A comprehensive guide to the best areas & neighbourhoods in Malaga for visitiors, plus specific recommendations for the best places to stay in Malaga City!
By Liza S. | Updated 25 Sep 2023 | Málaga | Where To Stay | Login to add to YOUR Favourites or Read LaterThis article has been visited 125 times
Pedestrian street in Malaga, Spain
Nestled along Spain's sun-drenched Costa del Sol, Málaga is a captivating blend of history, culture, and Mediterranean beauty. To truly soak up everything this charming city has to offer, finding the right place to lay your head is crucial.
In this guide on where to stay in Málaga, we'll explore the city's best neighbourhoods and offer various accommodation recommendations so that you can find the best place to stay that suits your taste and budget. From the historic charm of El Centro to the beachside allure of La Malagueta, let's find your perfect home-away-from-home in Málaga.
Before you hit that "Book Now" button, there are several factors to consider to ensure that your stay in Málaga aligns with your travel goals and preferences. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Your budget is arguably the most crucial factor that will determine where you'll stay. Málaga offers a wide range of accommodation options to fit various budgets, from luxury hotels to affordable hostels. Decide how much you're willing to spend per night, and keep in mind that location and amenities often correlate with cost.
Another factor when considering how much to spend is when you’re visiting Malaga. If you plan to visit during low season, you’re more likely to find great deals and get better value for your money as there is lower tourist demand during this time. For a trip during peak tourist season, you may have to pay more for your desired choice -- and of course, it’s recommended that you book your stay way in advance.
The number of people you're travelling with can significantly impact your choice of accommodation. If you're going solo or as a couple, a boutique hotel or even a hostel could be a good fit. For larger groups or families, an apartment or holiday let can provide the space and amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
Your ideal vacation type—be it a beach getaway, a cultural exploration, or a luxury retreat—will also dictate the sort of place you'll want to stay.
For instance, if you're all about the beach, you might want to look for accommodations near La Malagueta or Pedregalejo. If it’s culture and history you're after, El Centro might be more your speed.
Think about what you plan to do during your visit. If you're keen on museum-hopping, you may want to stay close to the historic centre. If you want to explore multiple areas, consider a central location with good public transport links. Check maps and calculate distances to key attractions from your shortlisted accommodations.
This point is especially important for those with mobility issues or those relying on public transport. Check whether the accommodation offers facilities like lifts, ramps, and is close to public transport options like buses or metro stations.
By paying attention to these considerations, you'll be able to choose an accommodation that aligns with your travel plans, making your Málaga trip truly unforgettable.
In Málaga, each neighbourhood boasts its own unique charm and attractions, making the choice of where to stay a crucial part of your travel experience.
Our Malaga neighbourhood guide is designed to help you find the area that best matches your interests and travel style. Whether you're keen to explore historical landmarks, relax on sun-kissed beaches, or dive into the city's vibrant arts scene, we've got insights into the most appealing neighbourhoods to stay in Malaga.
Read on to discover your ideal Málaga home base!
Malaga Old Town
El Centro is the heartbeat of Málaga, where history, architecture, and local life seamlessly converge. Cobblestone streets, iconic landmarks like the Málaga Cathedral, and numerous tapas bars define this area. It's the ideal spot for culture vultures, history buffs, and foodies who want to be right in the middle of all the action.
If you’re a first-time visitor in Malaga or just have a short time to take in the city’s attractions, I highly recommend staying in the Old Town as it’s the most convenient location for sight-seeing and getting a taste of Malaga’s charm.
You can’t go wrong with a stay in the Malaga Old Town!
Plaza de la Merced in Malaga
La Merced is one of Málaga's most eclectic neighbourhoods, offering a rich blend of traditional and modern influences. Known for its bustling squares, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culinary scene, it's an area that's pulsating with energy at almost any time of day.
This neighbourhood is perfect for young adults, night owls, and foodies who want a lively and dynamic atmosphere. La Merced offers a lively atmosphere, teeming with cultural landmarks, dining options, and a nightlife that captures the essence of modern-day Málaga.
SoHo, not to be confused with its London or New York namesakes, is Málaga's up-and-coming arts district.
Famed for its graffiti art, trendy boutiques, and lively atmosphere, Soho is perfect for young couples, art enthusiasts, and solo travellers looking for an alternative experience. It's a hub for urban culture, where local and international artists have left their mark on the walls, and where you'll find a variety of independent shops and quirky cafés.
