fun things to do in Malaga

Straddling the golden sands of Spain’s Costa del Sol, Malaga is a vibrant, outdoor paradise that fuses ancient history with modern flair and an extra serving of lip-smacking tapas.

As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, the art and culture scene is second to none; and with not one, not two, but sixteen sun-kissed beaches along its sparkling shoreline — and countless hikes, hills, and historical landmarks tucked away inland — this Andalusian city dishes up something for everyone.

From the labyrinth of Old Town streets to its contemporary, chirpy seafront promenade, Malaga has all bases covered. So, what are you waiting for? With 52 unique and unusual things to do in Malaga (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), it’s time to start planning your next getaway!

1 – Take a tour of the foreboding Alcazaba

Alcazaba, Malaga

Perched on the slopes of the lush and green Gibralfaro Mountain, this palace meets fortress is truly a sight to behold.

With a chaptered history that dates back to the 11th-century beginning with the Moorish era, the hilltop Malaga icon is known for its remains of Roman walls, its mix of architectural styles (Roman, Moorish, Renaissance), and most of all, its amazing panoramic view of the city and its skyline.

While you’re there, don’t miss this often-overlooked Airón well which stretches some 40 meters deep!

2 – Step back in time at the Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre, Malaga

Sitting at the base of the dramatic Alcazaba, this historical monument is just one of the many jewels that adorn this Mediterranean city. Steeped in historical and archeological significance, with its origins in Moorish and Roman times, it is believed to be among Europe’s oldest theaters, loosely dating back to the first century A.D.

Whether you join a guided tour or explore solo, there’s plenty of unique artifacts and educational displays to check out.

Hot tip: If you’re pinching pennies, a range of free walking tours explore both the Roman Theatre and Alcazaba fortress — just make sure to leave a tip for your friendly guide.

3 – Check off all the main attractions with the hop-on-hop-off bus

hop-on-hop-off bus, Malaga

Short or time or don’t feel like walking all around town? Don’t worry, Malaga has got your back. With the hop-on-hop-off bus service, you’ll see all of the city’s sights with ease and comfort without having to go out of your way or break a sweat getting there!

Hop onto one of their double-deckers for an open-air experience that lets you take in Malaga views like never before, stopping at over a dozen essential landmarks like Gibralfaro Castle, the Roman Theatre, Mercado Central de Atarazanas (central market), Malaga Cathedral, and, of course, the sandy sunkissed beach.

4 – Soak in the view from the Gibralfaro Castle

Gibralfaro Castle, Malaga

A highly photographed ancient landmark and easily one of the essential things to do in Malaga (whether you’re a history buff or not), the Gibralfaro Castle is a citadel perched atop the hill for which it takes its name.

Looming over Malaga city, this Moorish castle was originally constructed in the 14th-century and later reconstructed during the Renaissance period to what you see today — all of which have been well-preserved thanks to their inclusion on Spain’s list of national monuments!

History and architecture aside, if your after killer views — particularly as the sun goes down — make a beeline for the Mirador de Gibralfaro (translating to Gibralfaro lookout). At 132 meters above sea level, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better sunset spot.

5 – Zoom around Malaga Park on a Segway tour

segway tours in Málaga

Can’t be bothered walking? For a fun and new way to experience the city, consider booking yourself on one of the Segway tours!

On these guided tours — some as short as just as 30 minutes, others up to 2 hours — you’ll cover at least a few miles as your knowledgeable guide leads you through Malaga’s most famous sights.

From the ornate fountains and leafy botanical gardens in Malaga Park to the city’s main historic monuments and Malaga’s very own Picasso museum, a two-wheel tour will give you the lowdown on all that this stunning city has to offer.

6 – Stop by the Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum, Malaga

Art aficionados, listen up! One of the must-see museums in Malaga is none other than Picasso’s birthplace, a fascinating, art-filled space dedicated to showcasing some of this celebrated artist’s most divine work.

As you’d expect, there are plenty of paintings and sketches on display (over 285 works in total) that date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, with many never seen before by the public!

And if Picasso’s collection wasn’t exciting enough, the Museum itself is housed within a stunning restored 16th-century palace!

7 – Join a picturesque boat tour

boat tours in Málaga

With the 47-kilometer-long Guadalmadina River running through Malaga’s core, and the shores of the warm Alboran Sea greeting its southern beaches, water activities are never too far away.

