things to do in malaga

Last Updated on: 1st February 2024, 03:39 am

Hello there! If you’re planning a trip to Malaga, Spain, you’re in for a treat! Malaga is a beautiful and vibrant city with plenty of attractions to offer to its visitors. Whether you’re here for the beaches, art scene, history, or nightlife- there’s something for everyone! In this article, I’ll guide you through the best places in Malaga and things to do in Malaga to make your trip unforgettable.

From soaking up the sun on Malaga’s beautiful beaches to diving into the rich history of the city and indulging in delicious local cuisine, Malaga has it all. Attracting millions of visitors each year, Malaga’s appeal is undeniable. Let’s explore some of the top Malaga attractions together!

Discover the Rich History of Malaga

Malaga boasts a rich history that is reflected in the numerous historical sites and museums scattered throughout the city. Exploring these cultural gems is a must for anyone interested in understanding Malaga’s past and present.

The Alcazaba

One of the most iconic landmarks in Malaga is the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress dating back to the 11th century. This impressive structure sits atop a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can explore the interior of the fortress and learn about its history through informational displays and exhibits.

The Malaga Cathedral

Another important historical site in Malaga is the Malaga Cathedral. Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, this grand cathedral features a unique mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture that is sure to impress. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral and learn about its fascinating history.

The Picasso Museum

For art aficionados, a visit to the Picasso Museum is a must. This museum showcases the works of the renowned artist, who was born in Malaga. The collection features over 200 works by Picasso, including paintings, drawings, and sculptures, providing a glimpse into the artist’s life and artistic process.

Other Museums

Aside from the Picasso Museum, there are several other museums in Malaga worth visiting to learn about the city’s history and culture. These include the Malaga Museum, which provides an overview of the city’s past from prehistoric times to the present, and the Carmen Thyssen Museum, which features a collection of Spanish art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Exploring Malaga’s historical sites and museums is a fascinating way to dive into the city’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re an art buff or simply curious about the past, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Malaga.

Soak up the Sun on Malaga’s Beautiful Beaches

Malaga is known for its stunning beaches where visitors can soak up the warm Spanish sun. There are numerous beaches to choose from, each with its unique charm and character. La Malagueta Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Malaga, boasting pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters.

If you crave a more tranquil and secluded experience, head to Playa de la Caleta, a hidden gem surrounded by towering cliffs, offering privacy and serenity for the perfect beach getaway. Beach enthusiasts can also enjoy a variety of water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing, making for a fun-filled day at the beach.

For those who seek pure relaxation, grab a book and unwind on the golden sand, taking in the breath-taking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun rays and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Malaga Beaches

Best Beaches in Malaga

Beach Name Location Special Features
La Malagueta Beach Malaga City White sand, clear waters, and lively atmosphere
Playa de la Caleta Malaga East Secluded, surrounded by cliffs, and serene atmosphere
Playa del Palo Malaga East Fishing village vibes and fresh seafood restaurants
Playa de la Malagueta del Palo Malaga East Beautiful views, a long pedestrian promenade, and beach bars

Table: Comparison of the best Malaga beaches. Source: Author

Explore Malaga’s Vibrant City Centre

When visiting Malaga, taking a stroll through the city centre is a must-do. The Malaga city centre is vibrant and lively, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes to explore. The bustling streets are filled with locals and tourists alike, creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

If you’re interested in shopping, head to Calle Larios, the city’s main shopping street. Here, you’ll find a variety of stores, from high-end boutiques to popular chains. Browse the latest fashion trends or shop for souvenirs to take home.

After all that shopping, why not indulge in some delicious local cuisine? Malaga restaurants offer a variety of dishes to suit all tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, tapas, or traditional Spanish cuisine, you’ll find it here.

One of my favorite things to do in Malaga’s city centre is to explore the local cafes. Sit outside in the sunshine and sip on a coffee while people-watching. Or, if you’re in the mood for something stronger, try some of the local wines. Malaga is well-known for its sweet fortified wines, which pair perfectly with the city’s tapas.

