Andy and I spent one week in Malaga, Spain this winter. It was the first stop as part of our Spain experiment to see if we could find a city in southern Spain that might work as a temporary home each winter. Malaga is a popular beach town, but we were more interested in exploring the city itself. We wandered through various neighborhoods, checked out several fresh markets, plus did some touristy things. Here’s how much we spent in Malaga, Spain for one week.
Total Malaga expenses
Amounts are listed in euros and US dollars.
526.93€ / $600.70 – accommodation
97€ / $110.58 – transportation
431.66€ / $492.09 – food and alcohol
145.00€ / $165.30 – activities
1,200.59€ / $1,426.09 – total
This does not include the cost of our flight to Malaga.
Total Malaga lodging costs – $600.70
Since we were spending such a long time in Spain, we needed to stay in apartments where we’d be able to cook and do laundry. Staying in hotels for a month just isn’t practical, especially since we needed to work during this time as well. We spent 7 nights in an apartment in Malaga, just outside the old town, for $600.70 total. This averaged out to about $85.81 per night, or $42.90 per person per night.
Where to stay in Malaga, Spain
We rented this apartment through Airbnb. (If you’re new to Airbnb, click here for a credit towards your first booking, and I’ll get one too.) It was located just on the edge of the old town with easy access to restaurants, shops, and attractions.
The apartment was really cute, and it had its own private rooftop terrace. The kitchen was a little cramped for us, but it’s probably fine if you’re just there on vacation and mostly use the kitchen for breakfast. In the listing, the bathroom photos show a nice looking rain showerhead, but instead there was a junky non-rain-shower one. Hopefully they’ve replaced it by now.
Our biggest complaint was that the windows were super thin and not sealed well. This meant lots of street noise at all hours of the night, every single night. If you’re a light sleeper, this might not be the place for you. But if you can sleep through loud noises, this is a cute apartment to stay in for a few days or a week in Malaga.
Total Malaga transportation costs – $110.58
We didn’t use much transport while in Malaga because it’s a very walkable city. The Malaga airport train cost us 1.80 euros (about $2.05) per person one way. The city has a bus system, and at the time, they were building a metro system, but everything we needed was within walking distance.
The bulk of our transportation expenses for Malaga was for our train tickets from Malaga to Sevilla at the end of the week. They cost 46.70 euros per person (about $53.24). Bus tickets would’ve been a little cheaper, but trains are more comfortable, and we knew we had lots of buses in our future in southern Spain.
Cost of food and alcohol in Malaga – $492.09
The amount we spent on food and alcohol in Malaga is probably a lot higher than it should’ve been, especially considering how cheap it was to eat out at a tapas bar. We did buy groceries and cooked a few meals to save money, but honestly we were enjoying the tapas scene so much, we ended up eating out a lot more than we meant to. And it was our first week of sunshine in months, so we probably celebrated with a few too many cocktails.
Since this was the beginning of our one month stay in Spain, we also bought some supplies and food items we used throughout the trip. Things like food containers, a decent cutting board, rice and rice noodles, peanut butter, etc. The non-food items got lumped in here because we bought them together at a grocery store. This also means a lot of costs got front-loaded, even though we used them for the whole month.
For one week in Malaga, we averaged $70.30 per day, or $35.15 per person per day, on food. But for reference, one night for dinner we ordered 4 different tapas, 2 waters, and 2 drinks, and the total cost was about $25. Another night, we split 3 or 4 tapas plus a glass of wine for me and a small beer for Andy, and the total cost was just over $13. It was the nights when we ordered multiple cocktails and dessert that left us with a big bill.
Total Malaga activities expenses – $165.30
Malaga has a fantastic castle and a palace, and they’re very close to each other. The Alcazaba is a medieval Moorish palace with lots of different sections and rooms, and it’s worth taking your time to explore. The Castillo Gibralfaro is a medieval Moorish castle that’s mostly in ruins, and it’s high up on a hill with spectacular views of the sea and the city.
You can visit both for free on Sundays after 2pm, but if that timing doesn’t work out for you (it didn’t for us) you can buy a combo ticket to visit both in the same day. When we were there, the combo ticket was 5.50 euros per person, an increase from my last visit but still cheap.
The biggest entertainment expense we had in Malaga was a food tour. Food tours are one of the best ways to learn about a city and its culture, so we look for them everywhere we go and book one for early in our trip. The food tour we took in Malaga did not disappoint! We learned about local foods and how they came to be in Malaga, and booking the tour for our first full day in the city meant we had an easier time ordering when we ate out the rest of the week.
Andy and I really enjoyed our time in Malaga. It ended up being our favorite city of all the cities we visited in southern Spain, and it’s tentatively where we plan on spending the upcoming winter.
We averaged about $202.73 per day, or $101.86 per person per day, for one week in Malaga. We definitely could’ve spent less if we had cooked more and drank less alcohol. Hopefully we’ll do better next time!
You might also enjoy:
- How Much I Spent Traveling in Malaga, Spain – a solo trip
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Spain for One Week
- My Experience with a Spanish Immersion Program in Spain
- Why My Travel Budgets Won’t Match Yours