The 25 Best Things to do in Malaga, Spain in 2024 (Free Activities and Tours)

Last Updated: April 12th, 2024

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Malaga, Spain is steeped in history, culture, and beautiful sites, making it a popular tourist attraction, this goes double for those who have a love for the arts (we are talking about the home of Pablo Picasso). However, it can be a bit overwhelming to plan out your trip to see everything you would like to experience in a single day.

As an avid fan of the arts, both contemporary and classic, I have had the pleasure of visiting Malaga a couple of times over and have always struggled to get everything I want to do into a single itinerary.

To help you out on your journey, I’ll share my list of the best things to do in Malaga including tours and free events to ensure you get the most out of your trip.

TL;DR

Just looking for a quick answer to the best things to do in Malaga? Don’t worry, I got you covered with this quick look.

25 Best Things To Do In Malaga

1. Roman Theater Ruins

Explore History With the Oldest Construction in Málaga City.

Roman-Theater-Ruins

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Tue to Sat 10:00 to 18:00 Sun to 16:00 • Price: Free

The Roman Theater, known also as El Teatro Romano, is one of the city’s most crucial and loved monuments. It is the oldest structure constructed in all of Malaga City that remains standing, and its ruins are now available to walk through, explore, and tour.

The theater was used for entertainment for approximately 300 years before it was slowly forgotten and left behind to the times in the 200s. In the Moorish era, it was even used as a quarry at some point, a testament to its original purpose being left behind. It wasn’t until 1951 that it was finally found again.

Today, you can walk around the ruins and enjoy the undamaged and damaged parts of El Teatro Romano. Its spectator’s circle or cavea, which spans 16 meters in height, has many untouched and intact seating tiers. Sometimes, concerts will be played in the theater to reignite a semblance of what once was.

The best way to experience the theater, along with La Alcazaba Castle is through a walking tour.

2. Museo Picasso

Experience the Art of the Legendary Painter.

Museo-Picasso
Museo Picasso Exhibition Image by: Museo Picasso Malaga

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: 10:00 to 19:00

Famous artist Pablo Picasso was born in this city, so it makes sense that there is a museum dedicated to him. The Museo Picasso, which sits in the Palace of Condes de Buenavista, is a mix of modern, Renaissance, and Moorish architecture. It first opened in 2003 after over five decades of planning.

Within the museum, more than 200 different works of art are on display, as well as reworkings made by old masters, academic studies, and more. Its extensive collection’s pieces were either loaned or donated by family members descended from or married to descendants of Picasso himself, forming a lovely timeline of the illustrious painter’s career, with some gaps in his rose and blue periods.

In the museum, you’ll be able to view paintings made with Picasso only 13, sculptures made from a variety of materials, sketches, and late, lesser-known works. Don’t forget to check out the basement of the museum to view the Phoenician Malaga remains from the seventh century BC. You’ll also see some gorgeous Roman-style architecture around the underground level.

To get the most out of the museum, I recommend checking out a skip-the-line guided tour. No waits and additional insights!

3. La Alcazaba

The Most Recognizable Landmark of Malaga Surrounded by Various Attractions.

La-Alcazaba
La Alcazaba Image by: Sílvia Darnís / Flickr

Google Map • WebsiteHours: Summer-09:00 – 20:00 Winter: 09:00 – 18:00

La Alcazaba is a castle that once belonged to Moorish kings. It was first erected in the 9th century over a Roman bastion’s ruins, and it was rebuilt once more in the 11th. It sits strategically on top of Gibralfaro Mountain.

Originally, La Alcazaba had a whopping 110 main towers and three defense wall circuits. Though much of its towers have eroded over time, some remain, including the Arco de Cristo in the entrance, the Torre de la Vela, and the Torre del Homenaje. Much of its courtyards are still full of stunning gardens.