Overall, the Malaga city centre is a vibrant and exciting destination. Whether you’re in the mood for shopping, dining, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, you’ll find it all here.

Experience Malaga’s Thriving Art Scene

If you have a passion for contemporary art, Malaga is a city that you don’t want to miss. The vibrant metropolis has a thriving art scene, with numerous art galleries and exhibitions showcasing works by both established and emerging artists.

One of the city’s most iconic art spots is the Centre Pompidou Malaga, which houses a diverse collection of modern art. The gallery’s permanent collection has a fantastic range of contemporary masters, such as Frida Kahlo, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso.

If you prefer a more alternative art experience, explore Malaga’s street art scene in the vibrant Soho district. The neighborhood is teeming with colorful murals and installations, offering a unique perspective on both the city and the artists’ creativity.

Top Art Galleries in Malaga

Gallery Name Description
Galeria Krabbe A contemporary art gallery showcasing works by international artists.
Galeria Javier Román An art space with a varied program of contemporary exhibitions.
CAC Malaga A contemporary art center with exhibitions by emerging and established artists from around the world.

In conclusion, Malaga’s contemporary art scene is both diverse and exciting, providing endless opportunities to immerse yourself in a world of creativity and imagination.

Day Trips from Malaga

If you have extra time during your trip to Malaga, I highly recommend taking day trips to nearby destinations. The surrounding areas offer breathtaking views and rich cultures to discover.


One of the most picturesque towns near Malaga is Ronda, located in the Andalusian hills. Famous for its historic bridge and stunning views, Ronda is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Don’t miss the chance to explore the Moorish architecture and local tapas restaurants.

Day Trips from Malaga - Ronda


If you prefer a coastal town, then head to Nerja and its stunning caves. Located on the Costa del Sol, it is only a short drive from Malaga and offers a more relaxed experience. The beaches are clean and beautiful, and the town boasts plenty of shops and restaurants to explore.

Activity Location Duration
Hiking Nerja Caves Half Day
Beach Day Playa de la Caleta Full Day
Shopping Burriana Beach Half Day

Don’t miss the chance to explore these beautiful destinations while in Malaga. Arrange a day trip and immerse yourself in the culture and natural beauty of Andalusia.

Enjoy Malaga’s Festivals and Events

Looking for an exciting and vibrant cultural experience? Look no further than Malaga’s festivals and events. With a rich history and unique traditions, Malaga offers a variety of festivities throughout the year.

Feria de Malaga

One of the most popular events in Malaga is the Feria de Malaga, a week-long celebration of the city’s culture and traditions. During the day, the city buzzes with parades, concerts, and horse shows. At night, the fairgrounds come alive with carnival rides, music, and traditional food stalls. Don’t miss the famous firework display that illuminates the night sky on the last day of the festival.

Semana Santa Malaga

If you’re looking for a more spiritual experience, Semana Santa Malaga is a must-see cultural event. During Holy Week, the city comes together to commemorate the Passion of Christ with processions of elaborate floats, ornate costumes, and religious symbols. Experience the solemnity and beauty of this ancient tradition as the floats wind their way through the streets of Malaga.

“Malaga’s festivals and events offer a unique insight into the city’s rich history and culture.”

Plan your trip to Malaga around one of its many festivals and events for an unforgettable experience. From the Feria de Malaga to Semana Santa, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Indulge in Malaga’s Gastronomy

Spain is known for its diverse and delicious cuisine, and Malaga is no exception. As a coastal city, the local gastronomy revolves around fresh seafood and traditional tapas. The combination of exquisite flavours and liberal use of extra-virgin olive oil make Malaga’s traditional dishes unique and unforgettable.

