Azure blue skies for 12 months of the year, a minimum winter temperature of 17°C, a wide range of activities for everyone and just as many festivals to liven up our days and nights… Yes, it’s great to be in the birthplace of Picasso and Antonio Banderas, in the heart of Andalusia. Whatever the season, here are our suggestions for what to do in Malaga and how to make the most of it.
Wondering what is Malaga best known for? From the Alcazaba to the moorish influence of the city center’s architecture, and from the Malaga cathedral to the many palaces in the vicinity, there is no shortage of interesting tourist attractions in Malaga.
Best things to do in Malaga in summer
Head to the playa to cool off! In the city, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with more than 14 kilometers of sand. There are some truly stunning beaches to explore in Malaga.
- In La Malagueta, the most famous and popular section of the beach, you can enjoy sardines grilled in the open air by the Espeteros.
- Looking for peace and quiet with your loved one? Go to the very east of the bay: The beach at Peñon del Cuervo is idyllic!
- And don’t forget all the other beaches on the Costa del Sol…
The weather is ideal for sailing and there are many cruises available. Plan a day trip from Malaga on a catamaran with stops for swimming. Or better yet, hop on a romantic sunset cruise with a cava tasting. If you’re visiting Malaga with kids, take them on a dolphin watching cruise or head to Gibraltar. The possibilities are endless.
End the day in style with an aperitif or an al fresco meal at Muello Uno! It’s truly one of the best things to do to soak up the Spanish sun.
In mid-August is the Feria de Agosto, the city’s week-long fiesta. Sevillana dancers take over the plazas of the old town. Andalusian horses parade in historical and religious processions. The best toreadors in the country gather for bullfights. In the evening
Top things to do in Malaga in the fall
As Spain marks the fiftieth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, let’s take a walk in the artist’s footsteps. Head to the Picasso Museum, housed in a magnificent 16th-century palace. Special exhibitions, including one of his sculptures, are on display until December. The café on the museum’s terrace is charming, with a pond and orange trees! Let’s go to the Plaza de la Merced, where a bronze statue of the great master awaits us. Then it’s off to the house where he was born, just around the corner.
Less than an hour away by car, there are trails to explore La Axarquía, a fascinating area in the province of Málaga filled with valleys and forests dotted with white villages. From Cómpeta, consider hiking to the summit of the Lucero. From Frigiliana, head to the Hinguéron River. In the Sierra de la Tejeda, the climb to La Maroma is more difficult and will certainly take a couple of hours, but the panoramic views of the gorgeous coastline are all the more rewarding.
Fun things to do in Malaga in winter
Why not take the opportunity to visit some of the other great museums we’ve been looking for? At the Museo Carmen-Thyssen, you can learn about costumbrismo, a purely Spanish style that depicts regional customs. The Contemporary Art Centre and the avant-garde Centre Pompidou offer surprising and emotional experiences. The Automobile and Fashion museum combines art, design and luxury – a logical proposition!
With Christmas just around the corner, the beautiful Marquès de Larios shopping and pedestrian street, lined with modernist mansions, is lit up to the Grinch’s delight!
Plus, the mild weather (hello, blue skies!) makes it easy to hike, drive, play golf, and watch gorgeous sunsets. A good place to start? El Balneario del Carmen. Between you and me, this century-old place needs a little TLC, but the location is top notch!
Free things to do in Malaga in spring
The week that begins on Palm Sunday and lasts until Easter Monday is another highlight of local social life. Art, history, tradition and religious fervor come together in Malaga for a whole week and for 500 years. The different religious brotherhoods of Malaga parade through the streets of the city with their impressive floats. Sometimes solemn, sometimes joyful, the festivities are accompanied by culinary specialties such as ajoblanco, a garlic and almond gazpacho, and torrijas, a pastry made with milk, honey and wine.
A green city par excellence, Malaga is dotted with a dozen large parks. Among them is the Parque de Malaga, a true urban oasis. The historical reason for this? In the old days, ships would set sail with products to be sold in the Mediterranean and return with other goods, including trees and plants that had become acclimatized in Spain. The Alcazaba is especially stunning at this time of year, when the purple jacarandas are in bloom. This Moorish palace and fortress overlooks the city and has several gardens planted with fig, laurel, pomegranate and almond trees. An enchantment of scents and colors!
The fifth season…
It’s Malaga time, and that time is now!
In fact, the beautiful Andalusian city has been booming on all fronts for the past two decades, thanks in particular to a technology park that employs 20,000 people from all over the world. The brain drain of yesterday has been replaced by cultural emigration, as the Spanish daily El País recently explained. In short, it used to be a great place to live, and it still is – and even more so, as it is today, energized by these young professionals. Even Antonio Banderas left Madrid to return home and open several restaurants, including El Pimpi, as well as a theater in a booming neighborhood, the Teatro del Soho. The city is now the perfect spot for foodie travelers to explore.