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Malaga What to visit

Málaga – What to visit: 1 day itinerary (map included)

Málaga – What to visit: 1 day itinerary (map included)

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Málaga is that city that many people want to visit because it seems to combine perfectly an interesting historical centre, with the pleasant beaches of Costa del Sol, so well known in the Andalusia region. That’s why I chose to visit Málaga on my road trip through this region.

When is the best time of the year to visit Málaga?

Let’s be honest: any time of year is a good time to visit Málaga! The temperatures are always relatively mild and you will hardly regret a visit to the birthplace of the famous Pablo Picasso or Antonio Banderas.

Malaga What to visit Castle
Views from Gibralfaro Castle

Of course, during the summer, the temperatures will be more inviting (especially if you intend to enjoy the city’s beaches)! However, this is also the busiest time, so it is not surprising to find many streets and squares full of tourists. Therefore, it’s best to visit Málaga between April and June or in October, to avoid the high season without having to compromise the temperatures.

How many days do you need to visit Málaga?

The city is not too big, making it an ideal choice for a weekend getaway 😊 This way, I’d suggest you spend 1 or 2 days visiting Málaga. Nevertheless, if you’d like to get to know the Andalusia region a bit better, then I’d add a few more days to your itinerary.

How to get to Málaga?

The cities closer to Málaga by car are Faro (Portugal) or Seville (Spain). The first one is 4h20 long and the latter takes about 2h20 by car. Nevertheless, you can also fly to Málaga from many cities across Europe (this information was collected in August 2022):

  • United Kingdom (Bristol, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh,…)
  • Austria (Vienna)
  • Germany (Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne,…)
  • Netherlands (Eindhoven, Amsterdam, …)
  • Ireland (Dublin, Knock, Cork, …)
  • Italy (Rome, Turin, Milan, Bologna, Naples, …)
  • France (Bordeaux, Marseille, Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse)
  • Hungary (Budapest)
  • Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp, …)
Malaga What to visit Estepona

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Accommodation in Malaga

There is a wide range of accommodation available in Málaga, so it’s easy to find an option that suits you. In my case, I stayed two nights at Malaga City Breaks and I loved it!

Besides a very central location, the building was completely renovated and the flat had excellent conditions. In addition, despite not offering breakfast service, there were several cafes nearby and the flat had a kitchen.

The only downside is the lack of parking space and the impossibility of reaching the accommodation by car. However, there are several car parks (though expensive ones!) near the accommodation.

Anyway, I take the opportunity to leave you other suggestions in Málaga that also seem interesting:

Activities & tours in Málaga

What to visit in Málaga?

Before starting my list with what to visit in Málaga, here is a map version of the main points of interest in the city.

» Gibralfaro Castle

Built during the 14th century, this castle is one of the main tourist attractions in Málaga. Located at over 130m above sea level, the castle had a strategic position to control the entrances and exits in the city, both by sea and by land.

Don’t forget to visit the Interpretation Centre to learn more about the history of this castle as well.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Gibralfaro Castle is open from 9 am to 6 pm from 1 November to 31 March and until 8 pm in the other months. The entrance ticket costs 3,5€.

» Alcazaba de Málaga

The Alcazaba of Málaga is another must-see when visiting Málaga. It was built during the Arab occupation of the region and is said to be the best-preserved Alcazaba in Spain. Like Gibralfaro Castle, be prepared to be amazed by the views over the harbour area.

Malaga What to visit Alcazaba

You can also take the opportunity to visit the Alcazaba’s Viewpoint. From here you can contemplate some of the city’s main monuments, such as the Roman Theatre and Málaga’s Cathedral.

Malaga What to visit Alcazaba Viewpoint
Alcazaba’s Viewpoint
Malaga What to visit Alcazaba

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The Alcazaba has the same opening hours as the Gibralfaro Castle and the ticket also costs 3,5€. However, if you choose to visit both monuments, the combined ticket costs 5,5€. Tickets can only be bought in person.

Malaga What to visit Alcazaba

💡 EXTRA TIP: Admission to the Alcazaba or the Castle is free on Sundays from 2 pm.

» Roman Theatre

Located right next to the Alcazaba, the Roman Theatre was built during the Augustus Empire and was used until the 3rd century, after which it became a cemetery. After remaining hidden under the Culture House for many years, it was only in 1951 that it was discovered.

Malaga What to visit Roman Theatre

Admission is free and the theatre can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. In any case, the Roman Theatre is fully visible from Calle Alcazabilla, even if it is closed.

» Málaga’s Cathedral

With a Renaissance-style construction, Málaga’s Cathedral was built between the mid-16th century and the end of the 18th century. Also known as Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Cathedral, this cathedral was built over the old Mosque Mayor.

Malaga What to visit Cathedral

Málaga Cathedral is also known as “La Manquita” (which kind of translates to “the limp”) because the work was never finished. Inside the Cathedral, it is also possible to visit the Cathedral’s Museum.

Malaga What to visit Cathedral
Obispo Square in front of the Cathedral

💡 EXTRA TIP: Tickets to the Cathedral cost 8€ (12€ if the Cathedral balconies are also included) and can be purchased either at the Cathedral entrance or online. The Cathedral is open from 10 am to 8 pm (Monday to Friday), 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday) or 2 pm to 6 pm (Sunday).

» Atarazanas Market

The building of the Atarazanas Market dates back to the 14th century and was once a warehouse and even a military hospital. Rebuilt in the 19th century, it is now a market where fresh produce is sold, but you can also try some tapas in some of the bars in the market.

Malaga What to visit Atarazanas Market

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The market is open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm.

