If you’re looking for the best area to stay in Málaga then you’re going to be presented with a world of choice. Whether you’re interested in staying in the heart of the old town or want a quiet area right on the beach, there are countless options in the Costa del Sol’s largest city.
A bustling and diverse city with a lot to offer, it may seem like there aren’t a lot of distinct neighbourhoods and areas in Málaga. However, just where you plan to base yourself in the city can have a massive effect on your overall trip.
Obviously, Málaga is an incredible city to visit – not only does it have beautiful beaches and great food but it also boasts a fascinating history and interesting cultural sites. Málaga also makes for an excellent base for exploring the Costa del Sol and other towns and cities nearby – such as Gibraltar, Ronda and even Granada.
So if you’re looking for the perfect place to stay in Málaga and some of the best hotels, here we’ve outlined a number of the city’s best neighbourhoods to stay in and how they can appeal to different kinds of visitors.
Best Places to Stay in Málaga
El Centro – Best Area for Sightseeing
If you’re looking to stay in the centre of Málaga, then you cannot go wrong with the El Centro neighbourhood. Literally translating to “the centre” this is the historical centre of Málaga and it’s home to some of the city’s top attractions.
Those who don’t want to venture far to get to all of the sites of the city and want to be in the middle of all the action in Málaga will love this vibrant neighbourhood.
Situated next to sites like the Málaga Cathedral, the Roman Theatre, the Alcazaba the Mercado de Atarazanas and much more, this is a busy part of the city but perfect if you want to see a lot of Málaga in a short period of time.
Filled with bars and restaurants, this neighbourhood is also a top contender for the best place to stay in Málaga for nightlife as this area of the city doesn’t settle down. It isn’t, however, the best area to stay if you’re looking for a quiet, more local experience and it’s very busy and popular with tourists and visitors.
Where to Stay in El Centro
Hotel Sur Málaga – This comfortable hotel is an excellent choice for those looking for a mid-range option in Málaga’s El Centro neighbourhood. There are a number of basic yet clean and comfortable rooms on offer and breakfast is available daily. Click here to check availability
Vincci Larios Diez – Those after luxury in the heart of Málaga will love this chic hotel. They have a number of plush rooms to choose from along with countless great amenities for guests to enjoy. Click here to check availability
TOC Hostel Málaga – Budget and solo travellers looking for a central, convivial and affordable place to stay in Málaga will love this hostel. Offering both dorms and private rooms, they also have great common areas, self-catering facilities and breakfast available in the mornings. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in El Centro!
Soho – Best Place for a Local Feel
Those who want to be very close to the city centre and beaches but also want a cool, artistic base will love the Soho neighbourhood. The streets of Soho are almost like an open-air gallery – they are so covered with incredible street art.
Though it’s located just south of the Centro neighbourhood, it’s also got a much more local feel and it’s a great place if you want to see this Spanish city from a local’s perspective. You won’t find as many tourist-centric eateries and bars and there are also plenty of cool places to check out here.
Soho isn’t home to all of the top attractions, however, it’s only about five to ten minutes walking from the centre of the city so you’re not too far for sightseeing. It’s also well-located if you want to visit La Malagueta beach, as that neighbourhood is located just next to it.
Where to Stay in Soho
Soho Boutique Urban – This cool boutique hotel is perfect for mid-range travellers looking to staying the hip Soho area. They have a number of lovely rooms to choose from, a great location for exploring the city and breakfast available daily. Click here to check availability
Soho Boutique Equitativa – This 4-star boutique hotel is great for travellers looking for a more upmarket stay in the Soho neighbourhood. They have a number of lovely rooms on offer, a swimming pool and breakfast available. Click here to check availability
The Lights Hostel – If you’re looking for budget-friendly and social places to stay in Málaga, then this hostel is a great option. They have both dorms and private rooms available, a rooftop terrace to enjoy and free sangria available every evening! Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Soho!
La Malagueta – Best Area for Beach & City Vibes
So-called after Málaga’s main city beach – the Playa de Malagueta – this neighbourhood is located just south of the historic centre on the beautiful Mediterranean coast.
The Malagueta beach itself is a lovely stretch of soft, golden sand and a draw to this neighbourhood in its own right.
However, it’s located just a stone’s throw from the Alcazaba and some of the top attractions in the city. La Malagueta is also filled with great cafes, restaurants and bars where you can fully experience Málaga’s great food scene.
