Welcome to the sunny city of Malaga! With its rich history, stunning architecture, and gorgeous beaches, there’s always something to explore here. And the best part? Many of the attractions in the city can be enjoyed for free! That’s right, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time in Malaga. In this blog post, I’ve rounded up 19 of the best free things to do in and around the city, from visiting historic landmarks to soaking up the sun on the beach.
Start planning your next budget-friendly trip, get ready to pack your bags and discover the best of Malaga without breaking the bank!
By the way, you will find a link in the post to a completely free guided tour of Malaga (book early as only 7 people can take part at a time).
1. Explore the historic center of the city, including the Roman Theatre and the Picasso Museum
Get ready to be transported back in time! Exploring the historic center of Malaga is one of the must-do free things to do in the city. The city center is home to several iconic landmarks and museums, including the Roman Theatre and the Picasso Museum. The Roman Theatre is a well-preserved example of ancient Roman architecture and is thought to have been built in the 1st century AD. The theater was used for various performances and spectacles, and today visitors can tour the ruins and learn about its history.
The Picasso Museum is another must-visit destination for those interested in art and history. The museum is dedicated to the work of Pablo Picasso, who was born in Malaga, and showcases a collection of his works, including paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Visitors can learn about Picasso’s life and work, and see some of his most famous creations. The museum is housed in a beautiful 16th-century building and is set in the heart of the historic center of the city, making it easy to reach by foot.
- Roman Theatre: Tuesday- Saturday 10:00 to 18:00, Sunday 10:00 to 16:00 (Monday closed)
- Picasso Museum: daily 10:00 to 18:00
There are options to visit the Picasso Museum for Free on:
- every Sunday, the last 2 hours before closing,
- Andalusia Day, 28th February,
- International Museum Day, 18 May,
- World Tourism Day, 27 September.
Roman Theatre admission: Free
Q: What is the Teatro Romano used for today?
A: Today, the Teatro Romano is a popular tourist attraction and is used as a venue for cultural events and performances.
Q: How many people can the Teatro Romano seat?
A: The Teatro Romano can seat over 6,000 spectators.
Q: What kind of art can be found at the Picasso Museum in Malaga?
A: The Picasso Museum in Malaga houses a vast collection of art created by the legendary artist Pablo Picasso, including paintings, drawings, ceramics, and sculptures. Visitors can see some of his most famous works and gain a deeper understanding of his artistic style and vision.
Did You Know?
Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history dating back to 770 BC.
2. Take a walk along the beach promenade, the Paseo del Parque
This beautiful promenade is the perfect place to take a leisurely walk along the beach and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the city. Imagine strolling alongside the sparkling Mediterranean while surrounded by lush green trees and flowers. It’s a fantastic way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, even if it’s just for a little while.
Not only is the Paseo del Parque a beautiful place to walk, but it’s also a great place to people-watch, grab a bite to eat, or even do a bit of shopping. With its wide, open spaces and endless supply of street vendors, there’s always something to see and do here. So, whether you’re a local or a tourist, make sure you add the Paseo del Parque to your itinerary. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
- Location: Muelle Uno on Map
- The promenade is located along the beach and runs from the harbor to the city center.
It’s a great place to take a leisurely walk, do some people-watching, grab a bite to eat, or do some shopping.
- There are plenty of street vendors selling food, drinks, souvenirs, and more.
Q: How long is the Paseo del Parque?
A: The promenade runs along the beach and is approximately 2 kilometers long.
Q: What can you do along the Paseo del Parque?
A: You can take a leisurely walk, do some people-watching, grab a bite to eat, do some shopping, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery along the beach.
Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga
3. Visit the Parque Botánico-Histórico La Concepción, a botanical garden
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the bustling city of Malaga, then a visit to the Parque Botánico-Histórico La Concepción is a must! This botanical garden is a green oasis that’s filled with exotic plants, flowers, and trees from all over the world. It’s the perfect place to take a stroll, have a picnic, or just relax and soak in the beauty of nature.
