Malaga Solo Travel Guide: The Best Things to Do in Malaga for Solo Travellers

Are you planning a solo trip to Spain?  Malaga in southern Spain is a wonderful solo travel destination with great weather and plenty of fun activities to keep you busy. In this Malaga solo travel guide, you’ll find out the best things to do in Malaga for solo travellers and lots more solo travel tips for Malaga including where to stay and why you should visit Malaga.

This website contains sponsored and affiliate links. If you click through the links on this page and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support. [Learn more]

This is a guest post by Linn Haglund, travel writer and blogger who has lived in the Costa del Sol for 10 years, with edits and additions by Claire.

Know Before You Go to Malaga

Before travelling to Malaga, make sure you book accommodation and popular attractions ASAP as hotels and tickets can sell out.


$$ Casual del Mar Málaga: Comfortable hotel close to the centre of Malaga

$ TOC Hostel Malaga highly-rated hostel with dorms and private rooms


1. Caminito del Rey Guided Tour with Bus

2. Flamenco Show Alegría

3. Alcazaba and Roman Theatre Guided Tour With Entry

Why Visit Malaga Alone?

Malaga is one of the most vibrant coastal cities in Spain which is still small enough to get around by foot without walking long distances. It is a safe and friendly city where you quickly feel comfortable when travelling alone.

The city is also a great base for day trips if you want to explore the surrounding towns and white villages or take on the hiking routes that reveal mesmerizing sea views, deep ravines, and ravishing waterfalls. 

The city is also jampacked with hostels where you can meet other travellers, and there are lots of options for joining group tours to meet people too.  Whether you prefer to explore on your own or have some company on a tour, you can have a great time in Malaga alone!

Linn at Gibralfaro Viewpoint overlooking Malaga - Malaga Solo Guide
Linn at Gibralfaro Viewpoint – Malaga Solo Guide | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

Is Malaga Safe for Solo Travellers?

Safety is often a top concern for solo travellers, especially solo female travellers, and Malaga is one of the safest cities in Spain, ahead of other popular destinations like Madrid and Barcelona.

While no destination is entirely free from risk, Malaga is generally considered a safe city for solo travellers and has a low crime rate compared to other European cities of similar size.

However, like you would when travelling anywhere it’s essential to exercise caution and remain aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas and at night.

The Best Things to Do in Malaga Alone

Here are the absolute best things to do in Malaga for solo travellers.  I’ve included some Malaga activities to do alone, and some of the best tours in Malaga so you can choose the best things for you.  

Take a Boat Tour

One of the best ways to meet other travellers is to join one of the Malaga boat tours leaving from the Muelle Uno Marina right outside the old town.

There are different boat trips throughout the day to see the coastline or go snorkelling, but you can also join party cruises or more tranquil sunset cruises in the evenings. I always meet fabulous people on these boat tours and sometimes we have continued out for dinner or drinks together after the boat trip.

These are some of the most popular boat tours on GetYourGuide:

I use GetYourGuide to book tours and tickets as I love how you can choose from a variety of options to find the best for you, comparing prices and reading reviews. 

Using GetYourGuide means you also get immediate confirmation once you’ve booked which is perfect for last-minute plans, and when you book in advance you can cancel up to 24 hours before the activity in case your plans change.  However, If you prefer to use Viator you can find tours on Viator here.


Powered by GetYourGuide

Stroll Around the Old Town

Malaga Old Town is one of the most enchanting in Spain with plenty of history and beautiful architecture. If you are looking for where to stay in Malaga, the old town is also my best recommendation to stay centrally, and it is where the best hostels are located.

Malaga’s biggest attractions like the Alcazar, Roman Theatre, and the Gibralfaro Castle are all situated in the historic centre and there are also a whole lot of interesting museums in Malaga Old Town like the Picasso Museum and the Video Game Museum (which might seem out of place but is pretty cool if you’re into that!).

The Old Town of Malaga is the heart of the city when you’re hungry it’s a great place to eat with lots of tapas bars where you will find anything from traditional tapas to vegan food. 

