Museums in Málaga

Museums in Málaga

For many years, Malaga’s museums have become one of the main attractions for visitors to the Costa del Sol. The capital of the Malaga province boasts an extensive cultural and leisure offer, including more than thirty museums, art centres and galleries. In them, art lovers will be able to find all types of pieces from different movements of art, artists and styles, a diverse offer that you can immerse yourself in during your visit to Malaga.

It is of no surprise that the city that saw the birth of renowned Pablo Ruiz Picasso boasts a varied cultural offer, including everything from the artist’s works to more contemporary exhibitions, as well as the history and tradition of the city and even some of the most innovative museums to visit as a family where the most inquisitive minds will have a great time.

Although most of these cultural centres and picture galleries are situated around the city’s historic quarter, it is ideal for visitors to have a hire vehicle in Malaga so they can travel around all of the options and reach those that are further away yet no less interesting.

Museums of art from Malaga

The capital of Malaga is characterised by its art. Malaga has been the birthplace and home of many of the most renowned artists in history, from the genius of Cubism, Picasso, to the Realist, Félix Revello de Toro. That’s why some of the best museums in Malaga feature local art, although they also contain renowned international artists or painters and emerging sculptors.

Picasso Museum Malaga (Museo Picasso Málaga) | Picasso’s career and works

Pablo Ruiz Picasso is one of the most widely recognised artists in the world and one of the pioneers of Cubism. Hence, among the best museums in Malaga, we can find the Picasso Museum, a picture gallery which is constantly updated to follow the steps of the genius born in Malaga, and to help visitors to understand his artistic career.

Interior courtyard of the Picasso Museum Malaga
Interior courtyard of the Picasso Museum Malaga

The Picasso Museum boasts a collection of almost 400 of the painter’s works, of which 120 are exhibited here which cover the years of Picasso’s training to some of the most representative moments of the artist’s work, revealing his versatility since his beginnings. In addition, there are usually temporary exhibitions that change every four months.

Exterior view of the Picasso Museum Malaga
Exterior view of the Picasso Museum Malaga

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: €12 combined entry, €9 permanent collection and €8 temporary exhibition.

Opening hours: every day with varying times:

  • March-June: from 10.00 until 19.00.
  • July-August: from 10.00 until 20.00.
  • September-October: from 10.00 until 19.00.
  • November-February: from 10.00 until 18.00.

Birthplace Museum of Pablo Ruiz Picasso Malaga | The unknown origins of Picasso

While visiting the city in which Picasso was born, tourists simply must visit Picasso’s Birthplace Museum, a journey through the life of the artist from his birth, his links to Malaga and time in La Coruña, Barcelona and Paris. This museum contains some of Picasso’s best kept secrets, such as the popularity of his father, José Ruiz Blasco, as an artist, his passion for bulls or photographs of his childhood, it even features his Christening robe.

Interior of the house where Picasso was born
Interior of the house where Picasso was born

It also boasts one of the largest documentary collections about the life and works of the artist, in addition to a collection of sketches, etchings and lithographs which include The Young Ladies of Avignon (Las Señoritas de Avignon), one of Picasso’s most famous works. There is a temporary exhibition room which revolves around this artist, with reinterpretations of his work or artists or contemporaries of his era.

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: €4 combined entry, €3 Birthplace Museum (Museo Casa Natal) €3 temporary exhibition.

Opening hours: every day from 9:30 until 20:00.

Thyssen Museum Malaga (Museo Thyssen Málaga) | Andalusian realism

If we are talking about Malaga’s museums, one of the essential places for any visitor is the Carmen Thyssen Museum. Situated in the Villalón Palace, this picture gallery offers a journey through the history of Spanish genre painting from the 19th and 20th centuries, notable for the importance presence of Andalusian culture.

Exterior of the Carmen Thyssen museum
Exterior of the Carmen Thyssen museum

This museum, which is spread over three floors and belongs to the popular Baroness Thyssen, divides its routes between costumbrismo, naturalism, refined elegance and art from the turn of the century. From the beginning of September, its temporary gallery is exhibiting a realism exhibition with huge names, including Dalí, Ángeles Santos or Maruja Mallo, making way in October for an ambitious selection of pieces of Belgian art from the Musée d’Ixelles (Brussels).

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: €4 combined entry, €3 Birthplace Museum (Museo Casa Natal) €3 temporary exhibition.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 until 20.00.

