Malaga Tourist Guide: BEST Things to Do & See

Malaga is the gateway for tourists and locals visiting or living on the Costa del Sol.

It is also a busy port as well as a city with its own airport.

Malaga International Airport is the main hub servicing the Costa del Sol while Gibraltar Airport in the south provides a further gateway.

Malaga port offers regular ferry services to Melilla which is a Spanish enclave in Morocco on the North African peninsula and coastline.


Are you an expat in Malaga? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

Where to Stay

Malaga is also a city of commerce with many businessmen coming for conferences and business meetings who would usually book their accommodation at some very fine hotels. Malaga has close to two hundred hotels with the most popular ones starting at €60 a night. Some of these popular hotels include the Barcelo Malaga, Hotel Molino Lario, Vincci Seleccion Posado del Patio, Suite Novotel Malaga Centro and the Monte Malaga Hotel.

Getting There

Malaga has a very good transport infrastructure with buses connecting the city to the airport and a train servicing the city to the major tourist resorts on the Costa del Sol, although currently the train line only stretches as far as Marbella. There is also a reliable, regular inexpensive bus service connecting the city to the tourist resorts.

Malaga is far more than just a gateway and has a fantastic nightlife, bars, restaurants and beaches. Malaga has four main beaches which are known as the Playa de la Malagueta, Playa Palo, Playa Huellin and the Playa Las Acacias.

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Is Malaga near Benidorm?

People who like Malaga would probably like Benidorm but they are not remotely close. Benidorm is far away on Spain’s Costa Blanca coast which is a distance of 521 km and a drive time of 5 hours and 7 minutes. Both cities have beaches and are very built up. They are also known for thriving nightlife scenes.

Best Restaurants

Malaga has over seven hundred restaurants, of which the best that have been recommended by diners on the Trip Advisor includes the Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio Restaurant, Stracchan, El Café del Bolsa, El Rescoldo, El Trillo, Restaurante Real Club Mediterraneo de Malaga, Meson Mariano, Restaurante Figon de Juan, Los Mellizos Malaga, La Reserva 12, Lounge Bar Plaza and the Restaurante Amador.


Malaga, Spain – Photo by Fabi-DE, Wikimedia Commons

Nightlife – Clubs and Bars

Nightlife revellers are best off heading to the El Palo and Pedregalejo where the majority of bars, pubs and discos are located. The most popular of these locales include Abisinia, Cache, Disco Kiu, Disco Ola, Disco Palladium, Licio and Paka Paya.

What to See

Malaga has a fair amount of tourist attractions which includes the Roman Theatre, Alcazaba, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Malaga Cathedral, Picasso Museum, Picasso’s Birthplace, Musio Carmen Thyssen, Interactive Museum of Music, the Plaza de Toros de Malagueta, La Concepcion Botanical & Historical Garden, Museo del Vidrio y Cristal, Museo Revello del Toro, Museo del Cister, Museo de Artes Populares and the Museo del Vino.

Malaga has a football club. Malaga CF had played in the Spanish Premier League and had also taken part in the so-called Champions League.

Malaga’s most famous citizens include the artist Pablo Picasso and the actor Antonio Banderas.

Malaga is one of those cities along with Barcelona and Valencia where you can enjoy a real city break, taking in the museums, eating at some fine restaurants all the while with the ability to spend lazy days at the beach.

Seville and Cordoba are not too far off to explore and the upmarket sea side resorts of Marbella and Puerto Banus are less than thirty minutes away by car.

You can see live webcam views of the Costa del Sol so you can decide which you would like to visit.

Are there any international schools nearby?

In the northwest of Malaga, you can find the Novaschool Sunland International which is located in 40,000 square meters of natural area that is situated in the center of the Guadalhorce Valley. It is one of the eight schools that belongs to the Novaschool educational group and follows the British Curriculum.

Ayuntamiento de Malaga

Ayuntamiento de Malaga – Photo by Daniel Capilla, Wikimedia Commons

Real Estate Agents

Whether you’re looking for a place to rent or to stay at permanently, you can take advantage of the services from the real estate agents in Malaga who are more than willing to help you in finding your ideal residence.

You can contact Axarquia Properties (, Tel. +34 952 436 781 and +34 626 038 851); Malaga Estates (, Tel. +34-952-223-288) and Taurus Real Estate (, Tel. +34-952-535-043).

