Malaga Airport will probably be your first port of call when you arrive in the city. While it isn’t an airport on the scale of Madrid Adolfo Suarez Airport or London Gatwick, it’s still the entry point for the millions of tourists who arrive on the Costa del Sol every year. And lots of people have queries about the airport.
With this in mind, we’ve created a guide to Malaga Airport with (hopefully) everything you need to know. If there’s something missing, get in touch and we add the information.
Covid-19 regulations at Malaga Airport
Since Malaga Airport reopened to international travel on 21 June, it has introduced a number of measures in line with covid-19 health and safety regulations. These are in place until further notice – we have highlighted them in bold at the top of each section, but check in advance with the Airport.
Spain Travel Health program – requirements to enter Spain
Under Spanish covid-19 regulations, all passengers entering Spain are required to complete a Health Control Form (Formulario de Control Sanitario/FCS) with your name, ID number (passport or ID card), flight number and date of arrival. You also need to state whether you have any covid-19 symptoms or have been with anyone with them in the last 14 days. Complete the form via the website or SpTH mobile phone app (available for Android and iOS) before arrival in Malaga (maximum 2 days ahead of your travel date). Once you have completed it, you receive a QR code, which you should show at the airport. In the app, the QR code goes to My Travel section and you also receive it as an email.
You have the option to print the QR code and hand it in when you arrive. Paper versions of the form are also available – if you choose this option, take your own pen and use plenty of hand gel.
There are also temperature sensors on arrival.
Covid tests at Malaga Airport
Malaga Airport has a Covid testing centre with facilities for PCR and antigen tests. Find out more.
Getting to and from Malaga Airport
Perhaps the most important information in a guide to Malaga Airport is how to get to the city and vice versa. The good news is that the airport has excellent public transport connections to the city centre as follows:
The local train service (cercanías) runs between Malaga Airport and the city centre (the stop is just off the Alameda Principal, opposite the CAC Malaga art museum). At the airport, follow the train signs to reach the station.
Train times: trains to the city centre leave the airport between 6.44am and 00.54am, at 14, 34 and 54 past the hour. Trains to the airport leave the city centre between 5.20am and 11.50pm, at 10, 30 and 50 past the hour.
Train frequency: every 20 minutes.
Journey time: 11 minutes.
Why take the train instead of the bus? It’s cheaper and quicker, although the train doesn’t take you beyond the Alameda. The train is best if you have an early-bird flight home.
A dedicated bus service (A) runs between the airport and the city centre. It has several stops including Plaza General Torrijos, Plaza de la Marina, Alameda Principal, Avda de Andalucía (outside the Corte Inglés department store), bus station and train station. At the airport, follow the bus signs to the bus stop, outside on the main esplanade.
Bus times: buses to the city centre are currently offering services between 7am and midnight. The 24-hour service is currently suspended while the Airport returns to usual activity levels. It usually includes buses from the airport to the city at 0.45am, 2am, 5.05am and 6.30am. Buses to the airport leave the city centre at midnight, 1.30am, 4.25am and 5.45am.
Bus frequency: between 7am and midnight, approximately every 20-25 minutes.
Journey time: between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the traffic.
Price: €4. You can’t use the bus multi-journey card for the airport bus.
Why take the bus instead of the train? It’s the best option if your accommodation in hotel is in the city centre or near La Malagueta. Buses are the only public transport option if your flight leaves or arrives in the small hours. It is, however, more expensive and can be held up in traffic.
Malaga has plenty of car hire options, most of which are within easy reach of the airport. Be careful you choose a reputable company and look out for hidden extras. Read our guide to car hire in Malaga for lots of tips and advice.
Why take a car instead of the train, bus or taxi? You want your own wheels to explore outside Malaga on a day trip or you’d like the option of a car while you’re staying in the city.
Malaga has one main taxi companyproviding services between the airport and the city centre: Unitaxi (952 333 333). If you’re travelling from the airport to somewhere on the Costa del Sol, the taxi company is Taxi Union (tel: 952 040 404) and
Journey time: at least 15 minutes.
Price: minimum €17 Monday to Friday between 6am and 10pm; minimum €19 Monday to Friday 10pm to 6am and at weekends. €2 supplement for rides between midnight and 6am. €0.45 supplement per piece of luggage measuring over 60cm.
Why take the taxi instead of the bus or train? There are several of you, you have heavy luggage and/or your accommodation in Malaga isn’t near a bus stop or the train station.
Uber and Cabify both operate in Malaga and provide services between the Airport and city centre. To use these services, you need to download the appropriate app on your mobile phone. VTC services drop you off outside the Departures Terminal when you get to the Airport. If you’re getting an Uber or Cabify from the Airport, the pick-up area is to the left of the Arrivals building – walk outside towards the bus stops and turn left following the VTC Area signs.