Malaga What to visit Atarazanas Market

» Picasso Museum

And because Málaga is the birthplace of the great Pablo Picasso, visiting Málaga is not complete without a stop at the Picasso Museum to appreciate some of the artist’s works.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The museum’s opening hours vary depending on the time of year and can be consulted here. The ticket price also varies according to the exhibition chosen, but the cheapest ticket costs 8€. On Sundays, the visit is free for the last two hours of the day, as well as on some festive days (28/Feb, 18/May and 27/Sept). Tickets can be purchased in advance online

» Contemporary Art Centre of Málaga

Art lovers might also consider a visit to the Contemporary Art Centre of Málaga (CAC Málaga), located in the heart of Málaga’s Soho district – known as the city’s hispter neighbourhood and where you can find some street art. And the best part is that admission is free 😊

» Port of Málaga and Pompidou Centre

Visiting Málaga should also include a walk by its port, as it is one of the oldest in the Mediterranean. During your walk, don’t forget to stop by the Palmeral de las Sorpresas.

Malaga What to visit Port Malaga

And to round off this seaside tour, take a look at the avant-garde building of Málaga’s Pompidou Centre. Here you will again find an exhibition of contemporary art.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The Pompidou Centre is open from 9.30 am to 8 pm every day except Tuesday. Ticket prices vary depending on the exhibition visited, but you can check all the details here.

» La Malagueta Beach

Málaga is not only its historical centre and it is even often sought after for its beaches. Weather permitting, a visit to La Malagueta beach is almost a must. After all, it’s not every day that there’s a beach just 10 minutes from the historic city centre!

» Paseo del Parque and Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens

And to round off a full day, how about a stroll along the Paseo del Parque and in the Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens? A green space in the heart of Málaga, perfect for taking a break while appreciating the mix of garden styles present there.

Malaga What to visit Paseo del Parque
Paseo del Parque
Malaga What to visit Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens
Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens

What to visit near Málaga?

Málaga itself already has plenty to visit and explore 😊 But the city is also a great starting point to visit other places! So, I leave here a list with suggestions of other places you can visit within an hour or so (or even less!) by car while in Málaga.

» El Torcal de Antequera

Located in Sierra Torcal and only 1 hour’s drive from Málaga, El Torcal de Antequera is an important karst landscape in Europe. It is possible to hike 3 routes and, whichever one you choose, it will be difficult not to be amazed by these spectacular rock formations.

Andaluzia El Torcal Antequera

Admission is free and the routes have different duration (more detailed information on the routes here):

  • Green Route: 1,5km round trip; 45 minutes
  • Yellow Route: 3km (circular); 2 hours
  • Orange Route: 7km (circular); 3h50
Andaluzia El Torcal Antequera

I chose to walk the shortest route – the Green Route – but I still really enjoyed the route and the location, making it an excellent choice for those with less time available.

» Caminito del Rey

If you like trails and beautiful landscapes, you really must set aside a morning or afternoon to walk the Caminito del Rey. Once considered one of the most dangerous routes in the world, the Caminito del Rey has been completely renovated and now you can walk it in complete safety.

Andalucia Malaga Caminito del Rey
Caminito del Rey

Unlike El Torcal de Antequera, you need to buy a ticket to hike this trail and it must be purchased in advance. You can take a look at the post I wrote with all the tips to visit the Caminito del Rey to get to know all the details before planning your visit 😊

» Frigiliana and Nerja

Being located in the region of Andalusia, Málaga is close to some pueblos blancos – traditional villages of this region. Frigiliana is one of these pueblos blancos worth visiting and it is only 50 minutes by car from the centre of Málaga! 

You can also take advantage of your visit to Frigiliana to go to Nerja, where there are some of the most beautiful beaches and one of the most famous caves on Costa del Sol. Find out what you can visit in Frigiliana (and other pueblos blancos) in my blog post on 5 must-see pueblos blancos in Andalusia.

Andalusia What to visit Nerja

» Mijas

And speaking of pueblos blancos, if you don’t have time to visit Frigiliana, I suggest you at least try to visit Mijas which is located a mere 30 minutes drive from Málaga. In my opinion, if I had to choose between these 2 pueblos blancos, I would choose Mijas.

Andalusia Pueblos Blancos What to visit Mijas

Anyway, you can check out what to visit in Mijas in this guide to Andalusia’s pueblos blancos.

» Estepona and Marbella

Another interesting option for those who are in Málaga and have some extra time available is to visit Estepona and/or Marbella. Estepona also has some beach options, but what is really worth it is to get lost in its flowery streets (very typical of this region).

Marbella is also another excellent choice for those in the area. In addition to its very nice beaches, Marbella has a very cute historic centre where it is worth wandering around a bit.

Restaurants in Málaga

Having stayed 2 days in Málaga, I have 2 restaurant suggestions for you:

  • El Gallo Ronco (€€): an excellent choice for those who want tapas and/or a drink. It also has a wide terrace – perfect for summer days.
  • Chiringuito María (€): located near the beach, this is the ideal place to try Málaga’s famous “espetos”. The “espetos” are nothing more than sardines grilled on a skewer in the sand and are simply delicious. Almost every “chiringuito” near the beach will have “espetos” on the menu, so it will be an easy dish to find.

Besides this, you can always enjoy an ice cream in one of the most famous and delicious ice cream shops in town – Dimas Mira e Hijos.

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊

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about me

A Ticket To Take Off About Me

I am Mariana from Porto, Portugal. I am truly passionate about traveling and all things travel related. And that’s exactly what led me to create this page: so I can inspire others to travel and help plan all those trips with my tips and itineraries.





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