Málaga is recommended for a city trip! Why? You’ll read it here!
When you’re travelling to Andalusia chances are you’ll fly to Málaga airport. A nice city situated at the coast of the Costa del Sol that’s definitely worth visiting. In Málaga you’ll find the authentic Spanish friendliness, lots of cosy restaurants and shopping streets where you can shop to your heart’s content. And the great thing is the city is really compact, so everything is perfectly doable by bike or on foot. During my trip in Andalusia I travelled to the best cities of the Costa del Sol especially for Sunweb Secrets to create hotspot travel guides, like this Málaga Travel Guide. I stayed in Hotel Rural Almazara in Nerja and from there it’s approximately a 45 minute drive to Málaga. Perfect for a daytour! But if you’d rather be closer to Málaga, the beaches near this city are perfect for an urban beach holiday. The quiet of the beach, but also the liveliness of the city closeby for a nice dinner in the evening. Make sure to check the opening hours before you head out for dinner, because lots of restaurants have a siësta and are closed between lunch and dinner.
Málaga is the second largest city in Andalusia and has a beautiful old centre where you can wander about for hours. At the edge of the city there’s a long boulevard with palm trees and one of the most important highlights of the city is the Alzacaba fort. What I especially liked is that besides authentic Spanish restaurants, you’ll find several nice hotspots in Málaga. For that matter Málaga is perfect for a short city trip of three days. Or four days when you also want a day to relax on the beach during the summer!
Andalusia definitely surprised me with its beauty. On one side mountaintops with everlasting snow and on the other side the Mediterreanan Sea and sandbeaches. A perfect combination of culture and nature! Have lots of fun with the tips from this Málaga Travel Guide if you’re heading that way soon.
15 X HOTSPOTS IN MÁLAGA NOT TO MISS
Pez Tomillo: You’ll definitely won’t want to miss this restaurant by the beach of Pedregal when you’re going to Málaga. The terrace is filled with wooden furniture and accessories with joyful colours. The seaview and the menu with delicious tapas (that are honestly só good) make a perfect evening!
Julia Bakery Málaga: Feel like having a lovely piece of pie? Then you came to the right place at Julia Bakery. This hotspot is in the upcoming neighbourhood Carmen Thyssen and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Brunchit Organic: This fun coffee place meets pizza place meets bakery must be my favourite hotspot in Málaga. At BrunchIT everything has a hint of Italian and the interior is very Instagram-worthy!
Soca Restaurante: At this modern restaurant you’re at the right address for Mediterreanan food and good sushi!
Dulces Dreams: A nice terrace on a square and inside it’s just as cosy. Plump down on the Chesterfield coach for a good cup of coffee or a fresh juice with something tasty on the side.
Picnic Soho: Fancy a good hamburger? Picnic is the place to be in Málaga. A cosy place that’s also nice for just a coffee.
La Madriguera Craft Beer: You’ll go here to try lots of different craft beers. Order a hamburger on the side!
Restaurante Noviembre: A nice restaurant for an all day breakfast! Apart from that they serve international dishes here. Think of burgers, wraps and more of that sort!
Kipfer & Lover: The crowd is young and artistic at this hip place. This is where art and food come together as you’ll notice by the interior. You came to the right place if you’re looking for great cocktails and national plus international bite size snacks. From gyoza to classic croquettas!
Café Con Libros: A café like this is one you’ll find in every city, with a living room feeling to it. In here you can quietly read a book whilst nipping your cappuccino. They also have a nice terrace!
Drunk-O-Rama: Hipster hotspot where it’s fun to have drinks and where they serve varied daily dishes. On their Facebook page you can see what they serve for the week!
Recyclo Bike Café: We’ve spot them before, hybrid concepts with a bike shop and a café under one roof. Will never go out of style!
Jose Carlos Garcia: This restaurant is definitely one of the best in Málaga for some long dining. From the terrace you have a good view of the harbour!
Restaurante Toro – Muelle Uno: This modern Spanish restaurant is situated near the harbour and they serve Spanish dishes with a twist. Just like the interior! For instance, hams are hanging from all over the ceiling; above the bar are wooden skeleton-like heads of bulls, in contrast with what you’ll find in a traditional tapasbar.
El Último Mono Juice & Coffee: Who’s craving for good coffee or a fresh juice certainly can’t skip this hotspot. The menu is completely in Spanish but luckily the staff speaks good English here and you’ll find yourself enjoying a healthy beetrootjuice in no time!
9 X the BEST TAPAS BARS IN MÁLAGA
- Bodega Bar El Pimpi: A household name in Málaga and a spot not to miss. Nothing out of the ordinary from the outside (a lovely terrace, though), but inside the section at the bar is very cosy!
- Mesón Ibérico: The very finest sorts of hams and tapas you’ll choose from the showcase. At this tapasbar the ceiling is filled with hanging hams!
