Wondering where to stay in Malaga? This guide covers where to stay in this gorgeous destination on the Mediterranean Sea – the best areas for sightseeing, beach chillin’ and more.
Spain is a country filled with gems and, among them, Malaga stands out as one of the biggest surprises.
As it’s such a popular spot amongst British holiday-makers (who don’t have the best rep, I’ll admit), I was cautious before my first visit… But I didn’t need to be.
Moorish, Gothic, Baroque, and even ancient Roman architecture help paint the picture of this charming province of Andalucia. Here you’ll get to experience a laid-back lifestyle with plenty of incredible food, customs, and attractions (it was even the birthplace of Pablo Picasso – more on him later).
But before you book your flight and reserve tickets to the many excellent (and affordable) museums, you’ll want to check out where to stay in Malaga. And, whatever you’re looking for, I guarantee that there’s a neighbourhood for you.
Read on to discover my top picks.
Best Places to Stay in Malaga: At a Glance
|Best Places to Stay in Malaga – Top Picks||Hotel|
|Best Overall Hotel in Malaga||Vincci Larios Diez|
|Best Luxury Malaga Hotel||Palacio Solecio|
|Best Boutique Hotel in Malaga||Anahita Boutique Hotel|
|Best Malaga Hotel for Beaches||Gran Hotel Miramar|
Where to Stay in Malaga
Discovering where to stay near Malaga‘s many wonderful landmarks might sound like a tall order. Worry not; I’ll show you the best hotels and resorts in Malaga and where to stay for a perfect holiday in Southern Spain.
Old Town: Best Place to Stay in Malaga Overall
Let me tell you, when I first visited Malaga, I didn’t have many expectations. Sometimes this is a good thing, and in the case of Old Town, I was pleasantly surprised.
The city’s historic centre is brimming with Malaga’s most famous architecture and is indeed a charm to walk around. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the unique buildings, meandering cobblestone streets, and places to stop for a refreshment along the way (order the Tito de Verano and thank me later).
Where to stay in Malaga for nightlife? Not only is it a joy to walk the streets by day, but they become plenty lively at night.
From the absolutely bonkers Sala Gold to late-night tapas joints, you’ll find loads to do in the historical centre of Malaga. El Pimpi is the most talked about, but I prefer lesser-known spots like Bar LA TRANCA, where the food is every bit as enticing.
Old Town Highlights
If you’re in Malaga, visit the ancient Moorish palace in the city centre – Alcazaba. It’s not as large as other famous ruins in Spain, but you’re still better off booking a tour to learn the storied past.
Another place you need to visit is the Malaga Roman Theatre – not only are the ancient ruins among the oldest in Spain, but the fact that they’re a stone’s throw from Alcazaba makes it a perfect tandem.
No trip to Malaga’s Old Town is complete without visiting the architectural marvel that is Malaga Cathedral. La Manquita, or the one-armed woman, is aptly named as only one of the two proposed towers stands today.
Suggested Best Hotels in Old Town
AC Hotel by Marriott Malaga Palacio
Wondering where to stay in Malaga’s city centre? Just down the street from Málaga Cathedral and the Picasso Museum, AC Hotel by Marriott Malaga Palacio is a modern 4-star hotel that blends comfort and convenience.
A rooftop pool, an inviting Spanish restaurant with unrivalled city views, and charming rooms with private balcony views make this a perfect place to stay in Old Town Malaga.
Vincci Larios Diez
Or perhaps you would rather stay in Vincci Larios Diez? Every room in this hotel projects a modern urban feel that’s uniquely Malaga. Romantic private balcony views and features like double vanities and outstanding breakfasts make this the answer to where to stay in Malaga for couples.
Málaga Premium Hotel
Another excellent choice is the Málaga Premium Hotel. Hardwood floors, botanical wallpaper, and modern furniture give every room a youthful cool at a budget-friendly price point.
Not to mention that the rooftop bar is a fantastic place to start or end your evening in the historic centre of Malaga.
La Merced: Best for Experiencing Malaga’s Museums
Remember when I mentioned that Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga? Well, if you want to hone in on the exact part of the province he was from, it’s La Merced.
The house he was born in is in the bustling Plaza de la Merced and is now a museum (though the main Picasso Museum is a short walk away).
But the area has so much to offer besides being the home of a world-famous artist.
La Merced Highlights
Plaza de la Merced
Isn’t it at the top of every traveller’s list to kick it in a Spanish plaza for a few hours while taking in all the sights and sounds? Well, it is on mine, and Plaza de la Merced is the place to do it.
