Malaga Guide : 10 Things To Do In Malaga City & Old Town
Here are the top things to do in Malaga to get you started.
1The Alcazaba of Malaga
One of the top things to do in Malaga is the Alcazaba, the most famous tourist attraction in the city, which overlooks the sprawling metropolis from its hilltop position. The Alcazaba of Malaga is a magnificent 11th century palace that is exceptionally well-preserved. The Alcazaba showcases spectacular Nasrid architecture, a beautiful art form inspired by Arabian design.
Here you can explore the incredible Arabian courtyards, stunning gardens and intricate detailing throughout the Alcazaba. For a more in depth visit, the guided tour immerses you into the history of this phenomenal monument. The site is also home to a small but spectacular archaeological museum displaying the findings of Moorish artefacts and ceramics.
2Walk Around the Ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre (Teatro Romano Málaga)
As one of Malaga’s most historic monuments, the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre transports visitors back to days long past. The Malaga Roman Theatre is the oldest site in Malaga, built in the 1st century AD and the ruins have only been discovered in the last century, a stunning preservation of the Roman occupation.
Used as a spectacular performance venue until 3 AD, the site was left abandoned for centuries until Moorish settlers excavated sections for the build of the Alcazaba. It was once again left to ruin and buried for centuries before the spectacular amphitheatre was uncovered in 1951. Following 27 years of restoration and reconstruction, El Teatro Romano de Málaga was opened to the public in 2011 and has hosted phenomenal performances for the last decade. The ruins are open to explore year-round, with open-air performances scheduled in the summer months.
3Mirador de Gibralfaro
Nestled just outside of the city centre, Mirador de Gibralfaro is one of the most spectacular viewpoints in Malaga. Located near the iconic ruins of Castillo de Gibralfaro, the mirador overlooks the city landscape with unrivalled panoramic views across Malaga.
Accessible by tree-lined paths up the stunning Mount Gibralfaro, the mirador offers the best scenery at sunrise and sunset, with views only getting better the higher you climb. With views stretching past the Roman amphitheatre, over the city and out to sea, there is no better view to be found anywhere in the city and a visit to the Mirador is one of the best places to visit in Malaga.
4Port of Málaga
As one of the oldest ports in the Mediterranean, the port of Malaga boasts the best sea views that would rival any other in the region yet has grown over the years to become a modern and sophisticated harbour home to super yachts and welcoming cruise liners.
The tree-lined promenade is one of the top things to do in Malaga, featuring fashion boutiques, market stalls during the day, bars and exceptional dining. The port is where you will find the Michelin-Starred Cafe de Paris, a restaurant bursting with exquisite dishes expertly curated by Chef Juan Carlos Garcia. With so much to offer and just a few minutes walk from the city centre, the port of Malaga is a place where you will find yourself spending a lot of time.
5Charter a Catamaran
If you are looking to get away from the bustle of Malaga without leaving the city. Chartering a catamaran is a great way to take in the stunning views of the Andalusian coastline as you leave Malaga behind, trading the buzz of the city for the tranquillity of the Mediterranean Sea. Sail away on a private catamaran with the sea breeze in your hair and dazzling waters surrounding you. This area is also a renowned spot for dolphin watching, and you may even have the opportunity to sail alongside a playful family of dolphins.
Alternatively, if you are not looking to charter, there are plenty of boat trips that take off from the Malaga port, whether you are looking to get on the water for just a few hours or the whole day.
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As a renowned beach destination, one of the top things to do in Malaga is to visit the golden sands and dip your toes in the turquoise waters. With an abundance of beaches in Malaga to choose from, you truly are spoilt for choice. El Pedregalejo beach is closest to the Malaga city centre. Here, you can relax on the beach front of Playa Pedregalejo and indulge in the divine local seafood at one of the numerous seafront restaurants.
Alternatively, Torremolinos is one of the most renowned beaches in Malaga, famous for its vast stretch of golden sand perfect for sunbathing. A popular destination for families, Torremolinos has calm waters for paddling and plenty of space for sandcastle building whilst also offering plenty of activity including volleyball nets, paddleboard hire and water sports. In addition to soft sands and dazzling waters, you will also find an abundance of Chiringuitos on the beaches of Malaga. These food stalls are perfect for grabbing a snack during a beach day, make sure you try the local speciality of grilled sardines.
7Relax with a Hammam Experience at Hammam Al Andalus Malaga
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This Spanish city has so much Arabian heritage and culture sewn through it that it is hardly surprising that Malaga is home to a phenomenal Hammam. The Arabian baths of Hammam Al Andalus is the ultimate place to relax and rejuvenate in Malaga.
The Hammam experience within the Andalusian Arabian baths takes you on a tranquil journey to reconnect you with your inner self. Rituals, treatments and water therapy are used to awaken your senses and provide a state of calm. With a myriad of different experiences on offer, there is a relaxation package perfect for everyone, and the Hammam is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Malaga or the perfect option if you happen to be visiting Malaga on a rainy day.
Andalusian mercados are some of the best markets in Spain and the ones in Malaga are no exception. Malaga’s biggest and most vibrant market is the Atarazanas Market, a perfect destination to sample local dishes, purchase local produce and try your hand at haggling with the Spanish locals. The olives, dried figs and Malaga sweet wine are all delicious local offerings and items to definitely try from this market. Visiting Atarazanas Market, is one of the top things to do in Malaga. This food market is Malaga is located within a spectacular 14th century Moorish building, the market itself is picturesque featuring stained glass windows and intricate architecture.
9Museo Picasso Malaga
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Home to almost 30 museums, Malaga is recognized as the cultural capital of Andalucia. With amazing art and history seemingly on every corner of the city, it is difficult to find a stand-out attraction. However, Museo Picasso Malaga is a place of pride in the capital.
Tucked into the walls of Picasso House, the birthplace of the renowned artist, the Picasso Museum takes visitors on a journey through the life, legacy and creativity of one of the world’s most famous artists. The city’s most notable museum features some of Picasso’s most distinctive and iconic artwork alongside exciting pieces from other spectacular artists.
Whilst technically located outside of Malaga, a must-visit in the area takes you 45 minutes east to the spectacular Nerja Caves. Discovered just over 60 years ago, the Nerja Caves are home to the largest stalactites on Earth. The undisturbed caverns are some of the most important caves in the world and a point of Spanish cultural interest.
The 45-minute journey through the vast caves encounters some of the world’s largest rock formations, fascinating stalactites, dramatic stalagmites and spectacular natural columns. The caves also feature 589 rock paintings, a phenomenal piece of history that is regarded as the earliest artwork known to man. While you are in the Nerja area, the Balcón de Europa which translates to Balcony of Europe and the charming town that surrounds is also worth a visit.