Compare Car Hire at Malaga Airport
Located in Andalusia on Spain’s Costa del Sol, Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the World. The southernmost large city in Europe, Malaga boasts exceptional weather and golden beaches alongside a bustling pedestrianised metropolitan city centre and historical ruins which form an ‘open museum’ in the heart of the city. So whether travelling alone, as a couple, as a family or as a group, Malaga provides enough for you to and see as much or as little as you’d like.
Served by Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport – a 25-minute drive away from the city centre – the airport itself is the fourth busiest in Spain and perfect for further travelling throughout Spain or further abroad. If traveling by rental car, Malaga has plenty to see; from the docks and harbour-front, to Mount Gibralfaro and Montes de Malaga. Malaga is also an hour and a half drive West of Granada and one hour fifty minutes East of Gibraltar, so if you have enough time or inclination to pack the car and go on an adventure for the day you have great options in and around the city and throughout the region.
As Malaga is located roughly 80 miles North of Africa, you can expect warm temperatures for the majority of the year, with average temperatures in the summer months around the 30 degree mark, and with temperatures in January as low as 16 degrees on average. As part of the famous Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) Malaga is on the Mediterranean Sea, with the popular Playa la Malagueta beach situated a stone’s throw from the City Centre, meaning you can soak up the sun then wander into town for shopping, sangria and seafood with a minimum of fuss. So renowned is the Costa del Sol’s fantastic weather, the slogan of the region is ‘Always Warm’.
Malaga offers a wide variety of hotels suitable for everyone from individuals, to families and large groups. From quaint B&Bs and hostels, to chain hotels, inner city complexes and resorts, Malaga has what you need catered to any budget.
Want to stay downtown? Why not try Hotel Molina Lario, one of the best rated hotels in the city. Boasting a cool rooftop pool with excellent views of the city, this four-star hotel has various consumer and industry awards, such as the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Another central option is Barceló Malaga; located in close proximity to the train station and boasting a massive slide that can take guests from the first floor to the lobby, if they so wish.
If luxury is what you crave, then you’ll want to stay at one of Malaga’s two five-star rated hotels; Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio, and the Gran Hotel Miramar GL. Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio is located on the banks of the Guadalmedina River, a ten-minute drive from the City centre, and boasts everything from concierge and room service, to fine dining and a rooftop pool. Gran Hotel Miramar GL is located on the beachfront, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Decked out in sumptuous marble and grand ornate pillars, this hotel feels like the gateway into the lavish side of the city.
For those wishing to stay near the airport, either for business or layover reasons, the Holiday Inn Express at Malaga Airport is your best bet. Located 0.5 miles from the airport, Holiday inn Express Malaga Airport offers free Wi-Fi and breakfast as standard, as well as meeting rooms and printer and copier facilities for those working on the move.
Food and Drink
Being so close to the sea, you can bet that Malaga boasts some amazing fresh seafood and the tapas on offer citywide is among some of the best in Spain.
For the true foodies out there, you won’t want to pass-up a visit to Jose Carlos Garcia’s restaurant, if you can get in that is. The only Michelin Starred eatery in the city, the restaurant is situated in the Muelle Uno marina but only accommodates six tables. Naturally, reservation is essential, but the experience is one to savour with the kitchen area enclosed in a glass cube so you can ‘watch all the action’ as you eat and drink, if you want to.
If you are after authentic tapas, La Cosmopolita has quickly become a Malaga institution since opening in 2010. Offering a clean and cosy vibe, La Cosmopolita offers traditional and contemporary tapas – everything from bulltail meatballs to ‘pan de cristal’ (long scooped out bread filled with cheese and then toasted). There’s also El Pimpi, claimed to be the oldest tapas bar in Malaga, where you will find delicious small plates. El Pimpi is perfect if you just want a drink too, as it boasts a thriving bar and patio area and can either be a bustling relaxed bodega bar, or at times can be a raucous party room. Keep your eyes peeled though, as it’s unassuming facade can be easily passed by.
