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3 Days in Malaga

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A three-day trip to Malaga gives you plenty of time to get a really good overview of the city, with plenty of opportunity to and see the main sights and explore some of the nearby attractions. This guide includes one day looking at Malaga's historic monuments, one day taking in the city's art, and a final day in the seaside town of Nerja — all the ingredients for a perfect break in the capital of the Costa del Sol!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter

14 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

14 Places

Day 1

Roman Theatre

Ancient Ruins

Alcazaba

Historic Sites, History Museums

Malaga Cathedral

Sacred & Religious Sites, Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites

El Pimpi

Restaurants

Hammam Al Andalus Malaga

Spas, Hammams & Turkish Baths, Arab Baths

Day 2

Plaza de la Constitucion

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museo Picasso Malaga

Art Museums

Museo Carmen Thyssen Malaga

Art Museums

Puerto de Malaga

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Cac Malaga Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga

Architectural Buildings, Art Museums

Day 3

Mercado Central de Atarazanas

Farmers Markets

Cueva de Nerja

Caverns & Caves

Balcon de Europa

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Burriana Beach

Beaches

J0Spain's City Tips

  • Malaga's packed with restaurants and tapas bars, but avoid those on the well-beaten tourist track — they can be pricey, and the food isn't as good as at places favored by locals.
  • Malaga's a very flat city, so it's ideal terrain for walking and/or cycling. Bikes are available for hire around the city, which is crisscrossed with miles of bike lanes.
  • Public transport is good around the city, and there are plenty of buses to take you farther afield.
  • Although Malaga is on the coast and a relaxed, informal city, you should still reserve your swimsuits strictly for the beach.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Roman Theatre
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    Start your visit to Malaga with the Romans, who built the magnificent Roman Theatre in the first century BC — although Malaga's modern inhabitants didn't discover it until 2,000 years later. You can view the ruins from outside, but it's worth going in (entrance is free!) for a close-up look. Take a seat in the theatre itself, and transport yourself back to a time of emperors and gladiators.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Look out for Roman ruins all over Malaga: the Picasso Museum showcases some, and there are even bits in the car park under the Plaza de la Marina.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #38 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Roman theatre. 26/09/2018
    • Worth it 25/09/2018
    • Roman Theatre
    Address:
    Calle Alcazabilla 8
    Al pie del monte Gibralfaro, junto a la Alcazaba
    2901 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 951 50 11 15
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 16:00
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Alcazaba
    Historic Sites, History Museums
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    Malaga's Moorish fortress offers the best vantage point for viewing the city. Although it's not on the same scale as the Alhambra in Granada, Malaga's Alcazaba gives you a good idea of how the Moors built their castles and used mosaics to decorate interiors. You can climb up to many of the towers and admire the views of the city below and the coastline beyond.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Combine a visit to the Alcazaba with one to the Gibralfaro Castle, farther up the hill. It's a steep climb, but the views are worth it, and it'll only add an hour to your trip.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Empty castle. 26/09/2018
    • Great city views 25/09/2018
    • Alcazaba
    Address:
    Calle Alcazabilla s/n
    29015 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 21 76 46
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Malaga Cathedral
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    Known as the one-armed lady (because the second tower was never finished), the Malaga Cathedral dominates the center of the city. Like most Spanish cathedrals, it's huge, with lots of elaborate side altars. Baroque art and decoration dominate, and some of the stained-glass windows are spectacular. Look out for some fine works of art — although a few are rather graphic, so be prepared for the odd gruesome sight!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The cathedral has great acoustics, so look out for concerts. Get there early to be sure of a seat.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Gaudy building 26/09/2018
    • Malaga's Historic Highlight - It's Cathedral. 25/09/2018
    • Malaga Cathedral
    Address:
    Calle Molina Lario 9
    29015 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 21 59 17
    Hours:
    Sun
    14:00 - 18:30
    Mon - Fri
    10:00 - 21:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 18:30
    Other:
  • Save
    El Pimpi
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    A great spot for a bite to eat between monuments, El Pimpi has terraces overlooking the Roman Theatre and the Alcazaba. These aren't the best tapas in Malaga, but the fast and friendly service, along with the great location, make El Pimpi a good stop for refueling in between sights.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Don't miss the inside of the restaurant: a succession of pretty patios lined with photos and memorabilia of famous past visitors.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #268 of 2 008 restaurants in Malaga