La Malagueta is an excellent neighbourhood to stay in if you’re looking to combine a beach holiday with a vibrant city break as you really get the best of both worlds in this cool barrio. So if you’re looking for the best area to stay in Málaga near the beach without sacrificing the cook, big-city vibes, then La Malagueta is an excellent choice.
Where to Stay in La Malagueta
Hotel MS Maestranza Málaga – This hotel is an excellent choice for those who want to stay close to the beach but also in the heart of the city in Málaga. They have a range of lovely rooms to choose from along with plenty of great amenities to ensure your stay is a great one. Click here to check availability
Gran Hotel Miramar GL – This opulent beachfront luxury hotel is perfect for those looking for a luxe and sophisticated stay in Malagueta. They have a range of beautiful rooms to choose from, excellent access to Malagueta beach and a perfect location for exploring the highlights of Málaga itself. Click here to check availability
Malagueta Beach Studio – If you’d like to have your own flat while visiting Málaga, this hip studio in Malagueta is a great option. Well located for exploring all the city has to offer, it’s fully furnished with everything you may need during your stay. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in La Malagueta!
La Merced – Best Area for Nightlife
Located just adjacent to the Centro neighbourhood, La Merced is another excellent choice for those who’d like to stay in the heart of Málaga but also want to escape some tourist crowds.
The neighbourhood surrounds the Plaza de la Merced, which is famous for its statue of Pablo Picasso. It is also home to the artist’s birthplace and Málaga’s Picasso museum.
Though this little barrio is still effectively the city centre, it’s far enough removed from the tourist traps and major historic sites that you can still get a great, local experience. There are some excellent, authentic tapas bars and great restaurants to visit in this area, as well. It’s a great place to go on your own self-guided tapas tour of Málaga.
La Merced is also some to its own market – a mainstay of cities and neighbourhoods throughout Spain. Though the Mercado de la Merced is a fair bit smaller than the famed Mercado de Atarazanas, it does have a nice, local charm to it.
All in all, if you’re wondering where to stay in Málaga and you want to be in the city centre but still in a more local-centric area, then La Merced is an excellent choice. It is worth keeping in mind that this is a busier area of the city so it’s not the best neighbourhood for those after a quiet stay.
On the other hand, this is another great, central location to stay if you’re keen to be close to the city’s vibrant nightlife.
Where to Stay in La Merced
Hotel Del Pintor – Mid-range travellers looking for accommodation in Málaga right in the city centre will love this 3-star hotel. There are a number of clean and comfortable rooms to choose from along with an on-site bar, terrace and breakfast available daily. Click here to check availability
Anahita Boutique Hotel – This quaint and cosy boutique hotel is great for those looking for something a bit more upscale while they’re staying in the La Merced neighbourhood of Málaga. They have an on-site restaurant/bar, breakfast is available and there are plenty of other amenities. Click here to check availability
Home Art Apartments Málaga – These apartments are an excellent option for those who’d prefer to have their own furnished flat while visiting Málaga. They have a few different apartments available that can suit all kinds of travellers and group sizes. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in La Merced!
La Goleta – Best Place for Budget Travellers
Moving just a bit north of the historic centre you will reach the La Goleta neighbourhood. Still located within about fifteen minutes on foot of the top sites in the centre of Málaga, this area is perfect for those wanting to live like a local while visiting this Andalucían city.
La Goleta is a quiet neighbourhood that certainly doesn’t have a lot of its own sites, however, it is home to a lot of Malagueños – meaning that you’re going to have shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses that are catered to locals over tourists. This is great for those who want to experience a slice of local life in Málaga.
Though La Goleta is not a touristy neighbourhood to stay in Málaga, it’s still very close to the city centre and you can even reach Malagueta beach in about a 20-minute walk depending on where you’re starting. The neighbourhood is also a fair bit quieter, so it’s a better option for those who don’t want a lot of crowds during their stay.
All in all, if you want to be within easy reach of the city centre but still have a very local experience, La Goleta is one of the best areas in Málaga to stay.
Where to Stay in La Goleta
Exe Málaga Museos – This modern hotel is great for those who have decided that the La Goleta neighbourhood is the right choice for them. They have a number of bright and clean rooms to choose from and a great location for exploring the city. Click here to check availability
Madeinterranea Suites – This is a lovely little boutique hotel perfect for those who want a very comfortable yet quiet stay a stone’s throw from all of Málaga’s top attractions. They have a number of comfortable rooms to choose from along with breakfast available daily. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in La Goleta!