La Alcazaba also has two museums inside, both contained within the umbrella of the Museum of Malaga. The first is the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts, which showcases paintings from the 19th century by local and famous Spanish artists. The second is the Archaeology Museum, which shows of Hispano-Arab pottery, castle models, and famed paintings.

Best part? Guided tours are available!

4. Museo Automovilístico Málaga

One of The Largest Collections of Vintage Fashion and Automobiles in the World.

Museo-Automovilístico-Málaga
Alternative Energies Image by: Museo Automovil Malaga

Google MapPhoneWebsite • Hours: 10:00 to 14:30 and from 16:00 to 19:00

The Museo Automovilístico Málaga is a rather unique museum that features automobiles and fashion, all under one roof. It showcases a wide range of retro cars dating from the 1900s all the way to the 1960s next to mannequins of the corresponding era’s hottest fashion couture.

There are approximately a hundred different classic cars in the building, ranging from Cadillacs to Aston Martins. The oldest vehicle exhibited is a 1903 De Dion Bouton.

For the most part, the museum is arranged in chronological order, but there are plenty of other displays that are more random, covering British vehicles, hats, art deco, and more.

A mix of ironic humor and educational value find harmony here, along with some fun musical tunes from yesteryears playing as you browse. You can plan in advance by grabbing tickets and a tour of the museum before your visit.

5. Castillo de Gibralfaro

A Historic Site Where You Can Catch The Best View of The Coastline.

Castillo-De-Gibralfaro

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Summer 9:00 to 20:00 Winter 9.00 to 18.00 p.m

Castillo de Gibralfaro stands tall on Gibralfaro Mountain, right above La Alcazaba. Like many other historical structures, it is a Moorish building and was built in the 10th century by the Caliph of Cordoba at the time, Abd-al-Rahman III.

It earned its name (Gibralfaro) from a mesh of the Greek and Arabic words that mean “rock of the lighthouse” because it is built on a Phoenician lighthouse site.

Now, Castillo de Gibralfaro mostly lies destroyed and in ruins, but there’s plenty left to see, including lots of ramparts, courtyard relics with Muslim architecture (a remnant of the Islamic past of the region), and wooded forest.

It is rich in history and its appearance, as well as the view from the ruins, is beautiful, allowing you to see the Malaga port and much of the Mediterranean coastline. One of the best ways to see this view is through a private tour that takes you to the top of Gibralfaro.

6. Hammam al Andalus

A One of A Kind Spa Experience.

Hammam-Al-Andalus
ARAB BATHS IN MALAGA Image by: Malaga Hammam al Andalus

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: 10.00 to 24.00

Hammam is a kind of Arabic bath, and Hammam al Andalus is the only place to get them in Malaga. They’re incredibly relaxing and a favorite of many tourists. Essentially, they are a form of thermal spa which uses steam as you soak in it. In most cases, you will be nude or almost nude during these baths.

The architecture of Hammam al Andalus is often considered worth the trip all on its own. It has a stunning, elaborate Moorish style with tall, ornate pillars and patterned tiles decorating the walls.

Hammam al Andalus has many different types of pools with differing temperatures, as well as a mint tea spa area and a specially dedicated steam room.

If you book in advance, you can get a good time slot. Some may also enjoy the one-hour massage that follows, which is a deep-tissue massage.

7. Malaga Cathedral

An Opulent Cathedral With A Rich History and Amazing Architecture.

Malaga-Cathedral
Interior Architecture Image by: Malaga Catedral

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Monday to Friday 10:00h – 19:30h Saturday: 10:00h – 18:00h.
Sunday: 14:00h – 18:00h • Price: 5 € to 12 €

Malaga Cathedral sits in Malaga’s old town, an imposing pair of towers built back in the 16h century. The site originally held a mosque before the cathedral was built, and it has multiple chapels.

Among these chapels is the Capilla de los Reyes, which is a choir chapel featuring Catholic Monarch figures kneeling. There is also the Capilla del Rosario, which is the third south aisle chapel, which has a Virgin with Saints painting, and a Capilla Mayor which has a modern altar decorated with scenes of the Passion of Christ.

