The birthplace of Picasso has one of the loveliest Old Towns in Andalusia, stand-out Mediterranean beaches and the only Pompidou Centre outside France.
As the main city of the Costa del Sol and home to one of Spain’s busiest airports, Malaga is often dismissed as a transport hub but has tons to offer.
Malaga airport offers quick and easy connections to the city, including express bus, trains and taxis. You can explore the compact centre on foot, taking in the historic quarter, waterfront districts and port area. A network of local and tourist buses makes for reliable public transport, and you could hire a bike to explore the cycle paths – or a car to travel further afield.
1 hr ahead of GMT
Neighbourhoods To See
Old Town: for history
The city’s historic quarter meanders down from the Alcazaba fortress, and is typically Andalusian with grand plazas, atmospheric alleys and charming architecture. Enjoy street food and performers at Plaza de la Merced and don’t miss stunning Malaga Cathedral or the Picasso Museum.
Malaga Port: for shopping and eating
The regenerated port area is one of the city’s most popular shopping districts, home to many of Malaga’s best restaurants and a rival to the Old Town for cafés, bars and street markets.
La Malagueta: for sun, sea and sand
Head here for big golden beaches, seafood restaurants, water sports and the immense La Malagueta Bullring, centrepiece of the city’s annual Feria celebrations in August
Montes de Malaga Natural Park
Less than three miles (5km) from Malaga, this massive mountainous wilderness offers rugged trails for hiking and cycling with stunning views.
Andalusia is a leading European rock-climbing destination, with a climate whose thermal winds are perfect for kitesurfing and stand-up paddle-boarding. Less than an hour’s drive away, the Rio Chillar hike through natural gorges is a Costa del Sol summer tradition.
Food And Drink
Malaga’s Mediterranean climate, high mountains and artisan traditions make for an extraordinary local larder, including fine regional olive oil and fantastic goat’s cheese. Try out the fresh tapas and seafood on offer at the laid-back beach restaurants known as chiringuitos.
FEBRUARY | Carnival
This week-long street party features parades and ends with an anchovy being buried at Playa de la Malagueta on Ash Wednesday!
EASTER | Semana Santa
Watch Malaga celebrate Holy Week with drama and ceremony, including torchlit marches and spectacular processions.
JUNE | San Juan
The midsummer night festival sees the city head to the beach for the evening to build bonfires, grill sardines, burn paper effigies and wash their faces in the sea on the stroke of midnight.
AUGUST| Feria de Malaga
A nine-day beachy celebration featuring local customs.
DECEMBER | Fiesta Mayor de Verdiales
A major cultural festival celebrating traditional Andalusian dance, music and theatre.