Top 10 Things to Do in Malaga

The beautiful beaches of Spain’s Costa Del Sol may be what attracts flocks of tourists to nearby Malaga every summer, but the holiday hotspot has far more to it than sand, sea and sun. One of the oldest cities in the world, it has an incredible 2,800-year history and a truly fascinating heritage.

Malaga - Spain

If you fancy a slightly more holistic holiday this summer (while still leaving plenty of room for sunbathing on the beach), and with plenty of cheap flights to Malaga available meaning it’s easy to get to, here are the top 10 ways to spend your time:

1. Visit the historic Alcazaba military fort

Built by the Hammudid dynasty in the 11th century, this historic structure is a must-visit attraction – whether or not you consider yourself a history buff. It is the site where Ferdinand and Isabella’s troops famously captured Malaga from the Moors during the Siege of Malaga in 1487.

2. Stroll through the botanical gardens

The city’s beautiful La Conception Gardens were created by a rich 19th-century couple from Malaga who were inspired by the many plush gardens they encountered on their honeymoon across Europe. The botanical gardens are a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon in Malaga.


3. View contemporary artwork at the CAC Malaga museum

Though Malaga does indeed have a rich history, it’s contemporary culture is equally fascinating. The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga is a brilliant space to experience modern, local art. Built in an old wholesalers’ market, it has a distinctly minimalist, stripped-down feel, which allows the colourful artwork to pop even more.

4. Hike up to the 11th-century Gibralfaro Castle

This historic site isn’t just a unique glimpse into the city’s past, but also one of its best viewpoints. Quite a long walk up the hill, you’ll be rewarded by stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the city of Malaga below.

5. Taste some of the country’s best tapas

Malaga is known for its best-in-class tapas bars. Restaurant Rincon de El Trillo has a 30-year-old legacy of serving fantastic food and has earned a reputation as one of the city’s best places to share the traditional, mini-course Spanish meal with friends.

6. Visit the stunning Malaga Cathedral

This Renaissance-era church took more than 250 years to build. To really appreciate the time and effort that went into constructing this grand structure, walk around its perimeter and treat yourself to a look inside.

Málaga Cathedral / Catedral de Málaga

7. Enjoy a festive evening of flamenco music and dancing

Attending a flamenco show, or a ‘flamenco evening’ as they’re sometimes called, is an absolute must while you’re in Malaga. The Kelipe Centro de Arte Flamenco is the city’s most popular flamenco performance and makes for an incredibly entertaining night. You’ll be treated to brilliant music and dance performances by some of the most talented artists in the country.

8. Step back in time at the Automobile Museum of Malaga

You don’t have to be a car fanatic to have a bit of fun at the quirky Automobile Museum of Malaga. Showcasing a range of vintage and unique vehicles – everything from late 19th-century buggies to a ‘solar-powered’ car built in 2009 – this museum is surprisingly entertaining.

9. Marvel at the unique beautiful Museum of Glass and Crystal

A favourite of visitors to Malaga, the Museum of Glass and Crystal is a museum unlike any other. It features more than 3,000 glass and crystal objects, from Pre-Raphaelite stained glass to glass artefacts from ancient Egypt. The museum’s eclectic collections won’t disappoint.

10. Get a glimpse into Picasso’s early life

The Malaga home where one of Spain’s most famous artists once lived is a now a brilliant museum that showcases his work, as well as the work of other Malaga artists. Visit the Fundación Picasso and get to know Malaga’s most famous former resident a bit better.


Clearly, Malaga is more than a gateway to the Costa del Sol. Before you head to the beach, take some time to get to know Malaga’s past and present. It’s worth it!