How to Spend 48 Hours in Malaga

This blog post was originally posted on August 11th, 2016 and was updated on December 5th, 2017

The more time you can spend in Malaga the better. But if you are only in the city for 48 hours, you can still get to enjoy the best of the city!

From seeing monuments and museums to visiting the beach and eating the best fish, there is so much you can do in Malaga in a short period of time. So to help you work out the best itinerary for your stay, here is our guide on how to spend 48 hours in Malaga!

From seeing the Alcazaba, to visiting museums and the beach, to eating the best food, there is so much you can do in Malaga in a short period of time. The next time you travel to Spain, these are the best things to do in Malaga city during a two day trip! #bucketlist  #travelgoals #travel #destinations #itinerary #travelguides #malaga #spain

Day One

Morning until after lunch – Get to know the most important sights

Start your morning with a stroll around Malaga’s center. Go at your pace and follow whichever little streets call to you the most!

Then, after seeing the main sights from the outside, it’s time to discover the inside on your own! Start at the Alcazaba, one of our favorites. This is Malaga’s Moorish fortress that is located smack bang in the center of the city. Aside from being greeted by wonderful patios and gardens, you will also get great views across the city!

Then, right in front of the Alcazaba, you’ll find the Roman Theater. No trip to Malaga is complete without taking a seat and imagining what it was like to watch a play during the Roman times!

After seeing these ancient sights you can explore some Christian architecture by visiting the Cathedral, the second largest Cathedral in Andalusia with beautiful Renaissance and Baroque style architecture and wonderful patios and gardens.

Just 48 hours in Malaga? Don't miss seeing monuments like the Alcazaba
Malaga’s stunning Moorish fortress, the Alcazaba – Photo Credit: manuelfloresv

5.30pm – Take a break in Plaza de la Merced

One of our favorite squares to take a break in while exploring the city center is Plaza de la Merced. It has a lot of different bars with tables that spill out onto the square, where you will find both locals and visitors alike basking in Malaga’s year-round sunshine. One of our favorite spots to take a break is Cafe con Libros (Plaza de la Merced, 19), where you will find the best smoothies in town, as well as sandwiches and other snacks!

While you are here you can check out Picasso’s birth house, which is located on the edge the square and now open to the public as a small museum. You’ll also find a statue of Picasso himself in relaxing on a bench in the square. Don’t forget to take a picture sitting next to him and rub his head– local legend has it that if you rub the head of the statue, Picasso’s creativity will rub off on you!

One of the things to do with only 48 hours in Malaga is stop by Plaza de la Merced
We love hanging out in Plaza de la Merced! – Photo Credit: Anne Helmond

7.30pm – Try some typical Malaga wine

Malaga is one of the oldest wine regions in the world, and we have a very old winemaking tradition of producing sweet wine. There are many wine bars in the city where you can enjoy both older and modern style of local wine, but the oldest of them all is Antigua Casa de Guardia (Alameda Principal,18).

Hidden in a side street, this very authentic place has no chairs or tables, just a long bar where locals prop themselves up against to sip on their wine. The bartenders will pour you a sweet Malaga wine straight from the barrels, as you take in the surrounds of a place that has barely changed since its opening in 1840.

How to spend 48 hours in malaga, go to the oldest wine bar and drink sweet wine!
Don’t miss a drink at the oldest wine bar in Malaga! – Photo Credit: Dorte

9.00pm – Tuck into traditional tapas

From 9pm onwards locals start flocking to bars and restaurants for dinner, so this is the perfect time to join the crowd and visit a traditional tapas bar! There are lots of delicious places to eat in the historic center of Malaga, but a really great option is Meson Mariano.  This is a traditional family run business, and all the dishes here are cooked with fresh products from Malaga’s local food markets, meaning that you are in for a fabulous tapas experience.

Extra tip: The artichokes are the specialty of the restaurant, they have a whole artichoke menu to choose from! Also, the Leche Frita, fried condensed milk, is a possible contender for the best dessert ever!

48 hours in Malaga? Don't miss eating traditional tapas!
Fried green tomato and goats cheese at one of Malaga’s tapas bars!

Day Two
9.30am – Visit the food market

Early in the day, you find all the locals on their way to the food markets in Malaga. Mercado de Atarazanas (Calle Atarazanas, 10) is an impressive building with a beautiful Moorish gate as the main entrance! Here you can wander around all the different food sections filled with local products– fresh fruit, vegetables, meat or fish, Malaga has it all! Try some locals olives and almonds as you make your way around the market, then stop for a drink or snack at one of the surrounding bars!

