It doesn’t matter when you read this. If you are visiting Malaga or you are a resident, take note of these 25 things to see and do in Malaga because they are timeless, but if you´d like to be considered like a local person or to say “I am from Malaga” or “I know Malaga”, you should do this. Welcome to my top 25 THINGS to DO in MALAGA.
And these recommendatiosn are coming from someone who is from Malaga, who is passionate about his city.
Some plans and places will be paid and others will be free. There will be sites that are easier to access and effortless, but there will be others that will require preparation and even reservations in advance so as not to run out of space.
If you are only looking for free things, check out our 20 free plans in Malaga.
So here we go on this beautiful trip (or checklist) through Malaga that will take us to have spectacular views, magical sunsets, unique gastronomic experiences or discover places that we often forget to include in the plans for Malaga.
This list only talks about the capital, soon we will make an exclusive one for Malaga province.
The list is without order, you decide that yourselves, be it by priorities, interest or closeness. However, I have grouped it by category to make it easier to choose and even mark goals.
In most cases, I have tried to be specific, with the time and name of the place, but surely changing some detail makes it equally unforgettable.
Essential food and drinks in Malaga.
Eat a campero in the Eladio
If there is a reference place to eat the typical Malaga sandwich, that is the Eladio. Because of its quality, price and service ratio, it stands out from the rest, but now they have also changed their location, which makes it even more special to eat a campero there (or to take away).
You have to go expressly to the entrance of a polygon to find it. You no longer arrive by chance and let’s say there are only 3 options: walk, drive or get a ride (Taxi/Uber/Cabify). The experience will be worth it and you will be able to feel like a true “malaguita”. Nobody said it was easy to complete the entire list.
- Address of Eladio Campero: C. la Bohème, 8, 29006 Málaga.
Eat churros with chocolate at Casa Aranda.
The most typical place for breakfast in the center of Malaga, opened in 1932 and an institution in the city. The usual thing will be to order their famous churros, but you can also combine it with a pitufo, a sombra or any of the varieties of coffees that we have in Malaga.
If you go at rush hour or on the weekend you will have to wait, but they are very agile and in a few minutes you will be sitting indoors or on the terrace.
- Address of Casa Aranda: C. Herrería del Rey, 3, 29005 Málaga
Drink a sweet wine in the Old Guard House.
Coming to Malaga and not entering the Antigua Casa de Guardia is like not having been there. It is a bar that dates back to 1840, which maintains its traditional essence, with clearly visible wine barrels with prices and variety. It has an intense smell of wine that you will notice as soon as you enter.
It is ordered at the bar and they will write down your order with chalk right there. There is also seafood to eat, but my recommendation is to stop there as a first stop on a tapas route through the center of Malaga.
- Address of the Old Guard House: Alameda Principal, 18, 29005 Málaga
Eat some snails (“caracoles”) or chicken wings at Tano’s.
The Huelin neighborhood maintains the essence of the old working-class and seafaring neighborhoods and hides places to eat that are well worth a stop. We will also leave the historic center and get to know other areas of the city.
El Tano’s is one of the benchmarks in Huelin, and its specialization in two apparently opposite products such as snails and chicken wings also makes it very authentic.
If you go, you have to try them, but their menu has more things like fried fish, crestas (spicy burger), meat, etc.
- Address of Tano´s: Av de Sor Teresa Prat, 16, 29003 Málaga
Sit down and have a drink or, at least, see the interior of El Pimpi.
Many people think that including Pimpi in such a list is too typical. And? El Pimpi is a symbol of the city and known by all its visitors and residents.
So it should be on the list, because of its location, its history and because if we go to any travel site, the first thing we look for is a typical site, recommended in all the guides, since Pimpi is our destination in Malaga.
Inside you can see its mythical barrels signed by all the most important and famous people who have passed through there.
