Where to stay in Málaga can seem like a big question if you’ve never been to the city before.
In this article, I will break down all of the best neighborhoods to base yourself in while you are visiting Málaga.
I will also share with you some of the best hotel options in these Málaga neighborhoods as well as a few insider tips to enjoy in each neighborhood!
Map of Where to Stay in Málaga
Best Places to Stay in Málaga
There are so many fantastic neighborhoods in Málaga worth staying in. Whether you want to be by the beach, surrounded by history, or within walking distance of both, there are plenty of options in Málaga.
1. Málaga Centro (City Center)
This is the heart of the city, known for its historic charm, cultural sites, and lively atmosphere.
This is where you will find some of the best things to do in Málaga like the Malaga Cathedral, Alcazaba Fortress, the Roman Theater, and the Picasso Museum.
This is where all of the best nightlife is and where you’ll find some incredible restaurants, too. A few of my favorite spots not to miss are lunch at Mercado Central de Atarazanas, tapas at Bar Málaga, and housemade vermút at La Tranca.
Best Hotels in Málaga Centro
- Hostal Vidamia: This is the best budget option in the center of Málaga. If you want to find a great and stylish hostel, this is the best option. There are no dorm rooms, but rather nice budget-friendly single and doubles. Single rooms start at €45 and double at €53. Book a stay at Hostal Vidamia here.
- Hotel Palacete de Alamos: This is a gorgeous boutique hotel in the center of the city with economy rooms as well as stylish luxury suites. The hotel is very centrally located and close to the Picasso Museum as well as tons of restaurants. Breakfast here is exceptional. Rooms start at €125 per night. Book a stay at Palacete de Alamos here.
- Casa Blanca: If you want to have an apartment where you can self-cater and enjoy a small kitchen and a living room, these apartments are absolutely perfect. The location couldn’t be better for exploring Málaga. The apartments are modern with everything you need to cook a great meal. You can snag one of these stylish apartments for as little as €125 per night depending on when you plan to visit. Book a stay at Casa Blanca here.
- The Clock House: If you want luxury, rooftop access, great views, and a comfortable apartment where you can relax during the heat of the day, this is one of the best places to stay in Málaga. They have luxury suites, apartments, and lofts to stay in with varying amounts of space depending on how many people you are traveling with. Rooms start as low as €190 per night. Book a stay at the Clock House here.
2. La Malagueta
Situated along the beachfront just on the edge of the city, La Malagueta is a popular neighborhood for tourists and beach lovers. If you want to be close to the beach while also being a 20-minute walk or 5-minute bus ride from the centro, then this is the best place to stay in Málaga.
It is home to a beautiful sandy beach, a palm-lined promenade, and numerous seafood restaurants called chiringuitos, where you can indulge in fresh seafood dishes like local sardines cooked over an open fire.
It’s a great place to stay if you want easy access to the beach and enjoy a vibrant coastal atmosphere. Consider renting a bike during your stay so that you can enjoy mornings along the boardwalk.
While you’re here don’t miss out on lunch at Chiringuito El Cachalote. You can make a reservation or show up for an early lunch to snag a table on the sand.
Best Hotels in La Malagueta
- Soho Boutique Los Naranjos: This beachfront hotel has rooms with balconies facing the Mediterranean. Breakfast is exceptional, the staff are friendly, and the prices are unbeatable for what you are getting. The rooms aren’t particularly stylish or modern, but they are clean and comfortable. Rooms start at €68 per night. Book a stay at Soho Boutique Los Naranjos here.
- Hotel Eliseos: A rooftop pool, views over the city and sea, and only a few blocks from Playa Malagueta, this hotel is the perfect mix of city and beach vacation. Rooms are clean with beachy vibes and many offer balconies with sea views. Rooms start at €75 per night. Book a stay at Hotel Eliseos here.
- Gran Hotel Miramar: This is one of the most luxurious hotels in Málaga. Inside of a listed 20th Century building, the foyer will wow you when you first enter and it won’t stop for the entire time you’re here. There’s an onsite bar and restaurant, an outdoor pool, and stunning rooms with thoughtful touches throughout. Rooms start at €225. Book a stay at the Gran Hotel Miramar here.
Located east of the city center, a little bit further along the coastline from La Malagueta, Pedregalejo is a former fishing village that has retained some of its traditional charm.
This little beachside neighborhood feels miles away from the downtown hustle and bustle of Málaga Centro. It almost feels like a little village of its own.
It offers a more relaxed and authentic atmosphere compared to the city center. Pedregalejo is famous for its seafood restaurants, beach bars, and picturesque waterfront promenade. It’s a great choice for those seeking a laid-back beach vibe with a touch of local culture.
There are dozens of restaurants along the boardwalk in Pedregalejo to keep you busy for your entire trip to Málaga. A few of my personal favorites are Aimé Restaurante for fusion Spanish seafood dishes, Restaurante El Caleño for more traditional Málaga seafood dishes, and La Calle Burger for seriously delicious burgers and fries.
