On a short two day visit to Málaga, I spent the time exploring the many things to do in the city. The city itself is so easily explored on foot, I found myself mostly wandering about. Located in Andalucía, Málaga is a port city on the Costa del Sol. It’s known for its many days of sun and a central location in the region.
It’s a main stop on most routes through Andalucía, providing a home to travelers looking for a city center and access to the beach. Whether you’re in for the day or calling it a home base, here’s a look at how to spend 24 hours in the city of Málaga.
Things to Do in Málaga, Spain: a 24 Hour Guide
What to Know About Visiting Málaga
- Amount of time: I booked two nights but found that only one night would have been fine. The city center is quite small and without a car, most of the nearby experiences can be challenging to get to. So if you plan on just visiting the city, I’d say a full 24 hours is plenty of time. There is a lot to do nearby but it is very seasonal so keep this in mind.
- Getting to Málaga: Málaga does have an international airport and is about a 20-minute drive to the center of the old city. You can fly in from major airports in Europe with companies like Vueling.
- Money & language: Most places will take credit card but it is recommended to have cash (Euros) on hand. English is widely spoken as well.
Where to stay in Málaga
I booked a room at Molina Lario for my time in Málaga and loved the location. Almost in the heart of the city, I could walk out to the beach or old town at any time. The rooms were clean and modern and provided a great home for the time there. Also, the rooftop is spectacular and would recommend heading up to see the views with a drink at the rooftop bar.
If you’re looking for more hotel options in the city, have a look here:
Restaurants and Coffee in Málaga
El Pimpi: One of the oldest bodegas in the city, El Pimpi was my favorite meal while in town. I actually stopped here twice for lunch. I’d recommend the fried pork with cheese dish, salmorejo, pork loin in lard, the vermouth, and house sweet wine (all local specialties).
KGB: My dad recommended this more upscale tapas bar in the city. The tapas are not as traditional and feature more imaginative dishes with ingredients like duck confit or chicken with lime foam. It’s really a great spot in the city!
Casa Lola: Another local restaurant for classic tapas from the region.
Antiqua Casa de Guardia: A popular spot just outside of the old city for seafood tapas.
Julia Bakery Málaga: One of my favorite finds for breakfast, all of the home-baked goods here are so delicious!
Mia Coffee Shop: Pop in here for coffee — they also have a takeaway window.
Things to Do in Málaga
See the Cathedral of Málaga: You won’t miss this one as it towers over the city. It’s well worth a visit and incredibly impressive. You can also visit the rooftop here as well.
Tour the Picasso Museum Málaga: The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Málaga has a museum dedicated to his life and works. I’ll note this one is much smaller than the one in Barcelona but still worth a visit. Be sure to check out the season exhibits as well.
Pop into the Mercado Central de Atarazanas: If you love a local market as I do, this one is right in the heart of the city. You’ll find local products and a few small tapas bars as well.
Rent an electric scooter and make your way to the waterfront: One of my favorite ways of seeing Málaga was by an electric scooter (I used Lime) and going down to the water. Centre Pompidou has a building here and the waterfront is lined by a green park.
Visit the Alcazaba: This medieval fortress sits over the city and is a perfect spot for an afternoon walk up.
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