One of the best and must-see and must-do things to do in Malaga is definitely the Alcazaba. In fact, in this same walk to the Alcazaba you can also see the Gibralfaro Castle, both considered true jewels of the Spanish Islamic era.
I show you at what times and what are the best times to visit this wonder anchored in Malaga. What you should keep in mind if you want to visit this pair of monuments is that you will need more than one day in Malaga to enjoy this tour.
General opening hours of the Alcazaba of Malaga
There are certain things you should know about the general opening hours of the Alcazaba and that is that it has a different schedule for winter and summer. It is also important for you to know that both the Gibralfaro Castle and the Alcazaba are open all year round, except for two holidays: December 25th and January 1st.
Another thing you need to know before visiting the Alcazaba is that every Monday the elevators that lead directly to the Nasrid Palaces are closed. There are no changes in the schedule according to the days of the week, that is to say that on Mondays and Sundays, or any other day of the week, the schedule of entry to the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle is respected.
Night opening hours of the Alcazaba of Malaga
As the schedule of these monuments depends on the season of the year, there are times when they are open at night and other months when they are not. The Alcazaba is usually open at night until 20:00.
In case you want to visit the Alcazaba or the Gibralfaro Castle at night, I recommend you to make a reservation first to enter the place. This reservation is to ensure your entrance, because generally, close to closing time the influx of tourists in the place is usually counted by hundreds of people, and it is likely that you will be left without the opportunity to enter.
In some months of the year, the night schedule is not so extensive, offering admission until 18:00 hours. It is important that, if you do not want to or cannot make a reservation in advance, you arrive with enough time in advance to buy a ticket for the night tour, since the queue at the ticket office is usually long.
You also have to know that if you want to see the facilities at night, you will have to do it on your own, because the guided tours only operate during the day and not at night, so it doesn't really rank among the best things to see and do in Malaga at night.
Schedule of the guided tours of the Alcazaba of Malaga
Definitely the best time to visit the Alcazaba in Malaga is in the morning, but the schedule of the guided tours could change your plans, and in fact if you want the visit to the Alcazaba to be one of the best activities to do in Malaga, I recommend you to do it with a guided tour, which is preferable to request it with some time in advance.
You have two options of guided tours for tourists, one of them is the common or classic guided tour, in which you will have to pay a fee that includes the entrance to the facilities along with the tour with an expert. In this case, the visit is open to the general public.
The general guided tour only starts at 5:00 p.m. every day and lasts approximately 1 hour and a half. If you are looking to save time, this is undoubtedly a good way to get to know the place. Although, I recommend that if you want to see both monuments, you should use at least two days to visit them, one day for the Alcazaba and one day for the Gibralfaro Castle.
Another option you have is to visit the Alcazaba privately, that is, hiring a unique experience for you and your group, in which you can coordinate the schedule in which you want to enjoy this experience. This type of guided tours are aimed for groups of up to 25 people, and the price may change according to the number of them, but before hiring this experience I invite you to learn more about the prices of the Alcazaba in Malaga.
Summer schedule of the Alcazaba of Malaga
As I have already mentioned, the opening hours of these monuments change according to the season of the year. In the case of summer, which runs from April 1 to November 31, the Alcazaba opens from 9:00 to 20:00. This is the time when you can visit both monuments at night.
From November 1 begins the winter season in Malaga, so it is at this time when the schedule of the Alcazaba is cut, being open to the public from 9:00 to 18:00 every day of the week, regardless of whether it is weekend or weekday.
You have to know that regardless of the season, either winter or summer, both monuments limit the entrance at least 45 minutes before closing time, so I recommend you to arrive at least a couple of hours before closing time to enjoy the place.
In fact, as touring this place is included among the best things to do in Malaga in summer, I recommend you to visit the city for more than one day, so you can enjoy the Alcazaba in one day and the Gibralfaro Castle another day. Although both structures are very close, they are not interconnected and it is really exhausting to visit them both in the same day.
What days is the Alcazaba of Malaga closed?
The Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle are almost never closed, both monuments are open all year round, regardless of holidays, week ends or any other reason. There are only two days a year when the place closes its doors to the public.
