Useful things to know in Malaga
Our Need to Know section already covers lots of useful information about Malaga. But we felt that some things were missing because after all, you never know when you’ll need a drycleaners or somewhere to leave your luggage. Or a place to recharge your mobile or get foreign currency. This post has been written with those needs in mind. Read on to discover a potpourri of useful things to know in Malaga!
Ideally you won’t need (or want) to do any washing while you’re on holiday in Malaga, but accidents do happen. Hotel laundry services tend to be pricey and they don’t offer drycleaning services. Here’s where to go in central Malaga if you need your clothes cleaned:
- DIY launderette – Lavomatic in Plaza Poeta Alfonso Canales 3, opposite Muelle Heredia bus station near the Port. Open daily 7am to 11pm. Take a look at the street art in Malaga while you’re waiting for the washing machine to do its magic.
- Drycleaners – Wash & Sec on Calle Sanchez Pastor. Open Monday-Friday 10am to 2pm and 5 to 8pm. They will also wash clothes.
It’s always a challenge finding somewhere that gives you a good rate when you’re changing into euros from another currency. If you’ve got cash, there are several bureaux de change in Malaga centre – shop around for the best rate, but don’t expect a good one.
If you’ve got a debit or credit card, use one of the ATMs around the city. Be aware that most banks charge commission on the currency exchange (from your currency into euros) and a fee for using the cash machine. Getting euros out with a card carries just under 3% commission – so if you withdraw €100, expect to pay almost €8 in ATM charges and commission.
Banks also charge for payments made with your credit or debit card – typically 2.75% of the transaction. That can add up to a lot during your holiday in Malaga.
Avoid bank commission altogether
Some banks issue special cards to use so that you can avoid paying commission on paying in euros if you have a sterling or Norwegian krone account, for example. You can also get prepaid cards that cut out the commission altogether and give you the best rate when you use them.
Guide to Malaga recommends Revolut (we use it all the time when we visit non-euro currency countries and have saved a ton of commission). All you need to do is download the app, register and open an account. When you get your card you can top it up instantly from an associated debit or credit card via the app and use it in Malaga for purchases or cash withdrawals (up to €200 free a month). You can check transactions on the app, which helpfully shows you what exchange rate you got when you used the card.
In common with most of western Europe, the electricity supply in Malaga is 230V (50Hz) and plugs have two round pins. If you’re visiting the city from the UK and the US, for example, you’ll need to buy an adapter.
Most hotels in Malaga will keep your luggage for you after check-out until you leave, but the same isn’t true if you’re staying at a holiday let in Malaga. The following locations provide left luggage services in central Malaga:
Lock & Relax – on Calle Casas de Campo 22 in Soho, super handy for the train station to the airport. Open 10am to 8pm (9pm in summer). €5 a day for 3 small suitcases (they all fit in one locker) or one large one.
Mainline train station – left luggage lockers are available here and open from early to late every day. It takes 10 to 15 minutes’ walk to get to the station from the Alameda Principal so this location isn’t so handy unless you are catching a train from the station afterwards.
Hardly any of us can be without our mobile phones nowadays. Indispensable and sometimes temperamental, they sometimes cause problems. If you’re in Malaga, you’d need this information.
Charging your mobile phone
They have the habit of running out of battery at the most inconvenient times. If you’re not planning to return to your accommodation or aren’t carrying a mobile charger, here’s where you can charge your mobile battery for free in Malaga:
- At the intersection of Calle Molina Larios and Calle Postigo de los Abades you’ll find a mobile phone charging point. Free to use and nice views of the southern façade of the Cathedral while you wait.
- On the bus. All the hybrid and electric buses in Malaga have mobile phone charging points. Plug yours in while you ride to your destination – why not make the most of the bus trip and visit somewhere slightly off the beaten track? The Russian Museum, Car Museum and Botanical Gardens are all good choices.
- In a bar. Not quite free because you should really buy at least a drink, but most bar owners don’t mind charging your phone for a bit.
Mending your mobile phone
Manzana Rota (Broken Apple) have two shops in Malaga where you can get express repair service. Depending on the extent of the repair and brand (and yes, Apple is more expensive to get fixed), expect to pay between €10 and €100. Find the shops in Vialia shopping centre link to shopping and on Calle La Unión 83. Open Monday to Saturday.
Spain has some of the most complicated opening hours in the world so be prepared for some surprises. And be aware that the hours below are typical but not necessarily the norm and expect to see some weird and wonderful opening hours on your visit.
Banks – Monday to Friday 8.30-9am to 2.30-3pm
Supermarkets – Monday to Saturday 9-9.30am to 8.30-9pm
Large shops – Monday to Saturday 10am to 8.30-9pm
Shopping centres – Monday to Saturday 10am to 9-10pm
Museums – Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-10am to 8pm. Note that Picasso Museum opens daily but closing times vary from 6 to 8pm depending on the time of year. The Pompidou Centre closes on Tuesdays but opens on Mondays. And Sunday opening hours at the Malaga Museum are 9am to 3pm.
For more information about opening hours on public holidays, click here.