3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga

Here we come to a list of things to do in Malaga, my favorite city out of the other seven I visited during my three weeks in Spain.

Malaga has many green areas, blue sea, rich history, amazing architecture, lively atmosphere, international cuisine. What is there not to like? 🙂 In addition, it is quite cheap when it comes to places to visit (unlike the accommodation prices 🙂 ). So, what to do in Malaga?

But before I start: you might be interested in more practical info about Malaga like where to stay and eat, how to move around, etc. You can find in my previous post on my 2 days in Malaga.

What to do in Malaga for free


La Malagueta


My favorite place in Malaga! I came here on my second day in the city and spent a couple of hours just sitting and contemplating the sea and the waves. Very soothing and calming experience, by the way. And I saw some wonderful cats there 🙂

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | La Malagueta
La Malagueta

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Cat on the Malagueta beach
Is not she (or he?) gorgeous? 🙂

It was windy and cold for swimming, but not everyone was afraid. Quite a lot of people were in the water, so I just admired their resistance to cold 🙂

Price: I was there at the end of October, not the best time for swimming and sunbathing. I saw that two beach loungers with umbrella cost 10 EUR per day.

How to save: just bring your towel and lie on it 🙂

Things to know: the beach is very long, more than a kilometer. The water is clean, the sand contains shells and cigarette butts here and there.

Parque de Málaga

This is the main park of Malaga full of trees, palms, flowers and heaven-sent shade 🙂 It would not be a mistake to say that visitors start exploring Malaga from here.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | City hall in the park
City hall in the park

Personally, I spent a lot of time here just sitting on benches, breathing fresh air and contemplating. And while you are walking along the park, take a look at the spectacular city hall of Malaga and other architectural wonders.

Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso


3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso

Another green area of the city, the gardens are adjacent to the main park of Malaga. Here one can admire amazing roses planted among trees, palms, ponds and fountains. It is a perfect place to spend a hot afternoon right in the city center below the walls of Alcazaba.

Palmeral De Las Sorpresas

This is a small park along the waterfront consisting entirely of palm trees. You will not miss it when you cross the road from the main park towards the beach. I strongly advise you to spend some time in this amazing place. In addition, there are stalls where souvenirs and other items are sold as well as curious sculptures along.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Palmeral De Las Sorpresas
Palmeral De Las Sorpresas

I think by now you should have guessed that I adore parks 🙂

The Roman Theater

The oldest building in Malaga, the Roman Theater is located just next to the Alcazaba and it is the first thing visitors see in the historical center of the city. It was built in the 1st century AD and remained hidden until the 20th century. Parts of the Roman Theater were used to build the Alcazaba.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | The Roman Theater

One can get a very clear view of the theater just by standing in front of it. But there is an entrance to the right, which allows to walk its stone steps. Another entrance is through a visitor center to the left.

Oh, and just in front of the theater you will see a pyramid: below it are the remains of Roman basins used to prepare fish sauce.

Mercado Central de Atarazanas

Well, visiting the market is free, but I doubt you will refrain from buying anything after you see the fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, there are stalls with raw food: you choose what you want, they cook it for you and you can eat it right at the market.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain, Part 4: 2 Days in Malaga | Food at Atarazanas Market
Food at Atarazanas Market

A little bonus: at some stalls the sellers allow to taste olives for free 🙂

Plaza de Constitucion and Plaza de la Merced


Just a couple of plazas to sit, relax, and look around 🙂 In Spanish cities plazas are their bustling heart.

Cathedrals and churches

The churches and cathedrals of Malaga are amazing, and every one of them is so different: different decorations, different colors. I fell in love with their architecture. I visited all of them in one evening, but, of course, you don’t need to do it so quickly 🙂 I started around 6 PM with Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón: the music was amazing, and I did not want to leave!

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon

After that I went to Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, Parroquia de los Santos Mártires Ciriaco y Paula, Parroquia Santiago Apóstol Málaga and Basilica de la Victoria.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Iglesia de San Juan Bautista
Iglesia de San Juan Bautista

Just keep in mind that the churches are closed during the daytime and open closer to the service.

What to do in Malaga for cheap

Gibralfaro and the panoramic deck

Gibralfaro was erected in the 10th century by a caliph from Cordoba. At that time it was considered to be one of the most impressive and impregnable fortresses on the Iberian Peninsula.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | The Gibralfaro
The Gibralfaro

Frankly, Gibralfaro is not as imposing and interesting as Alcazaba: it is just walls and towers, nothing else. But the views from above make it a not-to-miss place. Unlike other places, from here one can see the farthest parts of Malaga and mountains as well.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | View from the Gibralfaro
View from the Gibralfaro

Things to know: getting to the Gibralfaro on foot is quite challenging. The usual way is to take the road up which runs along the Alcazaba, but if you do not think you are fit enough, better opt for bus. You can take the bus 35 that leaves from the Paseo del Parque (at the Park of Malaga) and goes up to the Gibralfaro. NB: there is a panoramic deck on the way up with the views of the parks below and the port. Even if you take the bus up, my advice is to go back to Malaga center on foot: getting down is easier and you will get to enjoy the views.

