The Top 13 Free Things To Do In Malaga
Malaga is a fine city in Southern Spain. It is one of the world's oldest cities, dating back to 770 BC. The Phoenicians were the residents from then until 218 BC when the Roman Republic Empire took over. Malaga, Spain is also where Pablo Picasso was born so you can see many of his works in galleries and museums all over the city centre.
However, for the best free things to do in Malaga, Spain, you may have to look a bit deeper than the Picasso Museum. Parque de Malaga is one of the best free things to do in Malaga as is Costa del sol, the natural coastline that makes this part of Spain so famous.
Walking is one of the free things to do in Malaga, Spain that you can do just about anywhere at any time. Take a stroll along Puerto de Malaga or through one of the neighborhood parks. You can also meander along the gorgeous flora in the botanical gardens for free on Sundays. There are tons of free attractions in Malaga, Spain.
One of the most popular museums in Malaga, the Picasso Museum, is also free from 6 PM until closing on Thursdays and all day on the first Sunday of the month. Another great museum that features art is the Centre Pompidou (Pompidou Center), which is free from 4 PM until 8 PM on Sunday afternoons.
While visiting Malaga, Spain, you will find that you do not even have to do anything to have a great time. Just enjoying the sunshine and beautiful city is enough to make anyone smile. Being in Southern Spain, the temperatures are almost always warm, if not hot, which makes hanging out at the incredible beaches a favorite pastime for everyone.
Whether you decide to see some contemporary art at the Picasso Museum, catch some waves at Playa de la malagueta, get some selfies at the Gibralfaro Castle, or any of the other free things to do in Malaga, you will need to drop off your luggage first. There are many luggage storage sites in the city center and thereabouts.
Le Centre Pompidou
Also known as the Pompidou Centre, this is an art gallery and a museum that is separated into several areas including a children's workshop, a space for temporary exhibitions, and a museum. Some of the items in their permanent collection include film, dance, video, architecture, and photography. Entry is free between 4 PM and 8 PM on Sundays.
The attraction has five main topics for permanent works, including the Metamorphosis from Picasso to Dijkstra, Cubist Body from Picasso to Oursler, Political Body from Klasen to Landau, Selfportraits from Van Dongen to Sorin, and Faceless from Chirico to Li Bin.
The first Russian Museum in western Europe, this collection has an extensive selection of Russian art as well as other important items. There are more than 400,000 pieces from every period of Russian artwork. In what used to be a tobacco factory, the architecture alone is worth a visit.
Some of the artists you will find in the museum include Malevich, Chagall, Filonov, and Rodchenko as well as Tatlin, Kandinsky, Goncharova, and Repin. On Sundays after 4 PM, you can get in for free. Those under 18 and over 65 are free all the time.
The Malaga Picasso Museum is also free from 6 PM until closing on Thursdays and all day on the first Sunday of the month. The artist was born in Malaga in October of 1881 and lived there for his first 10 years when he was already learning painting from his father.
Located in the Buenavista Palace, the Picasso Museum boasts over 285 pieces by the artist, donated by his daughter-in-law and grandson. Some of the highlights include a painting of his sister Lola that Picasso completed when he was only 18, several sculptures, and many sketches.
Contemporary Art Centre of Malaga
The Contemporary Art Centre, also known as CAC Malaga, is one place with a fantastic collection where entrance is free all the time. The permanent collection at CAC Malaga art museum is always growing so you can see something new every time you go. It is conveniently located in the Old Malaga Wholesale Market historic building on the banks of the Guadalmedina River.
Located in the Soho District, you can see both the permanent and temporary exhibitions with free entry. And nearby, you can see some incredible street art by local artists. You can take a tour through the artistic talents of Spain including Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, and Julian Opie. This is one of the most popular Malaga attractions where entrance is free all the time.
Parque de Malaga
The Parque de Malaga, also known as Malaga Park, is one of the favorites of Malaga's parks. It boasts over 80 acres of stunning gardens full of tropical plants and colorful foliage. With 364 different subtropical species, you will see flora from five continents and it is all free of charge.
Split into two sections, the southern area has two trails to explore and enjoy and the northern area has historical buildings like the city hall, the Bank of Spain, and the former post office. The Malaga park also has some amazing fountains including the Fountain of the Three Graces.