When visiting Malaga, don’t miss out on trying the following dishes:

  • Boquerones al Vinagre – Fresh anchovies marinated in vinegar, garlic, and parsley.
  • Gazpacho – A refreshing cold soup made of tomatoes, peppers, onions, bread, and olive oil.
  • Porra Antequerana – A thicker version of gazpacho with a hint of spice.
  • Paella Malagueña – A seafood paella made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Espinacas con Garbanzos – A vegetarian dish made of spinach, chickpeas, garlic, and cumin.

One of the best ways to experience Malaga’s cuisine is by visiting local restaurants and markets. Head to Mercado Central de Atarazanas for a wide selection of fresh produce, meats, and seafood. Alternatively, explore the quaint streets of the city centre and stumble upon hidden gems like Bar El Pimpi, a traditional tapas bar with a vibrant atmosphere and delicious dishes.

Malaga tapas

Malaga Wine

No gastronomic experience in Malaga is complete without trying the local wine. Malaga wines are known for their sweet and fortified varieties, made from grapes grown in the Axarquia region. Sample a glass of sweet Moscatel wine or strong Pedro Ximenez sherry, perfect for pairing with dessert.

Experience Malaga’s Nightlife

When the sun sets, Malaga transforms into a city that never sleeps. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back night out with friends or a wild party, Malaga has something for everyone. Explore the vibrant bar scene in the city centre, where you can sample delicious cocktails and soak up the lively atmosphere. For those looking to dance, head to one of Malaga’s many nightclubs, such as Sala Gold or Liceo.

Don’t miss out on the chance to try Malaga’s famous chupitos (shots) at one of the city’s lively bars.

Check out some of the most popular bars and nightclubs in Malaga:

Bar Type Location
Antigua Casa de Guardia Wine bar Alameda Principal
La Tranca Bar Plaza de la Merced
Wittmore Jazz Club Jazz club Plaza de la Constitución
Sala Gold Nightclub Calle Luis de Velázquez
Liceo Nightclub Plaza de la Constitución

No matter where you choose to go, Malaga’s nightlife scene is sure to impress. With a wide range of options, from chilled-out lounges to energetic clubs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Discover Malaga’s Natural Beauty

When visiting Malaga, taking a break from the city to explore the natural parks is a must. The region boasts an impressive selection of Malaga natural parks with their unique flora and fauna, offering endless opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in nature.

Hiking in Malaga

One of the best ways to discover the natural beauty of Malaga is by hiking. The Montes de Malaga Natural Park offers numerous trails for both seasoned hikers and beginners, all providing stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

hiking in Malaga

Outdoor Activities in Malaga

For those seeking more adventurous outdoor activities, Malaga offers a range of options. Plan a kayaking trip through the Guadalhorce River Gorge or book a rock climbing excursion in El Chorro Natural Park. Alternatively, spend a day horseback riding in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park.

Malaga Natural Parks

Malaga Natural Parks Features
Montes de Malaga Natural Park Hiking trails, picnic areas, stunning views
Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park Mountains, streams, flora and fauna, hiking trails
El Chorro Natural Park Lakes, hiking trails, rock climbing, stunning views

Whether hiking along the scenic trails, exploring the unique flora and fauna or engaging in adventurous outdoor activities, visiting Malaga’s natural parks is a memorable experience that lets you escape the bustling city and enjoy the beauty of the region.

Learn Spanish in Malaga

If you’re interested in learning Spanish, Malaga offers a perfect opportunity to enhance your language skills while experiencing the local culture. Enroll in one of the many Spanish language courses in Malaga, and learn from experienced teachers in a vibrant, immersive environment.

At these language schools, you not only gain a strong foundation in the language, but you also have the chance to interact with locals and practice your Spanish regularly. This helps build your confidence and proficiency, making the most of your time in Spain.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced speaker, these courses cater to all levels and provide flexible schedules to suit your needs. You can choose from a range of options, including group classes, one-on-one sessions, or a combination of both.