Whether it’s sightseeing and sunbathing on board; or snorkeling, scuba diving and even dolphin watching (yes — in Spain!) that tickles your fancy; the possibilities are endless on a Malaga boat tour. Plus, with food and free-flowing drinks typically included, it’s a great way to meet and mingle with fellow travelers.

For something a little more subdued, why not consider a romantic dinner cruise or sunset sail, or even rent your own boat for a day!

8 – Soak in the sun at Costa del Sol’s best beaches

Costa del Sol’s best beaches, Malaga

As you’d expect from a Mediterranean coastline, the beaches that line Málaga’s southern side are super popular with locals and tourists alike — and with barely any rain year-round, there’s seldom a bad time to work on the tan.

Whether it’s for sunbathing or surfing that takes your fancy; there is truly something to suit all tastes on this stretch of Costa del Sol!

A beloved spot for locals, the clean and manmade Playa la Malagueta is easily Málaga’s most famous urban beach, never shy of activity or excitement. A little further from the city center and therefore not as crowded, Playa Peñon del Cuervo is known for its characteristic rock formation (Raven Rock) and nighttime bonfire parties.

For those who prefer a little more easy-going, Playa de el Palo boasts shallow waters that make it ideal for a family-friendly day out; but with plenty of waterfront beach bars, the partygoers can find plenty of fun here too.

9 – Hike the Caminito del Rey trail

Caminito del Rey day trip from Málaga

Not for those afraid of heights, the 7.7km-long Caminito del Rey is an iconic series of ridge trails and precarious bridges that cling to the steep cliffs along Málaga’s Guadalhorce Valley.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this dramatic walkway was originally created in the early 20th by King Alfonso XIII to connect the opposing sides of the gorge; over time it was updated to become the stunning trails we know and love today.

While the hike takes about three hours, because of its one-way nature, it’s best to visit on a guided tour where transport and logistics are all taken care of.

10 – Admire the art at the Carmen Thyssen Museum

Carmen Thyssen Museum, Malaga

One for the culture vultures, the Carmen Thyssen Museum houses a world-class collection of 19th and 20th-century Spanish paintings (although with some as old as the 1500s), including works by Raimundo Madrazo, Emilio Sánchez-Perrier and Martín Rico Ortega among many others.

Tickets for the museum include access to the temporary exhibition hall where you’ll find modern contemporary pieces from Spain’s finest artists to complement the three permanent displays.

To top it off, even the building which houses the museum — a 16th-century Renaissance palace — is a work of art!

11 – Explore the Port of Málaga with a bike tour

bike tours in Málaga

Explore the city like a local on two wheels; to get your heart racing and tick off not only the iconic landmarks but also must-see hidden gems off the beaten track, Malaga’s bike tours come highly recommended.

Whether you’re after something leisurely or a little more thrilling, there are several different bike tours to choose from — including short and sweet highlights tours; rides around the stunning Port of Malaga that roll through the Palm Grove of Surprises; tapas and wine-themed tours, and even mountain biking trips through the beautiful Montes de Malaga National Park!

12 – Immerse yourself in nature at Montes de Malaga Natural Park

Montes de Malaga Natural Park

The perfect excuse to get out and about, the Montes de Malaga Natural Park is a relatively undiscovered area of natural beauty that’s well worth exploring, whether that’s on two wheels or simply two feet.

With its rolling hills, lush green meadows and dramatic mountains as far as the eye can see, the almost-5,000-hectare wide Natural Park is a bucket-list-worthy destination for any nature lover.

Directions in Google Maps

13 – Spend a day or two exploring the White Towns of Andalusia

White Towns of Andalusia day trip from Malaga

On the cusp of Málaga’s Province, a series of ‘White Towns’ — small rural villages with a Moorish influence and a whitewashed heritage that lend it their name — are within easy reach from the city.

The beautiful and historical Ronda, whose two halves are divided by the dramatic El Tajo gorge, is actually the third most-visited area in southern Spain (and for good reason). Setenil de las Bodegas boasts a geography as unique as they come, literally built into the rockface with cliffs acting as a dramatic backdrop for the main streets; while the two-section town of Frigiliana is a labyrinth of white-washed streets and Moorish architecture worthy of countless photos.

And, if you’re after one more, Zahara de la Sierra sits perched on a former border fortification, dramatically overlooking the valley from its dominating hilltop position.