How to spend 48 hours in Malaga, visit the food market!
Fresh fruit at the food market of Malaga Photo Credit: Joanna Penn

10.30am Explore the park and the bullfighting arena

Right next to the city center you will find a very green area with lots of shade, which is Malaga’s park! Almost 300 meters long and filled with plants and trees from every continent in the world, means it’s the perfect spot to take a cool break from the hot sunshine. At the end of the

At the end of the park you’ll find the Malaga’s bullfighting ring. Even though we only have bullfights twice a year, the building is very impressive on its own and worth a look. You can walk around the seats of the arena, then learn more about the art of bullfighting in the small museum.

During your 48 hours in Malaga, stop by Malaga's park to relax in the shade!
Beautiful details in Malaga’s park – Photo Credit: Karen Bryan

12.30pm – Enjoy the port and fresh fish at the beach

Not far from the bullfighting ring you’ll find Malaga’s port, otherwise known as Muello Uno. It’s a very modern area with lots of cool shops, and you can stroll along the waterside and look at all the impressive boats docked alongside. Buy some delicious ice cream or a drink to cool off, the head down to the beach!

Once you see a little white lighthouse you’ve made it to the end of the port, and from here you can already see the beach! Malagueta, the city beach, is always filled with people soaking up the sun and relaxing in the sand, or settling into one of the beach bars for a fabulous seafood lunch.

Head to Chiringuito La Malagueta (Playa de la Malagueta) to try Malaga’s most typical seafood dish, espetos. These fish skewers are cooked over open barbecues which have been fashioned out of old boats, and sit on the sand in front of the restaurant.  Take a seat and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves while you eat!

During your 48 hours in Malaga make sure you try some delicious grilled seafood!
What’s possibly better than delicious grilled fish?!

2.30pm –  Discover the street art of Soho

Next to the port there is a neighborhood called Soho, which is Malaga’s art district. It’s a very upcoming neighborhood with new interesting businesses opening their doors every day. Many of the buildings and walls in this neighborhood are covered in urban art, done by artists from all over the world! You can walk around as if you are on a scavenger hunt, discovering new pieces of art around every corner.

Insider’s Tip: Take a walk all the way through the neighborhood until you reach the CAC Museum (Calle Alemania, S/N). This is a free museum filled with modern art, and it’s definitely worth paying a visit!

Just 48 hours in Malaga? Don't miss seeing the urban street art in the Soho neighborhood!
Urban street at decorates Malaga’s artistic neighborhood! – Photo Credit: Alex Berger

5.00 pm – Visit the Picasso museum

Malaga has over 20 museums, and our most popular one is the Picasso Museum (Calle San Augustin, 8). The museum is not very big– but it’s interesting, and it’s the perfect chance to get to know our famous painter a little better! The audio guide will lead you through all the art that is connected to different phases of Picasso’s life, then on the top floor there’s usually a temporary exhibition, which creates a nice contrast with Picasso’s work.

Extra Tip: Don’t forget about the basement of the Picasso Museum– the Moors and Phoenicians left beautiful remains here which you can still see today!

With just 48 hours in Malaga you will still have enough time to visit the famous Picasso Museum.
Picasso prints are found all over the city, so why not pay a visit to the Picasso Museum?Photo Credit: Nathan Laurell

7.00pm –  Enjoy a drink with a view

Next to the Cathedral you will find the AC Marriot hotel (Calle Cortina del Muelle, 1). It is one of the most popular hotels in Malaga, a for a good reason! It’s located perfectly between to the city center and the beach, and is home to an amazing roof top terrace!  Whether you are staying at the hotel or just stopping by to visit the roof terrace, you can go to the 15th floor by elevator to enjoy one of the best views in Malaga. It’s the perfect place to relax with a drink in your hand and take some great photos while you’re at it!

How to spend 48 hours in Malaga, watch the view from the AC hotel!
The stunning view over the city center of Malaga –  Photo Credit: Jaime Pérez

8.30pm – Have a great last dinner

After a long day, it’s time to sit down for your last meal in Malaga! Not far from the Cathedral you will find a great tapas bar, Wendy Gamba (Calle Fresca, 10). As the name tells you, you can eat some amazing gamba (prawn) dishes here! However, the bull burger they serve here is amazing and it’s not to be missed! Wash down your tapas with some tinto de verano, a refreshing combination of red wine and lemon soda, and enjoy a relaxing evening accompanied by great food and drink!

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick (text overlay by Devour Tours)

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