24 Hours in Malaga, Spain by Topsy Turvy Tribe24 Hours in Malaga, Spain by Topsy Turvy Tribe

24 Hours in Malaga

Malaga, once previously over-looked city in comparison to Barcelona and Madrid is now a formidable adversary.  There has been extensive restoration and re-generation, which has much transformed Malaga into a great cultural tourist destination.  Think museums (so many fantastic museums), art, restaurants, bars, shops, beach and impressive historical monuments all boosted by a new port and metro line.

It was a beautiful day so we decided to soak up the sunshine and visit Malaga’s outdoor attractions.  The first on our list was the Alcazaba, a stunningly restored 11th century Moorish Palace and Fortress.  If you haven’t got time on this trip to Spain to visit the Alhambra, the Alcazaba provides you with a little taster of what to expect, but has nowhere near the impact.  It does however have a fascinating floor plan, very easy to get lost, and is a  wonderful place for exploring and getting lost amongst numerous archways, courtyards, orange trees, palms and fountains.


We paid for a combination ticket to also enter the Castillo Gibralfaro, the two sights are adjacent and were once linked but there is a rather confusing fence in the way.  So we had to find our way back to the Alcazaba’s entrance (eventually), then walked up to long steep path up to the castle.

The view points on the way up to the castle break up the walk and give you a taster of the outstanding views you can attain from the top.  When you finally climb to the top it becomes apparent that there is a route you can drive up or even get a bus!  Even still, the walk only took us twenty minutes with a toddler and the viewpoints were well worth it, honest!

The castle itself probably doesn’t take as long to explore as the Alcazaba.  The fully enclosed castle walls are its best feature and can be walked to view the city from afar, affording you 360º views of Malaga.  The walk back down to the city is much quicker and easier, we were soon back near to the Alcazaba’s enterance to take a picture of the Roman amphitheatre and grab a bite to eat in the buzzing Plaza de la Merced, the location of Picasso’s childhood home.


The old town is fun to wander through, the vibe in the streets  at Christmas time is great, so many places to eat and drink, soak in the atmosphere around Plaza de Uncibay then head for the main shopping street Marques de Larios for the Christmas light/ music show and street performers.  If you like shopping Larios is the place to go, jam-packed full of designer labels and shops.


After the lights we enjoyed the eating experience at La Taverna Del Pintxo, help yourself to a delicious array of cold pinchos (small bites).  The shape of the little sticks in the pinchos determine the price of the meal.  Keep your sticks for the waiter to add up your bill at the end, best visited for a late lunch or after 8pm when the kitchen is open and hot tapas is provided by on the house.

For a classic bodega experience we then headed to the oldest bar in the city (serving since 1840) to try a sweet Malaga wine. Antigua Casa de Guardia really is a fantastic glimpse into the past, choose from  the giant wine barrels a Seco or Pedro Ximinez, your drinks will be notched up in chalk in front of you at the bar.

The main street leads down to the Marina and Malaga’s big wheel. The Paseo de los Curas runs parallel to the marina and was filled entirely with stalls selling joke shop fair, fireworks and figurines to make your own nativity scene Belen.  The boys learnt a new Spanish word, Bombetas and we al  had fun throwing the mini bombs at each other.

For the most incredible seasonal produce visit the daily market Mercardo Atarazanas , together with the fruit and veg, the market sells the most fabulous array of meats, cheeses and fish.  The market is clad in iron and the sunlight shines through the beautiful coloured glass windows.

We only had 24hours to explore Malaga, but with so much more to see, we will definitely be going back to soon, especially to visit some of the city’s world renowned museums.  Watch this space!


Live like a local, book an apartment through, this link for £30 travel credit with Airbnb and we get a little something off our next booking too, enjoy!

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Post Author: Topsy Turvy Tribe

Paul & Andrea ex-pats escaping the rat race with Chaos (aged 4) and Mayhem (aged 2) along for the adventure.