This is the ideal neighbourhood in Malaga for art lovers, night owls, or simply anyone looking for a unique, off-the-beaten-path experience. Do note that hotels in SoHo are mostly in the mid-range to luxury price points. For budget travellers, you’ll find better deals elsewhere.
La Malagueta is a vibrant neighbourhood located along the eastern side of Málaga's city centre. Known for its beautiful beach of the same name, it offers a laid-back, sun-soaked atmosphere perfect for beach lovers and families.
The area is filled with beachside chiringuitos (beach bars), and restaurants offering local seafood dishes. Its proximity to the historic centre also makes it a great base if you’re looking to combine beach time with cultural exploration.
Ideal for families, beach lovers, and those wanting to stay close to historical landmarks, La Malagueta offers a relaxed yet engaging environment.
Pedregalejo is a former fishing village that has transformed into one of Málaga's most charming neighbourhoods.
Located to the east of the city centre, it offers a more laid-back, local atmosphere. With its narrow streets, old fisherman’s cottages, and seafront promenade lined with chiringuitos, Pedregalejo is perfect for travellers seeking a quieter, more authentic experience away from the tourist crowds.
Here, you’ll experience a unique blend of local charm and seaside tranquillity, making it a fantastic place to stay in Malaga to escape the hustle and bustle while still enjoying the best of the city.
El Palo is a former fishing village turned local hotspot, located to the east of Málaga's city centre. With its long seafront promenade, traditional chiringuitos, and fewer tourists, it offers an authentic Andalusian experience.
This area is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in local culture, away from the hustle and bustle of more central areas. Families and travellers seeking a quieter beach holiday will find El Palo particularly appealing. You can enjoy a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere, while still having the option to easily explore the rest of what Málaga has to offer.
Just need a place to stay in Malaga for the night before your flight? Hotels near Málaga Airport offer a convenient option for those with early morning flights, short layovers, or late-night arrivals.
While you won't get the full local experience that other neighbourhoods offer, you will find an array of accommodations designed for convenience and efficiency. This area is best for business travellers, transit passengers, or those who prioritise accessibility over local flair.
Whether you're in transit, catching an early flight, or arriving late, staying near Málaga Airport provides the convenience you need for a smooth travel experience.
While the various Malaga neighbourhoods offer a range of choices for all kinds of travellers, some accommodations are particularly well-suited for specific types of stays. Each of these special accommodation options has unique features that make them most suitable for particular types of travellers, helping you make the most of your Málaga experience.
Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or an extended stay, here are some curated options tailored to your needs.
Choosing the right place to stay can significantly enhance your Málaga experience.
Whether you're drawn to the historic charm of El Centro, the beachside allure of La Malagueta, or the local vibes in Pedregalejo, I hope that our guide has helped you find your ideal base. As you’ve seen, Málaga offers accommodation for every type of traveller, from budget hostels to luxury hotels and everything in between.
And if you love good deals (as I do!), you can also check out the latest Malaga deals below.
May your stay in this enchanting Andalucian city be as memorable as the sights, sounds, and flavours you'll encounter. Buen viaje!
Still got some questions about where to stay in Malaga? Here are some frequently asked questions about picking a place to stay in Malaga.
What is the best area to stay in Málaga for first-time visitors?
For first-time visitors, I personally recommend El Centro (Historic Centre) a it provides easy access to major landmarks, museums, and dining options, offering a comprehensive Málaga experience.
Are there any areas that should be avoided when choosing a place to stay in Malaga?
Málaga is generally a safe city, but like any urban area, it's wise to be cautious. Areas far from the city centre or poorly lit districts may not be the best choices, especially for solo travellers or those unfamiliar with the city.
Where should I stay in Málaga for the best beach access?
For beach lovers, La Malagueta and Pedregalejo offer the best beach access. These areas are near the sea and offer a range of beachfront accommodations.
Is it better to stay in the Malaga city centre or by the beach?
This depends on your travel interests. If you're keen on historical landmarks and museums, the city centre is ideal. If you're looking for a relaxed, beachside holiday, consider staying closer to the beach.
What are some budget-friendly areas to stay in Málaga?
Soho and La Merced offer some budget-friendly options, including hostels and guesthouses. These areas are also centrally located, offering a balance between affordability and convenience.
What are the best neighbourhoods in Málaga for nightlife?
La Merced and Soho are known for their vibrant nightlife, offering a range of bars, clubs, and live-music venues.
What are the best areas for foodies to stay in Málaga?
La Merced and El Centro are foodie havens, teeming with tapas bars, gourmet markets, and a wide range of international cuisines.
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