El Pimpi has several different spaces: a large outdoor terrace with views of the Alcazaba and the interior, with small rooms, where you can enjoy an authentic sweet wine from Malaga.
Eat a “espetao squid” at the Chiringuito Litoral.
The most famous dish in Malaga is the espeto de sardinas, there is no doubt about that, but it will not be until you try a “squid espetao” when you discover the power (and flavor) of grills cooked on the beach.
My recommendation is the Chiringuito Litoral, in the Huelín area, by the sea, but it could be any other in the area and even in other areas of the capital, but this is the authentic one in the sense that they were the creators. And now there is a fever for fish, shellfish and cephalopods cooked with a rod inserted and some good embers by the sea, so take advantage of the opportunity.
- Address: Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas, 5, 29004 Málaga
If you decide to go to the Chiringuito Litoral, it will be essential to book in advance (even weeks in high season) and ask for the price before ordering.
Eat a rice at the Venta del Túnel or “In the tunnel”.
This is a very Sunday family plan in Malaga, whether combining it with a route through the surroundings (presa del limonero, for example), enjoying a good rice cooked in a traditional metal pot is a delight.
It is called “rice from the mountains” (arroz de los montes) and you can order it with vegetables, chicken or mixed. Of course, be careful with the quantities because you always have to subtract at least 1-2 people for the rice. That is to say, if you go with 4 people, ask for rice for 2 or 3 and it is still normal that there is plenty… but you can take it home.
In these two restaurants, very close to each other, you will have a complete menu, but the ideal is to reserve and order the rice in advance and then combine it with some croquettes, salad or tenderloin in butter (lomo en manteca).
Tapas in the historic center of Malaga.
Not because it is a common plan or highly recommended in all the guides, you should not stop doing it. In this case, I recommend you consult my “classic tapas route through the center of Malaga“, with a complete list of bars where you can take the pulse of the bars in the historic center of the city.
Have an ice cream at “La Inma”.
If you are able to combine any of the above plans on the same day and add an ice cream from “La Inma” then you will be very close to feeling like someone knows Malaga (or is beginning to do so).
Perhaps there are better ice cream parlors in Malaga, but the most famous is this one.
In summer you will have to wait a bit and stand in line, but the reward will be a very tasty ice cream that you will not forget and you will even want to repeat on other occasions in the city.
Again, as happened with the Eladio campero, you will have to go specifically to look for it, because it goes off the usual routes, but it is easier to get there. For example, you have a Metro stop (“La isla”) 50 meters away and many buses pass through the back street (Carretera de Cádiz/Avenida de Velázquez).
- Inma Ice Cream Address: C. Moreti, 15, 29003 Málaga
Routes and walks to do in Malaga.
Walk along Pier One and watch the sunset from there.
They call it an open shopping center and in reality it is that plus an area of expansion of the city next to the port and the sea that allows you to walk through a very pleasant place, contemplate the famous cube of the Pompidou Center and walk to “La Farola” (the lighthouse), one of the emblems of the city.
My sunset recommendation is based on the fact that you can see the entire city skyline from there: Gibralfaro Castle, the Alcazaba, the Cathedral or the Equitativa tower, among others.
So almost reaching the Farola, sit down in any of the bars in the area and enjoy a magical sunset in Malaga.
Climb Mount San Antón to see the entire city.
I am still surprised how many malagueñ@s have never been to San Antón. We are facing, perhaps, the best panoramic view of Malaga capital and it is a hiking route that is suitable for all audiences.
Here I tell you what the climb to Mount San Antón is like and how to do it easily.
Climb Mount Victoria at sunset and see the Seminary and the city illuminated.
Another of the “must do” hikings in Malaga. This one is even easier than the previous one and very accessible from the historic center of the city, since it is done from the Victoria neighborhood.
It also has the attraction of being a mountain with a lot of history, as I told you in the article dedicated to Mount Victoria or Mount of the three letters.