Hot tip: for the best bang for your buck, consider a tour that visits multiple White Villages in one day (and includes lunch).

14 – Take a journey through time at the Automobile Museum

Automobile Museum, Malaga

Any petrolheads out there? Whether you’re into classic cars or modern marvels, this museum has it all.

With over 90 fabulously maintained classic cars on display, together with showing the fascinating evolution of the industry, this museum is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the automotive world.

Classic cars aside, the Museum also showcases a rather impressive fashion section; you’ll discover exuberant dresses, sparkling jewelry, rare head-turning hats, and a whole lot more.

15 – Stroll around La Concepción Historical Botanical Gardens

La Concepción Historical Botanical Gardens in Malaga

If you’re a plant-lover, this peaceful haven is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

With 50,000 plants spread across acres of pristinely kept gardens and orchards, La Concepción boasts over 2,000 species from around the world — including plants from Chile, Europe and North America as well as some rare specimens that are indigenous only to the area.

And as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also find a fascinating set of sculptures by local artists dotted around the site; more than 100 species of palms and bamboos; and a history that dates back over 150 years!

Hot tip: the best time to visit the Garden is spring and summer, but be sure to check the Garden’s website to see when specific plants will be in bloom.

16 – Check off two attractions at once at the Málaga Museum

Málaga Museum

Despite being the biggest museum in Andalusia and the 5th in Spain altogether, the Málaga museum remains underrated, often overlooked in favor of Picasso.

Still, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Provincial Archaeological Museum hold centuries’ worth of beautiful art and fascinating history in their halls through two separate collections.

Art aficionados are delighted by the Spanish Fine Arts collection (think Luis de Morales, Velázquez, Goya and Zurbarán) while history buffs certainly appreciate the building in which it sits: the 18th-century Palacio de la Aduana de Málaga.

17 – Go canyoning down waterfalls!

canyoning in Málaga

A must-consider far the fearless thrill-seekers, canyoning is simply walking, jumping and swimming your way down a river gorge…with ropes.

And while the experience might seem frightening at first, with experienced guides to help you through the stunning scenery of the Rio Verde Gorge or Zarzalones, you can be assured that utmost safety (and adrenaline) is guaranteed.

After all, is there any better way to experience Aldalucia’s most amazing waterfalls and canyons than from the inside?

18 – Marvel at the giant Malaga Cathedral

Malaga Cathedral

The postcards simply don’t do it justice; few churches in the world can compare to Malaga Cathedral.

Towering 84 meters above the former site of a 15th-century mosque, the famed Renaissance church is an enormous, awe-inspiring monument to the city’s long history.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has seen more than its fair share of drama (stories of which are told on guided tours); but its beauty, through its sprawling courtyard, ornately decorated chapels, and marvelous frescoes prevail.

Seeking a great view? Consider the rooftop tour as well!

19 – Take a day trip to Marbella and spot dolphins!

Marbella day trip from Málaga

This white-washed Andalusian village in the shadows of the Sierra Blanca Mountains is quickly becoming one of southern Spain’s most popular tourist destinations, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on visiting while it retains its quaint charm.

While famous for its pristine beaches, pumping night clubs and luxury venues, thanks to its proximity to the water, it’s also a hot spot for dolphin watching!

Spend the morning watching the pods jump above the surface before exploring the port and grabbing some tantalizing tapas at one of Marbella’s many beachfront cafes.

20 – Check out the rock formations at El Torcal de Antequera

El Torcal de Antequera, hiking in Malaga

One of Andalusia’s most unique natural attractions, El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve located about an hour’s drive north of Málaga renowned for its series of enormous limestone towers jutting out from the cliffside.

A perfect getaway for photographers and hikers alike, visitors can choose from three main trails (Green, Yellow and Orange), with different lengths and difficulties to suit all ages.

21 – Get artsy at the Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou, Malaga

The sister museum to the iconic eponymous Parisian institute, Malaga’s Centre Pompidou is the first affiliate outside of France and therefore a must-see for those eager to see some of the most cutting edge contemporary art around!

Anchored by permanent Impressionist exhibits, there’s plenty to explore from works by the likes of Picasso and Warhol to a variety of modern works by up-and-coming contemporary artists. Plus, with two to three temporary exhibits per year, there’s always something new to discover.