43 thoughts on “24 Hours in Malaga

    Alex Muir

    (January 11, 2017 - 10:05 pm)

    We love Malaga, we have some good friends nearby and have visited a few times – we love the slow pace on the beach, it’s a great people watching spot and it always makes me want to take up rollerskating 😉 The city is also fabulous and I’m glad you enjoyed it too, not too far for you to visit now either!

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 11, 2017 - 10:22 pm)

      Thank Alex, Malaga is really great! Definitely so much more to explore; we made it to they port but not really to the beach. On the list for the next time as it’s not too far too travel now 😀


    (January 11, 2017 - 10:56 pm)

    Lovely pics! I think you’ve captured the “feel” of the place beautifully!

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 12, 2017 - 8:28 pm)

      Thanks, glad you like the pictures. Malaga is great, we enjoyed seeing so many people enjoying themselves in a city and being a part of that.

    California Globetrotter

    (January 12, 2017 - 10:08 am)

    Would love to check out Malaga one day on a big road trip around Andalusia! #FarawayFiles

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 12, 2017 - 8:32 pm)

      Thanks for commenting, hope you get to visit someday, we are enjoying discovering Andalusia, e.g we visited Alhama de Granada today, again another lovely place to visit.

    Clare Thomson

    (January 12, 2017 - 7:36 pm)

    You’ve really tempted me. My grandparents used to visit years ago and I always imagined it was a bit touristy and bland. Now I see how wrong I’ve been. Adding it to my Spanish wishlist right away. Thanks for educating me on #FarawayFiles

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 12, 2017 - 8:36 pm)

      Thanks, you are welcome, go for it i’m sure you will have a good time,


    (January 12, 2017 - 8:17 pm)

    Great photos! And we’ve never been. I confess that you got me looking at a map to see how much of a detour Malaga would be the next time we go visit the family in Portugal (answer: a big one). Very interesting – thanks!

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 12, 2017 - 8:44 pm)

      Glad you like the pics, ha ha a big detour. We previously drove from central Portugal to camp in the Algarve close to the Spanish border in one day, and then on to the coast beyond Malaga (Via Seville) the second day.


    (January 12, 2017 - 9:01 pm)

    Ooh Malaga.. so enticing! I love the look of the market and Alcazabar. We try and combine beach time with some cultural activities as otherwise I get a bit restless so I am putting this city on my European wishlist. Thanks for joining us on #FarawayFiles

    Topsy Turvy Tribe

    (January 12, 2017 - 9:16 pm)

    Great.. The produce in the market is really top quality and the Alcazabar is a definite. There is another market call Mercado Merced which is a great food hall for sociallising with a variety of tempting eateries all under one roof.

    Kat @anaussieinsf

    (January 12, 2017 - 10:38 pm)

    That’s one happy toddler (who I thought was playing in the fountain for a second)! You’re right, those viewpoints on the way to the Alcazaba are really beautiful. #farawayfiles

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 13, 2017 - 9:31 pm)

      Too cold to go into the fountain! There were quite a lot of people enjoying the view point near to the castle. The views from the castle are great to see the layout of Malaga


    (January 13, 2017 - 2:37 pm)

    Southern Spain is definitely on my wishlist. We have been to Madrid twice and Barcelona once, but I adored everything about them and want to see more! You make Malaga look mah-velous dah-ling, mah-velous. Fabulous photographs. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, cheers from much chillier Copenhagen, Erin

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 13, 2017 - 8:56 pm)

      Malaga and Southern Spain have so much to offer; hit the big city of Malaga first, then road trip to Ronda, Córdoba and Seville. There are also lots of stunning whitewashed villages in Andalucia…You will have a fabulous time in Spain! Thank you for hosting and enjoy the snow in Copenhagen!

    fifi + hop

    (January 13, 2017 - 2:44 pm)

    I loved Malaga when I visited in the Spring years ago but have never seen it during winter and Christmastime – looks beautiful. Sounds like you were able to do a lot in 24 hours. #farawayfiles

    Topsy Turvy Tribe

    (January 13, 2017 - 9:27 pm)

    Thanks, we had some lovely winter sunshine and the xmas decorations were beautiful.