If you take the time to get lost within the maze of cobbled streets you will also find hidden treasures like antique shops, beautiful churches, and street art, so take your time and explore!  You can also join a tour of the Old Town to get your bearings and get some more tips from your guide for what else to do in Malaga.

Roman Theater and Alcazaba - Amused by Andalucia
Roman Theater and Alcazaba | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

Visit the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

The main attractions in Malaga are the Moorish castles of Alcazaba and Gibralfaro. Alcazaba of Malaga sits strategically on the hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. It functioned as a defensive fortress but also as a home to the Moors who protected themselves during the Christian reconquest. Gibralfaro was built later to protect the Alcazaba.

On the outskirts of the Alcazaba, a 1st-century Roman theatre was discovered in 1951 which is free to visit, so I recommend stopping by here to see it before entering the Alcazaba. Then, on the way up the hill to Gibralfaro, you can catch your breath at the city’s best viewpoint overlooking Muelle Uno and the bullring.  

You can visit the Alcazaba independently, or join a tour to learn more about the fascinating history of the castle.

View of Malaga and the Bull Ring - Malaga Solo Travel Guide
View of Malaga and the Bull Ring – Malaga Solo Travel Guide

Go Shopping in Calle Larios

For your vacation shopping, head to Calle Larios, Malaga’s main shopping street and Malaga’s fashion centre. It goes from Plaza de la Constitución to the main street at the end of the historic centre lining the marina.

There, you will find several big names like Massimo Dutti, Rey Ban, Primor, and Desigual. You can also enter the side streets and the parallel street of Calle Nueva for more shops like Natura and Parfois.

If you go to Malaga in December, make sure you visit Calle Larios at night when the famous Christmas light show takes place.

Malaga Old Town - Amused by Andalucia
Malaga Old Town – Malaga Solo Travel Tips | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

Visit a Museum in Malaga

Malaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and recognized as a city of art in Andalucia. Obviously, you can visit the famous artist’s natal house and dedicated Picasso Museum, but there are also a whole lot of other exceptional museums in Malaga worth visiting.

Buy your entry ticket to the Picasso Museum in advance here, or join a guided tour which includes a skip-the-line ticket to the museum.

On Muelle Uno, you find a colourful box structure which is home to the Pompidou Museum where you can contemplate a collection of modern and contemporary art.

Another famous museum in Malaga is the Carmen Thyssen Museum dedicated to 19th century Spanish and Andalusian paintings which were mainly collected by Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Other interesting and quirky museums include the Video Game Museum, Center of Contemporary Art Malaga, and Malaga Automobile and Fashion Museum.

Pompidou Malaga - Amused by Andalucia
Pompidou Malaga | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

Step Inside Malaga Cathedral

Malaga Cathedral is located in the middle of the city’s historic centre and is absolutely stunning inside with marble columns and frescoed ceilings. It has a mesmerizing altarpiece too facing the choir.

You can also go on a rooftop tour which must be booked at the entrance of the cathedral. It takes you to the Patio de los Naranjos and a guide will meet you at your allotted time to guide you and the group up to the rooftop.

The views are spectacular, and you get the chance to get close to the unfinished clock tower which has given the basilica the nickname La Manquita (the one-armed lady.)

Malaga Cathedral - Things to do in Malaga Alone Amused by Andalucia
Malaga Cathedral – Things to do in Malaga Alone | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

Take a Street Art Photography Tour

Malaga is home to impressive street art, especially in the Soho neighbourhood where you can find some incredible pieces including strong political messages. There are also a few beautiful pieces throughout the old town, most famously in the Plaza de la Juderia in the passageway between the Alcazaba and the Picasso Museum.

The best way to see the street art in Malaga is to join a guided street art photography tour where a local guide will take you to some of the best spots. This way you don’t waste time trying to search for it (unless you have extra time to spare of course) and a local will be able to show you some incredible hidden gems in the city.

Walk El Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey walk was once known as the most dangerous hike in the world, but a massive restoration project that finished in 2015 has turned it into one of the top attractions in Malaga.

