Malaga in 4 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Discovering the main tourist destinations in Malaga is possible in four days. You just have to organize your itinerary and don't waste a minute.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

12 min read

Malaga in 4 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Caminito del Rey | ©Francisco José Rubio

Malaga is a city with a great variety of historical sites, art and archeology museums, marinas and beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters that invite you to dive into them. In addition, it has the towns of the Costa del Sol and many other tourist destinations.

There are many things to see and do in Malaga, such as a walking tour of the historic center, tours and excursions in and out of the city. In fact, four days might not be enough, so here is an itinerary with the must-see destinations.

Day 1: Tour the historic center of Malaga

Cathedral of La Encarnación| ©Michael Gaylard
Cathedral of La Encarnación| ©Michael Gaylard

The goal of your first day will be to tour the historic center of the city and, thus, discover architectural, religious and cultural monuments such as the Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga, the Pablo Picasso Museum, the Museum of Malaga and the Alcazaba.

The Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga

The day will start with a visit to the Cathedral of Malaga and the Alcazaba, which you can buy from $35 Considered a true architectural jewel for the people of Malaga, it combines a Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance style.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the best things to do in Malaga that you can not fail to incorporate into your itinerary, as during the tour you can discover a number of perspectives, architectural details and works of art, such as:

  • The main facade with its baroque style and a couple of towers, highlighting in them a large number of bells and the octagonal plant with a dome.
  • The baroque choir, structured in a total of three levels and provided with 44 seats. This entire area was designed in cedar and mahogany wood, both materials carved with the image of the apostles, some priests and a series of saints.
  • The main chapel, which stands out as the central area of the cathedral. There, you will see the tabernacle belonging to the Virgin of the Incarnation, accompanied by an iconographic work that shows some famous scenes such as "The Passion" and some prophets.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 6€ per person.
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sundays (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
  • Place: Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga. C. Molina Lario.

Book a visit to the Cathedral of Malaga and the Alcazaba

Pablo Picasso Museum

Once you finish the tour of the Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga, your itinerary of the first day in Malaga continues at the Picasso Museum, whose tickets you can book for $5. Located inside the Buenavista Palace, you will not only enjoy a chronological journey through the life of the artist, but also contemplate the Renaissance architecture of the sixteenth century, present in the emblematic monument.

Upon entering the Picasso Museum, you will have the opportunity to see sculptures, paintings, a tapestry, drawings, a linoleum plate, graphic works, among other samples, representing the artistic stages of Picasso in the pink and blue period, cubism, etc..

There are many of the artist's works that you will be able to appreciate and among the most recognized you will find:

  • Bañista tendida (1931), a plaster sculpture with a format of 26 x 82 x 43 centimeters.
  • Woman with raised arms (1936), inspired by his sentimental partner, the photographer Dora Maar.
  • Jacqueline seated (1954), oil on canvas.

It is important to know that the opening hours of the Picasso Museum Malaga are usually from 10 am to 7 pm. In addition, the prices of tickets to the museum usually vary according to the age range, so you could get a reduced rate.

Useful information

  • Price: from 5€ per person.
  • Hours: every day from 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Place: Pablo Picasso Museum in the Buenavista Palace.

Book tickets for the Picasso Museum

Museum of Malaga

The itinerary of this first day continues at the Museum of Malaga, where you will enjoy a permanent collection of archaeological pieces and art ranging from the fifteenth century to the contemporary period.

Throughout the tour, you will observe pieces from the prehistoric, Phoenician, Roman and Muslim periods. In total there are more than 15,000 archaeological samples, which evidence the different stages experienced by the city of Malaga.

Regarding the 200 works that make up the art collection of the museum, you will be able to see the work of local artists and other geniuses of painting and sculpture that left their mark in the nineteenth century: "The last great wave" by Emilio Ocon, "Allegory of the History, Industry and Commerce of Malaga" by Bernardo Ferrándiz and Muñoz Degrain, among others. Undoubtedly, this is an option that can not miss among your selection of the best museums in Malaga.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 1,50€ per person.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday (9 am to 9 pm) and Sundays (9 am to 3 pm).
  • Place: Museum of Malaga in the Palacio de la Aduana.

The Alcazaba

Plaza de Armas, The Alcazaba| ©Paul VanDerWerf
Plaza de Armas, The Alcazaba| ©Paul VanDerWerf

The Alcazaba could be your last destination for this first day. It is a medieval fortress built during the 11th century in a predominantly Moorish architectural style.

This fortress is about a two minute walk from your previous destination (Museum of Malaga). You should head northeast from the Plaza de la Aduana and turn towards C/ Alcazabilla. There, you will see the Alcazaba on a hill, giving you a privileged view of the sea. In addition, inside you will enjoy a small palace with labyrinthine walls, towers, a series of courtyards, beautiful fountains and colorful gardens.