The park is not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the history buffs! It boasts a rich history dating back to the 19th century, and it’s fascinating to learn about the evolution of the garden and the people who made it what it is today. So, come prepared to be enchanted by the lush greenery and the history that surrounds it.
Opening hours: daily from 9:30 to 17:30 (Monday closed)
Admission is free.
- Location: Parque Botánico on Map
Q: How big is the botanical garden?
A: The Parque Botánico-Histórico La Concepción is over 80 hectares in size, making it one of the largest botanical gardens in Spain.
Q: What kind of plants can be found in the park?
A: The park has a wide variety of plant life, including exotic trees, palm trees, cacti, bromeliads, and much more! It’s a perfect place to learn about the flora of the world and its diverse ecosystems.
4. Visit the Jardines del Puerto, a large park with scenic views of the harbor
The Jardines del Puerto, a large park located in Malaga, is the perfect spot for tourists looking for breathtaking views of the harbor and some peace and quiet. As one of the many “free things to do in Malaga,” this park is a must-visit for anyone who wants to relax and take in the beauty of the city. With its lush greenery and serene atmosphere, the Jardines del Puerto is a great place to unwind after a busy day exploring the city.
Here you’ll be greeted by a stunning array of palm trees, gardens, and fountains, all set against the backdrop of the bustling harbor. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to read a book or simply want to enjoy the views, the Jardines del Puerto is an ideal spot for tourists of all ages.
- Location: Jardines del Puerto on Map
Q: What kind of views can visitors expect at the Jardines del Puerto?
A: Visitors to the Jardines del Puerto can expect to enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor, with its bustling boats and ships set against the backdrop of the city skyline.
Q: Is the Jardines del Puerto a good place for families with kids?
A: Absolutely! With its lush greenery, fountains, and peaceful atmosphere, the Jardines del Puerto is a great place for families with kids to relax and enjoy some time outside.
5. Walk around the Alcazaba, a Moorish castle built in the 11th century
Ah, the Alcazaba! This 11th-century Moorish castle is a must-visit for all history buffs and anyone who loves a good panoramic view. Perched high on a hill, the Alcazaba offers breathtaking views of the city and the sea. Just imagine, you can step back in time and pretend you’re a medieval king or queen, surveying your kingdom from on high. It’s the stuff fairy tales are made of!
When visiting the Alcazaba, it’s important to wear comfortable shoes, as there are lots of stairs to climb. Trust us, it’s worth the effort! There’s a small admission fee, but it’s worth every penny.
- Location: Alcazaba on Map
Winter time (1 November – 31 March): It opens at 9:00 and it closes at 18:00 (Last entry time at 17:15).
Summer time (1 Abril- 31 Octubre) : It opens at 9:00 and it closes at 20:00 (Last entry time at 19:15).
Free entry on Sunday.
Q: What is the history of the Alcazaba castle?
A: The Alcazaba was built in the 11th century by the Moors, who ruled over the region of Andalusia, including Malaga, for nearly 800 years. The castle was a military fortress and served as a palace for the rulers. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the region.
Q: What can you see at the Alcazaba?
A: Visitors can explore the castle’s many towers, courtyards, and gardens, as well as admire the intricate tile work, arches, and other architectural details. You can also enjoy panoramic views of the city and the sea from the castle’s hilltop location. With its rich history and stunning views, the Alcazaba is definitely one of the highlights of a visit to Malaga!
6. Take a walk through the Parque García Lorca, a park dedicated to the famous Spanish poet
If you’re a fan of poetry and nature, then you won’t want to miss a visit to the Parque García Lorca in Malaga! This park is dedicated to the famous Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca, and is a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll, relax in the shade of the trees, and admire the beautiful scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned poet yourself, or just appreciate the art of verse, you’ll love the peaceful atmosphere of this park.
