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 makes a great way of sightseeing in Malaga. There are two options for getting round Malaga on two wheels:
The City Council abolished the bike-hire scheme (MalagaBici) in November 2021 and has invited private companies to provide electric bikes that you hire via a mobile phone app. These bikes are available at bike stations and in electric scooter parking areas around the city. To use one of these bikes, you need to do the following:
- Download the appropriate app (e.g. Dott) and register as a user.
- Locate an electric bike near you to hire.
- Follow the instructions on the app to use the bike.
In early 2023, the costs of hiring an electric bike available via an app were: €0.29 per minute or €4.99 per day or €29.99 a month. You select the period you want to pay for when you hire the bike.
Locations of electric bikes
There are around 20 bike stations in the city centre and numerous scooter parking areas. You will also find the bikes at random places around the city – check the app for exact locations.
Hiring a bike in Malaga
Several companies rent bikes in Malaga and some hotels offer bike hire to clients. Make sure the fee includes insurance and don’t ride away without a lock for the bike.
Cyclemalaga.com are leading bike rental specialists in Malaga, renting giant carbon race bikes to individuals and large groups of up to 30 cyclists. With their bespoke delivery service, your bike is waiting for you when you arrive at your accommodation in Malaga so you can start your cycling holiday straight away!
Cycling rules in Malaga
When you’re cycling in Malaga, be sure to follow the rules below. There are fines for non-compliance (from €60) and the local police are on constant lock-out for offenders!
- No cycling on pavements. The only exception is the eastern seafront promenade where the pavement is currently divided into a bike lane and pedestrian lane.
- No cycling in pedestrian areas unless traffic is allowed. So, for example, you cannot ride your bike on Calle Alcazabilla but you can ride it along Calle Cister. Pedestrians have priority over bikes at all times.
- The maximum permitted speed in pedestrian areas where you’re allowed to ride your bike is 10kph.
- Cyclists have priority lanes with a maximum speed of 30kph on main roads. These are clearly marked with 30 and cyclist signs and motorists must give way to bikes. But, watch out for drivers who refuse to acknowledge you and for motorcyclists who weave in and out of the 30-lane with no regard for cyclists at all.
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.
- 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.
- If you’re using the 30-lanes, wear a helmet, high-vis clothing and make sure your bike has a bright light.
For more information about getting around Malaga including a guide to Malaga Airport and Malaga bus services, check out our Getting to & Around Malaga section.