Finding some outdoor space for a breath of fresh air or for the kids to run around in isn’t always easy in a big city. But Malaga proves to be an exception – the centre might be built-up with almost permanent traffic jams, but finding open spaces and parks in Malaga is a breeze. The difficult bit is choosing which one to go to! Read on to discover the best outdoor spaces in Malaga.
Seafront promenade in Malaga
Perhaps the best outside space of them all, the seafront promenade in Malaga stretches along most of the city’s coastline. Choose your route – east or west – and start walking or riding. The pavement are wide and there are designated cycle lanes almost the entire length the beaches in Malaga.
Look out for keep fit areas, ping pong and chess tables (you’ll need your own equipment) and children’s play parks along the way. For refreshments, stop at one of the kiosks for a drink and/or ice cream. Or grab a table at one of the beach bars (chiringuitos) for a plate or two of fried fish.
East – start at the Plaza de la Marina, walk along Muelle Dos and Muelle Uno, past the lighthouse and onto the seafront promenade proper. Here you can walk for miles (as far as Rincón de la Victoria if you’re feeling energetic). Read our guide to Pedregalejo and El Palo districts.
West – start at the mainline train station and walk down to the port. Turn west and walk all the way to Sacaba Beach. If the tide’s low you can continue along the beach, over the river and into the Guadalhorce Nature Reserve for some serious bird spotting. Read more about a walk along the western seafront.
Too tired to walk back? Jump on the bus and ride back into town. If you’re in El Palo, get the No 3 bus. From Sacaba Beach, try the No 40 or walk north a block and get on the No 16. If you’ve made it as far as the Guadalhorce Nature Reserve, walk into Guadalmar for the No 5 bus.
Muelle Dos/ El Palmeral
This lovely walk reclaimed from the port just a few years ago is one of our favourite outdoor spaces in Malaga. Not only do you get to admire the pergola close up, but you have a great view of the port and the lighthouse plus a sneak peek at the super yachts often moored here. The gardens are good for kids to let off steam – look out for the chimes and rolling seats. Plus there are some good cafés and restaurants here too. We like El Palmeral at the end nearest Plaza de la Marina.
Admire Muelle Dos in all its glory from Muelle Uno where there are views of the pergola topped by Malaga Cathedral and the Alcazaba Fortress. Especially lovely at sundown.
Beaches in Malaga
One of the best things about a holiday in Malaga is that you can combine city sightseeing with a spot of sunbathing on the beach. And most of the year round too. The two main city beaches in Malaga are both blue-flag, clean and provide good facilities. Lifeguards are on duty mid-June to mid-September.
If you’re swimming, watch out for the shelving shoreline – you can be out of your depth in just a few steps. The shallowest and safest waters are at the far west end of La Misericordia beach.
Parks in Malaga
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to parks in Malaga. Even bang in the city centre where the Paseo del Parque offers some welcome shade and greenery. Pop over the road to the rose gardens outside City Hall (best from May to July).
If you fancy going further afield, check out some of the parks in Malaga slightly off the beaten track. We like:
Parque del Oeste
A formal garden home to surreal sculptures, lovely lakes and probably the only wallabies on the Costa del Sol. Get the No 16 bus to visit this park. Read our guide to this park in Malaga.
Parque de Huelin
Opposite the port just a short walk from the mainline train station, this park offers a great children’s playpark, a large lake and lots of grass to picnic on. You can walk here from the city centre or take the No 16 or No 3 bus.
La Concepción Botannical Gardens
Located just outside the city to the north, these magnificent gardens in Malaga are a must for any plant lover. Read all about it
Stock up on some picnic treats at one of the markets in Malaga before you head for the park.
Squares in Malaga
Outdoor spaces in Malaga also come square-shaped. They usually have benches and are great spots for taking time out from sightseeing and people watching as well as safe places for kids to run around. We recommend:
Picasso’s Plaza de la Merced – join Picasso on his bench and admire this pretty square with the Alcazaba Fortress in the background.
Plaza de la Constitución – one of the busiest squares in town so you won’t be alone, but a good base to rest in before you see yet more things in Malaga.
Plaza de la Marina – centrally located and a good place to get your bearings while you decide where to go next.
Although most squares are pedestrian, not all the streets around them are so watch out for traffic.