So why not take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a bit of green space in the heart of the city? There’s plenty to see and do in the Parque García Lorca, from admiring the lush gardens, to taking a seat on one of the benches and soaking up the sunshine. It’s the perfect place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and of course, it’s completely free!
7. Visit the Museo Interactivo de la Música, an interactive music museum
Malaga is not only rich in history and architecture, but also in musical heritage. So why not visit the Museo Interactivo de la Música, an interactive music museum where you can dive into the world of sound and rhythm? This museum is not just for music enthusiasts, but for anyone who wants to have a fun and educational experience.
At the Museo Interactivo de la Música, you can discover the history of music through interactive exhibits, listen to various types of music from around the world, and even try playing different instruments yourself. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, rock and roll, or anything in between, you’re sure to have a blast here. And the best part? It’s one of the free things to do in Malaga!
- Location: Museo Interactivo de la Música on Map
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00, Monday 10:00 – 16:00.
Admission is only free with the Málaga Card, and for children less than 6 years old. But it is very cheap: General 5€ – Students, seniors and groups 3€.
Q: What kind of music can I learn about at the Museo Interactivo de la Música?
A: You can learn about a wide range of music genres, from classical to rock and roll, and everything in between.
Q: Is it possible to try playing instruments at the museum?
A: Yes, there are interactive exhibits where you can try playing different instruments yourself.
8. Check out the street art in the city, including works by famous street artists
If you’re looking to add some color and flair to your trip to Málaga, look no further than its street art scene! The city is home to an abundance of incredible murals and street art pieces by both local and world-famous artists. From photorealistic portraits to abstract designs, there’s something for everyone to admire on the city’s walls.
So, grab your camera and hit the streets! You never know what you’ll stumble upon next. The street art in Málaga is always evolving, with new pieces popping up all the time, so you’re guaranteed to have a unique experience every time you visit. And the best part? This colorful and vibrant display of creativity is free for everyone to enjoy.
- Take a street art tour to see the best pieces in the city.
- Don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path – you never know what hidden gem you might find.
Q: What is the history of street art in Málaga?
A: Street art in Málaga has been growing in popularity in recent years, with artists from all over the world coming to leave their mark on the city. The street art scene has become a staple of the city’s cultural identity and continues to evolve and grow every day.
Q: Who are some famous street artists who have left their mark in Málaga?
A: Some famous street artists who have left their mark in Málaga include ROA, El Niño de las Pinturas, and Dourone, just to name a few. These artists have helped put Málaga on the map as a destination for street art lovers, and their pieces continue to draw in visitors from all over the world.
9. Take a stroll through the Parque de la Paloma, a park with palm trees and gardens
Who doesn’t love a good park? And when that park has palm trees and gardens, it’s even better! That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Parque de la Paloma in Málaga. This park is the perfect place to escape the bustling city and enjoy some peace and tranquility. With its lush vegetation and serene atmosphere, it’s a great place to relax and unwind, or have a picnic with friends and family.
But wait, there’s more! The park is also home to a small lake and a fountain, making it a great place for a romantic stroll or just to take in the sights and sounds of nature. So if you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, head to the Parque de la Paloma. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!
Location: Parque de la Paloma on Map
Q: What is the history of the Parque de la Paloma?
A: The Parque de la Paloma was created in the late 19th century and has been a popular park for local residents and visitors ever since. It’s known for its lush palm trees and gardens, and its tranquil atmosphere.
Q: What kind of wildlife can be found in the park?
A: The Parque de la Paloma is home to a variety of bird species, as well as small mammals such as squirrels and rabbits. It’s a great place for bird-watching and observing local wildlife.
10. Explore the Mercado Central de Atarazanas, a traditional indoor market
Ready to do some serious market exploring? Look no further than the Mercado Central de Atarazanas! This indoor market is the perfect place for foodies and culture buffs to get a taste of local life. You’ll find a colorful array of stalls selling all sorts of mouth-watering goodies, from fresh fruits and vegetables, to spices and cured meats. And if you’re looking to take a break from all the shopping, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the bustling food stalls and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. It is one of the most popular free things to do in Malaga and a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and get a taste of the local food.
