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Travel Guide Málaga



Cathedral, Málaga

Cathedral, Málaga

© davidx

Málaga is a city at the southern coastline of Spain, the Costa del Sol. Most people who arrive at the airport leave the city as fast as they can and head for the beaches in one of the surrounding towns. A shame as Málaga has some sights to offer, and is trying hard over the last couple of years to become a more attractive city for tourists. It's drawing the card of their most famous inhabitant: Pablo Picasso, who was born in Málaga. The first settlers here were the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC which were followed by the Romans, who left the city with its Roman Theater. In the 8th century the Moors took over making it an important harbour on the Mediterranean.



Sights and Activities

Picasso Museum

In 2003 the Museo Picasso Malaga devoted to Pablo Picasso was opened. Although Picasso only lived in Málaga for the first seven years of his live, the city is betting on this museum to give the city a cultural boost. In the museum, which is housed at the renovated Palacio de Buenavista, works from every important phase is his carreer are on display. It also has changing expositions from contempary artists. About 400 metres from the museum on the Plaza de Merced lies the house in which Picasso was born. The museum is closed on mondays.


The Alcazaba (Moorish fortification) was the home of the Muslim rulers that ruled the area from the 8th century until the fall of the Caliph of Granada. For them Málaga was the most important port in the region. The earliest part of the walls (the Alcazaba) were built in the 8th century, but extended in the 11th century. The structure has two lines of walls, a third one, that bordered the sea in the Middle Ages no longer exists. Within the second line of walls, are the buildings built by the Nazari, the last Moorish rulers.


Higher up the hill lies the fortress of Gibralfaro (now commonly known as the Gibralfaro). Here there is less to see, than at the Alcazaba, but the tour over the outer walls, is good for very nice views over the surrounding area. A visit requires the climb up the mountain, which means a good 10 to 15 minutes walk up hill. However the Gibralfaro is also reachable by busline 35, and by car, although parking space is somewhat limited.

In 1487 the Alcazar of Malaga was retaken by the Catholic kings, only five year before the final defeat of the Moors in Granada. In front of the Alcazaba is the oldest structure in the city, the remains of a Roman Theater.

Larios Street

Larios Street is the heart of the city, one of the emblematic signs of nineteenth-century Malaga along with the latest European proposals of the time. Larios Street ends at the Plaza de la Constitution. Its present appearance is due to the renovations of 2002. The most important piece is the Fountain of Genoa, from the XVI century. Two stops worth a visit in the Plaza: the building of the Economic Society of Friends of the Country, typical of eighteenth century domestic architecture and the Church of Santo Cristo de la Salud, an excellent example of Baroque architecture.


The Cathedral was built from 1528 onwards. Many artworks can be found in the Altarpiece of Santa Barbara, the Altarpiece of Santa Clara, the Chapel of the Virgin de los Reyes, image donated by Queen Isabel II to the city, the painting of Our Lady of the Rosary by Alonso Cano, and especially the choir, magnificent precious wood chairs, made ​​by Pedro de Mena. Sightseeing Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm. Saturday: 10:00am to 5:00pm. Closed Sunday.

Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria

From the Plaza de la Merced northbound along Calle de la Victoria, you arrive to the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria, patron of the city. The image is from the fifteenth century. In the lower area is the Pantheon of the Counts of Buenavista. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-1:00pm.

Carmen Thyssen Museum

The Carmen Thyssen Museum is housed in the Palacio de Villalon, a palace of the XVI century, located on the Compañía Street near the Plaza of the Constitution. XIX century Spanish art, particularly Andalusian paintings. Tuesday-Thursday 10:00-8:00pm. Friday and Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm. Sunday 10:00am-10:00pm. In June: Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm. In July and August: Monday 10:00am-10:00pm and closed on Sundays.

Revello de Toro Museum

The Revello de Toro Museum has paintings by famed portraitist Felix Revello de Toro, including oil paintings, sketches and drawings. Summer: Monday-Saturday 10.00am-2:00pm and 5:00-8:00pm. Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm. Winter: Monday-Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm and 4:00-7:00pm. Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm.

Museum of Flamenco

The Museum of Flamenco contains a collection of over 2,500 records with some copies of the nineteenth century, 40 guitars, some with more than two centuries, and important bibliographical about flamenco. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm.

Museum of Malaga’s Wines

History, culture, art and education about the wines of the province of Malaga can be found at the Museum of Malaga's Wines. Tasting Room, Training Room and Shop. Monday-Friday 12:00-2:30pm and 5:30-7:30pm.