    • Terrible food and service !!! 25/09/2018
    • Bit crowded, but smooth 25/09/2018
    • El Pimpi
    Address:
    Calle Granada 62
    rear entrance of Jardines Calle Alcazabilla
    29015 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 22 54 03
    Price range:
    US$12 - US$24
    Hours:
    Sun - Wed
    10:00 - 02:00
    Thu - Sat
    10:00 - 03:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Hammam Al Andalus Malaga
    Spas, Hammams & Turkish Baths, Arab Baths
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    You could probably do with a spot of relaxation after taking in Malaga's main historic sights, and these authentic Moorish baths fit the bill. With their stunning mosaics and ethereal quiet, the interiors are amazing, and in addition to a good soak in the different hot and cold baths, you can treat yourself to one of the massages or beauty treatments.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Factor in a couple of hours to ensure you truly relax (remember, you have two days to go!).
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 14 Spas & Wellness in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful baths, ask questions when you book 21/09/2018
    • Lovely relaxing experience 14/09/2018
    • Hammam Al Andalus Malaga
    Address:
    Plaza Martires 5
    29008 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 21 50 18
    Price range:
    US$30 - US$30
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Plaza de la Constitucion
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    Today is your "art day," but before you start perusing paintings, fuel up with a coffee in this lovely square. You can admire Plaza de la Constitución from the terrace of Café Central. On the north side of the square, you will see the Ateneo, a historic 16th-century building that is stunning to behold. Finally, stroll along the narrow Pasaje de Chinitas, one of Malaga's oldest streets, which was previously home to cafés and theaters — with dubious reputations.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • In Café Central, check out the mosaic on the back wall, with its tiled guide to ordering coffee in Malaga.
    • Calle Larios is a charming street with great shopping, street theater, and frequent interesting temporary exhibitions. The Christmas lights here are among the best in Spain.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Central Plaza 19/09/2018
    • central square 13/09/2018
    • Plaza de la Constitucion
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Picasso Malaga
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    The world's greatest modern artists was born in Malaga, and the city pays homage to Pablo Picasso in several monuments — including the Picasso Museum. Even if you're not a Picasso fan, the museum is well worth a visit. The building itself is a delight (don't miss the Roman ruins) and the artworks give you great insight into Picasso's artistic progression from realist detail to total abstraction.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum tends to be quieter in the afternoons and early evenings, when you may get the galleries almost to yourself.
    • The museum offers excellent guided tours in English; check the website for more information.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Museum 24/09/2018
    • Very good, but Barcelona's museo is better! 24/09/2018
    • Museo Picasso Malaga
    Address:
    Calle San Agustin 8
    29015 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 12 76 00
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 19:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Carmen Thyssen Malaga
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    This small art museum belongs to one of Spain's richest women, Baroness Thyssen, whose private art collection rivals any in the world. The Museo Carmen Thyssen's beautifully restored building houses the permanent collection of 19th and 20th Spanish art, but usually the most interesting works are on display in the temporary exhibition, where the Baroness often showcases the jewels in her collection.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Don't miss the adjoining museum shop; it's a great place to pick up unusual gifts for children and adults.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A lovely surprise! 24/09/2018
    • Interesting collection of paintings 24/09/2018
    • Museo Carmen Thyssen Malaga
    Address:
    Calle Compania 10
    29008 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 902 30 31 31
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Puerto de Malaga
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    One of the oldest ports in the world, the Port of Malaga is today one of Spain's most important cruise ship terminals. To reach it, make your way down Calle Larios, and then along the Palmeral de las Sorpresas, a palm tree-lined waterfront promenade. Along the palm grove, you'll spot all manner of playgrounds, fountains, sunken gardens, and cafes — all begging exploration or some sun-soaked relaxation.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you're in the port in early evening, stop at one of the outside cafes or bars and sit back to enjoy the sun setting over Malaga Bay.
