Guides

Where to Stay in Malaga in 2024 → 6 Ideal Areas & Hotels

Aerial view of Malaga with a bullring in the foreground, surrounded by dense residential buildings leading to the blue sea and a clear skyAerial view of Malaga with a bullring in the foreground, surrounded by dense residential buildings leading to the blue sea and a clear sky

Hola everyone, let’s dive into this fabulous guide on where to stay in Malaga, one of the world’s oldest cities!

In this post, I’ve covered all the areas in Malaga city and the Malaga province as well (as a lot of people go to Malaga to enjoy the beach). So read this post and you’ll discover the 6 most amazing areas for tourists, plus a list of incredible hotels in each neighborhood (to suit any budget!)

I carefully compared all the options to make sure that you get the top choices, no matter which area you prefer! Not only that, but I also sorted all the accommodations by price so that everyone can find their ideal place and book it in a matter of minutes!

In short, the Old Town is the best area to stay in Malaga for first-time visitors as it has so many incredible attractions and gorgeous hotels.

Malaga is such a popular place, so I recommend booking your hotels here super early, to secure a great spot!

If you are in a hurry

Check out this short list which has some of the best hotels in town, all located in the historic center:

Check out this map of Malaga and its surrounding areas that I will talk about in this post:

1. Old Town Malaga – best place for first-time visitors

Elegant historic building in Malaga with a facade of ornate architecture, surrounded by lush greenery and parked cars on a sunny dayElegant historic building in Malaga with a facade of ornate architecture, surrounded by lush greenery and parked cars on a sunny day

Welcome to Old Town Malaga! One of the most vibrant areas in town, which is absolutely packed with gorgeous attractions, incredible restaurants and a bunch of hotels.

NOTE: Old Town Malaga is set in the city centre which encompasses many other important neighborhoods, including La Merced, Soho and others! 

What I love about Old Town Malaga is that it has such beautiful architecture and so many maze-like streets on which you can get lost exploring them for hours! Plus it also has a good location just a stone’s throw away from the beach (around 20 min).

The best of both worlds, if you ask me! 

Nicknamed the city of museums, Malaga has around 40 museums (coming 2nd place after Madrid), including the famous Picasso Museum, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga and Malaga Museum. 

Or, if you’d prefer some retail therapy, head over to Calle Marques de Larios (also known as Calle Larios), which has countless stores! 

You should also visit the incredible Malaga Cathedral (map), which has beautiful architecture both inside and out, and don’t forget about the Alcazaba Fortress

Or, if you’re up for a more authentic experience, head over to Mercado Central de Atarazanas (map) in Malaga Centro, which has so many stalls with yummy fruits, vegetables, meats, and more! 

Now let’s check out the best hotels where to stay in Malaga Old Town:

Luxury hotel

Chill on the rooftop swimming pool and admire the stunning views of the historic centre at this hotel that has the best location, just a short walk away from all the attractions! The accommodation also boasts a restaurant and a bar.

Other accommodations in Old Town Malaga

mid-range

These modern apartments come with air-conditioned rooms and a private kitchen

budget

A great budget hostel in the historic center that offers a sunny terrace and an airport shuttle

airbnb

A great place with a central location that has air-conditioning and a flat-screen Tv

Things to do in Downtown Malaga, Spain

  • Visit the Picasso Museum and the Carmen Thyssen Museum
  • Snap some photos of Alameda Principal street
  • Admire the contemporary art at Centre Pompidou Málaga
  • Enjoy some Spanish food and wine at Mercado Central de Atarazanas
  • Discover the ancient fortress of Alcazaba
  • Stop by the Museum of Malaga located in the Palacio de la Aduana
  • Learn about history at Catedral de la Encarnación

2. Soho – the coolest area where to stay in Malaga

Large mural on a building depicting a contrast of images, with text about ending 'those flying droids' and the words 'PAZ Y LIBERTAD' featuring a woman symbolizing peace and libertyLarge mural on a building depicting a contrast of images, with text about ending 'those flying droids' and the words 'PAZ Y LIBERTAD' featuring a woman symbolizing peace and liberty

Located between Old Town Malaga and the port, Soho is the coolest and trendiest area. Plus, it’s a great place where to stay in Malaga in winter as the prices are much cheaper! 

