Malaga (Photo:KikoStock/Shutterstock)
2018 Top-Rated Western Mediterranean Destinations
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Gilly Pickup
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Malaga

Malaga offers an intriguing blend of culture, history and beaches -- with a contemporary vibe. The city is one of Andalusia's greatest treasures. Located on a stunning sweep of bay, with palm trees lining the seafront, this is the dynamic, friendly capital of Costa del Sol, Spain's "sunshine coast."

Malaga is a wonderful place to wander and explore, particularly in the winding lanes of the old town, with their traditional taverns, plazas and pretty squares. It also encompasses fine architecture and has enough ancient buildings to keep history hounds happy for hours. Unlike Costa del Sol's party zones, including Puerto Banus, Torremolinos and Benalmadena, all great for clubbers, Malaga, although cosmopolitan, retains a distinctly traditional feel.

Malaga's wines are worth more than a sip, too, and visitors can try them at Antigua Casa de Guardia, one of the city's few remaining wine cellars. Also, you can explore the region's wine history at the Wine Museum in the historic city center. For a sense of traditional Spanish life, visit the districts of Pedregalejo and El Palo, fishing communities with some of Spain's best seafood.

The city is an ideal base for trips outside town, allowing visitors easy access to explore southern Spain's delights. The surrounding area is a glorious patchwork of whitewashed villages, almond groves and mountain ranges -- including the Sierra Nevada where a particular highlight is the massive Nerja Caves with their 20,000-year-old wall paintings.

About Malaga


Malaga rarely gets cold -- a perk that pairs well with its alfresco dining scene and plentiful beaches


History buffs might be disappointed there isn't much in the way of notable landmarks

Bottom Line

The city is modern and trendy, yet keeps its culture and natural beauty well-preserved

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Where You're Docked

The port has 10 quays in use for cruise ships, ferries, cargo ships and recreational boats. Around 700,000 passengers pass through the port each year on 220 cruise ships.

Quays 1 and 2 are used for passenger cruise ships, and a modern cruise terminal building was opened at Quay 2 in 2012. Both quays are close to the historic center of Malaga, about a 10-minute walk. Some lines run a shuttle bus service into the town center. Taxis also are plentiful at the port.

Good to Know

As in any city, it pays to be aware of your surroundings and don't flash your cash around. Leave valuables on the ship.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The national currency in Spain is the euro. Currency exchange can be made in most banks, post offices and train stations. For the best exchange rate, use ATMs found at the port and around town. For currency-conversion rates, visit or


Spanish is spoken in Malaga, but most people understand and speak at least a little English. Residents appreciate it if you make the effort to speak a few basic words in their language. If you speak some Spanish, be aware that the local accent can be strong and difficult to understand.


With all the independent shops in Malaga, you'll easily find a special present to take home. Edible treats include turron, a classic confection made with almonds and honey. Sweet Malaga wine, first made in 600 B.C. by Greeks, makes another nice gift. You also can seek out hand-made soaps made from olive oil or high-quality locally made glassware.

Malaga Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards

2018 Top-Rated Western Mediterranean Destinations
2016 Top-Rated Western Mediterranean Destinations