Meanwhile, the choir is made up of delicately carved stalls, each one dating back to the 17th century. A statuette of the Virgin also stands within a chapel, as well as a total of 40 wooden statues carved and set all over the structure.

The entire interior of the Malaga Cathedral is one of opulence, and you can climb up the North Tower to get stunning views from the 86-meter height. There is a lot to see at Malaga Cathedral, so a guided tour is an ideal way to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

8. Centro de Arte Contemporáneo

Experience Contemporary Art With Exhibits From Famous Spanish Artists.

Centro-De-Arte-Contemporáneo
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Image by: monumentosdemalaga / Flickr

Google MapPhoneWebsiteCheck HoursPrice: Free

Not everything in Malaga is ancient history. The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo is a museum dedicated to contemporary art, all from the 1950s onwards, especially Spanish art made after the 1980s. Its exhibition rooms are large and spacious, with bright lights illuminating works of art.

The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo is housed in what was once a wholesale market, which gives it a rather unique, if not odd, floor plan in the shape of a triangle. The entire museum is overlaid in white, including the windows.

A huge range of different styles and movements of art are on display here from all manner of artists, ranging from Julian Opie to Louis Bourgeois and from José María Sicilia to Damien Hirst. There’s always some form of interesting or even weird exhibit here to enjoy!

9. Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Victoria

Visit the Town’s Patron Saint and Learn More About The Past of Malaga.

Basílica-Nuestra-Señora-De-La-Victoria
Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Victoria Image by: David Jones / Flickr

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: 8:30 to 13:00 and 18:30 to 20:30 • Price: Free

The Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, known also as the Pantheon of the Counts of Buenavista, sits right outside Malaga’s historic district and is built on the site of the re-capturing of Malaga in 1487 by King Ferdinand.

The building today was erected in the latter part of the 17th century with Baroque influence, and it is among the most important of Malaga’s churches.

Within the Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, there is the Shrine of Our Lady of Victory, which holds a figure of the town’s Patron Saint, Virgen de la Victoria, made in the 15th century. Sculptures and paintings of all kinds also adorn the church’s interior, with some being on display in a unique exhibition hall.

10. Mercado Atarazanas

A Bustling Market Full of Local Delicacies.

Mercado-Atarazanas
Mercado de Atarazanas. Malaga Image by: Javier Valero Iglesias / Flickr

Google Map • Website • Price: Free

The central market of Malaga, the Mercado Atarazanas, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. It is a great indicator of daily life in Malaga for the average resident, and it is full of delicious, fresh produce that you may be tempted to purchase.

The Mercado Atarazanas finds its home within a large building, covered by a canopy made of glass and iron and protected with a luxurious and brilliant. stained-glass window. For an old-school market, it boasts a modern look while showcasing the best flavors that the city has to offer.

Apart from produce, you can also find sherry, tapas, cruzcampo, and other delicacies. It can be a lot to take in, but there is a guided tour of the market that I recommend checking out, it gives you a lot of insight into the various delicacies found there.

The market opens early in the morning and closes at around 2 pm every day, and it does not open at all on Sundays.

11. Center Pompidou Malaga

Center-Pompidou-Malaga

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: 9:30 – 20:00 Except Tuesdays/Holidays • Price: 5.50 € to 16.50 €

The center of Pompidou Malaga is based on the Pompidou Center in Paris. It rests within a modern-looking building shaped like a cube in different colors. The center first opened in 2015 and is scheduled to remain until 2020.

The center is absolutely packed from top to bottom with unique, wacky, and totally weird exhibits. The most famous among the permanent exhibits is Kader Attia’s Ghost, which is made from aluminum foil to depict women of the Islamic faith praying. Other great works are also housed here, including ones by Francis Bacon and Frida Kahlo, and other fascinating and unusual exhibits include talking heads and audiovisual showcases.