It is also super accessible, just a 5-minute walk away from the Old Town or a super short bus ride. Soho is a much more tranquil area, perfect for those who are not fans of the tourist crowds!

The neighborhood reflects the bohemian and artsy character of Malaga. As you explore around, you’ll find so much street art, especially on Calle Casas de Campos (map) and Calle Tomás Heredia (map).

Soho is actually part of the much bigger Ensanche Centro, which basically encompasses this neighborhood and Málaga Park, which is pretty big and hosts many concerts!

There are lots of fun attractions here, from museums like CAC Málaga and Museo de la Imaginación, plus lots of bars where you can relax on a busy, sunny day with a cool drink!

Head over to La Terraza De Valeria, a rooftop terrace that overlooks this beautiful city, where you can catch a fab sunset and enjoy some cocktails! By far one of the best things to do in Malaga!

Soho is packed with boutique accommodations which are super stylish but kind of expensive! Still, I managed to find some great spots for all budgets, so check out the list below

Luxury hotel

You’re going to love the elegant rooms of this hotel that has rooms with a small balcony that overlooks the city! The accommodation also offers a yummy breakfast!

Other accommodations in Soho

mid-range

Enjoy the sun by the rooftop plunge pool of this hotel that has rooms with rain-showers

budget

A lovely apartment set within walking distance of the attractions that offers free parking

airbnb

Centrally located in Malaga, this place has such a cool design and room for 4 people

Things to do in Soho

  • Explore Malaga on a bike tour 
  • Visit the CAC Málaga museum
  • Learn more about Malaga’s street art project, MAUS
  • Go for a stroll by the water at Plaza de la Marina
  • Have a walk or picnic at the historical Parque de Málaga
  • Check out the street art, you won’t want to miss Calle Tomás Heredia (map)

3. El Perchel – best for budget travelers

Traditional church in Malaga with a yellow and white facade, ornate red-tiled dome, and intricate mosaics, set against a clear sky in an urban street scene.Traditional church in Malaga with a yellow and white facade, ornate red-tiled dome, and intricate mosaics, set against a clear sky in an urban street scene.

Want to get a taste of the real side of Malga? Then El Perchel is definitely for you!

This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Malaga, and it’s located around a 10 min metro ride away from Old Town Malaga. Also, it’s not too far from the beach.

Although many of its historic buildings have been torn down and transformed into apartments, you can still feel the sense of community and the memory of all the people who have been living here for centuries,

You’ll probably notice if you check the map that there’s Perchel Sur and Perchel Norte, which are both part of the larger area of El Perchel. 

Since this area is not so touristy, it’s more peaceful than Soho and Old Town. Additionally, you can really get a real feel of real Malaga (and experience the local vibes). 

El Perchel was a fishing town, back in the day, that’s why there are many traditional seafood restaurants where you can indulge in all the yummy dishes. La Alacena de Francis (map) is a really cool spot! 

Plus, this is also where you’ll find the Maria Zambrano Train Station (map), the town’s main station that has links to other cities in the country, perfect for those who want to explore around when they visit Malaga.

There are also some cool attractions that you can check out, like the Jardines Picasso (map), or you can hit the shops at the Centro Comercial Málaga Plaza (map).

Another amazing perk is that El Perchel offers many affordable hotels, so if you’re traveling on a tight budget, then definitely check the hotels I’ve listed below.I’d recommend booking well in advance to secure your spot, but if those are sold out, you can also check out the neighboring areas of La Trinidad and Mármoles.

Luxury hotel

One of the best luxury hotels in the area! The 4-star hotel offers direct access to Malaga’s high-speed train station and a fitness centre! Enjoy your mornings by the amazing rooftop pool and pamper yourself at the spa after a day of exploring around!

