There's no better place to spend a week than in Malaga. The Costa del Sol capital was practically made for discovering piece by piece, at the laid-back pace locals are so famous for.
Spending 7 days in Malaga will suit you well if you're looking to slowly explore the city, relax on the shore, and even take a day trip or two. Here's your guide to the perfect seaside week!
The Perfect Itinerary for 7 Days in Malaga
If you're wondering how to spend a week in Malaga, we've got some ideas! This is how we'd suggest dividing up the historical sites, museums, beaches, tapas, and day trips that make Malaga so special.
Day 1: Picasso Museum, Cathedral & Tapas Crawl
Start your 7 days in Malaga by paying tribute to one of the city's greatest icons. The Picasso Museum (Palacio de Buenavista, Calle San Agustín, 8) is the perfect place to learn about the great Malaga-born painter and see some of his best works.
A visit to the museum couples nicely with some time spent at the house where the legendary artist was born. Picasso's casa natal (birthplace) is just a short walk away (Plaza de la Merced, 15).
From there, it's time to explore one of Malaga's great sights that towers over the city center. The city's iconic cathedral (Calle Molina Lario, 9) inspires curiosity with its unique asymmetric design.
Due to its single tower, locals colloquially refer to the structure as "la manqueta" ("the one-armed woman"). The outside is impressive enough, but it's well worth the small entrance fee to check out the stunning interior as well.
End the first of your 7 days in Malaga by heading out for a tapas crawl. You're in Spain, after all, where tapas are more than just food—they're a way of life! If you need some ideas, check out our favorite traditional tapas bars in Malaga.
Day 2: Roman Theater, Alcazaba & Gibralfaro Castle
It's the second of your 7 days in Malaga! Start things off by stepping thousands of years back in time at the Roman Theater (Calle Alcazabilla, 8). This remarkably preserved remnant of Roman times is free to visit and well worth some time spent exploring.
Be sure to check out the excellent interpretation center as well for more context and insight into the history of this impressive site.
Many of the materials from the Roman Theater were later used in constructing the Alcazaba (Calle Alcazabilla, 2), which is the next stop on your itinerary.
There's no shortage of beauty within the walls of this stunning fortress left over from Moorish rule. And as you make your way up to the top of the structure, you'll be rewarded with lovely views of the city and sea.
Finally, end the day by taking in the sunset from Gibralfaro Castle (Camino Gibralfaro, 11). Another important Moorish construction, this castle was the site of an infamous siege during the Christian reconquest of the city.
You can purchase a combined ticket to both the castle and Alcazaba, but keep in mind that the monuments are not connected. There's a bus that goes to the castle, or you can walk if you prefer—the ascent is steep but offers lovely views along the way, and you can take all the time you need.
Day 3: Atarazanas Market, Carmen Thyssen Museum & Arabic Baths
On your third of 7 days in Malaga, start things off at the epicenter of local cuisine: the Atarazanas Market (Calle Atarazanas, 10). The building itself is an architectural wonder that seamlessly blends Moorish arches and design with a 19th-century industrial look.
Home to dozens of stalls selling the freshest Mediterranean products, the market does tend to get quite crowded later in the day. However, if you go first thing in the morning, your only company will be the vendors and a smattering of locals doing their morning shopping.
After exploring the market, head to the Carmen Thyssen Museum (Calle Compañía, 10). Set inside a stunning Renaissance palace, the museum houses more than 200 Spanish masterpieces, mainly from the 19th century. Art fans in Malaga may seek out Picasso, but shouldn't miss this jewel of a museum either.
Before heading out for another evening tapas crawl, relax and unwind at Malaga's Arabic Baths (Calle Tomás de Cózar, 13). The gorgeous Moorish-style architecture and calming atmosphere will take your breath away and transport you back in time. Treat yourself to a massage to complete the experience!
See Also: Where to Eat in Malaga
Day 4: Day Trip to Nerja
One of the great things about Malaga is its privileged location right on the Costa del Sol. This makes it easy to reach some of the most beautiful parts of southern Spain in the blink of an eye.