You can visit this monument any day of the year along with another of the must-sees we have already mentioned, the Cathedral of Malaga. To do this, you can book a guided tour of the Cathedral, the Roman Theater and the Alcazaba of Malaga, for 35, but you must take into consideration that the schedule of the Alcazaba of Malaga varies according to the summer and winter season. Once this visit is over you can return to the hotel to rest or, if you wish, attend one of the best flamenco shows in Malaga.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 2,20€ per person.
  • Hours: summer (Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and winter (Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
  • Place: Alcazaba in Alcazabilla street.

Book a visit to the Alcazaba

Day 2: Discover the Costa del Sol in Malaga

Torremolinos| ©Terry Whalebone
Torremolinos| ©Terry Whalebone

During these days you will travel through the coastal region of Malaga, discovering the main towns that make up the Costa del Sol. This is a somewhat extensive itinerary, scheduled for two days. You will be able to explore each village and stop whenever you wish to spend the night in one of them. The next morning, you will continue with the tour.


The itinerary for the second day of your visit starts in Torremolinos. This is one of the most popular towns on the Costa del Sol, located approximately 30 minutes away from Malaga. There, you will see important historical monuments and beautiful beaches.

During the tour of Torremolinos you can visit:

  • The church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, built in the 20th century.
  • La Casa de los Navajas, with a history of more than 90 years and a neo-Mudejar architectural style. It is open every day and access is free.
  • The Tower of Pimentel, formerly known as the defense tower of the town. You can climb to its terrace and contemplate the panoramic view.


Just 11 minutes from Torremolinos you will find your second destination, that is, Benalmádena. This is a town that will offer you historical monuments, golf courses and a beautiful marina.

You will have several activities to do, such as:


The adventure continues in Mijas. This is another of the villages of Malaga, known for its streets surrounded by white houses with colorful flower pots on their facades. You will only have to travel approximately 25 minutes from Benalmádena to enjoy this village. Although you can also make an excursion to Mijas and Marbella from Malaga, from $50

In Mijas you will contemplate a mountain and coastal landscape. You will also see:

  • The iconic bronze statue of a donkey, in the middle of the Plaza Virgen de la Peña.
  • Privileged views of Mijas, from the viewpoints of the Paseo de la Muralla and La Ermita del Calvario, which is located in the highest part.

In addition, this village is a good alternative if you want to take a break to stay overnight, since there are several options to incorporate among the things to do in Malaga at night, such as:

  • Come to the Virgen de la Peña square and be part of the group dance classes, led by a professional instructor. This, if your trip coincides with Tuesday or Thursday.
  • Enjoy a night of tapas in the local bars and restaurants from 8 am to midnight with special prices during the summer. Ideal if you want to take a gastronomic tour.

Book an Excursion to Mijas and Marbella


Fuengirola, Malaga| ©Peep Squeak
Fuengirola, Malaga| ©Peep Squeak

To get to the next destination, you will have to drive 10 minutes. This way, you will be in the town of Fuengirola, recommended if you are enthusiastic about water activities and golf.

On the coast of Fuengirola you will have the opportunity to visit some beaches such as La Campana, Los Boliches, Las Gaviotas, among others. You can practice scuba diving or snorkeling, no matter the season of the year, since Malaga in winter has no snowfall and the water stays warm.

In addition, you will find:

  • Some thermal baths (Roman public baths with thermal waters), where you can dive and relax.
  • Ancient Roman villas, which you can walk around and admire.
  • The Moorish Castle of Sohail from the tenth century, with imposing towers and walls.

It is important to know that Fuengirola has a lively nightlife, thanks to its large number of discos and pubs. Therefore, this is another place where you might consider spending the night.

Day 3: Continue your tour through the towns of the Costa del Sol in Malaga

Marbella Beach| ©Damien Ramos
Marbella Beach| ©Damien Ramos

For day three in Malaga you can continue exploring the Costa del Sol, as it is a region composed of several towns with different attractions. Therefore, this time you will visit the towns of Marbella, Estepona and Manilva.


You can easily get to Marbella from Malaga, since this emblematic town is included in the Costa del Sol route, specifically 28 minutes away from the last destination (Fuengirola). And if you do not want to worry about how to get there, you also have the possibility to book an excursion to Marbella, from 50

In Marbella, you will have the opportunity to stroll through its historic center, approach its beaches for swimming and lying on the sand. You can also stroll along the promenade and stop at its trendy stores, bars and restaurants.

