Guide of the city of Málaga
If you are browsing this site it is probably because you are visiting Málaga very soon or are looking for reasons to do so, and we are pleased to say that you have found the right place, because this guide of the city of Málaga you will answer all your questions. At Holidays2Malaga we do not just offer a PDF with a map of the city and point out the local tourist sites, but we go one step further. We understand that you wish to get to know Málaga and, therefore, its monuments, charming corners and delicious tapas. For this reason we invite you to read this free guide of Málaga, which will enable you to interact with all the information in a personalised manner. It is difficult to choose the best things to visit in Málaga because it is a very interesting city, so make the most of your visit and make it unforgettable.
Málaga has been the cradle of several internationally renowned artists. Málaga boasts having traditions full of sentiment. Málaga is sun-drenched for over 300 days a year. Málaga spreads art and joy along its streets. For these reasons and many more, it is a place that you must embrace.
Tour around the best places in Málaga
We invite you to take a tour around Málaga, its museums, shows, bars and restaurants, monuments and, of course, stay in the most comfortable apartments.
Check out our list of things to see in Málaga so that you do not leave the city without having enjoyed the main sites. Treat yourself to an aimless wander around Málaga.
Check out the eating places in Málaga in order to enjoy the delicious local food. Complete your experience with good food and, of course, the unequalled views of the city.
If you are wondering where to go out in Málaga, this selection may help you. Málaga has many places to choose from where fun is guaranteed. Get to know our party side!
A good city guide of Málaga should also take into account your sleep. Discover all the apartments which will make your stay in Málaga epic. Enjoy the special offers.
The beaches in Málaga
The Málaga beaches are washed by the Mediterranean Sea and there are many things that make them special. One of their best features is the weather. Whatever the season, temperatures are always pleasant for enjoying any of the 16 beaches. La Malagueta, San Julián, La Misericordia, San Andrés, La Caleta and Baños del Carmen are some of the most renowned. Although you might be interested in discovering things within Málaga and surrounding areas, we recommend booking a day off during your stay to relax on the Costa del Sol. Enjoy the promenade of Málaga and boost your energy before returning home. Sunbathe, do sport, read a book and, of course, try our traditional fried fish at any of the beach bars (chiringuitos) with the sound of the waves in the background.
Why travel to Málaga
For its sun and its beaches
You have to travel to Málaga for its sun and beaches. There are over 150 kilometres of the Costa del Sol coastline in the province of Andalucia, where there are beaches to suit everyone. Additionally, the city is located between the sea and the mountains, which means that it boasts enviable enjoyable temperatues throughout the year (20 degree temperature ranges).
“For me Málaga has been the forseeable paradise which I will never have. I have come to Málaga to say farewell”. (Antonio Gala, 2015)
For its local celebrations
You have to travel to Málaga for its local festivities. Carnival, Easter Week, Feria and Christmas are the traditional festivities in the province of Málaga. During these days the city is packed with people who wish to get to know Málaga through its customs. If you want to immerse yourself in our folklore, come and visit Málaga during these times of the year.
For its whitebait
You have to travel to Málaga for its whitebait (boquerones). The nature of the Alboran Sea generates a wide range of produce along the Málaga bay. Out of everything, whitebait is the most popular. It is eaten mainly fried, although also raw in vinegar or in a soup. Once you have tried it, no other fish will seem the same.
“Hail Málaga, a city of such joy and beauty, which I would give my life for if I had to”. (Tangos Malagueños, 1958)
For its art heritage
You must visit Málaga for its art heritage. Its historical centre is home to around 40 museums, where you can discover the works of Picasso and the renowned collection of Carmen Thyssen, amongst others. Furthermore, monuments such as the Alcazaba, Gibralfaro Castle and Roman Theatre are living proof of the origins of Málaga.
For its environment
You have to visit Málaga for its environment. There are many athletic people who go on trails around the mountain range of Montes de Málaga and the mouth of the Gaudalhorce River. If you are a nature lover, you must not miss out on a visit to the Botanical Gardens (La Concepción), one of the few in Europe home to subtropical plants.
