This blog post was originally posted on May 18th, 2016 and was updated on November 21st, 2017
There’s nothing better than knowing the insider tips of a city before you get there, so if you are planning to visit Malaga the good news is that we’re here to help!
Even the most seasoned traveler can sometimes miss important details and experience unnecessary stress on their vacation, but when there is so much sun, sights, and cerveza to be enjoyed in Malaga, why arrive unprepared and waste time? Here are our top travel tips for Malaga to help you prepare the perfect vacation!
Know the best way to get from the airport to the city center
Venture further afield to check out the beaches
And on that note…rent a bike!
Staying out late and eating late…it’s a thing!
- Lunch: Restaurants and bars usually open their kitchens for lunch anytime between 12.30-1.30pm, with them remaining open until 4pm later.
- Dinner: Restaurants start serving food around 8.30 or 9pm, and if you turn up around this time you may find you are the only people there, with the tables beginning to fill as you are paying your bill. 10pm or later is the typical time to sit down to dinner in Andalusia!
Eat tapas, but don’t order too many at once
While going out for tapas in Malaga is an exciting (and delicious!) experience, it can be hard to understand the protocol in the tapas bars. While some bars vary, there is one golden rule: don’t order too many different tapas at once. Food usually comes as it’s ready, so start slow by just ordering one or two tapas to go with your drink, then after you have devoured the first round, go in for seconds. Then repeat, or head off to another tapas bar and see what is on offer!
And after you’ve eaten your tapas, ask for the bill!
Often a talking point among visitors to Spain is how on earth do you get the bill at the end of the meal? The answer is pretty simple: you just ask for it! A simple la cuenta por favor will work just fine, but if you don’t ask, the bill won’t be brought to you. Here it is considered rude to put the bill down if the guests have not asked for it, and usually once you have your table (or place at the bar) that spot is yours until you are ready to leave, even if you have finished eating.
Visit monuments on Sundays for free entry
If you are planning to get some sightseeing under your belt while you are here, plan much of your sightseeing for a Sunday as Malaga’s most renowned monuments and museums offer free entry for some or all of the day. The Picasso Museum is free for the last 2 hours on Sundays, and both the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro Castle– Malaga’s two Moorish architectural wonders– are free on Sunday afternoons.
Hot Tip: The Roman Theater and Contemporary Art Centre are free to enter at all times! Make sure to check them out while you are in the city.
Do say ‘salud’ in one of Malaga’s iconic bars
Malaga’s original wine making region (DOC Malaga) is dedicated to entirely sweet wines, and there are two iconic bars in the city center where you can try it. yes, they are mentioned in practically every guidebook, article or website about Malaga, but this is a class Malagueño experience that you simply can’t miss!
- Antigua Casa de la Guardia: This small bar located in between the city center and the port is like stepping into a time warp. The long back wall is lined with over 20 different barrels filled with local wines of varying degrees of sweetness. Prop yourself up at the bar, grab yourself a Pajarete 1908, and take note of your bill being etched in chalk on the bar in front of you.
- El Pimpi: Located smack bang in the historic center of Malaga, this place is a classic for sipping on a glass of Malaga Virgin (sweet wine). The long bar opens up into a seating area with old barrels lining the walls. Note the signatures of the barrels of famous people who have visited, as well as their photos lining the walls of the bar.
Explore Malaga from the sea
Have a local show you around!
Join us on one of our Devour Malaga Food Tours to have a delicious 3.5 hour experience exploring the historic center of Malaga, sampling local specialties, learning about Malaga’s two different winemaking regions, and meeting the locals behind these fabulous places along the way!
Since 2005, Cyra has lived in the UK, Portugal and Spain working as a professional tour guide. But it was Seville’s charm that captured her heart, and she hasn’t looked back since moving to her favorite city for food, wine and quality of life.