Best Hotels in Pedregalejo
- Hotel La Chancla: Named after your comfortable beach flip-flops, this beachfront hotel is absolutely perfect for those that want a casual beach vacation. The hotel is only open during the summer months, so be sure to plan your trip in advance so you don’t miss out on a room that this stunning boutique hotel. It has clean rooms, an onsite bar, a rooftop with views and a Jacuzzi, and direct access to the beach. Rooms start at €130 per night. Book a stay at Hotel La Chancla here.
- Elcano: This is a beautiful Spanish-style hotel with stunning tiles decorating the different rooms. There’s a nice courtyard area, friendly staff, and comfortable rooms. It’s also one of the few hotels in the area that accept pets for a small additional fee. Rooms start at €70 per night. Book a stay at Elcano here.
4. El Palo
Located just to the east of Pedregalejo, El Palo is another neighborhood with a strong fishing village heritage. It is also home to one of the best beaches in Málaga.
Like many of the beaches in this area, it has a fantastic boardwalk that is home to cafes and restaurants with sea views. From here you can also rent bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, or simply umbrellas and chairs to relax on the beach for the day.
The best part of El Palo is all of the chiringuitos. You’ll spot them with their boat-shaped barbecues outside with skewered fish being cooked to perfection. Restaurante El Zagal is my personal favorite, especially for espetos.
El Palo offers a more residential feel and is ideal for those looking for a quieter beachside location. Due to this, there aren’t a ton of hotels, but rather great apartments to rent for your trip.
Best Places to Stay in El Palo
- Coloma & Palo Beach: This cute two-bedroom apartment is located a mere 400 meters from El Palo Beach. It has a full kitchen, a washing machine, one bedroom with a double bed, and a second with two twin beds. This is perfect for a family vacation or a group of friends that want to enjoy a peaceful beach vacation in Málaga. There is a two-night minimum when booking. It starts at €120 per night. Book a stay at Coloma & Palo Beach apartment here.
- El Palo La Biznaga: This is a luxury apartment with one bedroom that has a double bed and a living room that has a sofa bed. It’s beautifully decorated and has a small balcony where you can sit with a coffee and see directly to the beach. The apartment was recently renovated, so the interior is completely new. It starts at €140 per night. Book a stay here.
- Aunt Antonia Beach House: It doesn’t get any closer to the beach than this. Sit on the front porch of this two-apartment house to look out at the beach. Cross the boardwalk and in less than a minute you’ll have your toes in the sand. The apartment has all of the amenities you need to self-cater and enjoy a beach vacation with the family. Apartments start at €110 per night. Book a stay at Aunt Antonia’s here.
5. El Perchel
El Perchel is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Malaga. It was one of the first areas in the city where people lived outside of the Hispano-Arab walls.
The neighborhood gets its name from the perchas or hangers that the fisherman used to dry their fish.
The neighborhood is located to the west of the city center right near the main train station, Maria Zambrano Train Station.
While much of the old neighborhood’s architecture has been lost to earthquakes or demolition to make room for newer construction, there are still a few streets where you can get an idea for what the neighborhood used to look like.
Head down Calle Ancha del Carmen. This cobbled street is home to traditional homes with large patios where families in El Perchel used to gather to relax or hang their laundry. Look up for a peek at some of the intricate tiles that still remain.
Best hotels in El Perchel
- Hotel Las Americas: Located just 100 meters from the train station, this El Perchel hotel is stylish, clean, comfortable, and close to the city center as well. The hotel feels like you are entering a little oasis where you can relax and enjoy a quiet stay after a day exploring Málaga. Rooms start at €90 per night. Book a stay at Las Americas here.
- Barceló: If you need to catch a train first thing in the morning you can simply roll out of bed and straight onto the tracks with this hotel that is inside the Málaga train station. Even if you aren’t this hotel is a stunning place to stay in Málaga. There is a rooftop pool, a fantastic breakfast, a stylish bar, and comfortable rooms. Rooms start at €120 per night. Book a stay at Barceló here.
This up-and-coming neighborhood has undergone significant revitalization in recent years.
Known for its street art, trendy galleries, and creative atmosphere, Soho is a hub for contemporary art and urban culture. It’s an excellent choice for art enthusiasts and those looking for a more alternative and hipster scene.
It’s home to craft cocktail bars, breweries, and fusion restaurants. It’s not the place to come for the most authentic Spanish experience, but it’s the place to come to learn about what’s happening in modern Málaga.
Best Hotels in Soho
Soho has perhaps the highest concentration of exquisite hotels in Málaga and it can be hard to choose just one of them. These are just some of the best, but check out Booking.com for all of the amazing options.
