Malaga isn’t an expensive city by any means, but like most top city-break destinations in Europe a stay here soon adds up. You have to pay to see most sights in Malaga, but with a bit of careful planning you can combine your paid entrances with some freebies. Here are seven free things to do in Malaga.
Free guided tours
Pop into the tourist office and pick up your free audio guide to the city. Choose from five different walking routes, each taking in different parts of Malaga, its history and monuments. You need to show ID and a credit card, but otherwise, these guides are completely free. And you can use them for 48 hours.
Sunday afternoon turns out to key to doing Malaga on a budget. There’s no entrance fee for the Alcazaba, Gibralfaro or Cathedral after 2pm on Sundays. The downside is that you’ll be visiting with plenty of others (the Spaniards love a freebie). The Roman Theatre is always free – it’s a short visit but well worthwhile.
The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC) is free to get in at any time – a real bargain because this avant-garde museum hosts some amazing exhibition and the permanent collection showcases some interesting pieces too.
And then Sunday afternoon appears again. You won’t be charged to get in 4 to 8pm in the Pompidou and Russian Museum, 6 to 8pm in the Picasso Museum and 5 to 8pm in the Carmen Thyssen Museum. That’s a lot of art to pack into a Sunday afternoon and a real challenge to get round all the museums but your wallet won’t be any lighter after this feast of art.
Free street art
Make your way to the Soho district and take in some of the street art here. Wander round the streets – don’t forget to look up as well as down – and look out for some of the world’s most famous names.
Malaga’s a surprisingly green city and most of its public parks and gardens are free. Start your tour in the Paseo de Parque with an interesting collection of tropical trees and shrubs. In season (May to June), cross over the gardens next to the City Hall to admire the hundreds of roses. If you’re feeling energetic, walk west along the sea front to the Parque del Oeste for some unusual sculptures (and a couple of wallabies).
Too much sightseeing and art-gazing can be tiring (even if it’s free) and where better to relax than on the beach? Choose from the Malagueta just east of the city centre or the longer Misericordia beach to the west. Both have clean sands, safe bathing and palm tree oases for some welcome shade.
With its year-round pleasant climate, flat terrain and great outdoor spaces, Malaga is a sporting paradise. And for free. Walk or run for miles along the seafront and while you’re there, work out at one of the many gym points along the way. If you can borrow a bike, then Malaga’s cycle lanes are your oyster – some 29km (and counting) crisscross the city.