22 – Cool off at a waterpark!

waterparks in Malaga

With the sun blaring down from above, what better way to cool down from the heat than a jaunt around one of Málaga’s many waterparks?

From slides and wave pools to lazy rivers and themed areas for kids, there is an abundance of wet-and-wild fun waiting at the city’s long list of family-friendly splash parks:

About 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle, Aqualand Torremolinos is one of the biggest and offers a unique surf simulator. A little more low-key and ideal for families with a range of basic slides, Aquavelis Water Park sits in the nearby town of Vélez-Málaga, making for a great day trip.

Over between the beaches of Velilla and Puerta del Mar, Aquatropic Aqua Park has the claim to fame of being the only saltwater water park in Spain, while Aquamijas in the town of Mijas is a small and simple destination to get away from the big crowds of the others.

Last but not least, CostaWaterPark takes adventure and literally throws it into the ocean with inflatable obstacle courses that the whole family will love!

23 – Sign up for an offroad buggy tour

buggy tour in Málaga

Experience the stunning mountains of Málaga from a unique perspective aboard an open-topped, four-wheeled buggy!

Explore nearby hillsides like Almunecar or Moclinejo to discover hidden gems and secluded coves usually only visited by locals, or venture into the depths of the foreboding Tajo de Ronda gorge.

For those looking for something more relaxing than adrenaline-inducing, head out on a more sedate buggy safari that explores one of the most beautiful villages in Andalucía: Mijas.

24 – Spelunk in the Nerja caves

Nerja day trips from Málaga

A spellbinding natural attraction, Nerja is famous for its labyrinthine of caves that stretch for almost 5 kilometers, found about 40 minutes east of Malaga proper.

Explore this ancient network of caverns and underground passageways on a guided tour before retreating to the nearby Mediterranean shore for a swim.

Hot tip: to save a few bucks as well as the hassle, some travelers opt to combine a Nerja trip with a stop at Frigiliana.

25 – Soak in the view from the Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo

Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo, Malaga

Tranquillity reigns supreme at these windswept cliffs, which rise up to a height of 30 meters and offer phenomenal views down onto the turquoise Mediterranean below.

The spectacular spot is located just an hour’s drive from Malaga city center and can be easily accessed by foot or car – but for those looking for something a bit more off-the-beaten-track, Maro offers up several secluded coves, perfect for a kayaking tour, and quiet beaches that are perfect for sunbathing or picnics.

All up, the coastal path runs some 12 kilometers parallel to the cliff, making for a wonderful and mildly strenuous day hike.

Directions in Google Maps

26 – Check out the Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga

Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga

An enchanting museum featuring glass and crystal exhibits, as well as a rare collection of precious minerals, the Museo del Vidrio y Cristal de Málaga is an underrated delight.

Throughout the stately, three-story, 18th-century mansion (a work of art in its own right) you’ll wander across 16 rooms containing more than 1000 glassware artifacts spanning from Phoenician times to the modern day.

Throw in a rare display of antique furniture, exquisite carpets, stained-glass windows and more, and you have an unsurpassable museum experience.

27 – Pass by Plaza de la Merced on a walking tour

walking tours in Málaga

Led by a friendly local, walking tours resort you through the winding streets of Málaga’s historic center, uncovering a treasure trove of architectural gems.

None more important to the city’s history, located at the top end of Calle Granada, the Plaza de la Merced is where you’ll find a centuries-old market (a good time to practice your Spanish haggling!), Pablo Picasso’s childhood home, and an endless list of busy cafes and energetic bars.

28 – Check out something different at the Russian Museum

Russian Museum, Malaga

While it might seem a little odd to have a Russian museum in the heart of southern Spain, this small collection in the city’s old tobacco factory is well worth an hour or two of your time.

The exhibits are surprisingly fascinating; from traditional costumes to beautiful paintings by famed artists such as Levitan and Repin, you’ll be left with a whole new appreciation for Russian culture and art (a surefire change of pace from the Spanish museums).

All up, nine different themed permanent exhibitions line the halls: old Russian art, 18th century, romanticism, realism, Russian realism, neoprimitivism, avant-garde, Socialist Realism, and art after Stalin) — and with countless film screenings and educational workshops, there’s plenty to be learned here!

29 – Head to Granada for a day trip

Granada day trip from Málaga

Despite being only an hour and a half away, many travelers tend to forget about Granada because of its inland location. But with its Alhambra Palace and stunning cathedral alone making it worth the visit (not to mention the vibrant culture and thriving foodie scene) you’ll soon find yourself wondering why this place isn’t on everyone’s Spanish itinerary!

