There are so many wonderful areas to stay in Malaga, it really depends what you’re looking for. If you’re only going to be in Malaga for a few days, I suggest staying right in town where the action is. Calle Marques de Larios, or commonly known as Calle Larios.
Calle Larios is a stellar street with everything you could want—nice hotels, hostels, restaurants, shopping, cafes, etc. It’s close to the river to get a wonderful evening walk in, and close enough to the beach to spend a few hours trying to lose your tan lines. A ton of tourist sites like Castillo de Gibralfaro and Catedral de la Encarnación de Malaga are within a 20-minute walk from here.
Just across the river is a tiny little pocket called Perchel Norte. It’s just far enough away to not be super noisy at night, but close enough for everything to still be accessible. And the bus station is literally 5 minutes away walking south! You could easily walk with your bags to catch a ride up to Ronda, Mijas, or Nerja.
If you don’t fancy the hustle and bustle of right downtown, there’s a small beach called Playa de la Malagueta just southeast of city center. It’s a wonderful little nature haven where you can go for a nice jog in the mornings, and watch the sunset in the evenings. It obviously gets pretty crowded during the day, so enjoy it while you can!
The train station is María Zambrano, so to be close to it you’d have to base yourself in Vialia or La Unión. However, you can stay in any place of the city center and easily access the train station (walking or taking the number 3 bus, if you’re not within walking distance of it).
The bicycle stations are scattered around the city so that shouldn’t be a problem either because you can get from one station to another and “park” the rented bike there and walk to another.
And you can walk to most places around the city center and there are buses to most of those places as well. As long as you base yourself within the city everything else will be very accessible, whether you take a bike, a bus or you walk.
El Riad Andaluz
Calle Larios is the city center and houses many hotels across all budget ranges. My personal favorite is El Riad Andaluz, a traditional Andalucian house with a Moroccan makeover. It is an inexpensive and conveniently located right in the centre of the town. The owner, Gerald, is helpful with intimate knowledge of the area and will gladly help you in framing an offbeat itinerary. A great stay option for those looking for a base station to explore areas around Malaga.
Calle Hinestrosa, 24, 29012 Málaga, Spain. [Website]
If budget is not a constraint, you can check into any of these luxury hotels - AC Malaga Palacio, Molina Lario Hotel or Don Curro. If I have to shortlist one of these three, my vote will be for Hotel Molina Lario mainly for its central location and its rooftop bar.
Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro
If you are driving down, take a look at Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, an Arab fortress turned into a luxury hotel situated on the hill of Gibralfaro. Amazing views of the coastal region and Costa Del Sol. View from the terrace at night is something to die for.
Castillo de Gibralfaro. Website
Hotels near Malaga Airport
To be honest, most of the enquiries on hotels in Malaga are from those who want to stay near the airport. My recommendation is for Hotel Campanile. It has easy access to the airport and good enough for an overnight stay. By easy access, I do not mean they have an airport shuttle but they are just 5 minutes away from the airport (by taxi). Extremely useful if you have an early morning flight departure.