Malaga is Andalucía’s second largest city after Seville and the primary tourist hub in Costa del Sol, with millions of people arriving at the International airport annually. It is an amazing place to visit with plenty of cultural sites, wonderful beaches, excellent golf courses and a variety of other attractions both for children and grownups.
Perhaps the best known site of the city is the astonishing Moorish palace of Alcazaba situated on top of a hill and offering amazing views over the city and the Mediterranean sea. Other key attractions include the magnificent Renaissance Cathedral of Malaga and the Picasso Museum with a collection of over 150 of the artist paintings.
For golf enthusiast, Malaga is the place to be. The region, often dubbed as the “The Costa de Golf” offers some of the world’s best 18 hole courses, some with amazing views of the coast. It is also a perfect place for kids offering various attractions from theme parks and safaris to go-carting centres, in and around the city.
Malaga remains one of Spain’s top destinations because of the proximity of its international airport, the quality of its beaches, world class golf courses, exciting theme parks and a variety of historical and cultural sites.
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Top 10 Malaga attractions
Malaga has become an important tourist destination and often referred to as "the capital of the Costa del Sol". It has plenty of exciting attractions for visitors including the Alcazaba, the Cathedral and the Museo Picasso. Some of the top 10 key sites worth discovering include:
- Castillo and Alcazaba
- Malaga cathedral
- Picasso Museum
- The Roman Theatre
- Centro de Arte Contemporáneo
- Carmen Thyssen Museum
- La Concepción garden
- Plaza de Toros
- Museo de Malaga
- Malaga Beach
Castillo and Alcazaba
The Castillo de Gibralfaro and the Alcazaba of Malaga is a Moorish castle and its fortifications sitting on a hill in the heart of the city. It was built in the 11th century by King Badis, the ruler of Granada. Today those two attractions represent the key landmark of Malaga and offer spectacular views of the city and the port.
The Malaga cathedral is another key attraction of the city. Located in the heart of the old town, within the ancient limits of the old Arab walls and not far of the Alcazaba. It was built in a Renaissance style by Diego de Siloe between 1528 and 1782.
As the city where one of the most famous Spanish artist was born, one of Malaga’s key cultural attraction is the Picasso Museum. It first opened its doors in 2003 at the Buenavista Palace, with some 155 works donated by members of the Picasso’s family. The museum has today some exclusive paintings and exhibitions, and is also committed to support Malaga’s cultural life.
The Roman Theatre
The Roman Theatre located next to the Alcazaba Palace entrance is definitely an exceptional site worth discovering in Malaga. It dates back to the the Roman times to the 1st century BC, but strangely was only rediscovered in 1951. It has a radius of 31 meters and height of 19 meters, and is currently being carefully restored, to become a key element in Malaga’s Roman heritage.
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo
The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo or CAC is Malaga’s museum of modern art and the most visited museum in Andalusia. It is located on the right bank of the Guadalmedina river, in a former wholesale trade market and designed by Spanish architect Luis Gutiérrez Soto. It opened in 2003 and with some 6,000 square meters of space offers an impressive collection of works of art and installations. It has become one of the leading Spanish and European art centre of the twenty first century, intended as a place of reflection on contemporary art.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
The Carmen Thyssen Museum recently opened in 2011 in the Calle Compañía, one of Malaga’s central pedestrian area. It is located in a beautiful building purposely renovated with modern architecture, creating a unitary whole and harmonious place to display the artefacts. It offers an excellent collection of both 19th and 20th Century Spanish paintings.
La Concepción garden
La Concepción is Malaga’s famous botanical and historical garden. It was firs created by the Marquis and Marchioness of Loring in 1855 and later extended by the Echevarria-Echevarrieta family. The garden offers a splendid open-air collection of both tropical and subtropical flora, including a variety of plant species from Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. It is today own by the city of Malaga and recognised as site of Cultural Interest.
Plaza de Toros
Malaga’s Plaza de Toros, La Malagueta is one of Spain’s most famous bullring. It is located in the Paseo de Reding in the heart of the city and can hold up to 14,000 persons. It was built in a Neo-Mudéjar style by Joaquín Rucoba in 1874. The bullring is also home to the Antonio Ordoñez Bullfighting Museum where various objects can be found including the “suits of light” matadors outfits and various photographs and posters.
