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Spain is by far my favorite country because I lived there for 13 years, and also because the tourist offer is infinite. From verdant or desert landscapes to historical or modern architecture, from small villages to bustling cities, there is something for every taste. Andalusia is notably one of my favorite regions. Malaga, like Seville and Cordoba, is one of those cities I could revisit endlessly. The city that saw the birth of Picasso and Antonio Banderas was long considered not pretty as its sisters of southern Spain.  Without any major points of interest, it didn’t really appeal to many, but it has managed to become a flagship destination. What to do in Malaga?

Things to do in Malaga:
Practical information:

Malaga in a nutshell

Malaga, the capital of the province of the same name, is located on the Costa del Sol, a coastal region stretching for kilometers of beaches in the southern part of the country. Founded by the Phoenicians under the name Malaka over 8 centuries before Christ. Greek, Roman, and Moorish domination, to name just a few, have left traces on the city’s heritage.
Today, it is not only an ideal destination to enjoy the sun and the beach but also logically a place where lovers of historical sites can discover wonders throughout the year. An ideal city for a getaway of a few days or even a long stay to enjoy all its riches!


Find out what to visit in Malaga and enjoy the main touristy attractions!

1. The catedral Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación

The Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was built on the foundations of the old mosque in the 16th century, of which only a sublime courtyard remains. After 200 years, the works were completed due to lack of funding. Therefore, the building will never be finished. This is why it lacks a bell tower, earning it the nickname La Manquita (the one-armed) by the people of Malaga.
This breathtaking monument offers a blend of primarily Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. Visiting its interior will allow you to admire its richly decorated ceiling and sublime stained glass windows. By climbing the 200 steps that lead to the top of the only completed tower, you can enjoy a view of the entire city.





2. The Alcazaba

This Moorish-origin fortress palace, built between 1057 and 1063 on the orders of King Badis, is located at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s Muslim era. Gradually climbing the slope, in the shade of some slender trees and lovely Moorish architectural gates, you discover the rectangular courtyards and charming gardens that make up the place.
The Alcazaba, which always ranks high in the Things to Do in Malaga lists, combines defensive needs with the beauty of Arab architecture and offers magnificent views of the city and the bay. The palace also houses an archaeological museum to visit to learn more about this fascinating place.





3. The Gibralfaro Castle

Get ready to endure a bit of suffering to reach the Gibralfaro Castle. Fortunately, at the end of the slope that you can take from the Alcazaba, a small shop awaits the visitor and allows them to refresh themselves with sodas and slushies.
Built in the 14th century to accommodate troops and protect the Alcazaba by monitoring access by land and sea, the castle has an outer and an inner wall that allows you to walk the entire battlement and enjoy the view of the city.





4. The Roman Theater

At the foot of Mount Gibralfaro lies the Roman Theatre of Malaga, or rather what remains of it. It is one of the oldest theaters in Hispania. It was built at the request of Emperor Augustus in the 1st century. Used as a theater for 2 centuries, it quickly turned into a cemetery before being abandoned. It reappeared in 1951 after the destruction of the building that was above it.
Close by, there is an interpretation center dedicated to it, which allows visitors to learn about life at the time. An informative visit if it’s your first time visiting this type of monument. For example, one learns that many materials, such as columns, were used to build the Alcazaba.



5. The Central Market de Atarazanas

People scream and rush through the aisles. The smells of fish and fresh meat mingle with the aromas of spices. Locals with arms laden with groceries rub shoulders with curious tourists who come to soak up the Malagueña atmosphere in this place steeped in history.
The name of the market comes from the Moorish era and means “place where boats are repaired.” This makes sense when you know that Malaga was then underwater and that this building was located by the sea. Following the conquest of the Reyes Catolicos in 1487, it was transformed into a convent, then into a military barracks, hospital, and school, before becoming a market.






6. The San Juan Bautista Church

The San Juan Bautista church and its original facade easily catch the attention of tourists strolling through the city center. It is one of the 4 churches founded by the Reyes Católicos following the conquest in 1487.
The interior of the building is sublime, notably thanks to its richly decorated ceiling that will not leave you indifferent.





7. The Salamanca Market

Located in the El Molinillo neighborhood, this market is absolutely non-touristy. The perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals from the neighborhood who come to do their shopping in this beautiful Arab-style building.
It was built between 1922 and 1925 and offers a wide variety of products: from spices to fresh fish.


