In Malaga, Spain
Guide to 3 days in Malaga
Malaga lies on Spain’s Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean, about 100 kilometers (62.14 miles) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and only about 130 kilometers (80.78 mi) north of Africa. Being so close to Africa, makes its history run deep, about 2,800 years to be exact. Making it one of the oldest cities in Europe and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. But, for Spaniards it is simply one of their favorite beach towns that they all flock to in the summertime.
But, Malaga is so much more than miles of sandy beaches.
Concise Itinerary for Malaga:
- Alcazaba de Málaga
- Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga
- Lunch: El Andaluz de la Malagueta
- La Malagueta Beach
- Dinner: Los Mellizos
- Drinks: AC Hotel Malaga Palacio – Àtico Bar & Restaurant
- Breakfast: La Canasta (we ate at the one in Sevilla and liked it so much we found it in Malaga)
- Nerja Day trip (read blog on that here: Nerja)
- Dinner: El Pimpi
- Drinks: La Terraza La Alcazaba
- Brunch: Romancero Tabernas Con Arte
- Calle Marqués de Larios
- Paseo del Parque
- Muelle Uno
- Dinner: Gusto
- La Malagueta Beach Sunset
Detailed Itinerary for 3 Days in Malaga
We arrived from our drive after 1 day in Ronda pretty early so our Airbnb was not ready yet. We decided to park the car in one of the city’s many garages and begin exploring while we waited. We happened to park right next to the Alcazaba. This is a hilltop Moorish-style medieval fortress overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Like many cities in Andalusia, Malaga was under Moorish rule for 800 years and therefore a lot of the ancient castles or fortresses we see today were once inhabited by the Moorish royalty. Ferdinand and Isabella captured Málaga from the Moors after the Siege of Málaga in 1487.
This Moorish architecture and history is one of the reasons I love the Andalusian region of Spain. The beautiful contrast between the old fortresses and the new modern European city is so unique here.
A short walk away you will find Malaga’s main cathedral, La Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga. Another stunning roman catholic church to swoon over.
After the church, we had lunch at El Andaluz which has delicious offerings, huge servings and was to our surprise very cheap.
It was finally time to check in to our Airbnb which I can’t stress enough how perfect it was. The views speak for themselves. On top of its ideal location, the hosts were great and we had all the amenities we could ask for (even a dryer which is a big ask in Spain). Link to Airbnb here: Oceanfront Malagueta Airbnb.
We walked downstairs and found a small shop right on the boardwalk where we bought 2 beach umbrellas, a beach blanket, and a cooler to fill with some drinks and snacks. We set up right in front of our Airbnb on the sandy beach and enjoyed a few relaxing hours on the beach.
Pro tip: There are masseuses walking around the beach who will give you a massage right under your umbrella. Worth every penny!
After packing up our beach stuff for the day we were ready for Dinner. We all really wanted Spanish paella so we came across a place called Los Mellizos. I highly recommend this place. The service was superb, the food was delicious, and the drinks were strong.
After dinner we went to the rooftop bar of the AC Hotel Malaga Palacio for nighttime views of the city as well as a little nightcap. The service nor the drinks were good so we ended up leaving after 1 drink.
On day 2 we watched the sunrise on La Malagueta before grabbing breakfast at La Canasta and heading out for a day trip to Nerja (more on our day trip here: Nerja Day Trip).
We returned from Nerja and had dinner at El Pimpi. This place is a must try on your visit to Malaga! Founded in 1971, you can indulge in local wines, but mostly, in the gastronomical tradition and culture belonging to southern Spain.
To continue the Malaga nighttime tradition, we visited another rooftop bar to end the night. The La Terraza La Alcazaba has my favorite view of the Alcazaba at night. The castle lights up for the perfect background setting on this rooftop. The service and drinks were better here!
We had a long night, so we woke up pretty late our last morning in Malaga. We did however find a yummy brunch spot called at Romancero Tabernasconarte. After fueling up, we decided to take on Malaga’s main street, the Calle Marqués de Larios. Here we did some final personal/souvenir shopping!
Pro tip: Don’t over pack your suitcase because Zara is so much better and cheaper in Spain that we ended up buying a lot of new clothes. Thankfully, I had extra space in my bag.
Catholicism is the dominant religion in Spain. They have virgin processionals along the streets quite often but somehow, we had always missed this tradition. I was busy shopping inside Zara when I heard a loud commotion outside. When I walked out of the store, I was surprised to see the processional coming down the street. No matter your beliefs, the whole processional is truly a sight to see and symbolic of the Spanish culture.
From there, we walked over to Muelle Uno and the Malaga port/lighthouse. On your walk towards the port of Malaga from Calle Marqués de Larios make sure you take the route that takes you through the Paseo del Parque. This walk around the Parque de Malaga is shaded with beautiful trees and musicians lining the pedestrian only walkway.
Muelle Uno is the pier where the cruises disembark in Malaga. You can find a large number of shops and restaurants in this beautiful seafront promenade. That being said, I would avoid eating or shopping here, since most places are either chain restaurants or tourist traps that are not worth it in my opinion. One nice thing is that on weekends they have a flea market here where locals can sell their goods and products. We bought many cute things at the flea market!
Malaga is a busy city! It has an international airport, various train stations, and a cruise port so it’s usually bustling with locals and tourists alike, but the city has so much to see and do that it never feels crowded.
For dinner, we were craving some Italian food since we had not had any in our last 2 weeks traveling. We found a delicious restaurant on Calle Marqués de Larios called Gusto. The owners are Italian and hardly even speak Spanish, but we would not have had it any other way because the food was so authentic!
What we had: Focaccia, Degustazione di Burrate, Bolognese Pizza, Quattro Formaggi, Little Italy, Ravioli Capri, Pasta Amatriciana, and the Cannolo Siciliano. ALL EQUALLY DELICIOUS!
After dinner, we headed back towards La Malagueta to watch the last sunset of our trip.
As always, although I just returned from a week in Spain, I am already planning the next trip back!