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Where to Stay in Malaga: The Best Areas + Hotels For Your Trip

Where to Stay in Malaga: The Best Areas + Hotels For Your Trip

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 MalagaVincci Larios Diez
Best Luxury Malaga Hotel Palacio Solecio
Best Boutique Hotel in MalagaAnahita 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 

Old Town Malaga

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

Walkway in the Alcazaba

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. 

Roman Theatre 

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.

Malaga Cathedral 
Malaga Cathedral 

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

La Merced Malaga

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 
Plaza del la Merced Malaga

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.

Picasso Museum 
Picasso Museum

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 
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

Palacio Solecio 

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 

Soho Malaga

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.

Soho Highlights

Contemporary Art Center of Malaga
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.

MAUS Project

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.

Malaga Park
Malaga Park

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.

ICON Malabar 

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 

Plaza de toros de La Malagueta

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
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
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
Plaza de Toros de Ronda bullring in Malaga, Spain

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 

El Perchel

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
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
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. 

Picasso Garden
Picasso Garden

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

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

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 

Visiting the Alcazaba in Malaga

Related Searches FAQs 

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.

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