Visiting Malaga on a budget is totally possible. If you have been trying to talk yourself out of going on a trip because you think it will cost too much, think again. It's quite easy to save money when you visit Malaga, and we'll tell you exactly how to do it. This guide will make it simple for you to visit Malaga on a budget and still have a great time.
Most of the best things to do and see in the city centre are just a short walk from one another, and some activities are completely free. Keeping activities low-cost, finding budget accommodation, and saving money on food and drinks are just some of the ways to make your travel budget stretch further in Malaga.
Before you start planning your visits to art museums or historic sites, you need to get your bags securely stored. Head to a local Bounce luggage storage location and let us worry about the bags for a while. Navigating public transport and visiting various locations around the city will be much less stressful without your bags in tow.
Cheap places to stay in Malaga
Staying in the right hotel will make a big impact on the average price of your stay in Malaga. Do some research ahead of time to figure out the best neighborhoods in Malaga to help you to find the right hotel rooms and locations. You will find that staying in a more affordable hotel can also offer you access to a more authentic experience that you would not have at the more touristy locations in the city. Hostels are always a great option as well. Hostels can be really fun for young people, and they also suit the needs of older folks looking to save some cash on their stay.
Hotel Posadas de España Málaga
This cute boutique hotel offers rooms for just €60 a night. You will get access to a private room here as this is not a hostel. There is an outdoor pool and a restaurant, along with free breakfast every morning before you head out to see what the Costa del Sol has to offer every day.
The Jardin Oriental Bienquerido is close to this location, and you can easily get on public transportation from here to see the rest of the city.
Hotel Plaza del Castillo
This lovely traditional hotel has rooms for just €120 a night, and you will be treated to comfort and great service from the moment that you arrive here. There is a dining room and an outdoor pool, and the theme of the location is Medieval, which is really fun.
The Catedral de Málaga and Alcazaba de Málaga are nearby, and you will be very close to the pickup point for the airport train. This spot is ideal for those who love a themed hotel and an on-site restaurant.
The Urban Jungle Hostel
This hotel blurs the lines between hostel and hotel. You will have a private room all to yourself, but you will also be able to access a shared kitchen space during your stay. Rooms are just €100 a night, and the colorful and cute hotel space is eye-catching. This is one of the best deals when it comes to hotels in Malaga because of the rooftop bar and the location.
The ancient Roman theatre is nearby, and you can also walk to Museo Picasso Málaga. You will be able to get to this location from the international airport in about 15 minutes too, which can be really nice for those who are in a hurry to get their trip started.
Cheap things to do in Malaga
Not every activity in Malaga is incredibly expensive. You can enjoy so many of the things that the city has to offer without needing tons of cash on hand. Even just walking and seeing the sights can be really amazing, and it will not cost you a dime.
Rafting down the Genil River
If you're adventurous by nature and you don't mind getting wet, you should make sure to reserve a spot on one of the whitewater rafting trips that run down the Genil River. These tours can be had for about €20, and the guides are fun and skilled. You will enjoy the Benamejí to Palenciana trip, and you have the option to go all the way down to Cordoba on some tours. While a bit rowdy, this can be a really fun way to stay cool and have a wild adventure during your trip.
Visit Mercado del Carmen
The Mercado del Carmen is a great place to head for yummy fresh ingredients for meals you might plan to make at your hotel or your hostel. You can also buy local wares from vendors. The entire market itself is an experience, and you won't need a ton of money to have fun buying things here or window-shopping. This is a quintessential Malaga experience and one that anyone can enjoy without paying entry fees.
Visit Playa de la Malagueta
The beach is a place that no one can complain about visiting. This is one of the best beach areas near the city, but there are other beaches as well, like Playas Las Acacias. Most of the beaches near Malaga can be reached on foot, so if you have a rock-bottom budget, you will be pleasantly surprised that you are not going to be charged to access the beach here. There are many places around the world where the beaches are tough to maintain, and you do have to basically have admission tickets to access the golden sands and the surf.
