view from setas de sevilla

Malaga Vs Seville: Which City Is Best To Visit?

Malaga and Seville are two beautiful Andalusian destinations, and probably some of the most popular choices among travellers.

There’s always been a big debate about which city is better between Malagueños and Sevillanos, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you exactly what each city has to offer.

I must admit that these two cities are close to my heart since Malaga is my hometown and I have close family from Seville, so both destinations are special to me.

My top advice is that if you have the opportunity to visit both, do it because each city has something unique to offer. 

Whereas Malaga is a great destination for a combination of beach and leisure, Seville is perfect for visiting historical buildings and landmarks.

However, if you don’t have time to visit both, and wondering which one is better, in this Malaga vs Seville article you’re going to discover which one suits your travel style. 

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Malaga vs Seville: Which city is best?

Accommodation

Malaga

When it comes to accommodation, Malaga is full of options. You can either stay at an incredible 5-star hotel next to the beach or at a hostel close to the main attractions.

You can really choose how much you want to spend and how close you want to be to the city centre. 

Something to consider is when you visit Malaga. If you come to the city during peak season (like July and August), expect higher prices. 

room mate valeria hotel malaga
Room Mate Valeria Hotel

Hotel recommendations in Malaga: 

📍Luxury: Gran Hotel Miramar

📍Mid-range: Room Mate Valeria

📍Budget: Urban Jungle Hostel

Seville 

Seville is similar to Malaga in this aspect. You can find different types of accommodation that range from luxury to budget-friendly hotels and hostels.

Luxury hotels in Seville are incredible as they are filled with history and architecture. An example of this is Hotel Alfonso XIII.

hotel room at one shot seville
One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón room

Hotel recommendations in Seville:

📍 Luxury: Hotel Alfonso XIII

📍 Mid-range: One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón

📍 Budget: Hotel Patio de las Cruces

Which city has better accommodation? Malaga and Seville have good and affordable accommodation, but the top-notch accommodations in Seville are the best!

Attractions

Malaga

malaga port view

Malaga is home to beautiful historical buildings and over 40 different museums. 

When you visit Malaga, you can’t miss attractions like the Alcazaba, a beautiful Moorish fortress-palace, Gibralfaro Castle and Malaga’s Cathedral. These are the three main historical buildings in the city.

Regarding museums, Malaga Picasso Museum is a must-see, but Carmen Thyssen Museum is also worth visiting. 

Best activities and tours in Malaga

Seville

a view of la giralda tower in seville

Seville has several impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

There’s no visit to Seville without going to Seville Cathedral, one of the biggest cathedrals in the world. Alongside its tower, called La Giralda, makes it a unique place to visit.

Other beautiful places to visit in Seville are Alcazar of Seville and Casa de Pilatos. Two palaces where you can see incredible Mudejar architecture. 

Best activities and tours in Seville

Which city is better to visit for sightseeing?: Seville. It has more historical landmarks than Malaga. At the same time, these must-see places in Seville have much more history and impressive architecture than the ones in Malaga.

Airport

Malaga

Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) is one of the biggest airports in Spain. You can easily find lots of flight routes and airlines that travel from Europe. 

The airport is very well-connected to the city, and you can use the bus, train or taxi to get to Malaga city centre and other coastal towns like Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola. 

Alternatively, there are many car rentals available where you can hire a car with ease. 

Seville 

Seville Airport (SVQ) is the sixth busiest airport in Spain. The airport has many connections across Europe and Northern Africa. 

It isn’t a big airport but you’ll always find lots of people. 

To go from the airport to Seville city centre, you have a few options available – bus, taxi or hiring a car. 

Which city has a better airport? Malaga as it has a bigger airport, plenty of connections and it’s well-connected to the city and surroundings. Seville Airport is also quite good but smaller and doesn’t have lots of transport options from the airport to the city or nearby towns. 

Beaches

Malaga

Not only Malaga city has beaches but its surroundings too. 

If you’re staying near the centre, the closest beach is La Malagueta, just next to the port. This is the liveliest and busiest beach so if you want a less crowded beach close to the city centre, try Huelin. 