Beaches of Malaga
Since Malaga is a beachside city, why not go to the beach? What better way to enjoy Malaga? Many of them are free! The most popular beaches include the huge Playa de la Malagueta in the middle of the city, Playa las Acacias in the east, and Playa de la Misericordia in the western section.
A lot of the beaches in Malaga are family-friendly with a variety of concessions, restaurants, bars, and playgrounds. The Misericordia Beach has a popular beach promenade and Malagueta beach is great for sunbathing. No matter which beach destination you choose, there will be beach bars and palm trees.
Gibralfaro Castle Castillo de Gibralfaro
Near Malaga bus station, this Moorish castle and fortress on top of Mount Gibralfaro is a stunning sight from afar and an amazing day trip that is also one of the free things to do in Malaga. You may not expect to find a castle in Malaga, but you will love this place. In fact, it is one of the most popular Spanish destinations in Malaga.
Although many people pass through the city on their way to Costa del Sol, this place is definitely worth taking the time. The views of the city from the castle and the Alcazaba enclave are unreal and you will not have to pay a penny to see them.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
If you are going to visit Malaga on the weekend, Sunday is a special day because you can get into any of Malaga's art museums free on Sundays. This is one of the free things to do in Malaga that even the locals take advantage of, so expect it to be crowded. The Carmen Thyssen Museum is one of the best places to see Andalusian art from the 1800s.
Free entry means you have access to anything you would normally have access to if you paid to get in so there is no drawback to waiting for Sunday. The building itself is worth a visit with its 16th-century Baroque architecture. The highlights include a painting by Niccolo Frangipane from 1574, a religious painting by Francisco de Zurbaran from 1640, and many more.
La Concepción Botanical Gardens
The La Concepción Botanical Gardens of Malaga features 62 acres of over 2,000 species of plants and trees. It features one of the most diverse and exotic gardens in Europe and you will find uniquely designed paths and groupings of plants and water features.
Also in the garden, you will see several themed areas like Around the World in 80 Trees, the Mirador, and the Black Bamboo Forest. In fact, this is the most diverse botanical gardens you will find anywhere in Spain and you can learn so much about Spanish culture here.
Montes de Malaga Nature Park
The Montes de Malaga (Malaga Mountains) in the Aleppo Pine Forests is an important protection for the soil in the city to protect Malaga from floods and mudslides. Just a few minutes from the city centre of Malaga, this park has miles of trails to explore and nice for those who like to hike and walk.
The Torrijos Trail takes you through what was once the wine-producing areas and you can still see some of the old vine crops. The Pocopan Trail winds through the forest where you can see all sorts of wildlife and panoramic views of the city.
Museo de Malaga
With more than 15,000 pieces in eight rooms, you can find both historic archaeology pieces as well as 2,000 pieces of fine art. There are two parts, including the Provincial Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.
In the fine arts section, there are hundreds of Spanish works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francisco de Goya, Diego Velazquez, and Antonio del Castillo. The archaeological area boasts historical attractions like a Hercules mask from the 1st century, and you can see it all for free on Sundays.
Cathedral of Malaga
The full name of this iconic chapel is Our Lady of Incarnation or Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion. Conveniently located between the Museo de Malaga and the Picasso Museum, the Cathedral of Malaga is a sight to see from the outside as well as the inside.
The building itself is from the 1500s and is in baroque style with a facade that is really majestic. The ornate choir stalls are stunning and you do not have to pay a dime to see them. No matter what your religious background is, the Cathedral is an iconic landmark that you cannot miss.
If you want to see more than Malaga, take a day trip to one of the nearby attractions or cities like the Andalusian Settlements in Cadiz or Nerja on the southern coastline. Mijas is another good spot for a day trip with three features including a hillside village, seaside report, and a suburban area.
Of course, you have heard of Gibraltar and it is only a few hours away so it is definitely worth a visit. The whitewashed town of Frigiliana is only an hour away and its cobbled streets and terracotta houses are perfect for Instagram photos and selfies.
See Malaga for Free
Although we cannot list all the free things you can do in Malaga, we tried to get as many as we could find that are worth a visit. You may be surprised at some of the free things to do in Malaga that you never even thought of like the Russian Museum, the botanical gardens, Plaza de la Merced, and Puerto de Malaga as well as the Roman Theatre, Atarazanas Market, and many of the public beaches.