During your study breaks, explore the city and put your language skills into practice. Visit local markets, cafes, and restaurants, and interact with the locals to improve your fluency.

Why Choose Malaga for Learning Spanish?

Malaga is an excellent destination for learning Spanish due to its rich cultural heritage, beautiful scenery, and friendly locals. The city is renowned for its warm climate and stunning beaches, making it an attractive location for visitors all year round.

Furthermore, the city is home to many language schools that offer high-quality courses and excellent facilities. You can choose from a variety of programs, from intensive courses to cultural immersion programs.

Finally, Malaga’s unique location in the south of Spain provides a great opportunity to explore other nearby destinations such as Granada, Cordoba, and Seville, enhancing your Spanish language learning experience even further.


Thank you for taking the time to read my guide on the best things to do in Malaga, Spain. I hope you found it helpful and informative as you plan your visit to this beautiful city.

From exploring the rich history, soaking up the sun on the stunning beaches, experiencing the vibrant nightlife, and indulging in the delicious cuisine, Malaga has something for everyone. Don’t forget to take day trips to nearby destinations, learn Spanish, and explore the natural parks while you’re there.

Make the most out of your trip by checking out the festivals and events happening during your stay and immersing yourself in the local culture. I’m confident that you’ll create unforgettable memories in this Spanish gem.

So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for an incredible adventure in Malaga!


What are the best things to do in Malaga, Spain?

There are plenty of amazing activities to enjoy in Malaga. From exploring its rich history and visiting historical sites to relaxing on beautiful beaches, indulging in delicious cuisine, and experiencing its vibrant nightlife, Malaga has something for everyone.

What historical sites and museums should I visit in Malaga?

Don’t miss iconic landmarks like the Alcazaba and the Malaga Cathedral to learn about the city’s history. The Picasso Museum is also a must-visit to admire the works of the renowned artist.

Which are the best beaches in Malaga?

Malaga offers stunning beaches where you can soak up the sun. La Malagueta Beach and Playa de la Caleta are popular choices. You can also try water sports like paddleboarding or simply relax on the golden sand.

What can I find in Malaga’s vibrant city centre?

Malaga’s city centre is buzzing with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Explore Calle Larios, the main shopping street, and indulge in delicious local cuisine at traditional restaurants.

Is there a thriving art scene in Malaga?

Yes, Malaga has a vibrant art scene with numerous galleries and exhibitions showcasing contemporary works. Visit the Centre Pompidou Malaga for modern art or explore the street art scene in the Soho district.

Are there any day trips I can take from Malaga?

Absolutely! Consider visiting the picturesque town of Ronda, famous for its breathtaking views and historic bridge. You can also explore the charming coastal town of Nerja and its stunning caves.

What festivals and events can I enjoy in Malaga?

Experience the lively atmosphere of Malaga’s festivals and events. Don’t miss the Feria de Malaga, a week-long celebration with parades, music, and traditional food. Semana Santa, the city’s Holy Week processions, is also a must-see cultural event.

What are some traditional foods in Malaga?

Indulge in the local gastronomy of Malaga by trying delicacies such as fried fish, gazpacho, and traditional tapas. Pair them with a glass of Malaga wine, known for its sweet and fortified varieties.

What is the nightlife like in Malaga?

Malaga’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse. Explore the city centre’s exciting bar scene or dance the night away at popular nightclubs. Whether you prefer chilled-out lounges or energetic venues, Malaga has options for every music preference.

Are there any natural parks or outdoor activities in Malaga?

Yes, there are beautiful natural parks near Malaga. Visit Montes de Malaga Natural Park for hiking trails and stunning views or head to El Torcal Natural Park to witness impressive limestone formations. Nature lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Malaga.

Can I learn Spanish while in Malaga?

Absolutely! Malaga offers Spanish language courses where you can immerse yourself in the local culture while improving your language skills. Join a course and explore the city during your study breaks.