The Best Museums in Malaga You Must Visit

The colourful glass cube building underneath which is the Centre Pompidou in Malaga

Malaga has always been a city for artists. For centuries artists have been drawn to the city’s stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant creative community. From the ancient Phoenicians to the modern-day Picasso, Malaga has been a beloved home to artists throughout history.  

The most famous painter of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was born here, and he is not the only one. Felix Revello de Toro, Maria Zambrano, Jorge Rando, and many other artists were locals. Malaga is also the home of Antonio Banderas, who owns a tapas restaurant in the centre of the city, he also shows up to different local events, such as the lighting of the Christmas lights.

And with so many amazing artists, there is no wonder that there are some amazing museums in Malaga that you must visit whilst vacationing here. In this article I will tell you which are the best museums in Malaga that you shouldn’t miss, and what you can expect from each of them.

Malaga and Its Artists

A photo of the bronze statue of Picasso sitting on a bench in Plaza de la Merced, in Malaga.

Perhaps the most famous artist to hail from Malaga is Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential and revolutionary artists of the 20th century. Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881 and spent his early years in the city before moving to Barcelona and Paris to pursue his art. Despite his international fame, Picasso always had a special connection to his hometown.

Picasso was not the only artist to grow up in, and inspired by Malaga. The city has a long tradition of rising talented painters, sculptors, musicians and writers. The Baroque painter Pedro de Mena was born in Malaga in the 17th century and went on to become one of the most celebrated artists of his time. The contemporary painter and sculptor Revello de Toro also hails from Malaga and has gained international recognition for his vibrant and expressive works.

One of Picasso's paintings in the museum dedicated to him. It represents a figure of a women painted in colours with a book in her hand, next to another black and white figure resambling a woman as well.

The city’s artistic legacy is evident in its numerous galleries, museums, and cultural institutions. The Picasso Museum, which houses a vast collection of the artist’s works, is one of the city’s most popular attractions, drawing visitors from around the world. Other museums, such as the Centre Pompidou Malaga and the Contemporary Art Centre Malaga, showcase the work of contemporary artists from Spain and beyond.

But the artistic spirit of Malaga is not limited to its galleries and museums. The city’s streets are alive with colourful murals, graffiti art, and street performances, showcasing the creativity and talent of local artists. The city also hosts a range of cultural events throughout the year, from music festivals and theatre performances to art exhibitions and film screenings.

The Best Museums in Malaga

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best museums in Malaga and the treasures they hold. I will tell you all about the most popular museums in Malaga but also about hidden gems that you must visit to understand the city you are visiting better.

Picasso Museum

The interior of the Picasso Museum, with its open space courtyard. There are people both on the ground floor and the first floor.

The Picasso Museum in Malaga is a world-renowned art museum dedicated to the works of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso. Located in the heart of Malaga’s historic centre, the museum occupies a collection of five interconnected townhouses, known as the Buenavista Palace. The museum opened in 2003 and has since become one of the city’s most visited cultural attractions.

The Picasso Museum is one of the most important museums in Malaga. Opened in 2003 in the Buenavista Palace, in the heart of the city, the Picasso Museum has a permanent collection covering almost 80 years of works including paintings, sketches, sculptures and even ceramics. The artworks are arranged chronologically, tracing the development of Picasso’s art from his early years as a student to his later, more experimental works. The museum provides a rare opportunity to see some of Picasso’s lesser-known works and to explore the artist’s evolution as an artist.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, featuring works by contemporary artists inspired by Picasso’s legacy. These exhibitions explore themes related to Picasso’s life and work, offering visitors a deeper understanding of the artist’s creative process and his impact on the art world. When I visited the Picasso Museum there was a very interesting exhibition about Olga Picasso, the artist’s first wife, through letters, photographs, paintings, documents and even films. It was an incredible insight into the life of Picasso.

It is advisable to book your ticket in advance, as this is a very popular museum. Click here to book from the official page of Picasso Museum on GTG.

Opening hours: 10 AM – 7PM every day

Ticket price: 9.50 euros permanent exhibition / 12 euros combined

Audio guide: 1 euro extra

Location: Palacio de Buenavista, C. San Agustín, 8

Accessibility: yes, for people with physical and sensory disabilities in special tours. For more information email

Picasso Memorial House

A hallway leading to stairs, with a cut out of a young child Picasso next to it. On the left wall there is a large photo of Picasso surrounded by many people.

