malaga vs seville - which city is better

Malaga vs Seville – Which Spanish Gem Should Top Your Travel List?

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When it comes to visiting Andalucia, two cities that often come to mind are Malaga and Seville. And when you’re planning your itinerary, you may have to choose between Malaga vs Seville. But the choice can seem impossible — I totally feel you… whittling down cities to visit is the hardest part!

That’s why I’ve put together this Seville vs Malaga guide to help decide which city best suits your travel style and interests. Both cities offer a rich cultural experience, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine. However, when it comes down to which city is better to visit, it ultimately depends on what you are looking for in a trip.

So let’s get into it and delve into this Malaga vs Seville discussion so that you can decide which city you want to visit! 

Malaga vs Seville: Quick Answer

  • Malaga, located on the Costa del Sol, boasts beautiful beaches and a lively nightlife scene. The city is also known for its rich history and museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Alcazaba fortress. For those looking for a more relaxed vacation, Malaga is the perfect destination.
  • Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is known for its stunning architecture, including the famous Alcazar and the Gothic Seville Cathedral. The city also offers a vibrant flamenco scene and delicious tapas. If you’re looking for a more cultural experience, Seville is the way to go.

My personal choice is Seville as it fits more of my travel interests: interesting history, iconic historical monuments, a great food scene, flamenco, and a welcoming vibe! I’ve visited Seville several times now and I still very much enjoy the city.

Want to learn more about how Seville vs Malaga shakes up? Let’s get into a more detailed overview comparison of these two beautiful cities! 

Malaga vs Seville: Geography and Location

As someone who has visited both Malaga and Seville, I can attest to the fact that both cities have their unique charm. However, when it comes to geography and location, the two cities are quite different.

Malaga is situated on the Costa del Sol, which means it is a coastal city. It is located in the southern part of Spain and is surrounded by beautiful beaches, making it a popular tourist destination. The city is also close to other popular Spanish beach towns like Marbella, Nerja, and Benidorm, which makes it a great base for exploring the region.

Seville, on the other hand, is located inland and is situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. It is the capital of Andalusia and is known for its rich history and culture. The city is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is also close to other popular destinations like Cordoba and Granada.

Both cities have their unique advantages when it comes to location. Malaga is perfect for those who want to spend time on the beach and explore the surrounding coastal towns, while Seville is great for those who want to immerse themselves in Spanish culture and history.

Malaga vs Seville: Weather and the Best Time to Visit 

When it comes to the weather, both Malaga and Seville are great destinations to visit, but they have different climates.

In Malaga, the weather is generally warm and sunny all year round, with an average temperature of 22°C. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 30°C or higher, so it’s important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. In the winter, temperatures can drop to around 10°C, but it’s still relatively mild compared to other parts of Europe.

Given Malaga’s weather, it’s an all-year-round holiday destination. While beach lovers are definitely drawn to Malaga in the summer, it’s not uncommon to see people still enjoying the outdoors and the beaches during the winter months. 

Summer is definitely the best time to visit Malaga to enjoy beach life but I personally prefer Malaga in the winter when the weather is still pleasant but the crowds are much thinner. 

Seville, on the other hand, has a more extreme climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 40°C or higher, which can be uncomfortable for some visitors. However, the city is well-prepared for the heat, with many buildings and public spaces equipped with air conditioning. 

In the winter, temperatures can drop to around 5°C, so it’s important to pack warm clothes if you’re visiting during this time. That said, daytime temperatures in Seville in winter are still a pleasant 17°C!

Given the extreme heat in summer, I advise against visiting Seville during this time as it’ll impact your enjoyment of the city. In my opinion, Seville is best visited in spring or autumn. I’ve also visited in winter and very much enjoyed the still-pleasant weather… and it’s less crowded too!

In summary, Malaga is a great destination for those who enjoy warm and sunny weather all year round, while Seville is ideal for those who don’t mind the heat and want to experience a more extreme climate. That said, I like both cities as winter destinations as they experience relatively mild winters compared to the rest of Europe. 

is the weather better in malaga vs seville

Malaga vs Seville: Airports

If you’re coming from outside of Spain, the good news is that both Malaga and Seville have their own international airports, making them easily accessible. 

