The Ultimate Guide for a Weekend in Málaga
If you’re looking for a place where art, history, beaches, and nightlife coexist, it’s Málaga! Here is the ultimate Málaga weekend guide. There’s a reason Picasso once said, “Look over there, to the south – that’s where Málaga is”.
Málaga, the port of Andalusia, is capital of Costa del Sol. Therefore, it’s a really unique place to enjoy typical Andalusian food, culture and lifestyle.
Top Attractions in Málaga
Alcazaba of Málaga
To get a basic grasp of the history and culture, you’ll need to visit Alcazaba Palace to kick start your Málaga weekend. Built between 1057 and 1063, it’s famous for its architecture and history, and attracts loads of tourists each year. Entrance is 3,50EUR.
I’ve visited Alcazaba twice so far, and the first time I went without a guide. I basically just looked around, took some pictures, and admired the patio. But the second time around, I actually visited Alcazaba. I highly recommend visiting without a proper guide as you’ll want to learn about Alcazaba’s long history.
I did my walking tour with Málaga Adventure for 6€. My guides, Ana and Gloria, were just perfect; check them out and book a tour!
At the foot of the Alcazaba you’ll find Málaga’s ancient Roman Theatre. “The best things in life are the one we are not looking for”, and I would say this quote perfectly sums up the theatre’s discovery. It was only discovered in 1951, during the construction of Casa de la Cultura, and opened to the public in 2011. It’s a testimony to the city’s long history.
The theatre dates back to the time of Augustus in the 1st century AD. During Moorish rule, the theatre was used as a quarry while Alcazaba was under construction. Many Roman columns and capitals were moved from the theatre by the Moorish to decorate Alcazaba Palace.
Today, it’s used for a variety of events and open-air performances. It’s also open to the public, and is free to visit!
Castle of Gibralfaro
Built to host troops and protect Alcazaba Palace, the Castle of Gibralfaro was once the most defensible fortress in Andalusia.
Castle of Gibralfaro is famous for it’s incredible views. You can see all of Málaga, including the beach, the university, La Málagueta bull ring, the Cathedral, – and if the sky is really clear – you can also see Gibraltar’s channel. Entrance is 3,50EUR.
You have two options to get to the castle. If you want to avoid the walk and prefer public transport, take Bus 35 and it takes you directly outside the castle.
Your second option is walking, but it’s certainly rewarding! On the way up (or down), take a break at the “mirador” (viewpoint) and enjoy the scenery. It’s definitely one of my favourite places in Málaga, and a perfect spot for sunset.
Playa de La Málagueta
It wouldn’t be a weekend in Málaga without a trip to the beach! The most central and popular beach in Málaga is Playa de la Málagueta. Famous for it’s dark sand, clear water and beach parties, it’s a must stop in Málaga. If you want to avoid crowds or will require parking, you might want to avoid it as it’s always quite busy!
The promenade at Playa de la Málagueta is called Paseo Della Farola and is full of things to do. It’s full of local restaurants and chiringuitos where you can have a drink or a nice, cheap, lunch on the beach.
Picasso is arguably the most famous thing about Málaga. At Plaza de la Merced, you’ll find the house where Pablo Picasso was born and spent his childhood. It’s now the home of Fundàtion Picasso.
Not far from the Fundàtion Picasso, in Calle Santiago, you’ll find the Picasso Museum. If you’re a fan of his work, you’ll want to check it out as it houses 80 years of his work. Entrance fees vary, so it’s best to consult the website before your visit!
Where to Eat and Drink in Málaga
Eating in Spain is an adventure in itself! Restaurants, bars, and pubs are open till late and the food is always amazing. Personally I always love finding a nice rooftop with a view for a drink, and Málaga is full of them.
For some great fusion cuisine, I recommend Batik. They also take great pride in changing their menu seasonally, so recommending a dish is rather difficult! Atico Bar and Restaurant is also famous for its rooftop views and great menu.
If you want to make your night memorable, join the pub crawl organised by South Tours for just 10EUR. A great activity for your weekend in Málaga!
Other Spots in Málaga
Histórico La Concepión, Botanical Garden
Only 40 minutes from the city centre you’ll find a bamboo “forest”, prehistoric plants, orchids, African plants, palm trees, water lilies, and more at the Botanical Garden in Málaga. Entrance is 5EUR. Inside the garden, you’ll also find a cafeteria, toilets and a gift shop to pick up some souvenirs.
You can get here by taking Bus 2, and then walking 15 minutes from the last stop on the route.
On my last day on Málaga, I explored a bit outside and visited this absolutely gorgeous, little village. Mijas Pueblo is located in a mountainside about 430 metres above sea level. It’s the perfect way to end your Málaga weekend.
Walking around Mijas is an experience in itself: white houses and flowers on every corner are what characterises the village, making it a place you can escape to if you need a break from the city.
Calle San Sebastian is the most famous street of Mijas, but I personally loved every single corner. Starting from the mirador, Plaza del Toros, to a tiny shop called Spanish Cotton Paradise.The super friendly owner showed me a nice route to see Mijas and gave me tips on where to shop and eat.
Where to Stay in Málaga
The perfect hostel is one that makes you feel at home, and that’s exactly what you get at Oasis Backpackers Hostel Málaga.
Centrally located, Oasis Backpackers is only 5 mins from most of Málaga’s main attractions, as well as pubs and restaurants.
They offer large social spaces, comfortable beds, and an amazing atmosphere- The staff are friendly and extremely helpful, and the hostel itself is very clean. And if that’s not enough, they also offer a great rooftop lounge, perfect for meeting new people.
Being able to offer a great social experience in a time of social distancing isn’t easy, but Oasis does it! They offer a variety of activities, such as walking tours, pub crawls, and tapas tours.
Málaga & COVID-19
Travelling in 2020 is a challenge. Spain, in particular, has suffered a lot from COVID-19, with 769K cases from February to September 2020.
Restrictions are a new reality, and for places like Spain, tourism is a huge part of the economy. This year has been extremely tough and it’s important to support local activities. Don’t stop travelling, just do it responsibly!
If you think you have symptoms, or have been in contact with people with COVID-19 call 900 400 061.
We hope this guide helps you plan your Málaga weekend! If you’re looking for more information on what to do in Málaga, check out the Travel Tips section on the Europe’s Famous Hostels website.
Blog post by: @thebrunettevagawonder on behalf of Checkout.note by Famous Hostels.
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