Whilst the Picasso Museum is hosted by a beautiful palace in the centre of Malaga, Casa Memorial is the actual place where the famous artist spent the early years of his life. He was born here in 1881 and where he lived until he was 10 years old. The house is located in Plaza de Merced, where you can take a photo with a statue of Picasso, sitting on a bench.

Casa Memorial Picasso offers an insight into the early years of young Pablo, showcasing the family’s living quarters, personal belongings, and childhood artwork. The building has been meticulously restored to its original state, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to see how the artist grew up and developed his creative talents.

The museum also has a collection of family photos showcasing their daily life.

Opening hours: 9:30AM – 8PM every day

Ticket price: 3 euros permanent collection / 4 euros combined

Audio guide: yes, included in the price

Location: Pl. de la Merced, 15

Accessibility: yes, for people with physical disabilities

Centre Pompidou

An exhibition inside Centre Pompidou depicting a group of statues sitting down on chairs, looking towards the wall where there is projected a video

The Centre Pompidou in Malaga is a satellite museum of the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris, the only one outside of France. It opened its doors in 2015, making it the first foreign branch of the French National Museum of Modern Art. The museum is located in the vibrant port area of Malaga and has quickly become a landmark in the city due to its unique architecture: a colourful glass cube that reflects light inside the building. It definitely stands out.

The Centre Pompidou showcases a diverse collection of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum’s permanent collection includes over 80 works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Salvador Dali. The collection is arranged thematically, exploring various artistic movements such as surrealism, pop art, and abstract art.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, featuring works by emerging and established artists from around the world. These exhibitions often tackle pressing social issues, such as gender, identity and migration, encouraging visitors to engage with contemporary art and society.

Opening hours: 9:30AM – 8PM, closed on Tuesday

Ticket price: 7 euros permanent exhibition / 9euros combined

Audio guide: yes, included in the price

Location: Pje. del Dr. Carrillo Casaux, s/n

Accessibility: yes, for people with physical disabilities

Carmen Thyssen Museum

The courtyard at Carmen Thyssen Museum, with beautiful columns and large pots of flowers in front. On the right there is a large print advertising a temporary exhibition dedicated to street life in New York

The Carmen Thyssen Museum is one of the best art museums in Malaga. It is located in the historic 16th century Palacio de Villalón and hosts a large collection of 19th and early 20th century paintings, sculptures and prints. The artworks are displayed across the museum’s three floors which are divided into thematic sections. The collection showcases the evolution of Spanish art from the Romantic era to the early 20th century.

The museum is named after Baroness Carmen Thyssen, a prominent art collector and philanthropist from Spain. She has been a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in London, and is a renowned art collector who dedicated her life to promoting the arts.

One of the most significant paintings in the museum’s collection is “St Marina” by Francisco de Zurbarán. The painting dates back to the 17th century and depicts Spanish martyr St Marina in ordinary clothes, with only a cross and a prayer book showing her faith.  The museum also has an impressive collection of paintings showcasing Andalusian landscapes, including works by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Julio Romero de Torres, and Francisco Iturrino.

Apart from its permanent collection, the Carmen Thyssen museum also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring works by contemporary artists. The  museum has an educational program that offers workshops, courses and guided tours for visitors of all ages.

Opening hours: 10AM – 8PM, closed on Mondays

Ticket price: 10 euros

Audio guide: Yes, included in the price

Location: Plaza Carmen Thyssen

Accessibility: yes, for people with physical and sensory disabilities.

Malaga Museum

A view of the palace in which the Malaga Museum is hosted.

The Museo de Malaga combines the former Provincial Fine Arts and the Provincial Archaeology Museum inside the 18th century neoclassical Palacio de la Aduana. The entire collection of the museum counts over 15,000 archaeological pieces and 2,000 pieces of art, spanning from prehistoric times to contemporary art and highlighting the history of the city and its surroundings.

There are many fantastic pieces exhibited inside the museum, starting with statues from the second century AD, the reconstruction of a Punic tomb as well as an original gold piece found in a Phoenician burial site.

One of the most impressive pieces of art is the Nacimiento de Venus, a six metre squared mosaic from Roman times. The museum also features exhibits from the Al-Andalus Empire, when the Moors brought Islamic influences and introduced the Iberian Peninsula to a new culture, new flavours and new traditions.  

The Fine Arts section features works by Spanish artists such as Luis de Morales, Francisco de Zurbarán, Francisco de Goya, and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida among others.