As well as this, you can’t visit Malaga and not go to the Picasso Museum. I’m not even a loyal Picasso fan, but the comprehensive collection of his works is one you simply can’t ignore when staying in Malaga.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
While you’re in the area, you also should visit the Carmen Thyssen Museum. HEre you can explore one of the best collections of Spanish art at this lesser-known art hub in Malaga.
Suggested Boutique Hotels in La Merced
Without a doubt, the best place to stay is Palacio Solecio – you’ll be staying in an 18th-century palace near some of Malaga’s best food, landmarks, and things to do (need I say more?)
The luxury hotel is pristine from top to bottom, blending historical architecture with a discerningly modern touch in each and every nook and cranny. Reserve a seat at the acclaimed restaurant Restaurante Balausta, featuring the food of the renowned chef José Carlos García.
Anahita Boutique Hotel
Anahita Boutique Hotel is a charming boutique hotel that offers some great standard rooms, which make the most of the smaller spaces by incorporating luxurious styling into the bedrooms and baths.
But I can’t stop thinking about the Suite with Hot Tub here as a place to stay in Malaga city like a local. Your 2-story suite feels like a luxury condo with cosy brick-lined walls, vintage furniture, and a private spa bath upstairs.
Hotel del Pintor
If you’re on a budget, consider Hotel del Pintor. Steps away from the most famous sites in Malaga, your modern and boldly decorated room is the perfect landing spot. The rooms are soundproof, rental bikes are on the property, and some of Malaga’s best food and cocktails are right outside this bargain option.
Soho: Where to Stay in Malaga For Culture
Malaga is clearly an artistic hub (again, Picasso), but no neighbourhood’s doing it better when it comes to contemporary art and culture than Soho.
If you travel to Malaga and want to find the place to be, it’s Soho.
Culture seekers, look no further; Soho is the best area to stay in Malaga to experience food, art galleries, street art (check out ridiculous murals by artists like D*Face), and one-of-a-kind boutique shops.
Sounds right up your alley? Let’s look at where you need to go in Soho.
Contemporary Art Center of Malaga
When in Soho, you owe yourself a visit to the Contemporary Art Center of Malaga. Be sure to take a moment (or several hours) to peruse the collections of artwork and see why it’s at the top of my things to do in Malaga.
Another cool spot is Málaga’s MAUS Project. Think of this as an open-air art gallery featuring some of the best street art in the world. Running along the walls near the Guadalmedina River, the art has literally shaped the neighbourhood into what it is today.
For something a little more laidback, head to Malaga Park. This is a beautiful outdoor space that’s been around since the turn of the 20th Century. Walk around the gardens and check out the statues and fountains that make it a perfect place to spend an afternoon in Malaga.
Suggested Stylish Hotels in Soho
Only YOU Hotel Malaga
Only YOU Hotel Malaga is simply stunning. Youthful while feeling grown up, it perfectly represents the local style. From the sophisticated interiors of the rooms to the stunning art deco-inspired shared spaces indoors and out, this is where you want to stay in Soho. Period.
Another stylish and modern choice for the best place to stay in Malaga is ICON Malabar – rooms have a city meets seaside decor.. Warm design accents meander through the room where needed most, naturally interacting with the hardwood floors and warm neutral-coloured walls.
Mariposa Hotel Malaga
Another mention goes to the wonderful Mariposa Hotel Malaga. Looking for contemporary style with a bit of old-world charm hiding somewhere between the urban Soho walls? This hotel showcases artwork and decor that evokes Malaga past and present.
The boldly-designed bedrooms contrast with the dark green vanities and walls, providing a somewhat cheeky yet perfectly welcome decor.
La Malagueta: Where to Stay in Malaga Near the Beach
Discovering the best places to stay near Malaga up in Nerja or down the Costa del So will provide you with many of the best beaches in the area. But if you want to stay near the water while you’re in Malaga, my pick is La Malagueta.
What was once an area known for fishing, bullfighting, and industrial factories is now home to popular restaurants and bars and the most famous beach in Malaga, Playa de la Malagueta. But you can still sense the area’s past while walking through the urban streets along the coast.
As you may well know, food is on my mind when I visit Malaga (or anywhere in Spain). And if you’re looking for one of the best areas to discover underrated gems for seafood, look no further. Be sure to try the boquerones fritos, and octopus while you’re here.