Malaga Airport (AGP) is the main international gateway to the Costa del Sol region, including Malaga city. It is located approximately 8 kilometers southwest of Malaga city center, making it a convenient option for travelers visiting Malaga and the surrounding areas. 

Malaga Airport is well-connected with many major cities in Europe and offers a wide range of flights from various airlines, including both low-cost and full-service carriers.

The main airport serving Seville and the surrounding regions of Andalusia is Seville Airport (SVQ), located approximately 10 kilometers from the city center. Seville Airport offers flights to and from various domestic and international destinations, although it may have fewer flight options compared to Malaga Airport due to its smaller size.

In terms of accessibility, Malaga Airport may have a slight advantage as it is larger and handles more international flights, making it a busier airport compared to Seville Airport. However, both airports are generally efficient and provide convenient access to their respective cities. 

Malaga vs Seville: Trains & Buses

Coming from within Spain and wondering whether Malaga or Seville is easier to get to? 

Malaga and Seville are both well-connected by train services, offering a convenient and scenic mode of transportation for travelers. Depending on where you’re departing from, one city may be more convenient to get to by train. Both Malaga and Seville have highspeed AVE train connections, connecting them to various cities in Spain. 

I recommend going to the Renfe website and doing some research based on your departing city to see if train travel is a viable option for you to these cities. For instance, both Seville and Malaga have an AVE connection with Madrid with a travel time of under 3 hours. In comparison, if you’re coming from Barcelona, it’ll take much longer by train (5 to 7 hours) to get to either Malaga or Seville. 

Buses are another option for getting to Malaga and Seville, offering more affordable but slower travel options. Bus services offer different options, including express buses and regional buses, with travel times varying depending on the route and operator. ALSA, which operates buses throughout Spain, is a good place to check. 

Both Malaga and Seville have convenient options for train and bus travel, offering flexibility and choice for travelers coming from within Spain. 

The choice between trains and buses would depend on factors such as budget, travel time preferences, and personal preferences for comfort and convenience. High-speed trains are generally faster and more comfortable, but buses may be more economical for budget-conscious travelers or those who prefer a slower-paced journey.

Tip: For the ultimate flexibility, consider renting a car! I’ve done road trips in Spain and the highways and roads are easy to navigate. It’s also really freeing to not be at the mercy of train or bus schedules!

Car Rental Recommendation

If you’re looking for the best prices for car rental during your stay in Spain, check out Discover Cars. Just plug in your location and dates and you’ll get the best deals available. Super convenient and easy! 

Malaga vs Seville: Getting Around the City

Getting around Malaga and Seville is relatively easy, with both cities having extensive public transportation systems. 

In Malaga, the bus system is the most popular mode of transportation, with frequent buses running throughout the city. The city also has a metro system that connects the city center to the outskirts. The metro is clean, efficient, and easy to use, making it a great option for tourists.

If you stay within the Malaga city center, the best way to get around is by foot as most of the tourist attractions are concentrated in that area. To discover the beaches and get outdoors, you may need to hop on a bus or metro to get there. 

Seville also has a bus system that covers most of the city, and the metro system is currently under construction, with one line already in operation. However, Seville is a relatively small city, and many of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Both cities also have taxi services, which are generally safe and reliable. However, they can be more expensive than public transportation, especially during peak hours or late at night.

For those who prefer to explore the cities on two wheels, both Malaga and Seville have bike rental services available. Malaga has a public bike rental system, while Seville has several private bike rental companies that offer a range of bikes and tours.

Overall, both Malaga and Seville have efficient and affordable public transportation systems, making it easy for tourists to explore the cities without breaking the bank. Better yet, in both places, their main attractions are concentrated in the historic center, making it easy to discover the cities on foot. 

Malaga vs Seville: Attractions and Activities

When it comes to attractions and activities, both Malaga and Seville offer a wide range of options for visitors. 

Here’s a look at the top 10 things to do in Malaga vs Seville. 

Attractions and Activities in Malaga

  1. The Alcazaba: This ancient Moorish fortress is one of the must-visit attractions in Malaga. It offers stunning views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, with well-preserved gardens, courtyards, and historic structures to explore.
  2. Picasso Museum: As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Malaga is home to an impressive museum dedicated to the renowned artist. It showcases a vast collection of Picasso’s works, providing insights into his life and artistic evolution.
  3. Malaga Cathedral: This magnificent Renaissance-style cathedral is a prominent landmark in Malaga, known for its stunning architecture, ornate chapels, and beautiful stained glass windows.
  4. Roman Theatre: Dating back to the 1st century BC, the Roman Theatre is an ancient archaeological site in Malaga that offers a glimpse into the city’s Roman past. The well-preserved theater is still used for cultural events and performances today.
  5. Malagueta Beach: One of Malaga’s popular beaches, Malagueta Beach offers golden sand, clear waters, and a vibrant atmosphere. It’s a great place to relax, sunbathe, and take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea.
  6. Muelle Uno: This modern waterfront development is a vibrant hub of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It’s a great place to stroll, enjoy panoramic views of the harbor, and indulge in some retail therapy or dining.
  7. Gibralfaro Castle: Located on a hill overlooking Malaga, Gibralfaro Castle is a medieval fortress that offers panoramic views of the city and the coastline. It’s a great spot for history buffs and photography enthusiasts.
  8. Malaga Botanical Garden: If you’re a nature lover, the Malaga Botanical Garden is a must-visit. It’s home to a diverse collection of plant species, including cacti, orchids, and tropical plants, set in beautifully landscaped gardens.
  9. Atarazanas Market: This bustling market is a feast for the senses, with stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, spices, and local delicacies. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and sample some of Malaga’s culinary delights.
  10. Soho Art District: Known as Malaga’s trendy and artistic neighborhood, the Soho Art District is a vibrant area filled with street art, galleries, and creative spaces. It’s a great place to explore and discover local art and culture.

Attractions and Activities in Seville

  1. Alcázar of Seville: This stunning royal palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit attraction in Seville. It features exquisite Moorish architecture, lush gardens, and opulent interiors that showcase the city’s rich history and culture.
  2. Seville Cathedral: One of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world, Seville Cathedral is a monumental landmark that houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Its grandeur, intricate details, and panoramic views from the Giralda Tower make it a must-see.
  3. Plaza de España: This iconic square is a breathtaking example of Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture, featuring a semi-circular building with ornate tiles, canals, and bridges. It’s a popular spot for strolling, taking photos, and enjoying the scenic surroundings.
  4. Flamenco Show: Seville is known as the birthplace of flamenco, and catching a flamenco show is a must when visiting the city. There are numerous venues that offer authentic flamenco performances, showcasing the passionate music, dance, and culture of Andalucia.
  5. Maria Luisa Park: This expansive park is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Seville, with lush gardens, fountains, and pavilions. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply relaxing amidst nature’s beauty.
  6. Triana Neighborhood: This historic neighborhood on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River is known for its colorful houses, narrow streets, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s a great place to soak up the local culture, visit local markets, and experience the unique charm of Triana.
  7. Metropol Parasol: This modern architectural marvel is the largest wooden structure in the world and is affectionately known as Las Setas (mushrooms) by locals. It offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop, and its unique design is a must-see.
  8. Barrio de Santa Cruz: This historic and picturesque neighborhood is famous for its narrow streets, colorful houses, and charming squares. It’s a great place to get lost in the labyrinthine alleys, discover hidden patios, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of old Seville.
  9. Casa de Pilatos: This stunning palace is a prime example of Mudéjar architecture, blending Gothic, Renaissance, and Moorish styles. Its beautiful courtyards, gardens, and exquisite interiors make it a captivating cultural attraction.
  10. Stroll along the Guadalquivir: Get a taste of local life with a stroll along Seville’s main river. You can visit the Torre del Oro, get a coffee at one of the riverside cafes, or simply walk and enjoy the Sevillian vibes. 