8. The City Center

The downtown area of Malaga is a succession of charming, colorful streets. One square particularly catches the eye: the Plaza de la Constitución. It is lined with magnificent monuments, such as the Genova fountain. This is one of the most dynamic places in Malaga. It’s worth noting that the Calle Marqués de Larios, the city’s equivalent of the Champs-Elysées, opens onto it, with numerous restaurants, bars, clothing stores, jewelry shops, and beauty products…
As always, I recommend wandering aimlessly through the center, entering the shops that catch your eye, letting yourself be guided by the smells emanating from the bars and restaurants, and keeping your head up to admire the lovely facades.
3 excursions to get to know Malaga:







9. The port and La Malagueta

The famous Malagueta beach is a must-visit for all tourists passing through Malaga, especially since it’s located just a few steps from the city center. It’s the neighborhood in which it’s situated that gives it its name. With its 1200 meters in length, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the sun with family.
Nearby is the port of Malaga. As a commercial port, it also serves as a fishing, sports, and passenger port. You can also find some shops there.




10. The Misericordia beach

It’s not the most famous beach among tourists, but it’s really popular, especially on weekends when families and groups of friends decide to swim there. The water is fairly calm and warm.
As night falls, the seaside restaurants offer the typical local dish: espeto de sardines.



How many days to visit Malaga?

2 days are sufficient to visit Malaga. However, if you enjoy taking the time to get to know the places you visit, you could easily spend 7-15 days there. This is especially true if you take the opportunity to explore the surroundings of the city.
If you are a digital nomad and only have weekends to explore your destination, you could comfortably stay for 1 month, and if you fall in love with the city, why not stay for several months?

What to do in Malaga in 1 day?

Here’s an itinerary for tourists like myself who enjoy taking the time to discover a place without feeling the need to see absolutely everything.

Day 1:
Visit to Gibralfaro Castle: 1-2 hours
Visit to the Alcazaba: 1-2 hours
Visit to the Roman Theatre: 30 minutes
Lunchtime: The city center has a plethora of small restaurants offering local cuisine
Stroll around the downtown area: Make sure to visit the Cathedral and the San Juan Bautista Church
Enjoy the evening atmosphere in the city center

What to Do in Malaga in 2 Days?

If you have the opportunity to stay 2 days in Malaga, you can follow the itinerary for day 1 and spend a more relaxed second day.

Day 2:
Visit the city’s markets: 2 hours
Lunchtime: Choose one of the stands at your favorite market to taste local products
Stroll around the port: 1 hour
Spend the afternoon at the beach to enjoy the Andalusian sun

When to visit Malaga?

Malaga is a city that can be visited all year round as it enjoys sunny weather throughout the year. However, the summer months can be very hot. The best times to visit are therefore from March to May and from September to November. The Semana Santa period can be quite touristy, and prices may be a bit higher.

How to Get to Malaga?

You can reach Malaga by plane, thanks to the city’s well-connected international airport.
If you are already in Spain, you can also opt for the train or bus.

How to Get Around to Malaga?

There are numerous ways to get around in Malaga.
If you’re staying in the city center, you can easily walk to most places. If you’re staying further away, you can rely on the public transportation system, primarily composed of buses, but also including two metro lines. You can find more information here!
Of course, you can also get around by taxi or use the Uber app.

Where to Stay in Malaga?

The choice of your accommodation will depend on your preferences, of course, but here are two neighborhoods to consider.
The Malagueta neighborhood is perfect if you want to enjoy the beach at any time and also the city’s atmosphere, especially in the evening.
As for the Trinidad neighborhood, it is particularly recommended if you want to be in the heart of the historic center.

Being a digital nomad in Malaga

The city of Malaga might not be the Spanish city that attracts the most digital nomads. However, it is perfect for those who enjoy the city atmosphere while also taking advantage of the beach.
The Wi-Fi is very good, allowing you to work with peace of mind. There are also a few coworking spaces and coliving options where you can gather with other remote workers.

Responsible Travel in MALAGA

Like everywhere in the world, it’s important to be a responsible tourist in Malaga. Here are some tips for your stay:
  • Use eco-friendly sunscreen at the beach.
  • Do not litter on the beach.
  • Opt for public transportation to get around.
  • Respect local recycling guidelines.
  • Educate yourself about fair prices when choosing accommodations.
  • Support local businesses.
  • Purchase fresh, seasonal products.
To learn more about essential eco-friendly practices, read this article!

Visit Malaga as a POC

I am of South Asian origin. It is important to specify this because racism is a different experience for everyone, especially depending on one’s background. Personally, I didn’t have any problems during my visit to Malaga. Perhaps a few looks, but nothing significantly different from what I experience as a Spanish resident.

What to visit in Malaga? I hope this article will help you prepare for your next trip. Feel free to share it on Pinterest!

what to do in Malaga
what to do in Malaga
what to do in Malaga

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