For the best beaches, head to Costa Del Sol towns like Nerja and Marbella

malagueta beach in malaga spain

📌 Related article: 19 Beautiful and Secret Beaches in Malaga and Costa del Sol

Seville

Seville isn’t by the coast, so if you want to go to the beach you’ll have to visit other Andalusian cities. Cadiz beaches are a popular option among sevillanos (people from Seville).

Which city is better to visit for a beach holiday?: This is a clear winner, Malaga as Seville doesn’t have beaches.

Food

Malaga

sardines prepared in malaga spain

Malaga’s traditional food is influenced by the landscape. Due to the proximity to the coast, it isn’t a surprise that many typical dishes contain fish.

The most popular dishes include espeto de sardinas (sardine skewers), fritura malagueña (a mix of fried fish and seafood), ensalada malagueña (Malaga style salad, and gazpachuelo (a fish soup topped with mayonnaise). 

But you can also find non-fish dishes like ajoblanco (almond soup) and plato de los montes (a meat-based dish that has pork loin, chips, black pudding and fried egg and green peppers).

Seville 

croquetas, patatas bravas and fried chicken tapas

Seville’s traditional food is diverse and includes some dishes that you either love or hate. 

Some popular dishes are rabo de toro (oxtail), caracoles (snails), manitas de cerdo (trotters), and huevos a la flamenca (fried potatoes with fried eggs and chorizo).

Which city is better to visit for foodies? It really depends on your food taste and preferences. Personally, I prefer Malaga cuisine. It’s light and refreshing whereas Seville cuisine is more hearty. 

Location

Malaga

Malaga is located in the south of Andalusia by the coast. Granada is the closest city to Malaga, although it isn’t far from Cordoba and even Seville. Malaga is also near international destinations like Morocco. 

Although the location is beautiful, it isn’t the best place to start a road trip around Spain. Malaga is quite far from major cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

This is something you may want to consider when choosing the best city for you.

Seville 

Seville is located in the north of Andalusia, and it’s close to cities like Granada and Malaga, and countries like Portugal.

No matter if you’re planning to travel inside or outside Andalusia, Seville is a great base to start your trip. 

Which city has a better location? Seville has a better geographical location since it’s closer to bigger cities like Madrid and Barcelona, but it’s also located in a great place to explore Southern Spain. 

Prices 

Malaga

Malaga is a budget-friendly destination in comparison to other Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona. 

Activities like eating out and visiting museums and historical places are cheap. On top of this, there are many free things to do in Malaga, and even some places where you must pay to get in are free on Sundays at specific times. 

Having said that, you still need to know where to eat and stay. There are expensive restaurants and hotels in Malaga and Costa del Sol since they target tourists.

If you’re on a budget, then avoid staying in coastal towns like Marbella and Estepona. 

white buildings in the old town of marbella

Seville

Seville is also a budget-friendly destination. 

However, entry tickets for attractions can be expensive. Some of these attractions offer free entry on specific dates and times, so I’d recommend checking their website before going.

Eating in Seville is cheap, you can find fantastic tapas bars that offer delicious food at good prices, but as happens in most big cities, avoid eating in restaurants that are close to attractions since they increase their prices due to the convenient location, and don’t always offer authentic cuisine.

Last but not least, accommodation varies depending on your preferences. You can find all sorts of hotels and hostels. To get a room at a good price, check out neighbourhoods close to the city centre.

Which city is cheaper? Malaga is slightly cheaper than Seville, but you won’t see the difference in prices between these two cities. Most Andalusian destinations are affordable in comparison to central and northern Spain. 

Transport

Malaga

Moving around Malaga is easy and comfortable. If you’re visiting the city centre you won’t need to take public transport or a car as all the attractions are close to each other. Overall, Malaga is very walkable. 

If you want to visit other parts of the city, you can check buses or underground. The bus services are good and take you everywhere whereas the metro is slowly growing its connections.

Last but not least, Malaga is also very well-connected with coastal towns like Torremolinos and Fuengirola. You can take the RENFE train from Maria Zambrano station. 

Alternatively, there are plenty of buses that take you to small towns as well as big cities in the coach station. 

