Planning to spend 2 days in Malaga? With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Malaga is a popular destination for visitors looking for the perfect mix of sea and sangria.
It has an amazing coastline and beautiful sandy beaches, making it ideal for relaxing and sunbathing in the summer and in the winter too!
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But there’s more to this eclectic port city than its beach scene.
Malaga has an interesting history, with some interesting ancient buildings and magnificent cathedrals. Its cultural heritage is rich and you will find museums and art galleries to explore.
Furthermore, Málaga has its own international airport, making it easily accessible from most major European cities. So are two days in Malaga enough to see its best attractions?
They certainly are! In fact, all of Málaga’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, making it the perfect place for a short visit.
To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together this detailed guide to a weekend in Malaga. It includes our suggestions for the best things to see and do and recommendations for some great places to eat and stay.
During your first two days in Malaga, you will visit some of the city’s historic sites, then explore its art and culture.
In the morning
Start your morning with a delicious breakfast at Astrid Tapería Orgánica (Calle Calderon de La Barca 6). Here, special attention is paid to organic food, which is prepared only with healthy methods.
There are many typical local specialties, including Spanish cheeses, Serrano ham and freshly baked pastries.
Now it’s time to visit the magnificent Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro). This 10th century fortress, which was later expanded to protect the Alcazaba, is the main landmark of the city.
It was built on top of an old Phoenician lighthouse by Abd al-Rahman III, Caliph of Córdoba. First thing in the morning is definitely the best time to visit before all the tour groups arrive and the heat of the day makes things uncomfortable!
You can reach the castle by bus (in addition, it is on the hop-on-hop-off tourist bus route). But the most rewarding way to get there is on foot, along the steep and difficult path that zigzags around the Alcazaba.
While very little remains of the original castle, the magnificent views that await you will more than reward your efforts! You can see across the city, the harbor and the Mediterranean Sea – in fact, here you will take unforgettable photos of your entire trip!
A free audio guide is available (just scan the QR code at the entrance). Opening times vary depending on the season and tickets cost €3.50, although entry is free after 2pm on Sundays.
If you follow this route, we recommend buying a combined ticket for the castle and the Alcazaba, the next stop of the day. It costs 5.5 euros.
To reach the Alcazaba, just go back up the hill. This 11th-century Moorish fort overlooks the city and stretches over several hills, so it takes time to explore.
The architecture is charming – with balconies and marble columns still intact – and the beautifully landscaped courtyards are filled with fountains, bougainvillea and orange trees.
The Alcazaba is open daily, although times vary depending on the season.
Next, walk a little further down the hill to the Roman Theater. The site was built in the first century BC and was only recently rediscovered during archaeological excavations in 1951.
It is so beautifully preserved that even in the summer months open air shows are held here.
There is a small tourist center with some archeological finds to see, but the best thing to do is sit back and watch the world go by! Admission to the Roman Theater is free.
For lunch, head to the Atarazanas food market, which is a short distance away. Here you can enjoy local cuisine in one of the bars in the meat section.
These include: berenjenas con miel (fried eggplant with chicken) and boquerones en vinagre (anchovies in vinegar and garlic, with fresh herbs).
Your first stop after lunch is Malaga Cathedral, the second tallest building in Andalusia. It was originally designed for two towers, but the second one was never completed and the cathedral was nicknamed “La Manquita” (the one-headed lady).
Inside you’ll find an impressive collection of artworks and a stunning wooden choir dating back to the 17th century. But one of its main attractions is the escorted rooftop walk for beautiful views of the city.
This is a very popular site and we recommend booking in advance. Opening hours vary depending on the season and admission is €6 (or €10 if you want to include the rooftop tour).
Next, take a 3-minute walk to the Picasso Museum. Malaga is proud of its connection with this famous artist – he was born here and spent most of his childhood in the city.
The museum has collected many works of the artist, which include his creative activity. Although it doesn’t feature any of his major pieces, it’s interesting to see how his style evolved over his lifetime.
For an additional fee, you can also visit the Museo Casa Natal de Picasso, Picasso’s birthplace and now an official heritage site. It gives you a very interesting insight into the artist’s personal life and the culture that surrounds him.
