Malaga in 24 hours

What to see and do in Malaga when you just have a short time?

Malaga is rapidly becoming one of the most attractive European city trips because of its museums, the historic city centre, the bustling port and the local gastronomy. Furthermore, the Costa del Sol Airport is now connected to far east destinations via Doha and Istanbul, meaning that tourists will stop over at Malaga, sometimes only with a couple of hours to spare.

The good news is that a walking tour through the centre of this bustling city only needs an hour and a bit to see most of the highlights listed below.

That is of course without taking pictures. But, as they say:

“an image is worth a thousand words”.

So please join me on this walk, whilst I show you around.

Malaga centrum

The best rooftop terrace with a view in Malaga

The hotel AC Marriott is located in the heart of the city. The rooftop terrace of this hotel has the best 360º views: to the east, you see the Moorish fortress, the Alcazaba; The cathedral is just a few steps away and on the front, you look out on the Port or Muelle Uno.

On the same roof, you can jump in the pool or enjoy an al fresco dinner. For pricing and availability of the rooms in the AC Hotel, click here.

Malaga Mural Doger

Murals in Malaga

The mural in the picture above is painted by Doger, you will find his work at Plaza de la Judería, behind the terrace of Bodega Bar El Pimpi. These paintings will just give a hint of what the city has to offer in street art. To see more of these, visit the Lagunillas and Soho neighbourhoods. You will see work of world-famous artists like Roa, Dal East, Andi Rivas, Boamistura, Faith47 and Frank Shepard Fairy (OBEY).

Roman theatre Malaga

Malaga Roman theatre

From the terrace of Bodega El Pimpi you have a beautiful view of the Roman Theatre. The pyramid (in the picture) protects some excavations, where the Romans used to ferment their fish.

Musician Malaga

Malaga Cathedral

The musician in the picture above sits opposite the Cathedral of Malaga (Calle Molina Lario, 9) one of the main attractions of the city.

“The building is one of the best examples of Spanish religious art and it is located on the remains of other cultural buildings such as the early Almohad mosque.

Its foundations were laid around 1530 and work ended in the 17th century, although it is unfinished and lacks coping on the main façade and the south tower. The missing tower has led to it being popularly known as La Manquita, the  one-armed” (source).

If so inclined by all means visit the cathedral, or, in my opinion, much better option, climb the stairs to the roof, for a fantastic view. Tickets for the rooftop tour can be obtained at Palacio Episcopal the cathedral on Plaza del Obispo, 6.

Mount Gibralfaro view in Malaga


From the Gibralfaro mountain, you have a beautiful view of the bullring and port and you’re within walking distance of the Alcazaba, the Moorish fortress.

From the Parador hotel located on this mountain, you can book a room with a view. The Paradores are luxury hotels run by the Spanish Government, mostly located in historic buildings. To view availability and prices for the Hotel Parador Gibralfaro, click here.

Muelle Uno Malaga

The port of Malaga

The port of Malaga is a small city within a city. Here you’ll find a leading museum (Pompidou), a Michelin-star restaurant, a marina, cafés, shops, playgrounds and a chapel.

What else …?

Jardines Puerta Oscura Malaga

Puerta Oscura

Hugging the Gibralfaro mountain you will find the gardens of Puerta Oscura, an oasis of calm in the hustle and bustle of the city. Because it is so quiet it is best to be avoided after dark.

Malaga, Muelle uno, Pompidou
Malaga, Muelle Uno Chapel
Malaga, cathedral

Plaza del General Torrijos

The fountain below is called “Las tres gracias” and is located on the General Torrijos Square, between the port and Gibralfaro.

Malaga, Fuente Las Tres Gracias

Practical advice for your stay in Malaga


As I said, you can see the city centre in an hour. But why would you do that if the city is at its best during the night? Malagueños come out in large numbers during the evening, especially in the summer when it is too hot to do anything during the day. The centre is pleasantly busy till the early morning, safe and attractive.

Malaga by bike

An alternative to quickly see the city is doing a bike tour accompanied by a guide.

You will see:

  • City Hall and other important civic buildings
  • The Alcazaba- an 11th-century Muslim fortified palace
  • The Roman Theatre
  • A Brotherhood building of the Semana Santa (Holy Week) Visits possible when open.
  • The birth-house and square where Pablo Picasso was born
  • Two of the oldest churches in Malaga
  • Malaga’s cathedral
  • The main square – Plaza de la Constitución
  • The Central Market or Mercado Merced
  • Calle Larios- the main shopping street of the city
  • El Parque- outdoor botanical gardens
  • The Bull Ring
  • The Malagueta and Caleta beach
  • Malaga’s port

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