Malaga, Spain…Paradise under the sun in the Costa Del Sol!
The Costa Del Sol…a little slice of heaven in Southern Europe and the PERFECT place to be in the cool winter months. We came to Malaga for an entire month in October and it was such an awesome decision. Tapas, wine and sunshine…it doesn’t get much better than that!
When To Go:
Of course summer months are high seasons for tourism in Malaga, but the fall and springtime are great times to visit as there are less crowds and the weather is on point at around 70F (21C) and sunny. We came in October and the weather was so so perfect!
Where To Stay:
We are always faithful users of Airbnb, because I LOVE to cook and we always have Miesha with us (our fluffy dog). Our Airbnb in Malaga was absolutely perfect. Perfect location, accommodating host, clean, cutely decorated and the perfect price.
For $33 off your first AIRBNB booking, click HERE:
Patio 19 Hostel:
For an affordable, clean and safe hostel located right in the center of town, check out Patio 19. They even include free breakfast in your booking.
How To Get Around:
Walking: Malaga is a small, walking city. The distance from the beach to the center of town is no more than 1km.
Local Bus: The local bus system is easy to use, safe, clean and affordable.
Taxi: Taxi’s are readily available all over town and are safe, clean and affordable. A ride from the airport to the center of town are approx 20Euros and 10Euros from the train/bus station.
Renfe Train: For quick, easy transport all around the country, Renfe Train’s are the way to go, although they’re most costly than an Alsa Bus (and they don’t offer Wifi or power outlets). Renfe allows pets on board as well, for a minimal additional feel. Renfe Train Website
Alsa Coach Bus: The MOST cost affective way to travel around Spain, if you have the extra time to spare. Alsa bus is fantastic-the seats are super comfortable, the rates are affordable, and the bus has free wifi. Do note that they do not allow pets on board, so you’ll have to take the train. Book through BusBud, a reputable website. BusBud Alsa Website
Where To Eat:
Italian Pasta at Spago’s:
Spago’s is a little slice of Italian heaven…never before have I been to a more budget friendly, delicious restaurant with excellent service! For 6 Euros, you can enjoy a delicious bowl of fresh, homemade Italian pasta with bread and a drink. Sergio, the manager, is one of the kindest man we’ve met in all our travels!
Tapas at El Tapeo de Cervantes:
If you’re looking for delicious, authentic, tapas with a gorgeous setting, then look no further. Be sure to get a seat outside and make a reservation. Also, ask for the tiramisu for dessert, it’s not on the menu but homemade by the owners mother…it’s mouthwateringly delicious!
Churros at Tejeringos Coffee:
Spain is known for its tapas and churros, so be sure to stop here for coffee and dessert or a mid-afternoon treat! They offer four different dipping sauces to choose from. You can get them all for a variety of awesome flavors!
Brunch at BrunchIt:
Our GO-TO place in Malaga-they have awesome breakfast (pancakes, avocado toast), and lunch (pizza, salads). The service is top notch and the restaurant is super cool and inviting.
Kebabs & Pizza:
The best late night eats, or even a quick lunch, are kebabs and pizza. You can literally find them all over the city and, for 3Euros each, you can’t beat it.
Drinks at Central Beers:
For EXCELLENT craft beer, both bottled and draught, with a great atmosphere, head to Central Beers. This was our go to spot for the whole month.
Dogs In Malaga:
It was a bit rough trying to find a dog sitter on fb in Malaga. Luckily, our Airbnb host came through with an incredible website called ‘DogBuddy,’ which connects you to local dog walkers in the area. We were SUPER fortunate to stumble upon Virgina, a kind, gentle local, born in Malaga. She has an adorable, cute little chihuahua named Kissie, who doesn’t fit the stereotype of the Chihuahua (she’s super shy and kind). For 10 Euros a day for dog sitting, you can’t beat the price and the service.