Each piece is accompanied by a small plaque that gives you some information and insight into the work of art in question, so you know the intention and thought behind each piece. It’s educational but interesting.

Go on Sunday afternoons to get free entry! If not, grab your tickets in advance to avoid the lines!

12. Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares

Dive Deeper Into Folklore and Mytholgy of Spain.

Museo-De-Artes-Y-Costumbres-Populares
Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares Museum in Malaga Image by: Museo Artes Populares

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Tues to Sunday 9:00 to 21:00 • Price: 2 € to 4 €

Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares is yet another museum in Malaga. It is located within a 17th-century inn building of Andalusian origin, with Moorish architecture and tiles infused with Islamic design. It boasts an attractive and aesthetically pleasing appearance, with nice gardens outdoors, simple whitewashed walls, and a patio.

The museum primarily focuses on showcasing the folklore of the region as well as artisan crafts, alongside tools such as cooking equipment, gear for fishing, and more. Costumes from folklore painted figures of clay known as Barros, and ceramics made by hand are also on display, most of them antiques.

Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares is a great balance between urban and rural life in the present and the past, and it offers insight into the rich history of Malaga that will educate and enrich visitors.

13. Nerja Caves

Explore The Unique Caves of Nerja and The Culture That Surrounds Them.

Nerja-Caves

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: 9:00 till 15:30 • Price: 6 € to 14 €

The Nerja Caves are famous for their otherworldly beauty. They were originally discovered by locals in 1959, with more galleries and chambers discovered subsequently in 1960 and 1969.

The caves stretch for nearly 5 kilometers, giving visitors plenty of space to explore. They also house the biggest stalagmite in the world, which measures 7 by 13 meters at its base and spans 32 meters into the sky.

The caves, which also have paintings by hunters of the Stone Age, were declared Patrimonio Histórico Español (Spanish Historical Heritage) and Bien de Interés Cultural (Heritage of Cultural Interest) by the Spanish Government back in 1985.

Because of the almost amphitheater-like shape of many of the Nerja Caves’ chambers, a summer concert known as the Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de las Cuevas de Nerja is held within the caves. There is also the Nerja Museum within the cave grounds, where you can learn more about the cave.

Want a tip on one of the best ways to experience the Nerja area? Consider a kayak tour that will dip in and out of caves and provide an unforgettable experience.

14. La Concepcion Jardin Botanico

A Garden That Takes You on a Tour of Flora From Around the World.

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La Concepcion Jardin Botanico Image by: La Concepcion Malaga

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Summer 9:30-20:30 Winter 9:30-17:30

La Concepcion Jardin Botanico, or the La Concepcion Botanical Gardens, was first brought to life by Loring’s Marquis and Marchioness in the year 1855. The garden grounds have a wide range of different landscapes, each divided into special mini-gardens dedicated to each individual theme.

There are three hectares of Historical Gardens, which are full of unique, exotic, and unusual varieties of flora. Mediterranean, subtropical, tropical, and many other plants call this place their home. An additional 23 hectares of the new garden is also built around the Historical Gardens, featuring a diverse variety of exhibits, like Around The World in 80 Trees and Plants of the Region.

Other areas in La Concepcion Jardin Botanico are the Gonzalez-Andreu Garden which shows 50 species of plants from many different locations, the Forest Route which mimics a woodland, the Hibiscus Avenue, and Viewpoint Route, which shows you the city’s panoramic views.

You can also go through the Jewels of La Concepcion Route, which spans about 90 minutes worth of walking through palm trees, waterfalls, ponds, and bridges.

15. Museo Carmen Thyssen

Discover 19th Century Art and Life in Spain.

Museo-Carmen-Thyssen
Museo Carmen Thyssen Image by: Joan / Flickr

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Tues to Sun 10:00 to 20:00 • Price: 6 € to 10 €

Museo Carmen Thyssen paints a fascinating picture of 19th-century Spanish art. It first opened its doors in 2011 and rests in a 16th-century building with a striking and elegant interior courtyard, taking up four floors.