Combining any of the two climbs, San Antón or Monte Victoria, with taking a snack and a snack makes it a special plan for any afternoon of the year.
A wine in “The Odisea” and then climb the Coracha to the Mirador de Gibralfaro
Two decades ago in that place we had one of the most authentic neighborhoods in the entire city: La Coracha. However, it was decided to expropriate the entire area and build what we see today, but not everyone left.
A place stayed and fought to stay, but it was not easy to achieve it… it was quite an “odyssey” and the bar with that name is still there in tribute to the effort and results obtained.
Its terrace is very charming, but even if you feel outside, do not forget to visit your interior patio. Of course, be careful with the prices that, sometimes, the odyssey is not to pay less than €20 there.
Do the circular route of the San Telmo aqueduct.
The San Telmo aqueduct is another of the city’s emblems. It is a construction carried out by the engineer Martín de Aldehuela and that allowed water to be brought from the mountains to the city. Quite a milestone at that time.
Unfortunately, the aqueduct fell into disuse, causing the deterioration of a historical monument that was key in the development of Malaga. The positive thing is that certain parts of the Ciudad Jardín area are now being recovered and their historical importance is being enhanced.
In order to see the best parts, I have designed a circular route through the San Telmo Aqueduct, which will allow you to see the best of this architectural work in about 2 hours and enjoy a beautiful walk through the countryside.
Have a walk and visit the La Concepción Botanical Garden.
Another place that is well worth a visit is the Jardín Botánico de la Concepción, which you could also combine with the route of the San Telmo aqueduct, since it is in the same area.
It is an English-style garden with more than 150 years of history with more than 150,000 plants, more than 2,000 tropical, subtropical and native species, highlighting the collection with more than one hundred different species of palm trees, bamboos, aquatic plants and its historic garden.
And if what you want is to see it at night, don’t miss the Luces del Botánico de Málaga, a light show that takes place during Christmas.
Walk along the sea from Malagueta beach to El Palo and have breakfast/lunch there.
Sometimes the simplest plans on paper are the most successful, and that’s what happens to this one. It may seem that a walk along the beach is too typical, but that route from the Malagueta to the Palo is incredibly beautiful and will let you feel the local atmosphere of the city.
Do not miss the Gran Hotel Miramar, one of the few 5-star hotels that we have in Malaga
The walk is approximately 1 hour at a good pace and you will end up in El Palo, a typical fishermen’s neighborhood, where with dozens of bars on the beach you can enjoy a good breakfast.
To return you can do it on foot, but you can also take bus 11 that will take you from Palo to the center of Malaga in just 10 minutes.
Take a hiking route through the Montes de Málaga and eat a plate of loin in lard (or a dish from the mountains).
One of my favorite plans to do in Malaga capital. Breathe nature in a very beautiful place, close to everything and that combines hiking with gastronomic reward.
I leave it to you to choose which route to take through the Montes de Málaga, but I will give you a good selection so that you can decide.
- 3 routes through the Montes de Málaga to do with the family.
- Path to the Mirador del Cochino.
- Route to the viewpoint of Pocopán.
- Circular route of the Boticario.
Cultural plans in Malaga
Go to the Museum of Malaga to learn more about its extensive history.
The Malaga Museum is my favorite museum in the city, for its perfect combination of history, sculpture, painting and archeology (its mosaics are spectacular). Plus, it’s free if you’re an EU citizen.
And if you want to look for something even more special, go up to its restaurant on the top floor and you will have great views of the Alcazaba from its terrace.
Discover the street art and graffiti of Lagunillas.
Can graffiti and urban art change the image of a neighborhood? Of course, and that is exactly what has happened in Lagunillas, becoming the most visited area of the city if you want to see graffiti, street art and alternative culture.
Despite its privileged location, behind the Plaza de la Merced, certain problems in the neighborhood have been forgotten for a long time, but it has been recovering little by little… although now it is suffering the effects of the so-called gentrification.
