Málaga is a province in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. Málaga is also the name of the province’s capital city, which is the sixth largest city in the country. The city of Málaga is one of the big reasons travelers love to visit the province, but they’re also drawn to the sunny Costa del Sol and the small towns that pepper the coast.
The entire region is packed with tourist appeal — from its Roman and Moorish landmarks to its massive cave systems and world-famous beaches — but you can tackle a surprising amount of the province in just a couple of days. If you only have two days, here’s how to plan a quick but memorable trip to Málaga, one of Spain’s must-see destinations.
@matadornetwork We sent @matadornetwork #CreatorInResidence @ameliastraveldiaries to explore the stunning city of Malaga 🇪🇸 From the picturesque architecture of Alcazaba to the serene vibes of Nerja, explore all the top attractions in this beautiful city! Find out all you need to know about planning a perfect 2 day itinerary in Malaga right here! #malaga #spaintrip #spaintravel #travelitinerary ♬ Radio Rota Shot – Official Sound Studio
Day one: stay in the city to see Málaga’s greatest hits
The city of Málaga has a wealth of historic sites. If you’re only spending one day in the city, the four to prioritize are the Alcazaba, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Teatro Romano de Málaga, and Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga. The Alcazaba, meaning citadel or fortress, and Gibralfaro Castle share the slopes and crest of Gibralfaro Mountain. Both date back to the Middle Ages, and the Alcazaba was considered one of the most impressive and impregnable fortresses in Spain under Moorish rule. From there, the city’s ancient Roman theater ruins, now housing a museum, are a short walk of about 10 minutes. The Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga is also nearby in the historic center. The grand Catholic church arrived in Málaga much later, in the late 1700s, adding Renaissance flourish to the city’s architectural heritage.
Between sights, you’ll have the pleasure of sampling delicious Andalusian cuisine. For lunch, consider El Pimpi, a tapas bar located a two-minute walk from the Teatro Romano de Málaga. Later, for dinner, you can’t go wrong with El Gastronauta, where you can load up on more tapas and Spanish specialties like paella, grilled octopus, and Iberian pork while admiring the rotating art that decorates the restaurant.
Day two: venture beyond the capital to Nerja and Frigiliana
Once you’ve thoroughly explored the city of Málaga, it’s time to get a taste of the rest of the province. First, take the bus from Málaga to Nerja where you’ll find one of the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea at the Balcón de Europa, or Balcony of Europe. While you’re at it, swing by Playa Burriana to check out the buzzy beachfront, or head to low-key Playa El Salón for a quick swim on the Costa del Sol. Nerja also claims to be home to the world’s largest stalactite, which hangs within the famous three-mile long Nerja cave system. Time permitting, it’s a very cool sight, as well as an occasional summer concert venue in one of the caverns.
The bus from Málaga to Nerja averages about an hour, but the drive to your next and final stop, Frigiliana, only takes about 15 minutes from Nerja. Frigliana is home to a few architectural landmarks, from the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua to a 16th-century molasses factory housed in an old manor, but the village’s real architectural value lies in the overall cityscape — a network of whitewashed structures centered around a Moorish old town and connected by narrow stoney streets that have mosaics built right into them.