Save your money and discover the best free activities in Málaga!
With more than 320 sunny days a year, Málaga, or the 'capital of Sun', is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. Its welcoming character, low prices and cultural entertainment attracts travellers from all over the world every year.
Today we reveal the best places to go in Málaga free of charge, so you can enjoy this amazing Andalusian city without spending a euro!
1. Immerse yourself in the world of Picasso
Málaga is the birthplace of this artist, so don't even think about visiting the city without going to see something related to him, as there are many places you can go to see his artwork.
Picasso Museum: credits @Vinga888
If you believe you'll be in Málaga on the last Sunday of the month then you're in luck! You can visit the birthplace of Picasso in the Plaza de la Merced from 4-8pm, where you'll find his first works and even some of his childhood possessions. In the same square you'll find a statue of the painter, a famous attraction of the city. Why don't you take a selfie with Picasso, making sure to tag us!
Plaza de la merced, Malaga: credits @saharahjulians
If you want to know even more about his work, you can view his paintings and sculptures in the Picasso Museum from 6-8pm. There are more than 155 works, and you don't have to pay an entry fee! The museum is located in the Palacio de Buenavista, a notable building of 16th century Andalusian architecture.
2. Fall in love at the Alcazaba viewpoint
Another free place to visit in Málaga is this incredible viewpoint, offering spectaular views of the city that will truly take your breath away. This promenade / viewpoint Alcazaba is found at the foot of the northwest wall of Alcazaba (one of the most emblematic monuments in the city).
Views from the viewpoint: credits @mymalaga
There's no doubt that this walk, with its enchanting smell of rosemary, will leave you stunned while admiring the beautiful views. This haven offers alternative scenes of the city, and from here you are able to glimpse the Roman theatre, which you can also visit for free.
3. Cotillear el Atarazanas, the central market
Is a city even a city without a central market? With its fresh, local produce sold for reasonable prices, the Atarazanas is on another level, located at the heart of the city, full of life and rhythm. It's not surprising that it has become the central hub for tourists, as being the home to so many local products, people flood here to come and try the tapas, the typical Andalusian cuisine.
Atarazanas Market: credits @andersonsalvador
In addition, the building where it's located still maintains its original feel, and it's one of the most significant architectural structures with Arabic influence in the city. The word Atarazanas in Arabic in fact translates as "place where boats are repaired and built".
Interior of Atarazanas Market: credits @elcamerinomalaga
Let yourself get carried away by your senses among the smells and flavours of this market, walking among the locals and becoming enchanted by their culture, happy and welcoming wherever they are.
4. Stroll through the fashion district
Granted Málaga in general is fashionable, but this zone is by far the most trendy spot in the city. Soho is one of those neighbourhoods where art is found on every street. It's a modern, cultural and bohemiam place where it seems as though you're walking through an outdoor gallery.
Barrio el Soho: credits @maytebosch
A zone which was once neglected and forgotten until some local merchants promoted a movement to encourage the revival of this area. In a short time, Soho - also known as the arts district - became what we know it as today: a vibrant space with local establishments related to the arts world. Photography, dance, theatre, music etc... buildings painted by famous artists, both national and international, graffiti on the walls, murals with inspiring messages... so if your hobby is photography this is the place for you! (Oh, and yes, it's completely free of course!)
Soho district: credits @victorserranov
Bear in mind that it's on the first Saturday of each month that a market is held, where you can find all kinds of vintage bargains, crafts, organic food and antiques. If you fall in love with this place, then check out these accommodations in Málaga where you'll even find art in your bedroom!
5. Take a siesta on the beach of La Caleta
We're talking about one of the best beaches in Málaga. Located near the historic centre, it has no rivals even of those located further away. Whoever once said urban beaches are worse are wrong! La Caleta has many palm trees for you to relax under, and sunsets which take your breath away, all for free! From this beach you can see the great neighbourhood of "Caleta", with its grand palaces and luxurious buildings.
You could also go to visit the beaches of Pedregalejo and El Palo, where restaurant and beach bars serve exquisite Málaga dishes, such as the famous sardines. It's interesting to see how traditions have been maintained despite modern techniques. What's more, the charming little colourful houses will surely fascinate you.
Playa del Palo: credits @rebinparis
6. Visit art galleries
Seeing as it's the fifth cultural city of Spain, Malaga is full of a wide range of attractions, committed to innovation and constant development. If you want to be shocked by a new kind of art without spending money we recommend the CAC (Cultural Center of Contemporary Art), an artistic point of reference known worldwide. The CAC offers many exhibitions, courses and seminars throughout the year, so if you want to expand on your knowledge of the contemporary art world then we suggest giving this place a visit!
7. Explore some museums
In terms of museums, the city certainly doesn't fall short in this department. There is the Carmen Thyssen Málaga Museum, free from Tuesday to Sunday throughout the day, the Municipal Heritage Museum where you can enjoy a free guided tour if you go at 6pm, the Pompidou, the first centre that the Parisian museum opened outside of France, free after 4pm on a Sunday, or the Russian Museum also free from 4pm.
Pompidou: credits @mymalaga
Still not convinced? That's not all, as there are actually more than 30 museums in Málaga! So if you don't have time to visit all of them on a Sunday, if you happen to be unemployed, a student or have a youth card then the discounts offered at these museums are incredible!
8. Stroll through the harbour and see the lighthouse
It is the only lighthouse in Spain apart from the one in Tenerife with a female name. Not only is the lighthouse an iconic symbol of this city and the Costa del Sol, it is also free to visit! Located at the entrance of the port, it gives its name to the promenade where it's located.
Malaga Lighthouse: credits @amj_foto
You can tour the port, one of the oldest in the world, and watch the giant cruise ships entering and leaving the city as well as the luxurious yachts, enjoying panoramic views of the city.
On the way back you'll pass Muelle Uno, an open-air shopping center in front of the sea with numerous restaurants and bars and shops where you can walk around and experience the life of the city. Free concerts and craft markets are organised here, and there is also an artisanal cultural center full of works by modern artists.
9. Experience the best week of the year: Holy Week
Whether you're religious or not, this week there's a real celebration in the city, being declared an international tourist interest. Holy Week in Málaga, with its strong traditions, occupies an entire religious, social and cultural event that attracts millions of visitors to the capital of the Costa del Sol every year.
The uniqueness and spectaularity of the parades, people, costumes, celebrations and music makes it a ceremony worth seeing, feeling and living if you're in Málaga at this time.
10. See sunrise and sunset from Gibralfaro
The last free and essential plan in Málaga is to see a sunrise or sunset from the Gibralfaro viewpoint, of course without paying an admission fee! Located in the heart of Málaga, you can reach it by car or foot. If you're a nature-lover and want to hike to the viewpoint, we suggest doing so when the sun is not too hot and wear appropriate footwear because the trails are steep... but it is definitely worth the view at the top!
View from the Gibralfaro viewpoint: credits @marylftg
Once you're up there, you'll enjoy the best views of the Costa del Sol, with dreamlike panoramas that look like scenes off a postcard.
We hope after reading this guide to free things to do in Málaga you will start to explore this beautiful city yourself!
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