- Room Mate Valeria: When you head to the rooftop of this hotel, you might not want to go anywhere else while you’re in Málaga (you’ve been warned!). There is a plunge pool, a bar, and a beautiful view of the city and sea. The rooms are beautifully designed and very comfortable and the staff couldn’t be nicer. The location for exploring Soho, heading to the beach, or stopping at the port for a boat trip is perfect. Rooms start at €120. Book a stay at Room Mate Valeria here.
- Only YOU Hotel Málaga: Infinity pool on the roof, rooms with panorama windows, and room service breakfast are just a few reasons to love this Soho hotel. There are rooms with tubs that look out over the Mediterranean Sea. Rooms start at €189 per night. Book a stay at Only YOU Hotel here.
- Mariposa Hotel Málaga: The Butterfly Hotel has a great breakfast, a gym, a rooftop with lounge chairs to enjoy the sunshine, and clean rooms. The location is right in the center of Soho with access to all of the neighborhood’s best restaurants and bars. Rooms start at €135. Book a stay at Mariposa Hotel here.
Situated west of the city center, Huelin is a diverse and lively neighborhood that offers a mix of residential and commercial areas.
It has a long stretch of black sand beach, a pleasant promenade, and a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants.
You are still about a 10-15 minute walk to the downtown area or a short taxi ride away. This is a great neighborhood for people who want to be close to the city and beach, but also want a cheaper option for places to stay in Málaga.
Although it’s cheaper than staying in the centro or near La Malagueta, it’s still home to some very chic restaurants like La Caverna. As well as traditional spots like La Güerta and Mercado de Huelin.
Best Hotels in Huelin
- Huelintown: This is a fantastic option if you want a little bit more space, you want a kitchen, or you want a well-priced place in central Huelin. Huelintown is close to the beach, close to great restaurants, and has tons of different apartment options to choose from. Apartments start at a very affordable €90 a night. Book a stay at Huelintown here.
- Luxury Apartment Near the Sea: Everything thing you need to know is in the name. This 3-bedroom apartment has a beautiful balcony with views over the ocean. It’s only a short walk to the beach. It has fantastic amenities like a full kitchen, all of the blankets and towels you’ll need, and a washing machine. This is ideal for a group of friends or a family. It sleeps up to six people. It starts at €250 per night. Book a stay at this luxury apartment here.
- Princesa Huelin: Another fantastic apartment in Huelin, the Princesa Huelin has two bedrooms and a sofa bed which allows you to have up to five people sleeping comfortably here. It’s only 300 meters from the beach and the price is unbeatable for the amount of people that can stay at this place. It costs €150 per night. Book the Princesa Huelin here.
Areas to Avoid in Málaga
While Malaga is generally a safe city, there are a few neighborhoods that some people may perceive as less desirable. It’s important to note that perceptions of safety and desirability can vary among individuals, and the situation in a neighborhood can change over time. Here are a couple of areas that some people may advise exercising caution:
Located to the north of Malaga Centro, the Palma-Palmilla neighborhood has historically faced socioeconomic challenges. It has a reputation for higher crime rates and social issues. While efforts have been made to improve the area, it is still considered by some as a neighborhood that requires caution, especially during the night.
Where to Stay Near Málaga
If you want to be close to the amenities of a big city as well as to the Málaga Airport, but you want to enjoy a smaller town that’s more about beach time, these are some of my top picks in this area.
Marbella is a stunning beach town that is under an hour away from Málaga.
Marbella is home to luxurious hotels, stunning beaches, and amazing beach clubs.
Located to the west of Málaga about halfway between the centro and Marbella, Fuengirola is very easy to get to. The local suburban train line runs from the main train station to Fuengirola all day long and only takes about 45 minutes.
Once you are here, you can enjoy stunning beaches and historical sites like Sohail Castle. There are weekly markets where you can buy local produce or fresh bread and cured meats to make a little summer picnic.
There are also fantastic restaurants like the exceptionally fresh Restaurante Juan Playa. Come here for some of the best seafood in the area.
Torremolinos is a smaller city than Málaga, but still has all of the amenities you might need from a city like large grocery stores, great restaurants, markets, and public transportation.
It’s a more affordable option for staying near the beach in the Costa del Sol, with some fantastic hotels and resorts worth checking out. Playa de los Álamos is without a doubt one of the main reasons to book your trip to Torremolinos. Even if you aren’t staying here, you should consider taking a day trip from Málaga just to enjoy this huge beach.
Torre del Mar
Located to the east of Málaga, Torre del Mar is a popular place for Spanish tourists to come for a beach vacation and a break from the city.
There are Alsa buses directly from Málaga to Torre del Mar that take about 50 minutes, making it an easy place to get to from the city center or airport.
Once you’re here, you can enjoy days at the stunning sandy beach where the calm waters are perfect for swimming or paddleboarding. There’s also a long boardwalk here where you can take a stroll or ride a bike.
The boardwalk is home to dozens of chiringuitos like Casa Miguel and Chiringuito Victoria where you can sit with a cold caña and your toes in the sand.