Being Spain’s 6th biggest city, cosmopolitan Malaga is a popular tourist destination, and rightly so! Keep reading and discover the best things to do and see in Malaga, including the best museums and top food places!

Best known as the birthplace of famous painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, the capital of the Costa del Sol is a city of sunshine, attractive beaches, leisure, fantastic (wallet-friendly) food, and excellent local wine.

Thanks to its mild climate, Malaga is the perfect destination (almost) all year round; avoid visiting in July and August if you don’t like the heat since they’re the hottest months. It is the ideal place for families, couples, and solo travelers!

Best Things to Do and See in Malaga

#1 Visit the Cathedral of Malaga

Front view of the impressive Cathedral of Malaga, Spain.

Walking through the beautiful old town, you will undoubtedly stumble over the majestic Cathedral of Malaga, one of the city’s top historical sights! It took over 250 years to build (from 1528 to 1782) and combines three architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. 

Malagueños are, in fact, very proud of their “Lady of Incarnation” (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación), also known by her nickname “La Manquita,” which translates into “One-armed Lady.” She got this nickname because there is only one bell tower; the south tower has never been completed. 

One of the most exciting things to do in the cathedral is to go up to the roof to enjoy the most stunning panoramic city views! But the gardens and the cathedral museum are also worth checking out! It is unquestionably the best place for anyone interested in culture and history. 

Check Opening Hours and Prices

Top food places near the Cathedral: Restaurant La Barra de Zapata / Restaurant Illari Vinos y Tapas / Tapas Bar Málaga

#2 Visit the Alcazaba of Malaga

The Alcazaba is an impressive historic fortress, and a masterpiece of Muslim architecture built nearly 1000 years ago. 

This impressive walled monument is well-preserved and has beautiful courtyard gardens and fountains and, of course, scenic views of the city’s port and the Mediterranean Sea. It is a highly recommended site and, therefore, one of the best things to do and see in Malaga!

You will need around 1 hour to see the Alcazaba entirely. Additionally, you can download the audio guide on your mobile phone, which is fantastic since it will help you better understand the site’s history!

On the day of your visit, wear comfortable shoes as the walk up to the highest point is steep and made of cobblestone. Furthermore, remember to bring water, especially on a hot summer day. 

TIP: On Sundays from 2:00 pm, entry to the monument is FREE

Check Opening Hours and Prices

Top food places near the Alcazaba: Tapas Bar Uvedoble / Restaurant La Cosmo / Ice Cream Shop Dimas Mira and Sons / Bodega Bar El Pimpi

#3 Take in Stunning Views at Gibralfaro Castle

Gibralfaro Castle in Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. Tourists visiting the castle.

The Gibralfaro Castle is one of the city’s most famous sites and, therefore, one of the best things to do and see in Malaga! To visit the Gibralfaro Castle is a journey through history, and you will quickly notice that its remains are well-preserved, giving you a great idea of life back then!

The walk up via the “Coracha” walkway, which connects the Alcazaba with the Gibralfaro, is steep and quite a trek. However, the panoramic views along the way are rewarding and worth it! Moreover, you have excellent spots to sit on a bench, rest momentarily, and enjoy views over the port and the city.

If you prefer to avoid hiking up to the castle, you can also take the “35” bus from the main road at the green park (Paseo del Parque). A ticket costs around €1,40; the journey only takes 15 minutes.  

TIP: Pay less by buying a combined ticket to visit the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro monuments!

Check Opening Hours and Prices


Top Food Places near Gibralfaro: Bar La Terrazita de Gibralfaro 

#4 Explore the Roman Amphitheater

Roman Amphitheater in Malaga, Andalusia. Spain

One of the old town’s highlights is the well-maintained Roman Amphitheater next to the Alcazaba. Its entrance is free, so you can walk around the stairs and take lovely photos!

It is also great to learn that the Moors used part of the theatre to incorporate it into building the walls of the Alcazaba! To learn more about the history of the ruins, the excavation, and the life back then, you can visit the Interpretation Center (free entrance) and watch the short film explaining the story very well. 

TIP: Visit the Roman Theater when both monuments are illuminated. The view of the Alcazaba above is magnificent!

