We leave the boiling asphalt. Press the highest number of the elevator or, if there is none, go upstairs step by step. In the end it doesn’t matter: we’re on our way to some of the best rooftop bars of Malaga. We follow Spain Food Sherpas who set the pace to savor them better. Cultural offers and intimate corners where you can get to know the essence of the city, together with attractive venues where you can enjoy Malaga’s night until dawn. Go with the sea breeze, forget the vertigo and observe: from a bird’s eye view, you live better.
Molina Lario, 20
Late afternoon in Malaga and the sun goes down behind the Malaga Mountain Range. The bell tower of the San Juan church stands out in the urban skyline of the north. And if the Cathedral overwhelms you with its grandeur and closeness, you can just look south and relax with a wide view of the bay of Malaga. When your eyes enjoy these views, you’ve come to the Pool Lounge on the top of the Molina Lario hotel .
A terrace with its own hashtag (#subeaLPL) divided into three levels on the sixth, seventh and eighth floor, where in the highest one, you can take a dip in the small pool. There’s all kinds of events, from parties for young foreigners who come to the Costa del Sol to learn the language (or so they say), to live music, workshops and showrooms of local fashion firms like Bichito Indie.
Spain Food Sherpas strongly recommends the culinary offer that can be found in the menu, designed by the chef Marcos Granados. It’s composed of refreshing salads, Iberian cold cuts and cheese platters, sauces to dip, as well as homemade hummus and flavorful barbecued meats that are completed with great artisanal desserts.
And after that? The bar smells of mint, lime and they have a huge jar of brown sugar … are you in?
SH Malaga Centro Terrace
Calle Mármoles, 6
One day you come across Coque Malla in the elevator. Another one Mikel Erentxun. And the dawn stretches to infinity with songs of Ivan Ferreiro and Quique González. It’s not ambient music, but intimate concerts that are held each summer on the terrace of the Malaga Centro hotel within Live the Roof .
Located in the “malagueñísima” Mármoles street, this establishment opened after remodeling an old building without windows, that housed in the 70s classic Mérida warehouses.
And upstairs they put the icing on the cake. A lovely terrace with laminate flooring and superb views over Malaga’s skyline: its two minutes away from the city center, crossing the dry bed of the Guadalmedina River- like this you get a general image of the city.Even from the pool with a cocktail in the hand.
Its menu is based on the Mediterranean cuisine. They regularly offer jazz concerts together with snacks, wine or olive oil tastings and various cultural events. In the final stretch of summer you’ll have the chance to see Mr. Chinarro or Zahara.
And if you don’t manage to get one of the few tickets for these concerts, here’s a trick: hotel guests go for free. So give yourself a treat and book a room. But you didn’t hear that from us…
Dulces & Dreams Hostels
Plaza de los Mártires Ciriaco y Paula, 6
An old forklift is used as bar. Some cactus here and there. A pair of high tables, other low ones and yet another directly on the floor. And shadows that move to the beat of the torches, next to bright red bricks of the Church of the Martyrs. If the description sounds familiar to you, you are a lucky person: you know the terrace of the Dulces & Dreams Hostel , probably the best spot away from Malaga’s asphalt for travelers Spain Food Sherpas Style.
This intimate venue has a strong local accent and overflowing “malagueña” hospitality. But it also gets carried away by the multitude of languages that are spoken in this cosmopolitan city that sometimes is Malaga.Homemade iced tea and lemonade are the way to savor this terrace. Even with its five varieties of cider. But watch out: the mojito with strawberries will catch you.
It opens every evening from Thursday to Sunday and there is no menu for dinner, but if you like, you can go downstairs to their coffee and get on one of their homemade cakes that is made right there (and that give their names to the eight rooms).
Everywhere is recycled material, organic food (even the coffee) and lots of seasonal fruits that are part of the best place high over Malaga, until they spread the word and too many people will come. By the way, you can always book it for you and your friends, if you are more than 40. Don’t forget to count the dogs and other animals, which are as welcome as you are in this little paradise.
Calle Lanuza Nº 5
This is a classic rooftop bar: the highest part of an old building in the neighborhood of La Trinidad in Malaga. With clothesline and zero décor- sometimes, the space is transformed beyond recognition. A young poet from Malaga, Cristian Alcaraz, is to blame for altering from time to time the quiet neighborhood life of that area.
