Is Benalmadena Worth Visiting? All Your Questions Answered!

Thinking about a holiday in Costa del Sol?

If Benalmadena is one of the potential destinations, check out this article which will give you answers to all the questions you might have!

Is Benalmadena Worth Visiting?

It certainly is!

For such a relatively small town, Benalmadena has a lot to offer and ticks a lot of holiday boxes.

Here are a few suggestions for why you might want to visit or stay in Benalmadena:

  • It is very close to Malaga, which makes it the perfect day-trip destination
  • If you don’t want to rent a car, Benalmadena is a great place as your base. You can get here by bus or a train from Malaga (and Malaga airport), or another direction from Fuengirola. From Benalmadena, you can easily take day trips via Malaga or the local bus network.
  • It has a charming old town with beautiful views
  • Parque de Murillo is another great reason to see Benalmadena – enjoy the views and pop down for a drink with a view to the La Cupula Lounge – they do live music on weekends too!
  • Castillo de Colomares – this monument dedicated to the travels of Christopher Columbus is just outside of Benalmadena (close to the Parque de Murillo) and it’s a very unique monument to visit
  • Butterfly Park – if you’re coming with kids, they will love a visit to the butterfly park just outside of the Pueblo
  • Buddhist Temple – while in the butterfly park, walk across the street to enjoy spectacular views of the coastline and visit the Buddhist temple
  • Gorgeous beaches – if you’re looking for a beach holiday, Benalmadena certainly won’t disappoint on that front either!
  • Paloma Park – is known for its cactus collection but is also a great place for a family picnic, if you get tired of the beach life
  • Benalmadena tends to be much less busy compared to its neighbour coastal towns of Torremolinos and Fuengirola
  • Benalmadena Marina is an interesting place to admire a mix of Andalusian and oriental architecture – it’s a great place to enjoy a meal in a restaurant, rent a boat or just enjoy a fun night out
  • Sea World in the marina is a great place to visit with kids
  • Sunny weather almost all year round, just like in the other destinations on Costa del Sol
  • Easy access from Malaga airport by a short taxi journey, a train or a bus
Benalmadena Bil Bil Castle
Bil Bil Castle in Benalmadena Costa

Is Benalmadena Touristy?

Some people say yes, and prefer the town of Torremolinos next door, which had retained much more of its Spanish character.

Personally, I found Torremolinos more touristy and neglected, very much stuck in the era of mass development.

Benalmadena is one of the most popular resorts on Costa del Sol, so you will see crowds of tourists, especially in the summer months, that’s pretty unavoidable.

what to do in benalmadena spain
Budhist temple near Benalmadena pueblo

Where is Benalmadena?

Benalmadena is a town on the shores of Costa del Sol, in southern Spain. It’s part of the autonomous region of Andalusia, and belongs to the district of Malaga.

The town is comprised of the neighbourhoods of La Carihuela, Benalmadena Costa, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Pueblo.

Benalmadena Location on the map:

What Region is Benalmadena in?

Benalmadena is located in the autonomous region of Andalusia, in Southern Spain.

Best Day Trips from Benalmadena

If you’re staying in Benalmadena and looking for an easy and convenient way to explore beyond the city, here are a few day trips options available:

  • Caminito del Rey Guided Tour – pick up from Benalmadena and a full guided tour of the famous walkway overlooking the gorge. Stunning views all around. From 50.15 euros per person.
  • Benalmadena Dolphin Watching Boat Tour – prebook your dolphin-watching experience on a catamaran, and enjoy sunbathing, swimming and watching dolphins in their natural habitat. From 18.95 euros per person.
  • Granada and Alhambra Tour – experience the highlights of Granada on this day trip with pick up in Benalmadena. Full Alhambra and Generalife tour, free time for lunch and exploring in Granada. From 82 euros per person.
  • Gibraltar Day Tour – take a bus to the Rock and enjoy free shopping or exploring on your own, or you can also book a tour of the nature reserve to see all the highlights. From 28 euros per person.
  • Morocco Day Trip – cross the straight of Gibraltar by ferry and enjoy a day of discovering the African continent. From 140 euros per person.

How Far is Benalmadena from Malaga?

Benalmadena is about 20 kilometers from Malaga.

How Do I Get from Malaga to Benalmadena?

If you need to travel from Malaga to Benalmadena, you have four options: taxi, train, car or a bus.

Malaga Benalmadena by Taxi

Taxi journey from Malaga to Benalmadena will take approximately 15 minutes, and it will cost around 30 euros, depending on where you’re leaving from and where you are being dropped off. The taxi from Malaga airport to Benalmadena is a little cheaper, around 20 euros.

Taxi ranks in Malaga are available at the train stations, by hotels (close to the cathedral for example), or at the taxi rank at the airport.

If you’re planning to use a taxi, I highly recommend installing Uber app on your phone as they tend to be cheaper than standard taxi.

Malaga Benalmadena by Train

There is a regular local train connection to Benalmadena, which is the route Malaga – Fuengirola. In Benalmadena, the train stops at Aroyo de la Miel, which is close to the old town. From there it’s about 15-20 minutes walk to the coast.

The trains run approximately every 20 minutes from Maria Zambrano or Centro station, and you can buy the tickets at the booth in the station building. One-way ticket costs around 5 euros and the journey will take approximately 20-25 minutes.

The trains are very spacious and comfortable to use, you won’t be struggling to board even if you have a lot of luggage with you.

Malaga Benalmadena by Car

From Malaga, take the MA-21 road towards Fuengirola, and you should arrive in Benalmadena in about 25 minutes.

Malaga Benalmadena by Bus

There is a regular Avanza service to Benalmadena, which stops at the marina area, and leaves from the main station in Malaga. The journey is approximately 35 minutes, so it’s much faster the take the train connection.

cupula lounge benalmadena
La Cupula lounge near Benalmadena pueblo

Where is Benalmadena Costa?

