Every year when Andy goes to Essen, Germany for the biggest board game festival in the world, I take a solo trip somewhere else. Most recently it was a trip to Malaga, Spain, a city that was never high on my list. But last year I jammed in too much travel, so I decided I couldn’t handle a trip to someplace more difficult or someplace where I’d want to run around doing tons of sightseeing. Since I speak Spanish, I looked to Spain and enjoyed almost a week in Malaga, soaking up my last bright rays of sunshine for awhile, and reading lots of books. Here’s how much I spent in Malaga, Spain, along with some of the best things to do in Malaga.
Total Malaga travel costs
Amounts are listed in euros and US dollars.
251.13€ / $290.81 – accommodation
3.60€ / $4.16 – transportation
125.73€ / $145.60 – food and alcohol
2.20€ / $2.55 – activities
382.66€ / $443.12 – total
This does not include the cost of my flights from Berlin to Malaga and back, which cost 375.13€ ($434.40).
Malaga lodging cost – $290.81
I spent 6 nights in Malaga, and since I had some Airbnb credit, I decided to rent an apartment. I had about 110€ of credit, so I actually only paid 141.01€ (about $163.29). This averages out to about $27.22 per night at the discounted rate, or $48.47 per night at full price.
Where to stay in Malaga, Spain
I stayed in this studio apartment which was about a 15-20 minute walk from the train station, less than 5 minutes to a grocery store, and 5-15 minutes to lots of restaurants, cafes, and the historical center of Malaga.
The kitchen was a little bare, but manageable for a few small meals. I’d recommend it if you just want to eat breakfast in the apartment and maybe a few simple meals that don’t require a lot of prep. There were no prep knives, only butter knives and a few steak knives that could barely cut through a tomato, and there were no staples provided, like salt, pepper, cooking oil, etc.
The bed was comfortable, and I spent lots of time relaxing on that couch with a book and a glass of wine. You can also see in the picture that there’s lots of light coming in from the bottom of the window/door. One of my favorite features was the roller shades, which go all the way from top to bottom and basically act like blackout curtains. Wonderful for those of us who need almost complete darkness to sleep.
Transportation costs in Malaga – $4.16
Big spender, I know. The truth is, the center of Malaga is very walkable and compact. This small amount is just for my train tickets to and from the airport. Malaga has a bus system, but I didn’t need to use it.
Cost of food and alcohol in Malaga – $145.60
As I mentioned above, the apartment I stayed in didn’t have great supplies in the kitchen. I bought groceries so I could eat breakfast in the apartment, plus enough to make three salads for lunch. I also bought a few bottles of wine to spread out over the 6 nights to accompany my solo travel reading habit. Beyond that, I ate out every night for dinner plus a few lunches and snacks. For 6 days in Malaga, I averaged $24.27 per day on food and alcohol.
Unfortunately I don’t really have any tips for where to eat in Malaga. I suspect there are some great places to eat outside the center if you venture a little farther than I did. The restaurants I tried were good enough but nothing exceptional. There was even one tapas place that was a little busy, and when I said I was by myself, they told me they couldn’t accommodate me. Seriously? I think that’s the first time I’ve ever had an issue dining alone.
Cost of activities in Malaga – $2.55
I know, another tiny amount for the activities category. The two big things I did in Malaga were visiting the Alcazaba (a medieval Moorish palace) and the Castillo Gibralfaro. The normal ticket price for each of these places is 2.20€ (about $2.55) or 3.55€ (about $4.11) for a combo ticket. But they are both free to visit on Sundays after 2pm, so I visited the Alcazaba on Sunday afternoon. It was a hot day though, and I didn’t want to push it to hike up the hill to the castle on the same day, so I paid the 2.20€ entry fee for that the next day.
Both were really interesting to visit and explore. The castle especially had wonderful views of Malaga from above since it’s so high up. Definitely bring water, a hat, and sunscreen.
If you like museums, Malaga has quite a few, including two museums of Pablo Picasso’s art, one of which is in the home where he was born.
Photos of Alcazaba in Malaga
Photos of Castillo Gibralfaro in Malaga
Malaga was perfect for what I needed at the time, which was warm weather, sunshine, and relaxation. It was fairly inexpensive, too. You certainly don’t need 6 days in Malaga, unless you want a beach vacation and not a lot of activities. You could also take a couple day trips from Malaga as it makes a good base. For 6 days in Malaga, I averaged $73.85 per day.
You might also enjoy:
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Spain for One Week
- Hidden Towns in Andalucia, Spain
- Scenes From Madrid, Toledo, and Salamanca, Spain
- Or check out more real travel budget posts