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The top 10 things to do in Málaga

With 300 days of sunshine, several nearby beaches, a huge and surprising cultural offer, and many things to do less than an hour from the city of Malaga, you will not be short of things to do in Málaga, the city that saw the birth of some of the most famous people from Spain, like Pablo Picasso or Antonio Banderas.

Málaga is one of the top destinations of Spain’s Costa del Sol. Travelers flock to this southern oasis dor the idealic beaches, the spectacular weather and the amazing food. But Málaga has much more to offer. The travel experts at Make Spain have put together Málaga’s top vacation ideas for every type of traveler. You can also have a look at our guide to visit Málaga or at the interactive Malaga tourism map.  

No matter if you stay one or several days in Malaga, what follows are the best things you can do in Malaga. We have put together this list with a view on different travel styles. Please do not take our list as a ranking, since the actual rank would very much depend on your travel style.

Enjoy planning your trip to Málaga!

Table of Contents

Our list with the coolest things to enjoy in Malaga

Super views from La Alcazaba and Gribalfaro

Ready to combine a bit of exercise and sightseeing? Ok, good. This first idea implies walking up to the Alcazaba. This palace dates back to the 11th century and was built at the place where a Phoenician fortification had stood for centuries. The palace has gardens, courtyards, and rooms that will make you travel in time. You could claim that the Alcazaba is kind of a poor version of La Alhambra. Well, it is true it is not at the same level as the Alhambra in Granada, but it is still worth visiting!. And besides this, the visit to the Alcazaba can be easily combined with a visit to the Gribalfaro castle. The castle of Gribalfaro is one of the icons of Malaga. It was built where it stands to defend and protect the Alcazaba palace. Its main tower offers breathtaking views of Malaga, especially at dusk!

La Alcazaba de Malaga - Gribalfaro

La Alcazaba de Malaga – Gribalfaro An Arab castle with particularly beautiful gardens and numerouscourtyards. The fortress dates back to Roman origins. It was altered several times,especially under the Nasrite dynasty (14C) and extensively restored in 1933. An Ar-chaeological Museum (Puerta de Granada) now occupies the buildings. Ondisplay there are Roman and pre-Roman finds, sculpture from Visigoth up to andincluding Arab times, Renaissance art, collections of coins and inscriptions and animportant collection of Moorish ceramics from the

Alcazaba & Griblafaro guide »

Top art galleries and masterpieces

You may not be aware that Malaga is one of the cities with the most top art museums in Spain? Even if you are not keen to visit museums during your vacation, some of the names in this list may get you in the mood: the Pompidou Malaga Center, the Carmen Thyssen Museum the Contemporary Center of Malaga or the Malaga Picasso Museum.

picasso museum malaga

Picasso Museum Málaga The Picasso Museum of Málaga is one of two Museums dedicated to Pablo Picasso in Spain. The other is located in the Catalonian city of Barcelona, in the famous Born neighborhood. Pablo Picasso was born in the Andalusian city of Málaga on October 25th, 1881, just a few meters from where his museum now stands. The museum is home to over 280 original pieces by Picasso that cover the different artistic periods of the

Guide to visit the Picasso Museum in Malaga »

Enjoy local gastronomy: “Espetos de Sardinas”

Even if you only spend one day in Malaga we believe you should try an Espeto. Aha! Now you may wonder what is a Espeto and how you would dare eating something with such a name. Well, Espetos are something really malagueño, yummy, healthy, and traditional. An Espeto typically consists of six sardines grilled over a pit of coals. This was the sort of meal fishermen would enjoy after arriving from the day of fishing at the sea. This explains why Espetos are still today prepared over boats on the beaches in Malaga. You will find a good number of restaurants that prepare espetos next to the beach. If you have time we recommend you go to El Palo district, a place where locals go. A famous restaurant at El Palo is El Tintero. Espetos is just one example of the huge differences in Spain´s regional gastronomy


Tapas in Malaga and Malaga wine

Malaga is famous for the wine that holds its name: the Malaga wine. The most famous version of this wine is the Malaga virgin wine. Locals enjoy this wine with fried Cazon fish (dogfish) ajoblanco or a bacon and alioli sauce sandwich. There are many recommended restaurants in Malaga and the good thing is that you will find a restaurant for all budgets. The Malaga wine is best enjoyed during the Feria de Malaga, the Malaga Fair!