Some useful advice for your visit: arrive with an empty stomach and an open mind! The market can get busy, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do some crowd navigation. It’s also a good idea to bring some cash as not all stalls accept card payments. And don’t forget to haggle with the vendors, it’s all part of the fun.
Opening hours: daily from 8:00 to 15:00 (Sunday closed)
- Location: Mercado Central de Atarazanas on Map
Q: What can you find at the Mercado Central de Atarazanas?
A: You’ll find a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, spices, cured meats, and more, as well as food stalls where you can grab a bite to eat.
Q: Is the market busy?
A: Yes, the market can get quite busy, especially on weekends, so be prepared for some crowd navigation.
11. Check out the local churches, including the Church of San Juan Bautista and the Church of San Felipe Neri
Malaga is home to some of the most beautiful and historic churches in Spain, and visiting them is a must for anyone exploring the city. The Church of San Juan Bautista and the Church of San Felipe Neri are two of the most notable, and both are well worth a visit.
The Church of San Juan Bautista, also known as the Church of St. John the Baptist, is one of the oldest churches in Malaga and has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. It is famous for its beautiful altarpiece, which features a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles, as well as its intricate wooden choir stalls. On the other hand, the Church of San Felipe Neri, also known as the Church of St. Philip Neri, is a charming and intimate church that was built in the 18th century. It features beautiful frescoes on the ceiling and is surrounded by lovely gardens that are perfect for a quiet stroll.
Visiting these two churches is one of the many “free things to do in Malaga,” and is a great way to experience the city’s religious heritage and stunning architecture. For those looking to find their way around, both churches are located in the center of the city and can easily be reached on foot or by public transportation.
Q: What is the history behind the Church of San Juan Bautista?
A: The Church of San Juan Bautista, also known as the Church of St. John the Baptist, has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. It is one of the oldest churches in Malaga and is famous for its beautiful altarpiece, which features a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Q: What can one expect to see at the Church of San Felipe Neri?
A: At the Church of San Felipe Neri, also known as the Church of St. Philip Neri, one can expect to see a charming and intimate church with beautiful frescoes on the ceiling and surrounded by lovely gardens. It was built in the 18th century and is a great place for a quiet stroll.
12. Explore the Catedral de Malaga, a 16th-century cathedral
When visiting the Catedral de Malaga, one should prepare to be wowed by its stunning 16th-century architectural style. This cathedral is a real piece of history, having been built on the site of a mosque and incorporating some of its original elements. It’s not just the exterior that’s impressive, though – the interior is equally as grand, with a beautiful stained glass window, intricate carvings, and breathtaking frescoes.
Visiting the Catedral de Malaga is a must for all history buffs, architectural enthusiasts, and religious followers. The cathedral is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM, and Sunday from 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly. Visitors should also keep in mind that modest dress is required, and photography is only permitted in certain areas.
- Location: Catedral de Malaga on Map
Entrance is only Free for Malaga residents, people with disability and children under 13 years of age. Otherwise Prices (with audio guide included): General: 8.00 €, Junior: 5.00 €, Student: 6.00 €
Monday to Friday: 10:00h – 18:30h.
Saturday: 10:00h – 18:00h.
Sunday: 14:00h – 18:00h.
(Last access 45 minutes before closing)
Q: What is the history behind the Catedral de Malaga?
A: The Catedral de Malaga was built on the site of a mosque in the 16th century, and incorporates some elements of its predecessor.
Q: What can visitors expect to see when they visit the cathedral?
A: Visitors can expect to see a stunning 16th-century architectural style, with a beautiful stained glass window, intricate carvings, and breathtaking frescoes.
13. Visit the Parque de Malaga, a large park in the city center
Visiting the Parque de Malaga is like taking a stroll through a lush oasis in the heart of the city. This stunning park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some much-needed peace and tranquility. Whether you’re looking for a place to have a picnic, take a leisurely walk, or just relax and soak up the sun, this park has got you covered.
