Are you arriving on a cruise ship and just have these 8 hours to spend in Malaga? Or coming for a day trip to Malaga’s Old Town? Maybe you just want to make a quick stop in Malaga before getting to the airport and flying back home?
First of all, start your journey to Malaga with the best airport transfer service Welcome Pickups! The local driver will pick you up at the gate and provide some useful tips on the way to your accommodation. Check the details below!
Let’s start the trip! Here you will find the perfect route to make the most of Malaga in one day!
1. Malaga in 1 day itinerary – 1st stop: Calle Larios, art & breakfast
We start our Malaga in 1 day tour itinerary at the emblematic Calle Larios, important shopping area of Malaga, where the most exclusive shops are located until we arrive at Plaza de la Constitución: the heart of the city´s old quarter.
Once there, let’s have some nice Andalusian breakfast at Cafe Central! This is one of the most emblematic coffee shops in Malaga. The grandfather of the owner was fed up with people complaining about the quantity of coffee served.
To solve this, he invented a scale with 9 different ways to ask for a coffee depending on how much coffee you like: largo, corto, sombra, mitad, nube… The way to order a coffee in Malaga has become over time a sign of identity of the Malaga! So try to order it the local’s way, to start feeling like a real Malagueño 😀
From there we head west, along Calle Compañía where we find the Palace of Villalón (16th century), home to the Carmen Thyssen Museum Malaga, first art stop on our Malaga 1-day route. This museum, inaugurated in March 2011, has a permanent collection of more than 200 works by 19th-century Spanish artists, centred especially around Andalusian painting and which makes up the most complete collection in Spain.
2. Malaga in 1 day itinerary: Cathedral
We head east this time and take Calle Santa María, which brings us directly to the Cathedral and its Museum. Although works in the Cathedral started in the Gothic period, the current building is of Renaissance style and is still unfinished. Funds ran out in 1782, so the construction stopped, leaving the south tower unbuilt. This is the origin of the Cathedral’s popular nickname, known as La Manquita (“The One-Armed Lady”).
In front of the it, we find the beautiful square of Plaza del Obispo, where the Episcopal Palace (1762) is located. This palace is the best example of the baroque architecture of Malaga.
3. Malaga in one day route: Alcazaba, Roman Theatre and Gibralfaro’s Castle
To continue with our Malaga in one day itinerary, we follow the wonderful Santa Maria street until we reach Calle Alcazabilla, the most monumental square in Malaga, with the Moorish Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre.
The Alcazaba, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, was the palace-fortress of the Muslim governors. Is built upon the remains of an older Phoenician fortress on the side of the mount of Gibralfaro, in a privileged enclave above the city.
Malaga’s Roman Theatre, situated at the foot of the Alcazaba, was built in the 1st century B.C., it was in use until the 3rd century A.D. After its restoration, the Roman Theatre of Malaga is used once more as a scenic space. You can visit the Interpretation Centre of the Theatre and visit the theatre for free!
The Alcazaba complex is adjoined to the castle of Gibralfaro by a steep mountain pathway. I recommend walking up but if you don’t feel like it, you can reach the castle with bus number 35 from Paseo del Parque. Don’t miss this, it’s one of the best things to see & do in Malaga in just 24 hours if you want to admire Malaga’s most amazing panorama.
4. 24 hours in Malaga: Eating time – Local tapas!
Take a break and try the varied, rich local and international gastronomy in one of the many establishments which are to be found in the old quarter of Malaga. Fried fish, gazpacho, Malaga salad…And all of them accompanied by the delicious wines which Spain produces.
But even better, if you want me to accompany you through the best wineries and taverns of the city don’t doubt a second and book your Malaga’s Traditional Tapas and Wine Tour. Don’t miss this, it’s the best thing to do in Malaga if you want to unveil the local food culture in your only 24 hours in the capital of Costa del Sol.
Also, if you have some free time in the morning and you love local markets, visit the Atarazanas Central food market and discover Malaga’s amazing local fruts, vegetables or fresh fish!
5. Picasso route in the afternoon: a Malaga’s must!
We continue along with our Malaga in 1 day route and head north up Calle Alcazabilla, arriving at Plaza de la Merced where we enter into the Picasso route of Malaga. Objective: Picasso Foundation. Birthplace Museum. A 19th-century building, where the artist was born and lived for the first few years of his life. Original works of Pablo Ruíz Picasso are displayed: ceramics, engravings, illustrated books but also personal belongings of the painter and his family.
From Plaza de la Merced, we walk onto Calle Granada and discover the church of Santiago. Of a Moorish Gothic style, it’s one of the oldest churches in the city (1487). Its architectural beauty is enhanced by its artistic richness and value, being the home of some of the most important brotherhoods that take part in the processions of the Holy Week of Malaga.
200 metres from the church, and on the left, we arrive at the narrow Calle San Agustín where we discover the Palace of Buenavista, home of the Picasso Museum Malaga. It’s a 16th-century Renaissance-style building, with Moorish artisan details and a lovely watchtower, which has been extended with other constructions to house the collections of the Picasso Museum.
Opened in 2003, the museum displays 233 works by the Malaga artist, including paintings, sketches, sculptures, engravings and ceramics, which form part of the permanent collection, along with interesting temporary exhibitions.
However, for a full Picasso city experience, the best thing you can do is to join our Picasso in Malaga city tour. Have a look!
6. Malaga in 1 day best things to do: Relax in Paseo del Parque.
To continue with our Malaga in one day itinerary, we’ll move to Paseo del Parque. This is one of the biggest public tropical gardens in Europe: there are more than 500 different plants from all over the world! Its construction took quite long, from 1897 till 1921, because it was built on artificial land gained to the sea. Nowadays, 650 metres long and 90 m. wide, it’s one of the best green areas in the whole city.
Besides, it holds emblematic buildings such as the Aduana Palace (Customs Palace) location of Malaga’s Museum and which keeps the provincial collections of Archaeology and Fine Arts. In this amazing museum, we can find more than 15,000 archaeology pieces and more than 2,000 titles of Fine Arts, one of the best collections of Spanish painting from the XIX century.
Along the Park, you can also find the former Post Office building of neo-Mudejar style (1923), current Rector’s Office of the University, the Bank of Spain of Neo-classic style (1933-36) and the City Council of Neo-baroque style (1911-19).
7. Malaga in 24 hours program: end your day in the new port
We will conclude our ultimate Malaga in one day itinerary in the port. Once we have crossed Paseo del Parque, we will have a walk along Paseo de la Farola which comes out onto our next stop: The Lighthouse (1817), which is a quintessential symbol of the city of Malaga.
From the Lighthouse we can enjoy further spectacular views of the Port of Malaga and of the city, to whose old quarter we return by passing through Muelle 1. Here we find shopping and leisure centre, to do some shopping and have some drinks next to the sea 😀
Between Muelles 1 y 2 we can visit the Centre Pompidou Málaga. It is the first international branch of the prestigious Parisian art gallery. It is located in the building known as El Cubo o El cubo de Colores (The Cube) with an impressive permanent exhibition, a selection of the collection of the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Here we can admire the works of artists like Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Constantin Brâncuși, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Giorgio de Chirico, Tàpies and Picasso.
We continue our pleasant walk around Muelle 2, the extension of Muelle 1, turned into a Boulevard and named El Palmeral de las Sorpresas (The Palm Grove of Surprises). This path will bring us back to our starting point filled with unique experiences and with the fixed idea that we will come back to Malaga soon!
Hope you like the proposed route, that is practically the same one recommended by the Malaga’s Official Tourism Office. If you have new ideas to add or just want to share how was your visit to Malaga, leave a comment!