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Definitive guide to where to stay in Malaga

Welcome to the definitive guide to where to stay in Malaga. We’re often asked for tips on location and the best place to stay. This blog post answers the question by providing a detailed low-down on the main districts to stay in the city.

 In it, we put each area of the city under the microscope, including:

  • A description of every neighbourhood.
  • The main attractions in the area.
  • Transport connections to Malaga Airport.
  • Distances to Malaga Old Town and the beach.
  • A list of pros and cons of each area.

And we recommend the best hotels to stay in each district in Malaga.

We’ve also put together some FAQs based on specific queries we get at Guide to Malaga about which area is best to stay. If you need more answers, check out our full list of Malaga hotel FAQs.

If we’ve missed a location in Malaga do let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

How to choose where to stay  

Malaga is a compact city so wherever you choose to stay you’ll be in easy reach of most attractions. But think about whether you want to be near the Old Town or the beach. If you’d prefer a busy or quieter area. How keen you are on walking or getting the bus to attractions if you choose somewhere outside the main city. Whether cheaper or more expensive accommodation fits your budget better. Is it important for your hotel to be branded or an independent establishment?

Recommended hotels in Malaga

We list our recommendations by type:

While there are plenty of tried and trusted hotels in our list, you’re probably wondering where to stay in Malaga? If so, read on for the low-down on different districts.

Staying in Malaga Old Town

Dating back to Moorish times, Malaga Old Town lies roughly within the river, the Alameda Principal, Calle Ollerias and Calle Alcazabilla. This ‘square’ is home to most of the main tourist attractions, the best shopping and many of the best restaurants. 

where to stay in Malaga old town

The main attractions 

From Roman ruins and historical churches to world-class art museums, staying in Malaga Old Town puts most attractions on your hotel doorstep.

 Read about these attractions in Malaga Old Town:

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), maximum 20-minute walk from hotels.

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 minute-journey, €4) stops on the Alameda Principal, north side, opposite Calle Córdoba, maximum 10-minute walk. 

Family-friendly hotels

Petit Palace Malaga

Petit Palace is a boutique hotel in the heart of Malaga, combining modern amenities with a charming and intimate atmosphere. It’s great for …

Splurge hotels

Vincci Larios Diez

Calle Larios is famed as one of the most elegant shopping streets in Spain and Vincci Larios Diez Hotel occupies one of the loveliest build …

Boutique Hotels

Hotel Teatro Romano

Hotel Teatro Romano is a stylish accommodation option located opposite Malaga’s ancient Roman Theatre and Alcazaba Fortress. The hotel blen …

Distance to the beach 

Staying in Malaga Old Town puts you at the heart of the attractions, but what about the beach? Allow 15-20 mins to get to La Malagueta. Get the No 3 or No 11 bus to get to Pedregalejo or El Palo.

Pros and cons of staying in Malaga Old Town

+ most things are on your doorstep 

+ some hotels have bird’s eye  views of events.

+  good choice of historical hotels.

– can be very busy and crowded.

– some areas are noisy at night.

– and it’s the most expensive accommodation in Malaga during big events such as Easter and Christmas.

Best hotels in Malaga Old Town

Top tips for staying in Malaga Old Town 

1. Worried about the street noise and not bothered about the view? Ask for a non-street- facing room.
2. Think twice about paying for breakfast because the best coffee in Malaga is just outside the hotel entrance.
3. Book well ahead if your stay coincides with a big event.

Staying in Soho Malaga

Between the port and the Alameda Principal, Soho was once Malaga’s smuggling hub where you’d buy contraband (including contraceptives in Franco’s time!) and the city’s red-light district. It has since seen a big transformation and is now home to some great street art, boutique hotels and hip cafes and restaurants. Some would say it’s the coolest neighbourhood in Malaga.

where to stay Soho Malaga

The main attractions

  • Street art – look high and low as you walk around the area.
  • CAC art museum and the Museum of the Imagination.
  • Soho Market on a Sunday every month. Teatro Soho, run by Antonio Banderas, showing great musicals and plays.