ZZ PUB is another popular establishment, especially with students and backpackers due to its cheap prices and eclectic music choices. Whether funk, soul, blues or rock and alternative, there’s bound to be something for everyone, with live music nights from Monday to Thursday, it’s worth getting there early and getting a good spot.
For those with a more laid-back and somewhat sophisticated approach to life, Puerta Oscura should be your port of call. Decked out with classical interiors punctuated by intimate alcoves, Puerta Oscura is perfect for quiet nights with a bottle of wine underpinned by some soft classical music.
For some, nothing is more important when on holiday than shopping shopping shopping, and under the cover of bright sun and cool sea air the shopping experience in Malaga is a very pleasant and rewarding one.
If near the Port make sure to check out Calle Marques de Larios, whether you are wanting to splurge or just merely window shop. With lots of little stores carrying everything from boutique shoes to bespoke hats alongside chains such as Mango and Zara, Calle Marquies de Larios is Spanish elegance at its finest, and was considered the most elegant street in the country upon its construction in the late 1800s. Punctuated with wide pedestrianised streets and fine marble paving, Calle Marques de Larios is the centre-piece of a dense network of great shopping streets, surrounded by Calle Especeria, Calle Cisneros and Calle Compania amongst others. Even if not shopping, the area has many small cafés and eateries that are worth checking out.
Sometimes though, all that you want are familiar brands and shops, but at low prices. Look no further than any of Malaga’s six malls and shopping centres such as Centro Larios (home of Malaga’s only Primark) Centro Vialia, Miramar Parque, or for those looking for more of a journey, Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor is situated on the other side of Malaga airport, around a 25-minute drive from the centre of town. Plaza Mayor features brands such as Desigual and H&M, as well as the Nike Factory Store, where you are bound to find footwear and sportswear at massively reduced prices. When you are done traipsing around the stores, Plaza Mayor is also home to a multiplex cinema showing blockbusters and Spanish made films, although you may want to avoid this if your knowledge of Spanish is limited to ‘hola’ and ‘si’.
Culture & Attractions
Malaga’s biggest claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of cubist painter Pablo Picasso, and his legacy and influence is proudly displayed and celebrated by the Malaga of today. The Museo Picasso Malaga, located in the heart of the city centre, features a permanent collection encompassing all facets of Picasso’s career alongside works and exhibitions from other famous modern artists. The museum’s opening in 2003 really helped establish Malaga as a modern hub for residents and visitors alike, hoisting it out of the shadows of Andalucian capital Seville.
For those who like their art al fresco, the SOHO area is home to a vibrant street art scene. Thanks to work by the MAUS initiative (Malaga Arte Urbano Soho) artwork by luminaries such as DaLeast, ROA, OBEY, Invader and D*Face, amongst others, can be found emblazoned on buildings, walls and in the many nooks and crannies of the area.
For history buffs, Malaga is home to archaeological ruins, remains, and buildings from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras, with a walk around the winding streets and roads giving you glimpses into the cities’ 3000-year-old story. Some of these ruins can be accessed through other attractions, such as the walls of the ancient Phoenician city which can be seen in the cellar of the Museo Picasso Malaga. The 11th century palatial fort the Alacazaba of Malaga is another must see attraction. Located in the heart of the city, it is a three-minute drive from the City Centre.
Malaga is also home to Malaga CF football team who play in La Liga – Spain’s top footballing division. Malaga CF’s stadium, La Rosaleda (‘The Rose Garden’) has a capacity of 30,044 for match days, and can hold as many as 62,000 for off-season concerts, with acts such as George Michael and Shakira having graced La Rosaleda over the years, and as it is located in the city, can be reached by car in around 10 minutes from the very centre. Other sporting teams in the city include Club Atletico Malaga women’s football team and Baloncesto Malaga basketball team.