Best Things To Do in Malaga

Malaga is one of the most populated cities in Andalusia and its vibrant atmosphere invites you to do endless activities. Here are some of the things you can do there.

Andressa García

Andressa García

13 min read

Best Things To Do in Malaga

Aerial view of Malaga | ©Martijn Vonk

As it is a coastal area, Malaga offers beach activities, exquisite marine flavors and water sports. But this city is much more than that, it is also a city with an impressive nightlife, so its bars and nightclubs will invite you to stay and enjoy good music and wines.

I will tell you some of the best things to do in Malaga, which has activities for all kinds of visitors, you can even live incredible experiences with the kids in case you travel with them.

1. Walk through the historic center of the city with a tour guide

Malaga| ©F Delventhal
Malaga| ©F Delventhal

Malaga is an amazing city to visit and walk through its streets and avenues, so if there is something you have to do as soon as you arrive to this city, and after making the transfer from Malaga airport, is to enjoy every historical and cultural corner it has to show you. I recommend you to take a guided tour with an expert who will tell you everything you want to know about the city.

There are many ways in which you can make a tour of this style. You can do a quick walking tour, you also have the opportunity to tour the city by bike or segway. Another option that I think is one of the most fun is to take an electric tuk tuk tour. In short, there are plenty of options for touring the city.

Part of what you will see in this type of tours is the historic center of the city, which has structures of great tourist interest such as the cathedral of La Manquita, the University of Malaga or even the Picasso Museum, which by the way, before visiting it I recommend you to know their schedules and prices.

In addition, you can make tours at sunset to know the nightlife of Malaga, as well as enjoy the most refreshing drinks and the most exquisite tapas.

Book your tour in Malaga with a tour guide

2. Take the city sightseeing bus with boat included

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

The tourist bus of Malaga is an excellent option if you have little time to visit Malaga and you want to see as many places as possible. If there is something I like about this tour is that you have the option to get on both the bus and the boat.

Besides taking you to know the whole city by land, it also takes you through an interesting tour of the bay, an activity that I recommend you to do in Malaga in November, when temperatures are much more pleasant. You can take this bus by buying a ticket and getting on at the time you want within the bus schedule, you can also enjoy the pass for the next 24 hours from the time you make the purchase.

You have a choice of three lines for the bus, one red, one green and one blue. Each of the lines takes you very close to the different places of interest in the city. You can stay on the bus without making any stops, just listening to the audio guide commentary, or you can get off at each stop to get a closer look at each place.

I love this option because in addition to saving money, it is a flexible ticket that allows you to get to know the city at your own pace, without pressure and being able to enjoy each of the places as you want, from inside or outside.

Book your ticket to get on the tourist bus of Malaga

3. Take a boat ride on the bay of Malaga

Puerto Marina, Malaga| ©Jose A
Puerto Marina, Malaga| ©Jose A

Malaga, being classified as a coastal area, offers multiple options by boat to visit the city and tour it from the coast. The boat tour in Malaga is available at any time of the day, so you can do this tour at dawn, during the day or at sunset to appreciate how the sun sets on the skyline of Malaga.

You can board boat cruises, catamarans or sailing boats. Depending on the option you choose, these are tours that you can do privately only with your group of friends and family, or you can share the ride with other tourists who are passing through the city.

Generally, these tours offer drinks, meals and snacks. Depending on the time you board, some of these tours offer lunch or dinner, so it is a complete experience of sea, sun and tastings of the most exquisite tapas and wines, worthy of one of the best gastronomic tours in Malaga.

On the other hand, many of these tours offer you the possibility of practicing certain sports such as snorkeling and other water activities while traveling aboard a boat. You can even do half-day and full-day excursions, if you want a more exciting experience than just a couple of hours on board.

Book your boat trip in Malaga Bay

4. Practice paddle surfing or any other water sport

Paddle Surf in Malaga| ©fran_laguna
Paddle Surf in Malaga| ©fran_laguna

The coastal area offers you a lot of water activities to practice, so you need to go to Malaga in 4 days at least, to practice some of the most fun extreme sports. One of the sports that I like to practice in Malaga is paddle surfing, and there are many tours that offer you to do water routes to practice this sport.

If you want to continue living incredible experiences in the sea, you can practice snorkeling. This activity is incredible to do with family and children because they love to know how the marine life is. In some cases this type of experience requires a minimum age to complete it, but most of the time children can participate.

To continue enjoying the sea, you also have at your disposal many tours and excursions that offer to take you kayaking along the coast, this being one of the top 10 most fun activities in Malaga to do with family and friends. Finally, parasailing is a high adventure.

