The 1960s may have brought mass tourism to the surrounding region, but Málaga is no resort town. You’ll see more Malaguenos than tourists. Backed by the Montes de Málaga mountains, this Mediterranean port city leaves few boxes unticked – beaches, harbour, historic centre, hilltop castle, and food scene. Read our guide to the best things to do in Málaga, one of Spain's most underrated cities.
Málaga’s is the birthplace of Picasso. and Málaga’s prized son is honoured at the Casa Natal museum.
Other major museums include Carmen Thyssen, a sixteenth-century palace containing Málaga’s most comprehensive Spanish art collection and part-sister museum to Madrid’s Thyssen. Another favourite is CAC, Málaga’s centre of contemporary art. Just off-centre by the Guadalmina river, its changing programme, outdoor bar and sushi restaurant are extra reasons to visit.
Our tailor-made weekend getaway to Málaga allows you to explore the city, as well as the well-known surrounding cities of Ronda and Marbella. Beautiful beaches, fascinating museums and delicious cuisine await to be discovered.
On a hot day, the bus (regular or hop-on-hop-off) is tempting and it’s worth arriving later in order to stop for sundowners at the Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro. This is a luxury hotel which welcomes non-residents to its terrace where views over the city and harbour are quite sublime.
Málaga is one of the places in Spain rich in Moorish heritage. Our guide to the best places to experience Moorish Spain will tell you where else to go in Spain to enjoy the architecture of those times.
Access to the theatre is via a Centro de Interpretación, whose exterior is decorated with extracts from the Lex Flavia Malacitana, the Roman city’s municipal law code.
Discover the best of Andalucía's breathtaking palaces, churches, museums, vineyards, and more, as you travel through spectacular scenery dotted with pueblos blancos and bordered by rugged mountains and coast on this tailor-made trip exploring Andalucía.
An exhibition space displays lithographs, etchings and washes by Picasso – mainly with women as the subject matter – plus temporary exhibitions centred around the artist’s work. Also a reminder of Picasso is the sculpture by Francisco López Hernández installed on the Plaza in 2008, close to the Casa Natal de Picasso.
Known as La Manquita or "The One-Armed Lady", work was halted when a bishop diverted funds to the American War of Independence against the British. “They held a referendum on the adding the second tower,” one guide said, “but they voted no to keep it unique.”
Here, just past Málaga’s lighthouse, are the city beaches, from Malagueta and eastwards to the pretty neighbourhoods of Pedregalejo and El Palo. These two are among the best things to do in Málaga’ for lazy weekends. Explore cove beaches, promenades and endless line of bars, restaurants and chiringuitos (beach bars/restaurants), usually packed with locals.
This, a remarkable fourteenth-century Moorish arch on its southern facade, was built for Yusuf I of Granada – the ruler also responsible for that other great gateway, the Puerta de la Justicia in the Alhambra – when Málaga was part of the Nasrid kingdom.
Highlights include portraits by Chagall, Kahlo and Picasso; Landau’s Barbed Hula; Attia’s rows of aluminium foil Ghosts; and sculptures by Brancusi, Miró and Schütte. Several temporary exhibitions take place every year, also of works on loan from Paris and with a strong French focus. The Centro Pompidou also showcases the performing arts with concerts, dance performances and films throughout the year.
Book well in advance via the website, wear stout walking shoes and take plenty of water, especially in the summer months, when temperatures in the gorge can easily surpass 35ºC.
Enjoy this tailor-made road trip through Spain’s exuberant Andalucía. Our customisable trip will take you through the charming cities of Malaga, Seville, Granada and various 'white villages', including Ronda, with its vertiginous views across the sweeping Andalucían countryside.
Genuine flamenco in Málaga is now easier to come by and the venues often approach the real thing. Many flamenco events happen in and around the town throughout the year – several are held at the Museo Picasso and during the Bienal de Flamenco. The Turismo Municipal is the best source of information on these.
A centre of honey production thanks to the rich variety of flowering plants and shrubs growing in the surrounding hills, the village takes its name from colmena, Spanish for “beehive”.
A wonderful route twists down from here via the Puerto del Léon down to Málaga, through the forests of cork oaks and pines forming the Parque Natural de los Montes de Málaga, and offering stunning views over Málaga and the Costa del Sol during its latter stages.
Discover even more of Spain's natural beauty sites and more with our guide to the best things to do in Spain.
Visitors to the Nerja Caves can explore several chambers, including the Hall of the Nativity, where prehistoric paintings and artefacts have been discovered. The caves are a popular tourist destination and offer a fascinating glimpse into the natural history of the region.
Ready for a trip to Málaga? Check out the snapshot The Rough Guide to Spain. If you travel further in Spain, read more about the best time to go, the best places to visit and best things to do in Spain.
If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Málaga without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.
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