    (January 15, 2017 - 2:01 am)

    I love the south of Spain but I’ve never been to Malaga! It’s looks wonderful! #FarawayFiles

    Wandermust mummy

    (January 16, 2017 - 8:01 am)

    Wow looks beautiful beautiful – I think it has a bad rep unfairly looking at these pics #Mondayescapes

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 17, 2017 - 9:07 pm)

      Ten years ago Malaga wasn’t that great a destination but there’s been so much generation and a massive improvement!


    (January 16, 2017 - 12:51 pm)

    Wow there’s so much to see!! We almost went to Malaga last year but then bumped it for Abu Dhabi. I definitely need to add it to my list.

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 17, 2017 - 9:05 pm)

      Malaga is a really great place to visit, glad it’s on your list now, I’m sure you will love it!


    (January 17, 2017 - 11:59 am)

    Beautiful! Without the the christmassy pictures, it looks like a warm summer’s day. My kids would love the big when and market street. My brother has recently moved out to a seaside town an hour or so from Malaga so this is great for me to read ahead of a trip there in a few months!

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (January 17, 2017 - 9:04 pm)

      Malaga is a great place to visit with kids. We have family in the coast about an hour away too so we will be back to visit some of the great museums when it’s not quite as sunny 😊


    (January 20, 2017 - 7:31 am)

    Christmas looks like a really vibrant time to visit Malaga. I love the tree and lights. I’ve not thought of visiting here over Barcelona or Madrid so thanks for opening my eyes to the possibility. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes


    (March 1, 2017 - 12:05 pm)

    I love Malaga. Oh those steps up to the fort in the heat of summer though! As you say, worth it. We spent a lovely morning up there and had a beer in the bar at the top to cool off 🙂 Alison x #FamilyFun


    (March 1, 2017 - 1:23 pm)

    What an incredible adventure your life is. I can only dream of such experiences.


      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (March 2, 2017 - 8:54 pm)

      Thank you, we’ve worked really hard to get here so our youngest child recover and we can enjoy some adventures t together…you know what they say about dreams coming true 😊

    Jo (Mother of Teenagers)

    (March 3, 2017 - 1:03 pm)

    We are staying near Malaga in the summer with some friends so will go and check it out. I had ignored it previously as just the airport city but you have opened my eyes. Thanks. #familyfun

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (March 3, 2017 - 6:39 pm)

      It really is worth a visit Jo, we’re heading back this weekend to see some of the museums, watch this space for another blog post coming soon!


    (March 4, 2017 - 2:49 pm)

    This looks like an amazing place to visit. #FamilyFunLinky


    (March 5, 2017 - 9:48 am)

    I haven’t been to Malaga and haven’t really thought to but you have made it sound lovely. I love all the colours in your photos it makes it look so vibrant. It is definitely somewhere to add to the list. Thank you for sharing at #familyfun

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (March 6, 2017 - 7:18 am)

      Thank you, it’s not somewhere we ever considered but now we’ve been we’ll definitely go again to explore more!


    (March 5, 2017 - 10:48 pm)

    It looks fab. I’ve never been before but I do now I’ve seen your photos! Thanks for sharing your post on #fortheloveofBLOG

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (March 6, 2017 - 7:09 am)

      Thank you! It’s a great city, small enough to get around and great weather!

    Tooting Mama

    (March 6, 2017 - 3:58 pm)

    I’ve never been and looking at your pictures I want to be there now, to escape a wet, grey Paris!!! #fortheloveofBLOG

    Autumn's Mummy

    (March 8, 2017 - 7:11 pm)

    Malaga looks lovely and the lights and market look wonderful! #fortheloveofBLOG

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (March 8, 2017 - 8:17 pm)

      We are big fans of Malaga. We went back at the weekend to see some of the amazing museums.

    […] 24 Hours in Malaga […]

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