For its distinguished figures
You have to visit Málaga for its distinguished figures. The capital city of the Costa del Sol is the cradle of renowned personalities such as Picasso, Miguel de Molina, María Zambrano, Blas Infante, Antonio Banderas, Pablo Alborán, Vanesa Martín and Dani Rovira, amongs others. Wherever they go, they boast of the city where they grew up.
How to get to Málaga
Discover the best ways to get to Málaga via any means of transport, either by air, sea or land.
Are you wondering how to get to Málaga by car? The city has very good links with the rest of the peninsula thanks to the motorways. The A-45 or Málaga motorway links the city with Córdoba, passing through the southern countryside via the A-4. This route links Madrid with Málaga, for instance. If you are coming from any other point in Andalucía, you need to take the A-92, which goes from Seville to Almería. Many other roads and motorways in the rest of the country reach the A-92, therefore there tends to be a lot of road traffic from travellers and tourists. There is also another road which links the whole coast of Málaga province and that is the A-7. If you are travelling from Barcelona, Valencia or Murcia, this is the road to take. Do not worry about travelling to Málaga by car as it is very easy.
Are you wondering how to get to Málaga by boat? The city has a port which in recent years has drastically increased its activity. In fact, the Málaga Port has become the second most important port in the Iberian Peninsula and the fifth in Spain, because all year round many cruise ships (some of the most prestigious in the world) either start or end their trip there. It boasts high quality infrastucture and it is very well connected to the Málaga Airport and other means of transport. Due to the wide range of links that it offers with the rest of the world, it is fair to say that the Málaga Port is the base port of Southern Europe. Some of the most frequent routes link this point of Málaga to cities in Germany, Morocco, Italy and Panama.
Are you wondering how to get to Málaga by plane? The city houses the fourth busiest airport in Spain, which is locally known as the Pablo Picasso Airport. It is preceded by the airports in the larger cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. The Málaga Airport is located 8 kilometres from the centre of Málaga and a few minutes from other tourist towns along the Costa del Sol, such as Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Marbella. So many passengers land here each year that it has positioned itself at number 22 amongst all airports in the European Union where influx is concerned. Once you are off the plane, all means are available to you (taxis, trains and buses), enabling you to get to the centre of Málaga in less than 15 minutes. The cost varies between 2€ and 20€, depeding on the means you choose.
Are you wondering how to get to Málaga by train? The city is proud of its train station María Zambrano, located right in the centre of Málaga. It is connected to the high-speed rails of Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Tarragona, Antequera and Puente Genil. In just 2 and a half hours you can get to Málaga from Madrid. Additionally, its medium and low speed rails also link many other cities in the Iberian Peninsula. Please note that if you have a high-speed rail ticket, you can travel on commuter trains for free. Furthermore, the station is very well connected to bus routes within the city, as well as nearby tourist towns along the Costa del Sol, such as Fuengirola, Benalmádena and Torremolinos. Travelling to Málaga by train is equally as easy as by plane.
Book one of our extra services
Here are some of the most popular extra services for travellers. Our aim is to make your visit to Málaga as pleasant and stressfree as possible.
The best multinational companies.
Wide choice of carparks and garages.
Available from the day you arrive.
We take care of everything.
Different options to choose from.
Do not worry about transport.
Range of cars to choose from.
To/from the airport.
Treat yourself to a different activity.
For you and your companion.
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Useful addresses and telephone numbers in Málaga
An insight of the history of Málaga
The Phenoecians, Punics, Iberians, Romans, Berbers, Moors and others have all formed part of the Málaga’s history since its origins, and you will find the reflection of each one within all the sites in Málaga. The landmark that is the mouth of the Guadalhorce River played a fundamental role in the city’s origins, as it was the Phenoecians who first settled in the city.
There were many colonies which settled in the area and took advantage of the wood and fish trade in Málaga. Once the Romans arrived, they imposed Latin as the official language and brought their customs with them. Additionally, they created new means of communication between different territories in Spain, improving the connection of Málaga to other areas in the peninsula. From this era the Roman Theatre is preserved, where you can appreciate the garum basins. This product was an expensive fish sauce used to season foods. It was produced in salting factories and then it was exported from Málaga to many areas within the Empire.
