I was much impressed by the Alsa buses I used, particularly the long-distance ones. Duyring my two visits to this part of Spain I used the Alsa buses to make trips from Nerja to Malaga and to Almunecar, and then from Malaga>Granada and back.
Buses are comfortable, with upholstered seats and a luggage hold (the type that we in the UK call 'coaches) and I found that time-keeping was also pretty good. Fares are very reasonable indeed.
Bus stations are easy to negotiate,with clear signage about departures and 'platform' (stand) numbers.They generally have cafe/bars and toilets available and some have luggage lockers as well.
It is possible to buy tickets from the ticket machines or ticket offices at bus stations, of course, but buses can and do get full-up. This is particularly the case on popular routes at popular times of year (e.g. Malaga>Granada).
For that reason I decided to buy my bus tickets for that journey online in advance. I found the Alsa website very easy to use and had no problem paying with my card or printing out the tickets which were emailed to me. The only thing to be aware of is that you need to provide an ID number (ID card or passport) when booking and must show that same ID to the driver when you present your ticket.
I particularly liked my trip from Granada to Malaga airport on the 'Supra Economy' Alsa bus. It was a new, large and very comfortable bus with aircraft-style seats, entertainment centres in seatbacks and a bag containing free earphones, water and nibbles (biscuits and a packet of peanuts). It made for a very pleasant journey! :-)
I'd definitely recommend Alsa buses as a budget-friendly, comfortable and reliable way of getting to and from Malaga, and for travelling around Spain.
- Budget Travel
Renfe Maria Zambrano station
Renfe is the official railway operator in Spain, running long-distance and medium-distance routes as well as the local Cercanias rail lines.
Malaga's main Renfe station is Maria Zambrano, to the west of the historical centre. It's a very modern building, named after a Spanish philosopher and attached to a large, modern shopping centre. There are cafes, shops and free, clean toilets (much appreciated).
You can get to Maria Zambrano from the airport easily by either Cercanias or airport bus; both stop there. Departures are clearly displayed on a large electronic screen and there are ticket machines and ticket/information offices.
Be aware that, in common with all large Spanish railway stations, you will not be able to access the platforms without a ticket and that you and your bags will be scanned (airport style) beforehand, though there is no need for you to remove clothing, belts etc. This is normal security procedure, put in place after the 2004 Madrid bombings.
You can find train times, details and fares in English on the official Renfe site below.
- Family Travel
The Cercanias trains are an excellent and reasonably-priced way to get to/from Malaga airport and also to settlements along the coast such as Fuengirola.
Trains run frequently from the airport to Malaga. Malaga Maria Zambrano is the station for Malaga's main Renfe railway station and the bus station. Malaga Centro-Alameda is nearer to the historical centre of the town.
Ticket machines are easy to use and have English language options. Fare airport>Malaga Centro is 1.75 euro, journey time is just 12 minutes.
Trains have ample space for bags and clear electronic signs telling you which station is coming next and which station you have arrived at. I found it all very simple and easy to use.
You can check train times and details in English for Malaga Cercanias routes on the link below.
- Family Travel
Malaga is a pleasant enough airport, albeit thronged (even in the first months of the year) with many UK package tourists and ex-pats. You can expect it to be very busy indeed during the peak holiday months. As with all European airports, I'd advise you to be there at least 2 hours before your flight and to go through security an hour beforehand at the latest.
I've found the airport to be efficient in terms of baggage arrival, check-in and security and..most importantly..it has plenty of free, clean toilets available.
As with all airports, food and drink prices are higher than elsewhere. I was surprised at how little choice there is landside.....I'd have expected more food/drink outlets, plus a few shops....and, to be honest, the airside choice is not brilliant for such a busy and well-used airport. But there are enough places for you to get a beer or a snack, or to buy the overpriced water (I found that vending machines offered water at the 'cheapest' price).
Transport to and from the airport is excellent, with a choice of train or bus to Malaga itself (around 15 minutes away) as well as to various other settlements along the coast. There is clear signage for Cercanias train and buses from Arrivals.
www.alsa.es also runs direct airport buses to and from places further afield. I used the Granada>Malaga airport bus: a comfortable ride in a very swish bus, complete with 'entertainment centres' set into seatbacks, aircraft-style seating and a bag containing free earphones, water and nibbles.
It's always best to get information from the official airport website (in English) I've linked below and not from the many commercial websites which will appear if you google 'malaga airport'.
As airports go, Malaga is not the best I've experienced but it's absolutely fine. It does its job and that, after all, is what we want. :-)
- Family Travel
Are debit cards allowed for Malaga car hire?
Although that it is true that many online booking facilities allow payments per debitcard, fact is that most car hire companies request to be paid by a valid credit card which must be issued on the name of the driver in most cases.
One of the reasons, as commented before, is that they can make automatic additional charges if necessary and another important reason is that the companies try to avoid that their staff needs to handle or keep a lot of cash at the counters. You will find that most companies do not accept cash payments, although some of the major online car rental brokers, like www.hispacar.com might be able to help you out and redirect you to one of the few car hire companies at malaga airport wo do allow debit cards or cash paments.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Malaga Car Hire
Malaga is a very popular destinations for individual travellers. If you're planning to rent a car at Malaga airport it is important to know, that there are well over 150 car hire companies registered in the province of Malaga, but only 10 car hire companies have a desk inside the airport terminal. All other rental companies will service from the public car park or offer a free courtesy bus service to there local offices, which are normally close to the terminal building.
