It might be Spain’s sixth largest city, but Malaga is surprisingly compact and the old quarter occupies a small part of the city. Add this to the fact that it’s almost totally flat and getting around Malaga becomes very easy.
You should be able to do most of central Malaga on foot, but if you want to venture further afield then you’ll need your own wheels or public transport. This 3-part guide tells you all you need to know about getting around Malaga. In this first section, we look at cycling in Malaga and the practicalities behind using a bike in the city. You can read about getting around Malaga by bus here and about driving in Malaga here.
Malaga by bike
As Spanish cities go, Malaga ranks as one of the most bike-friendly. There are miles of designated cycle tracks (painted bright red) round the city, lots of bike parking zones and this is a flat city so no puffing up and down hills.
Cycling in Malaga gives you the chance to explore the seafront, east and west, and take yourself out to the Guadalhorce River Nature Reserve near the airport. But even if you’re not feeling that energetic, using a bike to makes a great way of sightseeing in Malaga. There are two options for getting round Malaga on two wheels:
Malaga City Council bikes
The City Council runs a bike-hire scheme (MalagaBici) where members can use any of the bikes at the bike stations free. This is a worthwhile option if you’re staying in Malaga for a week or plan to return to the city several times during the year. If you’re just here for a short break, it’s best to hire a bike from one of the many companies around the city (see below).
Sign-up: You can become a member of MalagaBici by Sign-up form for using public bikes in Malaga or in person at the EMT office in Alameda Principal 15, open Mon-Fri 9am-1pm and 5-7pm. You then receive your bike card, valid for 12 months.
Cost: When you sign-up you pay €5 insurance and €5 or €10 credit to your bike card. Use of the bikes is free for 30 minutes and after that, it costs €0.017 a minute up to a maximum of 2 hours. If you want to ride free for longer than 30 minutes, take the bike back to a bike station just before 30 minutes is up, wait 2 minutes and then take another bike.
How it works: Go to a bike station and look for a bike at a stand showing a green light. Place your bike card next to the light and wait for instructions.
Bikes: The blue and white MalagaBici bikes are generally well-maintained and come with basket, bell and front and back lights. They’re comfortable on the flat, but their lack of suspension makes it a rough ride on cobbles.
Bike stations: There are currently over 20 bus stations in Malaga with several strategically located in the city centre. Locations of bike stations in Malaga
Hiring a bike in Malaga
Several companies rent bikes in Malaga. Those off the tourist track tend to be cheaper giving you more time on the wheels for your money. Several hotels also offer bike hire to clients. Make sure the fee includes insurance and don’t ride away without a lock for the bike.
Cycling in Malaga Tips
- Securely lock your bike always. Never leave it unattended without a padlock even for 5 minutes.
- Give way to pedestrians on the crossings over cycle tracks. In areas with no cycle tracks, pedestrians have priority always.
- Watch out for cars jumping red lights. Just because the traffic light has gone red doesn’t mean the cars are going to stop. Make sure they’ve stopped before you cross.
- Watch out for skaters and children bike riders on the cycle tracks.
- The maximum permitted speed in pedestrian areas with no cycle-lane is 10kph.
- In pedestrian areas (e.g. along the Malagueta seafront), pedestrians have priority over bikes at all times.