15 Very Best Things To Do In Malaga

Along the sun-kissed Costa del Sol, Malaga stands as a gem of Andalusia, Spain. This vibrant coastal city is home to a rich culture, history and breathtaking landscapes waiting to be explored. Whether you are a lover of history, a food enthusiast, or simply an adventure seeker, Malaga offers a wide variety of experiences to captivate every traveler’s heart.

Join us on a journey as we unveil the list of the 15 best things to do in Malaga. We invite you to immerse yourself in its rich tapestry of sights, sounds and flavors!

1. Stroll through the narrow streets of Malaga’s Historic Center: El Casco Antiguo

Most of Malagas’ iconic and most well known historic monuments lie, as the name suggests, in an area located in the heart of the city, called the Historic Center. The charming streets and plazas are a perfect backdrop for a relaxing stroll. The many shops, bars and monuments can awaken interest in each person’s mind. Take a day to explore the big and narrow streets of this area. The architecture is a prominent mix of styles and eras. Styles like ancient Roman, Moorish and Andalusian Christian relics all within a few streets. This area casts a light on the city’s lavish history and culture. The Historic Center is on the top of the list of the things to see in Malaga.

Streets of Malaga

2. Visit Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

 As soon as you arrive in the city of Malaga, one of the first sights you’ll spot will be the mount Gibralfaro and the Alcazaba. One can say that it is impossible to leave Malaga without visiting it! The Alcazaba is on the hillside on the eastern side of the city. It is surely one of the most interesting and one of the best things to do in Malaga. The Alcazaba served as both a defensive structure and a palace for the Muslim governors of the city. This location has one of the best views of the city, and many stops where you can stop and breathe in and enjoy the scenery.

The palace has elegant gardens, palaces and fortified walls that will transform you back in time and take your breath away. There is quite a bit of walking, so wearing comfortable shoes (and not high heels) is recommended. The best way to get up here is either by foot or by taking the 31 bus.

Walls of the Alcazaba

3. Take a look at the Roman Theater

The Roman Theatre of Malaga is one of the most well standing and important entertainment venues. It dates all the way back to the 1st century BC, and was used for various performances. Although in this day and age the place stands as a ruin, the original design still stands and gives you an idea of what it once was, and how the atmosphere was during the olden ages. The impressive history makes this place one of the top things to see in Malaga. Explore the ruins, take pictures and catch the sun while overlooking the ruins of the Roman Theatre.

The Roman Theatre stands right next to the entrance to the Alcazaba, so it’s hard to miss.

Ruins of the Roman Theater

4. Enter Casa de Guardia

If you are a lover of wine, then visiting the Casa de Guardia is one of the best things to do in Malaga. The historic tavern and wine bar is one of the oldest taverns in the city, and oozes of a traditional Andalusian atmosphere. The selection of wines is particularly from the Malaga region – so this is a perfect place to taste some of the local wines from Malagas excellent wine production.

When it comes to the wine and the selection – it is as authentic as it can get. The tavern is filled with numerous wine barrels, and the wines are directly tapped from the barrels. 

This popular place with a lively atmosphere is loved by both tourists and locals alike. Not only is this a place to enjoy wine, it is also a cultural landmark in Malaga and one of the top things to do in Malaga.

Wine barrels at Casa de Guardia

5. Go to the Picasso Museum

Did you know that the world famous painter Pablo Picasso was born and grew up in the city of Malaga? A museum to celebrate the late artists’ legacy is located in the heart of the Historic Center. 

Take a day to explore and enjoy the world famous artists’ original artwork at the Picasso Museum – including paintings, sculptures, drawings and ceramics. The collection showcases Picasso’s entire career – from his early years to late workings.

Picasso museum in Malaga

6. Get on a Rooftop Terrace and Enjoy the Vibes

After a long day of exploring the city, what is better than to relax on a rooftop terrace, enjoying a drink and listening to music, accompanied by a panoramic view of the beautiful city and Mediterranean sea? Getting on a rooftop terrace and enjoying the vibes is a perfect way to end the evening after exploring the many things to see in Malaga.

There are various rooftop terraces and bars throughout the city, but some recommendations are the “Rooftop AC Hotel Malaga Palacio”, which is located on the 15th floor (the highest in the city), which means the view will be amazing! Enjoy the vibes, the nice cocktails at a reasonable price, and take in  the view.

If you’d like a quieter and more intimate place to catch up with friends or enjoy a date, the “H10 Croma Rooftop Bar” is a must visit. The interior is beautiful and the vibes are relaxed.

Rooftop terrace, one of the best things to do in Malaga

7. Check out the Thyssen Museum

Not having experienced enough of art and culture during your time in the city? Go visit the Carmen Thyssen Museum, as it is one of the best things to do in Malaga for art lovers.

It is an art museum located in the heart of the city, and features works from the private collection of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, a Spanish art collector. Look at the diverse range of paintings and styles – everything from paintings including landscapes, portraits and genre scenes. There is something for each and everyone’s taste here. 

There is a permanent collection, but the museum also has temporary exhibitions, education programs and cultural events. Check the website during the time of your visit for insight of what is being presented. This place is a must visit for art enthusiasts and anyone interested in exploring the rich artistic heritage of Spain.

The Carmen Thyssen Museum in the Historic Center

8. Walk to the Port Muelle Uno

Once done exploring the Historic Center and everything it has to offer, head towards the sea and you can not miss the Port Muelle Uno. The port offers a stunning view of the sea and the citys’ skyline, and it has become a top spot for leisurely strolls and for enjoying the scenic beauty of Malaga. In addition, there are a number of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars – offering a wide range of dining, shopping and entertainment options. 

