Beach days await in the sunny Spanish city of Málaga. On Spain’s sprawling Costa del Sol, Málaga features palm tree-lined streets, easy-access transportation, and dozens of historical sites. The city’s just 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Africa and within day-tripping distance of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Málaga weather conditions are consistently favorable, making it an excellent place for pedestrian travel. Sidewalks are typically wide, and bus stops are plentiful, so getting around Málaga is quick and easy. Since sunshine is almost guaranteed here most days of the year, outdoor dining is popular, and open-air shopping areas are common.
As Southern Spain’s second-most populous city, there are various transportation options in Málaga. The Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport services flights foreign and domestic and is the primary hub for air travel in the Costa del Sol region. Major highways and high-speed rail run through the city, and several bus and light rail routes provide convenient access to most of Málaga's best attractions.
Fun Fact: Málaga is one of the oldest cities on Earth. It was established by the Phoenicians in 770 BC and has changed ruling hands numerous times since.
Things to do in Málaga
Málaga is a magnificent blend of modern amenities, (really) ancient historical attractions, and vibrant Mediterranean culture.
Travelers hoping to stay for more than a day will have options. Lodging in Málaga is easy to find. Unique boutique hotels and big-name brands dot the streets surrounding the city center, and swanky beachfront spots are perfect for luxe-loving visitors.
Whether you’re visiting Málaga or you’re a permanent resident, this waterfront haven won’t disappoint.
Start off your morning with a churro at Casa Aranda.
View the centuries-old sights of the Alcazaba castle.
Shop like a local at the massive Mercado Central de Atarazanas market. Offerings include olives, seafood, and citrus fruits.
Sharpen up on Spanish culture and history at Málaga’s museums. Learn about Pablo Picasso and see some of his best works at the Museo Picasso Málaga and peer into the storied past of glass at the Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga.
Slow down for tapas at El Tapeo de Cervantes. Menu options change daily, so every meal enjoyed here is sure to be one-of-a-kind.
Explore Málaga on foot and by sea with a guided hiking and snorkeling tour. Guides are locals and groups are small; it’s an excellent way to escape the crowds for a while.
Sample regional seafood under the grass umbrellas at Servando Playa, where the atmosphere’s beachy, the ocean’s in view, and the menu offerings are fantastic.
Transit Options in Malaga
Air (Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport)
Ship (oceanfront Port of Melilla)
Bus (Málaga Metropolitan Transport, Empresa Malagueña de Transportes)
Luggage Storage near Málaga
Spain’s Costa del Sol region is packed with entertainment potential, and while Málaga’s attractions are diverse, there’s more to explore beyond the city limits.
The resort town of Marbella is just a quick bus ride away, with beautiful beaches, unique eateries, and theme parks. Halfway between Málaga and Marbella lies the culture-filled former fishing village of Torremolinos, rich with Spanish-themed entertainment venues and natural parks and attractions.
Travel light while you’re exploring Costa del Sol’s best sights; take advantage of Bounce luggage storage in Málaga, and your bags will be ready when you return from your adventures.
Attractions and Activities near Málaga
Gibralfaro Castle: This 14th-century castle towers over the Málaga coastline. It once served as a lighthouse and was used to defend Alcazaba. In addition to its ancient architectural design, Gibralfaro offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and beyond. The site is somewhat easy to access, though its hilltop location makes for a challenging hike. To avoid the strenuous walk, consider visiting the castle via tour bus or taxi; most will drop passengers off at the top of the hill. During a tour of the fortress, you can explore the courtyard, where troops stayed and supplies were stored. The castle’s upper level features an information center and an authentic Phoenician well.
Roman Theatre: This historic site preserves the ruins of an ancient Roman performance venue. Constructed in the first century, the theater hosted musicals, comedy shows, and plays. Admission is free, and a visit is sure to impress. The stage still stands, and many of the columns and seating areas are still intact. The on-site interpretive center is also worth checking out. Here you’ll find more info on the theater’s history, and you can view artifacts recovered from the ruins.
Málaga Bullring: A trip to Málaga wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Málaga Bullring. The circular, Neo-Mudejar-style arena offers excellent vantage points from all angles and is just steps away from the Mediterranean coast. Its size and location make it a popular spot for annual festivals, celebrations, and large events. Head here for a self-led tour of the bullring and then stop by the on-site Museo Taurino Antonio Ordonez museum to view artifacts, costumes, and other bullfighting-related items. Visit the Málaga Bullring in August, and you can attend La Feria de Málaga, a ten-day festival filled with dancing, bullfighting, and concerts.
Playa la Malagueta: One of Málaga’s best beaches, Playa la Malagueta features convenient amenities and comfortable beach-lounging conditions. Grab your beach gear and drop your extra bags at a Málaga luggage storage site for an easygoing day on the Mediterranean's sunny shores. Once you’ve snagged your spot on the sand, rent a beach umbrella and settle in for some fantastic oceanfront relaxation. Seafood restaurants, beachy bars, and walk-up food shacks dot the shoreline, and there’s a children’s playground, too.