Opening times for both museums vary depending on the season. Entrance to the Picasso museum is 12 euros, while Casa Natal is 4 euros.
To finish off the afternoon, head to the Pompidou Center on Paseo del Mulle Uno. Inside the unique and modern building you will find interesting collections of modern art and various temporary art exhibitions.
Take a quick stroll around Pier One on your way out – there are plenty of shops and eateries, as well as concerts and markets to enjoy.
Popular with the locals – so you know it’s good – Las Mercanas is the place to go for tapas!
The portions of authentic local specialties are large, the atmosphere is lively and friendly, and the prices are very affordable.
On the second of your two days in Malaga, you’ll explore its Old Town before spending some time enjoying its natural attractions.
In the morning
Malaga’s old town is vast, charming and well worth exploring.
It consists of a series of small streets lined with independent shops and boutiques, opening onto squares full of bars and restaurants. You can notice the mix of architectural styles while walking around the city and see the beautiful old churches in the back streets.
Stop for breakfast at Casa Aranda. This cafe is a Malagan institution serving excellent coffee and delicious homemade churros.
It also contains some of the thickest and richest hot chocolate you will ever taste!
For shopping, head to the pedestrian Calle Larios and then spend some time hanging out and people-watching in the Plaza de la Constitución, a beautiful and busy square lined with palm trees.
Now it’s time to get out of the city and enjoy Malaga’s natural beauty at La Concepción Botanical Garden. You can take bus number 2 or take a taxi, which takes about 15 minutes.
Originally built in 1855 by one of Málaga’s wealthiest families, the gardens were expanded by new owners in 1911 and then purchased by Málaga council in 1990. Since 1994, they have been open to the public.
You can easily explore the palm groves, cactus garden, and more within a few hours of being here. If you’re feeling energetic, you can tackle the high forest path from where you’ll get a beautiful view of the entire park and the city.
Standard entry tickets cost €5.20 per person.
Your two days in Malaga wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beach. Malagueta is the most popular and you can walk to it from the old town in about 20 minutes.
Offering you more than 1200 meters of dark sand, the beach is 45 meters wide and considered safe for families, with warm water and only gentle waves. A lifeguard is on duty during high season and there are all the necessary facilities including toilets, showers, sunbeds and umbrellas.
Stop to enjoy lunch at one of the Chiringuitos – beach bars on the sand. They mainly serve fish dishes, one of the most popular being espeto – 6 fresh sardines grilled over charcoal. delicious!
Enjoy Flamenco along with excellent food at Vino Mio, an elegant restaurant on Pl. de Geronimo Cuervo, 2.
The food is an eclectic mix of culinary styles, and the dance performance that takes place around the tables while you eat is great, allowing you to appreciate its beauty up close.
Is 2 days in Malaga enough?
As you can see, it is possible to see the best of Malaga in 2 days and really enjoy its history, culture and beauty.
But keep in mind that this itinerary is based on two weekends in Malaga full day If you enter the city very late in the day – or leave early on the second day – you may want to consider adding an extra night to your stay.
Where to stay in Malaga
Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Malaga, whatever your budget!
Best budget accommodation
Very clean and located in the center of Malaga, Dulces Dreams Hotel offers spacious rooms with both shared and private bathrooms. It has a unique vintage style, comfortable beds and its own cafe that serves great breakfast, snacks and drinks.
Best mid-range accommodation
Just a stone’s throw from the Roman Theater, Hotel Boutique Teatro Romano has clean, spacious double rooms, some with views of the Alcazaba and the Theater itself. It also offers a youth suite.
Its central location means you have all the city’s restaurants and bars nearby, while the beach is just 15 minutes away.
The best luxury accommodation
Suites Madeinterranea in an 18th century building is the perfect choice if you want to feel pampered during your two days in Malaga! It is located 10 minutes from the beach and close to the historical places of the city.
A delicious breakfast is included in the room price.
Final thoughts on this itinerary for two days in Malaga
If you’ve been trying to figure out what to do in Malaga in 2 days, we hope this tour was helpful.
We also hope that you enjoy every moment of your stay in this fragrant and sunny city.
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