Museo de Malaga
The Museo de Malaga located in the heart of town, offers an impressive collection of art and archaeology items. It was created in 1973, combining the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts and the Provincial Archeological Museum. The building is today still divided into two sections corresponding to the older museums. The Fine Arts collection has more than 2,000 pieces such as the Anatomia del Corazon (Heart’s Anatomy, 1890) from Enrique Simonet. As for the Archaeology collection it displays some 15,000 historic items including a very well preserved Hercules mask dating back to the 1st century.
Malaga is not only an excellent cultural destination but also a perfect place for a more laid back type of holiday. Indeed the city and the surrounding areas are packed with lovely beaches, being an ideal place for relaxation and sunbathing. The closest beach to Malaga’s city centre is La Malagueta, located just south of the Castle. More quieter beaches can be find further east of town.
Flights to Malaga
The most convenient way to get to the Malaga and the Costa del Sol is through Malaga’s international airport from many of the major European destinations.
A perfect way to discover the city of Malaga and the surrounding areas is to rent a car.
Top 10 Malaga hotels
The following are some of the best 3, 4 and 5 stars hotels in Malaga as voted by the users. To view the full list of available hotels and apartments on specific dates, you may visit our partner site Agoda Malaga smarter Hotel Booking.
Salles Malaga Centro Hotel
Calle Mármoles, 6 Malaga, Spain, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29007 – 4 Stars
This is a suitable accommodation for both business and leisure travellers as it is located in the centre of the city’s commercial and business district. Guests enjoy stylish and modern decor throughout the hotel and guestrooms. Dining at the Guernica Restaurant is quite an event as it specializes in seasonal themes and local cuisines. Sightseeing and navigating the city is made easy as the hotel provides tour and taxi services. After a busy day of roaming around the city and exploration, enjoy a massage therapy session back at the hotel. The outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna all promise a relaxing and enjoyable stay at the Salles Malaga Centro Hotel.
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Vincci Selección Posada del Patio
Pasillo de Santo Isabel, 12, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29005 – 5 Stars
The Vincci Selección Posada del Patio Hotel is the first and only 5 star hotel in Malaga. Within walking distance are some of the city’s most popular sites, including the Cathedral and the Picasso and Thyssen Museums. Contemporary accommodations along with modern conveniences such as in-room Internet access and LCD screen television are standard at this elegant Spanish hotel. Guests at the Vincci Selecccion Posada del Patio Hotel can sample the delectable cuisine in the restaurant or sip on a refreshing cocktail in the bar. Also on offer for guests is a library for those quiet days in and an outdoor swimming pool. Set in the historical heart of Malaga, this luxury hotel is ideal for both business and leisure travellers.
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Molina Lario Hotel
Molina Raro 20-22, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29015 – 4 Stars
The Molina Lario Hotel is located in the city’s prime commercial and cultural centre, close to the Cathedral of Malaga and just a few minutes from the Port, the Picasso Museum, as well as numerous restaurants and stores. There are 103 rooms in all, as well as a number of facilities including meeting rooms, a restaurant and an outdoor pool. With a full range of popular amenities and an emblematic nineteenth century design, it’s no wonder guests keep returning to the Molina Lario Hotel.
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TRYP Malaga Alameda Hotel
Centro Comercial Larios. Avda. de la Aurora, s/n, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29002- 4 Stars
With an ideal location, staying here makes it extremely convenient to discover Malaga. Located within a shopping centre, you are never too far from shops, restaurants and bars. Additionally, the hotel is just one kilometre from the Malaga Cathedral and the city centre, and with the train station within walking distance. Art lovers should not miss the nearby Picasso Museum as the artist was born in Malaga in 1881. The hotel offers complimentary wireless Internet access throughout the property, making it convenient to stay connected with friends and family back home or to conduct business. Discover this Mediterranean city from the comfort of TRYP Malaga Alameda Hotel.
