Is 48 hours enough time for magical Málaga? We can’t scream ‘no’ loud enough in response, but beggars can’t be choosers and time is of the essence. This is our guide to 48 hours perfect hours in Málaga, although you’ll have to spend at least 12 of those sleeping. Such is life, after all.
DAY ONE: MORNING:
To start things off, head to Plaza de la Merced and grab a coffee at Cafe con Libros, but be careful not to get stuck. Picasso was born in this part of the city and his birthplace can be explored at number 15, a second-floor apartment that has since been turned into a museum and art foundation in the great man’s name. The square is one of the most impressive in Málaga, so take it in before heading to Calle Granada and the Santiago Apostle church to see where the artist was baptised. The Picasso Museum is also nearby, so end your morning by enveloping yourself in magnificent cubism.
You could spend 24 hours exploring Picasso’s Málaga, but there is more to this city than the notoriously difficult artists. Málaga’s old town is one of the most enchanting in Spain, and the monolithic cathedral is the obvious starting point. Known as ‘La Manquita’ (the One-Armed Lady), the cathedral is undoubtedly the city’s most impressive landmark. Nip inside if you have the time, before getting lost in the winding streets of the old town. If you came across the aesthetically-stunning Sacred Heart Church, you are onto a winner.
Málaga’s craft beer scene is really coming along these days, so put yourself a little craft tour together for the first night. Central Beers is a great place to start, before heading back to Plaza de la Merced to check out Arte & Sana. Double-back on yourself towards La Madriguera and stick here for a bit, sampling different beers and devouring some tasty tapas alongside them. Day one is in the bag.
DAY TWO: MORNING:
If you’re looking to see something truly magnificent, consider taking a day trip to Ronda on day two. You can read all about Ronda elsewhere on this page, so let’s concentrate on 24 more hours of magnificent Málaga to begin with. Mia Coffee Shop should be your caffeine provider on day two, one of the cutest coffee shops in Andalusia and clearly one of the best in town Continue on to the famous Atarazanas Food Market, a hustle and bustle wonderland that is as fascinating for people-watching as it is for produce buying. One of Málaga’s most Instagrammable spots? You be the judge.
Feeling fresh? Good, because there is plenty of walking to be done. Head first to the Alcazaba, an 11th century fortress that remains the best-kept indication of Málaga’s eight centuries of Islamic rule. Take a few snaps of the Roman Theatre while you are at ground level, before beginning the long walk up the Gibralfaro Hill. The views from this castle are the best in town, with all the majesty of Málaga unfolding in front of you. You’ll likely be hungry after the long walk, so stop for some fine dining at Parador de Gibralfaro, one of the most romantic restaurants in this most romantic city. If you happen to be here for the sunset, even better.
You’re on the Costa del Sol, you need to spend at least some time on the beach, right? Of course you do. Now, if you’d prefer to spend the morning or afternoon at La Malagueta then you can rearrange this itinerary as you wish, but we prefer the cooler temperatures of the evening sun and a cocktail or three. If boozing on the beach isn’t your thing, head back into the old town and seek out Antigua Casa de Guardia, Málaga’s oldest bar and reportedly a favourite of ol’ Picasso himself. Then take a deep breath, after two heady days in one of Spain’s most impressive cities.