The jaw-dropping path is pinned 100 meters up on the wall of the mesmerizing Gaitanes Gorge and makes for a once-in-a-lifetime excursion from the city.  It takes around 2 hours to complete the entire hike and get the shuttle bus from the train station to the starting point.

You can join a group tour that picks you up in Malaga which is more convenient and also the best way to meet other travellers.

However, even if you travel individually, make sure you book tickets in advance as tickets sell out quickly. It is mandatory whether you choose a guided tour or not and your entrance will be in a specific time slot so make sure you choose a time that works with the train table.

El Caminito del Rey - Amused by Andalucia
El Caminito del Rey – THe Best Things to do in Malaga Solo | Credit: Malaga Amused by Andalucia

Eat ALL the Tapas

When in Andalucia, there is no reason not to eat all the tapas you can!

First of all, I will clear a little misunderstanding that I realize a lot of travellers believe. Tapas is not about what food is served, but rather the size of the dish.

A tapa is a small-size taste of something. It is integrated in the Spanish culture to order several small dishes to share, and you often just have a bite or two of each – with drinks.

So when hunting for tapas, just try the different dishes to get a wide taste of Andalusian cuisine. If you like a specific tapa, just order another one. It is normal to order a few at a time and add more to the table as you order more drinks and finish what you have gotten served.

They also don’t arrive at the table at the same time, so start eating whatever comes first and the waiter will keep bringing the other orders as they get ready.

There are so many amazing tapas restaurants in Malaga Old Town that you can sit down anywhere they have tapas on the menu (the other sizes are media ración and ración – which are half a plate and full plate). There is even a fantastic vegan tapas restaurant, La Vegana, that serves traditional tapas made vegan.

Heading out for tapas with people from the hostel or joining a tapas tour are the best ways to share tapas when travelling alone, otherwise you get full before you can try everything!

Party with the Locals during the Feria de Malaga

The Feria de Malaga (Malaga Fair) takes place in August every year and is the best time of the year to visit Malaga for solo travellers. Everywhere you go in the streets you will meet jolly locals and every square is jam-packed with people dancing to live music. And trust me, there are some pretty great bands featured!

This is also a fantastic way to get integrated into the culture of Malaga’s Fiestas and local music. I find people are very receptive to meeting travellers and new people in general during the Feria week, so it is never a problem to heading out by yourself as long as you are open to chatting away.

Feria de Malaga - Amused by Andalucia
Feria de Malaga – Party Time in Malaga! | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

Go on a Day Trip to Nerja and Frigiliana

Malaga is well connected to nearby towns and a day trip to Nerja from Malaga is a fabulous excursion. Nerja is one of the most popular beach towns in Costa del Sol with plenty of activities like kayaking and hiking, depending on the time of the year you visit.

The town centre is always full of life and whether you go shopping in the boutique shops or enjoy the views from Balcón de Europa and walk to the mesmerizing beaches along the coast, Nerja will not disappoint.

Make sure you visit the prehistoric Nerja Caves and take a trip to Frigiliana, the whitewashed village in the hillside above Nerja. The bus between Nerja and Frigiliana only takes 10 minutes. There are also organized group tours taking you to from Malaga to Nerja, the caves, and Frigiliana if you prefer the convenience and feel like socializing.

Conclusion: Should You Visit Malaga Alone?

Yes!  There is a lot of fun to be had in the sunny capital of Costa del Sol and some fabulous things to do in Malaga for solo travellers.

There is so much history and culture in Malaga and it is a safe and embracing city where you easily can meet other travellers or enjoy the city alone if you prefer that.

Whether want an action-filled week with plenty of day trips and activities or you are looking for a relaxing weekend away with good food and nice beaches, Malaga is an ideal solo travel destination.

Linn at Gibralfaro Viewpoint - Malaga Solo Travel
Linn at Gibralfaro Viewpoint | Credit: Amused by Andalucia

About the Author

Linn Haglund is an avid traveller, travel blogger, and freelance writer who has been based in Malaga’s Costa del Sol for 10+ years. She’s currently travelling full-time in her van Persistance, with her fiancée and rescue puppy Atlas, uncovering the many hidden gems of Andalucia and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *