Getting around with public transport in Málaga


Updated on Sep 30 • 8 minute read

The public transport in Málaga makes it easy to travel both within and outside of the city. The city centre's walking-friendly, the top neighbourhoods are centrally located, and the rest of the city's well-connected by metro, train, bus, cycle, and taxi. As a bonus, the public transport costs are budget friendly given that the cost of living in Málaga's on the cheaper side.

So once you’re done searching homes for rent in Málaga and you've settled in your new home, use this article as a guide to figure out the various transport options you can use to explore this Andalusian port city.

Metro is a cheap and convenient way to travel

Using the metro in Málaga's an easy travel option since there are only 2 lines. Line 1 runs from Andalusia Tech to El Perchel and has 11 stops. Some important stops include the university and the hospital. Line 2 runs from Palacio de los Deportes to El Perchel and has 7 stops. Some stops include the beach and the sporting arena Palacio de los Deportes.

Therere plans to introduce more metro lines in the future which will bring you closer to the city centre.

How frequently does Málaga’s metro run?

The metro runs frequently throughout the day. Every 6 to 10 minutes during the weekdays and every 10 minutes during the weekends.

Here’s the schedule of Málaga’s metro :

Monday - Thursday- 06:30 A.M. to 23:00 P.M. Friday (and public holidays) - 06:30 A.M. to 01:30 A.M. Saturday - 07:00 A.M. to 01:30 A.M. Sunday - 07:00 A.M. to 23:00 P.M.

How much does it cost to use Málaga’s metro?

Málaga’s metro tickets are generally cheap, making it a favoured travel option for locals.

  • Single one-way ticket (Billete Ocasional): This rechargeable paper card is perfect for infrequent travellers who are travelling solo or with up to 9 people. This ticket costs €1.35 per trip.
  • Metro de Málaga Card (*Tarjeta Monedero Metro de Málaga): This is a rechargeable card that lets you travel with up to 9 people at the same time. The cost is €0.82 per trip.
  • Transport Consortium Travel Card (Tarjeta Monedero Consorcio de Transportes): A rechargeable card that lets you travel across the entire public transport system with up to 9 people at once. The cost is €0.82 per trip. But if you are transferring from a city bus or interurban bus, then the cost is €0.65.

Don’t forget the cost of the travel card itself. The cost of the paper travel card is €0.30 and €1.80 for a PVC card.

Málaga has various trains and train passes suited to your needs

The main train station in Málaga is called Estación de Málaga Maria Zambrano.

You can shop to your heart’s content at the Maria Zambrano station as it houses a big shopping centre called Centro Comercial Vialia.

The trains at Maria Zambrano are operated by a Spanish rail company called RENFE. At the train station, you can find the local trains (Cercanias), other inter-city and cross-country trains, or the high-speed trains to Cordoba or Madrid.

Which local trains can I use in Málaga?

You’ll most likely use 2 local lines or Cercanias. C1 connects you from Málaga Centre to Fuengirola. C1 is an important line as it connects to the airport. C2 connects you from Málaga Centre to Alora.

How much does a train ride in Málaga cost?

The cost of your train ride depends on how many zones you’re travelling through.

ZoneSingle Ticket CostReturn Ticket Cost
1-2 Zones€1.80€3.60
3 Zones€2.05€4.10
4 Zones€2.70€5.40
5 Zones€3.60€7.20

Good to know:

  1. You have a maximum of 2 hours after buying your train ticket to start your journey. If you’re purchasing a return ticket, you must return on the same day.

  2. Children under the age of 6 travel for free. A maximum of 2 children can travel per adult ticket.

  3. People travelling in a group of up to 10 can enjoy discounts on their travel ticket. 30% on a one-way ticket and 40% on a return ticket. Those under 12 get a 50% discount.

  4. Students and young persons can apply for the Tarjeta + Renfe Joven 50 Card to enjoy a discount of 25% to 30% on their Cercanias tickets. This card costs €50.

How can I get a discount when using Málaga’s train?

If you’re a frequent train traveller, you can use the various train passes for some nice discounts.

Limited Monthly Pass: This is a single person, personalised card for those who travel the same route for work or study. With this, you can do 2 trips (return trip) a day for a whole month.

ZoneMonthly Cost: Limited Monthly Pass
1-2 Zones€35.80
3 Zones€42.00
4 Zones€60.85
5 Zones€75.70

Unlimited Monthly Pass: This is a single person, personalised card for those who want unlimited travel on the same route for a whole month.

