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Málaga city is much more than the home city of Picasso. A vibrant and modern-looking provincial capital on the Costa del Sol. It dates back to a Phoenician foundation and has been an episcopal seat ince the 4C. This Malaga city guide provides you with practical information to plan your trip to Malaga. No matter if you plan to stay in the city or expand your stay with day excursions, you will find here the best ideas and recommendations on hotels, restaurants, attractions and day trips from Málaga. 

Malaga boasts 300 days of sunshine a year. Yes, you´ve read it well: 300 days of blue skies. But the city of Malaga offers much more than “just” the sun. The city has an enviable cultural offer, made up of historical buildings of all styles and you can think of, as well as superb modern art (being the homeland of Picasso may have something to do with this after all). Foodies will find delicious (and cheap) food. Couples will enjoy fantastic sunsets from the Alcazaba. Families the beach and resort-like hotels. And Malaga is only the start of a whole wealth of things to enjoy nearby. Malaga is one of the cities in Spain that offers more top attractions and activities in less than 2 hours by car. Are you ready to learn more?

Málaga city guide - Contents

The ajoblanco is served with white grapes
Ajoblanco served with white grapes
Roman theatre in Malaga
Roman theatre in Malaga
Best romantic hotels near Málaga Beach
Beach in Malaga at dusk

Practical information to plan your visit to MÁLAGA

5 top reasons to visit Málaga

Art and museums in Málaga

Malaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous people from Spain. Art is part of today´s reality in Málaga. The city is home not only to the Picasso museum, but also of a Pompidou center, and the Carmen Thyssen museum. The Thyssen museum in Madrid is one of Europe´s most important art galleries and Carmen Thyssen decided to create a museum in Malaga to host the private collection she initiated in the 1980s. Malaga´s art district is called Soho, and all in all, there are more than 10 art galleries in the city, something outstanding for a city of its size. Some of these are amongst Spain´s most important art galleries.

Day excursions from Malaga

Its location makes Malaga a perfect place from where to visit many of the highlights in Andalusia: Marbella, Ronda and its famous Ronda bridge, Gibraltar, el Caminito del Rey, some of Spain´s most beautiful white villages like Mijas or Frigiliana. All these and more are amongst the many options offered while you stay in Malaga. One of the best day tours from Malaga is actually Morocco in Northern Africa!

Beaches and relax

Malaga is the most important city in La Costa del Sol. La Costa del Sol boasts 160 kilometers of seaside and a good number of fantastic beaches; some of which are amongst the best beaches in Southern Spain.  From Marbella to Nerja and its caves there are many beaches that promise a perfect sunny day to enjoy and relax. La Malagueta is a very popular famous in Malaga city. Since it is a city beach it tends to get crowded, but not at all times during the day. La Pedregalejo beach also in Malaga city is a bit further from the city center. In the old fishermen area. There are many bars and restaurants that specialize in fish next to the beach. A very good option to enjoy a beach day not traveling far from Malaga city. If you prefer to visit around, the beaches of Burriana or Maro, both in Nerja are amongst our favorite beaches in this part of Spain.

World class cultural attractions

Malaga offers visitors a good number of fantastic tourist attractions. The Gibralfaro castle and la Alcazaba fortress offer not just amazing views but a place of great beauty and which combines splendor with defensive needs. Just right below the Alcazaba we encounter the Roman theatre, which has been carefully restored in recent times. Malaga is also home to “La Manquita” or the cathedral of Malaga, which tower can be seen from nearly all parts of the old district in Malaga.

Great night life

Going out is part of everybody´s life in Malaga. Locals tend to spend a large part of their days outside, and that includes night time.
Most locals would start their night out enjoying tapas to then move on to one of the areas with more night live: El Palo, La Malagueta, and Pedregalejo.