Tourist Information Offices

Malaga Tourist Office Address:
Plaza del Siglo, n 2, 29015, Malaga (Malaga)
Telephone Number: +34 952 126 272
Email Address:

Malaga Tourist Office Address:
Casita del Jardinero, Avenida Cervantes, 29016, Malaga (Malaga)
Telephone Number : +34 952 209 603
Email Address:

Malaga Tourist Office Address:
Plaza de la Marina 11, 29001, Malaga (Malaga)
Telephone Number: +34 952 122 020
Email Address:

Malaga Tourist Office Address:
Estacion Vialia Maria Zambrano, Calle Explanada de la Estacion s/n, 29002, Malaga (Malaga)
Email Address:

Moving to Malaga

If you are thinking of moving to Malaga, then you must read our expat interview with Sally Harrison of Axarquia Properties below:

Sally Sally, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Malaga compared to other Costa del Sol towns?

Malaga is the unofficial capital of the Costa del Sol. Cruise ships stop here, sometimes as many as 7 at a time. Picasso was born here. It is a great cultural centre with at least 30 museums, Soho Street graffiti or urban art with murals by some of the world’s best including Spain’s Okuda and Pantone. Look out for over 50 murals on walls, doors, windows and even bridges. There is always something going on like live music, sports activities, theatre and not forgetting flamenco. There are masses of tapas bars and restaurants serving not only Spanish food but food from all over the world. In the centre of Malaga you are spoilt for choice. Probably most importantly it is a small city that you can easily walk around and there is a train service from the centre all along the coast to Fuengirola and inland to Alora.

Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?

None I can think of.

What proportion of the local population are Spanish?

About 90 percent with foreigners from all over the world including Romania, U.K., Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Portugal, Poland, Holland, Belgium and Russia, not forgetting the South American countries, as well as China, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, the U.S.A. and Mexico. Here is our helpful Malaga job page.

El Pimpi, Malaga

El Pimpi, Malaga – Photo by Andy Nash, Wikimedia Commons

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

Go to the beach which is a favourite pastime from April through September with many of the beach restaurants (chiringuitos) staying open all year, horse riding, rollerblading along the Paseo de Maritimo (sea front) and cycling.

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?

El Pimpi in Malaga – historic centre with its huge shady terrace below the Alcazaba fortress

El Tapeo de Cervantes – with a good wine list and generous portions of tapas

El Tintero on the seafront at the far eastern end of Malaga

Go with lots of people as the fun here is to choose different plates of food from the waiters who walk up and down amongst the tables with plates of fried fish. Pick as many plates as you want and you pay at the end by the waiter counting the plates left on your table. Most dishes are 6 euros each.

Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

You can find everything under the sun in Malaga.

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

Any of the white Spanish villages in the Axarquia, east of Malaga are worth visiting.

beach in Malaga

beach in Malaga – Photo by Kaszana94, Wikimedia Commons

What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?

There are several good international schools in Malaga itself and to both the east and west along the coast.

Is crime an issue for expats?

I have never really noticed any crime but I have had my handbag stolen by stupidly leaving it on the passenger seat of my unlocked car!

Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?

Now is the time to buy as prices are still low and have not yet started to rise again.

Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

It is an excellent time to buy and there are many bank repossessions available.

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

There are too many urbanizations to mention just one. Each has electric gates with underground parking, communal gardens and pools.

How much are the typical property prices in Malaga for apartments, villas etc?

You can still buy an apartment in need of a bit of TLC for just over 100,000 euros but the best ones are of course more expensive. Village houses in the Axarquia start at about 50,000 euros and villas with pools from 150,000 euros.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Malaga or surrounding area?

spa-logo I would choose one estate agent and let them do the work for you. No need to contact endless agents as we all work together and know each other. Far easier to work with one agent who can contact the others for you and arrange your property tour so that you visit each area progressively rather than driving backwards and forwards. A good app to download to your mobile device to discover all Spanish property available for sale is the Spanishproperty app.

Sally, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.

axarquia-properties Axarquia Properties

Sally Harrison
Skype: AxarquiaProperties
952 436 781
626 038 851
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For a discount, copy and paste AxarquiaProperties in the boxes Account and Password.

Here is a video featuring some of the most notable places in Malaga.

Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.

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