April is one of Málaga’s busiest months, with tourists booking a break on the Coast for two main reasons – the beautifully warm weather and Málaga’s Semana Santa, which is steeped in cultural and spiritual significance. There are many more activities to immerse yourself in. Take a larger piece of ‘the real Málaga’ with you by embracing our curated list of cultural, culinary, and leisurely pursuits.

Words Marisa Cutillas, Photography courtesy of Monika Böjti, Shutterstock, the respective museums, and as attributed.

April is one of Málaga’s busiest months, with tourists booking a break on the Coast for two main reasons – the beautifully warm weather and Málaga’s Semana Santa, which is steeped in cultural and spiritual significance. There are many more activities to immerse yourself in. Take a larger piece of ‘the real Málaga’ with you by embracing our curated list of cultural, culinary, and leisurely pursuits.

Words Marisa Cutillas, Photography courtesy of Monika Böjti, Shutterstock, the respective museums, and as attributed.

Cultural Pursuits

Let’s start with the many amazing museums in the capital, of which there are a whopping 36! Many are located within walking distance of each other, so you can definitely see two or three in a day. Read on to discover our list of favourites.

The Carmen Thyssen Museum in Málaga
A Treasure Trove of 19th-Century Art

Take a colourful journey through the main genres that held sway in Spanish painting during the 19th and the start of the 20th century. The Carmen Thyssen Museum, which is housed in a 16th-century Renaissance building in the city centre, houses an assembly of over 250 works from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. Featured artists include Francisco de Zurbarán, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, and Julio Romero de Torres.

The first floor is dominated by the ‘preciosismo’ movement, led by Mariano Fortuny. This style sought to explain the fine details in a scene and featured both everyday subjects (such as Andalusian patios) and high society dances. On the second floor are 20th-century works by artists who looked to international movements such as impressionism for inspiration.

The museum opens from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm. www.carmenthyssenmalaga.org

The Centre Pompidou

The lively Muelle Uno (Port One) in the city, with its myriad of shops and restaurants and scenic walkways, is dominated by a large, vibrant, Rubik’s Cube-like structure – Málaga’s own Pompidou Museum. Its unique mission is to appeal to people who don’t usually visit museums. If you are a newcomer to modern art, book a guided tour for beginners. If you’re a bit of an expert, ask for the guided tours for connoisseurs.
Within the walls of the Pompidou, you will find 7,000m2 of exhibition space, divided into two floors. Featured artists as we go to print include Matisse, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Lucio Fontana. Exhibitions are continually changing, so keep up-to-date by signing up for the museum’s newsletter.

The museum opens every day except Tuesday, from 9:30am to 8pm. www.centrepompidou-malaga.eu

Top Exhibition to Catch: Javier Calleja

Javier Calleja is one of the international art scene’s most exciting and popular artists. Hailing from Málaga, he is causing a frenzy in the US, Japan, China, Russia, Africa, and Latin America. His work comprises drawings, paintings, and large-scale sculptures – many of which feature childlike subjects that transmit innocence and the joy of discovery. The Centro Cultural Fundación Unicaja is currently housing the artist’s biggest individual exhibition to date, with over 200 works to enjoy. Entitled Mr. Günter the Cat Show, it can be viewed until September 6.


The Picasso Museum of Málaga

Like the Carmen Thyssen Museum, the Picasso Museum of Málaga is located in a stunning 16th-century palace, though this venue boasts a marriage of Renaissance and Mudéjar architectural elements. Although the museum opened its doors in 2003 (its launch was attended by the King and Queen Emeritus, Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía), it was originally dreamed up by Pablo Picasso and Juan Temboury Álvarez, who was the Delegate of Fine Arts in Málaga.
The museum features a wide range of paintings and drawings by Picasso, who founded the Cubist movement alongside Georges Braque, as well as numerous temporary exhibitions. Must-see paintings include Still Life with Minotaur and Palette, Head of a Woman (Dora Maar), and Jacqueline Seated. There is also a wide range of sculptures and sketches on display.