Price: depends on demand and vehicles available. As a rough idea, expect to pay from €10.
Why use a VTC instead of a taxi? It’s usually cheaper.
By private transfer
Malaga has several companies offering private transport services from Malaga Airport to your destination. Welcome Pickups is one of them.
Price: around €20 for 2 people and 2 pieces of luggage to the city centre.
Why use a private transfer instead of a taxi? Personalised service that you can book in advance.
The airport has 3 terminals, although T3 is the main terminal for arrivals and departures. You may need to go to T2 if you’re checking in luggage with airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair. T1, the original terminal, is rarely used nowadays. You can walk between all terminals.
Top tip – if you’re checking in luggage in T2 allow extra time before your flight departs. You may have to walk quite a way,
Once you leave your plane and collect your luggage, you’ll reach the arrivals hall. Exit through the main doors to leave the airport.
If you’re catching a train or bus, follow the signs to your right. The taxi rank is stationed outside the airport to the far right.
If you’re hiring a car in Malaga and have pre-booked at the airport, you should make your way to the car hire offices. These are located in the terminal basement (S2 button in the lift) and in the car park.
Note that because of covid-19 restrictions, not all check-in desks are open.
If you have luggage to check in, make your way to the correct check-in desk. Some are located in T3 – those for long-haul flights are situated to the far right – while others are in T2. All passengers must pass through security in T3.
If you’re travelling outside Schengen (e.g. to the UK or Ireland), you’ll need to pass through immigration to get to your departure gate. Allow extra time for this step because queues form quickly and there often aren’t enough immigration counters open to cope. At the time of writing (spring 2022), it takes 15-40 minutes to get through immigration and we have seen people miss their flight because of the queue.
This section of our guide to Malaga Airport has information about facilities available at the airport, listed alphabetically.
If you need assistance at Malaga Airport, book it at least 48 hours before your flight. You can do via the AENA website or by calling 913 211 000. There are numerous assistance points around the airport. Look for the list in Reduced Mobility on the website.
Currency exchange offices are located in the arrivals hall and in departures. If you require cash, you’ll find ATMs at various locations. An ATM is to the left of the revolving doors in the main entrance.
The medical centre is on the arrivals floor (downstairs from departures) and located to the right of the main entrance. SAEDs (defibrillators) are at various points around the airport. If you need any medical help, ask any member of airline or airport staff.
If you lose something while you’re at the airport, contact your airline in the first instance. Or contact the lost property office in T3 behind check-in desks 363-385. Due to covid-19 restrictions, you should contact the lost property office by email on email@example.com.
Tourist information about Malaga is available at the tourist office located in the arrivals hall. It opens daily 10am to 8pm.
If you’re a non-EU national and qualify for a VAT refund, make your way to the office in T3 to the right of security. The office is open Monday to Friday 6.30am to 10pm and weekends 7am to midnight.
[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Top tip – if you need to file for a VAT refund, allow extra time before your flight leaves.[/box]
Malaga Airport runs a free wifi service. Look for the Kubiwireless network on your phone or tablet. It does for basic messaging and browsing but tends to get stuck if you want to upload or download something. Paid upgrades are available.
Shops at Malaga Airport
If you didn’t manage to get in enough shopping in Malaga city or have time to spare, you’ll be pleased to know that the airport has a good selection of shops. You can shop till you drop at several designer stores including Adolfo Domínguez, Desigual, Natura and Superdry. Victoria’s Secret and Tous also have branches.
As well as the giant duty-free shop, you can also buy food and wine at Foodies, specialising in typical produce from Spain. This is a good (if pricey) spot to stock up on olive oil and Malaga wine if you’re travelling cabin luggage only.
Eating and drinking
You’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to eateries at Malaga Airport, but there are some goodies amongst the usual succession of fast food outlets and coffee venues. They include Bibo Dani Garcia (based on Dani Garcia’s Bibo restaurant in Marbella) and Kirey by Kabuki (Japanese and Mediterranean fusion food).
Top tip – drinking water is available outside the toilets in all departure areas, although it doesn’t taste great. It’s slightly better at the cafés – ask them to fill up your water bottle or fine from the dispensing machines (€1 for 330ml).
About Malaga Airport
A guide to Malaga Airport wouldn’t be complete with a bit of background to the airport itself. It started life in 1919 and ranks as one of the oldest airports in Spain. It wasn’t until 1946, however, that the airport started operating domestic and international flights.
Malaga Airport currently ranks as the fourth busiest in Spain (behind Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca). The over 19.6 million passengers in 2019 was the highest ever figure for the airport. Read about behind the scenes at Malaga Airport here.
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