Outdoor Activities

If you’re in need of a beach getaway, there’s no doubt that Malaga should be your choice. Malaga is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and some of the most beautiful beaches in southern Spain can be found here. Check out beaches such as La Malagueta, Playa de la Misericordia, and Pedregalejo where you can swim, sunbathe, and do water sports such as paddleboarding, jet skiing, and kayaking.

Malaga is also good for land activities as it’s in close proximity to Montes de Malaga Natural Park, which offers hiking trails through forests of pine and oak trees. There are also opportunities for mountain biking and bird watching in the park. 

On a visit to Malaga, another popular adventure activity is the Camino del Rey which is often done as a day trip from Malaga. This thrilling path winds along the steep walls of the El Chorro Gorge, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs, the Guadalhorce River, and the turquoise waters below. It’s definitely an unforgettable day out! 

On the other hand, Seville’s inland location means that the nearest beach is about an hour’s drive away. But there are some opportunities for outdoor activities in the city. Kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities on the river. Biking is also popular, made easy thanks to the city’s biking lanes and bike rental companies around the city. 

If you have more time in Seville, you can also venture out to spend time outdoors. Seville is well-connected to various nature reserves and parks, such as Doñana National Park, Sierra Norte Natural Park, and Sierra de Aracena Natural Park, where you can hike, bird watch, and escape into nature.

Overall, Malaga’s location makes it more suitable for a nature-focused getaway. 


Both Malaga and Seville have vibrant nightlife scenes. 

In Malaga, the trendy Soho district is a popular spot for bars and clubs. In Seville, the Triana neighborhood is known for its lively bars and flamenco clubs.

Malaga vs Seville: Accommodations

When it comes to accommodations, both Malaga and Seville offer a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for everyone in both cities.

If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, Seville offers a variety of charming boutique hotels and guesthouses in the historic city center. These accommodations often feature traditional Andalucian architecture and decor, giving you a taste of local culture and history.

On the other hand, Malaga has a wider selection of international chain hotels, making it a great option for those who prefer familiar brands and amenities. However, there are also plenty of smaller, family-run hotels and guesthouses that offer a more personalized experience.

Tip: No matter which city you choose, it’s important to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak travel season. Keep in mind that prices can vary greatly depending on the time of year and location, so be sure to do your research and compare prices before making a reservation.

Malaga vs Seville: Prices

Let’s be real, for most of all, budget is a real concern when we’re planning a trip. So let’s get into whether Malaga or Seville is cheaper. 

In general, Seville tends to be slightly more expensive than Malaga. However, the prices can vary depending on the time of year and the specific areas you visit. For example, the historic center of Seville can be more expensive than the outskirts of the city.

You can find more affordable accommodation in Malaga than in Seville. Additionally, restaurants and cafes in Malaga tend to be more affordable than those in Seville.

Transportation costs can also vary. While both cities have public transportation options, Seville’s metro system is more extensive and can be more expensive than Malaga’s bus system. Taxis are also generally more expensive in Seville.

Tip: I love traveling in low season as it’s easier to find good deals on airfare and accommodation! If you’re on a tight budget, consider traveling during this time to stretch your money. 

which is better malaga or seville?

Which is better Malaga or Seville? 

After visiting both Malaga and Seville, I can confidently say that both cities have their unique charm and attractions. If you can, I encourage you to visit both as they are quite different from each other.

Malaga is a great destination for those who want to enjoy the beach and explore the historic city center. Seville, on the other hand, is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of Andalucia.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I personally prefer Seville as I tend to gravitate towards history and culture when I’m visiting a place. And sometimes you just vibe with a place, and I definitely vibed with Seville!

Overall, both Malaga and Seville are wonderful destinations to visit in Andalucia. It just really depends on what you’re looking for in a trip. And if you skip one of them this time, you can always visit the other on your next Spanish adventure! 

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