The museum houses a large collection of Andalusian and Spanish art from the 19th century, including those by famous artists such as Joaquín Sorolla. The first floor of the museum depicts everyday Spanish life of the era with flamboyance and enthusiasm for nomads, fiestas, bullfighting, flamenco, and more amusing and almost comical stereotypes.

Each piece of art comes with a brief description, describing the artistic style and providing short but sweet background information. Some temporary exhibitions are occasionally set up, too, so if you’re lucky, you’ll get to check some out.

There is also a gift shop that sells numerous souvenirs and trinkets in interesting assortments, for all your collecting needs. If you want to skip the line and buy in advance you can do just that!

16. Take Part in Semana Santa (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday)

A Holy Celebration Highlighted by Performances and Parades.

Take-Part-In-Semana-Santa
Semana Santa Holy Celebration Image by: TIC Dibujo / Flickr

Hands down, one of the best things to do in Malaga is take part in Semana Santa, or Holy Week. This is an exuberant and lively tradition of the Catholic faith that has been present in this town for more than 5 centuries, with the event carrying on from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

During this week, processions happen in the evenings featuring ornate and vivid floats, often decorated with the images of sacred icons of all kinds, flanked by singers, dancers, marching bands, and flamenco performers. Trailing behind these floats are usually penitents of all kinds, bearing candles and following along.

You can also go to Calle Muro to visit the Museo de la Semana Santa, which lives in the Antiguo Hospital de San Julian. It showcases pictures, sculptures, and more in over 150 exhibits to provide information about the Holy Week, religious figures, customs, and costumes.

17. Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga

A Collection of Unique Glassworks From Around The World.

Museo-Del-Vidrio-Y-Cristal-De-Málaga
Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga Image by: Museo Vidrio y Cristal Malaga

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 to 19:00 • Price: 4 € to 6 €

Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga, or the Museum of Glass and Crystal, features glasswork of all kinds from different cultures, including Roman, Greek, Scandinavian, and Byzantine works, many of which date back to the Phoenician era.

The museum is located within a home that was built in the 18th century and is very well preserved to this day, housing over 3,000 different pieces of glass art. The home’s courtyard is also a thing of wonder, with old-fashioned frescoes and sophisticated columns of black marble adding to the luxurious atmosphere.

Displayed items at Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga can be from ancient times or from more modern 19th and 20th-century creators. A good number of artifacts on display are part of contemporary Art Deco works.

This is all part of a private collection of Gonzalo Fernández-Prieto, a historian who restores these works to their aesthetic glory. Apart from glasswork, you can also find portraits, carpets, furniture, and windows of an antique variety.

18. Pablo Ruíz Picasso Foundation Birthplace Museum

Learn About The Life of Picasso Through His Home and Artworks.

Pablo-Ruíz-Picasso-Foundation-Birthplace-Museum

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Mon-Sat 11:00h to 14.00, and 17:00 to 20:00 Sundays 11:00 to 14:00h • Price: 3 €

We’ve already talked about Pablo Picasso and the fact that he was born here – but there’s more than just the art museum dedicated to him. The Pablo Ruíz Picasso Foundation Birthplace Museum is located in the Old Town side of Malaga and is Picasso’s home of birth, as its name suggests.

Within the museum, 223 works of art created by the famous artist are on display, showcasing all the techniques and styles that Picasso learned, experimented with, and mastered over the years. If you like, you can also view Picasso’s studio, which is primarily where he sketched, studied, and painted nude models.

Picasso’s own art, including his self-portraits, landscapes, nudes, still-life works, and even reworkings created by masters, are all on display here, many of which highlight Picasso’s Cubism style and others he brought to the table.

Such great and loved works as The Acrobat, Musketeer with a Sword, the Mother and Child, and more are exhibited here. You can grab tickets in advance here.