Other attractions are 5 to 10 minutes’ walk away across the Alameda Principal.

You might also like:

Our Malaga Museum Guide

Our Guide to Art in Malaga

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), maximum 10-minute walk from hotels.

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 minute-journey, €4) stops on the Alameda Principal, north side, opposite Calle Córdoba, maximum 10-minute walk. 

Mid-range hotels

Apartaments Nono Charming Stay

Apartaments Nono Charming Stay offer self-catering accommodation in the heart of the Soho district. There’s a wide range of apartment types …

Boutique Hotels

Hotel Mariposa

Hotel Mariposa offers a great location in the heart of Soho in exquisitely decorated spaces and with a very personalised service. From the …

Boutique Hotels

Soho Boutique La Equitativa

Newly opened in 2021 and in one of the most emblematic buildings in the city centre, the 4-star Soho Boutique La Equitativa hotel does view …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach

You’re literally a stone’s throw from Malaga Old Town. Allow 15-20 minutes to walk to La Malagueta beach and slightly more to reach the beaches on the west side of Malaga.

Read our guide to the best Malaga beaches.

Pros and cons of staying in Soho Malaga

+ Quieter neighbourhood.

+ Good restaurants.

+ Some of the best hotels in Malaga. Cons

– It’s very quiet on Sundays and some restaurants close. 

– Some streets have busy traffic during the week.

– Some hotels have no views.

Best hotels in Soho Malaga

Top tips for staying in Soho Malaga  

1. Choose this area to stay in Malaga if you want a quieter location than the Old Town but with attractions nearby.
2. The smaller hotels don’t have restaurants so choose Only You and Soho Equitativa if you want to dine in.

Staying in Plaza de la Merced/ Calle Victoria

Bordering Calle Alamos and Plaza de la Merced to the South and the Basilica de la Victoria, choose this historic part of town for a more authentic local experience and cheaper accommodation. Home to Picasso’s birthplace and gorgeous jacaranda trees in May, Plaza de la Merced is the main focal point while Calle Victoria takes you up to the lovely Basilica.

wherre to stay plaza de la merced malaga

The main attractions 

  • Picasso’s birthplace.
  • Cervantes Theatre, with an excellent year-round programme. 
  • The Glass Museum and Jorge Rando Museum.
  • Salamanca Market.
  • Basilica de la Victoria.

You might also like to read: 

Our Calle Victoria walking tour

Our guide to the best churches in Malaga

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport 

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), 15-30-minute walk from hotels.

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 minute-journey, €4) stops on the Alameda Principal, north side, opposite Calle Córdoba, 10-30-minute walk. 

Boutique Hotels

Palacete de Álamos

Palacete de Álamos is a boutique hotel housed in a beautifully restored mansion, offering a luxurious and intimate escape in Malaga. The late 19th century palace includes several original features such as the staircase and houses a section of the city’s medieval wall. Location Nestled in the historic centre …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach 

Malaga Old Town is on the doorstep if you’ve chosen to stay in Plaza de la Merced and around 10-15 minutes’ walk otherwise. Allow 20-50 minutes to walk to La Malagueta beach. 

Pros and cons of staying in Plaza de la Merced/ Calle Victoria

+ Cheaper accommodation.

+ Less touristy.

– Some areas are “gritty”, especially around Cruz Verde.

– Some distance to attractions.

– Not such a good choice of restaurants on the doorstep. 

– Accommodation is limited.

Best hotels in Calle Victoria and Plaza de la Merced

Top tips for staying in Plaza de la Merced/ Calle Victoria  

1. Think about distances, particularly if you’ve chosen Calle Victoria for your stay in Malaga. Do you mind walking some distance or getting the bus?
2. Cheaper accommodation means you get a better room for the same price as a regular one in other parts of Malaga.