Museum of Malaga Football Club

The Museum & Tour MCF is in the facilities of the Stadium's La Rosaleda. Monday-Thursday 10:00am-7:00pm, Thursday-Saturday 3:00pm-7:00pm (winter) 10:00am-2:00pm (summer).

Finca de la Concepción

Finca de la Concepción is a tropical garden 5 kilometres away from the town centre, with magnificent 150 old trees, exuberant vegetation, streams with cascades, and some architectural elements. It can be accessed from the motorway from Madrid to Malaga. Hours: October-March 09:30am-5:30pm; May-September 9:30am-9:30pm.


As every town on the Costa del Sol, Málaga has some good beaches to enjoy the sun and go for a swim. The closes to the city is the beach of Malagueta, which starts at the lighthouse and streches to the east from there, along the Paseo Maritimo de Pablo Ruiz Picasso.



Events and Festivals

Santa Semana

As is the case in much places in Spain the Semana Santa de Málaga (the week before Easter) is a special week. During the week (from Sunday to Good Friday) trones with images of Christ and Virgin Mary are carried around the city in several processions.

Feria de Málaga

From mid to late August the Feria de Málaga takes place. The festivities include a lot of drinking, music and dancing. A fairground is set up to the southwest of the city.




Málaga has one of the best climates in Europe. It's a typical Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny and dry summers from May to September and mild winters from December to February. Average daytime temperatures range from 16 °C in January to around 30 °C in August, though temperatures of 40 °C are possible even along this coastline. In general though it's much more bearable in summer compared to places inland like Granada or Seville. Nights are between 7 °C in January and 22 °C in August. Summers are dry, precipitation is concentrated in the winter months though also autumn and spring see a few showers every now and then.

Avg Max16.6 °C17.7 °C19.1 °C20.9 °C23.8 °C27.3 °C29.9 °C30.3 °C27.9 °C23.7 °C19.9 °C17.4 °C
Avg Min7.3 °C7.9 °C9 °C10.4 °C13.4 °C17.1 °C19.7 °C20.5 °C18.2 °C14.3 °C10.8 °C8.4 °C
Rainfall81 mm55 mm49 mm41 mm25 mm12 mm2 mm6 mm16 mm56 mm95 mm88 mm
Rain Days866752112678



Getting There

Málaga market entrance

Málaga market entrance

© davidx

By Plane

Málaga airport is the best airport to fly into when you are visiting the Costa del Sol. It is located just 5 kilometres southwest of the city centre. In 2010 the new terminal 3, has opened at Málaga airport increasing the capacity of the airport.

To/from the airport

  • Rail: At the airport there is a train station of the cercanias (commuter trains). A ride to the central train station takes about 15 minutes, with trains leaving every half hour. There are also connections to Fuengirola.
  • Bus: Busline 19 has a service between the airport and the busstation. Buses leave in front of the airport, approximately every 35 to 40 minutes. An airport coach goes directly to Marbella.
  • Car: The airport can easily be reached by car from Málaga and other nearby coastal towns. There are many car rental companies and als taxis available at Málaga Airport.

By Train

There is a fast train connection between Madrid and Málaga. The AVE takes you from Madrid-Atocha to Málaga (and vice versa) in just two and a half hours.

By Car

Coming from France you can follow the A-7 that starts at the Spanish border all the way to Málaga. It follows the Mediterranean coastline, bypassing cities like Barcelona and Valencia. Coming from Madrid, it's best to take the A-4 and then switch to the A-45 near Córdoba. From Seville you can take the A-92 until Antequera, and take the A-45 from there.

By Bus

Alsa connects Malaga with most main cities in Andalucia.

By Boat

Trasmediterranea flies the route between the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla from Málaga.



Getting Around

By Car

It is possible to get around by car, but most inconvenient with lots of traffic. Better to park your car and go around on foot.

By Public Transport

There are two lines of the Cercanias (commuter trains), that connects Málaga with the surrounding towns. Line C-1 runs from Málaga to the west along the Costa del Sol, passing the airport and several towns until it ends at Fuengirola. Line C-2 head north to Álora. Between the Central station and the city centre, trams should be running. But at the time of writing (August 2010) these are out of service.

By Foot

Much of central Malaga can easily be explored on foot.