19. Museo Interactivo de la Música

An Absolute Must Visit for Music Lover’s and Children Interested in Music.

Museo-Interactivo-De-La-Música
Museo Interactivo de la Música Image by: musicaenaccion

Google MapPhoneWebsitePrice: 3 € to 5 €

Housed within the Baroque Palacio del Conde Navas, an 18th-century building, Museo Interactivo de la Música, or MIMMA, is an interactive music museum. Originally, the building belonged to Spanish aristocrats, then was converted into a school. In the 20th century, it lost its use and fell to neglect.

Eventually, the building was resuscitated in 2010, with the completion of its refurbishment taking place in 2013. It is now Malaga’s proud music museum, and it is modern in the sense that it is a “smart” museum of sorts. Every single one of its whopping 400 instruments, part of among the biggest private collections in Europe, is available to interact with.

There are guitars, violins, and drums, but there are also Celtic bagpipes from ancient times and amusing Australian didgeridoos. There are even special prototypes of futuristic instruments in the Museo Interactivo de la Música’s Living Lab, and if you go at the right time, you can catch a performance of the flamenco!

The museum aims to examine the relationship between culture and music through the ages. It’s a great place for kids to explore and learn, especially with all the workshops aimed at families that are hosted by the museum.

20. Explore Puerto de Malaga

Spend Hours Immersing Yourself in the Culture of Spain at This Famous Port.

Explore-Puerto-De-Malaga
The Port of Malaga Image by: bvi4092 / Flickr

Google Map • Website

The Port of Malaga has gone through many phases, and its latest 1990s facelift has it looking totally different from before. It was then renovated again in 2011, making it even more current and happening. It now boasts stunning architecture, grandiose boats, delicious waterfront restaurants, interesting art and sculptures, and lots of ways to get around.

It’s relatively easy to get to Puerto de Malaga, as the city center of Malaga links directly into it through an attractive promenade. You’ll walk past an impressive lighthouse and the beach in order to get to the port itself, and then the large area will be all yours to explore.

There is plenty to explore in Puerto de Malaga. With all the money saved from the free visit, you may even want to go shopping or visit the Sunday morning market.

There are many unique ways to experience the area, whether catching a segway tour or hopping in an electric vehicle. However, one of the best experiences for those wanting to capture unforgettable photos is a photo workshop/tour which takes you through the city to capture street art and landmarks, how cool is that?

21. Museo del Patrimonio Municipal

Local Art and Family Friendly Activities All Under One Roof.

Museo-Del-Patrimonio-Municipal
Museo del Patrimonio Municipal Image by: Museo del Patrimonio Municipal Malaga

Google MapPhoneWebsiteHours: Tues to Sun 10:00 to 14:00/20:00 • Price: Free

Museo del Patrimonio Municipal is dedicated to assisting local artists, showcasing their talents to the public, and ensuring enough people know about them. It has over 4,000 different works of art stored within its walls, most of which are part of rotating exhibits. In fact, only around a hundred artworks are part of the permanent collection!

The building was designed by Federico Orellana Ortega, an architect, upon its first opening in 1999. In 2003, three additional floors were added, and in 2007, the museum became the Municipal Heritage Museum, or MUPAM, that we know today.

Museo del Patrimonio Municipal places emphasis on the history of Malaga’s artistic and civic sectors. Though it is quite small, it provides visitors with a huge amount of information regarding the events, people, and circumstances that shaped Malaga into the loved city that it is now.

22. Take A Beach Trip

Spend Some Time Relaxing at One (Oy Many) of These Picturesque Beach Locations.

Take-A-Beach-Trip

Malaga has many gorgeous beaches, so you have so many to choose from. Best of all, spending a day at a beach is totally free! Here are the very best of the best that you can check out.