With the Muslim conquest in 711, new settlers arrived in Málaga. The majority of the indigenous population used the mountain range of Montes de Málaga as shelter. It was an era when the trade of local produce related to craftwork and agriculture was still on the rise. At the beginning of the tenth century Málaga was under the regime of the Caliphate of Córdoba and, during this time, the Alcazaba of Málaga was built, which is one of the most renowned and best preserved monuments in the city.
During the Nasrid era, Málaga experienced a significant rise in its agriculture, primarily in the farming of vines and figs. Wine tasting is a must after a stroll around Málaga, like the Mudejars would do in the city back in the fifteenth century. During this period the city underwent significant changes in its planning (the current Plaza de la Constitución was, for instance, in the centre of an intersection of four streets). These times of glory also applied to trading, which meant that the Málaga Port gained vital importance in the commercial system.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Málaga witnessed a great decline in population due to the expulsion of the Moors from the Kingdom of Granada, the floodings of the Guadalmedina River, epidemics and other catastophes. At this point Catholicism was popularised and many brotherhoods arose, which were grouped around the main temples of the city. From this stemmed the importance of Easter Week, one of the local traditions with the most devotees. With the construction of la Alameda Principal at the end of the nineteenth century – one of the main boulevards to visit in the centre of Málaga – began a new era for the city. However, the city that we know today, with its current lifestyle and interest in rising tourism, did not appear until 1975, when the inland population moved towards the coastline of Costa del Sol. Nowadays we preserve from the past all of the local sites and on their walls the history up to today is written.
Where to shop in Málaga
The choice of places to shop in Málaga is very wide. In fact, some shopping malls in Málaga are considered to be sites due to the amount of travellers that visit them whilst on holiday. Not only do they house the popular multinational chains, but they also give you the option to purchase local artisan items and souvenirs, as well as allowing you to try traditional local gastronomy at the food places there. Each year Málaga surpasses the number of visitors from previous years, which is very good news for the shopping areas in the city. Visits tend to be extended as tourists love to discover Málaga without haste and to enjoy the sun, the people and the delicious fried fish. And, whilst on holiday, who doesn’t look for a shop to buy something to take back with them?
When we refer to shopping in Málaga, we refer mainly to Calle Larios. This street occupies a large part of the historical centre of the city, and it is considered to be one of the most renowned commercial streets in Spain. In 2003 it was made pedestrianised due to the amount of people who walk through it every day. All along it there are many local boutiques, designer shops and renowned restaurants.
You might have heard references to Calle Larios during Christmastime. It was a project that was initiated with the idea of connecting the Málaga Port with the historical centre. Therefore, along this street many important events during the most popular local celebrations take place, namely Christmas, Semana Santa and Feria. And if you are a fashionista, then you must visit Calle Larios. The street is home to many successful brand names, branches of the main banks and charming local businesses which you must get to know. Additionally, it is on the way to many local tourist sites, such as the Cathedral, Málaga Park or Alameda Park, plus churches, markets and renowned museums.
The shops within the shopping malls in Málaga usually open from Mondays to Saturdays from 10am until 10pm, whilst the food places, arcades and cinemas tend to open from Mondays to Sundays from 10am or noon until past middnight. All of them are very well linked to the main means of transport, enabling you to easily get there by bus or by train, for instance. Although, if you decide to drive to any mall in Málaga, parking is not a problem as they have large parking areas.
The best shopping malls in Málaga are Centro Comercial Plaza Mayor, Centro Comercial Larios Centro, Vialia Centro Comercial y Centro Comercial La Rosaleda. You can click on each one and go into their websites to get more information on their shops, discounts, opening hours, etc. Some of the discounts that they offer are very interesting and you can use them during your trip to Málaga. They all have something that makes them special. Shopping mall Plaza Mayor is located on the coast of Málaga in pleasant surroundings. The colourful architecture of the building, the terraces lined with palm trees and its romantic Gourmet Patio all make it a place worthy of mentioning in our guide of Málaga. You can take the commuter train C2, bus line number 10 or the A-7 motorway by car to get to it.