Shopping and enjoying the city´s beat

Take a walk along Calle Larios, probably the most famous street in Malaga. Don’t´be afraid to take the smaller streets on both sides of Calle Larios. Get lost and enjoy the fashion boutiques, bars and lively atmosphere of this part of Malaga.
If you are still on the mood you can visit Muelle Uno, an open-air shopping center that has become a fashionable area of Malaga. At Muelle Uno you will enjoy shops, restaurants and and beautiful views of the harbor.

Squares, views and parks

If you like to enjoy parks, green areas, and open-air space when you visit a city, Malaga offers a fantastic botanical garden. La Concepcion botanical gardens is an oasis in the city. Inaugurated in 1855, it is a peaceful park where you will be able to find lots of tropical species.
Another option to enjoy open spaces Is the beautiful Plaza de la Merced, where you will find the statue of Pablo Picasso, the most famous person from Malaga. And if you want to enjoy panoramic views you can get to Gribalfaro or, something maybe simpler, go up to the terrace at AC Malaga hotel. The best views of the Cathedral are from here! An entrance fee applies though.

¡Vamos a la playa!

There are so many things to do in Malaga that we almost forget about the most obvious one: take a swim and relax in one of the beaches nearby. La Malagueta is a city beach, one of Malaga´s top sights,  very famous and since it is just next to the city center, it may get crowded at certain times of the day. La Malagueta is an icon in Malaga, but there are other fantastic beaches, like la Caleta or Pedregalejo. One of our favorite things about Malaga is that it combines perfectly the atmosphere of a true city with art, shops, and business life. with that one of a resort-like tourist destination. Could we ask for more?

Enjoy one of Spain´s top festivals: Malaga Fair

The Malaga Fair is one of the most famous festivals in Spain and one of the reasons many visitors arrive at Malaga in August despite the heat (the heat is always bearable next to sandy beaches!) The Malaga Fair is the time of the year when the city gets dressed up. Locals dance, sing and enjoy Cartojal wine.

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

The Malaga Fair guide »

Enjoy traditional architecture 

Malaga boasts a Roman theatre, the already mentioned Alcazaba, or religious buildings like the Parish church of El Sagrario or the Cathedral. If you enjoy traditional architecture you will not get bored in Malaga. Among these top attractions in Malaga, the Cathedral, the Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación, is probably the most important one. The cathedral combines different architectural styles (Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque) and locals refer to it with a charming name: “La Manquita” because it is unfinished (the south tower is missing). (Manco means one-armed person in Spanish)

Cathedral of Malaga

Cathedral of Málaga  Construction of the cathedral of la Encarnacion in Malaga began in 1528, following the plans of notable contemporary architects; building stopped in 1783 (late if compared to other Spanish cathedrals) . An imposing marble stairway leads up to the W. façade. Two towers-of which only the N. one was completed-flank the three portals; the other tower is called ‘Manquita’ in the local vernacular, which means ‘the one without’. The middle portal has reliefs of

Guide to Malaga cathedral »

Enjoy a day trip from Malaga

If you have time you will be glad to learn that Malaga is one of the cities in Spain that offers more things to do in less than one hour. The list starts with Ronda, one of Spain´s most amazing towns, famous for the bullring and the Ronda bridge, but it goes on and on with places such as Nerja, Frigiliana, or Antequera. Many people enjoy a day trip to Gibraltar, an interesting way to enjoy two countries in a day! And a good number of visitors get adventurous and enjoy the famous trek of El Caminito del Rey. Last but not least, many visitors to Malaga decide to enjoy a day trip to Granada from Malaga and avoid changing hotels in this way.

Day trips from malaga
Practical information

In this article are local guides go over the best day tours from Málaga. Málaga is an amazing city in Andalucía, surrounded by many amazing attractions which are best visited using tour companies that operate tours that offer great value for money. Amongst the most popular day tours from Malaga you will find Gibraltar, Ronda, white villages like Frigiliana and the famous Caminito del Rey. One of the most popular day tours from Malaga takes you to Morocco! and you will also be able to visit Granada from Malaga as a day tour.

The best day trips from Malaga »