Where to Stay in Malaga, Spain: A Local’s Guide to The Best Neighborhoods

A trip to sunny Malaga is a great choice whether you are a foodie, culture lover, history buff, shopaholic, or just want to laze on the beach. Now that you have decided on a destination (may I say you made a great choice!) it is time to find out where to stay in Malaga, Spain.

While it is a walkable city, there are quite a few different areas to stay in Malaga that appeal to different types of travelers.

After living in Costa del Sol for a decade (which makes me feel pretty old,) Malaga has become a favorite city. It’s easily one of the top places to stay in Costa del Sol.

Even now, when traveling in our camper van full time, we often stop by Malaga for the amazing vegan food scene, to walk the ancient Moorish walls, stroll along Muelle Uno, and take in splendid sunsets over the water.

The city has this familiar vibe over it no matter if you stroll through the cobblestones streets, drink cocktails on the rooftop bars, or take a boat tour in Malaga‘s waters.

In this guide, I’ll let you in on the best areas to stay in Malaga so that you can start planning your vacation.

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where to stay in Malaga

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HERE ARE MY TOP PICKS FOR WHERE TO STAY IN MALAGA SPAIN

LUXURY: Gran Hotel Miramar GL – Malaga’s best hotel right on the beachfront with outdoor pools, a spa, and a bar and restaurant.

MID-RANGE: Hotel Palacete de Alamos – lovely boutique hotel in the heart of Malaga Old Town within walking distance to all the top attractions, restaurants, and bars.

BUDGET:
Futurotel Malagueta Beach – a unique futuristic capsule hotel for an affordable price. If you are looking for something different on a budget I recommend trying this out. You get access to open the doors via an app and they have their own gaming zone.

APART-HOTEL: Coeo Apart-Hotel Fresca – fabulous and modern apartments close to the cathedral. Apartments sleep up to 3 people.

Where to stay in Malaga Spain

Malaga Old Town – Best for first timers

Malaga where to stay
Malaga Cathedral

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For:

  • Restaurant lovers 
  • Wine and beer lovers

Malaga Old Town is home to so many attractions in Malaga – Like the Picasso Museum, Plaza de la Merced, tapas restaurants, local wineries, and microbreweries. As a first visit to the city, this is definitely where to stay in Malaga, Spain.

There’s no better way to enjoy what Malaga has to offer than by trying out the different amazing restaurants. Especially the tapas scene is great in Malaga. If you appreciate good wine and beer, you will not be disappointed.

Besides, Malaga Old Town is home to two of the best castles in Andalucia, the Moorish Alcazaba of Malaga and Gibralfaro. The latter was built on the hill overlooking the Alcazaba to protect it.

They have both stood their time protecting Malaga against enemies and today, you can enjoy some of the best views in Malaga from there.

The Old Town is also a short walk from Malagueta Beach and the marina where you can enjoy a fancy meal, go shopping, or board some of the epic boat tours in Malaga.

And of course, what’s the point of visiting the home of the art legend Picasso without visiting the museum? There are also other great museums in Malaga like the Pompidou Museum and the Interactive Music Museum.

WHERE TO STAY IN MALAGA – OLD TOWN

LUXURY: Palacio Solecio – set in a restored 18th-century palace, this is a dreamy hotel to stay in the city center. It has a high-end restaurant and cocktail bar for dining in.

MID-RANGE: Hotel Palacete de Alamos – lovely boutique hotel in the heart of Malaga Old Town within walking distance to all the top attractions, restaurants, and bars.

BUDGET: H-A Hotel Trebol – a great budget hotel in the heart of Malaga Old Town. They serve a basic breakfast which is great if you are on a budget, otherwise, I would recommend heading out for breakfast at any of the cafés nearby.

APART-HOTEL: Coeo Apart-Hotel Fresca – fabulous and modern apartments close to the cathedral. Apartments sleep up to 3 people.

Calle Larios – Best for shopping

best place to stay Malaga

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For:

  • Shopping
  • Travelers and backpackers

Calle Larios is the best place to stay in Malaga, Spain for people who are trendy and love everything lifestyle. It is basically the main shopping street in Malaga, but also the surrounding streets are packed with fashion stores, restaurants, boutique hotels, cafes, pubs, and cocktail bars. 

Calle Larios is where to stay in Malaga if you love to shop luxury or mainstream brands like Zara, Pull and Bear, and even Swarovski. It’s no surprise it’s called the “Fifth Avenue” of Malaga.