If you want to know more about the neighborhood, check out my graffiti and urban art route through Lagunillas.
Attend a play at the Teatro Soho Caixa Bank.
To say that Antonio Banderas is in love with his city, Malaga, is not discovering anything new. In fact, did you know that Banderas also owns the Pimpi?
And not only that, but he is the owner of the Teatro Soho, where he has managed to bring Broadway-type works (the Mecca of musicals) to Malaga, where he himself has acted as an actor, director and protagonist.
If you have the opportunity, don’t miss out on attending a play, concert or musical at the Soho Theater in Malaga.
He has turned “his theater of him” into a cultural epicenter in Spain. Everyone wants to go/be at the Soho Theater and it is well justified.
Visit the Picasso Museum Malaga.
Pablo Picasso has been the most universal Malagan and the opening of the museum was a milestone in the city and the engine of his true change.
His location, in an old palace, and his collections, both permanent and temporary, are always up to the cultural commitment of Malaga’s museums.
To be honest, the Picasso Malaga museum is not the best dedicated to the artist nor does it have the best works, but its collection and importance are well worth a visit. It is the most visited museum in Andalusia for a reason.
Walk around C/Alcazabilla and C/Granada first thing in the morning and then visit the Alcazaba.
Again, a simple plan that allows you to enjoy Malaga in a different way. We are used to seeing these two streets, Alcazabilla and Granada, full of people, bustle, shops, but that makes us lose much of their charm.
Calle Alcazabilla early in the morning, 8:30-9:00, is a delight to sit and contemplate the Roman Theater and the Alcazaba.
In addition, this plan can be combined very well with the walk through the Malagueta to El Palo or the churros at Casa Aranda, since you will be leaving early to walk around the city.
At the Sunset…
Have a drink at sunset on a terrace with views (Chinitas or Batik).
If you are looking for a perfect finishing touch to any of the previous plans to do in Malaga, here is the solution: go up to one of the terraces with views of Malaga and contemplate some of its monuments or the entire city while you enjoy the good weather and the company.
In this case I have opted for two of my favorites: Chinitas, to see the Cathedral and Batik, to see the Alcazaba, but here I leave you 8 terraces with views of Malaga that you should not miss.
Have a mid-afternoon drink in the sandy area of Amitabha de Huelin.
Not everything is going to be plans first thing in the morning, for lunch, for dinner or at the last minute, there are also mid-afternoon moments that deserve to be enjoyed and here I offer you a good option.
For example, imagine going to the Huelin area to eat or have tapas, even to a beach bar, but then you want to continue enjoying the weather and the sea of Malaga a little longer until you do the night plan.
On this occasion I opted for the Amitabha, because it has a large seating area, whether on the terrace, with a standard floor, with a wooden floor, but what is really authentic is doing it at one of its tables that are already in the sand. 10 meters from the beach.
Go to a “Moraga” on the beach of Peñón del Cuervo.
And we come to the end with a plan for which you will need help and even contacts from/in Malaga. Can you imagine having a barbecue by the sea and enjoying friends, food and drinks without time… in Malaga that is possible, they are called “moragas“.
Something that used to be very common and in recent years has been more restricted due to the issue of cleanliness on the beaches. Now you have to request them officially, but they continue to be done and there are special enclaves where they can be done and for which they give you permission (requested in advance).
In this case, my recommendation would be a moraga in the Peñón del Cuervo and if we already have a full moon it would be the finishing touch to a night that you will not forget.
One more thing to do in Malaga
And so far these 25 things to do in Malaga capital. I hope you liked the compilation, you have new plans to make and, if you want to present it as a list, new challenges to achieve.
However, I would like to make a final recommendation, which many friends have offered me… all the plans in Malaga are summed up in one that you must do yes or yes.
Go to any beach bar to have some skewers of sardines (espetos), anchovies or coquinas with your very cold beer and looking at the sea.
Now yes, enjoy Malaga!