The city itself is surprisingly lively; hilly streets are lined with quaint cottages and an abundance of secret gardens, while the main square – Plaza Bib-Rambla – is always bustling with locals and tourists alike.

30 – Immerse yourself with the animals at Bioparc Fuengirola

Bioparc Fuengirola, Malaga

For a day of fun and learning, head to the Bioparc Fuengirola – easily one of the more enjoyable things to do in Malaga for anyone traveling with kids in tow.

A large part zoo and animal park, this expansive space is filled with various themed exhibits where you’ll come face-to-face with hundreds of different species from all across the world!

Far from your typical zoo, however, the Bioparc is arranged with various zoo-immersion zones that put visitors (safely) in the animal’s environment to make visitors feel like they’re surrounded by the wilderness from which the animals originate — yes, you’re actually thrown into the jungle!

31 – Strum along at the Interactive Music Museum

Interactive Music Museum, Malaga

For music lovers, the city’s interactive museum sells itself as one of the coolest things to do in Málaga!

Found tucked away inside the 18th-century Palacio del Conde Navas, the Interactive Music Museum, with no shortage of playable instruments and hands-on experiences that embrace the rhythm, is a great way for younger children (or even adults) to get acquainted with various musical genres and styles.

A notable walk down memory lane too, the Museum showcases a diverse collection of global instruments dating back decades and centuries!

32 – Get romantic on a sunset cruise

sunset cruises in Málaga

Whether you’re one half of a romantic couple looking for a cute date night or simply someone who appreciates a spellbinding view, sunset cruises are a magical way to finish the day. As dusk hits and bounces off the historic city skyline, it’s only natural to feel enchanted by the timeless beauty of it all.

What’s more, many companies offer a range of dinner and drinks options during your cruise — that way you can enjoy some quiet time outside with just the two of you or kick back and get a little tipsy before an evening out on the town!

33 – Check off Seville & Córdoba on a day trip

Seville & Cordoba day trip from Malaga

Looking to head inland for a day and experience more of what Andalusia has to offer? Seville and Córdoba are two of the most beautiful cities in Spain that you can easily visit from Malaga — and typically both on the same day!

Bustling with old-world charm, both destinations have a little something for everyone — from vibrant flamenco shows to lively tapas bars. In Seville especially, don’t miss the famous Cathedral and sprawling Maria Luisa Park; while in Cordoba, be sure to check out the immense La Mezquita mosque, a beautiful symbol of ancient architecture dating back to the 700s!

34 – Watch a live flamenco show

flamenco shows in Málaga

Undoubtedly one of the more energetic Malaga nightlife activities guaranteed to give you goosebumps with its raw energy and vibrant passion, watching these skilled dancers perform is like stepping into a world where the senses are heightened and time stands still.

Flamenco shows typically begin with a solo guitarist, who will then be joined by singers and dancers in what is an enchanting fusion of music, movement and storytelling.

If you are planning to catch a live show, look no further than the KELIPÉ Theater & Flamenco Art Center, an intimate venue that plays host to one of the finest flamenco agencies in the province of Malaga.

35 – Cheer on the home team at Estádio La Rosaleda

La Rosaleda stadium, Malaga

Sports nuts, listen up! Home of the Malaga CF soccer team — whose fans are as proud and rowdy as any — Estádio La Rosaleda is one of the most beloved stadiums in all of Spain!

Built in 1941, this iconic stadium (which translates to ‘The Rose Garden’) sits adjacent to the Guadalmedina and seats just over 35,000 people; as you can imagine, the energy and volume are second to none.

Besides the matches, the stadium is also open for tours that include locker rooms and a museum dedicated to the history of Malaga’s beloved soccer team!

36 – Relax and unwind at Hammam Al Andalus

Hammam Al Andalus, Malaga
credit to Hammam Al Ándalus @Facebook

Hammam Al Andalus is a relaxing oasis, hidden away in the city center of Málaga — close enough to walk to all the main attractions, but secluded enough for a quiet and peaceful pampering.

The opulent Arabian baths’ interior boasts beautiful mosaics and pillars made from marble; a beautiful atmosphere to complement the wide range of treatments and massages on offer: choose from hot and cold baths, deep tissue massages, scrubs, and more.