This last experience is for the bravest, and if you are one of those people who love extreme adventures, you definitely have to include this among the activities to do in Malaga, you just need to get on a cruise ship that offers this option and start flying through the air above the sea and having incredible views of the city.

5. Watch flamenco shows in the tablaos

Kelipé Flamenco Art Center| ©Milan Mirkovic
Kelipé Flamenco Art Center| ©Milan Mirkovic

The flamenco show is one of the most representative traditions of all Spain and if there is a place where you know how to enjoy this art is in Andalusia, and especially in Malaga. So if you go on a trip for at least one day to Malaga, you have to visit a tablao and enjoy some of the best flamenco shows in Malaga.

If you want to do this cultural activity, you can do it on your own by going to some flamenco tablao at night time, to enjoy, besides the show, exquisite tapas and sweet locally made wines. But in case you do not know which places to visit and how to enjoy this art, you can hire a guided tour.

In general, many of the best tours in Malaga take you to enjoy flamenco in the tablaos, they offer you much more than the entrance to each venue, they also offer you drinks and snacks, as well as the accurate comments of the tour guides who are always attentive to show you which are the best options for drinks and food in the place where they go.

This is a show to enjoy with the family, knowing that flamenco is much more than just dancers. It is a complete scenario that mixes singers, guitarists and colorful costumes, as well as castanets and other typical elements.

Book your visit to the different flamenco "tablaos"

6. Visit the Alcazaba and other Al-Andalus monuments

Alcazaba, Malaga| ©manuelfloresv
Alcazaba, Malaga| ©manuelfloresv

The Alcazaba is one of those places where you can appreciate the rich cultural legacy left in Spain by the Islamic period. It is a fort with an incredibly preserved structure that stands guard on the slopes of Mount Gibralfaro. At the top of this mountain you can also visit the Gibralfaro Castle.

Both structures stand as icons of the city of Malaga and become a must-see not only for history lovers, but also for the tourist in general, who loves to discover interesting places. Before visiting the Alcazaba I recommend you to check its opening hours and ticket prices.

If there is something you will love about going up to the Gibralfaro Castle is the incredible view you can appreciate from this place. As this castle is located at the top of the mountain, it is possible to see Malaga, which is undoubtedly one of the 10 best cities in Andalusia, from another point of view.

But these are not the only Al-Andalus monuments that you can see in the city of Malaga, in fact there are many structures in this city that remind this Islamic past not only of Malaga, but also of all Spain, being the Roman Bridge one of them, this one you can include in your list of places to visit with your family.

Book your visit to La Alcazaba

7. Take a tour of the best museums in Malaga

Entrance of the Picasso Museum| ©Dr Bob Hall
Entrance of the Picasso Museum| ©Dr Bob Hall

Malaga is a cultural city par excellence, and the importance of art in this city is incredible, that is why one of the nicknames to refer to Malaga is the city of museums, being located in this place some of the most interesting and fun to enjoy with the family in Spain.

Among the 10 best museums to visit in Malaga are the one dedicated to Pablo Picasso, taking into account that this is his hometown. You can also visit the Automobile and Fashion Museum, the Centre Pompidou in Malaga, the only one outside France, among many others.

This is one of those activities that you cannot miss if you are a lover of art and culture. Other museums that are still interesting to see in Malaga are: the Russian Museum, the Wine Museum, the Glass Museum, the Music Museum and the Art Center of Malaga. In some of them you can even participate in workshops and they usually have interactive spaces.

To visit them all, you will need to make a trip to Malaga of at least 3 days, in which you dedicate much of the tour to visit the museums. But if you have little time, I recommend you to visit at least a couple of them, also taking advantage of the fact that most of them offer low cost tickets, reduced tickets and sometimes free tickets for children and seniors.

Book your visit to the best museums in Malaga

8. Go on an excursion to the wineries and vineyards on the outskirts of the city

Vineyards in Malaga| ©Cayetano
Vineyards in Malaga| ©Cayetano

On the outskirts of the city you can find a lot of vineyards that you can visit if you go with enough time to the city. That is why one of the activities that I recommend you to do in Malaga in summer and if you are a lover of wine and good food, is a good tour of the wine villages on the outskirts of Malaga.

Marbella is another town located just outside of Malaga and is a wine region where you can also enjoy the different varieties of wines. Before you embark on an adventure to this city, I recommend you check out how to get to Marbella from Malaga.

The local wines are of high quality and mostly quite sweet, so you will most likely want to try more than one glass during the tour. I like this kind of tours because not only do you get to taste the oldest and highest quality wines, but you will also have the opportunity to learn about the winemaking process.