If you want the freedom to travel whenever you want and access off-the-beaten-path destinations, renting a car is the best option for you. 

bus from malaga airport to marbella

Seville

Like Malaga, Seville is a walkable city. You can walk to the main attractions like the cathedral or Setas de Sevilla viewpoint. 

However, if you want to maximize your time in the city and spend less time walking, take the underground, buses or even an Uber as these aren’t expensive when moving near the city centre. 

When visiting other nearby towns, you have two options, take the train from Santa-Justa station or rent a car to avoid waiting times and get access to hidden gems. 

Which city has better transport? Both cities have good public transport at reasonable prices so there isn’t a clear winner. 

Weather

Malaga

malaga square in larios street

Malaga is one of the sunniest cities in Spain, and this is why people call it Costa del Sol (Coast of the sun). No matter if you visit Malaga in winter or summer, you’ll enjoy the sun and clear sky.

In the winter, you’ll love the mild temperatures. There are days in which it’s 20 degrees (68°F) during the day so it allows you to do lots of outdoor activities. 

In the summer, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees (104°F), but if you’re in Malaga city or in a coastal town, you’ll feel a bit of the sea breeze.

Seville 

Old tower in seville riverside

Seville is also a warm destination all year round. 

Winter in Seville is mild and sunny. You can enjoy sitting outdoors and having a few tapas with friends. 

Summer in Seville is extremely hot. Most days you’ll see that the thermostat reaches 40 degrees (104°F) and temperatures don’t go down much in the evening. 

This is why many locals escape Seville in summer. They go to coastal cities like Cadiz and Malaga to cool down and enjoy days at the beach with family or friends.

Which city has better weather? Malaga. Although Seville’s weather is nice from autumn to spring, it’s quite challenging in summer. 

I had never experienced extreme heat until I visited Seville in June. I remember stepping out of the car and a gasp of warm wind hitting my face. It was 37 degrees at 9 pm. 


Overall, Malaga and Seville have different things to offer, so I highly encourage you to visit both if possible, and even go on an Andalucia road trip to discover other beautiful cities and lesser-known towns.

However, if time is a problem, go for the city that meets your travel needs. If you want to spend time at the beach but still do a bit of sightseeing, choose Malaga, but if you only want to see historical buildings and immersed yourself in the Andalusian culture, go to Seville.

If you’re looking at moving to one of these cities and you’re wondering if it’s better to live in Seville or Malaga, Malaga is my top choice. There’s a big expat community, plenty of leisure activities to do and it’s close to the beach.

However, Seville is also a popular destination for expats and digital nomads. The only thing to remember is that being in Seville during the summer months is challenging due to the extreme temperatures, and if you don’t like the heat, you may want to rethink if Seville is your best option.

If you have any questions about travelling to Malaga or Seville, email me or send me a DM on Instagram. I’d be very happy to help you.

Safe adventures!

Cristina xx

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Top things to do before visiting Malaga or Seville

  • Check cheap flights with Skyscanner.
  • Are you looking for the best accommodation for you? Book your accommodation with Booking.com
  • Discover all the amazing activities you can do in Malaga or Seville with Get Your Guide.
  • Book a free walking tour with GuruWalk.
  • Travelling around Andalucia? Hire a car with Rentalcars.
  • Book travel insurance for your trip, this is a must for any trip!

Frequently Asked About Malaga vs Seville

Which is better Malaga or Seville?

It depends on your travel style. If you want a combination of beaches and sightseeing, choose Malaga. However, if you don’t mind beaches, and you want to immerse yourself in history and culture, go to Seville.

Is Seville cheaper than Malaga?

No, Malaga is slightly cheaper than Seville, but you won’t tell a big difference in prices between these two cities.

Both cities are cheaper than other Spanish destinations like Madrid or Barcelona.

Seville or Malaga in December?

Both cities enjoy mild temperatures in December, so no matter which one you choose, you’ll love the sunny weather.

If you like seeing beautiful Christmas light displays, you’ll love Malaga. Its Christmas light displays change from year to year and are one of the most visited in Spain.

Not a fan of Christmas? Choose Seville as it has more attractions to see and activities to do.

Do you want to discover more about these two cities? Check out the travel guides below:

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