The Parque de Malaga is located in the city center, making it easy to reach no matter where you’re staying. It’s open every day from sunrise to sunset, so you can visit whenever you like. And the best part? Admission is completely free! So, grab your sunscreen, a good book, and a picnic blanket, and head on over to the park for an unforgettable experience.
- Location: Parque de Malaga on Map
Q: Is there anything of historical significance in the Parque de Malaga?
A: Yes! The Parque de Malaga is home to the Alcazaba, a Moorish castle that dates back to the 11th century. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the city’s rich history and take in some amazing views of the park and surrounding area.
Q: Is there an admission fee to enter the park?
A: No, admission to the park is completely free!
14. Explore the local beaches, such as Playa del Palo and Playa del Muelle
Malaga is a city with a sunny disposition, and what better way to enjoy it than soaking up the sun at the local beaches! Playa del Palo and Playa del Muelle are two of the most popular beaches in the area, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean sea and a chance to take a dip in its cool waters. Whether you’re looking to lounge on the sand or participate in water sports, these beaches are a must-visit on your list of “free things to do in Malaga.”
One of the best things about these beaches is the lively atmosphere. The beach promenades are filled with restaurants, cafes, and bars, giving you plenty of options for a bite to eat or a drink. There are also showers and changing rooms available for your convenience, so you can make a day of it. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and a beach towel!
Q: What is the best time to visit Playa del Palo and Playa del Muelle?
A: The best time to visit these beaches is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, it’s worth noting that they can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.
Q: Are there any water sports available at the beaches?
A: Yes! Both Playa del Palo and Playa del Muelle offer a variety of water sports, including paddle-boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing. You can rent equipment from the local providers on the beach.
15. Walk along the Muelle Uno and enjoy the views of the harbor
If you’re looking for a scenic stroll, the Muelle Uno is a must-visit. This pier is located in the heart of Malaga and offers breathtaking views of the harbor. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world as you take in the sights and sounds of the ocean. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the Muelle Uno is the perfect place to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city from a unique perspective.
While walking along the Muelle Uno, visitors can admire the boats and yachts that are moored in the harbor, and take in the stunning views of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Alcazaba, Castillo de Gibralfaro, and the Catedral de Malaga. Visitors can also stroll along the Paseo del Parque, a popular beach promenade that runs parallel to the Muelle Uno.
The Muelle Uno is also a hub of activity, with street performers, musicians, and artists entertaining visitors throughout the day. Whether you are looking for a relaxing stroll, a bite to eat, or simply to take in the views, the Muelle Uno is a must-visit destination in Malaga. So, grab a coffee, sit back, and soak up the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful and vibrant areas of the city.
- Location: Muelle Uno on Map
Q: What is the history of Muelle Uno?
A: Muelle Uno is a modern-day development built in the port of Malaga in the early 21st century. It was designed to be a hub for tourists and locals alike, offering a variety of shops, restaurants, and other amenities along with breathtaking views of the harbor.
Q: What is the best time to visit Muelle Uno?
A: That’s a tough question! It really depends on your personal preference. If you’re an early bird, you might want to visit in the morning to catch the sunrise and the peaceful ambiance before the crowds arrive. On the other hand, if you prefer the nightlife, you might want to visit in the evening to enjoy the lights and energy of the city after dark. Either way, the Muelle Uno is a beautiful place to be, no matter what time of day.
16. Take a walk around the Soho district and El Palo, two historic neighborhoods in the city
You’re in for a real treat with this one. The Soho district and El Palo are two of the most historic and charming neighborhoods in all of Málaga, and taking a walk around these parts is an absolute must for any tourist. These neighborhoods are full of life and history, with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses, and plenty of traditional tapas bars where you can sample the local cuisine.