If you don't want to leave the city to get to know the different flavors of wines that Malaga has to offer, you can stay and visit some of the most special wineries in the city, or even embark on a wine and tapas tour that will take you through the bars where they serve the best local and refreshing wines.

One of the must-visits you can't miss is the Antigua Casa de Guardia, a winery founded around 1840 and that since then has not stopped working even in the most difficult moments of Spanish history. Its wine list offers a wide variety of wines with different aging times, which makes it one of the best places to taste quality wines.

9. Go on an excursion to the Caminito del Rey

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

This is one of the most impressive hiking trails in Andalusia and was once considered one of the most dangerous routes in the world, but today it has been reorganized to be much safer.

This adventure, which is considered one of the best excursions from Malaga, is an hour away from that city by car, so it is a good alternative if you want to do a different activity outside the city.

You can find tours that take you from Malaga to this amazing place, and you can even have the company of a tour guide that will show you the way and everything you need to know about this route.

What will definitely take your breath away during the route is that it is at an impressive height above sea level. It is a good experience to include among the activities to do in Malaga in October.

Something you should know before embarking on this adventure is that you have to be completely sure that you will be able to complete the entire route, because once you start crossing, you can't go back because the path has only one way and if you go in the opposite direction, you simply can't pass.

Book your excursion to the Caminito del Rey from Malaga

10. Relax in the baths of Hammam Al Ándalus

Hammam Al Ándalus| ©OneTwoTrip Travel Expert
Hammam Al Ándalus| ©OneTwoTrip Travel Expert

The baths of Hammam Al Ándalus is one of those places of Islamic Spain that are still standing and represent a golden past of this Islamic era. This is one of the most interesting places to see and visit in Malaga in 1 day. You will be transported back in time as soon as you enter this place.

To visit them, you can go on your own and book the tickets online before your trip, but you can also hire a guided tour that will take you to this place in the company of an expert guide who will teach you everything you need to know about the Islamic culture and the Hammam baths.

Inside you will be able to do an endless number of relaxing activities such as enjoying massages, participating in relaxation rituals and living experiences that will make you reconnect with your peace and your inner nature. This is one of those activities that disconnect you from the rest of the world and that will help you feel that you are enjoying your trip and your vacation to the fullest, in fact, it is an ideal activity to do in Malaga in winter.

One of the services of the Arab baths that I like the most and that I'm sure you will also like, are the so-called water journeys, which are relaxing sessions in which through the water will make you feel peace, tranquility and calm from the beginning of the experience until it ends.

Book your entrance to Hammam Al-Andalus Baths

11. Visit the Botanical Garden of La Concepción

La Concepción Botanical Garden| ©Isa Ruiz
La Concepción Botanical Garden| ©Isa Ruiz

The botanical garden of La Concepción is one of those places impossible to miss. It is located in Malaga and offers you a journey through all the places of the world through plants. Inside this enclosure you can learn about the different plants and flowers that can be found in many parts of the world.

In addition, you can visit this garden during the day and making reservations in advance to avoid queues, but you also have the possibility to visit it at night, being a good plan to include among the things to see and do in Malaga at night, especially it is an activity that I recommend you to include in your list of things to do in Malaga in December, to appreciate the lights that illuminate the garden.

This is one of the best things to do in Malaga with kids and family because it is always interesting to know the flora that can be found in many places in the world. Another thing you have to know about this botanical garden is that they have a lot of activities for the whole family, that's why before visiting it, I recommend you to visit the website to find out about the available activities.

To visit this place you can do it on your own by public transportation, cab or rental car. You can also take the tourist bus on the green line, which will take you directly to the garden. Another option you have is to hire an excursion service with an experienced tour guide who will take you to see this place and tell you everything you want to know about the garden.

12. Take an excursion to Granada

Alhambra. Granada.| ©VALDITHRASH
Alhambra. Granada.| ©VALDITHRASH

An amazing plan to do when you are in Malaga is to embark on an excursion to another city and/or town, and what better place to visit than Granada. This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Andalusia. Granada with its famous Alhambra, is one of those destinations that you can not miss on a trip as enriching as this one to Malaga.

There are different interesting neighborhoods to visit in Granada, and you can even dedicate yourself to learn a little more about the gastronomy of the place before returning to Malaga. The other option you have is to go on a guided tour.

Generally in this type of guided tours, the tour guide is usually the driver of the vehicle, and in many occasions you can find these tours in other languages besides Spanish, in case you want to visit the city together with some friends or family members who do not speak the language.

This kind of excursions to Granada usually last the whole day, so I recommend you to make this trip only if you are going to stay in Malaga for more than one day, so you can use the necessary time to visit this city in all its splendor and experience the different environments and colors it has to offer.