Staying in La Malagueta Malaga 

Just east of the Old Town and around the Port, La Malagueta is one of the most popular places to stay in Malaga. It offers city skyline views, the beach on your doorstep and easy access to the historic quarter.

where to stay la malagueta malaga

The main attractions 

  • El Palmeral (our favourite spot in Malaga!)
  • The Port and Lighthouse.
  • Pompidou Centre.
  • English Cemetery.
  • The MUPAM Museum

You might also like: 

Our walking tour of La Malagueta 

Our guide to Malaga beaches

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport 

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), 20-40-minute walk from hotels.

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 journey, €4) stops on the Alameda Principal, north side, opposite Calle Córdoba, a 10-15-minute walk. 

Mid-range hotels

Soho Boutique Los Naranjos

Soho Boutique Los Naranjos combines old-world Malaga with comfortable accommodation and excellent service. It makes a good choice for the s …

Mid-range hotels

Hotel MS Maestranza

The largest hotel in the Malagueta district of Malaga, the Hotel MS Maestranza has the beach and Muelle Uno on its doorstep. As you’d expec …

Splurge hotels

Gran Hotel Miramar

Malaga’s only 5-star GL hotel, the Gran Hotel Miramar really takes splurge to the next level. Housed in a turn of the 20th century hotel …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach 

La Malagueta and La Caleta beaches are on your doorstep and it takes around 15 to 25 minutes to walk to Calle Larios.

Pros and cons of staying in La Malagueta

+ Great for the beach and sea views.

+ Portside promenades on your doorstep.

– La Malagueta Beach is busy almost 24/7/365.

– Some streets are dark so hotel rooms can be a bit pokey.

Best hotels in La Malagueta Malaga 

Top tips for staying in Plaza de la Merced/ Calle Victoria  

1. Book well ahead if you’re staying in the summer.
2. Consider treating yourself to a sea or Port view.

Staying in El Limonar Malaga 

The chosen spot for well-to-do locals at the turn of the 20th century, this district is one of the most elegant places to stay in Malaga. You can admire many of the original mansions today (some are hotels). 

El Limonar lies east of La Malagueta and stretches up into the Gibralfaro foothills to the north and Pedregalejo in the east.

where to stay el limonar malaga

The main attractions 

  • Some of Malaga’s finest residential architecture. 
  • La Caleta Beach 

You might want to read:

Our walking tour around El Limonar

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport 

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), a 30-minute walk from the hotels closest to the centre.

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 journey, €4) stops on the Alameda Principal, north side, opposite Calle Córdoba, a 20-minute walk from the hotels closest to the centre.

Note that many hotels in El Limonar are some distance from public transport connections, so get a taxi or an Uber directly to Malaga Airport or to the Alameda Principal to the Airport Bus stop or train station. 

Splurge hotels

Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro

If you’d like to make the most of magnificent views of Malaga city and bay during your holiday, consider staying at the Parador de Malaga G …

Boutique Hotels

Villa Lorena

A striking yellow villa in the Limonar district to the east of town, Villa Lorena offers a quiet sanctuary close to the beach and just 15 m …

Splurge hotels

Soho Boutique Castillo de Santa Catalina

Fully restored for 2021, Soho Boutique Castillo Santa Catalinais one of the most romantic hotels in Malaga. Its location in El Limonar mean …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach 

La Caleta Beach is within easy walking distance from hotels at the southern end of El Limonar. From the hotels, the sands are downhill (allow around 20-30 minutes), but bear in mind that it’s uphill on the way back! 

Malaga Old Town is at least 40 minutes’ walk away. Get a taxi or walk down to the main road and jump on the No 3 or No 11 bus (allow 10 minutes to reach the city centre).

Pros and cons of staying in El Limonar Malaga 

+ historical elegance and El Limonar is perhaps one of the prettiest districts to stay in Malaga

+ some unique hotels 

+ quiet and less touristy

– some distance from the city centre 

– walking to and from most hotels involving up and downhill terrain

– no restaurants on the doorstep

Best hotels in El Limonar Malaga 

Splurge Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina (possibly one of the loveliest hotels in Malaga) and Parador del Gibralfaro

Boutique Villa Lorena 

Top tips for staying in El Limonar  

1. Think about distances and gradients.
2. Factor in the cost of taxis/Ubers if you’re not staying on Paseo de Reding.
3. Choose El Limonar as your best area to stay in Malaga if you like the idea of a residential area. 