The museum opens every day from 10am to 7pm. www.museopicassomalaga.org

The Automobile and Fashion Museum

What do fancy cars and high fashion have in common? The fact that both drip artistry and are the product of talent, vision, and a penchant for perfection. The Automobile and Fashion Museum shows how seamlessly these creative genres merge via a host of set-ups that marry the two to perfection.
The cars are divided into 10 different categories – Belle Époque, The Golden 1920s, Art Deco, Popular Cars, Designer Cars, Dream Cars, Alternative Energy, the English Tradition, Dolce Vita, and Hot Rods.
Fashion, meanwhile, is represented by firms of the calibre of Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Balmain, and Prada. You will find six different categories to investigate – Individual Collections, Apotheosis, Fashion Victim, Black Room, Hats, and Fashion in Movement. The range of ideas represented in the museum include consumerism, artistry in design, and iconic outfits – including a Belle Époque dress once belonging to Napoleon III’s wife, the Empress Eugénie de Montijo.

The museum opens from Monday to Sunday, 10am to 2:30pm. www.museoautomovilmalaga.com

The Museum of Imagination

An ideal establishment for those who like to take photographs that veer from the norm, the Museum of Imagination was created to invite us to return to our childhood and plunge head-first into the world of illusion. It features a host of visual scenes that defy gravity, take you back to the age of the dinosaurs, and immerse you in fantasy-like scenarios. There is also a dedicated kids’ area with professional monitors.

The museum opens from 11am to 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and 11am to 9pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. www.museoimaginacion.com

Culinary Experiences

Málaga’s dining scene is filled with life, flavour, and aromas. We hope you try some of the restaurants in our curated list.

La Antxoeta Art Restaurant

‘Canalla y acogedor’ – ‘Roguish and welcoming,’ is how this restaurant, located in the heart of the Malagueño Soho, likes to describe itself. Market-fresh produce, creativity, and a dash of rock ‘n roll, plus an exquisite wine list, are the pillars that give La Antxoeta Art its reputation for an unbeatable, flavour-packed experience.
The chef, Pablo Caballero Larios, entered into the competitive world of gastronomy owing to his passion for travel. Honing his craft in a myriad of cities and restaurants was a way for him to immerse himself in a wealth of cultures while making a living. For Caballero, a great meal is one that is free of artifice and based on excellence of produce. His dishes are characterised by their Mediterranean focus and alluring creativity.



Byoko proudly calls itself ‘the first bio, zero-kilometre cuisine establishment in Málaga,’ and indeed, the main values in this warm, inviting restaurant are sustainability and a love of all things eco-friendly. Byoko’s interior design is urban yet biophilic, a combination of red brick pillars and wooden tables with a modern, happening vibe.
Diners tuck into hearty brunches, healthy lunches, and beautifully presented dinners. Servings are generous and every plate is packed with colour. Dishes to enjoy include the Kingsotto (a white, black, and red quinoa risotto with a mix of shiitake and button mushrooms and Grana Padano cheese), the chickpea curry kale salad, and the matcha cake. Byoko has two restaurants – one in the famous Plaza de la Merced and another on Calle Strachán.



This restaurant is named after a thick, persistent cloud which covers the city of Málaga in the hottest days of the summer without warning, protecting native plants against the heat by producing a notable and pleasurable drop in temperature.
Taró is the kind of venue that is ideal for celebrating special events such as important business dinners or anniversaries. Avant-garde cuisine is created meticulously by whiz chef, Pachu Barrera. He transforms traditional recipes into works of art with unique flavours and textures. One of his most famous dishes, the Malagueño salchichón tartar, is a perfect example of the level of creativity you will encounter at Taró.



Head Chef, Dani Carnero obtained Málaga city’s second Michelin star (for his restaurant, Kaleja) in November 2022, after many years consolidating a stellar career that has seen him achieve nationwide renown. ‘Kaleja’ is a Sephardic word meaning ‘narrow street or alley’. It is a fitting name for a restaurant that is located in a tiny street in Málaga’s ‘judería’ (old Jewish quarter), with views over the Moorish Alcazaba.
The chef prepares his dishes in a traditional cocina de candela, which imbues ingredients with a smoky aroma that rescues the flavours he first encountered as a child. At Kaleja, you will find numerous Andalusian recipes that Carnero has rescued from oblivion. There are two tasting menus on offer – Memoria and Gran Memoria – made with market-fresh produce and plenty of love. Carnero owns two other trendy spots in the city – La Cosmopolita and La Cosmo, both of which offer casual dining experiences.