A collection at the rental desk inside the terminal building seems to be the most convenient option, but occassionally there may be long waiting queues at the counter of the local car hire company. Depending on your arrival day and time and the season you're travelling ther may be dozens of other clients waiting to collect a vehicle. The reason for this is, that most online brokers like www.hispacar.com, www.spain-travel-car.com or www.doyouspain.com and many tour operators are associated with the same local car hire companies, summing up a lot of bookings which on one hand helps to keep the prices low (much lower than the rates offered by multinational car hire companies at Malaga airport), but on the other hand may cause a larger collection time.
Depending on your personal circunstances sometimes you may be better of or quicker on your way with the service of an off-airport car hire company. You will loose a bit of time during the ride in the courtesy bus to the local office, but in many cases you will be the only client picking up a vehicle.
Bear in mind that most on-aiport car hire companies offer a wide network and normally cover all airports in Andalucia, like Seville, Jerez, Granada, Almeria and even Gibraltar airport. In case of a breakdown this can be an advantage as they will be able to resolve this problem quicker than a local company with just one office in Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena or Nerja.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Take the bus
The local buses were easy to use & seemed to run frequently.
To take the bus out of the city the main bus station is next to Maria Zambrano train station but there is also a smaller terminus near the port
Take the train
If you are arriving at Malaga airport you can take the electric train either into Malaga itself or in the other direction to some of the Costa Del Sols main resorts such as Fuengirola. Malaga's main station Maria Zambrano is only a few stops away & the last stop is Malaga Central.
Tickets can be bought from the machines at the entrance, which are very easy to use. You can change the language easily if Spanish isn't your first language. It only costs about 1.65Euros from the airport into Malaga.
It seemed you could also take a train to the town of Ronda on this line but we didn't have time on this trip.
If you wish to travel on to or do a day trip to other Spanish cities such as Madrid or Seville trains for these destinations leave from the main train station of Maria Zambrano
Fly To Malaga
We flew from Glasgow Prestwick to Malaga Airport with Ryanair. There are plenty of flights here since the airport serves all the Costa Del Sol resorts as well as Malaga city itself. There are 3 terminals and our flights were from terminal 2. However the security control is only in Terminal 3 so if, like us, you just have hand luggage you can just go straight through.
The train station can be reached from Terminal 3
Two rail Stations
Malaga s main rail station is called Maria Zambravo with trains to Granada and beyond. Malaga s Central station is on the branch line to Fuengirola and Torremolenos. Maria Zambravo station is also on this line. The branch line entrance is in the same building. The bus station is next door building.. At the main line station there is a luggage security check.Journey times from Malaga MZ are to Cordoba 1 hour -----Madrid 3 hours ---Barcelona 5 hr 45 mins ------Ronda 2 hrs ---- Torremolinos 27 mins-----Fuengirola 53 mins.If you are over 60 years of age you can purchase a Tarjeta Dorada card at train station ticket office for 5-15 euros .Your passport number is on it and it is valid one year. You can then get a least 25% discount on rail ticketsmore on certain days
Horses are Steady Ride
If you want to have a memory of a romantic ride with a horse carriage, and maybe a companion with you, this is it. There are horse drawn carriages right in the middle of traffic along Paseo del Parque and Marques del Larios. The ride is around 30-40 minutes, and cost is 30-40 Euro.
Is it worth it? NOT
- Horse Riding
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Double Decker Bus Tour
This bus is available at the main station for local buses. It has a tour cycle of 80 minutes to all stops along the guided way; a quick on/off for a lot of places. The buses operate every 30 minutes, and cost an astounding 17 Euro for an adult. The price is way too steep for me, and we did not take it to Gibralfaro and the to of the hill
- Road Trip
Bus 35 to the Top at Gibralfaro Fortress
This bus takes you to and from the Gibralfaro Fortress. You can get most buses from Alameda Principal and the cost per ride is .85 cents in Euro. They run about every 1/2 hour to the site on top of the hill
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Cercanías Málaga - trains around Málaga
The cercanía is the commuter train service that runs around parts of Málaga and the towns/villages near by. It has two lines the C1 and the C2. The C1 is especially useful as it goes to the airport. It costs about €1.50 from the airport to the centre of the city (sometimes the cost is a little more or less, depending on the time and day).
Line 1 -
Benalmádena-Arroyo de la Miel
Line 2 -
Malaga Airport transfer con? - Malaga Taxi
Just back from a fantastic holiday near Malaga.
Our only gripe is the taxi service (con?) at Malaga airport. We were "poached" by Malaga Taxis, aka Spain Shuttle SL and a shark called Carlo Piran. They were holding up our name card at airport arrivals hall and escorted us into their taxis when we had already pre-paid with another company. Either they copied our name from the genuine taxi driver or this is an organised con. We ended up paying twice with no refund from either company.
Be warned and double check that the taxi driver picking you up is from the company you booked with! In any case, please do me a favour and steer clear of Malaga Taxi, Spain Shuttle SL and Carlo Piran!
Our return transfer was provided by Suntransfers.com and their service, price, cars and drivers were perfect.
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