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00 / Sunday and holidays from 10.00 to 16.00 / Closed on Mondays / Closed on the following public holidays: January 1, May 1, December 24, 25 and 31

#5 Relax at Malagueta Beach

Pleasant view of Malagueta Beach with palm trees, blue sky, and the Mediterranean Sea in the background. Malaga, Spain

For most visitors, the urban beach “La Malagueta” is the first place they visit when they come to Malaga. It is no wonder, as it is easy to reach from the city center (about a 15-minute walk).

The sandy beach is spacious, making it easy to find a place, especially during the hot summer months when everyone is looking for a swim in the sea and a nice tan! You can use your towel and umbrella or rent a sunbed. There are also various “chringuitos” (beach bars), ideal for having a drink or a bite.

The lively promenade lined up with palm trees is an excellent place to go for a run in the morning or a stroll in the evening to enjoy the flair.

Top food places at Malagueta Beach: Beach Bar El Cachalote / Restaurant El Merendero de Antonio Martín 

#6 Take a Pleasant Walk along “Muelle Uno”

Scenic promenade by the port on a summer day in Malaga, Andalusia. Spain. People having a pleasant day.

Located between Malagueta Beach and Malaga Port, you can enjoy the attractive “Muelle Uno” promenade. The modern area offers visitors various bars, restaurants, and shops. 

Moreover, the beautiful pier also provides excellent city, port, and sea views! So, if you want to experience a memorable moment, I recommend taking a Catamaran Sailing Trip. While enjoying a drink and chill-out music, you can watch the sunset and admire stunning views of Malaga’s skyline, which is very rewarding!

At the end of the pier, you can marvel at the beautiful white lighthouse “La Farola.” It is one of the city’s landmarks and also one of the most photographed ones. 

Top food places by the Pier: Restaurant Cambara / Cocktail bar Nusa Malaga / Ice Cream Shop Amorino / Indian Restaurant Amigos 

#7 Explore Pablo Picasso’s Birthplace

Huge white building in Malaga, birthplace of famous artist Pablo Picasso

Visit the Pablo Picasso Birthplace Museum, consisting of two levels that include an extensive collection about the world-famous artist’s life, like family portraits and artworks. 

Of course, Pablo Picasso’s art is well known. However, looking behind the curtains and seeing part of his life is an enriching experience.

It takes approximately 1 hour to visit the place and learn and understand the genius better. 

The house is located at one of the city’s most iconic squares, Plaza de la Merced, perfect for having tapas after your visit!

TIP: Every Sunday from 16:00 to 18:00, entry to the museum is FREE

Check Opening Hours and Prices

Top food places nearby: Restaurant Dynamit / Tavern Picasso Malaga / Tapas bar Picasso / Bar Palermo Coffee & Drinks 

#8 Sample Local Produce at Atarazanas Central Market

Locals buying fresh fruit at the Central Market in Malaga, Andalusia. Spain

Is there any better way than grabbing a cold beer or vermouth and a fresh seafood tapa right after finishing your weekly grocery? 

At the Atarazanas Central Market, you can do so and feel like a local when sitting at the corner of a fish bar while watching the Malagueños greeting, talking, and doing their groceries!

Just the building itself is well worth a visit for any architecture and history enthusiast who can admire the Moorish arch at the main entrance or the colorful stained glass window at the back. Several areas (fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, oils, cheeses, and souvenirs) occupy the modern industrial yet traditional market.

Atarazanas is, without any doubt, a great place to immerse yourself in Malaga’s culture and be part of its vivid atmosphere!  

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 to 15:00


Top food places near the Central Market: Tavern Antigua Casa de Guardia / Café Next Level Specialty Coffee / Bouquet Wine Cellar

#9 Disconnect at Hamman Al-Andalus Arab Baths

Indoor swimming pool with dimmed lights providing a cozy atmosphere

The Hammam Al Andalus Arab Baths in Malaga is an extraordinary experience and a must-do for any spa treatment lover, especially after a long day exploring the city!

Thanks to the dimmed lights, the soothing music, and the limited number of people accessing the spa, you can be sure to spend a memorable time in a calm and peaceful environment. 

