The City Sightseeing tour buses are a common feature in all major cities around the world these days, and Malaga is no different. They offer a great way to see the surroundings, get your bearings, learn a bit about the famous landmarks & find out about the history of the place through an audio headset (available in a variety of languages).
With a population of around half a million people, Malaga is not the biggest city but having recently been voted as one of the top 10 beach cities around the world by The Sunday Times, a well-respected British newspaper, you can understand why so many people want to visit. The sightseeing bus in Malaga definitely reflects the size of it & the fact that most of the tourist attractions are clustered around the vibrant centre makes for a bit of a whistle stop tour.
The sightseeing bus in Malaga departs every 30 minutes from a stop just a short distance from the cathedral. It will take you along Alemeda Principal, the main street in Malaga, down a few side streets to the bus station, past the port and onwards to the lighthouse. From there you will continue on beside the beach front before heading inland and up to Gibralfaro castle. Most people will decide to get off here for a walk around and, from an amazing vantage point, there are spectacular views over the whole of Malaga and beyond. After the castle the bus more or less makes its way back to the cathedral via the main square, Plaza de la Merced, with an average start to finish time of just over an hour.
I have to say I was left slightly disappointed by the tour. As mentioned before, most of Malaga’s attractions are concentrated around the historic centre and therefore are easily accessible on foot. Yes, the castle may be difficult to get to for those not so keen on walking but if put off by the numerous steps up to it at the front, then there is a beautiful meandering path around the back through a stunning, evergreen, wooded area which is much more manageable.
These bus tours are great for cities that have places to visit in every far reaching corner & you are pushed for time. Usually when you buy a day ticket for something you would expect to use it for a day. I have to say that after two to three hours including getting on & off at two of the stops, my ‘day’ ticket was no longer of use to me.
The cost of these tours are always of great interest, and usually of great annoyance, to me! You can pre-book your ticket on the City Sightseeing website or pay on the bus, 17.50€ for adults & half price for children. Malaga is served by an excellent public transport network & if you want to get around, it’s just as easy on the public buses at a fraction of the price, 1.30€ per journey or buy a 10 journey ticket from the tobacco shops for 8.30€. Sure, you don’t get the experience of the wind blowing through your hair on an open topped double decker bus or the background information on certain landmarks, but is that really worth 10 times the price of public transport?
For those of us who like to get out and explore you can visit all the tour bus has to offer (and more) on foot, within a day. In Malaga, spend your money that you saved on a tour bus ticket on a beers, coffees or tapas as you leisurely make your way around the focal points of the city. That would be my advice!