Where to stay in Málaga: best neighborhoods and hotels

Where to stay in Málaga? The Spanish coastal town has many great neighborhoods to stay and is packed with the best hotels, coziest hostels and most beautiful luxury hotels. But it does take some time to go through that overwhelmingly large offer to find the perfect place to stay in Málaga. With many hip or historic districts, wonderful beaches and even more hotels and hostels in Málaga, there is a lot to choose from. This blog will help you make a choice. What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Málaga? And which hotels are the best?

Did you know: Málaga has its own international airport with direct flights for very competitive prices?

Why Málaga is definitely worth a visit

Andalusia in the south of Spain is known for its beautiful sandy beach and its wonderful historic cities. If you want to combine the two, Málaga should be your first choice. The coastal town is packed with interesting sights, historic buildings, hip hotspots, world-class museums and charming streets. We already visited this city twice and loved it the second time even better than the first.

Read more: 13 best things to do things to do in Málaga.

Few people know Málaga as the museum city it is. Málaga’s main attraction is the Picasso Museum, as the famous painter was born in Málaga. The Picasso family’s collection is housed in a historic palace in the historic center. Although Picasso’s well-known masterpieces are not displayed here, the museum is certainly fun to visit. Picasso’s birthplace is also turned into a second Picasso dedicated museum. Other major museums in the city are the CAC for modern art, Museo de Málaga for the city’s history, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, Center de Pompidou and the Russian Art Museum.

The other major attraction is the Malaga Cathedral. If you believe the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was the only church in Spain under construction for over a hundred years, you haven’t visited Málaga Cathedral yet. The construction of this cathedral started in the sixteenth century and is still unfinished. The result is a church with many different architectural styles. The cathedral has only one tower and the second will probably no longer be built. The cathedral is therefore now called La Manquita, or: the one-armed woman.

Another sight not to miss are the Alcazaba castle and Roman Theater right next to each other. The Alcazaba is the old Moorish castle that once stood at the highest point within the old city walls. During a visit you walk through a maze of streets, buildings, old palaces and gardens. You will probably notice many Moorish influences, but remarkably also some Roman details. Those elements have been reused from the Roman theatre. The theatre is located on the slope of the hill on which the Alcazaba is built. You can admire the Teatro Romano from the main street, but you can also visit it up close for free.

And did you know that Málaga also makes a great base in Andalusia to explore the rest of the region? Located on the Spanish coast and in the heart of Andalusia, all the highlights of southern Spain can be reached within half an hour to a maximum of two hours from Málaga. You can easily visit the iconic ‘pueblos blancos’ of Andalusia, the famous city of Seville, the idyllic mountain village of Frigiliana or the striking Castillo Monumento Colomares on a day trip from Málaga. Whether you go hiking in Torcal de Antequerra or along the Caminito del Rey, or cycle the beautiful Via Verde de la Sierra, there are many great day trips from Málaga.

In short: Málaga is full of impressive sights, but also has some lovely sandy beaches and you will find most well-known Andalusia within driving distance.

Malaga Andalusia

The best neighborhoods of Málaga

The sights of Málaga are not all huddled together, so it is wise to consider in which area of the city you want to stay. Although all attractions are within walking distance, it is good to determine what you find important for your city trip to Málaga.

Three best neighborhoods in the old center

  • The Centro Historico with most museums and places of interest
  • The hip Soho with hotspots for good food and drinks, street art and a hip atmosphere
  • The district of La Malagueta with the harbor and the beach

The three districts are glued together, so you can easily visit all three during your trip. You can walk from one neighborhood to another in a short time.

Malaga Neighborhood Map

If you are looking for a hostel instead of a hotel, you’ll have an easy choice, as you’ll simply have to stay in the Centro Historico. Remarkably, there are not a lot of hostels in Málaga – and most lack good reviews – and the best options are in the old town. Hostels in Malaga with good reviews are The Urban Jungle Hostel and Hostal Vidamia.

The best hotels in Málaga

The best hotels in Centro Historico

As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Málaga’s historic center consists of beautiful streets and monuments. It is almost entirely pedestrianized, making Málaga one of the larger car-free zones in Europe.

