What should be on your Malaga bucket list

Or better described as the top 10 things to do in Malaga. We recently read a post about the 10 things that should be on your bucket list for Spain. Malaga wasn’t in there – unsurprisingly because it’s difficult to compete with the biggest attractions in Spain. But it did get us thinking about what we’d put on a Malaga bucket list.

Here are our top 10 things to do in Malaga, those sights, events and foodie experiences that you simply shouldn’t miss when you visit the city. And yes, they’re all in our Guide to Malaga.

Malaga Bucket List 1 – Walk in the steps of Malaga’s past

Combine a visit to 2 of the best historic monuments in Malaga and walk in the footsteps of the Romans and the Moors. Take in the Roman Theatre and then move on to the Alcazaba Fortress, 1 of the few Moorish fortresses at sea level in the world.

Top tip: get a combo ticket for the Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle further up the hill.

Romans and Moors
Romans and Moors

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Malaga Bucket List 2 – Take in some amazing art

Few cities in Europe can boast as many (or as good) art museums as Malaga. Whatever your taste there’s world-class art waiting for you to admire it. Over the last year we’ve seen works by Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, Jackson Pollock, Mark Ryden, Filonov, Chagal, Erwin Olaf, Warhol… not to mention Picasso.

Top tip: most the art museums in Malaga offer guided tours in English. Check the timetables on the museum websites.

Art exhibitions in Malaga
Mark Ryden at CAC Malaga

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Malaga Bucket List 3 – Marvel at the murals

Street art in Malaga is exceptional and like the art in the museums, world class. The murals are concentrated in 2 main areas – the Soho district and Lagunillas. Both are great to wander round and check out the amazing street art. Some in Soho is by big names (Obey and D*Face for example) and other by local artists, but it’s all good and all interesting.

Top tip: in Soho, look up as well as down – some of the street art is way up high.

Look up high for Soho street art
Look up high for Soho street art

Malaga Bucket List 4 – Watch an event

Like the rest of Spain, Malaga does big events really well and there’s a year-round calendar so the chances are that whenever you’re on holiday in Malaga you’ll be able to watch 1 of them. Annual highlights include Holy Week processions during Easter, Malaga Fair (mid-August) and Christmas celebrations.

Top tip: book your accommodation in Malaga well in advance if you’re planning to take in 1 of the events during your holiday.

Malaga events on the Malaga bucket list
Holy Week in Malaga

Malaga Bucket List 5 – Stroll along the seafront promenade

Both the eastern and western seafront promenades in Malaga are lovely and both give you a great excuse to go to the beach. While Malaga might not boast the best beaches on the Costa del Sol the 2 city beaches are both blue flag and offer safe bathing and great amenities. If you’re not here to visit the beach walk along the promenade and enjoy the sea views. Read about a walking tour along the western seafront.

Top tip: the seafront promenades have something for everyone – lots of great play parks and keep-fit stations.

Malaga walking tours the western seafront

Malaga Bucket List 6 – Walk under the pergola

This is our favourite bit of Malaga – there’s something about the flowing lines of the giant pergola that stretches all the way along Muelle Dos from Plaza de la Marina to the Pompidou Cube and Muelle Uno. And it’s just as lovely from above too – check out an aerial view from the Malaga ferris wheel.

Top tip: make your way to Muelle Uno in the early evening to catch the sunset over the Malaga skyline. Best views are from the lighthouse.

views in Malaga
View of the pergola from the ferris wheel

Malaga Bucket List 7 – Mooch round a market

Top of the foodie list of things to do in Malaga is visit 1 of the city markets. The biggest and brightest is Atarazanas in the city centre (open Mon-Sat 9am to 3pm) and this busy market is a feast for all the senses. You can try before you buy at lots of stalls (and be sure to buy a few things when you’re visiting markets in Malaga – this keeps the stall holders happy!).

Our tips for top purchases would be olives and dried fruit and nuts to take home, and fresh food to take on a picnic to the beach or 1 of the parks. Other interesting markets are the gastro Mercado de la Merced

Top tip: try the seafood tapas from any of the bars in the market. We love the langoustine and tuna bites from Bar Mercado Atarazanas, on the left of the main entrance

Markets on the Malaga bucket list
Did someone say olives?

Malaga Bucket List 8 – Escape to a green space

Despite being a built-up industrial city Malaga has lots of green spaces that are great to escape to when you’ve had enough of the crowds. Our favourite is La Concepción botanical gardens but there are several lovely parks in Malaga. Read our blog post for suggestions.

Top tip: spring is the best time to see the parks in Malaga in bloom. Don’t miss the roses in Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso next to City Hall.

parks on the Malaga bucket list
Wisteria at the Concepción botanical gardens

Malaga Bucket List 9 – Feast on fried fish

Probably the most famous food in Malaga is fried fish. While you’re in the city try the freshly caught (small) fish fried to perfection in batter. There’s a great choice (anchovies, whitebait, baby sole, squid…) and it’s almost always reasonably priced. And don’t forget to try an espeto of sardines grilled on an open fire preferably on the beach.

Top tip: eat fried fish like a local – no knife and fork. Watch our video to see how it’s done!

food on Malaga bucket list
Sardines grilled to perfection

Malaga Bucket List 10 – Take in a view (and a cocktail)

Lots of places in Malaga give you great views of the city. We like the vistas from the Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle, the ones you see from the ferris wheel and those from the roof terraces at some of the hotels in Malaga. All the roof terraces have lovely views, but we think those from AC Palacio are the best. If you fancy a view with a cocktail, then make a beeline for a roof terrace or the terrace at the Parador next to the Gibralfaro Castle.

Top tip: head for the heights at sundown for lovely views of the sunset – the romantic touch to this Malaga bucket list!

Views on the Malaga bucket list
A cocktail at sundown

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