By Bike

Málaga is making big improvements when it comes to cycling. Nowadays Malagueños use their bikes more often to go to work or for recreational use in the weekends. Also Málaga established a cycling association supported by the local public transport association. The use of bicycles is promoted as being eco-friendly, fun, safe and healthy. Promotional campaigns in the form of group cycle activities or excursions outside Málaga are being introduced and this has led to big success.

Meanwhile Málaga also constructed several bike lanes. Due to this construction the centre is also better connected with the Northern part of the city. The historical centre of Málaga is already free of motorized vehicles, which makes cycling much safer than in the past. Also spots like the boulevard and the harbor are only accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. This 2km long boulevard is wide enough for cyclists to enjoy and cycle in a relaxing fashion.

Besides cycling in the city the coast area of Málaga is also worth exploring by bike. Going east from Málaga is probably the most popular route as its possible to travel along a route through the twin traditional fishing villages of Pedregalejo and El Palo all the way to the end of Rincon De La Victoria without going on the main road. Traveling west along the coast is not quite as straightforward, for example biking from Málaga to Torremolinos is a popular route but it is difficult to find a good route away from busy highways but it is possible.

Cycling inland north from Málaga is characterized by steep climbs with little in the way of long easy winding routes. The Montes de Málaga is probably the most notable mountain route from the city where an elevation of over 900m can be reached in less than 15km, this route is known locally as "The Reina" and is not for the lazy cyclist. Other notable climbs include a section known locally as "The Wall" which is a terrifying decent or climbers challenge depending on what direction its cycled. "The Wall" is a 9Km section between Moclinejo and Almáchar (this is the terrifying decent direction) on an inland route from Malaga to the coastal resort of Torre Del Mar.

An alternative mountain route for the committed cyclist is around the "Sierra de Mijas". Initially the route goes west from Málaga on quite a busy main road past the airport, then up a steep country road to the white villages of Benalmadena Pueblo and Mijas Pueblo, dropping down then to Alhaurin el Grande and back on the north side of Sierra de Mijas to Málaga via Alhaurin de la Torre.





The pescaito frito (small fried fish) is one of the most delicious dishes of the Andalusian cuisine. In fishing suburbs like El Palo and Pedregalejo (take bus number 11 from town centre) you can dine right on the beach.

  • Pescado en adobo (fish in a marinade)
  • Buñuelos de bacalao (cod fritters)
  • Boquerones vitorianos - small fresh anchovies, delicious accompanied by a salad of roast peppers.
  • Espetos de sardinas (sardines on skewers) - prepared by skewering them on canes that are stuck upright in the sand next to a fire, but without letting either the smoke or flame touch the fish.
  • Andalusian gazpacho - prepared cold using a base of garlic, crumbled bread, olive oil, water, vinegar, tomato and salt and with or without pepper and cucumber.
  • Ajoblanco - a type of gazpacho without tomatoes but containing ground almonds that is usually served with peeled grapes or raisins.
  • Gazpachuelo - a soup made from water, bread and egg white to which is added mayonnaise that has been diluted in a little of the same soup.
  • Migas (a dish made from fried bread crumbs) - based on bread and water, to which are added grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges, olives or herring.

Other dishes typical of the coastal region that are, naturally, based on fish are sopa de rape (monkfish soup), rape con patatas (monkfish with potatoes), arroz a la marinera (rice with seafood) and calderetas de pescado (fish soups).

Restaurants and Tapas Bars

  • Rincón del Trillo - Espartero, 8. Rustic corner with bar and dining areas.
  • Mesón La Aldea - Esparteros, 5. One of the most traditional tapas bar in Malaga.
  • Café Central - Santa María, 2. Opened at the dawn of the 20th century, it's the oldest coffee shop in Malaga and well-known for its lengthy bar always full of customers and for its outdoor tables.
  • Bar Orellana - Moreno Monroy, 5. Established in 1937. This small place is one of the most traditional tapas sites.
  • El Trillo - Don Juan Díaz, 4. A cosy place opened in 1998.
  • El Jardín - Cañón, 1. Established in 1886, this bar is ideally situated in a privileged place in town, at the Patio de los Naranjos, just beside the Cathedral.




Málaga has a typically sweet wine called Moscatel made from muscat grapes.




There are basically two good locations for tourist lodging in town: At the beach, or in or near the pedestrian zone in the center. The cheapest beds are found in the red light district between the center and the port.


You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)





Keep Connected


Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.


If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 36.7196745
  • Longitude: -4.4200359

Accommodation in Málaga

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Málaga searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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