Best time to visit Málaga

If you decide to visit Málaga during the summer you will enjoy for sure high temperatures and a great atmosphere. August get especially interesting thanks to the Malaga Fair Festival.  Our favorite months are September, October, May and June, but with such mild weather, Malaga is a destination you can enjoy all year round

Weather in Málaga

Due to its proximity to the sea, temperatures even in summer are bearable in Malaga. Daily average highs in July and August are 31C (87F). From November till February daily high averages are close to 18C (64F), which makes it very pleasant to visit Malaga all year through. Sea temperature is above 20C 68F from June till October and between 16-20C (61-68) the rest of the year.
It does not rain very often in Malaga, with the highest probability of rain in November and December (100 mm and no more than 7 days of rain each month)

Complete 2 day itinerary in Málaga

Málaga trip

Málaga trip – 1 or 2 days city break

Plan a wonderful day or two in Málaga. Málaga is one of the most popular cities to visit in Andalusía and one of the most popular city breaks to enjoy in Spain. Málaga offers amazing beaches, a vibrant historical city center and plenty of activities to enjoy when you have had your fill of crystal clear water and powdery sand. A great city break that combines art, gastronomy and beach relaxation in just 2 days. Find out in this ready to use itinerary all the top recommendations to make the most out of your time during your city break in Malaga, Spain

Recommended attractions in Málaga

Malaga is a sociable city with great heritage and where art and culture have flourished in recent times. The tourist attractions in Malaga are more than the legacy of different civilations through history, they also illustrate a creative push to ensure the future of Malaga will shine bright.

El Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey or the King’s Path is a famous pathway through the mountains of Málaga, Andalusia, connecting Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls, reserved

Recommended hotels in Málaga

There are many hotels  to enjoy Malaga. We have taken great care in the selection of the ones we believe offer the best exprience and value. You can find them here in our guide with recommended hotels in Málaga.  

Recommended restaurants in Málaga

Malaga is well-known in Spain as a land of top-quality olive oil, (verdial, manzanilla and aloñera) and home to many fantastic local dishes like ajoblanco (a cold white summer soup made with almonds, fried obergine, and the famous espetos! (fried fish, normally sardines, grilled in wooden boats). We have put together a complete guide with our selection of recommended restaurants in Malaga

Build your itinerary with our interactive map of Málaga

Top things to enjoy near Málaga

As you may have already guessed browsing at the top attractions section, Malaga offers a lot. You can find here a complete list of the top things to do in Málaga. But you should also consider a day excursion! There are so many things to do at less than 1 hour from Malaga! Our team of local experts has looked for the best plans and day tours from Málaga. Besides the interesting things to in Málaga, the city has at less than 2 hours fantastic beaches, villages, and natural areas that make for the perfect day tour from Málaga. 

El Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey or the King’s Path is a famous pathway through the mountains of Málaga, Andalusia, connecting Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls, reserved

gibraltar city guide

Gibraltar city guide

Gibraltar is a small British territory attached to the south of Spain. This tiny peninsula is odd, beautiful and full of history. check out our Gibraltar City Gide for all the information you need on what is known as The Rock


Marbella city guide

Marbella is known for its spectacular beaches and its amazing nightlife, but this city has much more to offer, discover it for yourself. White houses, squares, traditional restaurants, flowers on the walls…. A part of Marbella has survived to the touristic development and remains authentic.

Square in Frigiliana

Frigiliana, a jewel in the Axarquia

Frigiliana is located in Malaga, Spain. Frigiliana is a stunning white village near the beautiful sierra de Tejada, which is a natural park. Beautiful landscapes, narrow white streets and an amazing square are among the chamrs offered by Frigiliana, a perfect day excursion from Malaga

Ronda city guide

Ronda city guide

Andalusia is home to many amazing cities, one of which is Ronda. Find out what makes it so special.

Vincci Málaga offers Parking
6 rating

Get to know Málaga

A brief history of Málaga

The city of Malaga was founded by the Phoenicians. However, a number of findings demonstrate that the province of Malaga had been inhabited long before those days. Important prehistoric settlements have been found in different parts of the province, being the most important ones the Caves of Nerja, with paintings dated 42,000 years old.

Today Malaga is a modern-looking provincial capital on the Costa del Sol. The city dates back to a Phoenician foundation and has been an episcopal seat since the 4C. The strategic location of Malaga helped them in the trade of wine, oil and other goods. The first town set up by the Phoenicians was located near the hill where today stands the Alcazaba of Malaga.

The Phoenicians were followed by the Romans. Malaga was important in the trade of garum. Garum was a sauce made with fermented fish and salt, highly appreciated at that time. The Roman theatre of Malaga, located at the feet of the Alcazaba brings us back to that moment of history.

