25 Things To Do In Malaga Spain Travel Guide (Costa del Sol)

So are you planning a trip to Spain and looking for things to do in Malaga?  As you are doing your research, after reading this you will see that the list of Malaga Spain things to do are plentiful.  This is our “go to” city of choice and we just love what we discover each time we visit.

v. Looking for things to do in Malaga?  Here's a great list of Malaga Spain things to do with kids. Including, plazas, parks, food, history, excitiement & more. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

Where is Malaga Spain?

Malaga is right in the heart of Costa del Sol on the southern coast of Spain.  It is in the Autonomous Community of Andalucia and has the second busiest cruise port in Spain.  This city is vibrant and modern, with plenty of history to embrace as well.

Did you know?

The name of the city founded by the Phoenicians (around 800 B.C.) was Malaca.  Malaca is the word for “salt”, which was one of primary things done in this port city, i.e. salting fish.  Eventually the name became Malaga!


Malaga Spain Travel Guide

Malaga is not only a city, but it is also a province within Andalucia Spain.  Most of what we have are things to do in Malaga city, but there will be some items outside of the city.

An Amazing List of Things To Do In Malaga Spain

1.  Plaza de la Constitución

Devour Malaga Food Tour Plaza Constitución - meeting point and full of history.

Of course this is a beautiful historic plaza, but make sure you locate the newspaper headlines embedded in the plaza on the southeast side.  These are metal copies of the headlines on the day of the new constitution.  You will also want to stop by Café Central for some delicious churros and chocolate, as well as a good cup of coffee.

2.  Malaga Alcazaba

Devour Malaga Food Tour - Roman Theater and Alcazaba

The Malaga Alcazaba is a Palace and fortress, built in the 11th century when the area was governed by Muslims.  There were 110 main towers and several smaller towers.  It is definitely worth a visit!  You will find it in the city, tucked into the hillside of mount of Gibralfaro.  Just below it you will find the ruins of the Roman amphitheater.  There is also a free lookout point just above the theater and outside the Alcazaba walls.
Click here for various tour & ticket options.

3.  Walk through Plaza de la Juderia

Plaza de la Juderia - Malaga jewish plaza

This tiny little plaza is often overlooked.  It’s just 380 square feet and nestled in the heart of the city near the Roman Theater.  It is surrounded by historical buildings and the plaza displays a small fountain to commemorate the old Jewish quarters of Malaga. This is a circular fountain made of black marble.  There is also a circular planter of cream stone, which contains a 100 year-old olive tree.

4.  Museo Picasso Malaga

Malaga Picasso Museum ruins basement. Of course you would visit the museum if you are a Picasso fan, but we think the best part is what lies beneath.  Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but under the museum are amazing Phoenician and Roman ruins.  When you are inside the museum there are small signs, but they don't make it too obvious.  There is one small stairwell leading down or it is easiest to just take the elevator.  You will be in for a real treat!

Of course you would visit the museum if you are a Picasso fan, but we think the best part is what lies beneath.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone, but under the museum are amazing Phoenician and Roman ruins.  When you are inside the museum there are small signs, but they don’t make it too obvious.  There is one small stairwell leading down or it is easiest to just take the elevator.  You will be in for a real treat!

5.  Mercado Central de Atarazanas

Mercado Central de Atarazanas

Walk through the arched door from the 14th century into the hustle and bustle of the central market.  Hundreds of years ago this was a shipyard and today it is the daily market!  Here you will find many privately owned stalls selling all of the fresh seafood, meats, olives, cheese and produce you could ever desire.  It isn’t likely someone can just buy a market stall, as each one is privately owned and passed down from one generation to another.

6.  Malaga Cathedral Rooftops

When you are buying your tickets for the cathedral, be sure to add the “covers” or rooftops to your tour.  After a 200 step climb in the tower, you will reach the beautiful domed rooftops.  Here you will have spectacular views of the city too!
Check here for various Malaga tours.

7.  Segway Malaga

Riding a segway is much easier than riding a bike and great fun for all ages!  Take a tour through the city, up to the castle or along the port.  None of them will disappoint you.  This is a very economical way to see the city.  Click here for various tour options.

