How does Malaga fare as a city for those in wheelchairs? In Part 4 of our guide to getting around Malaga, we look at the ins and outs of wheelchair accessible Malaga. We’re grateful to Mick Oxley, a wheelchair user and regular visitor to Malaga, for his insight and tips.
Accessible getting to and around Malaga
Buses – Malaga buses have wheelchair access via the double doors in the centre of the bus. Indicate to the driver that you need the platform lowered. Inside, there are designated wheelchair areas with seatbelts.
Trains & Metro – the local train service (between Malaga and Fuengirola with stops at the airport) and both metro lines have wheelchair access to the train themselves and to the platform via lifts. There are designated wheelchair areas in the metro carriages with seatbelts.
Taxis – most taxis take folding manual chairs and larger vehicles are available for folding scooters and powered chairs. If there isn’t a larger vehicle at the taxi rank, ask one of the taxi drivers to call for one.
Accessible getting around the streets
As a flat city, Malaga naturally lends itself to easy wheeling. Apart from a few gentle slopes, most of the city centre is flat including the long seafront promenade. Many pavements are marble giving them a smooth surface that’s easy to wheel yourself along. Mick says that compared to British streets, “you fairly glide along!”.
Most streets have dropped kerbs at junctions and crossings so you don’t have to negotiate a step up or down from the pavement. The paving here has a cobbled effect giving the surface extra tread for stability (and it’s non-slip in wet conditions).
Top tip: when the lights go red for traffic at crossings check the traffic has come to a complete stop – locals often jump the lights. Mick reports that drivers in Malaga are reasonably considerate of wheelchair users.
Accessible attractions in Malaga
One of Malaga’s USPs when it comes to accessible tourism is the large number of monuments and museums that cater for visitors in a wheelchair. All 5 large art museums in Malaga – CAC, Picasso Museum, Pompidou Centre, Russian Museum and the Thyssen Museum – can be accessed by wheelchair users.
The Cathedral is also set up for wheelchair visitors along with several other museums including the Alborania Museum, Car Museum, Music Museum, Wine Museum and the Bullfighting Museum.
Our comprehensive guide to museums in Malaga gives information about accessibility for every single one.
The botanical gardens in Malaga have several routes suitable for wheelchairs. Ask for a map at the entrance.
Wheelchair users can also enjoy the beaches in Malaga – La Malagueta and Misericordia beaches both have access ramps and accessible showers and toilets. During the summer season (15 July to 15 Sept), a municipal service provides assistance with bathing on La Misericordia beach (look for the stand opposite the Diputación at the west end of the beach) and El Dedo beach (the stand is situated near El Tintero restaurant). The service includes specialised staff, amphibian chairs and a hoist.
Most modern hotels in Malaga have at least one accessible room, often on the ground floor. Finding a suitable room in smaller and/or older hotels can be a challenge as is self-catering accommodation. Ask the owner about door width, lifts and stairs in the accommodation before committing yourself to a particular holiday let in Malaga.
Generally speaking, restaurants that are new or have been refurbished are accessible for wheelchairs. In any case, the great year-round weather in Malaga means you’ll probably be sitting outside anyway!
There aren’t very many accessible toilets in Malaga city centre, although new or refurbished restaurants are required by law to include disabled access to toilets so this is your best bet. Toilets on the seafront promenade and on Muelle Uno are also accessible.
Read the other posts about getting around Malaga
Part 1 – getting around Malaga by bike
Part 2 – getting around Malaga by bus