Other accommodations in El Perchel

mid-range

Relax in the comfortable rooms of this hotel that has a swimming pool, a spa center and a great location near the Maria Zambrano Train Station and bus station

budget

One of the best budget-friendly hostels in the area set within walking distance to Malaga Train Station

airbnb

This great place comes with a kitchen, a terrace and private parking and it offers easy access to central Malaga

Things to do in El Perchel

  • Have a delicious seafood dinner at Mercado del Carmen
  • See astonishing public artworks at the Jardines Picasso
  • Make a dessert stop at Los Valle (map) to have churros and hot chocolate
  • Check out the mountain trails in Bailen-Miraflores (also known as District 4)
  • Visit the historical Convento de San Andrés

4. La Merced – where to stay in Malaga for nightlife

Obelisk monument at La Merced square in Málaga, surrounded by lush trees and a bustling promenade.Obelisk monument at La Merced square in Málaga, surrounded by lush trees and a bustling promenade.

Spanish people sure know how to party, dance, and just enjoy some good music!

There’s no better place to enjoy some flamenco shows and drink cocktails than La Merced (which translates to “mercy” in English), a small neighborhood in a great location.

This neighborhood has a great location! By staying here, you’ll be just within walking distance of central Malaga and also near La Goleta and El Ejido, 2 cool areas that you should definitely explore. 

Besides boasting great nightlife, La Merced is actually the birthplace of Pablo Picasso! 

You can even visit his family home, called Museo Casa Natal de Picasso, which has some of his sketches and other personal things. 

Around the museum, there’s also the famous Plaza de la Merced (map), which has some tapas bars, restaurants and lively cafes! Picasso Tapas Bar (map) is a really cool place to try here!

And if you’re feeling hungry, definitely stop by  Mercado de la Merced (map), a bustling market where you can indulge in some yummy fresh food!

La Merced is also home to Teatro Cervantes. This theatre is housed in a 19th-century building that hosts lots of shows! So definitely check if there’s something on when you’re visiting Malaga. 

Luxury hotel

Enjoy your stay in this amazing place that is just a few minutes walk away from the historic center! The accommodation has a modern design and also a balcony.

Other accommodation options in

Mid-range

Chill by the fantastic rooftop pool of this place that has family rooms and a kitchen.

Airbnb

This spacious accommodation has 2 rooms, a kitchen and it also offers free parking.

Things to do in La Merced

  • Treat your tastebuds with Mercado de la Merced
  • Enjoy the views of Gibralfaro Mountain Peak
  • Explore Plaza La Merced
  • Visit the Museo Casa Natal de Picasso
  • Grab a drink at Picasso Tapas Bar 
  • Delve into Malaga’s history with Teatro Romano de Málaga

5. Eastern Coast (Este) – where to stay in Malaga near the beach

Serene marina at Eastern Coast, Málaga, with white buildings and moored boats reflecting the leisurely coastal lifestyleSerene marina at Eastern Coast, Málaga, with white buildings and moored boats reflecting the leisurely coastal lifestyle

This part of Malaga province is often neglected by tourists since only a part of it is close to the historic centre, but I’ve got to say it: the Eastern Coast (also known as Este) has some of the top beaches around making it a dream destination for ocean lovers.

Este is also a pretty amazing place to stay in Malaga for families, as it’s a bit more tranquil. And the best part is one of the main beaches, La Malagueta Beach is not far from the historic center, only 1.3 miles (2.1km), making it easy to explore other parts of the city. 

The Costa Del Sol beaches found in Este are considered to be some of the best ones, as they’re pretty wide and their location is perfect. You’ll find them right near the boarded promenades and surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars and little villages.

Each beach has a different character which is why they’re so sought by tourists. To make things easier, I’ve included some of the best ones with a short list of hotels for each place below. 

5.1 Pedregalejo 

Aerial view of Pedregalejo beach, Málaga, with colorful houses and calm blue watersAerial view of Pedregalejo beach, Málaga, with colorful houses and calm blue waters

Set near Malaga city centre, this beach has lots of seafood restaurants and bars. It boasts a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for those who just want to chill!

  • Apartamentos La Perla Azul (€€€) – admire the sea views from the terrace of this apartment that has a small kitchen. 
  • Hotel La Chancla (€€) – set right on the beach this hotel boasts sea views and a restaurant. 
  • El Nogal Home (€) – simple yet cozy rooms that have air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. 

