Malaga, with its almost 360 days of sunshine a year, is a charismatic city that in addition to beaches offers the possibility of cultural routes through its many monuments, archaeological relics and museums. It is usually the starting point for exploring the beautiful Costa del Sol, but it is worth spending a couple of days there and discovering its charms. To help you organize your trip to the capital of the province, don’t miss the guide I made on “What to see and do in Malaga”, but here today I tell you how to get from Malaga airport to the city center.
Malaga-Costa del Sol International Airport (AGP), also known as “Pablo Picasso Airport”, is the most important airport in Andalusia and is located about 8 kilometers southwest of the city center.
The airport, with its 3 terminals, has an excellent infrastructure for travelers and has premises for currency exchange, ATMs, bars, restaurants, cafes, various shops (to buy food, sweets, clothes, accessories, technology, magazines and books, souvenirs, etc.), Duty Free, pharmacy, VIP lounges and unlimited internet connection!
There is also a luggage storage service through LockMate in Terminal 3, which operates from 8am to 9pm. There are other consignment services, such as BlueCat Parking, which operate 24 hours a day and are located in the airport parking area.
Pablo Picasso airport, as many people call it, is quite well connected to the city centre by public transport, and here I tell you all the options to get to the centre of Malaga:
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Malaga airport is well connected to the city centre and other cities on the Costa del Sol through an extensive bus network. Next I’ll tell you which ones take you to the centre of the city and which ones take you to nearby towns like Marbella, Estepona, Torremolinos, etc.
🚏 EXPRESS CITY BUS
From Malaga airport you can take the “Línea A” or “Aeropuerto Express” which takes you to the city centre in less than 20 minutes.
The main bus stops are: train station, bus station, Av. Andalucía, Alameda Principal and Paseo del Parque. Here you can see the map with all the stops.
The bus runs 24 hours a day, with a frequency of 20 to 25 minutes at rush hour and 45 to 60 minutes at less busy times. You can check the bus schedules here.
The bus stop is in Terminal 3, in the arrivals area, in front of the transport interchange. The ticket costs 3€ and you have two options to buy the ticket: either at the checkpoint located at the exit of the terminal, where you can pay in cash or by card or you can pay in cash when you get on the bus.
🚏 INTERCITY BUS
There are several bus companies that offer services from Malaga airport to nearby cities such as Marbella, Nerja, Estepona, Alhaurín de la Torre, Santa Amalia, La Línea or Algeciras. Here are some examples of routes and the link for you to look for more information in case you need it.
– Malaga to Marbella airport line
The company Avanzabus takes you from the airport to the centre of Marbella in 40 minutes. The price of the ticket is between 6.15€ and 8.35€ depending on the day and time you catch the bus.
Here are the bus schedules. For more information click here.
– Malaga to Nerja airport line
Alsa takes you from the airport to Nerja in less than 2 hours. The price of the ticket is 4,58€ for one way and if you catch a round trip it costs 8,29€.
Here are the bus schedules. For more information click here.
✏️ Find all the routes and information on transfers from Malaga airport to different points on the Costa del Sol here.
🚉 SUBURBAN TRAIN
One of the quickest, most efficient and economical ways to get from Malaga airport to the city centre (Centro-Alameda stop) is on the Renfe commuter train.
Renfe’s C1 line takes you from Terminal 3 of the airport to the centre of Málaga in 12 minutes (it also passes through the Maria Zambrano high-speed train station in 8 minutes).
If you go to other parts of the Costa del Sol, the train C1 also goes to Torremolinos in 10 minutes, Benalmádena in 18 minutes or Fuengirola in 34 minutes. Here you can see the map of the vicinity.
Once in Centro-Alameda you can combine with the C-2 suburban line, with buses, taxis or on foot to your accommodation, depending on where you stay.
Trains departing from the airport run between 6.44 a.m. and 12.54 p.m., every 20 minutes during rush hours and every 30 minutes during off-peak hours. The ticket from the airport to the centre costs 1,80€ (if you go to other areas it can cost you up to 3,60€, because the price depends on the areas you pass through).
✏️ Here I leave you the simulator of timetables and routes of Renfe for you to see the schedules.
🚗 PRIVATE TRANSPORT
The quickest, fastest, safest and most effective way to get from Malaga airport to the city centre is to book a private transport with a driver waiting for you at the terminal (with a sign in your name) and take you directly to your hotel, without queuing for taxis or surcharges.
This is a perfect option if you go several as the price is 30 € (fixed), and if you are 4 people for example, it will cost about 7.50 € per person. Depending on how many of you there are, you can be picked up by car or van. If you want more information about private transport or want to book, click here.
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Finally, as in all international airports, there is official taxi service at the gate of the T3 arrivals terminal and you will recognize them because they are white with a blue line on the side. It is important that you ask the taxi driver to turn on the meter as soon as you get on.
The price from the airport to the centre of Málaga is around 20€ or 25€, although it depends a lot on the specific destination you are going to and the traffic. Please note that the taxi driver will charge €5.50 to pick you up at the airport and if you travel between midnight and 6am you will also add €2 to your ticket.
✏️ Below you can see the official rates and if you want more information, click here to access the Aena website.
💡Para a first approach to the city, I recommend you to sign up for the FREE MÁLAGA TOUR that takes you through the streets of the historic center and shows you the most important of the city. It’s free, but you must reserve your place.
💤 Where to sleep in Málaga
My recommendation is that you stay in the old town, so you have everything at hand.
If you travel on a tight budget, I recommend a backpacker-style hostel, with very clean and comfortable shared rooms like The Urban Jungle Hostel. In addition to shared dormitories, it has private rooms (if you are looking for privacy, but in a jovial and fun atmosphere).
If you prefer to stay in an ordinary hotel, quieter and with beautiful private rooms, my recommendation is the central “Boutique Hotel Teatro Romano”, which, as its name suggests, is located opposite the Teatro Romano.
🌟 Excursions near Malaga
Besides touring the city of Malaga, I recommend some nearby excursions that you can do and are super interesting:
✏️ What do you think about going to Caminito del Rey? It is one of the most sought after attractions in the province. A unique experience.
✏️ A tour to the “Caves of Nerja” and the white houses of Frigiliana
Streets of Frigiliana via Shutterstock*
✏️ Excursion to Ronda, one of the most beautiful balncos villages in Spain.
✏️ Visit the impressive Alhambra in Granada
✏️ Spend the day in Cordoba and get to know its mosque cathedral
📍 Here you can take a look at all the activities, tours, guided tours and excursions you can do in and around Málaga.
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* The photographs are from the Shutterstock image bank.
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