Revello de Toro Museum (Museo Revello de Toro Málaga) | Portraits of the History of Spain

Situated in the house-workshop of Pedro de Mena, the Revello de Toro Museum pays tribute to this local artist who created his first exhibition at the age of 10 and who became one of the most famous artistic figures of the city thanks to being commissioned to portray the image of Kings, presidents and ministers.

Entrance of the Revello Toro museum
Entrance of the Revello Toro museum

In this museum, situated just a few metres from Malaga Cathedral (Catedral de Málaga), you can admire the famous portrait artist’s work, with famous faces from Spanish history, such as Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, Adolfo Suárez or Rodolfo Martín Villa. This is also combined with the work of the former owner of the house, a renowned religious sculptor from the Spanish Baroque period.

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: €2.50 with audio guide and free entry on Sundays.

Opening times:

  • Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 until 20.00.
  • Sundays and public holidays from 10.00 until 14.00.

Malaga’s Museum of Contemporary Art | Amazing art without paying an entry fee

The Centre of Contemporary Art (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo) or CAC is situated next to the popular Soho district, on the banks of the Guadalmedina river. Its premises are a former market, making this is one of the best museums in Malaga thanks to its dynamism, with temporary and permanent exhibitions containing all types of artistic concepts, focussing in particular on the international avant-garde.

Access to its exhibitions is completely free of charge to the public, bringing the newest cultural trends to Malaga’s people. In addition, it is a live space where activities are carried out for all types of audience. Since 2018, it has held two permanent exhibitions: Neighbours IV, centred on local artists and the surprising exhibition, Passion II (Pasión II), with pieces by the collector Carmen Riera.

There are also often various temporary exhibitions which are divided between this centre and the La Coracha art gallery, situated at the foot of Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro) and part of the MUPAM installations. They contain international and local works of art, with some amazing pieces of contemporary art.

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: free.

Opening times:

  • Winter: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 until 21.30.
  • Summer: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 until 14.00 and from 17.00 until 21.30.

Malaga’s Customs Museum (Museo de la Aduana) | From the Phoenicians to the Vanguards

At the Customs Palace (Palacio de la Aduana), and just a few metres from Malaga’s Alcazaba, you can find one of the youngest museums in the city, which is also, paradoxically, one of the oldest. Opening in 2016, the Malaga Museum combines art and archaeology from the province, although also from the rest of Spain.

Exterior façade of the Aduana de Málaga museum
Exterior façade of the Aduana de Málaga museum

In its archaeological collection, situated on the second floor, you can walk through everything from the legacy of the Phoenicians to the grave goods and remains of Medieval constructions. On the other hand, the first floor is dedicated to 19th century art, covering history up to the arrival of the contemporary vanguards of Malaga. This makes it one of the most comprehensive museums for lovers of art history.

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: free for EU citizens, €1.50 for other nationalities.

Opening times:

  • Tuesday to Saturday from 9.00 until 21.00.
  • Sundays from 9.00 until 15.00.

International museums in Malaga

People looking for an international experience will be able to find two delegations in Malaga’s museums of some of the most important picture galleries in the world, with works that take you on a journey through French art and Russian art without leaving Andalusia.

Pompidou Museum (Museo Pompidou) Malaga | Renowned contemporary art

The Pompidou Centre Malaga is a venue belonging to the Georges Pompidou National Centre for Art and Culture in Paris. This is the first site belonging to this famous art centre which is outside of its borders and, just like the original, is focussed on contemporary art, although its exhibition rooms show a crossover between different artistic disciplines.

Large glass exterior of the Pompidou Museum
Large glass exterior of the Pompidou Museum

Known for its colourful glass cube structure designed by artist Daniel Buren, the Pompidou Museum of Malaga is situated next to the lively Muelle Uno. Its installations include a semi-permanent exhibition which lasts for a year and a temporary exhibition which changes approximately every four months. Famous names have graced its galleries, including Picasso, Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Miró and Matisse.

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: €9 combined, €7 semi-permanent €4 temporary. Entry is free each Sunday from 16.00.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 9.30 until 20.00.

Russian Museum (Museo Ruso) Malaga | History and art of lesser known Russia

Far out of the city centre, just a few metres from Misericordia, one of the main beaches of Malaga, you can find the only Russian art museum in our country. The Collection from the Russian Museum of Saint Petersburg (Museo Ruso de San Petersburgo) is a delegation of the Russian State Museum.

