As the capital city of Costa del Sol, Malaga is a place full of tradition and culture. It is known for having great food, amazing weather, impressive fashion and an interesting history since it is actually one of the oldest cities in the world. You can see ancient structures still standing in Malaga, and taking a stroll around the historical area of the city can be very rewarding. This city was home to the one and only world famous painter Pablo Picasso as well as the first Spanish person to ever walk around the whole globe, Dean Mouliaá.
Millions of people travel to Malaga every year and whether you are looking to learn more about its origins or just bask in the sunshine, it certainly makes for a great vacation spot. If you happen to be traveling with kids then you will need to find some family friendly activities for everyone to enjoy. Before you begin your family adventures for the day, stop by the nearest luggage locker in Malaga to stow away everyone's backpacks and heavy bags. Don't let the extra weight slow you down!
Spend an Afternoon at Tivoli World Amusement Park
If you or the kids enjoy the adrenaline rush of roller coasters and thrill rides, this is the best place for you to go. This amusement park is one of Malaga's best and has over 40 different rides for you to discover. There are also restaurants and shops located on site so you won't have to leave when you get hungry.
The braver kids have lots of rides to enjoy but even more tame visitors can have fun. If you or the kiddos don't feel up for a roller coaster ride you can take a spin on the merry-go-round or see some stunning views of the park from atop the Ferris wheel.
See Alcabaza Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle
A fun and interesting way to learn about the history of the city is to experience it yourself, and one of the places that you just have to visit is the Alcabaza and Gibralfaro Castle. These two structures are very old and since they are located right next to each other you can easily see them both in one day. If you have time for more exploring, check out the Roman Theatre!
The Alcabaza fortress dates back to the eighth century and is very well preserved, so with a little imagination you can still see what it was like back when it was built. If you continue up to the Gibralfaro Castle you will also be rewarded with some nice views of the rest of the city and it is the perfect spot to take a picture for the family photo album.
Visit Aquatic Creatures at Selwo Marina Delfinarium
Who doesn't love visiting the aquarium? This is a fun activity for both kids and adults, and the aquarium in Malaga is pretty impressive. It is located nearby Benalmádena so it won't take too long to reach and is sure to leave the whole family smiling.
Some of the animals that you can see here include penguins, sea lions, dolphins and other water creatures. It is an interactive experience so you can even go swimming with some of the animals. Not too far away you will find Sea Life Benalmádena which has touch tanks and educational exhibits. Check them out while you are in the area.
Cool Off at the Water Parks
Malaga city is almost always covered in sunshine and with such beautiful weather, you will definitely want to be spending at least some time outside. If you are looking for some family fun you can head to a nearby water park, since Malaga has several located just outside of the city centre.
Make your way to the town called Mijas for a thrilling experience at Aquamijas which has exciting water slides, a wave pool and, for the grown-ups, a relaxing jacuzzi. Aqualand is another great choice and is found on Calle Cuba in the town of Torremolinos. This park has Kidzworld. perfect for smaller visitors, and lots of intense water slides that are great for more daring children.
Visit the Museum of the Imagination
This is one of the best things to do in Malaga with kids and a fun activity for the entire family. Curious minds will love it here as you will be shown different tricks of the mind and optical illusions.
It is the perfect place to let their imagination run free and should keep even the youngest kids entertained for a while. There is a playroom in the back where toddlers can have some fun, as well as a whole museum with unique displays for you to discover.
Go Hiking by Rio Verde
There are lots of places to go hiking not too far away from Malaga, and one of the best places for families is the gorgeous river called Rio Verde. Take a day trip out in nature to explore the area, see the waterfall and go swimming in the natural waterholes!
You will find the dirt track that can take you here in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. You can choose to either walk straight to the waterfall and back or, if everyone is up for it, you can continue to make a round trip. The rocks by the river can get slippery when they are wet so wear the proper footwear and watch your step.
Follow a Guided Tour
If you really want to make sure that you don't miss out on any of Malaga's top attractions you can either keep an eye out for the tourist crowds or follow a guide on one of the city tours. There are several ways that you can get around the city so consider what method would be best suited to your family.
You can either sign up for a walking tour, bike tour or rent some Segways to do a Segway tour. It can be a nice way to get active and see the city at the same time, and since Malaga never gets too cold you can find outdoor tours happening year round.