There are many great day trips you can take from the city, but one of our favorites is the charming coastal town of Nerja. Just over an hour away by bus, it makes for a perfect escape halfway through your 7 days in Malaga.
Once a sleepy fishermen's village, Nerja has revitalized itself as a summertime hotspot for Malaga locals and visitors alike—but it still retains its humble, authentic charm.
Day 5: Soho Neighborhood
Once you've arrived back in Malaga refreshed and recharged from your day away, stray off the beaten path by exploring the lesser-known Soho neighborhood.
A true hidden gem among Malaga's many distinctive barrios, this revitalized area between the Alameda Principal and the port was considered run-down and declining not too long ago. But the recent opening of dozens of creative spaces and gastrobars has breathed new life into the neighborhood.
Despite its small size, Soho is home to many of Malaga's best smaller art museums and galleries. The Center of Contemporary Art (Calle Alemania, s/n) shouldn't be missed. Entrance is free and gets you access to the hottest works by some of the best Spanish and international artists on the scene today.
Even as you walk along the street, you'll be wowed by the many incredible murals and street art painted by promising local talents.
Soho is home to more than just great art—you'll also find some of Malaga's best modern cuisine here. Chow down on contemporary, innovative tapas and craft beer at one of the neighborhood's many trendy eateries.
Then, head up to the terrace of the Room Mate Valeria Hotel (Plaza Poeta Alfonso Canales, 5) to enjoy one of the city's best sunsets from its rooftop terrace and bar. It also has one of the nicest hotel pools in Malaga!
Day 6: Port Area & Beach
The word "port" may conjure up images of an industrial shipyard at first. But although Malaga's port is one of the biggest and most important in Spain, the area around it is surprisingly beautiful.
This makes it the perfect place to start your day by the shore. Recently renovated with a contemporary style and pristine modern architecture, it's a lovely area for a morning stroll.
Now it's time to hit the beach! There's no shortage of incredible beaches in Malaga. If you prefer to stay close to the city, head to La Malagueta or La Caleta. But if you take the bus a bit farther to Rincón de la Victoria or La Misericordia, you'll escape most of the touristy crowds!
No matter which beach you end up at, be sure to chow down on espetos when you get hungry. There's not much to this popular seaside delicacy, found only in Malaga and the surrounding towns—but that's the beauty of it.
Freshly caught sardines are skewered and cooked to perfection on a grill made out of a boat, seasoned only with olive oil and sea salt. That's it—so simple, yet so delicious! You can find espetos at any of the chiringuitos (beachside bars) along the shore.
Day 7: Day Trip to Ronda
Can you believe your 7 days in Malaga are almost up? Make the most of your final day by escaping to one of the most stunning towns in the Malaga province. You've already seen the gorgeous coast of Nerja; now take some time to explore the inland, ruggedly beautiful mountain village of Ronda.
Perched dramatically above a deep gorge, Ronda is home to many iconic sights. There's the sprawling Puente Nuevo bridge, a historic center dating back to Moorish times, and one of Spain's oldest bullrings.
The town's modest size means it's easy to see in one day, and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy tapas at one of the many incredible little bars dotted around town.
Not ready to leave? Here's your itinerary for 10 days in Malaga.
7 Days in Malaga FAQs
Although Malaga is relatively small, we suggest spending at least a few days here—and ideally more! There's so much to see and do in the city, not to mention the nearby beaches and towns. Plan for at least 3 days, but if you can set aside 7 days, you won't regret it!
Definitely not! A week is an ideal amount of time to spend in Malaga. You won't run out of activities and places to explore. And if you want a break from the city, you can easily take a day trip to one of the gorgeous villages nearby, like Nerja or Ronda.
Both of these cities are spectacular, so if you can visit both, go for it! Otherwise, Malaga is better if you want to go to the beach and enjoy fantastic weather, but Seville has more historical and cultural landmarks. It really depends on your interests and priorities.
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