37 – Head to nearby Gibraltar and Morocco

Gibraltar and Morocco day trips from Malaga

About as far south as you can go in Europe, it’s hard to miss the British territory of Gibraltar. Defined by its towering rock formation and famous Barbary apes (which are actually tailless monkeys), this area is steeped not only with history but also with an eclectic mix of cultures.

After seeing what Gilbraltar has to offer, why not head even further on another popular day trip to Morocco? As the only African nation with direct access to Europe by land, its closest major city, Tangier, with its whitewashed hillside houses, is a popular bucket-list destination.

Looking to experience more of what Morocco has to offer? The likes of Casablanca, Marrakesh (famed for its bazaar), Fez (a colorful city known for its religious significance), and Rabat can all be visited as part of a hassle-free, pre-organized intercontinental tour!

38 – Tour La Malagueta Bullring

La Malagueta Bullring, Malaga

Even though Madrid and Seville are the most renowned cities for bullfighting, the Malagueta Bullring opened in 1876, hosting bullfights and welcoming the most famous Spanish bullfighters since then. Declared as both Historic-Artistic and Cultural Interest Site, the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta is a stunning 52-meter wide ring in the heart of Malaga.

Throughout the year, multiple events are hosted there, with the most remarkable ones being the Picassian bullfight, held during the Holy Week, where bullfighters dress costumes inspired by Pablo Picasso; and the annual Bullfighting Fair, during Feria de Málaga (#53) in August. Visitors can also stop by the Museo Taurino, a museum dedicated to the bulls and bullfighting tradition in Spain, exhibiting multiple objects and pictures.

Since 2020, it has also become home to the La Malagueta Cultural Centre, a venue dedicated to promoting the city’s culture and tourism, with 2 exhibition areas, 2 conference halls, and the capacity to accommodate 280 participants.

Directions in Google Maps

39 – Sit in the ensemble at Teatro Cervantes de Malaga

Teatro Cervantes de Malaga
Cirque du Soleil acting at the 2019 Malaga Film Festival in Cervantes theater

There’s no better way to celebrate the art of theater than watching a show at Teatro Cervantes de Malaga, this ornately decorated and historic (dating back to 1870!) space.

Once you’ve found your seat and settled in, marvel at the stunning decor: from golden statues that line the balcony seats, to intricate wooden carvings on every pillar throughout the room — it really is quite something!

Whether you grab a ticket for an English classic like West Side Story or something a little more authentically Spanish, you’re in for one helluva show — just check the website to see what’s on during your trip.

40 – Grab some fresh produce at the Atarazanas Market

Atarazanas Market, Malaga

The Atarazanas market, also known as the ‘Central Market’, is a vibrant and bustling hub of activity. Formerly a 14th-century Moorish shipyard, these days it acts as a beacon for locals and tourists alike; its rows brim with everything from local produce (think fish, meat, cheese, and fresh fruit) to clothing and souvenirs. It’s a great place to do some shopping or just people-watch!

The market is typically open Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to around 3 pm, so there’s plenty of time to pop by — however, why not opt for a real local experience and join a guided tour instead?

41 – Stuff your face on a food tour

food tours in Málaga

With so much of the local culture surrounding food, dedicated tasting tours are a great way to get an introduction to Spanish cuisine — we’re talkin’ tapas, Fritura Malaguena, paella, sherry, and a whole lot more

Whether you opt for a bike tour, walking tour, or even one that includes a flamenco show (and, of course, how could we forget about wine tasting!), you’ll be absolutely stuffed by the time it comes to finish up.

42 – Step inside a fairytale castle at the Colomares Monument

Colomares Monument, Malaga

The Colomares Monument is a striking structure — part castle, part ship sculpture — that proudly covers more than 1,500 meters near the town of Rancho Domingo.

Very much a fairytale-looking castle, the monument was constructed in 1994 to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World (and his supposed final resting place), it has since become one of Andalusia’s most iconic sights.

Keep in mind: while open all year, it’s only accessible from Wednesday to Sunday.

43 – Meet the blubbery residents at Selwo Marina

Selwo Marina Benalmadena

The only one of its kind in Andalusia, family-friendly Selwo Marina is an outdoor adventure park that’s home to a selection of exotic animals in a truly unique Amazonian-style environment. Kids will love the Dolphins and Sea Lions Demonstration, while visitors of all ages are sure to appreciate the diversity of animals that call this place home: dolphins, monkeys, penguins, sea lions, exotic birds, and a whole lot more.