Staying in Pedregalejo/ El Palo

These fishing districts are a popular neighbourhood to stay in Malaga. They lie east of the centre along the flat strip between the Mediterranean and the foothills of the Montes de Málaga. Although they’re busy tourist spots, both have kept their local vibe.

where to stay pedregalejo el palo malaga

The seafront promenade is a succession of cafés, cocktail bars, traditional fish restaurants and hip eateries. The beaches are small, but all have safe bathing and are great for families.

The main attractions

You may also fancy reading:

Eastern Promise – a guide to Pedregalejo and El Palo

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), 25-50 minutes on the bus

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 minute-journey, €4) stops on the Alameda Principal, north side, opposite Calle Córdoba, 20-45 minutes on the bus.

Note that many hotels in Pedregalejo and El Palo are some distance from public transport connections, so get a taxi or an Uber directly to Malaga Airport or to the Alameda Principal to the Airport Bus stop or train station.. 

Budget stays

Apartamentos El Cenachero

If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Malaga near the beach, Apartamentos El Cenachero may suit. This accommodation is in the heart …

Budget stays

La Chancla

La Chancla is a beachfront boutique hotel en Pedregalejo and has with a laid-back atmosphere, offering a relaxing retreat by the sea. …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach

You have pretty beaches (and with child-friendly safe bathing) on your doorstep.  Malaga Old Town is at least an hour’s walk away. Get a taxi or walk down to the main road and jump on the No 3 or No 11 bus (allow 20-30 minutes to reach the city centre).

Pros and cons of staying in Pedregalejo/ El Palo in Malaga

+ great beach vibe and summertime feel all year round.

+ picturesque seafront with pastel townhouses and fishing boats

+ good restaurants and cafés

– limited accommodation in this part of Malaga

– some distance to attractions

– very busy at weekends and during the summer.

Best hotels in x Malaga

Budget Apartamentos El Cenachero and La Chancla

Top tips for staying in Pedregalejo/ El Palo 

1. Book well ahead if you’re planning to stay in this area of Malaga in the summer.
2. Check out the restaurants away from the seafront (less crowded and cheaper).
3. Think about the distance into the city centre and consider hiring a bike during your stay. 

Staying in La Trinidad / El Perchel neighbourhoods in Malaga

Located on the west side of the river, these two districts are within easy reach of the Old Town, handy for transport connections and quieter than other areas to stay in Malaga. You’ll also find some of the largest hotels here.

The main attractions 

  • Several shopping centres
  • Interesting (and cheaper) places to eat 
  • Bus and train stations

You might also like to read 

Top 10 shopping spots in Malaga 

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport 

Cercanías train station (12 minutes to the airport. €1.80), maximum 10-minute walk from hotels.

Airport bus (Route A, 20 to 30 journey, €4) stops outside El Corte Inglés department store, a maximum 10-minute walk. 

Mid-range hotels

NH Malaga

Sitting on the west side of the river, the NH Malaga Hotel offers a modern retreat for travellers seeking comfort, convenience, and style. …

Family-friendly hotels

Barceló Malaga

The Hotel Barceló Malaga might not come with the best views, but the location more than makes up for the lack of sea vistas. This hotel cl …

Mid-range hotels

Hotel Ilunion

Super-handy for the mainline station and train to the airport, Hotel Ilunion Malaga is a large modern hotel overlooking the Port. The city …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach 

The Old Town is a short walk away across the river, with the furthest attractions such as the Alcazaba Fortress taking a maximum of 20 minutes’ walk. La Malagueta beach is around 20 minutes away, while the beaches to the west are within 10-15 minutes’ walk.