ZoneMonthly Cost: Unlimited Monthly Pass
1-2 Zones€47.85
3 Zones€55.30
4 Zones€74.70
5 Zones€100.15

Bonotren: A non-personalised card that lets you travel 10 times on the same route. It’s valid for 1 month from purchase.

ZoneMonthly Cost: Bonotren
1-2 Zones€11.95
3 Zones€13.85
4 Zones€18.70
5 Zones€25.05

Student Pass: A single, personalised card that lets students have unlimited trips for 3 months during the academic year (1 October- 15 July) on the same route.

ZoneCost: Student Pass
1-2 Zones€89.60
3 Zones€111.50
4 Zones€171.45
5 Zones€210.85

Buses run frequently and in all directions

Where is the bus station in Málaga?

Málaga’s main bus station is called Paseo de los Tilos and is situated next to the Maria Zambrano train station.

It’s easy to reach the bus station as it’s a 15-minute walk from the centre. Once at the station, you’ll see 38 platforms with electronic sign boards to guide you to the right bus. The buses travel both within the city and long-distance. They run every 8-12 minutes on the busiest routes.

In addition, you can use the bus station by the port called Muelle de Heredia or Estacion de Autobuses de Puerto de Malga. The buses from this station will take you towards the nearby cities and villages.

Málaga’s bus timetable

The buses in Málaga run from 06:45 A.M. to 23:00 P.M.

There are also 3 night buses that run from 23:00 P.M. to 05:00 A.M.

  • N1 runs every 30 minutes
  • N2 runs every 70 minutes
  • N4 runs every 45 minutes.

How much does a bus ticket cost in Málaga?

The cost of your bus ticket in Málaga depends on the type of card or ticket type you purchase.

Bus Ticket TypeCost
Single one-way ticket€1.40
Bonobos (10 trips)€8.40
Monthly Bus Card€39.95
Annual Bus Card€290
Student monthly pass€27

Good to know: With the Bonobos ticket, you can use 1 ticket and ride with as many people as you like. You can also have unlimited transfers during the first hour of validating your travel.

Download the EMT Málaga app which lets you plan your travel, check your travel history, save your frequently visited stop, and see all the bus routes and bus stops in a convenient manner.

Cycling in Málaga is cheap and convenient

Málaga Bici is a company that lets residents and tourists borrow or rent a cycle. You can pick up or drop off a cycle at any of the many pick-up points throughout the city.

Pick up is allowed from 07:00 - 23:00 and drop off can be done 24/7.

The first 30 minutes of your ride are free and after that the cost per minute is €0.017.

Using these cycles is perfect for short trips. If you’re planning to ride longer, either switch to a new cycle before the 30-minute mark or top-up extra credit. If you don’t have enough credit and are unable to return your cycle after 2 hours, you will face some penalties that dictate when you can use the service next.

Here’s how you can make use of it:

  1. Make sure you have a Málaga EMT transport card.
  2. Register- You can do this online or at any of the self-service stations. Fill in your personal details and add your credit card information.
  3. Pay the annual fee of €10 (free for the first year!) and the one time civil liability and accident insurance fee of €10.

3 ways to get a taxi in Málaga

Taxis are available 24/7 and you can either hail a taxi, call for a taxi, or walk to a taxi rank.

Hailing is the easiest way to get a taxi. Simply look out for a taxi with a green light. Alternatively you can walk to any of the taxi ranks near the main spots, such as the airport or central station. Calling a taxi will cost you extra, and in this case it's better to book an uber instead.

How much does a taxi cost in Málaga?

All taxis have a meter showing you the cost of your trip. This cost is based on the time you take the taxi and the distance you travel.

GroupStart RatePrice/km
Group 1 Daytime (6:00 - 22:00)€3.60€0.86
Group 2 Nighttime (22:00 - 06:00) & weekends€4.50€1.06

In addition to the standard prices, there are also some surcharges.

  1. The night surcharge for taking a taxi between midnight and 06:00 A.M. is €2.00.
  2. The surcharge for a taxi to and from the Málaga Airport is €5.50. The average cost of a taxi from the airport to the city centre is €25 - €30.
  3. The surcharge for taking a taxi from the port is €1.00.

What is the best way to Explore Málaga?

The best way to get around Málaga city is to either walk or rent a cycle since a lot of the main attractions are within walking distance.

If you’re living in Málaga, or living outside the city centre, then the best way to get around the city is to get a metro or train travel plan. This will let you travel cheaply, especially if you’re traveling the same route frequently or are a student.

Taxis are not as popular as they tend to cost more. For instance, with the metro, your ticket can be as cheap as €0.82 per trip. With the taxi, the starting price is already €3.60 to €4.50.

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