3 Days in Malaga: Everything You Should Know
The capital of the Province of Malaga, the municipality of Malaga is a large community in Spain with almost 580,000 residents. Located in Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun), you will find a plethora of beaches and other outdoor areas to enjoy. But, if you only have 3 days in Malaga, you are going to need to plan a 3-day Malaga itinerary because there is so much to do.
The history of Malaga goes back almost 3,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest cities in Europe at the southern tip of Spain. During your few days in Malaga, you should check out some of the local museums and monuments to learn more about the city's history.
Located in southern Spain, Malaga boasts a number of places to enjoy history including the Picasso Museum, Gibralfaro Castle, the Roman Theater, and Malaga Cathedral. You will find most of these places in the city center where you will be within walking distance to quite a few places.
If you are more into the water than the history, put some of the beaches on your Malaga itinerary. Malagueta Beach is one of the most popular and is only a few minutes from the Malaga City Centre. Or spend some beach time in Costa del Sol, where you will find the most popular (but often crowded) beaches.
Malaga has just about everything you can think of including some of the best dining establishments, great shopping, fun parks, and ancient ruins to explore. No matter where you plan to be during these three days in Malaga, first you need to find a secure spot for your extra gear when out and about and things get heavy. Drop them off at one of the luggage storage sites in Malaga so you can enjoy the city easier.
Malaga itinerary - Day 1
Morning in the city center: Enjoy a walking tour
One of the best ways to start your 3 days in Malaga is by taking a free walking tour. You can take a guided walking tour to make sure you get to see as many of the sights as you can in a short time. Also known as Castillo de Gibralfaro, the Gibralfaro Castle is one of the many stops you will enjoy along your tour of the great city and its fortress walls.
Some of the free walking tours include exploring Old Town Malaga along with the Medieval Moorish Alcazaba Palace, Centro de Arte contemporáneo, Centre Pompidou, Malaga Cathedral and the one-armed lady, Plaza de la Merced, and the Roman Theatre. Others take you into the surrounding areas like El Caminito del Rey, and Marabella, and to walk along the cobbled streets of the Jewish quarter.
If you are not really into walking, try one of the boat trips instead. Whether you want a few hours on a cruise ship or a day on the river, you can find it all in Malaga. The dolphin sailboat tour takes you to Marbella where you can actually see Africa on a clear day! The more adventurous may enjoy a kayaking and snorkeling cruise.
Afternoon: Refresh, refuel, and unwind
After walking around the entire city, you may need to revive yourself at the Hammam al Andalus steam rooms and Arab baths. Afterward, grab a pizza at PizzaMore or get some Spanish tapas at Los Balcones de Los Marangos. Or try the rooftop bar at San Telmo where you get an amazing view of the beautiful city.
Just a short walk from the baths, the Carmen Thyssen Museum is a special art museum with works from Spanish and international artists. The 16th-century building has old masters, modern art, and temporary exhibitions. Some of the highlights include several pieces from Manuel Rodriguez and Martin Rico Ortega.
For more artwork and history, visit the Malaga Museum. There are over 2,000 pieces of art and 15,000 artifacts dating back to the first century. They even have pieces that are thought to be from the 6th Century BC. The Centre Pompidou is a replica of the Pompidou Center in Paris and is found in a huge colorful glass cube.
Evening: Flamenco shows
The Tablao Flamenco in the Malaga Center was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO and they have two shows a day with live music and cocktails to enjoy. You can even take some flamenco lessons if you want to learn the dance. The evening show serves food, so you don't have to leave to get dinner.
If you did not get enough flamenco at the Tablao, head inside the Kelipe Theater & Flamenco Art Center. They have shows every night with different artists from all over the area. Every night boasts new live acts from dancing to singing and even dramatic theater. This Andalusian art mixes music, dancing, and singing with stunning costumes.
After, why not have a nightcap at a local Irish pub? Morrissey's is a modern tavern with craft beers, tapas, and sports on the television. Or check out O'Neill Corner Irish Sports Bar. It's a small friendly place with Spanish music and football on television. If you want something a little more formal, try The Shakespeare Pub right near the river.
Malaga itinerary - Day 2
Morning: Trip to the Picasso Museum
Whether you want to take a guided tour or explore on your own, you can easily spend your entire day at the Picasso Museum seeing the works of influential artist Pablo Picasso. There are 285 pieces donated by family including some of his earliest pieces as well as cubism, and remakings of the Old Masters.
This museum has close to 80 years of Picasso's artwork from his Women and Men works in the late 1800s to Earth pieces in the late 1900s. Although he is most well-known for his paintings, he also did quite a few ceramics and other sculptures.
