10 Best things to do & see in Málaga, Spain

1. Visit the Moorish fortress Alcazaba de Málaga

Discover the rich history of Málaga during a visit to the former Moorish fortress Alcazaba de Málaga. The construction of this fortress started in the 9th century and was extended two hundred years later and became part of the fortress walls surrounding the city. With the aim to protect Málaga from invaders and to provide a safe place for governors and princes.

Within the walls of the complex you will find palaces, patios, fountains and beautiful architecture. Moorish influences can be seen in the architectural style like the decorated arches with Arabic characters and figures. The influences also can be seen in the gardens were there has been installed an impressive irrigation system.

A visit to Alcazaba de Málaga is literally a highlight. The fortress is built on the slope of the mountain Gibralfaro, so enjoy beautiful views over the city!

Tip: A visit to the fortress is free on Sundays.

2. Take a look at Teatro Romano

Teatro Romano is one of the oldest Roman theaters in Spain and probably dates from the last century BC. The theater is located next to the Alcazaba de Málaga, so you can perfectly combine it with a visit to the Moorish fortress. The remains of Teatro Romano were discovered in 1951 during excavations. The missing parts were partly used by the Moors for the construction of the Alcazaba de Málaga. After many years of restoration, the theater now serves as an exhibition space and shows are held here in the summer.

Do you want to learn more about this beautiful Roman theater and the Alcazaba fortress then there are also guided tours available here.

3. Spot the cathedral of Málaga

On Plaza del Obispo, in the old part of the center, you find the cathedral of Málaga. This large impressive structure can be seen from many places in the city. If you pay attention, you will notice that the cathedral was never completed and is missing a tower. It is therefore popularly known as La Manquita; one-armed lady.

4. Relax in the most tropical city park Paseo del Parque

If you want to get away from the bustle of the city, you can relax in Paseo del Parque. This extensive park, approximately 800 meters long, runs parallel to the harbor and has plenty of seating areas to relax. Many locals also know where to find this place and they meet up or read the newspaper. In Paseo del Parque you will encounter the most special and exotic trees and plants from all over the world. So it’s like a gigantic botanical garden!

5. Discover the coast of Málaga by bike

With a bike you can discover the area outside the city center of Málaga in a relaxed way. There are several routes, but our favorite route is exploring the east coast.

The route is about 30 kilometers long and starts in the center of Málaga. You will cycle past the harbor, the lighthouse, the city beach La Malagueta and beach pavilion Baños del Carmen. Follow the boulevard to the former fishing districts of Pedregalejo and El Palo. Here you will get to know the authentic Mediterranean lifestyle. The suburbs are located directly on the sea. The streets are filled with colored houses, beach bars and street art. Next to the boulevard you will find the iconic boat barbecues, where they prepare the local specialty ‘Espeto de Sardinas’ (grilled sardines). Hop off your bike for a beach walk along the bays that are full of small fishing boats.

We definitely recommend to continue the route to arrive at a number of less touristy beaches. The most beautiful beach is Playa Peñon del Cuervo, which is named after the special rock formation in the water. At the end of the beach begins an old railway tunnel that leads you to the beach of la Cala del Moral. Park your bike and walk over the rocks towards Rincón de la Victoria, the end point of the route. From here you can cycle the same way back to the city center of Málaga again.

Tip: We rented our bikes at Bike Tours Málaga. Rent a bike to explore on your own or participate in one of the organized bike tours.

6. Watch the bullring Plaza de Toros La Malagueta from above

Climb to the viewpoint Mirador de Gibralfaro to get a better view of the city. From here you also get an interesting view of the bullring Plaza de Toros La Malagueta. Walk a few minutes further then the viewpoint to avoid the crowds and enjoy the view all by yourself.

7. Stroll along the harbor during the golden and blue hour

An evening stroll along the modern harbor during the golden hour is magically beautiful! The palm trees stand out against the golden sky, you have a beautiful view of the sea. The boulevard takes you past cozy terraces, shops and the lighthouse La Farola. Also spot the moored luxury yachts, cruise ships and sailboats. Tip: be sure to wait until the sun has set and the blue hour begins. The sky turns bright pink.

8. Try the best tapas and drink exclusive cocktails

In our opinion the food and drink in Málaga is the best highlight of all. The menus are full of tasty surprises, also for vegetarians. Every time you get spoiled with delicious recipes on the house.

Find out our 17 favorite restaurants and bars in Málaga, recommended by locals ;).

9. Watch the sunset from the breathtaking viewpoint Monte Victoria

On top of the hill Monte Victoria you can see the most magical sunset. This viewpoint makes it possible to see the entire city from a different angle. Monte Victoria is located just outside the city. From the center you walk to the top in 40-50 minutes. When you are sitting here, chatting together, with a beer in your hand, overlooking thousands of roofs, staring at the sun that disappears behind the mountains, watching the night life, you realize there is nothing more you need. It’s about the little things in life. Those are unforgettable!

10. Let’s hike the Sendero Picapedreros Trail

In less than a 15 minutes ride from the center of Málaga you will find the area Los Molinos de San Telmo. Here starts the Sendero Picapederos Trail and you will walk through the mountainous Montes de Málaga Natural Park. It is a wonderfully quiet area where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes, great views and beautiful nature. The area is full of olive and eucalyptus trees, wide forest roads and narrow steep paths through the pine forests. 

More about: Hiking in Málaga – Sendero Picapedreros Trail