One of the oldest cities in the world, Malaga is a thriving, culturally rich destination. It's dubbed the capital of the Costa del Sol, but it's also the gateway to southern Spain – from Almeria to the east and Seville to the west.
If you're flying in, our desk is conveniently located at Malaga Airport. But if you're visiting via train, you can also arrange car hire at Malaga Railway Station and we'll get you fully equipped for your time exploring the city. You might be keen to museum-hop around the area, take in its golden beaches, or use the city as a base for business or to tour the delights of southern Spain. Either way, with no hidden fees to pay, a 24-hour helpline and our best price guarantee offer, it's easy to arrange car hire with us.
Malaga is a coastal, cosmopolitan city that is constantly evolving, and because of this you'll find the road networks are well-connected and easy to navigate. The A-7 (previously known, and often still referred to, as the N-340) or Autovia del Mediterraneo is the major highway that follows the coast from Barcelona, through Marbella down to Cadiz, taking in Malaga along the way. Travel on this road and you'll enjoy some of the most stunning views on Spain's south coast.
If you're hiring a car from Malaga Airport and driving down the coast, you also have the option of taking toll roads, which are often very quiet. The maximum speed limit on motorways and dual carriageways is 120kph, whilst it's 90kph on ordinary roads and 50kph in built-up areas. When parking, avoid red or yellow lines, and look out for road signs that will indicate when you must pay for parking spaces. Blue Zones are available for two-hour parking if you display a parking disc (available in hotels).
Headlights should always be used when you're in a tunnel, although there will be a sign to alert you to this as you approach. As in the rest of Spain, children under the age of 12 are not permitted to sit in the front passenger seat of the car.
Driving in Malaga is relatively relaxed – but you might want to check out further tips for driving around the city online.
With a wide range of travellers passing through our locations every day, we've got a wide range of vehicles on offer to suit your needs - from smart executive saloons to compact family hatchbacks. ***
***Specific cars may not be available when booking
Situated on the Costa del Sol and effortlessly blending the modern and the historic, the eclectic character of Malaga offers something for everyone.
The historic centre has been stylishly and sympathetically restored and is home to the city's cathedral, which has a dominating presence. Building work began in the 16th century but it's earned the nickname La Manquita (the one-armed lady) because it remains unfinished, with one of the bell towers incomplete. This magnificent building is also home to the Cathedral Museum, which stretches across two rooms and displays key pieces from the cathedral and other sites.
Malaga's Alcazaba, a fortress dating back to the 11th century Moorish period, is situated next to the Roman amphitheatre and worth the trip just for the views and lush green surroundings. This is the best-preserved Moorish palace in Spain and one of the iconic landmarks of Malaga. It's also among the most-visited thanks to its history and beauty.
Malaga is fiercely proud of its artistic heritage – it's the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and there are nods to this dotted all around the city. The three main art spaces include the Picasso Museum (with a collection of 204 works), the Carmen Thyssen Museum and the CAC – Contemporary Art Centre – for those with a taste for more modern art.
Chic boutiques, gastrobars and quaint cafes rub shoulders with the down-to-earth traditional taverns amid the winding lanes of the city, so there's plenty of opportunity if you'd rather immerse yourself in the laidback Mediterranean way of life. Graze on tapas as you hop from place to place or unwind over a long and leisurely meal. And the daily Mercado Central de Atarazanas is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and get your hands on some Spanish delicacies and fresh produce.
If you're visiting in mid-August, you might just be lucky enough to catch Feria de Malaga, the city's nine-day fair, which is one of Andalucia's most colourful events. Expect plenty of flamenco and other celebrations throughout the streets during the day, and concerts, shows and fairgrounds at Cortijo de Torres in the south-west of the city in the evenings.
Towards the east of the city, you'll find the beaches that keep Malaga's tourists flocking back year after year. La Misericordia, one of the city's most popular, is a dark sand beach and can be found between Guadalhorce and Huelin. Kite surfers flock to Playa del Campo de Golf – San Julian for its 3.5km of sands – on a clear day and wind-permitting, dozens of sails can be seen from afar.
Or if stunning greenery is your thing, just four kilometres north of the city you'll find Jardin Botanico La Concepcion, a large botanical garden that dates back to the mid-19th century. Visit in spring time and you're sure to catch sight of the purple wisteria for which it's famous, although it remains a delight year-round.
You're ideally placed to venture into the rest of southern Spain, so if you're hiring a car in Malaga, you can take your pick between the dramatic hills of the Andalucian capital of Granada, the beautiful city of Seville or the bustling streets of Cordoba.