Pedregalejo – Best Area for a Beach Holiday
Pedregalejo is located a fair bit from downtown Málaga – east of the Playa de Malagueta. If you’re on the hunt for a great beach holiday area without having to venture too far from the centre of Málaga, then this is an excellent place to stay.
It’s worth noting that Pedregalejo isn’t within walking distance of the centre of Málaga and if you’re looking for the best place to stay for sightseeing, this is not it.
However, if you’re looking to fly into Málaga for a relaxing beach holiday and don’t want to waste time travelling to another town on the Costa del Sol, then this is an excellent option.
Pedregalejo has a beautiful beach and a nice, sleepy vibe, meaning that it’s also one of the best areas to stay in Málaga for families.
Where to Stay in Pedregalejo
Hotel La Chancla – This beachfront hotel is an excellent place to base yourself if you’re looking for a great, mid-range option in Málaga’s Pedregalejo neighbourhood. They have a number of great rooms to choose from along with breakfast available and a lovely terrace, restaurant and bar to enjoy. Click here to check availability
Las Acacias Hostal Restaurante – If you’re looking for a lovely budget option near Pedregalejo beach, then this guesthouse is a great choice. They have a number of comfortable rooms to choose from along with an on-site restaurant to enjoy. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Pedregalejo!
El Palo – Best Area for Families
Located even further east than Pedregalejo, El Palo is the perfect destination for those looking for a beach holiday with their family.
It’s not located in the centre of Málaga and though you can certainly get to the top sites of the city, that shouldn’t be the goal if you choose to stay here. Instead, El Palo is the perfect choice if you’re after beautiful beaches, sun and sand.
El Palo also doesn’t have a lot of major hotels here so it’s an excellent place for those who are looking for a furnished holiday home or flat to stay in by the beach.
Also, because of its quiet nature but still with access to supermarkets and restaurants, it makes for a great base for families who want access to Málaga but are primarily focused on a relaxed beach holiday.
So if you’re looking to spend your days in Málaga lounging on the beach and doing little else (the perfect holiday, if you ask me!), then El Palo can be a great choice.
Where to Stay in El Palo
Carmen Apartamentos – These apartments are a great choice for those who’d like to have their own space in the quiet El Palo area of Málaga. There are a couple of flats to choose from and all come fully furnished and equipped with everything you may need. Click here to check availability
Aunt Antonia Beach House – These lovely beachfront apartments are perfect for anyone looking for a relaxing place to stay for their Málaga beach holiday. They have a couple of flats to choose from (with sea views!) and there are also some great amenities for guests to enjoy. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in El Palo!
Málaga María Zambrano – Best Place for Transport Links
Moving closer to the centre of Málaga is the María Zambrano neighbourhood. This barrio is located in the area surrounding the city’s main train station and it is great if you’re looking for good transport links out of Málaga.
For instance, if you’re looking at using Málaga as a base for day trips by public transport, then this can be an excellent neighbourhood choice for you.
Because of its location near the main train and bus station, there are also great city transport links to elsewhere in Málaga, meaning that you can easily reach virtually anywhere in the city very easily from this neighbourhood.
Not only is this neighbourhood within walking distance of El Centro and Soho neighbourhood in Málaga, it’s also excellent if you’re using the city as a base to take some day trips to cities like Gibraltar, Ronda or even Granada – all easily reached by bus from the main station.
Where to Stay in María Zambrano
Eurostars Málaga – This 4-star hotel in the María Zambrano neighbourhood is a great option for those who want a plush place to stay close to Málaga’s train station. They have a number of great rooms to choose from and plenty of amenities – such as a hearty buffet breakfast – are available for guests. Click here to check availability
Mirador La Catedral – If you’re looking for your own flat to stay close to the María Zambrano train station, then these apartments are a great option. There are a few flats to choose from and all come fully equipped with everything guests may need or want for their time in Málaga. Click here to check availability
Finding the best place to stay in Málaga can seem a bit overwhelming when you consider all of the options available in this coastal city. But once you figure out what it is you want out of your holiday, you’re sure to find the best place that suits you and your own travel style.
Are you looking for the best area to stay in Málaga? Have any questions about these neighbourhoods? Let us know in the comments!