6 Things To Know Before Traveling To Malaga

Malaga is one of Spain’s most laid-back destinations, as well as one of the easiest to visit.

The leisurely Andalusian lifestyle and gorgeous weather make it an ideal place for vacation at any time of year, and as soon as you arrive, you’ll see how easy it is to fall in love with the Costa del Sol capital. That being said, there are a few things you should know before you visit in order to make the most of your trip and enjoy the city as much as possible. Here are your six things to know before traveling to Malaga so you can start planning your best vacation yet.

Make the most of your time in the Costa del Sol capital by reading our guide to the six things to know before traveling to Malaga.

1. Malaga is old

Nearly 3,000 years old, to be more precise. That just means we’ve got plenty of history for you to geek out over. Plenty of the most storied civilizations have left their mark on the city in the form of famous local icons like the Alcazaba (the Moors), the Roman Theater (the Romans, obviously), and a plethora of tasty seafood dishes (the Phoenicians).

And for all you wine-loving travelers, we didn’t forget about you, either. Malaga also boasts one of the world’s oldest wine regions, with the star product being the deliciously sweet local wine. Stop by Antigua Casa de Guardia, the city’s oldest wine bar, to sip on a bit of history as you enjoy your straight-from-the-barrel wine.

The first thing you should know before traveling to Malaga is that it's old. The Alcazaba and Roman Theater have been around for thousands of years.
The Alcazaba and the Roman Theater bring the past to life in Malaga.

2. You can enter monuments and museums for free

Not only is Malaga full of history and culture around nearly every turn, but you can experience it, in many cases, without spending a single euro cent. There are plenty of free things to do in Malaga, including a handful of its 20 world-class museums (the Picasso Museum is free Sunday afternoons, and the CAC is free every day!). Other famous monuments, such as the Alcazaba, also offer free entry at certain periods, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly so you can save a few bucks.

One of the things to know before traveling to Malaga is that plenty of the sights in town are free!
Another freebie: this view on the way up to Gibralfaro Castle.

3. Malaga loves to celebrate

Spain’s party-ready culture is especially evident here in the sunny, laid-back south, and Malaga’s prime coastal location makes it the ideal spot for a fiesta.

Without a doubt, the biggest party of the year is the annual fair, or feria, which takes over the city for a week every year in the middle of August. Expect music, dancing and more lasting long into the night.

Some of the other important holidays here have strong religious ties, but you don’t have to be Catholic (or even religious at all) to enjoy them. Holy Week is an unforgettable spectacle, with dozens of processions parading elaborate floats throughout the city over the course of the week. If you visit during this time of year, keep in mind that some shops and businesses observe modified hours due to the celebrations.

The Feria is a big party and one of the things to know before traveling to Malaga in August
The biggest celebration of the year is Feria. Photo credit: Antonio Ortiz 

4. ‘Siesta’ exists

Forget breakfast—here in Spain, lunch is the most important meal of the day. In fact, you won’t find anyone eating at their desk or grabbing a quick bite on the go. Lunch is meant to be shared among family, so most workers throughout Malaga head home for a midday break.

If you plan on running errands in the afternoon, keep in mind that many places—especially small businesses—close up shop from roughly 2–5 p.m. so their employees can go home and enjoy a leisurely lunch (and, yes, probably a siesta as well). This break allows them to rest, refresh and recharge before heading back to work for the afternoon.

5. There is a lot of good food

As a company centered around food, we wouldn’t tell you to go to Malaga if the gastronomic delights weren’t there. Food is such an integral part of local culture that even locals have their own foodie nickname: boquerones! These salty little fish are one of the most tasty typical foods from Malaga, where seafood and other fresh products are king. For a truly authentic experience, head to one of the best markets in Malaga to rub elbows with the locals as you shop for tasty gourmet goodies.

One of the things to know before traveling to Malaga: the food is really, really good. Trust us.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Malaga’s colorful local produce.

6. Malaga eats late

Last but not least, if you’re going to eat here in Malaga, you need to start adjusting your schedule. We tend to enjoy meals later than most of the rest of the world, which means most malagueños won’t sit down for lunch until 2 p.m. at the earliest, and dinner won’t be served until at least 9. On weekends, things run even later—don’t be surprised if your local friend suggests meeting for dinner past 10!

Even after midnight, the city can still be filled with people enjoying food and drinks together. Children stay up late as well, enjoying meals out with their families even on regular weekdays. Here, the social aspect of being out together is important, no matter what your age is!

You can take a wonderful Devour Food Tour is one of the things to know before traveling to Malaga

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15 Comment

  1. Gwen says
    March 17, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Great information thank you, love Spain will be visiting here in May , so this has been posted at the right time for us

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      March 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      See you soon!

      Reply
  2. Lindsey says
    April 6, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Coming out for a week on 12th. Do I need a light jacket for night time or something water? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      April 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      It’s not a bad idea just in case! Here are more tips: https://spanishsabores.com/2018/07/24/packing-for-malaga/

      Reply
  3. Diche Ndukwe says
    April 26, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Lovely, am visiting Malaga on sunday the 28th of April for the 2nd time this year. I love it. I think my best experience would be the Wind scooter which you can rent in the city centre. Everyone should give it a go

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      April 29, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Enjoy! Sounds like fun!

      Reply
  4. Cavel Mattison says
    May 10, 2019 at 5:29 am

    I will be visiting on May 22, hoping to enjoy seafood, locally produced wines. and vibrant nightlife!

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      May 14, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      You’re going to love it!

      Reply
  5. Chambers says
    June 6, 2019 at 2:11 am

    I am going in late June to visit my friend in mollino. Never been before how far is it from airport

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      June 11, 2019 at 10:50 am

      Hi! Mollina is about an hour from the Malaga airport. Here’s a map with directions.

      Reply
  6. Judit says
    June 26, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Hi. We’ll visit Costa del Sol in 2 weeks’ time. I can’t wait. Is is possible to get to Torremolinos from Malaga Airport by train? If ‘yes’, could I get a link as well?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      July 1, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Hi Judit! It looks like there is. This website has lots of helpful info: http://www.malagaweb.com/malaga-airport/directions/malaga-to-torremolinos.php

      Reply
  7. Debby says
    July 8, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    We’ll be visiting from 19 Aug. Our daughter and grandsons will be joining us. They are 2 and 4 years old. What activities are available for them

    Reply
    1. Debby McColl says
      July 8, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      Sorry from 19 july

      Reply
    2. Devour Tours says
      July 10, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Here are some tips for Malaga with kids: https://spanishsabores.com/2017/06/19/9-kid-friendly-activities-malaga/

      Reply

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