Check Out Malaga Airport Museum
If there are any family members interested in airplanes, they will have a blast at the Malaga Airport Museum. You will find it just behind the San Miguel Brewery and since entry is free there is no reason why you shouldn't come see what it has to offer.
Not only can you see huge airplanes up close but you can also interact with them and the different displays that the museum has set up. The kids can get hands-on and even sit in a real cockpit to see what it is like to be a pilot. Museums and kids are a win-win combo!
Go to a Beautiful Beach
While you are in Malaga you might as well spend a bit of time relaxing along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. You will have several beaches to choose from since Malaga is home to a few, so check to see which one is closest to you.
Some of the best beaches include El Candado Beach, Las Acacias Beach and El Palo Beach. La Caleta Beach is also a great choice since it has a blow-up water park with slides set up nearby, but wherever you choose to relax you are bound to have a good time. Make sure you bring sunscreen and water if it is a hot day. Relax in the sun while the kids make sandcastles and play in the water.
See the Animals at Bioparc Fuengirola
One of the great kid friendly things to do in this city is to stop by the Bioparc Fuengirola which is a small but pleasant zoo not too far away from the city centre in coastal Fuengirola. Kids of all ages and animal lovers will have a great time here so make some time to pay a visit if you can.
Some of the animals that live here include several species of birds, reptiles like kimono dragons and mammals including red pandas, monkeys and pygmy hippopotamus. It can get busy here; if you want to make sure the whole family can tickets you should try to book in advance.
What are the Best Family Activities in Malaga?
We think there is nothing better than spending a morning at the beach. Las Acacias Beach has lots of restaurants nearby and after a morning of frolicking in the water, the kids are bound to be hungry. Walking, biking and Segway tours are always fun as well, and the one you choose will depend on the age of your kids. But no matter which way you explore the city, seeing Malaga up close is a wonderful choice.
Fun Things to do in Malaga with Younger Kids
Selwo Marina Delfinarium
Visiting the aquarium is a great activity for younger children since it is not physically demanding and is sure to keep them entertained. However, certain activities, like swimming with the dolphins and sea lions, might be best kept for older kids. Small children can have fun in the touch tanks though!
Museum of the Imagination
The Museum of the Imagination is geared towards children and can be a fun activity for young kids. It is a bonus if they are old enough to understand the optical illusions, but either way, they are sure to have a great time exploring all of the exhibits.
Most kids adore animals which is why this zoo is one of the best places to bring young children. They will get the opportunity to see creatures they might have never seen up close before, and since it is not too big they won't get tired or bored from walking around.
Fun Things to do in Malaga with Older Kids
Tivoli World Amusement Park
This amusement park has rides suitable for people of all ages, but smaller children won't be allowed on some of the more thrilling rides and roller coasters. Because of this, it may be an activity that is better for families with older kids since everyone will be able to go on the rides together.
Hiking by Rio Verde
This hike is not too challenging and can definitely be done as a family, but young children could get tired from all of the walking. However, it is a fun thing to do with older kids!
Going to Water Parks
The water parks found outside of the city centre are great places to visit as a family, but most of the slides and the wave pools can be dangerous for toddlers or young kids. You should leave this activity for families with older kids who can have fun on all of the rides.
Free Things to do in Malaga with Kids
Alcabaza Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle
It can be fun to learn about new cultures and the history of the city, and these structures are some of the oldest and best preserved in all of Malaga. You can admire them from the outside anytime for free and anyone can step inside when they offer free entry each Sunday for the last couple of hours before closing.
Malaga Airport Museum
The airport museum is sure to be a hit for kids of all ages, and the best part is that you don't have to pay to get in. It is a nice way to spend an afternoon as a family while saving money, too.
Go to the Beach
Most, if not all, of the beaches in Malaga are free and open to the public. Bring your own towels, sunscreen, food and drinks, and you will be ready for a day of fun in the sun.
A Family Vacation to Southern Spain
After you get set up in your hotel room you are ready to explore Malaga as a family. There is so much for you to do here but if you are traveling with kids you will have to find some child friendly attractions to fill your schedule.
If you spend most of your time in the historic city centre, you won't have much trouble getting around, since most of the attractions are within walking distance from a bus or train stop and other destinations are not too far away by car. Some of the activities are free but others require tickets although they are worth the extra cost. No matter where you choose to go and what you decide to do we hope you have a good time when you visit Malaga!