After becoming independent he decided to set up a cultural space on his roof with a very clear idea: if you don’t like Malaga’s theaters, make yourself own at home. Some wooden pallets are used as stands and others, if needed, as stage.
On the Mármoles roof top bar you cannot eat more than a sandwich you put in your backpack. Nor have a mojito, unless you take it with you from home. But you can get your bike up and enjoy some of the best independent cultural initiatives in Malaga. And getting to know proposals related to dance or music. Never with more than 50 people, because this is the limit: not a single one more. And the price is up to you.
Cristian also invites collectives of the city like Villa Puchero Factory or the multidisciplinary group Cienfuegos and young local talents. For this summer they have already programmed experimental theater with José Andrés López and Paloma Garcia-Consuegra and a performance of Christophe Berville and a course about creation of Elena Bolaños. And yes, they are open to suggestions: if you’re up for it, the next play could be yours.
La Alcazaba Terrace
Calle Alcazabilla, 12
It is one of the latest hot spots of the city. It opened barely six months ago and, located in the Alcazaba Premium Hostel , it became one of the indispensable events for Malaga’s summer nights. Now the queue is not formed at the entrance of a bar, but at the elevator that saves you from going up the stairs until the fifth floor.
Exposed brick walls and mosaic floors prove an interesting remodeling of this building next to the Albéniz cinema. Distributed in two different floors, it could literally be the terrace of the Alcazaba: the Muslim fortification can almost be touched from there.
The best time to go is during sunset, when it’s not yet crowded. And the best way to accompany it is with the delicious Premium Cocktail consisting of rum, orange juice, lime, passion fruit and vanilla.
Before being caught by their neon lights or the thousand stories you can imagine through the open windows of the opposite buildings, you can go down one floor to satisfy your stomach in the Batik restaurant. It is run by the chef Ivan Bravo, trained at the hospitality and catering school La Cónsula, who has learned from chefs like Martin Berasategui.
In his menu you can find several proposals ranging from a young goat burger from Malaga with coriander or a squid and shrimp burger, to an avocado tartar from Velez-Malaga and mackarel ceviche or butterfish carpaccio.
The terrace of the Alcazaba is an initiative of a great ACB and Spanish selection player, Carlos Cabezas, with two other “mister handsome”: the malagueño Juan Garcia, Mister World in 2007 and Mister Spain in 2006, and José Manuel Montalvo, Mr. Spain in 2008. Anyways, if you go, maybe some of that gets stuck to you as well.
Calle Marqués de Larios, 2
Larios is a gin brand. And the last name of one of the historic families of Malaga, which is also used to describe the “backbone” of Malaga’s social life: the Marques de Larios Street. Now it’s also part of the only Room Mate hotel chain in Spain – that one has no personal name. There you can find the Larios Terrace, one of the few completely clear and open ones with such big chill out sofas that, if you get too comfy, it will be impossible to take you away from there.
Language exchanges, themed parties, concerts, fashion shows and endless activities are part of the most intense program on Malaga’s roofs. And if you stumble over the name DJ Pomelo Sour (Sour Grapefruit), don’t think twice: you’re in front of one of the city’s wildest guys and his sessions are unforgettable.
The terrace opens only during the good weather season (forget going up in winter) and it’s one of the places with most nocturnal racket in downtown Malaga. Also you can book it for your wedding or if you want more privacy and party hard, your bachelor/ette party. You choose.
Pasaje Chinitas, 3
The Chinitas passage is one of the traditional and popular places in the center of Malaga. A narrow corridor where restaurants, old traditional stores and the official shoe shiner of Malaga coexist. Now they have a new tenant: the Chinitas Urban Hostel, that you don’t expect to find in a place like this.
In the entrance, Superman welcomes you giving the finger, Spiderman brushes his teeth and Wonder Woman touches her butt. And after four floors up a narrow staircase, a bright light announces that you’ve arrived to the terrace. If you want even better views, you’ll have to go up one more- a very steep one. A wall full of plants refreshes the atmosphere in this cozy place that just celebrated its first anniversary.
Although the most demanded drink is the pink gin, whose bottles drop like flies, forget about showing off: this space is very down-to-earth and personal. Flamenco concerts once a month or music and video clips of the late twentieth century cheer up the dawn over the old roofs of the historic center of Malaga.
And watch out with the alcohol- later you gotta get down again. Unless you prefer to sleep over in one of its eight rooms and enjoy your breakfast buffet, again, on the terrace. You’ve got till 12pm to start the day from above.