Transport of Dogs in Spain:
Sadly, Spain isn’t the most dog friendly country. Some restaurants don’t allow dogs, but if you sit outside, then you’ll be good to go. Luckily, the weather is quite warm in Malaga, which makes sitting outside much easier to do. Dogs also aren’t allowed on the local buses or on Alsa Bus either, which was super unfortunate, so you’ll have to take the train, which is a bit more costly.
What To Do:
Hours: €2.20, including Castillo de Gibralfaro €3.40
Cost: 9.30am-8pm Tue-Sun
Situated next to a Roman amphitheater, this 11th century fortress is a MUST SEE during your visit. With incredible views of the city and, courtyards, fountains and endless hidden areas to explore, you’ll truly fall in love Malaga here.
Castillo de Gibralfaro:
Cost: €2.20, Free on Sunday after 2pm
This 14th century built castle sits atop the hill and offers the best views of the city. Wear proper walking shoes, because the hike up the 130m high foothill is a tough one. If you have any trouble walking or hiking, it’s best to take a taxi up the hill.
Beach & The Malagueta Sign:
The beach in Malaga is cannot be missed during your visit. Although the sand is not white and pristine, you can still soak in the sunshine with beautiful views of mountains behind you and the Mediterranean Sea in front. Be sure to stop by the giant Malagueta located on the beach for some great photo ops!
Malaga Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church, located in the city center. Be sure to stick around when the clock tower strikes the hour for a beautiful serenade of church bells.
Located in the center of the Plaza de Merced is a life-like bronze statue of Pablo Picasso. Picasso was born in Malaga and this statue depicts him sitting on a stone bench with a sketchbook in his hand. It was created at the age that Picasso left Malaga.
Nightlife at Bubbles:
The nightlife scene in Malaga is extremely alive! Most nightclubs are open until 5-7 in the morning, so you’ll have plenty of time to dance the night away. Bubbles was the most fun club we went to, as well as Sala Gold and 7 O’clock. Be sure to get solicited by one of their employees on the street to avoid paying cover, and you’ll usually get a free drink or shot too!
Day Trips From Malaga:
Luckily, Malaga is located close to many other day incredible towns and sights in Spain, which makes taking a day trip super easy!
Cordoba-Mesquita de Cordoba:
Hours: Vary by season, 10:00am-6/7pm
Cost: €8 per person
One of the key monuments of SPanish-Arabic architecture, the Mosque of Cordoba is only a 1 hour 20 minute train ride or 3 hour bus ride (Alsa Bus) from Malaga and is absolutely worth the commute. Be sure to arrive early and leave later, so you’ll have time to explore the city after spending a few hours at the Mosque. There is no need to purchase tickets beforehand, just go first thing in the morning.
Hours: Vary by season, 8:30-6/8pm
Cost: YOU MUST PURCHASE TICKETS PRIOR TO GOING!
€14.85pp includes Nazrid Palace, Alcazaba, Gardens and Generalife
The massive, gorgeous Arabic fortress, The Alhambra, is one of the most popular sites in Spain and is accessible via bus from Malaga in just 1 hour 45 minutes (Alsa Bus).
Caminito del Rey:
Photo Credit: https://www.spain-holiday.com/Alora/articles/visiting-the-caminito-del-rey-malaga
60km from Malaga City is the exciting Camino Del Rey and one of the biggest regrets we have from our trip was not going on this trek. You’ll need to pre-plan your visit here ahead of time.
Photo Credit: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/andalucia/ronda
Ronda is a mountain-top city and another great day trip form Malaga, as it’s located less than 2 hours by car. Sadly, we didn’t have enough time for a day trip to Ronda, but it’s on our list for our next trip!
If you’re looking for a great, clean gym, then Synergym is the best option. Located just opposite the beach, you can get in a great workout with beautiful scenery. Do note that it is VERY busy at peak hours (evening) in the weight room, so plan accordingly and bring a towel with you (it’s required). Price is $60USD/month