malagueta Bullring

View Of Malaga From Castillo Gibralfaro. Spain
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Ввласенко
La Malagueta is a bullring at Málaga, Andalucía, Spain. The bulling, shaped like a hexadecagon, was built in the neo-Mudéjar style and opened on 11 June 1876. The bullring still hosts bullfights and it also houses a museum dedicated to famous matador Antonio Oróñez. La Malagueta hosts events during the Spanish-style bullfighting season which is […]
Location: Paseo de Reding, 8 29016 Málaga | Hours: The bullring is open between April and September, from 10:00 - 13:00 and 18:00 - 20:00, and during the August Feria from 10:00 - 20:00. Closed at weekends. | Price: Admission: free. Entrance fee museum: € 1.80 | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Malagueta Bullring

Castillo de Gibralfaro

Entrance Of Castillo De Gibralfaro, Malaga
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Danielmlg86
The Castillo de Gibralfaro or Gibralfaro Castle is a 8th century Moorish palace, located on Gibralfaro hill, overlooking Málaga city, in Andalucia, Spain. Like the Alcazaba this hilltop fortress looms above the city. Its main purpose was to defend the Alcazaba and the city of Malaga. Nothing much is original in the castle’s interior, but […]
Location: Castillo Gibralfaro Camino Gibralfaro, 11 29016 Málaga Spain | Hours: 9am-8pm Apr-Sep, to 6pm Oct-Mar | Price: €3.50, incl Alcazaba €5.50 | Website | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Castillo de Gibralfaro

Aqueduct of San Telmo

Acueducto De San Telmo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / JamesNarmer
The San Telmo aqueduct is a 18th century aqueduct, located in the Ciudad Jardín district of Malaga, Andalusia in Spain. The project was sponsored by Bishop Molina Lario in order to bring water to Malaga. It was one of the largest hydraulic works of the eighteenth century in Spain and carried water from the river […]
Location: Acueducto San Telmo Ciudad Jardín Calle Llobregat, 14 29014 Málaga Spain | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 3.00km
Visiting Aqueduct of San Telmo

Jardin Botanico Malaga

Mirador Historico La Concepcion
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Daniel Capilla
The Jardín Botánico Histórico La Concepción is an English landscape garden originally planted in the 1850s,  they are located 5km north of Málaga, in Spain. History of the Jardin Botanico Malaga In 1855, when Jorge Loring and Amalia Heredia, two members of Malaga’s rising bourgeois class, got married, they planned the creation of the gardens. […]
Location: Histórico La Concepción Botanical Garden Camino del Jardín Botánico, 3 29014 Málaga Spain | Hours: 9.30am-7.30pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep, to 4.30pm Tue-Sun Oct-Mar | Price: €5.20 | Website | Distance: 4.50km
Visiting Jardin Botanico Malaga

El Caminito del Rey

Tour Group Caminito Del Rey 2018
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Eliza Saroma-Stepniewska
The  Caminito del Rey or The King’s Little Path is a walkway, along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Ardales in the province of Málaga, Spain. The Caminito del Rey runs impossibly along the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, which is an impressive three kilometres limestone canyon created by the Guadalhorce […]
Location: Caminito del Rey El Caminito del Rey 29550 Málaga Spain | Hours: 9.30am-5pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct, to 3pm Nov-Mar | Price: Self-guided/guided visit €10/18 | Website | Distance: 41.40km
Visiting El Caminito del Rey
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Río Chillar

RioChillar3
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Er Komandante
The Chíllar River is a river located in the east of the Province of Málaga, Spain and enters Mediterranean Sea just west of the town of Nerja. Walking up the Chíllar River is a popular excursion from nearby towns as it provides a scenic walkway in the crystal clear water, with nice waterfalls, which is […]
Location: Rio Chillar 29780 Nerja Málaga Spain | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 48.60km
Visiting Río Chillar

Caves of Nerja

Nerjas Cave
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mark Nakasone
The Cueva de Nerja or Caves of Nerja are a series of caves located in Maro which is a village three kilometres north of Nerja in the Province of Málaga, Spain. The Nerja caves consists of two four-kilometre long, 35-kilometre wide caves. They were discovered on the 12th of January 1959 by a group of young […]
Location: Fundación Cueva de Nerja Carr. de Bajada a Playa de Maro 29787 Málaga Spain | Hours: 10am-4.30pm Sep-Jun, to 7pm Jul & Aug | Price: adult/child €14/12 | Website | Distance: 51.40km
Visiting Caves of Nerja

Best Time to Visit Málaga

The best time to visit Málaga, Spain, depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowd levels. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons:

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring is a fantastic time to visit Málaga, with mild temperatures and blooming flowers adding to the city’s charm. The weather is comfortably warm, making it ideal for exploring outdoor attractions such as the Alcazaba fortress, Gibralfaro Castle, and the stunning beaches along the Costa del Sol. Additionally, spring sees fewer tourists compared to the peak summer months, allowing you to enjoy the city’s attractions without the crowds.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Málaga, with hot temperatures and bustling beaches. This is the best time to visit if you’re looking to soak up the sun, swim in the Mediterranean Sea, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s nightlife. However, be prepared for higher temperatures, crowded beaches, and higher prices for accommodation and activities during this time.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is another excellent time to visit Málaga, with warm temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the summer months. The weather remains pleasant, allowing you to continue enjoying outdoor activities such as sightseeing, hiking, and exploring the city’s parks and gardens. Additionally, autumn sees cultural events and festivals taking place, providing opportunities to experience the local culture and traditions.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winter is the quietest time to visit Málaga, with cooler temperatures and fewer tourists. While the weather may not be ideal for beach activities, you can still explore the city’s cultural attractions, museums, and historic sites without the crowds. Plus, winter offers opportunities to enjoy seasonal events such as Christmas markets and festive celebrations.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Málaga depends on your preferences and what you hope to experience during your trip. Whether you prefer the vibrant atmosphere of summer, the mild temperatures of spring and autumn, or the quieter ambiance of winter, Málaga offers something for every traveler throughout the year.

Average Temperatures in Málaga

  • January 17°C 6
  • February 19°C 6
  • March 21°C 9
  • April 25°C 5
  • May 26°C 3
  • June 31°C 1
  • July 34°C 0
  • August 33°C 1
  • September 30°C 3
  • October 26°C 5
  • November 22°C 9
  • December 18°C 7

How to get to Málaga

Getting to Málaga, a vibrant city located on the southern coast of Spain in the Costa del Sol region, can be done in several convenient ways depending on where you are starting from and your preferences:

By Air

Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) is one of the busiest airports in Spain and serves as the main international gateway to the Costa del Sol. It’s well-connected with flights from major cities in Europe and also offers some intercontinental connections. The airport is located about 8 km southwest of Málaga city center.

By Train

Málaga is well-connected by train, including high-speed AVE services from major Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville. The main train station, Málaga María Zambrano, is centrally located and offers services to a variety of national destinations.

By Car

Driving to Málaga is another option, particularly if you’re already in Spain or if you enjoy road trips. Málaga is well-connected by major highways. From Madrid, you can take the A-4 and A-44, a journey that typically takes around 5 to 6 hours.

By Bus

Buses to Málaga run frequently from cities across Spain. The main bus station in Málaga is located near the city center, providing easy access to other parts of the city and nearby towns.

By Boat

Málaga is also accessible by sea. The Port of Málaga welcomes numerous cruise ships throughout the year, and it’s also possible to arrive by ferry, particularly from Melilla and other ports in northern Africa.

Each of these options offers a different balance of cost, speed, and scenic value, depending on your travel preferences and starting point.

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