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Why Malaga is One of Europes Cheapest Holiday Destinations

Posted by Joanna Styles on 22/11/2015

The Europe Backpacker Index 2015 lists the cheapest places to go on holiday in Europe and perhaps unsurprisingly, Eastern Europe dominates the list. But Joanna Styles, the author of The 5 Best of Everything in Malaga, believes maybe there is another city that should be considered – it doesn’t mention Malaga, capital of the Costa del Sol and one of Spain’s favourite holiday destinations. While Malaga can’t quite compete with Kiev, Bucharest, Sofia and the like, the city comes very close to being one of the cheapest places for a holiday in Europe. Malaga also beats them all hands down when it comes to warm winter sunshine.

Budget Accommodation in Malaga

playa la caleta

Let’s start with a place to stay. Kiev is the outright winner in the Index with a good hostel room coming in at just £0.97 a night. A real bargain that’s impossible to beat. But Malaga comes close – a quick search for accommodation in Malaga in November comes up with several good hostels offering double rooms from £10 a night for two. And in the centre. And for those travellers treating themselves, plenty of hotels in Malaga do wallet-friendly deals. The best 5 star in town has a double for just £108.

Cheap Transport in Malaga

Malaga view from Gibralfaro

Krakow wins the prize for cheapest transport at £0.97 a ride. Pretty cheap when you compare it to London and Paris prices, but what about getting around Malaga? The city is flat and very compact so once you’re in the centre you probably won’t need to use public transport at all. And it won’t be raining either so no need to take a bus or a cab to avoid getting wet. But even if you do take a bus, a one-way ticket costs £0.91.

Bargain Restaurants in Malaga

espeto de sardines on plate

Along with accommodation, food takes a huge chunk out of your holiday budget. Krakow tops the rankings here too with a meal averaging just over £4. A challenge to beat but, again, Malaga’s in the running. A drink and generous tapa costs far less than that – how about a cool beer and a plate of grilled sardines? Or a glass of Malaga wine with cheese and olives?

And if you stray slightly off the tourist track in the centre you can easily find a restaurant with a menu of the day for £5.60. That’s three courses plus bread and a drink. And at an outside table in the sun.

Affordable Tipples

sunset over big wheel 2

Talking of drinks, Bucharest gets the prize for cheapest drink destination at £1.97 a time. In Malaga, £2 doesn’t quite get you a mojito but it does buy you a glass of good Rioja or a large beer even at bars in central Malaga. And spend just a little bit more and you can be enjoying a drink on one of the rooftop terraces while you watch the sun set over the city.

Cheap Things to do in Malaga

Alcazaba from park 3

Sofia comes up trumps with the cheapest attractions at just £1.49. But yet again, Malaga is in the running. Lots of things to do are completely free – Malaga beaches for a start and with over 320 days of sunshine a year, they’re a good bet at any time.

Then there are the monuments and museums in Malaga, all free on Sunday afternoons. And the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) always costs nothing to get in. And even if you do have to pay, expect it to be cheap – the Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle combo ticket costs £2.49, a bargain to visit a great historic monument with exceptional views over Malaga.

Joanna Styles is a freelance writer and journalist based in Malaga and the author of The 5 Best of Everything in Malaga, a travel guide including over 210 listings that are always up-to-date