Price: the entrance fee is 2,20 EUR. Reduced fees are available to certain categories.

How to save: a combined ticket to both the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro is 3,55 EUR. Reduced fees for the disabled, retired, locals, and students. And even better news: the entrance is free on Sundays after 2 o’clock. More info is here.

Alcazaba

Constructed 10 centuries ago on the ruins of a Roman fortress, the Alcazaba is today one of main tourist attractions of Malaga. Actually, it is the best preserved one in Spain. Its numerous towers and turrets offer amazing views over Malaga.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | The walls of the Alcazaba
The walls of the Alcazaba

From outside it looks like the Alcazaba is only naked walls with trees here and there. Frankly, when one enters the fortress, it is only the walls one sees. Well, in addition to brightly-colored flowers and palm trees 🙂 But it gets more interesting with every step. And in the farthest corner of the Alcazaba there is a palace with typical architecture: a long pond surrounded by residential area.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | The Palace inside the Alcazaba
The Palace inside the Alcazaba

Price: the entrance fee is 2,60 EUR. Reduced fees are available to certain categories.

How to save: a combined ticket to both the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro is 3,55 EUR. Reduced fees for the disabled, retired, locals, and students. And even better news: the entrance is free on Sundays after 2 o’clock. More info is here.

Málaga Cathedral

The construction of this Renaissance cathedral lasted for more than 200 years. Well, considering its size and the intricate details, it is quite understandable.

Unlike the other cathedrals I visited in Spain, this one is rather dark inside. My favorite part is the central one with columns forming a semicircle.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Inside the Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral

I highly recommend buying a ticket to climb the roof. I am not going to claim that it is easy, there are so many steps there that at one moment you just wish them to end. But the views are totally worth it: one can see from here both the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro and the sea with the port.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | View from the Cathedral's roof
View from the Cathedral’s roof

Price: the general entrance fee is 6 EUR with discounts available for some categories of visitors. In case you want to climb to the roof, you will have to pay 4 EUR in addition to the general fee. More info is here.

Things to know: The ticket includes a visit to the Archbishop’s palace. When I was at the Cathedral, it was late already and I did not manage to use my ticket to get access to the Archbishop’s palace because it was closed. When I came there next day, I was not allowed to get in.

The port and the Mirador Princess

Take a stroll around the port area, which is free, and for a better view of the city get a ride on the Mirador Princess or Noria de Malaga. It is 70 meters high and claims to offer a view with 30 kilometers range. I did not ride it personally; I thought that a walk on the cathedral’s roof was enough: my God, do I regret my decision!

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Mirador Princess
Mirador Princess

Price: general ticket for adults is 10 EUR. Discounts are available for groups, children, disabled and retired. More info is here.

For shopping


I think it will not be a mistake to call the whole area between the main cathedral of Malaga and the river a huge shopping center. One can find dozens of shops in the narrow streets, foreign and local brands alike. Start with Calle Marqués de Larios and wander in the adjacent streets.

What to do in Malaga: places for art and museum lovers (I did not visit them)


I guess people who read my blog often, know already that I am not really a museum person, especially the art ones, so it is a not a surprise I did not visit any in Malaga. But it does not mean you will not enjoy them. Below are some museums recommended by visitors to Malaga.

Centre Pompidou Málaga: it exhibits creations of Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Constantin Brâncuși, etc. The entrance fee is 7 EUR. More info is here.

3 Weeks of Solo Travel in Spain: What to do in Malaga | Centre Pompidou
Centre Pompidou

Picasso Museum Málaga: as the name suggests it, the works of Pablo Picasso are exhibited here. The entrance fee is 9 EUR. More info is here.

Museo Casa Natal de Picasso: the birthplace of Picasso, some of his works are exhibited here. The entrance fee is 3 EUR. More info is here.

Interactive Music Museum: a huge collection of musical instruments from all over the world. The highlight of the museum is a room where visitors are encouraged to play these instruments. The entrance fee is 5 EUR. More info is here.

Malaga Museum. It houses the collections of two museums: of fine arts and archaeological ones. It is free for European Union citizens, 1,5 EUR for everyone else. More info is here.

Museo Unicaja de Artes y Costumbres Populares: this ethnographic museum exhibits everything relating to the arts and traditions. The entrance fee is 4 EUR. More info is here.

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