After checking out the live daily feedings, for the ultimate experience, why not opt for a VIP dolphin or sea lion swim?

44 – Meet the reptiles at Crocodile Park

Crocodile Park, Malaga

Whether you’re traveling with enthusiastic kids in tow or are just young at heart, looking for a family-friendly activity, Crocodile Park is a day out that’s sure to be an adventure.

From feeding the animals and getting up close with iguanas to exploring a maze of tunnels and caves — this place has it all! Spread across some 16,000 square meters, with plenty of space for the imposing reptiles to play, you’ll be greeted by over 200 different species including Marginatas turtles, colorful veiled chameleons and the spikey bearded dragon.

Looking for an incredible souvenir? Grab a photo at the feeding zone with a baby croc!

45 – Go behind the scenes at Mayan Monkey Mijas chocolate factory

Mayan Monkey Mijas chocolate factory, Malaga

Any sweet-toothed travelers out there?

Far from your ordinary chocolate factory, Mayan Monkey Mijas offers visitors the opportunity to learn about chocolate making (and eating, of course) in an interactive environment through its daily and delicious chocolate-making workshops!

To cap it off, you’ll find a good selection of vegan sorbet, exotic cocoa powders, and delectable hot chocolate.

And after stuffing your face full of sweet goodness, thanks to its location in the busy Plaza de la Constitución, there’s plenty to do to pass the time without venturing too far.

46 – Get creative at the Museum of Imagination

Museum of Imagination, Malaga
credit to Museo da la imaginacion

Combining the worlds of imagination, play and learning in a unique educational space, this museum is perfect for kids (and kids at heart) who are eager to learn about science and creativity.

Above all else, it’s about enjoyment here; with lots of fun activities designed to stimulate children’s minds through interactive sessions, optical illusions, hands-on displays, and wonderful photo opportunities sure to puzzle the onlookers at home.

47 – Sample a selection of ice-cold beers

beer tasting in Malaga

Beer tasting in Malaga? Yes, please! Despite the nation being stereotypically famous for its sangria and red wine, it doesn’t disappoint in the beer department.

From classic German beers to homemade brews and everything else in between, Malaga’s wide range of breweries will have you licking your lips in no time.

For an authentic craft brewery in what’s dubbed ‘the most artistic neighborhood in the city’ (Soho), head to Cruzcampo Fábrica: here, you’ll find all sorts of homemade brews including gluten-free styles and beers made from cereal!

Or, for something a little more, well, central to the old town, stop into Central Beer. With usually around 30 varieties on tap — not to mention 150 bottled beers to boot — varying between Spanish and international styles, as well as a highly-respected menu, it’s a must for the thirsty traveler.

48 – Hop around the city’s best tapas bars

best tapas bars in Malaga

Looking for the best tapas bars in Malaga? You’re not alone. In search of all-time classics and modern favorites, people from across the globe flock here every year looking for a slice of Spain.

And with good reason too! As well as being famous for its seafood and traditional dishes such as paella or gazpacho, Malaga has developed a reputation for its eclectic selection of tapas bars.

Next to the Picasso Museum, El Pimpi is wildly popular for both locals and tourists alike; La Recova is a quirky spot known for its breakfast; El Tapeo de Cervantes is small but mighty, and calling ahead to reserve a spot it highly recommended; near the Atarazanas Market, Marisquería Casa Vicente is the no-frills go-to for all things seafood; and if it’s empanadas you’re after, look no further than La Tranca!

49 – Get a little loose on a pub crawl

pub-crawls in Málaga

When the sun goes down, Malaga comes to life! With its eclectic music scene and impressive party scene, this is one city that knows how to get a crowd going.

Whether you want to dance the night away with locals or enjoy some more relaxed drinks with friends in an atmospheric setting, there’s plenty of options when it comes to nightlife.

For those who like to live life on the edge, Malaga’s pub crawls are an absolute blast! Featuring a whole host of bars and clubs, it’ll take you all over the city in one evening; perfect for celebrating with friends or trying new places out with fellow thirsty strangers.

50 – Sip on a cocktail at a rooftop bar

best rooftop bar in Malaga

With its year-round mild weather and never-ending sunshine, it’s no wonder Malaga is home to an abundance of rooftop bars. From the swanky venues at luxury hotels to hidden gems scattered across the cityscape, there’s plenty for everyone here no matter your budget.