Make sure to walk to the port during the sunset, where the scenic views, fantastic atmosphere and sky will light up in front of your eyes.

The beautiful port of Malaga, beautiful place and one of the best things to do in Malaga

9. Chill Out on the Malaga beaches

Although you’ll be residing in Malaga, a city with a rich cultural history, there should always be some time to relax on a trip.  Malaga is along the coast line and has plenty of beautiful beaches.

For instance, take a trip down to Playa de la Malagueta, which is Malaga’s biggest beach. It stretches for approximately 1.2km along the coastline. Enjoy the golden sand, clear waters and the hot sun. There are plenty of beach bars and restaurants nearby. This is a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and playing various beach sports like volleyball.

Playa de Malagueta

10. Hike in Montes de Malaga Park or through Presa del Agujero

Picture this: crisp mountain air filling your lungs, crunch of gravel beneath your shoes, and the promise of breathtaking views just around the corner. If this is something of your interest, or if you want to experience something other the city life, one of the best things to do in Malaga is to hike in either Montes de Malaga Park or through Presa del Agujero.

Montes de Malaga Park lies just north of the city. The park has a wide variety of plant and animal species, and offers a variety of hiking trails of different difficulty levels. This makes it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The trails are perfect for walking, hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching, if that’s of your interest. The scenic views will take your breath away, offering glimpses of the city of Malaga and the sea. If you are feeling peckish after a long hike, there are designated picnic areas in the park. Enjoy a meal surrounded by beautiful nature, so make sure to bring a lunchbox for your trip.

Closeby you can also visit the Presa del Agujero, a beautiful dam surrounded by mountains and forests. The hike is a bit more challenging with a trail of around 6.6 km. Be prepared and bring a good pair of shoes (and sunscreen!).

Montes de Malaga Park

11. Eat a plate of rice with broth: Arroz Caldoso at Venta

If you are feeling hungry after the hikes or are just craving a hearty dish in general, eat like a local and enjoy a plate of “arroz caldoso”. This plate consists of rice with broth. The dish is a traditional Spanish dish with flavorful rice that reminds of soup/stew in terms of consistency, with the rice being cooked in a broth with vegetables, meats, seafood or a combination of these ingredients.

The hearty dish of Arroz Caldoso

12.  Take a tour of Malaga Cathedral

Malaga Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Malaga. It is obviously one of the best things to do in Malaga. Situated in the middle of the Historic Center, it stands as a testament to the city’s rich and architectural heritage. You can see the style influenced by the Renaissance on its architectural style. The building also shows elements of Gothic and Baroque styles.

For a small fee you can visit the inside of the cathedral and admire the artistic and architectural treasures it has to offer. The highlights include carved altarpieces, beautiful chapels and a beautiful choir. Make sure to listen to the audio guide for the full experience. If you are an early bird you are in luck – the cathedral  is free to visit from Monday to Saturday from 8:30 to 9 am, and Sundays from 8:30 to 9:30 am (although this does not include the audio guide!).

Malaga Cathedral, one of the best things to do in Malaga

13. Have a paella at a beach bar in El Palo

You can obviously not visit Spain without having paella, right? Having paella is one of the best things to do in Malaga. Where better to do it then by the seaside? Paella is Spain’s national dish and if not the best-known dish in Spanish cuisine. This hearty dish is packed with many flavors, and is perfect to share with friends and loved ones. Stroll down to El Palo, a beachfront neighborhood. This place is known for its strong fishing traditions. Dont hesitate to go and enjoy a great and authentic Spanish meal by the beach. There are also many great restaurants in the city offering paella.

The traditional dish of paella

14. Take the metro and go for tapas in Teatinos

You simply cannot leave Spain without having tapas – enjoy the iconic and sophisticated Spanish cuisine tapas. Go enjoy tapas, which is an order of various appetizers or snacks. Malaga has a great (and inexpensive) metro system. Take a day and go explore more of the neighborhoods and what the city has to offer. Taking a metro to Teatinos, you will be met by the neighborhood that is known for its vibrant and lively atmosphere. Go to enjoy tapas and to explore.

Tapas, a mix of various small dishes

15. Order something local at El Pimpi

El Pimpi is one of the most well-known establishments in Malaga, and is a must visit for both locals and tourists alike. The traditional tavern with a rich history is located in the heart of the city’s Historic Center, located a few steps away from the Roman Theatre and the Alcazaba. El Pimpi is famous for its lively and welcoming atmosphere, and has an excellent selection of both tapas and local dishes, such as fried fish, Malaga salad and gazpacho. It is the perfect spot to enjoy authentic Andalusian cuisine in a traditional and aesthetic setting. 

Many visit the El Pimpi to enjoy a glass of wine and a dish before exploring the charming historic center, or after a long day of sightseeing to relax. It’s an iconic place that captures the spirit and essence of life in Malaga, and is one of the best things to do in Malaga.

El Pimpi, the iconic restaurant in Malaga and one of the best things to do in Malaga

As we conclude our exploration of the 15 best things to do in Malaga, it’s evident that this vibrant city offers an abundance of experiences for every traveler. From its rich history and cultural heritage to its stunning beaches and delicious cuisine, Malaga captivates visitors with its charm and diversity.

Whether you’re strolling through the enchanting streets of the historic center, admiring masterpieces at the Picasso Museum, or soaking up the sun on the pristine shores of La Malagueta beach, each moment in Malaga promises adventure and discovery. Take a look at Malagas official tourism guide for more information, and check the transportation opportunities to get around easy.