48 Hours in Malaga: What to See and Do in 2 Days
Malaga is the perfect weekend destination - it’s a compact city, meaning that it’s easy to explore on foot, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch! Every inch of this city is fabulous and bursting with lots of things to do and whether you’re a foodie, an architecture and/or history nerd or if you just love to lounge in the sun, Malaga has a LOT to offer. We’ve put together the perfect travel guide on how to spend 48 hours in Malaga, so catch that early morning Saturday flight and come home Sunday, ready for work again, knowing that you’ve explored the best of Malaga! easyHotel Malaga is a great place to start, as all the attractions are on your doorstep! We hope our guide on what to see and do in 2 days in Malaga helps you make the most of you time in the incredible city.
Art & Culture
First things first - dump your bags at easyHotel Malaga and get ready to go exploring. A mere 8 minutes walk away from easyHotel is Malaga’s modern art museum – CAC. If art is your thing, then you must visit this place. It has established itself as one of the best museums of modern art in Europe by exhibiting famous modern artists such as North American pop artist, Lichenstein. The gallery also holds temporary exhibitions that focus on Spanish artists. Just be aware that during summer, they close during the day for lunch and a siesta, so avoid going between 14:00 and 17:00 if you visit in summer months.
We’re sure you’ll have built up an appetite after the trip around the gallery, and there’s no better place to go than Mercado Central de Atarazanas – a covered market filled with tapas bars. This market is frequented by locals, who go to buy fresh produce, and holiday goers alike. If you’re a visitor, you must try the fresh pescaíto, a local delicacy of small fried fish that is typical of this region of Spain. If you’re not feeling too peckish yet, you should absolutely still go to this market, even just for a wander around, as it is architecturally stunning and represents 19th century Andalucian architecture perfectly.
Mercado Central de Atarazanas
Open 8:00am - 15:00pm, except Sunday
Wander through the nice, quaint streets of Malaga’s historical centre and marvel at the impressive and ornate Malaga Cathedral. It was built on the ruins of a former mosque and it dons a Renaissance façade, demonstrating the Andalucian region’s fascinating history. You should definitely admire the design of its exterior, and we think you should go inside and tour the interior too!
Monday - Friday 10:00am - 18:00am
General admission ticket: 3.50EUR
Have you had enough culture for one day? We think it’s time to hit the beach – probably one of the main reasons that you have decided to visit Malaga aka the Capital of Costa del Sol! This city is great for the balance between culture and beach, so grab your swimwear and let’s go! La Malagueta is Malaga’s city beach and with over 1km of shoreline and a palm tree-lined promenade, you’ll feel as if you’ve left the city behind (even if it is just 10 minutes away!) They have sunbeds, parasols and sailing equipment for hire, so you’re all set as long as you’ve brought your swimwear and towels. Soak in the sun for the rest of the day and watch the sunset, a cocktail in hand. Later, after you’ve freshened up, do as the Spanish do and go out for dinner late into the night to soak up all the vibes. We’d recommend either El Pimpi or, if you’re on a tight budget, La Tranca, for an amazing, authentic and traditional style Spanish meal!
Work up a bit of an appetite with a stroll to the historic centre of Malaga and then fuel yourself for the day with a tasty breakfast (or brunch if you like a lie in…you are on holiday after all!). We’d suggest Brunchit, a well-known and instagrammable, all-day brunch Spanish-only chain, or Desal Café Nosquera for a similar vibe that doesn’t break the bank.
Whether you go to one of these cafes or try another of the amazing breakfast options in Malaga, it’s a short stroll to most of the other fun things to do in Malaga. Once in the old town, everything is in walking distance, which is great for a city break! First off, we’d suggest visiting the Carmen Thyssen Museum, which will allow you to immerse yourself in the local art and culture as it focuses on Spanish, and specifically Andalucian, art from the 19th century. Alternatively, you could go to the Picasso Museum, an art museum dedicated to the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. If you’re a huge art fanatic, you might want to visit both!
Carmen Thyssen Museum
Open 10:00am - 20:00pm
Plaza Carmen Thyssen - c/Compania, 10
General admission ticket: 10EUR
Free access Sundays from 16:00pm
Always opens at 10:00am but closes between 18:00 - 20:00 pm
General admission ticket: 9EUR
PRO TIP: Free admission for all visitors every Sunday the last two opening hours (up to 30 minutes before closing time), Day of Andalusia (28 February), International Museum Day (18 May), World Tourism Day (27 September) and Anniversary of the opening of the museum (October 27).
Fancy skipping the queue? Click here.
Take a stroll through Malaga Park and admire the lush greenery of the botanical garden while getting some respite from the beaming sun, before heading to the beach for lunch. If you’re willing to splash the cash (you did make a saving on your accommodation after all!), head to El Merendero de Antonio Martín. This fabulous restaurant has a stunning interior and it has stunning food to match, offering a mix of classic Spanish dishes and traditional Andalucian plates. If you’re into seafood or want to try a great traditional paella, try out Chiringuito Tropicana, a relaxed restaurant with a terrace that overlooks Malagueta. If you want to try somewhere a little more affordable, stroll down the beach to Chiringuito Picasso and enjoy some grilled seafood and tapas for a decent price!
Once you’ve finished your delicious lunch, lounge on the beach for a bit longer or head to Alcazaba, a Medieval Palace-fortress for the former governing Muslims of the city. With incredible sea views and being one of the best preserved alcazaba in the whole of Spain, this impressive attraction shouldn’t be missed! We’d suggest buying the combined ticket, which includes entry to both the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, as that’s the next attraction we think that you should visit! The Alcazaba is located against the hillside of Mount Gibralfaro, so it only makes sense to do the palace-fortress and the castle one after the other. Castle Gibralfaro is a magnificent 10th-century building at the peak of a hill with impressive views of the whole of the city of Malaga. The castle is a bit of a hike away from the city centre entrance of Alcazaba though, so if you don’t fancy a hike… just stick to the Alcazaba. Each take around 1.5 hours to visit.
Alcazaba & Gibralfaro
General admission ticket: 3.50EUR (for each attraction) or a combined Alcazaba-Gibralfaro ticket: 5.50EUR
Free tour every Sunday at 14:00pm.
Lastly, on your way back to the historic centre for dinner, visit the Roman Theatre. It is the oldest monument in Malaga and if you’re a fan of history, then this attraction is one for you. The adjoining visitor centre teaches the fascinating history of the ruins, its excavation and restoration.
El Teatro Romano
PRO TIP: On Sundays, many of Malaga's 36 museums offer visits for FREE! See below for our top museum picks and their free admission periods:
CAC: free entry all day long (And all other days of the week)
Carmen Thyssen Museum: free entry starting from 17:00pm
Picasso Museum: free entry for the last two hours of their opening hours
Revello de Toro museum: free entry between 10:00am - 12:00pm
Museum of Malaga: free entry all day long
Centre Pompidou: free entry starting from 16:00pm
Russian Museum: free entry starting from 16:00pm
So there you have it, the perfect travel guide for 2 days in Malaga. There are so many things to do in Malaga, from impressive attractions, endless delicious restaurants to try and a stunning city beach, typical of Costa Del Sol, to lounge on all day. Basically, with 48 hours available, you can have the best time in Malaga. We hope this guide helps provide the best Malaga city break!
Stay super close to all of the action at easyHotel Malaga and make your weekend one to remember!
If you have more than 48 hours, why not try a catamaran cruise with a barbecue lunch or go on a day trip to explore Caminito del Rey?