Benalmadena Costa is the coastal area of the town of Benalmadena,

Where is Benalmadena Pueblo?

Benalmadena Pueblo is the oldest part of the town and stretches higher up on the hill above Benalmadena Costa.

How Far is Benalmadena Pueblo from Benalmadena Costa?

The distance is about 4 km.

How Can I Get to Benalmadena Pueblo?

If you’re in Benalmadena town, costa or other parts of the town, there are local buses that can take you to the old town.

The M103, M112, M121, M124, and M126 buses all stop in Benalmadena Pueblo. The train stop is also in the old town. See above for directions on how to get to Benalmadena from Malaga.

Mariposario de Benalmadena (Butterly Park)
Butterly Park

What To Do in Benalmadena?

There is plenty to do and see in Benalmadena, whether you’re travelling as a couple, a solo traveller, or with kids. The article below lists all my recommendations:

READ MORE: 10+ Exciting Things to do in Benalmadena

How Hot is Benalmadena?

Benalmadena has pretty standard temperatures like the other towns on Costa del Sol, with the summer stretching much longer than in the rest of Europe, and very mild weather in the winter months.

If you’re interested in the temperature breakdown for each month, here are the estimates:

  • How hot is Benalmadena in January? Between 17C – 8C on average, with some rainy days and more clouds.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in February? Between 18C and 8C on average, also rainy with clouds around.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in March? Usually, temperatures don’t go as low as the previous two months and are in the range of 15C – 19C, with nights being still very cold. Less rain and more sunny days.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in April? April weather is a bit unpredictable and you can have random cold spells, but temperatures are warmer around the low twenties.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in May? 15C to 25C with lots of sunny days, rain is rarely seen this time of year.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in June? Temperatures hitting 30s for the first time, average between 18C and 28C.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in July? One of the hottest months of the year, temperatures between 20C and 33C.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in August? The hottest month of the year, temperatures between 25C and 35C.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in September? Cooling off with temperatures between 25C and 30C.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in October? Pleasant temperatures between 20C and 25C.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in November? Still relatively warm with temperatures between 18C and 25C.
  • How hot is Benalmadena in December? Cooling off with temperatures between 15C and 20C.
benalmadena spain 37
Benalmadena Marina

Which are the Best Restaurants in Benalmadena?

I have tested quite a few restaurants in Benalmadena, and unfortunately, most of them fall into the tourist trap category, especially around Benalmadena Costa.

Out of those I tested, the best Benalmadena restaurants were:

  • Yuca’s Mare Restaurant – outside of the city by the coast. Read the full review here.
  • Escorpio Restaurant – part of a La Fonda hotel, in Benalmadena Pueblo
  • Lime & Lemon Restaurant – best for tapas, Benalmadena Costa

READ MORE: The Foodie’s Guide to Benalmadena Restaurants

The restaurants I had the worst experience in?

Most of those by the coast with bleached-out pictures of the food. Chiringuitos in my experience are overpriced with very bad quality food. You pay the premium for the location, but the service and quality of ingredients leave a lot to be desired.

Another place you will probably hear a lot about is Trocadero in Benalmadena, with glowing tripadvisor reviews.

I have visited the place once, and even though the views and the interior design are truly beautiful, I found it very pretentious, and overpriced and generally didn’t feel comfortable there. It seems like the place where people want to be seen. The food was ok, but nothing exceptional for the excessive price tag.

Yucas Mare Restaurant in Benalmadena, Spain
Yuca’s Mare in Benalmadena

Benalmadena or Fuengirola? Which is Better?

Generally, I would say Fuengirola is better for those who are looking for a beach holiday as it has 7km of well-serviced sandy beaches.

If you’re the type that wants a lot to do on holiday, Benalmadena might be better as there are a lot more attractions and places to visit. I think it’s also a better choice for holiday with kids, although all the kids attractions are also easily accessible from Fuengirola.

Fuengirola would have a much bigger selection of holiday apartments and places to rent, in Benalmadena, you will find bigger accommodation options like houses.

Fuengirola is fairly dense, so you can walk from one side of town to the other in under an hour. Benalmadena is spread out towards the hills, so you will encounter some steep climbs if you’re walking around.

In terms of greenery spaces, Benalmadena is better thanks to the large Paloma park.

In terms of nightlife, that’s hard for me to comment on, but I’ve heard that Fuengirola is supposed to be better.

Benalmadena Bil Bil Castle
Sea Life Benalmadena

Benalmadena or Torremolinos? Which is Better?

I personally don’t like Torremolinos and prefer Benalmadena, but a lot of people disagree and say that Torremolinos feels like old fashioned Spanish town.

Benalmadena in contrast is more developed for the tourist population. Torremolinos has a lot of run-down areas that look like they haven’t been touched with paint since they were built in the 80s.

Torremolinos happened to be my first holiday in Spain many years ago, and I remember that apart from sunning myself at the beach, there wasn’t much to do.

Torremolinos also has a lot more holiday resorts, especially in the cheaper category ranges and all-inclusive resorts, which are all distributed along the coastline. Torremolinos is also known as the gay capital of Costa del Sol and the city is marketing itself, especially to this audience base.

All in the Name – Common Misspellings for Benalmadena

I must admit it took me a few tries to get the name right! It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue!

Over time, I’ve encountered some very common misspellings of the town name, so I’m adding them all here for reference!

  • Belamadena
  • Belamadina
  • Benalmedina
  • Belamedina
  • Benamadena
  • Benimadina
  • Benalmadina
  • Benalmedena
  • Bellamadina
  • Benelmadena
  • Balmedina
  • Medalmadena

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