There’s a place in the south of Spain that has a little something for everyone—Malaga. Located inside Andalusia, the municipality offers visitors the rare combination of a tropical heaven, right next to an urban oasis. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of adventures to be had as well as many things to do in Malaga, that take advantage of the two environments.
If you’re still unsure just how amazing this Spanish city is, take a look at some of Malaga’s best attractions.
10 Things to do in Malaga
While it’s more commonly referred to as a castle, Alcazaba was primarily used as a fortress, as made evident by the structure’s design. Constructed by the Hammudid dynasty in the 11th century, Alcazaba’s tall and smooth walls kept enemies out and occupants safe.
Today, because it was built on a hill in the center of the city, it serves as a visual point of interest from almost anywhere in the town limits. Walk along the inner citadel to take in the detailed masonry work, then explore the gardens and mesmerising fountains in the outer citadel. Definitely a top thing to do in Malaga.
2. Gibralfaro Castle
Castles of Spain explains that this castle, which was built in the 10th century, served as shelter for the Spanish troops. It was also designed to be the first wall of protection against an attack, keeping enemies from reaching Alcazaba.
Like Alcazaba, the castle has breathtaking architecture that visitors can’t help but admire. But Gibralfaro’s landscape is what really draws in crowds. The meticulously kept gardens soften the castle’s harsh exterior, and the conveniently placed paths and patio sets make exploring the grounds the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
3. Pablo Picasso Museum
British Airways lists the Pablo Picasso museum as one of the most noteworthy historical sites for cultured tourists—and it’s easy to see why.
It’s the birthplace of the famous artist, and Malaga’s pride in the famous local is clear in every corner of the museum. It’s filled to the brim with over 285 pieces of Picasso’s work, all donated by members of his family. There’s even a cafe on site, so you can enjoy a drink or lunch before you finish viewing the rest of the collection.
4. Glass and Crystal Museum
It may sound self-explanatory from the museum name, but according to Malaga Estates, what you’ll find when you arrive is anything but the expected.
Set in a renovated manor built in 1761, this museum is truly one of a kind. With over 3,000 glass and crystal pieces on display—there are some from as far back as Phoenician times!—you can walk through this museum all day and still see pieces you missed before.
5. Costa Del Sol
Costa Del Sol is one of, if not the hottest beach spot in the south of Spain. The sand is sparkling white, the water is bright blue, and shops and beach bars line the surf. You can easily spend an entire day taking in the rays and hopping from beach hut to tapas bar without a second thought of the time.
And speaking of tapas…
6. Tapas Tours
Malaga is well-known for the area’s affinity for tapas. It may have originated from Spain, but Tapas in Malaga suggests that Malaga’s particular interest in the dish stems from the recent rejuvenation of beachfront bars and other areas of the city. They have all contributed to the area’s newfound “cool” factor.
Tapas allow for those leisurely walking the beach to try some of the local fare in the small portions. They’re easy to grab on the go and perfect for when you’re in a snacking mood. Visitors are encouraged try dishes the area is famous for, including seasonal croquettes, stuffed olives, and grilled sardines. Come check out the foodie things to do in Malaga.
The stunning views as well as the diverse landscape and terrain in Malaga make the area perfect for biking. You can see different parts the city depending on which kind of tour you take. Stroll through the flatter terrain in town for an easier ride or explore the mountainous landscape in north Malaga for a trip that will really get your heart pumping.
8. Olive Oil Tours
The south of Spain is one of the biggest distributors of olive oil in the world. As a result, Malaga has dozens of different tours available highlighting this delicious product. On Olive Oil Tours, for example, visitors not only get to sample different flavors of olive oil, they also tour the olive farms and learn about the harvesting process. Because you can’t necessarily bring cases of oil home with you, make sure you get your fill while you can.
9. Calle Larios
This bustling, open-air shopping center always attracts tourists with its quaint shops and charming restaurants, all rich with Malaga culture. It’s the perfect place for visitors to find some authentic Malaga souvenirs.
When you’re done with your (potential) spending spree, the area is great for window shopping and admiring the surrounding art. Make sure you check out the most famous piece at the start of the Calle Larios, the Larios Monument.
If you’re lucky enough to visit this lovely city in the south of Spain, these are just a few of the activities you can add to your agenda. But if you want to experience the area like a local, you’ll have to fill in the rest of your itinerary with the adventures you discover yourself.