AC Hotel Málaga Palacio
Cortina del Muelle, 1
This time yes- dress yourself up! You are on top of one of the classiest hotels in Malaga and the occasion requires it. Take the lift and a book or patience as well, since there are fifteen floors from the lobby of the AC Malaga Palacio Hotel to the terrace. But it’s worthwhile waiting: these are possibly the best views of Malaga.
And if the occasion dazzles you, don’t worry: in the restaurant on the same floor you can request a selection of sunglasses and choose those that allow you to see life at its best. That’s how the Malaga Palacio is like, part of the Marriot hotel chain that you’ll see perfectly from the port: it’s that giant that stands out in the facade of the city. It’s a classic.
With your sunglasses you can also travel back in time: with a panorama from the Palm Grove you jump forward to the future and looking at the Cathedral or Alcazaba you go back to the past.
From this excellent spot in Malaga’s sky you can almost see it all, even seagulls flying beneath you. It’s open all day, so you can have breakfast, aperitifs, drinks, lunch, dinner … This venue with an additional swimming pool hosts live music and flamenco shows.
It’s as well a traditional stop of the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga: grab a backstage pass and get to know familiar faces with a cocktail in the hand. You can also settle for the fireworks of the “Feria” folk festival, when Malaga is on fire. But be aware of the wind: when it blows, it’s kinda scary- even with sunglasses.
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C/ Somera, 8
A huge 30-meter Venus, Botticceli style, but with graffiti by Remed and Okuda greets you from the side of the building of the Bahia Malaga Hotel. It is one of the latest works of the recent edition of the Malaga Urban Art festival in the Soho district and the way in which this hotel wanted to blend in with the surroundings: at this point in the neighborhood, either you have graffiti on your walls, or you’re a nobody. Next to the head of this stunning contemporary Venus who dances with sailors from Malaga, is the Soho Terrace where the sun has trouble hiding.
In its perimeter are no taller buildings and that permits interesting views of the city, different than usual. It opens from Tuesday to Sunday at 4pm. Great cocktails and many snack options are the essence of a place with live entertainment on the weekends.
There is also the possibility of private events. A pleasant and attractive venue as expected by the main facade of the hotel, a wall which hasn’t reached modern times yet. Perhaps some aerosols resolve it soon.
La Terraza de San Juan
Calle San Juan, n.º 11
It opened its doors in 2017. In addition to the restaurants Yuba and Benito, the Malaga Premium Histel has a huge rooftop bar “La Terraza de San Juan” on the top floor with awesome views of the San Juan Church and other parts of the city.
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La Terraza de Valeria
Plaza del Poeta Alfonso Canales, 5
With breathtaking views over the Port, Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle, the Roomate Valeria Hotel Roof Terrace is one of the best in Town.
It has a small plunge pool and sun beds during the day to chill available for those who stay at the Hotel.
Oasis Lounge Bar
Calle San Telmo, 14
Face it: you’re entering a hostel full of foreign youngsters in party mood. You can feel it when they drink, playing “ocalimocho” or participate in beer Olympics on the patio next to the reception. Or watching them sleep devastated in their bunk beds on your way up to the roof. But give it a try: you are also in one of the nerve centers of Malaga’s night- every night.
The Oasis Lounge Bar is the terrace which marked the turning point between the traditional “azoteas”, rooftop bars, on top of hotels and the development of new initiatives in other locations of Malaga. It opens from 9am to 2pm and from 3.30pm until midnight, so if you don’t want to party, you can just go after hours. A vivid chill out, people of all ages and the surprises of the night are ingredients of a great terrace where the afterwork and glamour predominate.
There you can try gin tonics with different flavors, among which is one of the best of the city: based on kiwi, raspberry, rosemary flambé and spiral gummy- it won the first prize in a local competition of this field. You can also have cocktails with names of museums that surround this bar, like Picasso or Thyssen.
Or drinks with amazing colors like blue scuba. You can also grab the chance and feel a little younger, joining some of the party activities that are exposed on the walls of the Oasis Hostel, based on sangría basically. Perhaps you’ll survive it. Perhaps not…
Before making it up there for a cocktail, check out our Progressive Wine Tasting and Food Tour that is the perfect way to eat and drink like a local and meet other travellers as you discover the city centre.
English version of the article “El frescor está ahí fuera:las mejores azoteas de Málaga”, written by N. Sánchez / Spain Food Sherpas for TRAVELER.es (13/08/15).