  • Playa de la Malagueta – The Playa de la Malagueta is great for families. It’s vibrant, exciting, and very easy to get to thanks to its proximity to the city.
  • Playa de Chullera – This beach spans 700 meters and, though it is largely covered in stone, it is a great-looking place. It sits on the Malaga-Cadiz border and rests among rocky outcrops.
  • Playa de el Palo – This beach sits in the El Palo fisherman village, lined with houses in different bright hues.  It’s mostly a beach where locals hang out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in.
  • Cabopino – This beach has been slowly but steadily gaining fame among tourists, but it remains blissfully uncrowded most of the time. It stretches across 1.5 kilometers of sand, with dunes rising to protect it on one far end (and this is where the nudist beach is if you’re into that).
  • Playa de la Misericordia – This beach isn’t the most popular of tourist spots, given that it’s in what was once an industrial area, but it’s a great place for some more quiet relaxation.
  • Playa Peñón del Cuervo – Past the fishing villages, you’ll find this small but cozy little beach. There aren’t many eateries around, but it’s a great place to host a get-together of some kind.
  • Playa El Cristo – This beach is within a cove in Estepona, and its clean, white sand makes it popular among tourists. It is notably warmer than a lot of nearby beaches, and the sun doesn’t go down till later in the evening.
  • Playa El Salón – This beach has white sand and clear, lapping water as far as the eye can see. It is located in Nerja, which is still within the Malaga province, and it’s a great opportunity to explore the city center to view the cobbled roads and beautiful views.

23. Explore Parque de Malaga

A Beautiful Outdoor Park Where To Explore For Free.

Explore-Parque-De-Malaga

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There are many beautiful outdoor spaces in Malaga, and the best part about them is that they’re free. Parque de Malaga tops the list. Known also as El Parque or Parque de la Alameda, is located right in the middle of Malaga, just behind Muello Uno of the harbor.

It has a long, rectangular shape and can be found between Paseo del Parque and Paseo de la Curas, two of the most well-known streets in the city.

Parque de Malaga is unique among all the botanical gardens in the city because it was made specifically with the public in mind. All gardens are well-landscaped, with fountains and benches aplenty. There are two parks just for kids to play in and there is even an open-air theater!

The park has been around for over a century, first being made in the 19th century, just after the phylloxera crisis ruined the region’s wine market. In order to improve the area, the city decided to begin a land reclamation project in 1896, focusing on extending the port. To help diversify what had always been a port city, though, authorities decided to begin working on the park in 1904, hoping to attract tourists. And it certainly worked!

24. Explore Rio Guadalhorce Nature Reserve

Explore-Rio-Guadalhorce-Nature-Reserve

Google Map • Website

The Rio Guadalhorce Nature Reserve is located on an island that formed naturally on its own, just where the Mediterranean Sea meets with the Guadalhorce River.

Known locally as Paraje Natural Desembocadura del Guadalhorce, this nature reserve is an incredible place for bird watchers to get their eyeful of a huge range of bird species. Reed warblers, monk parakeets, northern gannets, ospreys, redshanks, marbled teals, flamingos, crested larks, booted eagles, and many, many more! There are over 260 different species just hanging out here!

But why is it such a haven for birds? Well, the Rio Guadalhorce Nature Reserve is a very crucial site for migration and breeding, especially since it’s right on track between Africa and Europe.

The habitat of the Rio Guadalhorce Nature Reserve is also fairly unique. It has both saltwater and freshwater, as well as palm trees, marshlands, poplars, and willows, making for some interesting terrain and lots of unique areas to explore.

25. Caminito Del Ray

Hike a monumental cliffside trail 100 meters above the Guadalhorce River.

Caminto-Del-Ray
The Guadalhorce River and the El Caminito del Ray cliffside path.

Once considered one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world, the Caminito del Ray is now one of the most popular treks in Spain and features an exploration of the region’s flora and fauna while providing some of the most awe-inspiring views of the Andalusian region.