December 25 and January 1 of each year are not the ideal days to visit the monuments because these are the only days when they are not in operation. In fact, many of the 10 best museums in Malaga and other places of interest in the city, are usually closed during those days, working on the eve of these days, ie: Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
Best time to visit the Alcazaba of Malaga
One of the recommendations I like to make to visit both the Alcazaba and the Castleof Gibralfaro is that it is much better to go in the morning hours, this way you are ensuring that you can take all the time you need to know calmly each of these places.
Again, if we talk about the days when it is better or worse to visit this place, undoubtedly one of the best times to do it is during the guided tour that takes place every day at 17:00 hours. Taking a guided tour is the best way to get to know the place like a local, that is why I always prefer to go to this place in the afternoon to enjoy this guided tour.
As for the time of the year to see both monuments, summer is undoubtedly the best time to walk around both the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro Castle. If you decide to go in summer, I recommend that you go in the afternoon hours when the weather is much nicer than during the day.
The disadvantage of seeing these two structures during the summer is the amount of people that come to visit them every year. This does not mean that you have to go strictly in summer, in fact it can count as one of the best activities to do in Malaga in winter, but always try to find a sunny day and wear warm clothes to go up.
Transport timetable to get to the Alcazaba of Malaga
Once you are at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro you can try to get to the monuments in two ways, one of them is using the elevator in Guillén Sotelo street. This is undoubtedly the best option if you have decided to include the visit to the Alcazaba among the best things to see and do in Malaga with children.
Of course, you have to keep in mind that this way of going up to the Alcazaba is only available from Tuesday to Sunday, because on Mondays, the elevator is closed to the public and you will have to climb on your own to the top of the monument. You also have available the tourist bus of Malaga, which in its red route leaves you very close to the Alcazaba.
The next way to climb is to do it on foot, this is a journey that I recommend if you go with your family or friends, because it allows you to know little by little, all that the mountain has to offer. On this hike you can have incredible views of the city, besides being considered as a good warm-up walk before reaching the Alcazaba or the Gibralfaro Castle.
This is an option that I would not highly recommend for people in wheelchairs, pregnant women or people with back problems. About the time it can take to complete this walk, it is estimated between 35 and 45 minutes, so if you intend to do this tour, try to do it well before closing time, so you can get to the top in time.
Schedule of attractions near the Alcazaba of Malaga
Around the Alcazaba you will find different attractions that you will also want to visit during your trip to Malaga, but you will need more than one day to visit them. The closest one is, of course, the Gibralfaro Castle, which you can visit the same day you go to the Alcazaba or you can go on a different day.
But besides the Castle, what other sights can you visit near the Alcazaba and when are they open? I tell you.
Roman Theater of Malaga
It is located very close to the Alcazaba and is one of those iconic places of the city. The Roman Theater of Malaga represents the Roman past of the city of Malaga. It is one of the most special structures of Malaga's cultural heritage because it represents one of the golden ages of this city.
It is open from 10:00 to 18:00, from Tuesday to Saturday. On holidays and Sundays it is open from 10:00 to 16:00. It is closed on January 1 and 6, as well as on December 24, 25 and 31. Admission is free and you can visit the site without making a reservation.
It is also near the Alcazaba and is one of those monuments that you can not miss on your visit to Malaga. It is one of the most significant structures of the city and is popularly known as the Manquita, thanks to the fact that the construction of its south tower was never completed.
This place is a spectacle to visit both for its external architecture and its level of detail inside. The chapels and the structure of the internal part of this religious temple explain very well the value to detail and ornamentation that highlighted the Spanish Renaissance.
For the Cathedral of Malaga you can do it with a guided tour or on your own, but regardless of the way you do it, you will have to buy a ticket. The price can vary according to age, with the most expensive ticket costing approximately 12 euros. It is open from 10:00 to 20:00 from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays it is open from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 14:00 to 18:00.
Hammam Al Andalus of Malaga
This is one of the best Al Andalus monuments still standing in the city of Malaga, and it is an enclosure that works as a spa where you can go to enjoy different attentions and relaxation treatments.
It is one of the favorite places for both locals and tourists to de-stress and reconnect with themselves. But it is also a structure that has been preserved over time and offers tourists a glimpse of how these entertainment centers worked in the time of Islam in Spain.
As for the opening hours of Hammam Al Ándalus in Malaga, it is open to the public from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00. Tickets can be purchased online or you can go to request them at the box office.