You can also visit the library that features more than 800 books about Picasso. Check out the many photos of him kept at the library. The artist was born in Malaga and you can visit his birthplace, now a museum located in Plaza de la Marina, which is where you are off to next.
Afternoon: Plaza de la Marina
Grab a bite to eat at Restaurante La Marina in the plaza where you can enjoy a delicious dish of Presa Iberica, a very tender pork dish this eatery is known for. After you dine, stop at the visitor's centre in the plaza for some tips on what to do in the area.
But you probably will not need that since you have an itinerary. The plaza is the perfect spot to sit and do some people-watching or just take in the sights and sounds of Spain. Being so close to the water, you can also watch the boats and ships go by.
Created with Moorish walls and unique architecture, it is also a nice place for selfies. The plaza is in the Soho neighborhood in the center of the city so you can go anywhere from here. The marina is to the south, public transport to the north, and Malaga Park is right next door.
Evening: At the park
Malaga Park is one of the largest and most popular attractions for locals as well as those who visit Malaga. It opened to the public in 1897 and boasts more than 80 acres to explore. The park is packed with beauty featuring botanical gardens, tree-shaded walkways, and stunning fountains.
There are several paved trails and walkways through the park where you can meander along the monuments, sculptures, and fountains, learning as you go. Before you go, grab dinner at Gutierrez Puerto Restaurant, a casual seafood eatery right outside the park.
After dinner, take a walk over to the Eduardo Ocon Theatre and see if there are any shows going on. Even if there isn't, it is still a stunning place to see. You can also stop and have a beer or other adult beverage at the Spidy Bar before heading back to your hotel.
Malaga itinerary - Day 3
Morning: Day trip to Costa del Sol
On your last day in Malaga, your itinerary should be full of sunshine, sand, and turquoise blue waters. You could just go to Malagueta Beach, but why not go to the Coast of the Sun for the best beaches in Spain? It is less than an hour from the city centre in Marabella and has over 90 miles of coastline.
First, check out the Colomares Monument, which is a castle museum dedicated to Christopher Columbus, the only one in southern Spain. Another great castle to see is the Castillo Sohail, built in 956 AD. Take a walk along the seaside promenade to see more of the city.
Also located here, Puerto Banus is one of the most visited places in Spain with over five million visitors per year. This is the perfect spot to shop at designer boutiques such as Gucci, Dior, and Bulgari. Dining here is also popular with some of the best restaurants in the city.
Afternoon: Cool off at the beach
If you are going to visit Málaga during the summer months, plan to spend the hottest part of the day at the beaches along the Coast of the Sun. These day trips are perfect for your last day in the city so you can just enjoy the sunshine and soak it all up before you go home.
You can explore the miles of beaches or there are plenty of beach loungers here for relaxation. If you would rather do something more nature-inspired, visit the Bioparc Fuengirola where you can see lemurs, gorillas, and other wildlife in their natural environments. Or go on a safari tour at Selwo Aventura.
Be sure to visit the White Villages. These whitewashed towns are from the 14th-century Roman era. You can find many of them in the Sierra de Grazalema Park, which boasts more than 127,000 acres. Do not miss out on the gastronomy of the place. You have to try the Pescaito Frito and an authentic Spanish churro at one of the Chiringuitos restaurants on the beach.
Evening: Last night in Malaga
For your final night in Malaga, you may as well party it up. If you are childless, take a trip to the Theatro Club. This is one of the most popular dance clubs in the city. For a more mellow evening, check out the casual blues, rock, and soul bar, ZZ Pub. This is a fun and inexpensive place to enjoy a few drinks and some music.
If you have the kids with you or if you are a big kid at heart, enjoy some water fun at WaterFun Malagueta. They are open until 8 PM so you can take a dip after dinner. Located on the huge Malaga Beach, the park has a bunch of water rides like the Kamikaze, Jumper, Saturno, and Everest.
You could also see the dolphins and sea lions up close at the Selwo Marina. They have four different displays including four large pools where they have shows all day long. From dolphins to snakes, you will see everything here. They even have penguins.
3 Days in Malaga
Whether you are going for a long weekend vacation in one of the luxurious private rooms at a boutique hotel or on a family excursion, it is a good idea to make a three-day Malaga itinerary so you can see everything you want to see and do everything you want to do.
Three days may seem like a long time, but you will be surprised how quickly that third day comes up. You will be glad you took the time to make this three-day Malaga itinerary.
A day trip with a tour guide is a fun way to see a new city. In Malaga, you can take a tour to see a lot of the major attractions like the Glass pyramid, Malaga's Alcazaba, the Roman Theatre, the Calle Molina Lario, and the Gibralfaro Castle, the home of Abd-al-Rahman III. On some tours, you can even see some amazing street art in Soho.
Still planning your visit to Malaga? Check out these guides for more ideas!