La Malagueta Highlights
La Malagueta Beach
Obviously, La Malagueta Beach is a must. This is a picturesque beach that’s an amazing way to break up your day exploring nearby Malagueta. It’s also often crowded due to its proximity to the urban centre, so arrive early to nab a great spot.
La Farola de Malaga
Head a little way down the promenade, and you’ll find La Farola de Malaga – a lighthouse that dates back to 1817. The imposing bleach-white facade contrasts beautifully with the deep blues of the ocean behind it.
Plaza de Toros La Malagueta
Another spot you need to visit while in the neighbourhood is Plaza de Toros La Malagueta — This Moorish Revival-inspired building is still operating today, nearly 150 years after the first bullfights took place inside.
As well as this, make the 1 km climb to Castillo de Gibralfaro — this ancient fortress boasts epic views of La Malagueta and the most storied landmarks in Malaga.
Suggested Hotels for Beach Access in La Malagueta
Gran Hotel Miramar
Looking for somewhere that seriously impresses? Gran Hotel Miramar is your answer – this nearly 100-year-old property is a short walk from Playa de la Malagueta and Playa de la Caleta.
It resembles a palace inside and out, with each guest in the 190 rooms treated like royalty. A 24-hour front desk accommodates nearly any request, including currency exchange whenever needed. It’s also an absolutely perfect place for a wedding or honeymoon, with opulent event spaces, lavish grounds, and views of the Mediterranean Sea that may just leave you speechless.
Hotel MS Maestranza
Another fabulous option = Hotel MS Maestranza. You can’t get much closer to the shores of Costa del Sol in Malaga than this 4-star property. When you’re not lounging on the beach, enjoy the city views from the rooftop jacuzzi overlooking the famous bullring below.
Hotel Castillo De Santa Catalina
The 5-star Hotel Castillo De Santa Catalina is a bit removed from Malagueta. Still, staring down at the deep blue waters and beaches below from the infinity pool, you won’t mind the 20-minute trek into town.
Book the Junior Suite with Terrace for the best views of the sands and shores of Costa del Sol.
El Perchel: Where to Stay in Malaga Like a Local
I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard of this charming neighbourhood in Malaga. Right across the river from Old Town and Soho is a wonderful slice of Malaga life that ranks up with the best places to stay anywhere.
Perchel is one of Malaga’s oldest neighbourhoods and is home to underrated restaurants, architecture, and shopping. It’s also a short walk from the most famous areas in Malaga, making it a great choice if you want to be close to the action at a reasonable price.
El Perchel Highlights
Mercado El Carmen
The main draw of El Perchel is Mercado El Carmen. Located in the traditional fishing village of Pechel Sur, you can’t miss the freshly caught seafood at this active marketplace.
Santo Domingo de Guzmán
For a touch of culture, head to Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán – One of the more beautiful churches in Malaga, it’s a neoclassical construction on a centuries-old religious site.
Heard of the Picasso Garden? It’s well worth a visit – it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours admiring flora and fauna, people watching, or checking out the two statues paying tribute to the local legend Pablo Picasso.
Suggested Low Key Hotels in El Perchel
Hotel Guadalmedina offers stylish, understated accommodations at tremendous value across the river from the Center of Contemporary Art.
The rooms are spacious, as is the lobby, while the proximity to the train station makes it an excellent choice for business travellers or those who want to venture to lesser-explored parts of Malaga.
Salles Hotel Málaga Centro
Dreamy views? Say no more – Salles Hotel Málaga Centro has got you covered. One advantage of staying in Perchel Norte is the incredible vantage point of Malaga Centro across the river.
The rooftop pool is a perfect place to lay out in the warmer months to plan your next adventure. The rooms feel fresh and vibrant, with hardwood floors and botanical wallpaper setting up the city views outside your window.
NH Málaga is the perfect choice to be near all the action in a quiet, comfortable setting. The bar has a stylish and modern look and personalised service that makes you feel welcome at every chance.
Opt for a room with a balcony view for one of the better values in Malaga.
Where to Stay in Malaga: Frequently Asked Questions
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Practical Tips to Consider Before Booking Your Malaga Accommodation
- The prettiest beaches along Costa del Sol are outside Malaga city centre. If you’re looking for the best places to stay near Malaga, try staying in Nerja or other areas further out.
- Some hotels offer incredible breakfasts for a reasonable additional price or as part of a package. Do your homework beforehand to see if you need to plan all three meals outside your accommodations.