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!
It certainly is!
For such a relatively small town, Benalmadena has a lot to offer and ticks a lot of holiday boxes.
Here are few suggestions why you might want to visit or stay in Benalmadena:
Some people say yes, and prefer the town of Torremolinos next door, which had retained much more of its Spanish character.
It is a very popular holiday destination, and most of the local businesses cater much more to tourists than locals.
I would personally say Benalmadena is less touristy and crowded compared to Fuengirola, especially in the summer months, but it all comes down to your personal preferences.
If you want to stay somewhere that’s a bit more authentic Spanish, you might want to consider other destinations on Costa del Sol.
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:
Benalmadena is located in the autonomous region of Andalusia, in Southern Spain.
Benalmadena is about 20 kilometers from Malaga.
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.
Benalmadena Costa is the coastal area of the town of Benalmadena,
Benalmadena Pueblo is the oldest part of the town and stretches higher up on the hill above Benalmadena Costa.
The distance is about 4 kilometers.
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.
There is plenty to do and see in Benalmadena, whether you’re traveling as a couple, a solo traveler, or with kids. The article below lists all my recommendations:
READ MORE: 10+ Exciting Things to do in 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:
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:
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 is truly beautiful, I found it very pretentious, 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.
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.
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.
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