When to fly
June to October is peak season, so hotels and flights to Malaga should be reserved in advance as the regions fills up with crowds of visitors.
The city has hosted a Holy Week celebration for nearly 500 years, beginning with a procession on Palm Sunday and continuing until a re-enacted Passion scene on Easter Sunday. In August, the city celebrates the Feria de Malaga, transforming the streets with all the traditional symbols of Spanish culture. Sweet wine, tapas, dancing, and even bullfights make this one of the premiere Spanish events in Europe. Finally, the Malaga Film Festival promotes Spanish films exclusively at its annual April celebration.
National Day is 12 October when the Spanish are also on holiday.
Malaga was once a popular winter resort for the rich and famous, and is still a pleasure to visit in winter.
Many restaurants close while their owners go on holiday around 15 October, but cheap flights should still be available during this period.
Malaga is bordered by a Mediterranean harbour to the south and mountains to the north, providing breathtaking mountain views for visitors who are enjoying the city’s beaches. Millions of tourists flying to Malaga will see only the airport as they make their way to the sun spots along the Costa del Sol, such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella or Seville, but Malaga is one of Spain's under-discovered cities, bustling and cultural with a lively student population, and a passion for a parade.
The traces of several civilisations can be found here. High on a hill in the centre of the city sits the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortification dating from the 8th century. Beside it is a Roman amphitheatre and above it the Castillo de Gibralfaro, built in the 14th and 15th centuries on the site of a Phoenician lighthouse. The views of the city from here are stunning. The cathedral, known as La Manquita (One Armed Woman), dates back to the 16th century, built on the site of a mosque, and there are several other pretty churches in the city.
To underline their religious faith, Holy Week (Semana Santa) and, later, Corpus Christi, are marked with solemn and extravagant processions.
History-lovers can view the old architectural remains of the city walls that were built at the founding by the Phoenicians, as well as the Roman theatre of Malaga that was constructed in the first century B.C. Beautifully preserved religious buildings, such as the Church of Santiago and the Episcopal Palace, are open to the public, as well as the San Miguel Cemetery. One of the most popular sites in Malaga is the Gibralfaro castles that offer panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area.
Visitors interested in local art have a variety of museums available in Malaga. The Museo Picasso Malaga is dedicated to the city’s favourite modern artist and most famous son, but the Museo Carmen Thyssen and the Museum of Glass and Crystal are also options.
With many cheap flights available to Malaga, there is no reason not to go and discover the culture this Mediterranean city has to offer.
Malaga is characterised by balmy winters and hot, dry summers tempered by sea breezes. The average temperature in August is 28 degrees Celsius. The coolest months are January and February with temperatures in the teens. Most of the rain falls between November and March, and the rest of the year is very dry.Getting from the Airport to the CityTravellers can get from their flights at Malaga Airport (AGP) to the city centre with a short bus or taxi ride, and there are also plenty of dedicated transfer services available that can be booked prior to travel. Many visitors use Malaga for its easy airport service before continuing their travels to other Costa del Sol regions, such as Benalmadena and Fuengirola. These regions can also be reached by bus, taxi, or other travel services directly from Malaga Airport. Car rentals is also available with a range of companies represented at the airport.
Getting around Malaga
Malaga is easy to get around on foot since most of the sites are close to each other. There are two main train lines that operate in Malaga, and tickets can be purchased online or from machines at the train stations. In addition to the train, the public buses are reliable and affordable. Taxis are another major method for transportation around the city and can be flagged down or hired ahead of time for specific trips. Taxis in Malaga charge according to set prices for destinations and not by the distance travelled.
Malaga insider information
- Malaga has more than 20 museums. Most of them are in the city’s Historical Quarter including the Picasso museum, dolls house museum, bullring and bullfighting museum, contemporary art centre and religious art museum.
- Parts of the 11th-century Alcazaba (Moorish fortification) has been restored, these include walkways, ramparts, gardens and water gardens. Below the entrance, lie the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre dating from the second century (AD).
- Barcelona holds the lion’s share of Picasso’s work, but Malaga, the artist’s birthplace, also has a museum. It was founded thanks to the dedication and collection of Picasso’s heirs, Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. In addition to the permanent collection of such works as the Dora Maar paintings, the museum also has works on long-term loan including Portrait of a Woman with a Green-Collar Dress and several fine ceramics pieces.
- Malaga Cathedral: the cathedral was started in 1528 after Malaga was taken from the Moors. It was built on top of a former mosque and was not finished until 1782. It therefore has a mix of architectural styles including a Gothic fundament, Renaissance facades and Baroque towers. There is a museum too.
- Malaga has plenty of green attractions including Malaga Park, Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens, Puerta Oscura Gardens and the English Cemetary, Spain's first Protestant cemetery.
- The bullfighting ring in Malaga (in Paseo de Reding, La Malagueta) dates from 1874 and can hold almost 15,000 people.