Opening hours: 9AM – 9PM Monday to Saturday, 9AM – 3PM on Sunday, closed on Monday

Ticket price: 1,5 euros; EU citizens free of charge

Audio guide: N/A

Location: Plaza de la Aduana

Revello de Toro Museum

The exterior of the Ravello de Toro Museum, tucked in between a restaurant and a cafe. The building is quite narrow and painted yellow, with a large print advertising the current exhibition

Another great museum in Malaga that you should visit is dedicated to Félix Revello de Toro. He was a Spanish painter and sculptor famous for his realistic and expressive portraits. The museum displays a selection of his works, including portraits of famous personalities such as Queen Sofia of Spain, Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and Malaga’s most famous son, Pablo Picasso.

The museum is quite small, but very interesting to see. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures and drawings, showcasing the artist’s mastery of different mediums and techniques. The works on display span over six decades of the artist’s career, providing visitors with a comprehensive overview of his artistic evolution and style.

You could say that the Revello de Toro Museum is a hidden gem in Malaga. The museum was opened in 2014 and is housed in a beautifully restored 17th-century mansion, the home and workshop of sculptor Pedro de Mena. Besides the space dedicated to the artist, the museum has two extra rooms, one for temporary exhibitions and one to celebrate the memory of Pedro de Mena.

Opening hours: 10AM – 8PM Tuesday to Saturday, 10AM – 2PM Sunday, closed on Monday

Ticket price: 2,50 euros

Audio guide: included in the price

Location: C. Afligidos, 5

The Centre of Contemporary Art Malaga

The Centre of Contemporary Art Malaga, also known as CAC Malaga, is a modern and dynamic art centre, founded in 2003, dedicated to showcasing the work of contemporary artists from around the world.

CAC Malaga is housed in a restored 1940s industrial building, which has been transformed into a spacious and modern gallery space. The museum’s permanent collection includes over 400 works of art, from paintings and sculptures to installations and video art.

The museum’s exhibitions are curated to explore a wide range of contemporary themes and issues, from politics and society to technology and the environment. The centre has hosted exhibitions by world-renowned artists such as Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, and Yoko Ono, as well as emerging artists from Spain and beyond.

In addition to the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, CAC Malaga also hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, film screenings and performances. The centre has become a cultural hub in the city, attracting visitors from around the world and contributing to the vibrant cultural scene of Malaga.

Opening hours: 9:00AM – 9:30PMTuesday to Sunday, closed in summer between 2PM – 5PM, closed on Mondays

Ticket price: free entry

Audio guide: N/A

Location: C. Alemania, S/N

Accessibility: yes – for people with physical and sensory disabilities.

ARS Museum

A photo of the Palace that hosts the ARS Museum as well as the square in which it is located. The building is in a colonial style, with bright colours and large windows

The ARS Museum is an exhibition space housed in the beautiful Bishop’s Palace, next to the Cathedral. The exhibitions here change all the time, so it’s always nice to see what’s going on. When I was last in the centre of Malaga, ARS Museum was displaying a fun exhibition dedicated to Mr Günter, the Cat Show.

Opening hours: depends on the exhibition

Ticket price: depends on the exhibition

Audio guide: depends on the exhibition

Location: Plaza del Obispo, 6

Aeronautical Museum

The Aeronautical Museum in Malaga, also known as the Museo Aeronáutico de Málaga, is a fascinating museum dedicated to the history and technology of aviation. The museum is located at the Malaga Airport, making it easily accessible for visitors.

You can visit here the original Malaga Airport building, exactly as it used to be when it was still functioning. There is also an old plane which you can go into and see how the cockpit and the cabin used to be back in the day.

There is also an interactive area for children, even so as an adult, I loved it too.

Opening hours: 10AM – 8PM Tuesday, 10AM – 2PM Wednesday to Sunday, closed on Monday

Ticket price: free entry

Audio guide: N/A

Location: Av. del Comandante García Morato, s/n

The Popular Museum of Art and Traditions

The yellow modest building of the museum, with two white taxis in front of it.

The Popular Museum of Art and Traditions is dedicated to the traditional arts and crafts of Andalucia, with sections dedicated to specific aspects of the region’s culture. The collections include traditional clothing, textiles, farming tools, ceramics, furniture as well as kitchen utensils and household items.

The museum is divided into rooms that show what life in rural Andalucia used to look like. You can stroll through a typical kitchen, a bedroom, a mill, a winery, and even a church.

Opening hours: 10AM – 5PM Monday to Friday, 10AM-2PM Saturday, closed on Sunday

Ticket price: 4 euros

Audio guide: N/A

Location: Pl. Enrique García-Herrera, 1

For more articles about Malaga check out the following:

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