Shopping mall Larios Centro is one of the most central. It is close to train station María Zambrano, the Picasso Gardens and the arts district of Málaga. Incidentally, its name comes from the plot which it is built upon, which formerly housed the old factory where Larios gin was made. It has over 140 shops, it is well connected to the main means of transport and it offers up to 3 hours of free parking.
Another of the best shopping malls in Málaga is the one called La Rosaleda, located in the northwest part of the city. It is named after the surrounding rosegardens. Its design is striking and modern, boasting glass domes which fill the interior with light. It houses arcades, cinemas, restaurants and many shops. You can get there by taking bus lines 15 and 17, or even by bike as it has a parking facility.
If you really want to get to know Málaga, you must include its markets in your tour around the city. One of the most popular ones is the Atarazanas Market, centrally located in Calle Atarazanas, a street leading to the aforementioned Calle Larios. Undoubtedly, it is a place to visit in the city as it is a local meeting point to enjoy traditional produce. We are not sure if this is the best part about it, or indeed the building itself, which is a fourteenth century boatyard built during the reign of Mohammed V. It has had to be rebuilt throughout history and over the years it has been used for different purposes, such as an encampment, hospital and school. Nowadays its style is a faithful representation of the Neo-Moorish archictural style and it is deemed to be one of the most renowned examples of nineteenth-century architecture. It is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 8am until 2pm and we highly recommend a visit during your trip.
Otro de los mercados en el que tienes que sentir nuestras costumbres es el Mercado de Salamanca de Málaga. Se encuentra en el barrio de El Molinillo, también en pleno centro de la ciudad. Su construcción neoárabe consta de una sola nave, cubierta por una estructura metálica que culmina en unas fachadas de lo más peculiares. Un arco de herradura, rejas modernistas y azulejos de colores exóticos forman esta excepcional composición. Comenzó a edificarse en el año 1922 y, a día de hoy, cerca de 50 puestos mantienen su actividad tradicional. El Mercado de Salamanca abre sus puertas de lunes a sábado en horario de 08:00 a 15:00h. No pierdas la oportunidad de descubrir tú mismo la riqueza artística y gastronómica que ofrece.
Another market where you can immerse yourself in local customs is the Salamanca Market. It is located in the district of El Molinillo, also right in the city centre. Its Neo-Moorish style comprises of just one building, covered by a metal structure forming very peculiar facades. A horseshoe arch, modernist grills and colourful tiling make up this exceptional building. Its construction started in 1922 and today almost 50 stalls still carry out their traditional activity. The Salamanca Market opens from Mondays to Saturdays from 8am until 3pm. Do not miss out on the opportunity to personally discover the art and gastronomy it offers.
We would also like to mention the artisan markets in Málaga. One of the most innovated is the Soho Market in the arts district, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month along Calle Tomás Heredia. Here will find many arts and crafts, sculptural and visual art works. Additionally, there is the market along Plaza de la Merced on the fourth Sunday of every month. Many tourists visit this market due to its central location. Recycled products are the main items sold here. Finally, there is the market along the promenade of Antonio Machado on the third Sunday of every month in the popular district of Huelin, and the market along the promenade of Ciudad de Melilla on the fourth Sunday of every month in the district of La Malagueta. They are both along the beachfront and offer arts and crafts, antiques and interesting decorations.
The most commercial streets in Málaga are located right in the historical centre of the city. In fact, this district is the largest commercial area in the whole of Málaga, housing over 1,000 businesses. We recommend using public transport or going by foot, although if you do decide to go by car there are many nearby parking areas.
All of these shops and restaurants are located along Calle Larios and surrounding streets, such as Calle Alcazabilla, Álamos and Carretería, and along the riverbank of the Guadalmedina River. You can calmly stroll along them as they are pedestrianised and are on the way to the main sites in Málaga, amongst which are the Cathedral, Alcazaba and Picasso Museum.