How To Do Malaga On A Budget

Malaga is a large city in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia and capital of the Malaga Province – the largest city on the Costa del Sol, Malaga offers beaches, hiking, architectural sites, art museums, excellent shopping and cuisine, which can turn into a very expensive vacation if you are not prepared.

So, firstly make sure you allocate yourself a budget for each day and really try to stick to it – sort out budgeting before your holiday and research what you’d like to do each day.

Pre-Book For Discounts

Try to find potential online discounts that can be used to buy tickets in advance. For example, when buying tickets for the waterpark ‘Aqualand’ in Malaga you can save a total of €12 on tickets if you buy in advance online allowing you to enjoy your day further either saving the extra money or treating yourselves to an ice cream cooling you down in the summer sun.

If you are booking with a large travel agent then I always recommend asking them for free advice. They will be used to giving out advice and would know where the best and cheapest attractions are.

Shop Like A Local

Go to the markets to buy fruit, vegetables and presents etc. Malaga has a huge market every Thursday bustling full of people trying to give and offer you the best deal.

Make sure you haggle as much as possible even if you struggle with the language barrier.

As long as the seller is making a slight profit they’ll be happy to sell.

Leather bags for example could have a price tag of €40 but it’s often likely that if you haggle and smile sweetly the price will easily lower to around €15 helping you save money and stick to a budget.

When you see a product you like, set a price in your head of how much you can afford to pay and ensure you pay no more. With so many similar products it’s likely that they’ll be a stall that will haggle down to your lowest offered price.

Get The Meal Deals

Choose to eat in as much as possible. There are loads of supermarkets like ‘supersol’ offering family meal deals costing as little as €5 for a family of 4.

This is a huge reduction from the likely €50 you’ll spend if eating out saving you 90% of your funds.

I would also suggest visiting Atarazanas Market, an attraction in itself, but also a great place to buy fruits, vegetables, bread, meat and fish.

However, I can totally understand the specialness of eating out and would advise choosing an area such as the Mariana in Benalmadena where there’s high competition and therefore you’ll always be offered competitive low prices and potentially free drinks or cocktails helping you to save as much as possible.

Enjoy The Free Stuff

One of Malaga’s biggest assets are the beautiful beaches, that are free for everyone to enjoy. Spend some time in the morning, relax in the sun and go for a couple of swims, and after lunch you can check out some free attractions in town.

There are some things that are free every day, but many attractions have certain days where they offer free admission to visitors. If you plan ahead, you can find out which days to visit each place to get in for free.

Malaga’s center for contemporary art, CAC, is a great museum with free entry every day, and a stroll around the Botanical Gardens in the city park is free and always enjoyable. Then you have Alcazaba and Gibralfaro castle which are free on Sunday afternoons, which are an absolute must to see.

Never Accept The First Club Price

You have to remember that Malaga is not a typical romantic getaway. You may find more party animals than loving couples. So if going out to enjoy the nightlife in the evening, people will be desperate to get you into their bar, never accept the first deal they give you.

Similarly to the markets, make sure you haggle as much as possible helping you to stick to a budget. Also, bring a specific amount out that you’re prepared to spend as to avoid coming home totally bankrupt.

An example of bar deals is being charged €15 to go into an ice bar and then being charged to buy drinks on top of that when actually they’d happily give you 2 free cocktail and entry into the bar for just €5.

As long as the business is making a slight profit margin they’ll be happy to give you a deal, not only is it good business for them but also means you’re more likely to return or recommend the place to friends.

Finally, the best piece of advice I can give to doing Malaga on a budget is to pre-plan everything, you can find deals in Malaga online, from ticket entrance fees to the flights and hotel booking. Look online to find a Low cost holidays discount code or go on search engines and see what other travellers are getting deals for.

What are your tips to do Malaga on a budget?

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6)