8.  SOHO Street Art

What was once a run down and not visually appealing neighborhood has been transformed.  Now it is full of life activities and some of the most amazing street art around.  When you are in this area, stop off at Picnic SOHO for a meal or drinks.  It is a quirky find, but fun atmosphere.  Read more about the street art here.

9.  Rent Bikes or Motorized Scooters

Malaga bike rentals

Rent bikes or scooters and explore the area on your own.  Self-service rentals are located all over town, but plentiful near the port.  From this area you can head out near the lighthouse to watch to ships come and go.  You may also go out to the east along the beach.  This is a scenic flat bike ride, with very little traffic and it will be off the tourist path.

10.  Hang out with Pablo Picasso!

As you walk across Plaza Merced, you will see a man sitting on a marble bench.  At first glance you many not realize it is actually a bronzed statue of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. This statue is a marker next to the home and birthplace of Picasso.  It is a perfect place to sit down with him and take a selfie or a group photo, with your friend Pablo Picasso.

11.  Check out the Big Doors!

Malaga semana santa garage doors

As you are meandering the city center, you will notice several extremely large doors, about 20 feet high!  These doors make look like they were made for giants, but they are for something quite special.  Each year during Semana Santa (holy week before Easter), processions happen daily.  Large ornamental religious floats or thrones, weighing up to 5000 kg, are carried around the city. It can take up to 250 men from a brotherhood to carry just one of the floats.  Behind these large doors are where the floats are stored during the year.  There are some to check out across from the Roman theater at Cofradía de los Estudiantes.

12.  Museo del Vidrio y Cristal

Glass has been used for decorative purposes for centuries and this museum display many pieces of art dating back to the Roman times and beyond.  With nearly 3000 pieces of glass, including stained glass windows, dishes and figurines, you will experience a bit of history.  All of these are housed in a restored 18th century home.

13.  The Most Spectacular Rooftop Bar

Not many people know you can take the high-speed elevator up 15 floors to the rooftop of the AC Marriott Hotel.  Here you will tower over the city with 360 views of the central Malaga, the sea and mountains.  Enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant, or have drinks at the terrace bar.  This is the perfect place to watch the sunset with the cruise port and ferris wheel in view.

14.  El Cementerio Inglés de Málaga

It make seem a bit creepy to visit a cemetery, but there is always so much history to uncover there.  The English Cemetery was the first protestant cemetery in Malaga.  It was created because there were no guidelines as how to bury those who were not Roman Catholic.  In Malaga, non-Roman Catholics could only be buried at night and often in a shallow grave at the shore.  This wasn’t ideal with the waves of the sea and wild dogs out at night.  There is one section of several small graves all covered with seashells.  These are the place where the children who died from TB or fever now rest.

15.  Take a food tour!

Tasty treats on our Devour Malaga Food Tour

Tickle your taste buds, absorb the culture, and explore Malaga.  A Malaga Food Tour is the perfect way to spend a day out and get to know a little more about the city of Malaga and enjoy the local food too!  There many tours offered and you won’t leave hungry!  Click here for best options on prices and availability.

16.  Hammam Baths Malaga

hammam bath malaga

Centuries ago, when Spain was under Muslim rule, Arab baths could be found in locations throughout the south.  These hammams are said to have served as places of purification, hygiene and relaxation.  Click here for best options on prices and availability.

17.  Explore the Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo Gibralfaro)

Malaga city port and bull ring, view from castle. Views from Explore the Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo Gibralfaro)

This castle, built-in the fourteenth century to house the troops and protect the Alcazaba, is one of the most popular monuments of Malaga.  Here you can walk the walls with stunning views of Malaga and the port below or enter Interpretation Center to learn the history.

A few extra things to do in Malaga with kids

18.  Museo de la Imaginación

Imagination museum malaga

if you like eye teasers and mind benders, this is the stop for you.  It is quite small, but packed full of fun.  It’s a fun and interactive museum filled with illusions for everyone to enjoy, from your floating head to becoming a giant.

19.  Let the kids be free at the Park of Malaga

This also known as the Parque de la Alameda and is right in the heart of the action.  It is just between the port and the city center, so close to everything.  There is plenty of room for the kids to run around amidst nature, as well as several playground and hands-on activities along the paths.  There are great little plazas to discover and some interactive activities as well.  Of course just cross the street to the port and find plenty more to do and eat.

