Malaga has the third biggest international airport in Spain, which a lot of budget airlines fly to. From there you can get a train, a bus or a taxi into town, or hire a car. A taxi to the city center will cost about 15€. The bus (no. 19) costs 1€ and is very convenient, stopping at Alameda Principal and Paseo del Parque, where most of the local buses that serve the city stop as well. Renting a car at Málaga's airport is relatively cheap, but booking in advance for the best offers is advisable.
A Ferry Route exists between Malaga and Melilla in north africa. It is best to book early to avoid dissapointment.
From Malaga it's possible to travel within a few hours to many other interesting places in Andalucia: Granada, Cadiz and Ronda can all be reached by coach, Seville can be reached by train. There are also several tourist holiday resorts within reach: Torremolinos, Nerja, Marbella
Looking up at the tower of Malaga cathedral, July 2007.
Castillo de Gibralfaro and Alcazaba. Moorish castles which are interesting to see, the former giving the visitor an incredible view of the city and neighbouring suburbs. Together, these two attractions will cost an adult about €3. If you only have time for one, make it the easier to access and more decorated Alcazaba; the Castillo is a hefty hike up the mountain (or take bus number 35). Free Sunday afternoons after 14:00, Closed on Mondays.
Interactive Museum of Music. Has one of the largest collections of musical instruments in Europe.
Picasso's birthplace, Plaza de la Merced, City Centre with loads of objects and some paintings that the most famous artist of the 20th century used during his childhood. Entrance €1.
Picasso Museum Maximum cost €8. Exclusive paintings, and exhibitions.
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo located in a former wholesale trade market, it houses a good collection of works of art and installations. Guided visits. Free entrance. Closed on Mondays.
Catedral de Malaga. This is located right in the heart of the city centre and is well worth visiting. It costs €3.50 to enter.
El Pimpi: Typical tavern, even though they serve food, this place is famous for the local wine they sell. Sold in bottles of one or half liter. Be careful, the wine in Malaga is very sweet, but also has a high quantity of alcohol... is a cheap place always crowded of local people, from the youngest to the oldest... It´s in Calle Granada, very close to the Picasso Museum (don't miss it, the gate is quite small, even though the place is big). Inside you can find pictures of famous people that visited this place...
Beaches: The nearest beach to the centre is La Malagueta - this is fine for a day's sunbathing although quieter and prettier beaches can be found further eastwards. It can be a nice (if rather long!) walk along the waterfront to reach these beaches, otherwise you could get a bus from near the bull ring in the direction of El Palo.
Picasso: As Picasso's birthplace Malaga has two museums, one art museum and another in his actual birthplace.
Tea: There are several nice Moroccan-style tea houses in Malaga town, serving an amazing variety of teas in addition to other interesting non-alcoholic drinks. An evening in one of these can make a relaxing change from bars.
Librería de Idiomas, on the Plaza de la Merced. A valuable resource, offering textbooks and dictionaries for learning just about any European language you could desire.
Along the coast there are dozens of restaurants and chiringuitos (beach restaurants) where you can have fish, seafood, paella, sangria, etc. One of the most famous chiringuitos is El Tintero, at the east end, where there is no menu: the waiters sing out what they are carrying and they leave you a plate at your signal. From time to time one of them offers to give you the bill.
The most typical thing to eat in Malaga is espetos, sardines in a stick grilled over a fire; and pescaíto frito: all types of deep-fried fish from anchovies to squid. A speciality of Andalucia is fish (most commonly dogfish "cazon", although sometimes other fish such as tuna, "atun") marinated in a garlic and vinegar preparation - look on the menu for "Cazon en adobo". Try also the coquinas (small clams cooked in white wine). Simply delicious!
Do not forget to visit the restaurants, there are Nouvelle Cuisine Restaurants, Asian, Vegetarian, etc. A famous one is actor Antonio Banderas' La posada de Antonio where the typical dishes from his hometown are served with unexpensive prices.
Famous sweet Malaga wine can be tasted in popular pubs in the city centre, like the famous old La Casa del Guardia (Avenue Alameda Principal) or the very typical El Pimpi where everyone, from celebrities to local teens meet.
Restaurante Gallego Candamil. Cuarteles 15. Tel 952 323 907. On the street leading from the train station to the centre, this Galician restaurant is very popular with the locals. This is understandable when you see the great range of quality tapas at fantastic prices, e.g. tapa of empanada €1.25, glass of cider €1.15.
A Casa Gallega. Fernán Núñez 2. Tel 952 040 287. Another Galician haunt a little further towards, although still outside, the centre, this one does not have any menu but relies on the clientele knowing what they want. Good empanada, pimientos de Padrón. Atmospheric.
Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Tel 952 22 19 02, . Some report being disappointed by the restaurant at the Parador. The food was subpar, but the service by contrast was exemplary, together with all the nice little free appetizers, aperitifs, etc. Wine list tended towards the expensive but with the excellent idea of a monthly wine choice 'balancing quality and value', for example a very palatable Ribera del Duero Crianza at €10. Set menu €27 pp (plus VAT) Not worth the diversion unless you are staying there; even then maybe limit it to one night of your stay. Fantastic view of the city, especially from the terrace.
Las Garrafas. Calle Méndez Núñez 6. Tel 952 223 589. Winery and "taperia" (place that serves tapas). Typical Málaga cuisine in a large and clean locale. Delicious and reasonably-priced food. Especially recommended are the mouth-watering "albondigones," large meatballs served alongside french fries.
Malaga city will make you think that nobody sleeps in this town even during the workweek! However it is especially busy from Thursday to Sunday, where people buy their drinks in the supermarkets and have them at night at "Merced Square" in the city center, before going into the clubs.
Normally, the locals are friendly and there is a place for everyone, from Latin music clubs to the most alternative pubs where there are usually live groups.
Some recommended places :
Metropol, Cosa Nostra, Vaticano, Andén (big busy latin club)
Sonic (Metal, hardcore, punk).
Nyx, Urbano, Village Green (Rock, Indie, etc).
White, Abyssinia (Rap, Hip Hop)
Paradise/Punto G, Warhol (gay)
Mondotiki, ChillHouse ( house-dance music)
Spanish: Take an intensive Spanish course at Málaga University and put it into practice at one of the city's many exciting bars.
Salsa: Many bars and discos in Málaga offer free Salsa classes, among them, The Sound in the center and The Swan in the trendy suburb town of Pedregalejo.
Malaga Hotel, Acacias de Guadalmar, 153 - 29004 Malaga, ☎ +34 952176061 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +34 9521756552), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Malaga Hotel on Guadalmar beach. Close to the Malaga airport, Torremolinos, Plaza Mayor Malaga, Golf, IKEA. Charming 3 star hotel with garden, swimming pool, jacuzzi, restaurant. Boardwalk with beach restaurants (chiringuitos). Price €: 60 - 119.
Hotel del Pintor, Álamos 27, Tel 952 06 09 80, . Opened in 2005, the Hotel del Pintor is the kind of small urban hotel that combines design and technology with personalized attention. Central location in the historic centre, near Picasso's birthplace. €74-121.
Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Tel 952 22 19 02, . Probably the best hotel in Málaga. Fantastic location with spectacular views over the city. Beautiful rooms with sitting area and balcony. Try to get a third floor room for the best view; the view from the lower floors is somewhat obscured by trees. Easy enough to walk down to the city centre (20 mins) but due to the elevation get a taxi back (cost around €5.50 from the centre, around €8 from the train station.) Restaurant overrated and raciones in the bar way overpriced; a good alternative option for a light lunch is the outdoor café in the neighbouring Castillo de Gibralfaro which does good tapas for €1.50-2.50. Restaurant somewhat redeemed by an excellent buffet breakfast (€11, may be included with room depending on offer.) Standard room rate year-round €135+VAT, (excl. breakfast) although there are a litany of special offers that can reduce this significantly.
Silken Puerta Málaga, Héroe de Sostoa 17, Tel 932 80 29 88 (reservations), . Very stylish four-star from the Silken chain, diagonally opposite the main train station. Easy 20 minute walk into the centre. Beautifully decorated rooms (cream and dark wood) and especially bathrooms, with much attention to detail. Good discounted rates in winter (€56-69+VAT).
Hotel Monte Málaga,  4 star luxury hotel, situated in the heart of the city which, thanks to its infrastructures, guarantees the success of its events. On the seafront, a few minutes walk from the Picasso Musseum and very close to the future AVE High Speed Railway Station.
Picasso's Corner, San Juan de Letrán, 9 Tel 952 212 287 - Excellent hostel right in the center of Málaga's historic district and close to all the important landmarks. Super-friendly staff, bar and lounge, great food served and... disco showers!!!
Malaga is blessed with exceptional road and motorway links, making it an unrivalled base for exploring the nearby villages and towns. Wonderful drives inland reveal the real gems of the region, with small restaurants nestling in the hills where you can experience a truly authentic taste of Andalucia. There are numerous agents and companies specialising in car hire in Malaga, although it may be prudent to organise it from home before you arrive to avoid disappointment during peak periods.