    • Restaurante El Palmeral is good for drinks and tapas, or you can treat yourself and book a table at Restaurante Jose Carlos García, a Michelin star experience.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great for an afternoon walk! 24/09/2018
    • Nice area to visit. 22/09/2018
    • Puerto de Malaga
    Address:
    Port Area
    Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 12 50 00
    Other:
  • Save
    Cac Malaga Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga
    Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    The CAC Malaga has a great permanent collection and exciting temporary exhibitions showcasing the best in contemporary art. Plus, entrance is free! To reach it from the port, walk through the up-and-coming Soho area, which is slowly establishing itself as the new artists' quarter in Malaga. New street art appears almost weekly, so keep an eye out for the latest wall murals.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Don't miss the massive murals behind the CAC building — they were painted by Shepard Fairey and Obey.
    • Sit down for a well-earned rest from art at the CAC café next to the river. The outside area has comfortable chill-out sofas where you can sample the cocktail menu.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Worth spending some time here 24/09/2018
    • Great Collection 30/08/2018
    • Cac Malaga Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga
    Address:
    Calle Alemania s/n
    29001 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 12 00 55
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Mercado Central de Atarazanas
    Farmers Markets
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    Before you head to Nerja for the day, pop into this lovely indoor market just off the Alameda. The choice of shellfish and fish has to be seen to be believed, and you'll be amazed at the variety of olives on display. Most stalls at Mercado Central de Atarazanas allow you to try before you buy, so make the most of this — and stock up on presents to take home.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • The market's only open in the mornings, and if you go early you'll miss the crowds.
    • Lift your eyes up from the stalls for a minute to admire the stunning stained-glass murals at both ends of the building.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 252 things to do in Malaga
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A market 24/09/2018
    • Cleanest market ever! 23/09/2018
    • Mercado Central de Atarazanas
    Address:
    Calle Atarazanas 10
    29005 Malaga
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 951 92 60 10
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    08:00 - 14:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Cueva de Nerja
    Caverns & Caves
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    About an hour's bus ride from Malaga, Nerja is home to southern Spain's most impressive caves. Discovered quite by chance by some schoolboys in the 1950s, these limestone galleries are home to some amazing stalactites and stalagmites, as well as prehistoric cave paintings.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • To see the cave paintings, you need to book a separate tour. Check the website for details and book ahead — it's more than worth it!
    • If you're in Nerja in the summer, check out the Nerja Cave Festival when concerts and ballets take place in the natural cave amphitheatre.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 63 things to do in Nerja
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Perfect to visit on a dull day! 26/09/2018
    • Wow 26/09/2018
    • Cueva de Nerja
    Address:
    urbanizacion Maro Club s/n
    29787 Nerja
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 952 52 95 20
    Price range:
    US$14 - US$14
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:30 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Balcon de Europa
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    Perched on a cliff in the town of Nerja (a short bus ride from the caves), Balcon de Europa offers unbeatable views of the coastline and the craggy mountains behind it. This is also a great spot for people watching, so grab a bench and watch the world go by.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • To reach the Balcon, walk down Calle Carabeo and admire the lovely houses and occasional glimpses of the sea between them.
    • The Balcon is often the site of festivals and concerts. Don't be afraid to join in the fun.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 63 things to do in Nerja
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Balcone de Europe 25/09/2018
    • Evening visit 25/09/2018
    • Balcon de Europa
    Address:
    Plaza Balcon de Europa
    Nerja
    Spain
  • Save
    Burriana Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    J0Spain Says:

    One of Nerja's prettiest sandy coves, Playa de Burriana is a great place to relax after sightseeing. The beach is small, but there's room for beach loungers and sunshades — so bag yours and settle down for some serious sunbathing. And if you need some refreshment, pop into one of the beach bars for some great paella.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can only get down to Nerja's beaches via the cliffs, so be prepared for a pretty steep climb down and up.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 63 things to do in Nerja
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Weeks beach holiday in September 26/09/2018
    • Good beach to visit 25/09/2018
    • Burriana Beach
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