However, for the best experience of a traditional Hammam, I recommend booking a 90-minute session, including a relaxing massage with aromatic essential oils. You can step into the warm, cold, and hot baths, sit in the steam room, or sip a delicious mint tea in the lounge!

All you need to pack is a swimsuit, as the establishment will provide you with everything else, like towels, capes, shower gel, and shampoo. 

TIP: Book your spa treatment in advance to guarantee availability! 

Top food places near Hammam Al Andalus: Restaurant La Casa del Perro Sr. Nilsson Café

#10 Experience Bodega Bar “El Pimpi”

You can’t leave Malaga without visiting this unique place!

El Pimpi is unquestionably one of Malaga’s most famous and emblematic bars with unbeatable Spanish vibes, where you can enjoy authentic Andalusian cuisine made with high-quality ingredients and Spanish background music! 

The establishment has two entrances (in the front and back) and several sections for having tapas or dinner. It also features an outdoor terrace, perfect on a summer evening!

Take your time walking around the vast space and enjoy exploring the typical Andalusian interior that will, for sure, fascinate you! 

Opening Hours: Every day from noon till close

TIP: Book a table in advance for lunch or dinner at El Pimpi! 

Museums in Malaga

Browse through the list below for some of Malaga’s best museums, and check entrance fees, opening hours, and location.

Picasso Museum Malaga

Admire more than 200 works and explore collections that provide a great overview of the painter’s famous artworks.

General Entrance:

€ 12

Museo Picasso Malaga Entry Ticket

Opening Hours:

November to February: from 11.00 to 17.00

March to June: from 11.00 to 18.00

July and August: from 11.00 to 19.00

September to October: from 11.00 to 18.00

December 24 and 31 / January 5: from 11.00 to 15.00

Closed: December 25 / January 1 and 6

Address: Palacio de Buenavista, C. San Agustín, 8

Note: Entrance fees and opening hours may change. For updated information, please check the official website of Museo Picasso Malaga

Centre Pompidou Malaga

Also known as “El Cubo” (The Cube), this museum symbolizes Málaga city. Experience art from the 20th and 21st centuries and temporary exhibitions. 

General Entrance:

€ 9

Centre Pompidou Malaga Entry Ticket

Opening Hours:

Monday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday from 9.30 to 20.00

December 24 and 31 from 9.30 to 15.00

Closed on Tuesdays

Address: Pje. del Dr. Carrillo Casaux, s/n

Note: Entrance fees and opening hours may change. For updated information, please check the official website of Centre Pompidou Malaga

Wine Museum

It is the perfect place for wine lovers! Learn about Malaga’s wine tradition and sample local wine.

General Entrance:

€ 6 (includes two wine tasting with A.O. Málaga and A.O. Sierras de Málaga)

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 17.00

Saturdays from 10.00 to 14.00

Closed: January 1 and 6 / December 24, 25 and 31

Address: Pl. de los Viñeros, 1

Note: Entrance fees and opening hours may change. For updated information, please check the official website of Museo Vino Malaga

Carmen Thyssen Museum

Visit the Museo Carmen Thyssen in Málaga, housed in the 16th-century Palacio de Villalón, and explore 19th-century Spanish and Andalucían art treasures. 

General Entrance:

€ 11

Carmen Thyssen Museum Entry Ticket

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 – 20:00 

Mondays closed, except on public holidays 

December 24 and 31 from 10:00 – 15:00

Closed on December 25, January 1 and 6

Address: Plaza Carmen Thyssen, Calle Compañía

Note: Entrance fees and opening hours may change. For updated information, please check the official website of Carmen Thyssen Malaga

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FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Malaga? Malaga is situated on the Costa del Sol in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia 

How much is a taxi from Malaga Airport to the city center? Between 20-30 Euros

What is the main shopping street in Malaga? Calle Marqués de Larios

How far is Torremolinos from Malaga Airport? 8 kilometers (10 minutes by car)

How far is Benalmadena from Malaga Airport? 10 kilometers (15 minutes by car)

How far is Nerja from Malaga Airport? 70 kilometers (50 minutes by car)

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