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Room Mate Lola Hotel
Street Casas de Campos, 17, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29001 – 4 Stars
This gorgeous and contemporary boutique hotel is the ideal base for visitors looking to explore Malaga. The hotel is within walking distance of the centre of town and the cathedral, and the Picasso Museum is just a kilometre away. The beautiful seaside resort of Torremolinos is 12 kilometres away. The hotel’s sleek and minimalist design will appeal to the modern traveller and rooms are well equipped with complimentary wireless Internet access, making it convenient for both business and leisure travellers. The concierge is knowledgeable and able to book tickets, suggest tours and make restaurant recommendations. There are plenty of dining options in the area and guests are in the middle of all the best that this Spanish city has to offer when staying at the Room Mate Lola in Malaga.
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Atarazanas Malaga Boutique Hotel
Atarazanas, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain – 3 Stars
Some of the features you’ll enjoy are desk, ironing board, hair dryer. For the comfort and convenience of guests, you’ll also find laundry service/dry cleaning, restaurant, meeting facilities on-site. Unwind after your day with a choice of golf course (on site) – just a few of the hotel’s excellent sporting and leisure offerings. The hotel blends expert service with state-of-the-art facilities to provide guests with a memorable stay. Our secure online booking form makes reserving your room at Atarazanas Malaga Boutique Hotel Malaga simple – just fill in your desired dates and click.
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Parador Gibralfaro Hotel
Castillo de Gibralfaro S/N, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain – 4 Star
A very distinctive and uniquely built stone building, the Parador Gibralfaro Hotel is pleasantly surrounded by greenery and pine trees. The fresh air, coupled with a good location at the centre of Gibralfaro Mount, blends with the ambiance and tranquillity found at the nearby Gibralfaro Castle. The hotel dramatically rises up to face the Alcazaba Citadel as well. The panoramic views over the city of Malaga and the Bay are breathtaking from every angle. The location is just 10 kilometres from the city airport and three kilometres from the railway station, making it very accessible and convenient for travellers. On top of the state-of-the-art amenities and facilities, the hotel serves different local delicacies in the onsite restaurant.
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Hotel Ms Maestranza Malaga
Avda. Canovas del Castillo, 1, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain – 4 Star
Overlooking a stunning city view, the 12-floor Hotel MS Maestranza is the best place to get the feel Malaga. Friendly and multilingual staff help make the atmosphere warmer, safer and more secure no matter what country a visitor comes from. The management also provides town car and limousine for guests who want to go around the city. The 90 guestrooms are equipped with modern facilities with a touch of contemporary and classical decoration. There are Picasso prints hanging in walls and polished wooden floors and in-room amenities include designer toiletries, Wi-Fi internet access, direct dial telephones and cable TV.
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Monte Malaga Hotel
Paseo Maritimo Antonio Machado 10, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29002 – 4 Star
This is a family friendly accommodation conveniently located in the centre of town and surrounded by popular tourist attractions. Guests are treated to modern amenities and contemporary decor inside each of the guest rooms. The hotel’s El Puerto restaurant specializes in show-cooking, buffet breakfasts and a variety of local dishes. The Monte Malaga Hotel’s position in the city provides guests with quick and easy access to popular attractions such as Picasso Museum, Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle and the Malaga Cathedral. The pool and terrace are spacious and perfect for long days relaxing in the sun. Business travellers of the hotel will enjoy the large conference facilities that can hold up to 450 occupants.
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Room Mate Larios Hotel
Street Marques de Larios 2, Malaga City Center, Malaga, Spain 29005 – 4 Star
This international class hotel, situated on Marques De Larios, is located in the centre of Malaga. The hotel is nestled within a close proximity of restaurants, shops and traditional pubs. The hotel is uniquely positioned for easy exploration of this beautiful area. The hotel features 41 elegant rooms adorned with modern appointments and a creative Art Deco style that combines Spanish and regional art. The hotel features an onsite restaurant that serves delectable Spanish and regional cuisine. The Room Mate Larios Hotel is perfect for guests that want a prime location within easy access to cultural sites.
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