Cheap places to eat in Malaga
From the time that you step out of the Malaga Airport, you will be surrounded by options for drinks and dining. In a tourist town like this, delicious Malaga street food is a great option to help keep your Malaga costs down. But if you prefer to dine somewhere, check out these restaurants:
Bar LA TRANCA
Tapas bars are always really affordable, and you will get portions that you can easily share with others. Unlike the copycat locations that you might have been to in other parts of the world, a tapas location in Malaga will be authentic and will offer you sangria and wine as well as lots of unique foods prepared expertly. This is also a lovely location due to the tavern decor and the friendly service. Consider getting some items to go from here as well and taking them down to the beach to enjoy.
Restaurante Italiano Da Saveria
If you love Italian food but hate the cost of sitting down at a fancy location that charges just for water, this is the place for you. You can easily dine here for about €15 a person, and you will enjoy access to a wine menu that pairs well with every dish. Get the tiramisu for dessert, or order any of the well-known and beloved pasta dishes on the menu. This is a family-run restaurant, and the service is friendly and prompt.
For lunch or dinner that will cost less than €20 per person, head to this cute little eatery. They serve fries, burgers, and cheap but delightful beer here. You can belly up to the tavern-style bar or ask for a table away from the action to have a more peaceful and quiet meal. This is a great location for a creative take on American cuisine, and many people love coming here for the large portions and delicious flavors.
Cheap bars in Malaga
Mañana Cocktail Bar Malaga
Everything that you need to know about this location is in the name. This is a little cocktail bar that is run by a family, and the service is friendly, welcoming, and laid back. You can get a delightful drink for less than €5 here, and the owners are happy to whip up anything that you ask for unless they just don't have the ingredients. You can also get affordable beer and wine if you don't want a cocktail.
This location is the classic hole-in-the-wall drinking establishment that offers cheap shots and really affordable mixed drinks. You can get all kinds of fun local favorites here, as well as bar snacks for a great price. This is a good place to start your night or close your night as you wander to other fun drinking establishments in the area.
The name tells the story of this location. You can easily have fun here no matter what kind of alcohol you prefer. This is a tavern-style bar that offers cozy tables, a wooden bar that just begs to be sat at, and great service. You will love the fun atmosphere and the laid-back vibe, as well as the reasonable prices.
Bonus budget tips for Malaga
Ask a local
One of the best ways to save money in Malaga is to interact with locals and ask for advice. The locals in the city centre as well as the people that you might meet at the beach will often have great advice about how to save some money and still get to see the things that you want. The advice of the locals can't be rated too highly when it comes to traveling in this part of the world.
Consider your feet the best friend that you can bring with you on your trip. There are many places in Malaga that are very walkable, and you can save money on transport just by being willing to walk to some of the things that you want to see. You will also find that the city is beautiful, and just wandering through it is a worthy experience all by itself. Walking can bring the city closer to you and make your experience even more special. Just be sure that you have good walking shoes with you.
Walking tours can be another affordable and really engaging way to learn about the city without breaking the bank. Many of these guided tours are offered by locals who are willing to take you around to see the best of what Malaga has to offer free of charge. You will just need to plan to tip this person when they are done showing you around. There are lots of tourist track area tours like this, so you should be able to find someone to show you around no matter where you are.
If you are going to use the city bus to get around, get a bonobus ticket that will allow you to use the bus many times during your trip. This can be very helpful for those traveling in large groups as well. Bus tickets are usually about €2 each, but the bonobus pass is unlimited, so you won't be shelling out your euros every time you hop on.
Along with our ideas for cheap activities, there are plenty of free things to do in Malaga to keep you busy. From art museums to walking in the city centre to avoiding rental cars, there are so many ways to save money when you visit Malaga. This guide should help you from finding Malaga too expensive and make it possible for you to have the time of your life in this lovely city.
You can have a great time in Malaga without breaking the bank if you avoid common tourist traps and you concentrate on experiences that locals would be willing to spend money on. Always do your research before buying tickets and take into consideration that high season will be much more expensive than shoulder season travel. Saving money on your flights can help you to have more money to use when you are actually in Malaga as well. There is no reason to talk yourself out of a trip to Malaga, and you don't need to save up thousands of dollars before you head out to see the world.