The Soho district is known for its bohemian vibe, with an abundance of street art and independent shops selling unique, locally made products. Meanwhile, El Palo is a traditional fishing village that has managed to maintain its authentic charm, even as the city has grown around it. Here, you’ll find fresh seafood restaurants, traditional tapas bars and colorful houses that line the streets down to the beach. Explore the streets and alleys to find hidden gems
Q: What makes the Soho district unique?
A: The Soho district is known for its bohemian vibe and street art, with an abundance of independent shops selling unique, locally made products.
Q: What is El Palo known for?
A: El Palo is a traditional fishing village that has maintained its authentic charm, with plenty of fresh seafood restaurants and colorful houses lining the streets down to the beach.
17. Visit the Plaza de la Merced, a historic square in the city center
Attention all tourists, are you ready for a trip down memory lane? Well, buckle up because the Plaza de la Merced is here to take you on a journey through history! This historic square located in the city center is a must-visit for anyone who loves soaking up the rich culture and heritage of a place. With its quaint cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and charming cafes, the Plaza de la Merced will transport you back in time to the golden days of Spain.
But that’s not all, the Plaza de la Merced is also famous for being the birthplace of the great Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. So, if you’re an art lover, be sure to bring your camera because you might just bump into the ghost of the master himself! And if you’re feeling peckish, why not stop at one of the cafes and treat yourself to a cup of coffee while you take in the beautiful surroundings? Trust us, this is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Malaga.
- Location: Plaza de la Merced on Map
Q: Is there a museum dedicated to Pablo Picasso in the Plaza de la Merced?
A: No, there is no museum dedicated to Pablo Picasso in the Plaza de la Merced, but there is a statue of him in the square to commemorate his birthplace.
Q: Can I buy souvenirs in the Plaza de la Merced?
A: Yes, there are several shops in the area that sell souvenirs and other memorabilia related to Pablo Picasso and the city of Malaga.
18. Take a walk along the Calle Larios, the main shopping street in the city
If you’re a fan of shopping, then Calle Larios is the place for you! This is the main shopping street in Malaga, where you’ll find all sorts of stores selling everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. So, whether you’re looking to splurge or just window shop, you’re sure to have a great time on Calle Larios.
One of the best things about Calle Larios is that it’s a great place to people watch. You’ll see locals going about their daily business, as well as tourists from all over the world enjoying the sights and sounds of this bustling street. And, of course, there are plenty of places to stop and grab a bite to eat or a drink if you need to take a break from all the shopping.
- Location: Calle Larios on Map
Q: Is Calle Larios only for shopping?
A: No, Calle Larios is much more than just a shopping street. It’s a hub of activity, where you’ll find people of all ages enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.
Q: What type of stores can I find on Calle Larios?
A: You can find everything from souvenir shops and high-end fashion boutiques to local markets and street vendors on Calle Larios. Whether you’re looking to buy something specific or just browse, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye!
19. Visit the Parque del Morlaco, a park with a playground and picnic area
If you’re traveling with kids or just looking for a break from sightseeing, check out the Parque del Parque de El Morlaco! This park is the perfect place to relax and have some fun, with plenty of green spaces to play in, picnic areas to enjoy a snack, and a playground for the little ones.
But that’s not all – the park also has plenty of opportunities for leisure and recreation, like a large pond where you can rent paddle boats, walking and cycling paths, and areas for playing sports like basketball and soccer. So whether you’re looking to get in a quick workout or simply lounge in the sun, the Parque del Parque de El Morlaco has got you covered.
- Location: Parque del Morlaco on Map
Q: What is the Parque del Parque de El Morlaco known for?
A: The Parque del Parque de El Morlaco is known for its beautiful green spaces, playground, picnic areas, and opportunities for leisure and recreation like paddle boating and playing sports.
Q: What kind of activities can you do in the park?
A: In the Parque del Parque de El Morlaco, you can relax, picnic, play on the playground, rent paddle boats, walk and cycle, and play sports like basketball and soccer.