9 free things to do and see in Malaga

Activités et visites gratuites à faire à Malaga

Are you dreaming of Andalusia? Go to Malaga, the Spanish city with many tourist attractions. Enjoy a low-cost stay with these 9 free activities and visits.

Malaga is one of Spain’s most popular cities on the Costa Del Sol. While some consider it to be an ideal seaside resort for sunbathing on sandy beaches, it has many other assets to offer. Firstly, its architectural heritage, with a magnificent historic center. Then there’s the breathtaking natural scenery of mountains and harbors. And last but not least, the warmth of the people and the atmosphere typical of the region, which make you want to extend your vacation.

Planning a visit to Malaga? You’re in luck, as it offers many free tourist attractions, as listed below. Enjoy!

1. Alcazaba Palace and Gibralfaro Castle

Le palais Alcazaba et le château de Gibralfaro, Malaga

Photo credit: Shutterstock / BAHDANOVICH ALENA

A major tourist attraction, it’s one of the first places you should see if you visit Malaga.

The region was once dominated by Muslims, and these monuments tell the story of that era. Built in the 11th century, theAlcazaba was intended to protect the city from the Catholics. To the delight of visitors, the site has been restored several times, allowing them to admire all the splendor of these buildings. From the belvedere, you can enjoy a spectacular panorama of the sea, the port and the town. The walk is well worth it, with its superb flower gardens, terraces, patios and fountains.

To take advantage of the free tour, go there on Sunday from 2pm.

2. The Roman theater

Théâtre romain, Alcazaba, Malaga

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Karol Kozlowski

Below the Alcazaba Palace stands the Roman Theatre, Malaga’s oldest monument. Built in the 1st century under the emperor Augustus, it was in use for 200 years, then abandoned and used as a quarry. No one ever heard of it again. It was only when the Maison de la Culture de Malaga was built, in 1951, that the existence of these remains was rediscovered.

Today, it’s one of the city’s most memorable landmarks, which inevitably stirs the emotions of many tourists. The theater is still used as a stage for shows and film shoots.

Admission is free, so don’t miss out!

3. Picasso Museum

If you appreciate painting and sculpture, then a visit to the Picasso Museum is a must. It was in this city that the famous painter was born in 1881. The museum, which opened in 2003, exhibits a total of 233 works by the artist, generously donated by his family. It is housed in the Buenavista Palace, itself a must-see historic monument in Malaga.

While admission is charged all year round, the last two hours of opening hours are free on Sundays, as well as on February 28, May 18 and September 27 (special days).

It’s worth pointing out that most of Malaga’s museums are free on Sundays. So you’re spoilt for choice among the city’s 30 museums: Centre Pompidou, Carmen Thyssen, Glass and Crystal Museum, etc.

4. Atarazanas central market

Atarazanas Market, Malaga

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / RukiMedia

If its name isn’t easy to pronounce, it’s still a great place to visit, especially to taste and buy local specialties. Right in the heart of Malaga, this central market is the best place to mingle with the locals and enjoy the authentic atmosphere. It’s also a place steeped in history, since in the 14th century it was an Arab-owned shipyard. When the Catholics reappeared, it was transformed into a convent, then barracks, a military hospital and a school. Today, you can walk through the market’s imposing gates and smell the delicious aromas of fruit, tapas and other regional produce.

The Atanazaras Central Market is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 2pm.

5. La Concepción Botanical Garden

jardin botanique de la Concepción, Malaga

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Panarria

It’s possible to recharge your batteries in a spot of greenery in Malaga. Between the various parks and the Jardin Botanique de la Concepción, there’s plenty to do. Located to the north of the city, this vast 250,000 m² area is home to over 2,000 different species of plants and trees. We promise you a tropical and subtropical setting just like you’ve always dreamed of! At the center is a beautifully landscaped historic garden, with waterfalls, fountains and staircases. For nature lovers, this is a must-see in Andalusia, one of the largest gardens in Europe.

Access is subject to a fee, but we’ve come up with a great deal: it’s free every Sunday throughout the year (April 1 to September 30, from 3:30pm to 7:30pm, and October 1 to March 31, from 9:30am to 4:30pm).

6. The Soho district

Quartier Soho, street art, Malaga

Photo credit: Flickr – txmx 2

Here’s a great place to visit that reveals a different side of Malaga. The Soho district, more commonly known as the arts district, is a street art paradise. On the walls, giant frescoes have been painted by internationally renowned street artists, with the aim of restoring the district’s image and adding a touch of originality. There are also a number of unusual shops, including a vintage bike store, an old-fashioned barbershop, an American patisserie and a vinothèque where you can discover the finest wines. This neighborhood is also home to the Centre d’Art Contemporain, detailed below.

7. Contemporary Art Center

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga

Photo Credit: Facebook – CAC Málaga

As we’ve seen, Malaga is known for its artistic taste. The good news is that the Centre d’Art Contemporain, also known as CAC Malaga, is completely free all year round. Inside, you’ll find several rooms, a variety of exhibitions and numerous contemporary works of art from the 20th to the 21st century.

Whether you like this kind of museum or not, it’s a must-see if you don’t know what to do in Málaga when it’s raining or hot, for example.

8. Malaga’s beaches

You can’t talk about the Costa Del Sol without mentioning its beaches. You’re spoilt for choice on the 14 kilometers of fine sandy beaches all along the coastline. The best-known are Playa de la Malagueta (in the center) and Playa de la Misericordia. If you’re traveling with the family, Playa de El Palo is ideal. For kitesurfers, Playa Del Campo de Golf is the place to be. Want to party and barbecue on the beach? Penon Del Cuervo is perfect. However, we don’t recommend Playa de la Caleta in high summer if you don’t like crowds.

In any case, take the opportunity to enjoy grilled sardines and quench your thirst in the chiringuitos, small waterside restaurants.

9. Montes de Malaga Natural Park

Parc Naturel des Montes de Malaga

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Evan Frank

If you have a car at your disposal, the Montes Natural Park is a not-to-be-missed excursion during your stay in Malaga.

Just five kilometers from the city, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a magnificent mountain landscape, where nature reigns supreme. The 5,000 km² area is ideal for hikers and bikers alike. If you like walking, you can take one of the four signposted trails, which last between 30 minutes and 1h30 and are of low to medium difficulty.

For lunch, relax in a picnic area or enjoy the traditional « plato de los montes », a hearty dish of pork, sausage, blood sausage and eggs.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Malaga,es