Malaga is a beautiful city and one of the best places in Spain to visit for a holiday. Filled with a history dating back thousands of years, a gorgeous coastline and some gourmet restaurants – Málaga is a gem worth exploring. All of this means that there are heaps of the best things to do in Malaga all over the city and for every type of visitor. For the longest time I slept in Malaga! I have usually used Malaga airport as a gateway to the wider Andalusian region of Spain. This was my first mistake! Visiting Malaga is honestly incredible and I wish I had realized earlier, in our countless trips through the airport, that this gem was well worth exploring. So, to make it easier for you, I am sharing some of the best places and best things to do in Malaga when you arrive. This way, you won’t make those initial mistakes that I did! Have a great time traveling in Spain. 1.) Visit the Alcazaba Once you’re in Malaga, make sure to put the Alcazaba at the top of your list. It is an epic place to visit and one of our favorite palaces in all of southern Spain. It was built nearly a thousand years ago, by the Andalusians who ruled this region of present-day Spain. Honestly, the architecture is absolutely beautiful – even if you take a little walk around the site. They are all very scenic, with a garden around the palace walls. Now, it can get very busy within the grounds, so if you want a quieter experience, be sure to go early in the morning and avoid the weekends. Afterward, book a stunning sunset catamaran tour with a glass of cava. It’s an amazing experience and something we always love to do off the coast of Spain. Just be sure to book this boat in advance. Tickets are sold out at peak times. Further Read: Best Places In Spain To Visit 2.) Go To The Roman Theater In Malaga The Roman Theater in Malaga is one of the most important places of entertainment in the world and it still stands proudly to this day. Yes, it is now in ruins but a lot of the original design is still there and you can’t miss it. This is one of the things I love most about Malaga, it has such a vibrant mix of history, from Moorish to Roman influences. Once here, learn more about the history of how the Romans built the theater and how it was rediscovered in 1951. We loved exploring the site. It’s right next to the Kasbah entrance, so you can’t miss it. 3.) Walk through the historic Botanical Garden house to one of the most beautiful gardens in the area and one of the best things to do in Malaga on a city trip, the Botanical Garden is absolutely stunning. Locally referred to as La Concepción Jardín Botánico – you honestly can’t miss it. Over the years, the passionate team has collected over 25,000 species of plants, which they will show off as much as they can. Once here, take a stroll and learn more about the ecosystems and conservation work that goes on behind the scenes. One thing to note, it can get pretty intense in the sun, so be sure to take a hat, sunscreen, and water with you. If you want some shade, go to the gazebo and enjoy the amazing view. Further Read: Best Places In Spain To Visit 4.) Explore Montes de Málaga Natural Park Fancy a hike or hike? Then you have to get to the Montes de Malaga Natural Park. The entire area is huge and there are plenty of crunch trails crossing the park for you to follow. Although be warned, some of the methods can seem a little sketchy at times. Especially dirt roads. It can get muddy if it rains, so always be aware of that when driving. Anyway, like I said, there are heaps of roads (like the yellow road) that are perfect for walking, but are very wide (almost road-like) and great for cycling too. Also, if you have time, there is a great sunset spot at Mirador de Pocopán. It is very beautiful, but this means that you will return to the center of Malaga very late. 5.) A fan of the castle views of Mount Alfaro, I have a thing for castles and Spanish castles are no exception! Visiting Gibralfaro Castle should be on your list, and it’s easily one of the best things to do in Malaga if you love history. Not only that, the 14th-century castle is home to one of the best views of Malaga. Now, the walk to Gibralfaro Castle will probably take you about 25-30 minutes, but it’s all pretty easy if you walk relatively hard. Again, like a lot of the historic outdoor sites in Malaga, I’d suggest avoiding the midday sun and enjoying it as soon as they open (which is usually around 9am) or just before they close. This way, it will be a pleasant outing – especially in the hot Spanish sun. 6.) Relaxing on the beaches of Malaga Everyone should make time to relax on a trip, right? Well, if that is the case, then head to Playa de la Malagueta which is the biggest beach in Malaga. They are all quite accessible and you can rent loungers and umbrellas as soon as you arrive. One thing to remember, it can get very busy at peak times. If you want a quieter beach experience, get away from Malaga and drive to Playa Pinion del Cuervo or Playa de los Alamos. Then, book this evening’s worth of authentic flamenco show. We loved it. Further Read: Best Beaches In Spain To Visit 7.) Malaga Cathedral Tour Malaga Cathedral is as impressive as it is beautiful. If you have time, go inside and check out the gorgeous stained glass windows. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the iconic Gothic altar and tombs. You can’t miss it. Afterwards, continue to explore the historic center of Málaga and enjoy some tapas and wine estates dotted around the area. For the best time, head to a few tapas bars. Remember, there is no need to get all of your appetizers in one place. Further Read: Best Places In Spain To Visit 8.) Relax In Parque de Malaga Surrounded by palm trees and plenty of paths, Parque de Malaga is quite big. In fact, you can spend a few hours strolling through the park and the Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso which was inaugurated in the 19th century. Once here, be sure to spot statues; Ninfa de la Caracola, Escultura del Fiestero, and the Salvador Rueda Monument that stand proudly on the grounds. Afterwards, head to Casa Lola Strachan for delicious tapas. You will be left stuffed after each pates! 9.) Step inside the Picasso Museum in Malaga. No visit to Malaga is complete without popping into the Picasso Museum. As you can see, Malaga is the city where Picasso was born. It is one of the best things to do in Malaga if you want to know more about Pablo Picasso, his eclectic life, and his amazing art. It’s worth taking a tour inside and the entire Picasso Museum tour will likely take around 90 minutes to complete. Just be warned, there can be long lines to get in, so avoid this by arriving early in the morning. 10.) Discover the Pompidou Malaga Center Well, the Pompidou Malaga Center is a very big deal in Malaga. As you can see, inside is a cosmopolitan mix of contemporary art from around the world. You’ll even get to see pieces by famous artists like Dali Inside, and you’ll likely spend 2-3 hours just wandering through the exhibits. Though, if you don’t like modern art, you’ll probably want to miss this one. Further Read: Best Places In Spain To Visit Top 15 Places In Spain To Visit Check out the best places in Great Britain! Head over to our YouTube channel for travel videos!