Wandering through the old town is one of the best things to do in Málaga. Don’t miss the historic Plaza de la Constitución and the surrounding streets. Another highlight is the wide Calle Marqués de Larios, named after the wealthy man who had it built as a connection between the harbor and the old town. In winter, this street is transformed twice – around Christmas and Carnival – into a paradise of lights with new decorations every year.

The best hotels in Centro Histórico:

  • Palacete de Alamos for luxury rooms and a great breakfast, which is one of Málaga’s top-rated hotels on
  • Hotel Boutique Teatro Romano for a fairly new hotel that only opened its doors in 2016, with lovely luxurious and modern rooms.
  • The Urban Jungle Hostel with an interior you’d expect in an interior design magazine and both dormitories and private rooms.
  • Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio for a luxury hotel with a very unique and stylish design, attractive rooms, a rooftop pool and ancient ruins exhibited in the basement.
  • Hostal Vidamia with a homely and stylish interior and both private rooms and small dormitories with shared bathroom.
Malaga Cathedral

The best hotels in Soho

Soho – also called Zoho – is one of the upcoming neighborhoods of Málaga. The district is located southwest of the old town, wedged between the historic center and the new harbour. What once started as a deprived neighborhood is now one of the best parts of the city. It is often referred to as the cultural and art hub of Málaga because of the galleries and the colorful street art in the streets.

It is Málaga’s hippest district, known for its artistic atmosphere. There are hip hotspots, a museum for contemporary art (the CAC) and a lot of special street art. Since 2013, as part of the Málaga Arte Urbano Soho (MAUS) project, international artists have been invited to create new art on the streets of Soho. The Belgian ROA came here to paint his famous black and white animals on the walls, and you can see enormous murals on an apartment building behind the CAC.

The best hotels in Soho:

  • Room Mate Valeria on the corner of Soho overlooking the harbour. The roof terrace has lovely lounge beds and a view over the harbor and the city.
  • NONO Charming Stay with lovely studios and apartments, styled by the Dutch stylist duo Jeroen Schless and Frens Witte?
  • Mariposa Hotel with a sunny roof terrace and art deco-style rooms.
  • Soho Boutique Malaga is the most popular boutique hotel in Soho with modern furnished rooms in a historic corner building
Mariposa Hotel Malaga Spain

The best hotels in La Malagueta

Next to its historic center, the city of Málaga also has a city beach, which makes Málaga a unique city trip destination. Just behind the Muelle Uno pier with its restaurants and terraces, is the Praia de la Malagueta. There are sunbeds, umbrellas, beach showers and beach tents to make your beach visit perfect.

Near the beach you will find the bullring Plaza de Toros La Malagueta. The round building was built in the nineteenth century for bullfights and is unfortunately used for that purpose during the summer months to this day. Since the arena is located at the foot of the Gibralfaro mountain, you have a beautiful view of this arena from the viewpoint on the mountain. From that mountain, you have the best view of Málaga anyway and you can also visit a historic castle located on the mountain top.

The best hotels in La Malagueta:

  • Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro on the Gibralfaro hill with phenomenal views. The luxury hotel is one of the special paradors in the most beautiful locations and in the most beautiful buildings in Spain.
  • Gran Hotel Miramar in an impressive, monumental building with a location right on the beach, including its own pool and spa.
  • Hotel California near the beach and with a lovely roof terrace.
Plaza de Toros La Malagueta

Where to stay in Málaga with a camper van

We made our Andalusian road trip with our camper van. It is usually difficult to stay in or nearby a big city with your motorhome or campervan, so we sometimes booked a centrally located hotel for one or two nights. But we were lucky to find a great place to park our camper van in the heart of Málaga. Most of the old town is car-free – only residents can enter the old town by car – and the rest is paid parking.

There is only one free parking spot we found and it is located directly along the Parque de Málaga. Our camper van fits in a normal parking space and even vans up to 6 meters can park here. But there are only few spaces and most of them are usually taken, so it can be difficult to find a spot. There are no (paid) official motorhome or campervan locations in Málaga.

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