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What to Do With 1 Day in Málaga, Spain

This city is so much more than its party hotspot reputation. Bookmark this post and add it to your post-pandemic travel wishlist!

By Claire PetersenPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

This post originally appeared on the blog Technicolour Dreamer in 2018. Although we can't do much travelling in 2020, I thought it would be nice to share what I did when I visited this gorgeous city. Add this amazing place on your list of places to travel to when it's safe!

I knew next to nothing about Málaga before I arrived. All I'd heard was that it's a popular party-spot, so I wasn't expecting much culture or anything to do in the daytime. How wrong I was...

Morning: explore the Alacazaba & cool off at a cafe with a view

If you ask me, this is the thing to do in Málaga. For €3.55 you'll get a ticket that grants entry into the Alcazaba and the Castillo de Gibralfaro (more on that later). Firstly, let me reiterate, that's less than €4 for TWO historical tourist attractions. After living in New York and Dublin, Spanish prices will never fail to shock me.

The Alcazaba was a Moorish fortress, and today it is beautifully restored and preserved. Photo opportunities aplenty, you can easily whittle away a couple of hours here exploring the palace, courtyards, and towers.

If you're there on a hot day you need some time to cool off after exploring in the sun. At the very end of the Alcazaba, you'll find a cafe serving soft drinks, cold beer, and cider. We opted for Kopparberg, sat in the shade, and enjoyed the view.

Afternoon: crown yourself king of the castle at Gibralfaro

Once you've ticked the Alcazaba off your list, it's time to climb the 130 metres to the top of Mount Gibralfaro. It doesn't sound that high, but in the sweltering heat it's quite the trek, so bring water! And maybe don't wear faux-leather pants like I was wearing that day, but that probably goes without saying...

On the way up you'll be treated to stunning views and, if you're lucky, buskers playing classical music. Which would have been absolute bliss if I wasn't so unfit and hence concentrating solely on putting one foot in front of the other. Ahem, anyway...

Eventually you'll arrive at the highest point where you'll find the castle, and be spoiled with even more incredible views. Roam the castle walls and pretend you're royalty, you deserve it!

Evening: get high on the Mirador Princess

Okay, apparently this was taken down in 2019, can anyone confirm? Please let me know by sending me a DM to @byclairep on Instagram. Such a shame if so! :(

Wrap up your day with a ferris wheel ride on the Mirador Princess. With the sea on one side and the city on the other, sunset is the perfect time for a journey up. We fitted it in at nighttime, though, and it was magical at that time too.

I'm not sure if it's because there weren't many tourists about when we were there, but we got a whole booth to ourselves! And we looped three times, so not only did we get a chance to admire the city's lights from above, but on the second loop we took selfies, and by the third we were blaring tunes and bopping. I imagine the experience would be a little different if it wasn't off-season and we were packed in to the space with other tourists, but I still think it would be worth a spin regardless.


And that's one day well spent in Málaga. Next time I visit I'll try to find some hidden gems, but for now I'm happy that I've seen the must-see spots. For more of my travels (when the pandemic is in the past, that is), follow me on Instagram, @byclairep.

If you're looking for more places to put on your post-pandemic travel list, check out this post on 4 Reasons Sevilla Should Be on Your 2021 Travel Wishlist.


About the Creator

Claire Petersen

Berlin-based fashion photographer from Ireland

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