While a little pricy (by Spanish standards, still affordable for Western standards), the Àtico Bar & Restaurant on the 15th floor of the AC Hotel Malaga Palacio dishes up stunning panoramic views, a lovely open-air terrace, and a refreshing pool ideal for those toasty summer days! Speaking of pools, you’ll find another one – as well as hand-crafted cocktails – at The Top, the Hotel Molina Lario’s rooftop terrace.

For something a little more relaxed, La Terraza Oasis on the 4th floor of the Carmen Thyssen Museum is famous for its gin and tonics and regularly hosts themed parties and live performances; while the Alcazaba Premium Hostel Málaga is friendly, fun, and super casual.

51 – Experience the dazzling Chamber of Secrets show

Chamber of Secrets, Malaga

Nope, not the off-limits Harry Potter room at Hogwarts. In Malaga, we’re talking about a real-world secret: the magical Chamber of Secrets cabaret show!

A singing, dancing cast of world-class performers have gathered to present a night of music, comedy, magic, mind-reading, illusion, escapes, and puppetry. You’ll be pampered with lager and sangria (or soft drinks for the kids), as well as invited onto the stage to participate in the show!

52 – Race around town in a scavenger game

scavenger games in Málaga

Sick of slow-paced walking tours? Why not take it up a notch with an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt that’ll have you exploring the city, discovering new places and having a blast with friends?

Led from the convenience of your phone, the array of interactive games will have you cracking codes, solving riddles, and ticking off must-see landmarks the whole way through.

Traveling with the gals? Consider a fun-filled, far-from-G-rated Hens Night or bachelorette tour!

53 – Align your trip with the annual Feria de Agosto

Feria de Agosto, Malaga

If you’re in Málaga in August, make sure to catch one of Spain’s biggest annual fairs. The Feria de Agosto is a ten-nights, nine-day street party that lights up the city: by day, folk music and dancing spills into the streets; by night, head to the purpose-built El Real fairground to find flamenco shows, food stalls, live music, free-flowing drinks, and plenty of other entertainment.

And don’t forget to check out the firework display in the Paseo del Parque (the best viewpoints are the port area or one of the rooftop bars mentioned in #49).

Choosing your hotel:

No matter if you’re hunting for luxury or satisfied with a no-frills hostel that serves breakfast, there are plenty of places to lay your head in Malaga — from 5-star hotels built in old palaces to family-friendy affordable BNBs and party hostels for the social traveler.

Need some suggestions? For splendid luxury, consider the beachfront Gran Hotel Miramar GL. Sitting just 30 feet from La Malagueta Beach, it’s ideal for the sunseekers. Not to be overlooked, however, the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro with its own tapas bar and Hotel Soho Boutique Castillo de Santa Catalina (built atop a castle) both ooze sophistication.

For something a little more affordable, yet still with all the modern touches you could ask for, any of the Only YOU Hotel Malaga, Sol Malaga Guadalmar by Melia, or Palacio Solecio ought to do the trick.

Pinching pennies? It’s hard to look past the Picnic Dreams Boutique Hostel and Urban Jungle Rooftop Hostel for a no-frills, all-fun hostel experience.

A free way to see the city: FREE walking tours

As you might imagine in the birthplace of Picasso, art and culture are a big deal. And there’s no better way to be immersed in it than by getting out on foot — which is exactly why we recommend taking one (or more!) of Malaga’s famous FREE walks!

With energetic, charismatic, and kind-hearted locals leading the way, you’ll pass by hidden gems, enjoy a cultural exchange over tapas, and learn where the best local spots are to eat, drink and explore.

A range of free walking tours are available, covering different themes and locations — just remember to leave a tip for your guide.

Arriving at the airport? Keep this in mind!

We’ve all been there: stepping off a plane, jetlagged and grumpy. There’s nothing worse than trying to decipher a totally foreign transport system or haggle with a local taxi driver.

Instead of the hassle and stress, why not go for a pre-arranged airport transfer instead? They’re convenient, they’re fun, if traveling as a group they are more affordable than multiple transport tickets.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of things to do in Malaga, Spain! If you have any other must-see suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments!

But, before you go, make sure to check out or selection of activities in Seville and Granada!

As always, happy travels.