Things to do in Malaga Spain

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Malaga is known for year-round good weather, nightlife, gastronomy, beach and art. These are some of the reasons it is known as the capital of the Costa del Sol. It is further described as multicultural, historical and avant-garde.

It is one of the main holiday destinations in Spain and a top destination for 2023, according to Airbnb. The wide array of offerings makes it a place suitable for all types of travelers. This includes beach lovers and partygoers as well as art lovers and those looking to disconnect in a beautiful natural landscape.

Breathing its Arab essence, discovering its Roman ruins or following in the footsteps of Picasso are just some of the wonders that this city has to offer.

Malaga is a vibrant and cultured capital that treasures three thousand years of history. It has an important historical legacy and at the same time sets trends with its innovative cultural proposals.

Gibralfaro Castle. Image from Canva

Climb to the Gibralfaro Castle

This castle, located 130 meters above sea level, is one of the key sites of the city. Its origin lies in the Phoenician ruins of an ancient lighthouse that stood on top of this strategic hill.

During the Arab occupation, Abderramán III converted these remains into a defensive fortress. Its double walls and courtyards are still preserved today and take us back to the past.

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Inside is the Gibralfaro Castle Interpretation Center. Here, you can understand the importance of the fortress and its use throughout the history of the city.

Being located on top of a hill, the viewpoints located on the walls of the castle offer spectacular views over the city center and the sea, especially at sunset.

Access to the castle is easy as it is located a short distance from the center of Malaga. It can be reached on foot or by a bus that leaves you at the door of the fortress.

Malaga Cathedral
Malaga Cathedral. Image from Canva

Enjoy Views of Malaga From the Cathedral

The cathedral of the Incarnation is the most important temple of the city. Also, the second-highest cathedral in Andalusia after the Giralda in Seville. It has a mixture of architectures of the initial Renaissance influence and its later Baroque stage.

Its construction began in the 16th century and was consecrated at the end of that century, although unfinished. The works were resumed in the 18th century but were never completed.

One of the best experiences in the city is to touch the sky from the cathedral’s terrace. The views from its roof are unbeatable and allow us to understand the city: its openness to the sea and its proximity to the mountains.

Malaga Roman Theater
Malaga Roman Theater. Image from Canva

Discover the Roman Theater and the Alcazaba

The Roman Theater is one of the symbols of Roman Hispania and its origins date back to the first century AD. It was ordered to be built by Augustus and remained hidden and buried for centuries until it was rediscovered in 1951.

From here we can look up to admire another of Malaga’s treasures: the Alcazaba, which is the greatest legacy of the Andalusian past in the city.


This beautiful palatial fortification was built by the Muslims in the eleventh century and became the best-protected Arab fortress in the world.

No one managed to conquer the Alcazaba in the history of Malaga. It consists of three walled enclosures, 110 towers and an endless number of nooks and crannies perfect to corner the enemy.

Alcazaba. Image from Canva

Visit the Picasso Museum of Malaga

Malaga has the nickname “City of Museums”. This is because it has important museums such as the Pompidou Center, the Carmen Thyssen and the Russian Museum. However, the inauguration of the Picasso Museum in 2003 attracted the rest of the institutions.

In fact, the real transformation and revitalization of the city began precisely when they realized that art was the best way to stand out as a destination. Now art lovers have an obligatory stop in the capital of the Costa del Sol.

The variety of things to do in Malaga like museums, Roman architecture, nightlife and the beach make it appealing to an array of travelers. #spain #costadelsolspain #malagaspain

The Picasso museum is located in the Buenavista Palace, which was his birthplace. As a child, Picasso played in the Roman Theater and under the walls of the Alcazaba. In this city, he made his first brushstrokes and also inspired much of his work.

It is one of the most important art galleries in Spain and allows you to enter a universe where you can travel through the history and style of the artist.

Atarazanas Market
Atarazanas Market. Image from Canva

Stroll Through the Atarazanas Market

Get to know the essence of the city and its richness at the Atarazanas Market. It is located in the place where in the 14th century there was a Nasrid shipyard and after the Christian conquest of the city it was used as a warehouse, military hospital and barracks. Even though almost all of the old Muslim construction of the building has disappeared, Malaga now has a supply building.

From early in the morning activity takes over this place. Fruits and vegetables, fish and meat are dispatched by the stallholders with great skill. Strolling through this market we are tempted to stop at each of its stalls and try everything, it is a gastronomic paradise.

Things to do in Malaga Spain
Beautiful architecture in Malaga. Image from Canva

Visit the Museum of Malaga

The neoclassical Customs Palace built between 1791 and 1829 had different administrative uses until it closed in 2008. It reopened in 2016 as the Museum of Málaga. Now, this free museum includes a beautiful pictorial art tour and an impressive archaeological collection.

This space serves to understand Malaga from prehistoric times, the influence of the Phoenicians and the importance of the Roman period and the expansion of the city in times of Al-Andalus.

If You Go

Museo Picasso Málaga (

Cultural visit – Catedral de Málaga (

Home – Alcazaba of Malaga (

Author Bio: Based in France, Lucia Otero Medraño is Spanish with a master’s degree in travel journalism. She has worked in the tourism sector but her true passion is to live enriching experiences and discover amazing places around the world and write about them. In her spare time, she likes to enjoy her second passion, music.

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