The best part is that from Calle Larios, you can easily explore the city on foot, making it one of the trendiest areas to stay in Malaga. 

After hours of shopping, you can stroll down to have a relaxing cup of coffee at Café Central or any one of the cafes or even spring for a cocktail.

If you’d rather have ice cream, then you should certainly visit the Casa Mira. Calle Larios is certainly top two of the best areas to stay in Malaga.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MALAGA – CALLE LARIOS

LUXURY: Vincci Larios Diez – located on Calle Larios, this is a fantastic hotel with a rooftop bar and restaurant.

MID-RANGE: Hotel Larios Málaga – located right on Calle Larios, this is a great hotel with a rooftop bar boasting amazing views.

BUDGET: Hostal Victoria – one of the few budget options near Calle Larios, this hotel offers the basic including comfortable beds right next to the famous shopping area.

APARTMENT: Lodgingmalaga Plaza Constitucion – located a stone’s throw from Calle Larios, this is a fantastic apartment option with views onto Plaza de la Constitucion. It sleeps up to 4 people.

Soho – Coolest neighborhood

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For: 

  • Art lovers 
  • Bohemians and hipsters

Soho is popularly known as the arty, trendy, and bohemian part of Malaga. If you’re into any kind of art from graphic to performing, you are bound to find satisfaction in Soho. 

From stylishly decorated roof terraces to graffiti-painted buildings. This part of Malaga is every art lover’s dream and a corner of the city that I really enjoy strolling around. Soho is one of the places to stay in Malaga if you want to be surrounded by artistic excellence.

You can never be bored in Soho. There are tons of art and cultural centers, like private galleries, artists’ studios, the Contemporary Art Center, and the La Alameda Theater. 

There are also many restaurants offering an array of dishes from local, organic to gourmet. I also really enjoy the craft beer brewery La Fábrica where you can sample all kinds of craft beer.

I don’t like craft beer – I might be the only one I know that don’t – but they have lager too and more often than not you can enjoy live music there, which is one of my favorite perks about this place.

Before you leave Soho, you must visit the “Made in Soho” market. This market is held on the first Saturday of every month, where stores sell different items from works of art, audiovisual art, antiques, and vintage items. Soho is truly one of the most interesting areas to stay in Malaga. 

BEST PLACES TO STAY MALAGA – SOHO

MID-RANGE: ICON Malabar – modern and light rooms in a great location. My favorite thing about this hotel is that they allow pets.

BUDGET: Soho Boutique Urban – lovely boutique hotel with unique rooms. Breakfast is included in some rates, but if you prefer going out, there are plenty of trendy cafés within walking distance.

APARTMENT: Home Art Apartments Soho – a modern apartment in the heart of the Soho district with a fully equipped kitchen. It sleeps up to 4 people.

La Malagueta – Best for families

best area to stay in Malaga

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For:

  • Beach vacation
  • Peace and tranquility 

La Malagueta is a traditional neighborhood that offers a ton of family-friendly activities and locations right on the beach. La Malagueta Beach is Malaga’s own urban beach and is well-equipped for kids, people with mobility impairment, and beach activities.

This beach is not just a hotspot in Malaga but in the country, making this area among the best places to stay in Malaga Spain. 

Another major attraction you shouldn’t miss is the Centre Pompidou Málaga, a contemporary art museum located right on the Muelle Uno port. And while you’re at it, you might want to check out the ornate churches. 

If you’re wondering what La Malagueta has to offer in the way of food, you won’t be disappointed. It’s home to a number of restaurants and what is called chiringuitos aka beach bars.

The chiringuitos serve food and drinks at pretty affordable prices. As you can see, La Malagueta is one of the best areas in Malaga for a family vacation with great resorts near the beach. 

WHERE TO STAY IN MALAGA CITY – LA MALAGUETA

LUXURY: Gran Hotel Miramar GL – Malaga’s best hotel right on the beachfront with outdoor pools, a spa, and a bar and restaurant.

MID-RANGE: Soho Boutique Las Vegas – lovely hotel in front of the beach with light and spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and bikes available for exploring the city.

BUDGET: Futurotel Malagueta Beach – a unique futuristic capsule hotel for an affordable price. If you are looking for something different on a budget I recommend trying this out. You get access to open the doors via an app and they have their own gaming zone.

La Merced – Best for nightlife

best places to stay in Malaga

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For: 

  • History/art enthusiasts
  • Nightlife lovers 

This is the best place to stay in Malaga, Spain, if you come alive when the sun is down. La Merced is filled with clubs, bars, and restaurants. 