Book an Excursion to Marbella and Mijas


Another of the emblematic places of the Costa del Sol happens to be the town of Estepona, which is located approximately 27 minutes away by car from Marbella.

It is a town with a natural scene composed of palm trees and the crystal clear waters of the Rada beach.

Also, in Estepona you will find a fishing port and a marina. In the latter you will enjoy restaurants and areas for water sports. In addition, there is the historic center of the town, with emblematic buildings.


To end day 3 in Malaga exploring the Costa del Sol, you will have to drive 17 minutes to Manilva. This is a town with beautiful beaches, a large marina and historical monuments.

Among the activities to do in Manilva are:

  • Visit the Castillo de la Duquesa, this is an ancient fortress whose construction dates from the eighteenth century.
  • Wine tour, to learn about the culture of the cultivation of vineyards and perform the tasting of some drinks.
  • Boat ride, to watch the sunset, ideal if you visit Malaga in summer, as the glow is more intense.
  • Tour of the bars and restaurants of the marina, to drink and eat.

Day 4: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and go on an excursion from Malaga

Caminito del Rey, Malaga| ©Frayle
Caminito del Rey, Malaga| ©Frayle

As you can see, there are plenty of things to see and do in Malaga. For day 4 in Malaga the plan is for you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore some natural regions nearby, either on your own or by joining a guided day trip from Malaga. This time I will tell you about some of what I consider to be the best options for your last day of adventure:

Option 1: Caminito del Rey Tour from Malaga

One of my favorite options to escape the city for a day is an excursion to Caminito del Rey from Malaga, from $74, to get to know its natural spaces.

When you arrive you will find a short trail of 1.5 kilometers and another of 2.7 kilometers, which you will have to cross to get to the control area, where you will be given a safety helmet to start the adventure.

During the experience, you will walk along an aerial path installed around the walls of the Gaitanes Gorges. In addition, you will cross a suspended bridge at a height of 100 meters, from where you will get a privileged and unforgettable view.

It is a linear route of 8 kilometers, which you will complete in a maximum of four hours. At the end, you will descend 2.1 kilometers along a path that will take you to the train station.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 10€ per person.
  • Hours: every day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
  • Place: Caminito del Rey.

Book an excursion to the Caminito del Rey

Option 2: Gibraltar Tour

With an excursion to Gibraltar, which you can book from $37, you can get in touch with nature, enjoy privileged views, learn about the history of this British colony located in Spain and much more.

When you arrive in Gibraltar, you can stroll along the main street (Main Street), where you will find a large number of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. You will also see the Town Hall, the iconic Cathedral and the courthouse. This last place was where Yoko Ono and John Lenon got married in the late 60s. In addition, you will have the option to take the cable car to access the Rock and visit the old Jewish Cemetery, the Moorish Castle, the Cave of San Miguel, La Guarida de los Monos, among others.

Undoubtedly, this is a tour with which you could put an end to your stay in the Andalusian city. You will return to the hotel after sunset and, if needed, use a transfer service to Malaga Airport.

Book an excursion to Gibraltar

Mobility in Malaga to explore the city

Malaga| ©Maxime PJ.
Malaga| ©Maxime PJ.

Malaga, in terms of roads, is very well connected with nearby towns and cities. In addition, it has several means of public transportation: bus, metro, cab, among others, all of them with routes that cover different parts of the city.

You can easily access any destination inside and outside the historic center. Of course, you must know the bus routes and have the map of the subway lines at hand.

Book a tuk tuk tour in Malaga

Tourist bus to get around Malaga

Tourist Bus| ©City Sightseeing
Tourist Bus| ©City Sightseeing

The tourist bus in Malaga is a very popular and economical means of transport, which will allow you to tour the city comfortably and without the risk of getting lost. You can create your own itinerary.

You will have a total of 19 stops where you can get on and off as many times as you want to visit the sites of your interest: Picasso Museum, the Cathedral, the botanical garden, among others. You just have to be attentive to the bus schedules, to catch it on time.

Book a tourist bus in Malaga

Summary of your 4 day itinerary in Malaga

  • Day 1: Historical center of Malaga
  • Cathedral of the Incarnation of Malaga
  • Pablo Picasso Museum
  • Museum of Malaga
  • The Alcazaba
  • Day 2: Costa del Sol
  • Torremolinos
  • Benalmádena
  • Mijas
  • Fuengirola
  • Day 3: Costa del Sol
  • Marbella
  • Estepona
  • Manilva
  • Free access
  • Every day of the year
  • Location: Andalusian municipality on the southwest coast of Spain
  • Day 4: Excursions from Malaga
  • Option 1: Caminito del Rey
  • Option 2: Tour of Gibraltar