Málaga is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Spain, and for good reason. It sees almost year-round sunshine and temperatures that make it possible to visit the sandy yellow beaches almost every single day. With an interesting mix of resorts, high-rise hotels, Renaissance architecture, and ancient citadels, this busting port city is definitely one of a kind.
Here’s a look at what to do in Málaga.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Málaga, Spain?
With 300 days of sun per year, there is never a “bad” time to visit “the capital of Costa del Sol.” If you want to live your best beach life, the best months to visit are June through September. In August, temperatures reach their peak, averaging out at 31 degrees Celsius. With eleven hours of sunshine every day, this is the perfect time to go for a dip in the sea.
If you want to avoid summer crowds and hot temperatures, you could also visit in January, Málaga’s coldest month. With an average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, it is perfect for those who want to enjoy the sunshine and see the city without being jostled around by tourists.
Our Favorite Things to Do in Málaga, Spain
Go to the Beach(es)
Málaga has a whopping 16 sun-soaked beaches to visit, and all of them are worth checking out. You can find Playa de la Malagueta near highway N-340, so it is often full of tourists during the summer. Playa de la a Misericordia is long and sandy with moderate waves not far from the city center that is great for families with children. Perhaps the best beaches, though, are in Torremolinos, where they are off the beaten path and less crowded.
Try the Espetos
Every region in Spain has its own local delicacies, and Málaga is no exception. Those who want to get a true taste of the city will want to sample espeto, or grilled sardine. The sardines are placed on long, thick skewers and roasted over a fire that burns within a hole in the sand at the beach. They are served with a spritz of lemon and a glass of white wine. You can find the best traditional espeto at a chiringuito, a bar located on the beach.
All of the cities on Spain’s Costa del Sol are full of resorts and golf courses, but some of the best golfing can be done in Málaga. Parador de Málaga course, for example, has 18 holes and is unique in that it isn’t exclusively for pro golfers: golfers of any skill level can come play among the palm trees, eucalyptus trees, and sand dunes that have been here since the 1920s.
Some of the Best Attractions in Málaga, Spain
The country is bursting with events and sights, and we already compiled a huge list of the best attractions in Spain, but this time we’re going to focus on Málaga:
Castillo de Gibralfaro
Two imposing fortresses loom over the skyline of Málaga, and perhaps the most recognizable is Castillo de Gibralfaro. This towering citadel has stood since the Phoenicians were in Spain over 2,500 years ago, and is the place where an important siege took place in 1487, during which the Muslim Malagueños fought to hold their ground for three months before they ran out of food and surrendered to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. The fortress’ original lookout towers still stand tall as they watch over the city below, and the site is so important that it is often used as a symbol of the city itself.
Málaga’s other towering fortress is called La Alcazaba. Its walls are visible from almost everywhere in the city, and its history dates back to Spain’s Islamic era. First built in the 8th century, La Alcazaba was under continuous construction for nearly 500 years as it was expanded and fortified. Today, two sets of walls remain, creating an inner and an outer citadel. Inside the former, you can see the palace and other dwellings where important historical figures once lived, and inside the latter, you can see beautiful gardens, fountains, and gateways built out of Roman columns by the Arabs.
While many other Spanish cities would love to claim him (and do often have his works in their museums and displays), only Málaga holds the title of Pablo Picasso’s birthplace. To see where the artist was born, you can visit Casa Natal in Plaza de la Merced, where you’ll find some of his artwork, as well as some of the artifacts left behind from his youth. To see more of his work, you can take a few minutes’ walk to the Museo Picasso Málaga nearby.
Other Sights Worth a Visit in Málaga, Spain
Sports fans won’t want to miss Málaga’s football stadium, La Roselada, whose home team, Málaga CF, has been playing in the Primera División for nearly ten years, and lovers of fashion and cars will want to stop in at the Automobile and Fashion Museum, which has a collection of 100 classic cars and clothes that date back to the 1920s.
Málaga has a wide range of sights for visitors to see, ranging from important artwork to significant historical architecture to tasty fish on the beach, so be ready to see a bit of everything. And remember to come hungry!