- Vinería Cervantes: Good wines and tasty local Spanish dishes and tapas, in a warm and light interior.
- Casa Lola: A typically Spanish tapasbar with a dark interior, tables made out of old wine casks and a large bar. Tasty and affordable!
- La Tranca: You came to the right address here to have some drinks with tasty snacks. The place is small and always busy!
- Pepa y Pepe: They have several establishments in Málaga and serve Southern Spanish tapas that are mostly deepfried.
- El Tapeo de Cervantes: Fun bar in a street that has more nice tapasbars. In here they serve tapas just a tad more culinary than in most places!
- Mesón de Cervantes: An authentic Spanish interior and separate menus for the tapasbar and the restaurant-section.
- Garum Casual Restaurant: A modern tapasbar where they serve tapas+, if you know what I mean, and set tables.
PS: Keep in mind that most tapas restaurant only open late in the evening!
4 x Shopping in Málaga
- Málaga is very uncomplicated when it comes to shopping. The Calle Marqués de Larios is the main street of the city and here you’ll find all the shops of the high street brands and far-famed Spanish chains.
- In the neighbourhood known as “Carmen Thyssen” (named after the museum of the same name) you’ll find a tangle of streets with lots of small boutiques between Calle Compania and Calle Carreteria.
- Flamingos Vintage Kilo Málaga: Are you crazy for unique vintage items? At Flamingo you’re at the right address. You can shop the cutest vintage finds here for a small price that you’ll pay by the kilo!
- Are you a fan of the healthy lifestyle and you prefer to use organic products? You came to the right place at RawAttitudein the SOHO neighbourhood. Also for healthy snacks and juices!
12 X fun things to do in Málaga
- From the castle Castillo de Gibralfaro you have an amazing view of the city of Málaga.
- Stroll around the Calle Carreteria where you’ll find all sorts of nice restaurants, shops and tapasbars!
- Go rent a bike and cycle to the Pedregalejo neighbourhood (which feels like a village on its own!) from the centre of Málaga. A lovely beach and nice restaurants with a seaview.
- During your cycletour, pause along the beach at one of the beachplaces where they grill fresh sardines on skewers, just right out of the fishing boats. It can’t get any fresher than this!
- Prefer an organized cycletour? For instance with Malagabike, they’ll take you on a four hour tour and you’ll get the know the city well right away.
- Climb the Alcazaba fort to have a beautiful view of the sea and the city!
- The SOHO neighbourhood , just behind the boulevard of Málaga, is the hipsterdistrict of the city. In this upcoming district you’ll find nice hotspots and lots of street art.
- Just like Paris, Málaga has a Centre Pompidou where everything is about modern art. Fun to do when it’s too hot to undertake anything outside, or perhaps to spend a day of rain.
- Just outside the city you’ll find the botanic garden of Málaga. This 150-year old garden is an oasis of peace and quiet and a must do if you’re into green hotspots.
- A visit to the Mercado Central Atarazanas shouldn’t be missed during a trip to Málaga. The perfect address to get something tasty for a picknick on the beach or on the boulevard, but also to get a snack at the several market stands.
- Want to go out for tapas? Across the entire city there are several good tapas restaurants as you’ve read in this guide. But if you want to go to a street where several cute places come together Calle Cárcer is the place to be.
- The harbour area of Málaga, where you’ll also find the Centre Pompidou, consists of Muelle Uno and Muello Dos. A more modern part of the city where you can stroll on the boulevard and feed your eyes on the enormous yachts that are lying in the harbour. You can find several restaurants and shops there, but if we can only recommend one of them, is has to be Jose Carlos Garcia where you can have an amazing dinner. Great for an extensive fine dining lunch.
MÁLAGA TRAVEL GUIDE and more tips for andalusia
Besides Málaga, there are lots of nice cities and villages to visit if you’re travelling to Andalusia. Go rent a car and explore the region! Defintely don’t skip the beautiful Granada. And go to Marbella for a day of decadency in the summer. Prefer smaller places? Than go to Frigiliana, Almuñecar, Istan, Miljas, Ronda, Tarifa, Salobreña and La Herradure for example, according to the readers of Your Little Black Book these places are worth a visit.
TIP: Through Sunweb Secrets you’ll book affordable unique hotels that are often run by families. Away from the mass crowd and full of authentic Spanish cosiness.
Have fun if you’re travelling to Andalusia! And if you have tips of your own, let us know.
Have you seen my other blogs about Málaga as Andalusië?
- Granada Travel Guide with the best tapasbars
- Marbella Travel Guide with 29 hotspots en tips
- Nerja Travel Guide with 17 restaurant- and do tips
- Hotspot BrunchIT in Málaga
- Checking-in: Hotel Rural Almazara
Anne de Buck
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