Welcome to the Costa del Sol, where the sun shines bright and the beaches are calling your name. There’s far more to this stunning region than just sunbathing and sipping cocktails, though! In fact, Malaga, the largest city on the Costa del Sol, has so many fun things to do that you’ll struggle to find the time to sunbathe!
Whether you’re looking to delve into the world of flamenco, sample some of the best Spanish food in the region, or hit the waves on a boat tour, Malaga’s got you covered.
So, if you’re on the hunt for interesting things to do in Malaga, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top picks for the best things to do in Malaga.
Catch a Flamenco Show
You’ll find Malaga in the region of Andalusia, the home of flamenco, so it’s only right that you take in one of the best Malaga flamenco shows during your visit! There’s nothing quite like seeing flamenco performed live.
During the show, the graceful, passionate movements of the dancers and the stirring sounds of the music combine to create an unforgettable experience. Before you know it, you’ll feel transported to the sun-drenched, rural Andalusia of years ago.
As you watch, you’ll feel the performers’ intense emotion as they stomp and spin to the music. Get there early for the best seats – you’ll want to sit close to the stage to see the dancers’ intricate footwork.
Check out the Malaga Picasso Museum
Are you an art lover? Then visiting the Malaga Picasso Museum is a no-brainer! The world-famous artist actually used to live in Malaga, and this popular museum shows off over 200 of his masterpieces. As if that wasn’t enough, the museum also features works from other contemporary artists, exploring Picasso’s influence on modern art.
The museum is housed in the lovely Palacio de Buenavista, which was originally built in the 16th century for the Duke of Malaga. An ancient palace is a rather fitting home for Malaga’s top museum, don’t you think?
Head on a Malaga Tapas Crawl
Spanish food is out-of-this-world delicious, and the best way to dip your toes into Malaga’s cultural scene is on a tapas crawl! You can do this yourself, or, if you want to go to all the best spots, you can join an organised tapas crawl led by a local.
The best way to start your tapas journey is to visit a traditional Spanish taverna and order some classic dishes like tortilla española or paella, accompanied by lots of Spanish wine and olives (of course). From there, you can explore some lesser-known tapas bars to sample some more daring creations like croquetas de bacalao and puntillitas fritas.
You’ll be in love with Spanish food before you know it!
Hit the Waves on a Sightseeing Cruise
There’s no better way to explore the city than on a sightseeing cruise from Malaga Port. With the wind in your hair, the sun beating down, and Malaga’s top attractions all visible from the shore, you’ll quickly agree that this is one of the best things to do in Malaga.
Most boat tours in Malaga last around 2 hours and will cruise around Malaga’s glittering coastline whilst showing off some of the most iconic parts of the city from a different perspective. Keep your eyes peeled – you may even see dolphins!
Thanks to Malaga’s year-round wonderful weather, sightseeing cruises run all year. If you visit in summer, though, you’ll get to jump into the water on a quick swim stop. It’s the perfect way to cool off from Malaga’s sweltering summer weather.
Hike up to the Gibralfaro Viewpoint
Hiking up to the Gibralfaro Viewpoint is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in Malaga. Standing on a hill 130 metres high, Gibralfaro offers spectacular views of the city’s terracotta rooftops, rolling hills, and coastline.
No worries if you’re not a hiker. The trek up to the viewpoint is actually quite easy since the trail is well-maintained, so it’s great even for beginners. Just take your time, because it’s a little bit steep!
The best time to visit is at sunset, when the sun casts a beautiful orange and pink light over the city below. The experience of watching Malaga slowly fade into night is truly breathtaking – you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world!
Discover the Malaga Alcazaba
There’s no doubt about it – visiting the Alcazaba is one of the best things to do in Malaga. This famous Moorish fortress was built in the 11th century, making it one of the oldest structures in Malaga.
As you explore the winding castle walls and courtyards, you can almost feel the presence of the former occupants – it’s a truly magical experience. Since it’s perched on a hill, you’ll also get wonderful views over the city and coastline from the top.
At the base of the Alcazaba, you’ll find the oldest monument in the city – the Roman Theatre. Built in the 1st century BC, under Emperor Augustus, it’s incredible that this structure is still standing! Entry is free (although that’s not widely advertised), making it one of the best free things to do in Malaga.
Have an amazing trip to Malaga!
Guest Author: Ella Moore is a travel blogger at ManyMoreMaps.com where she shares practical, tried-and-tested travel tips.