20.  Play Planet – Games

Let the games begin!  If you love board games and want to play them in a social environment, why not head over to Play Planet?  Here you can rent just about any game you would want and enjoy a great time out.  Read more about them here. 

21.  Bounce around!

trampoline park

Let the kids run wild and jump in Malaga!  BoingJump is a jumping zone is just off of the highway, near the airport in Malaga.  You will also find another jumping park, called Altitude Trampoline Park Malaga.  It is also near the airport and in a central shopping area.

22.  Water park Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas

Who doesn’t love to splash in water on a hot summer’s day?  Well check out this water park, because it is free!  Yes, it is a park with all kinds of water features to cool down in and let the kids run wild.  Located on the west side of Malaga, near the paseo, it is sure to be a hit with the family.  Once you are done here, just walk on over to the Parque Del Oeste.  This is full of fountains, sculptures, lakes and even a small animal area with wallabies and ostrich.

23.  Plaza Mayor

Malaga Things to do with kids Plaza Mayor Movies and Activities

Okay this is a kids play area in an outdoor shopping mall, but it’s great.  Located near the airport and near the food section of the mall is a child’s paradise.  Loads of activities and adventures for the kids, even a small train to take them on a tour.  Near the movie theater there is also a very large arcade area, for those who love their video games.

24.  Museo Interactivo de la Musica (MIMMA)

interactive museum of musicPhoto credit from Museo Interactivo de la Musica

This is an interactive museum that generates new experiences, using the principles of the new museology.  They show a full collection of musical instruments from all over the world and from all eras.  There are several rooms where you are encouraged to learn through experimentation, by playing the instruments.  They also hold fun workshops for kids!  Read more about the prices here.

25.  Museo Aeronáutico de Málaga

Airport Museum Malaga fun and interactive

How many times have you been to the Malaga airport and just passed on by that big brewery, not realizing there is an amazing airport museum just behind?  Spanning of 4 buildings, as well as several items outside is an interactive airplane museum.  You can become a pilot, walk into planes, see what the maintenance team or baggage claim was once like.  Everything is there for you to see and touch!

Here is our Map of Things to To In Malaga


Other things to do in Costa del Sol

  • The best beaches in Malaga – With over 320 days of sun along the Mediterranean Sea, this should go without saying.  You should make sure you have the time to bask in Málaga’s beaches.  The most popular beaches near the city are El Candado beach, El Palo Beach, Las Acacias Beach.  See what the Culture Trip has to recommend.
  • Caminito del Rey Malaga – this is a spectacular hike, high above the valley below,  which will leave your knees week and give you amazing memories.  It is so popular, you do need to make advance reservations.
  • The secret pools of Malaga are natural beauties for you to discover.

If you are planning to explore more of Spain, read our guide for Things to do in Spain by region.

Where to stay in Malaga?

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for 5-star hotels in Malaga, 4-star hotels in Malaga, all inclusive in Malaga, cheap hotels in Malaga, apartments in Malaga, or camping Malaga, Booking has something for you!


Where is Malaga? Getting There

Airport in Malaga

The full name of the airport is Aeropuerto de Málaga-Costa del Sol, and is located 8 km (5.0 mi) southwest of Málaga.  The airport code for Malaga is AGP.  This is the primary airport that most travelers will use as it services many domestic and international destinations with many airline operations.  Note that there are several airlines which have seasonal services which provide direct flights to Málaga:  LINK

Here are additional options for other airports near Malaga.

Malaga train station

The Malaga train station is located in the city center and is a great way to arrive or depart.  You can take the high-speed train from Malaga to Madrid in just 2 1/2 hours!  Of course the same is true for the arrival train from Madrid to Malaga too.  Don’t stop there, you can also explore all over Spain and take the train from Malaga to Seville, Córdoba and more.

Malaga bus station

The Malaga bus station is just next door to the train station and give you access to even more travel options.  If you want to take the bus from Malaga to Almuñécar, we can help you there too!

Do you prefer to Drive?

We have tips for the best car rentals in Malaga (airport and train/bus).

Of course the more we visit, the more we will add to this post.  What are your favorite things to do in Malaga?  Comment below.


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Things To Do In Malaga Spain Travel Guide (Costa del Sol). Looking for things to do in Malaga?  Here's a great list of Malaga Spain things to do with kids. Including, plazas, parks, food, history, excitiement & more. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com