Málaga Airport, officially called Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport (code: AGP) is located about 10km (6 miles) from downtown Málaga.
The airport is incredibly well-located for those that want to head into Málaga or further afield in the Costa del Sol.
It’s only about 30 minutes from Marbella, about two hours from Almería, or just over two hours from Seville.
Whether you’re here for the amazing beaches in Malaga in the summertime or for a little bit of winter sun, there are plenty of reasons to use the Málaga airport to get in and out of this region of Spain.
It is one of the most well-connected airports in Andalusia with direct flights all over the UK, Ireland, and many other cities around Europe. Once here you can hop on a train, bus, or hire a car to get elsewhere.
Terminals in Málaga Airport
Technically Málaga Airport has three terminals, but only one of those terminals is actually in operation. The newest terminal which is called either Terminal 3 or New Terminal is the only terminal you will have to worry about.
Terminal 3 opened in 2010 and has a very new and clean feel about it. Both the interior and exterior of the terminal are modern, well-organized, and clearly signposted.
What’s Inside the Airport?
When you enter the airport in the departures area, you have all of the check-in desks at ground level.
There is a luggage storage center where you can leave your luggage for the day on this level as well.
There are a few shops and a cafe before you go through security.
I purchased a phone charger from an electronics store which is located in front of the check-in desk. You can also grab neck pillows, converters, and any other small things you may have forgotten when packing for your trip to the Costa del Sol.
Both the check-in and security areas of the Málaga Airport are incredibly well organized (not something you always find in other airports in Spain).
Once you are through security you’ll find everything you need including:
- Cafes and restaurants
- Drinking fountains
- Duty-Free and other shops
Security Times at the Airport
It’s best to give yourself about two hours to get through security if you also have to check a bag. The lines at the check-in desk can be long, especially for those that are going to destinations like London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and other large hubs around Europe.
Other long lines are based more on the volume of flights like Ryanair. Ryanair has one line for all of their flights out of Málaga Airport, so you will want to give yourself more time if you need to check a bag with them.
If you do not have to check a bag and you have already checked in online, then you can go straight through security. This means you can likely show up at the airport about 1.5 hours before your flight.
That being said, consider what time of year you are visiting and if it is school holidays for the UK or other parts of Northern Europe when the airport sees a lot more traffic.
If you are visiting in the peak summer months of July and August, give yourself three hours for checked luggage and at least two hours for those without checked luggage.
Lounges at the Málaga Airport
There is only one lounge at the Málaga Airport. It is called Sala VIP and it is open from 5:30 am to 11 pm. If you do not have access to the lounge with a business class or first-class ticket, you can purchase a pass directly through the lounge website here.
It costs €31 per person (£27 GBP/$32 USD) and includes a buffet, unlimited drinks, WiFi, and even showers, which if you are coming from a day at the beach and you have an evening flight is a pretty great option.
Getting from Málaga Airport to Málaga
When you arrive at the Málaga Airport, you have a few options for getting to the city center.
If you are staying at a resort along the coastline or your trip has been organized through an agency, the connections will likely be included in your packaged vacation. Be sure to check where you will be meeting your driver before your flight.
If your airport transfer isn’t included, but you want to have a driver meet you and take you directly to your hotel, you can book a private transfer with GetYourGuide here. For up to three people it’s a very reasonable €35 (£30 GBP/$37 USD).
If you didn’t pre-book your car, you have a few other options which are actually slightly cheaper. A taxi from the airport to downtown Málaga only costs about €20-25 (£17.50-22 GBP / $21.50-27 USD).
Alternatively, you can also use the Uber App to order a taxi to pick you up from the airport and bring you to your hotel.
There is a bus that you can take from the airport to the city center.
The cheapest way to get to the center of Málaga is to take the train. If you have a contactless card or you have Apple Pay or Google Pay on your mobile phone, you can simply use that to tap straight through the turnstiles and get on the train going to Málaga train station, Estacion María Zambrano. It takes 11 minutes and costs €1.80.
Of course, you can also hire a car at Malaga Airport. This will give you a lot more flexibility with your holiday.
Getting from Málaga Airport to Marbella
If you are heading in the opposite direction, you can similarly book a private transfer here, grab a taxi at the airport, or order an Uber.
There is no train connecting the airport to downtown Marbella, but there is a bus. Simply exit the airport and follow the signs for the bus station. It’s really more of a bus stop. There are two bus stops next to each other and each of the stops is very clearly marked with which locations the buses that stop there are going.
These websites are also good places to simply check the bus times so that you aren’t waiting out in the harsh summer sun when the bus isn’t due for another 20 minutes.
Getting from Málaga Airport to Other Parts of the Costa del Sol
If you are trying to get to other parts of the region, you can actually get the train in the opposite direction of Málaga and get to places like Fuengirola and Torremolinos by hopping on the train.
The trains are frequent and you can use your Apple Pay or other contactless credit cards to get straight on the train through the turnstiles at the airport station.
Taxis and Ubers are your best option if you want to get to other destinations along the coast and you don’t want to take public transportation. They are readily available and the prices are fair.
Uber is not always the cheapest option when comparing it to taxis, because if you are taking a taxi and there is no traffic, it will likely cost you less than if you had used Uber.
If you are worried about speaking Spanish or you simply want the ease of putting in the address and getting to your destination, Uber is a great option. I find Uber drivers in this region of Spain aren’t particularly chatty.
If you grab a taxi, however, they love to chat! Most taxi drivers speak English.
However, if your driver doesn’t speak English, there is always a person at the front of the taxi stand who works with the taxis and speaks English. He or she can tell the driver where you are going. Taxis from the airport are metered.
Renting a Car
Renting a car is a fantastic option if you are visiting the Costa del Sol.
There are tons of great day trips from Málaga, many of which are only accessible if you have your own transportation. It also gives you the freedom to explore the coastline and tiny tucked-away beaches that most people skip.
I love the beaches of Málaga, but if you head in either direction along the coastline or you want to go further afield to somewhere like Cabo de Gata, you can visit some of the best beaches in Spain.
Málaga Airport has all of the big car rental companies to choose from. If you have an EU driver’s license, a UK driver’s license, or a driver’s License from another English-speaking country around the world, you do not need an international driver’s permit to drive in Spain.
You can find all of the best prices and book your rental car with Discover Cars, our preferred rental company for travel in Europe.
Do you have a really early flight or are you arriving late at night?
The great thing about the Málaga Airport is that it is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Malaga.
I personally had a very early morning flight on a recent trip to Malaga and I simply walked out of my hotel and headed to a nearby corner where there was a taxi rank, and I was able to grab a taxi and I was at the airport in just a few minutes.
You don’t really need to stay at an airport hotel unless you would prefer to be able to walk to the airport in the morning.
There is one airport hotel next to Málaga Airport which is the Holiday Inn Express.
It is just about within walking distance, however, you can also grab a taxi to and from it for just a few Euros.
All rooms include a buffet breakfast that starts quite early and they also have a restaurant on site for dinner and a bar that is open until 1 am. Book a stay at the Holiday Inn Express here.