Vino Mío

Vino Mío restaurant, located in front of the Teatro Cervantes, has achieved an amazing feat this year – its 20th anniversary! This establishment is known for having one of Málaga’s best terraces. The latter is open all year, climatised, and covered so that diners can enjoy a great meal even on rainy days.
The restaurant presents highly acclaimed flamenco shows, which are celebrated from Thursday to Sunday, as well as art exhibitions and a plethora of musical evenings. On the menu are a host of international dishes and tapas, as well as vegetarian dishes and tempting desserts. You will find inspirations from all over the world, including Morocco, Australia, and Italy.


José Carlos García Restaurant

A stalwart on Málaga’s gastronomic scene, José Carlos García is one of two restaurants in the capital city with one Michelin star. Located in the port of Málaga, it exudes elegant, minimalistic vibes and has an impressively-sized open kitchen, which enables diners to observe the discipline that goes into running a fine dining restaurant. The chef is known for his love of local produce and his interest in preserving the traditions of Málaga. His tasting menu features seaside delights (including red mullet, shrimp, and cuttlefish), as well as meat, game, and vegetables.


A Leisurely Day in Málaga

Unlike many other European capital cities, Málaga isn’t one where you usually have to queue up to see the main sites. Moreover, you can simply enjoy a day out in the city without having to enter museums or the Cathedral, and still feel like you have caught a good balance of cultural enrichment and laid-back fun. Below are five suggestions for those who like to enjoy a casual stroll through their favourite cities.

Visiting the Alcazaba and the Roman Ruins

One of the most romantic visits possible in Málaga involves a visit to the Alcazaba – a 16th-century palace and fortification ensconced at the skirts of the Gibralfaro mountain. It measures over 15,000m2 – just half of its original size in its golden age. One of its most scenic spots is the Patio de Armas, with beautifully manicured gardens and a traditional fountain upping the relaxation factor. The palace is a stone’s throw away from another must-see monument – the Roman Amphitheatre, built during the height of the Roman Empire and utilised for the performing arts until the third century.


Shopping at Calle Larios

Calle Larios is hands-down one of Málaga’s most beautiful shopping areas, in my view comparable in beauty only to Marbella’s Old Town. This elegant pedestrian-only street is more like an avenue in width, and from start to finish there’s something interesting to view. Affordable and designer boutiques mingle (both in the main street and the tiny streets and alleyways that branch off it) with jewellery stores, the elegant Larios Hotel, and classic tapas bars and restaurants serving traditional food with modern flair. Calle Larios is just minutes away from Málaga’s most important sites—including the Cathedral and the city’s main museums.

Muelle Uno and Muelle Dos

The port in Málaga is over 3,000 years old, making it one of the oldest in the world. Today, it is one of the most vibrant cruise ship terminals in Spain, welcoming thousands of tourists to our shores every year. Muelle Uno and Dos (Quays One and Two) are a 15-minute walk from Calle Larios. Muelle Uno is home to a 14,000m2 shopping and commercial centre and has underground parking for over 1,000 cars. It is also dotted with lively cafés and bars.
Muelle Dos, meanwhile, is known for its stunning shaded waterfront promenade, called ‘The Palm Garden of Surprises’. It is, as its name would suggest, flanked by stately palm trees and home to numerous kids’ playgrounds, water features, gardens, benches, and quiet spots in which to spend a relaxing day alone or with loved ones.



A stunning theatre in the centre that is the dream child of Academy and Tony Award-nominated actor, Antonio Banderas. The star’s pulling power has drawn big Broadway stars to our shores, including Baayork Lee, who co-directed A Chorus Line – an all-time favourite musical whose original cast she formed part of. The Soho Theatre continually presents shows of the highest calibre, ranging from dramas to musicals and more. Keep your eyes glued to its website to discover its updated programme.


The Parque de la Alameda

This is one of my favourite all-time spots, as it was a frequent hangout during my first years living in the heart of Málaga. This park is an oasis of subtropical trees, shrubs, and plants with a host of benches where you can read a book, enjoy a quick lunch, or just watch the world go by. Designed in 1876 as a means of expanding the port, it measures 30,000m2 and is considered the green lung of Málaga.