Málaga became culturally and economically important after its capture by the Moors in 711; they extended the town until it was retaken by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1487

The Catholic Monarchs conquered Malaga as late as 1487 (just 12 years before Granada). Christians that lived in the valley of the Guadalquivir river moved to Malaga. Mosques were transformed into churches and the construction of the cathedral of Malaga started soon later.

Nevertheless, Arab influence continued until the final expulsion of the Islamic population by Philip III at the beginning of the 17C. Malaga witnessed then of the best moments in its history when the Arabs developed beautiful mosques and other constructions like the Alcazaba.

The city of Malaga entered a long period of certain instability that lasted between the 16th and 18th centuries. Rises of Moriscos led to their expulsion during the time of Philip III. To the social unrest, we need to add natural disasters and the developments of epidemics. Live was not simple around those days. Despite this situation, the population of the city of Malaga grew and the exports of wine and raisins played an important role in the development of Malaga.

Political unrest in 1931 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9 brought about the severe damage or total destruction of many historical buildings. After the end of the civil war the brand “Costa del Sol” was created and the city of Malaga and the region concentrated its efforts in becoming a top tourist destination in Spain.

Malagas´s top Festivals

Any malagueño will easily agree that there are two great moments in Malaga every year: Semana Santa (Easter week) and the August Malaga Fair.

Easter in Malaga

Easter is celebrated all over Spain and a few cities are recognized as holding the best parades and processions. Malaga is with no doubt in this group. As in most religious parades, the city is divided into brotherhoods that belong to different parish churches.

Members of each brotherhood carry very heavy religious statues through the streets of Malaga. These parades are known as “pasos”, and they imply religious art, colourful robes and street decoration, as well as high emotion. One of the highlights of Easter in Malaga is the amnesty of a prisoner. This is a tradition that dates back to 1759. At that time an epidemic made the city cancel the Easter celebrations. The prisoners requested the city authorities to grant them the option to take the statue of Christ (El Rico) to whom they were devotees. This permission was not granted and the prisoners broke out of the prison and took the statue across the streets of Malaga during Easter. They then returned the statue to its church and they returned to their cells. This news reached king Charles III who granted him the privilege of releasing a prisoner every year.

Malaga fair

The Malaga fair

The Málaga Fair dates back to the fifteenth century when Málaga joined the Crown of Castilla in the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, who entered the city the 19th of August after the reconquest. Since then the City Council set this date to commemorate the fact, and the Malaga fair is established as the big summer fair every August 15th.

Malaga Fair has a reputation for being a very open and participatory festival, both national and international tourists, given the position of the city as the capital of tourism on the Costa del Sol

Malaga video

Other Cities in Andalusia

Sunset Cádiz

Cádiz city guide

Cuenca is located in Andalucía in southern Spain. Cádiz is a port city that was once the naval “gateway” to Spain. A city founded by the Phoenicians, it is also one of the oldest inhabited communities in Europe with archaeological remains dating back over 3 thousand years.


Marbella city guide

Marbella is known for its spectacular beaches and its amazing nightlife, but this city has much more to offer, discover it for yourself. White houses, squares, traditional restaurants, flowers on the walls…. A part of Marbella has survived to the touristic development and remains authentic.

Ronda city guide

Ronda city guide

Andalusia is home to many amazing cities, one of which is Ronda. Find out what makes it so special.

Granada city guide thumbnail

Granada city guide

Almost unrivalled for its beauty and architectural splendour, the entire city of Granada has been declared a national monument. It lies at the foot of Spain’s mightiest massif, the Sierra Nevada, On the right side of the city lies the Albaicin district, the city’s oldest quarter; on the left rises the imposing Alhambra, which makes of Granada a must visit city in Spain

Mosque Cordoba thumb

Cordoba city guide

A provincial capital with a very strong Moorish character, Cordoba is one of the most interesting cities not only in Andalusia but also in the whole of Spain. The lovely Great Mosque became a centre of Arab pilgrimage and Cordoba boosted a further 300 mosques, numerous palaces, schools, universities, libraries, hospitals and baths. Córdoba’s cultural life was so great that it became of European importance.

Seville city guide thumb

Seville city guide

The variety and quality of the artistic heritage in the city of Seville, the mixture of styles, eras and civilizations, and the special color of this city makes it an unforgettable place. White streets and squares, flamenco dancing, the river Guadalquivir and the Cathedral and Giralda are just a few of the reasons why Seville should be in your list!