This is the entertainment center of all the Malaga districts – there’s so much to do and see in La Merced. 

Want to go clubbing? There are several clubs to pick from. The clubs of Calle Alamo and Calle Carreteria are available for your partying pleasure. 

Want to enjoy some culture/history? La Merced is literally the birthplace of Picasso and also where he also spent his early years. Visit The Plaza de la Merced, an area dedicated to him with street art made by locals paying tribute to him. 

There’s also a street market that happens on the last Sunday of every month. 

How about the cuisine? Mercado de la Merced offers a range of meals, including local cuisine. The tapas crawl is highly recommended so don’t hesitate to order it. So if you’re looking for where to stay in Malaga City for nightlife, La Merced is definitely your top choice.

WHERE TO STAY IN MALAGA SPAIN – LA MERCED

LUXURY: Palacio Solecio – set in a restored 18th-century palace, this is a dreamy hotel to stay in the city center. It has a high-end restaurant and cocktail bar for dining in.

MID-RANGE: Anahita Boutique Hotel – a lovely boutique hotel near Plaza de la Merced with a restaurant and bar.


BUDGET: Picnic Dreams Boutique Hostel – fantastic and modern hostel with both private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and dorms with shared bathrooms. The hostel has a restaurant and a rooftop terrace with sweeping city views.

Málaga Maria-Zambrano – Best for business travelers and layovers

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For: 

  • Business travel
  • Layovers
  • Budget travelers

This is the transportation hub of Malaga, which also happens to be one of the loudest places to stay in Malaga. But not to worry it has its perks. 

One of which is its international cuisine. This area of Malaga boasts amazing Tex-Mex cuisine and a few cinema bistros sprinkled around the area. 

Another perk is affordability. It offers affordable shopping, hotels, and family-owned properties. This is the best area to stay in Malaga if you have an early train or bus trip the next morning or arrive late and want to stay close to the train station.

BEST AREA TO STAY IN MALAGA – TRAIN STATION

MID-RANGE: Eurostars Málaga – located near the train station, you have everything you need on-site; a restaurant and bar, and a fitness room.

BUDGET: Hotel Don Paco – a great hotel near the train station, yet within walking distance of the Old Town. The hotel has an onsite bar if you don’t fancy going out.

La Goleta – Best Place To Stay In Malaga For Budget Travelers 

Best Place To Stay In Malaga For: 

  • People on a budget 
  • Young people

Once an old and run-down Malaga district, La Goleta has now become one of the most interesting places to stay in Malaga on a budget. 

Although it still possesses some of its old glory, which you’ll see in the shabby and aged buildings, that all adds to the aesthetic of the area. Potplants on the streets in narrow alleys somewhat give new life to the strained walls.

This part of Malaga is known for its affordable housing making it the best area in Malaga to stay on a budget. Apart from that, another perk of staying here is the cute bars and cafes that just recently opened. 

This is one of the places to stay in Malaga, Spain with a nice hip, bohemian vibe going. So if that’s your kind of vibe, then you should definitely pay La Goleta a visit whenever you visit Malaga.

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN MALAGA – LA GOLETA

BUDGET: Rafaela Guest House – simple guesthouse on a budget with a nice shared lounge and terrace. 

Where to stay near Malaga Airport

If you have an early flight or layover, you are probably looking for where to stay near Malaga Airport. Don’t worry, there are options, and here are my top picks.

BEST PLACE TO STAY IN MALAGA – MALAGA AIRPORT

MID-RANGE: La Macarena Airport – apartments, perfect for families, with fully equipped kitchens. The hotel is located 1.4 kilometers from the airport and sleeps up to 6 people.

BUDGET: Holiday Inn Express Málaga Airport – located only a kilometer from the airport, you have everything you need here for a layover with an onsite restaurant and bar

MORE FROM MALAGA

Final thoughts on the best areas to stay in Malaga

While it can be individual preferences of where to stay, Malaga caters to everyone, and with the above suggestions, I am sure you have found a neighborhood that fits your type of travel.

I chose to skip the neighborhoods outside Malaga, as there is no need to stay somewhere that requires the use of public transport to reach the historic center when you can get around by foot from any of the best areas to stay in Malaga.

So, except for the airport hotels, all my suggestions for where to stay in Malaga are within walking distance from each other and from the top attractions in Malaga.

Happy travels!