Pros and cons of staying in La Trinidad / El Perchel 

+ cheaper accommodation

+ quieter and less touristy

+ handy for bus and train stations

– some unattractive areas

– attractions and beach not on the doorstep

– no picturesque views from hotels

Best hotels in La Trinidad / El Perchel Malaga 

Family-friendlyGuadalmedina, Barceló 

Mid-rangeIlunion, Malaga Ibis Centro, NH Malaga

Top tips for staying in La Trinidad / El Perchel 

1. Choose your area well – the riverside hotels have probably the best location.
2. Check out the local vibe during Easter, the Virgen del Carmen celebrations in July and around the Mercado del Carmen market.
3. Eat where the locals go and enjoy the chance to get off the beaten track. 

Staying in Huelin / Western Seafront in Malaga

Once you leave the Port and train station behind you, western Malaga awaits. This area is mainly residential and doesn’t rank as one of the most popular places to stay. That said, there are some good options and you have La Misericordia Beach on your doorstep. You also get to enjoy a real local vibe, especially at restaurants in Huelin, another traditional fishing district. 

where to stay western seafront huelin malaga

The main attractions 

You might also like to read 

Bird watching in the Guadalhorce Natural Park 

Our guide to the most unusual park in Malaga

Distance to public transport to Malaga Airport 

Airport bus (Route A, 20 minute-journey, €4) has two stops on Avda de Velázquez, a maximum of 20 minutes’ walk.

Mid-range hotels

Hotel Vincci Malaga

One of the few hotels in Malaga right on the seafront, the Hotel Vincci Malaga is a modern establishment opposite La Misericordia beach. Th …

Family-friendly hotels

Huelin Suites

If you’re looking for self-catering accommodation outside the Old Town, these new apartments may suit. Located in the Huelin district to th …

Budget stays

Hilton Garden Inn Malaga

Situated on the west side of the city, the only Hilton hotel in Malaga is very handy for the airport. This modern and upscale hotel offers …

Distance to Malaga Old Town and the beach 

It takes around 30 minutes to reach the Old Town or you can take the bus (No 3 or 7 from Huelin and No 40 from the western seafront) or the Metro (Line 2). Allow 15-20 minutes by bus and less than 10 by Metro.

The beach is, of course, on your doorstep.

Pros and cons of staying in Huelin / Western Seafront

+ beach and seafront at hand

+ less touristy

+ local vibe

– some distance to the Old Town

– poor choice of hotels

– some areas are unattractive

Best hotels in Huelin / Western Seafront Malaga 

Budget staysHilton Garden Inn

Family-friendlyHuelin Suites

Mid-rangeVincci Malaga 

Top tips for staying in Huelin / Western Seafront 

1. If you’re planning on a beachside stay in the summer, book well ahead.
2. If you’re worried about traffic and street noise, request a non-street-facing room.
3. Soak up the local vibe, the authentic Malaga!

Some FAQs

Below you’ll find a few of the most popular questions we get asked about where to stay in Malaga. For answers to lots more questions, take a look at our full list of hotel FAQs.

The top 5 most-asked questions

The Old Town without a doubt because most people like to have all the attractions, shops and restaurants on their hotel doorstep.

If your kids are young, then we’d book a hotel near or on the beach. Malaga’s excellent year-round climate means you can pop to the sands at any time of the day and the kids will amuse themselves!
If you’ve got teens, you might prefer a hotel in the Old Town so they can pop out.

We think Soho is probably up with the coolest, but it obviously depends on your definition of ‘cool’!

We think the Old Town, particularly in the most touristy bits. That said, Malaga isn’t an expensive location and even if the eateries around your hotel are pricey, you can easily walk to cheaper ones.

Generally speaking no and in any case, there aren’t any hotels in the more ‘gritty’ areas. If you’re going self-catering, avoid properties in the Cruz Verde area of Lagunillas and Palma Palmilla in the north of the city. They’re both fine by day, but you might feel less comfortable at night.

Not sure where to stay in Malaga?

If, after reading our low-down on the different areas to stay in Malaga, you’re still not quite sure which district is right for you, get in touch with our team. We’ll be only too happy to advise on options and pros and cons.

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