5.2 La Malagueta Beach 

Sandy beachfront of La Malagueta with 'Malagueta' sculpture, palm trees, and beachside buildings under a clear skySandy beachfront of La Malagueta with 'Malagueta' sculpture, palm trees, and beachside buildings under a clear sky

Perfect for those who want to be right near the beach and city centre, La Malagueta beach is preferred by the younger crowd and it’s usually pretty busy! You’ll find everything here from bars to massages on the sandy shores!

  • Gran Hotel Miramar (€€€) – such a gorgeous hotel where grand style meets contemporary luxe, that has a swimming pool and a spa. 
  • SolMaestranza (€€) – a modern apartment that offers a lot of space and a full-equipped kitchen. 
  • Plaza de Toros (€) – this super cozy accommodation that comes with a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.

5.3 El Palo

Tranquil shores of El Palo, Málaga, with a view of beach-goers and coastal residencesTranquil shores of El Palo, Málaga, with a view of beach-goers and coastal residences

Perfect for families and those who love the fishing village vibe, this beach with calm water is set a 30 min bus trip from the historic centre and it has lots of small restaurants that serve fresh seafood

  • Apartamento La Jabega (€€€) – wake-up to a stunning view of the sea, while staying at this apartment that offers a free airport shuttle and bikes to rent out. 
  • Beach Resort in El Palo (€€) – modern and cozy, this apartment has everything you need including air-conditioning and a balcony.
  • Apartamentos El Palo (€) – enjoy your days at the beach while staying in this accommodation that has a great location and a terrace.

5.4 Nerja

Panoramic view of Nerja, Málaga, showcasing the beach cove with azure waters and the town against a mountainous backdropPanoramic view of Nerja, Málaga, showcasing the beach cove with azure waters and the town against a mountainous backdrop

This is a stunning little town perfect for your beach holiday, just 1h away from Malaga. It boasts some gorgeous beaches, and lots of hotels right on the sandy shores! 

5.5 Torre del Mar

Aerial shot of Torre del Mar, Málaga, with urban architecture lining the extensive beachAerial shot of Torre del Mar, Málaga, with urban architecture lining the extensive beach

Home to some of the best beaches on Costa del Sol, this tiny village has lots of bars and restaurants right on the sandy shores, bike paths and a nice promenade where you can enjoy scenic walks!

  • Apartamento Playa Marinsa (€€€) – perfect for a family or friend group, this spacious apartment overlooks the sea and has a patio.
  • BQ Andalucia Beach Hotel (€€) – a great hotel right near the shores that has rooms with balconies and an outdoor pool. 
  • Mainake Costa del Sol (€) – boasting a fantastic rooftop terrace with a pool and a complimentary breakfast, this hotel is surely a keeper!

Things to do on the East Coast

  • Admire the town views from Monte Victoria
  • Relax on La Malagueta Beach (or try out some water sports)
  • Grab a bite at Keyzen
  • Catch a sunset at Espigón de la T
  • Explore the historic center of Frigiliana 
  • Check out the local nightlife in La Malagueta
  • Go snorkeling and scuba diving along the Costa del Sol

6. Western Coast – best part of Malaga to stay for the urban feel 

Picturesque marina of Benalmádena, Málaga, with boats docked and white-washed buildings on a sunny dayPicturesque marina of Benalmádena, Málaga, with boats docked and white-washed buildings on a sunny day

The Western part of Malaga stretches up to Marbella, and compared to East Malaga, this part of the province has a more urban feel to it. It’s more touristy than the east and not as tranquil.

Its urban feel is given by all the apartment buildings that were built here a few years ago for the locals of Malaga. 

And of course by all the vibey local bars and restaurants that you’ll find around! You won’t want to miss out on the delicious tapas and fresh seafood while taking in stunning views of the ocean.

There are also lots of fun attractions here, from golf courses to theme parks where you can go with your kids (Selwo Marina and Sea Life Benalmádena are great places) and also some museums like Centro de Exposiciones de Benalmádena.

