Malaga is a city that is often overlooked by tourists. Although millions and millions of tourists arrive in Malaga International airport, Malaga itself is more of a transit point, people tend to pass through on their way to the Costa del Sol’s more popular destinations.

It’s a shame, as the city of Malaga is a beautiful, very Spanish and a very traditional city. It offers some unbeatable things to do. Here are ten, handpicked and free things to do in Malaga.

For an updated list of personal family favourites, please see our Top 10 free and natural places to visit near Malaga with children.

Atarazanas market


Malaga’s central market dates back to the 14th Century. Originally built by the Moors as a ship builder’s yard – Atarazanas – in Arabic can be loosely translated as such.

Despite its fascinating history, the market is a great place to go for all kinds of local produce. Olives, oils, fish, seasonal fruit and vegetables. It really is a feast for the senses.

Open from Monday through to Saturdays (closed on Sundays) from 0800hrs until 1400hrs.

For more information on Malaga’s central market and for the best stalls in Malaga’s Atarazanas.

The Picasso museum


Malaga’s most famous artist and most renowned museum. The last Sunday of every month, the entrance is free to Malaga’s Picasso Museum.

The musuem has recently extended its collection and now offers 233 works of art. No trip to Malaga is complete without a visit.

For more information on Malaga’s Picasso Museum

Malaga’s Centre for Contemporary Art

Malaga's centre of Contemporary Art

Malaga’s centre for contemporary art (known as CAC) houses a fantastic collection of 20th and 21st Century art.

Featuring artists such as Damian Hirst, Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson and various Andalucian artists. The musuem promises not to disappoint. Entrance is free.

For more information on Malaga’s centre for Contemporary Art

 Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro


Entrance is free on Sunday afternoons to both the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro castle. Without a doubt Malaga’s most famous landmarks, they should be high on anyone’s to do list.

A walk through the eucalyptus trees and carefully landscaped gardens to the top is highly recommended. The views are quite simply, the best Malaga has to offer.

For more information on the Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro

Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro

View of Malaga from the Parador

The best view in Malaga. The same one you would get from the top of the Gibralfaro Castle. This is a far easier alternative with no walking whatsoever.

You can sit on the terrace of the Parador Hotel, having a drink and watching the sun set over Malaga.

For more information the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro

Montes de Malaga


Malaga’s lung. The Montes de Malaga are well worth the effort. Situated only a few kilometres from the center of Malaga, it really feels as if you are a World away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Numerous hiking trails, picnic spots and traditional ‘Ventas’ (restaurants) are the order of the day. The best place to try one of the traditional ‘plato de los montes.’

For more information on the Montes de Malaga

 El Tintero, El Palo

 El Tintero, in El Palo, Malaga

Ok – its a restaurant, so not free if you want to eat or drink. But the atmosphere is like no other.

Situated just outside of Malaga – in area called El Palo, Tintero is a very popular and a very different place to eat.

Located right on the beach, speaking/reading the menu or even ‘ordering’ is not necessary. The food is brought to you. You just point at the plates as they pass by.

Outstanding food at responsible prices. Officially known as Tintero Dos (two) there’s a Tintero Uno (one) in the mountains that specialises in meat. This one is predominately fish and salads.

For more information on El Tintero

 Bodega-Bar El Pimpi

bar pimpi-Malagaimage credit @flickr marcopolo

Bodega-bar El Pimpi is one of Malaga’s most renowed tapa bars. Situated in the heart of Malaga’s historical centre, you couldn’t hope for a better location.

The bar consists of a series of interior patios. With vines and plants growing everywhere. With great tapas to boot. Go – you won’t be disappointed.

For more information on Bodega Bar El Pimpi and for our top 10 selection of tapas bars in Malaga.

 Malaga’s parks

Malaga Park image credit @flickr Javier Rey el de Málaga

The Center of Malaga is awash with picturesque squares and parks. They provide welcome relief from the sun and are a great way to spend a few minutes catching your breath between shopping trips.

The Paseo de los Curas is a beautiful walk through Malaga’s botanical gardens, stretching along the seafront from the Alameda Principal. Tropical, well maintained gardens, fountains and the smell of orange blossom, all add to the  experience.

For more information on Paseo de los Curas and parque de Malaga

The beach 

Beach Malagaimage credit @flickr Carlos Cesar Alvarez

No list would be complete without a mention of Malaga’s beaches. There are numerous to choose from.

Amongst the most popular are Playa Las Acacias, Playa de la Malagueta and Playa de la Misericordia. All offer ample facilities, with children’s parks, numerous restaurants and beach bars.

For those who want to venture further afield, the beaches around Pedregalejo are recommended. One of Malaga’s oldest fishing ‘Barrios’ it offers a wealth of coves and beaches, with plenty of entertainment for all the family.

For a selection of holiday rentals in Malaga and additional travel information with a video of Malaga City

John Kramer
Posted by John Kramer
John is the marketing and content manager for Having travelled extensively, John settled in a small Spanish village over fourteen years ago. Interested in anything to do with the outdoors, sports, current affairs, travel and new technologies. John loves nothing more than losing himself in the mountains for a few days.