There is nothing I love more than arriving in a new city, ready to explore it with my camera.
Malaga is one of those places that offers diversity in photography exploration – it has a charming old town, modern vibrant city centre, historic buildings and castles, typical coastal areas with chiringuitos and much more.
Even if you just have a weekend or a day to explore, there is plenty to capture and make lots of memories.
Malaga is usually my go-to day trip destination, as I live just 30 minutes train ride away, so I end up going back quite often, looking for new local gems and ways to capture the city.
If you’re planning a trip to Malaga and looking for beautiful places to capture on your stay, I’m glad you’re here and hope you find this useful!
Before we dive into the locations, I thought I would share some useful insights that will help you get the most out of your trip.
Finding gorgeous photography locations in Malaga is certainly not an issue – what you’ll struggle with is the influx of tourists in the height of the season, and the enemy of all photographers – direct sun.
Here are some practical tips that always work for me for travel photography:
If I’m staying in a very busy or popular location (which most cities are), I tend to leave the hotel or apartment just before sunrise to venture out and capture the empty streets in the beautiful morning light.
At this time of day, there’s barely anyone outside, the world is just waking up and you can get stunning shots of popular locations without anyone in them. If you have a willing partner in crime that is ready to get up early with you while on holiday, even better!
Malaga old town is generally pretty much empty early in the morning, even at weekends, so its the perfect time to capture the beauty of the old town.
It’s one thing to see photos of a destination online, and something very different when you arrive on the spot. More often than not, the location is quite glorified by over-edited images and when you arrive at the location it doesn’t look anything like it.
This happened to me a few times, so I always ensure to adjust my expectations when visiting a new place (especially when I don’t account for the number of people that will be visiting at the same time).
Big groups of tourists are an inevitable part of life when you’re visiting Malaga, and there is no way to avoid them. Unlucky timing could mean that you arrive at the same time as two cruise liners are releasing thousands of snap-hungry tourists into the old town, so you struggle walking without constantly bumping into people.
One way to avoid them is to explore early in the morning and take the midday as a siesta time at your hotel or apartment. Visit the most popular locations like Castillo Gibralfaro, Alcazaba or the Picasso Museum at the first available time slot in the morning. They can get incredibly busy otherwise.
This is something I have to work with very often and I stopped worrying about it too much. If you’re out in the middle of the day, there isn’t much you can do with the conditions outside.
The best advice usually is to look for a shady spot to take some photos or use the middle of the day to explore places like museums, cathedrals etc where you can take photos inside.
But now, lets look at the list of my favourite location – I will keep adding to this as and when I find some new places!
The old town is usually the first place I venture when out and about in Malaga. It offers everything you need to experience Malaga and much more – cool vibrant cafes, bars, restaurants, busy night life and gorgeous buildings and cute corners all around.
A fairly recent addition to Malaga city, Muelle Uno is a sea promenade lined with restaurants and boats, quite often a huge cruise liner is also parked here.
The shaded walkway creates beautiful shadows even in the middle of the day and it’s the perfect spot to sit down for a cold drink and do a bit of people watching.
Right opposite the Malaga Cathedral is Plaza del Obispo, one of my favourite little squares.
It has the cutest looking restaurants, a big old fountain in the middle where the pigeons usually play a chase and of course the best view of the cathedral!
The ‘central park’ of Malaga is a long stretch of lush greenery with a botanical garden incorporated into it. It’s only a short walk away from Muelle Uno so you can tick off both of these locations at the same time.
If you cross the street from Malaga Park towards the Alcazaba direction, you will find yourself in the Pedro Louis Alfonso gardens.
These small landscaped gardens feature an orange tree alley, rose garden, lily pond and benches to relax.
One of the key places of interest – the Cathedral is as impressive from the outside as it is from the inside.
If you want to get some cool photos, book the tour that will allow you to get all the way to the top tower.
One of the most known beaches in town, best captured in the morning or during the sunset hours (photos coming soon!)
This colourful oversized cube is hard to miss if you walk around Muelle Uno.
While you can’t get inside, the lighthouse is a beautiful backdrop whether you’re taking photos next to it or from a boat. It’s located at the end of Muelle Uno.
Change your vantage point and explore the city from a boat!
An hour trip on the sea starts from around 17 euros and even though it doesn’t go far, it’s certainly a fun way to experience the city. If you’re lucky, you get to spot the dolphins too (I managed to do that on my September trip!)
Some of the best views of the city are certainly from Gibralfaro Castle. It usually doesn’t get as crowded as the Alcazaba that lies under it, and if you time it right, you can also capture some stunning sunset shots.
On the uphill climb to the Gibralfaro Castle next to the main road is a small lookout place called Mirador de la Costa. It offers a beautiful view of the coastline and normally there’s nobody around, so its perfect if you want some group photos with a beautiful backdrop.
By far one of the most crowded places in Malaga. Alcazaba gets busy very early on, so getting photos without other people in them is a bit of a challenge.
The complex is fairly big and has a lovely cafe from where you can admire some amazing views.
While you’re at Alcazaba, don’t forget to check out the Roman Theater that’s right next to it!
If you don’t mind venturing a bit outside of the city, the Botanical Garden La Conception is one of my favourite places in Malaga. It’s fairly remote and tranquil and a welcome change from the buzz of Malaga city.
You can check more about it in my blog post here.
The lookout at Parador de Gibralfaro has some of the best views in Malaga, but you can get a very similar view if you’re using the pathway to climb from Alcazaba towards the Gibralfaro castle.
Hope you enjoyed this list and that it will inspire you to find some beautiful places in Malaga!
If you’ve discovered some of your own, please leave a comment and share your insights with the rest of us.
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