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General view of signage at Malaga Airport

Guide to Malaga Airport

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.

City skyline in vertical garden at Malaga Airport
City skyline in vertical garden at Malaga Airport

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:

By train

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.

Price: €1.80

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.

By bus

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.

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.

By car

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.

By taxi

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 €15 Monday to Friday between 6am and 10pm; minimum €19 Monday to Friday 10pm to 6am and at weekends. €5.50 airport supplement for rides to central Malaga. €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.

inside Malaga airport

By VTC 

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 outside the Arrivals building. Walk outside towards the bus stops, go straight ahead for Uber or turn left for other VTC services.

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. This one is reliable and has excellent reviews.

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.

Practicalities

Terminals

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,

Arrivals

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.

Car hire

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.

Departures

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.

Biznaga sculptures in the departure area at Malaga Airport
Biznaga sculptures in the departure area at Malaga Airport

Passport control

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 (late 2023), it takes 15-50 minutes to get through immigration and we have seen people miss their flight because of the queue. 

Malaga airport runway

Facilities

This section of our guide to Malaga Airport has information about facilities available at the airport, listed alphabetically.

Assistance

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.

Cash

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.

Emergency

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.

Lost property

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 or via objetosperdidosagp@aena.es. 

Tourist office

See the location of other tourist offices in Malaga

VAT returns

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.

Top tip – if you need to file for a VAT refund, allow extra time before your flight leaves (at least 45 minutes).

Malaga Airport entrance

Wifi

Malaga Airport runs a free wifi service. Look for the Airport Free Wifi Aena 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.

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.

Read more about shopping in Malaga

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 – you’ll find drinking water dispensors outside the toilets in all departure areas.
Or you can buy a bottles from machines and at the cafés (€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). In the first nine months of 2023, 17.2 million passengers had passed through Malaga Airport. The total figure for the year is expected to exceed the 19.6 million passengers in 2019, the highest ever. Read about behind the scenes at Malaga Airport here.

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