Carefully restored and reopened in 2015 with safer conditions, the famous trail follows the Guadalhorce River from 100 meters above the earth. The trail is tucked along the steep cliff sides of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge and offers some of the best scenic vistas for admiring the countryside.

Along with exploring the daring landscapes, the Caminito del Ray features plenty of wildlife, including Egyptian vultures, golden eagles, and the Iberian ibex. While the 8 km trail can be accessed independently, the best way to explore the area is with a knowledgeable guide along a group tour or private excursion.

FAQs About Malaga Attractions

Why is Malaga so popular?

The birthplace of Pablo Picasso and located in Southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, Malaga is one of the country’s oldest cities. As such, Malaga is a popular destination for blending the perpetual sunshine of the region’s Mediterranean beaches with many historical landmarks and museums in a way that combines a surreal beach holiday with a cultural and artistic exploration of the Andalusian region.

Is Malaga a friendly city?

The people from Malaga are famous for their friendliness. They welcome visitors from around the world and are often eager to share their culture and heritage with outsiders. If you want to leave a good impression on the locals, brush up on your Spanish. A simple good morning (Buenos dias) or nice to meet you (mucho gusto) can go a long way.

What is Malaga best known for?

As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, one of the world’s most recognized artists, Malaga has become a haven for preserving and displaying Spain’s artistic heritage. Along with boasting over 300 days of sunshine a year, Malaga is best known for its numerous art museums, including the Picasso Museum, the Museo Carmen Thyssen, and the Malaga Museum.

What should you not miss in Malaga?

There are dozens of fantastic landmarks scattered throughout Malaga, and depending on how long you visit, you may only be able to get to all of them. Still, some of the top attractions that must be included in your itinerary include Malaga’s historic cathedral, the Moorish fortress of Alcazaba, the old Roman theater, the Picasso Museum, and Gibralfaro Castle.

How many days in Malaga is enough?

To visit most of the region’s top attractions and landmarks, visitors should plan to spend at least two days in Malaga. However, if you plan on touring several of the city’s museums or venturing outside of the town to a beach or the Montes de Malaga, plan to spend four days to a week.

How do I spend a day in Malaga?

While you won’t be able to experience everything Malaga offers in a single day, the city still provides a fantastic place to explore during a layover or day trip. Spending a day unwinding at the perpetually sunny nearby beaches is enticing. Still, if you want to explore the local culture, I suggest taking a walking tour and visiting at least one of the community’s art museums.

What is the best time to go to Malaga?

With over 300 days of sunlight throughout the year, there is never a wrong time to visit Malaga. However, to enjoy the region’s best weather conditions while partaking in a wide variety of activities and events, visiting between June and August is the best time to go to Malaga.

What is there to do in Malaga at night?

Malaga becomes a social hotspot at night, with many visitors and locals beginning their evening festivities with tapas and beer before branching out to various bars and nightclubs. The city’s most popular night venues include the ZZ Pub, the Manana Cocktail Bar, and the Bubbles Lounge Club.

What are the best Malaga beaches?

Within the Costa del Sol are dozens of fantastic beaches lining the shorelines around Malaga. The most convenient beach is Playa de la Malaguetta which can be found along the coast lining the city. Other beautiful beaches in the area include Playa de La Caleta, Playa de el Palo, and Playa de la Misericordia.

Is Malaga expensive to visit?

While Malaga does boast several luxury hotels and restaurants that can make visiting the city expensive, the region also features numerous budget eateries and accommodations for a cost-effective visit. In fact, Malaga can be one of the most budget-friendly holiday destinations in Spain and offers a variety of deals for the frugal traveler.

Are Malaga's museums free?

Many of Malaga’s museums offer free admission, although not all. Others are free at certain times of the week but charge small admission outside of those designated time zones. Therefore, before visiting a museum in Malaga, you should always look up if the facility offers a period of free admission and plan your visit to coordinate.

About The Author

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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Picture of Kurt Norris

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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