Here you’ll find lots of resorts as well! I’ve included some of the best ones below, so have a look:

6.1 Playa de Huelin

Western Coast of Málaga, displaying a bustling urban beach with cityscape and mountain viewsWestern Coast of Málaga, displaying a bustling urban beach with cityscape and mountain views

Once a working-class area, this beach is pretty wide and it boasts some beach bars and a play area for the little ones 

  • Luxury Home Poseidon (€€€) – these apartments have everything you need from comfortable rooms, a kitchen and a terrace. 
  • Khors (€€) – a beachfront accommodation that has rooms with a balcony and a kitchen. 
  • Playa 120 (€) – an affordable and spacious apartment by the beach that has air-conditioning. 

6.2 Benalmádena

Playa de Huelin, Málaga, featuring a vibrant beach scene with palm trees and urban surroundingsPlaya de Huelin, Málaga, featuring a vibrant beach scene with palm trees and urban surroundings

A pretty big town located 2h away from Malaga Airport that has lots of gorgeous beaches with crystal clear waters and dense vegetation!

  • Vincci Selección Aleysa (€€€) – a great hotel with a perfect blend of modern luxury and classy touches that has a private beach area, an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a spa. 
  • Comfy Studios (€€) – elegant studios with a terrace that overlooks the sea and the pool.
  • Warm Studio (€) – start your days by the outdoor pool of this hotel that has a garden and family rooms. 

Things to do on the West Coast

  • Go for a walk in Parque de la Paloma
  • Spend a fun day at Selwo Marina
  • Admire all the fancy ships in the port area
  • Visit the Castillo de El-Bil-Bil (map)
  • Explore the nearby Mijas area

FAQs about where to stay in Malaga

Scenic view of a port city with a large cruise ship docked, surrounded by modern architecture, with mountains in the background under a clear blue skyScenic view of a port city with a large cruise ship docked, surrounded by modern architecture, with mountains in the background under a clear blue sky

🗺️ Where is the best area to stay in Malaga, Spain?

Old Town Malaga is the best area to stay in Malaga, especially for first-timers! The historic center has dreamy cobblestone streets and many attractions. 

🍸 Is there a strip in Malaga?

Yes, right near Malagueta Beach there’s a long strip of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife. 

🤔 Is Malaga worth visiting?

Yes! Malaga is a gorgeous town filled with amazing museums, lots of beaches and fab hotels!

⏱️ How many days should I spend in Malaga?

I’d recommend spending 2 to 3 days in Malaga or maybe more if you want more time at the beach.

🖼️ What is Malaga famous for?

Malaga is known as the birthplace of Pablo Picasso but also for its amazing Costa del Sol beaches. 

❌ What are some areas to avoid in Malaga?

I’d recommend avoiding the La Palmilla neighborhood while in Malaga since it has a relatively high crime rate.

💃 Where is the lively area in Malaga?

La Merced is a super lively area in Malaga that has lots of bars, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. 

🌞How far is Malaga Old Town from the beach?

The historic center is located a 20 minutes walk away from the beach. 

Conclusion

Majestic sunset view of an ancient fortress with illuminated walls, towering over a cityscape surrounded by lush greenery and a soft, glowing skyMajestic sunset view of an ancient fortress with illuminated walls, towering over a cityscape surrounded by lush greenery and a soft, glowing sky

How incredible is this place? I hope you enjoyed my guide on where to stay in Malaga! And there really is an area to stay for every budget, from the most amazing luxurious resorts to some of the best hotels at affordable prices.

Just remember that Malaga is a super popular holiday destination, with lots of incredible beaches, that’s why I recommend booking your hotels here in advance. 

So before you start packing your bags, I’ll give you a quick recap. Here are the best 2 hotels where I would definitely recommend you to stay in Malaga. Both hotels have a central location and amazing reviews: 

  • Molina Lario – an amazing boutique hotel with a central location that has a fantastic rooftop terrace with a pool 
  • Suites Chinitas – these stylish apartments are within walking distance of Malaga Cathedral and offer city views

Malaga is an unmissable holiday destination! Enjoy your time there and don’t forget that you can always ping me below in the comment section if you have any questions! 

If you want to visit more of Malaga’s neighbors, check out all our posts on other Spanish destinations

Enjoy your time in Malaga, 

Victoria


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