Exterior courtyard of the Russian Museum
Exterior courtyard of the Russian Museum

Like the Pompidou Centre, this artistic centre features an annual exhibition and a temporary exhibition dedicated to Russian art throughout the ages, having contained in its galleries works from Romanov, the vanguards of Russian art or religious icons, one of the most amazing collections in the city.

In today’s turbulent times for the country, the Russian Museum is currently home to collections loaned from the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Birthplace Foundation (Fundación para la Casa Natal de Pablo Ruiz Picasso), featuring works by the local artist until the international situation calms down. This centre features frequent cultural and leisure activities for the whole family.

Opening hours and prices

General entry price: €8 combined, €6 yearly and €4 temporary. Entry is free each Sunday from 16.00.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 until 20.00.

Malaga’s museums of customs

For visitors wanting to find out more about Malaga’s culture and customs and asking what to see in Malaga, the popular museums are a great idea to learn about the essence of the city. One of those is the Museum of Arts and Popular Customs (Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares), where visitors can take a journey through the history of the province, discovering the figure of the bandits (bandoleros), typical festivals and popular oil mills (almazaras).

Exterior façade of the Arts and Customs Museum of Malaga
Exterior façade of the Arts and Customs Museum of Malaga

Also notable in this category is Malaga’s Wine Museum (Museo del Vino), one of the star cultural centres for lovers of all things luxury where you can take a walk through the origins of the typical wines from Malaga, wines with Denomination of origin and a long history on Spanish tables.

While the entry price for both of them is around 4-5 euros, one of the hidden jewels in this area is the Municipal Heritage Museum in Malaga (Museo del Patrimonio Municipal de Málaga) (MUPAM), which has free entry. Here you can discover the history of the city, from the Phoenician, Roman or Arab times to the reconquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs, a must-visit for tourists who want to learn about Malaga from the inside. It also has a temporary exhibition room that will amaze returning visitors.

Interactive museums in Malaga

Without a doubt, Malaga’s Museums boast works for all tastes, with multiple options for the whole family to enjoy. While many of the city’s art centres boast cultural activities for the whole family, there are some that are specially designed to enjoy in the company of the youngest members of the household.

Near to the MUPAM, in the Port of Malaga, you can find the Alborania Museum (Museo Alborania), also known as the Classroom of the Sea (Aula del Mar), a dissemination centre which features the history of the Alboran Sea, highlighting the importance of looking after it to preserve the unique flora and fauna. In it, visitors will be able to touch real fossils, take part in experiments, admire the sea turtles or enjoy a boat simulator.

On the other hand, in the historic quarter, the MIMMA or Interactive Music Museum (Museo Interactivo de la Música) focusses on the history of music, breaking the mould of traditional museums with its “Do not touch” rooms, where the virtual teacher teaches the young musicians to play instruments like the violin, guitar or the cajón flamenco.

Entrance to the interactive music museum
Entrance to the interactive music museum

Finally, the newest museum that opened recently is the Museum of the Imagination (Museo de la Imaginación), situated in the Soho district. This 100% photogenic museum is designed to achieve the most unlikely and attractive photos for visitors, making visitors walk on the ceiling or play with colours and reflections to let the imagination run wild.

Interior of the Museum of Imagination of Malaga
Interior of the Museum of Imagination of Malaga

All of the museums have entry prices which range between seven and ten euros, with special prices for younger visitors. In addition, they are open to the public all week, with varying opening hours to suit the needs of tourists.

As an interesting side note for travellers, it is worth highlighting that many of Malaga’s museums have times where they offer free entry, generally on Sunday afternoons. This is certainly the case with the Pompidou Centre (Centre Pompidou), the Russian Museum (Museo Ruso) and the Carmen Thyssen Museum (Museo Carmen Thyssen), among others. In addition, the city has special days with free entry, such as the International Day of the Museum (May 18) or the White Night (Noche en Blanco) festival, with a plethora of street activities taking place for an entire evening with a date that varies, but will be celebrated in 2022 on Saturday October 8.

Route of Malaga’s museums

There is no doubt that Malaga is a cultural city par excellence, with a list of nearly forty museums, art centres and galleries where you can enjoy art in all its splendour. The map below shows the different establishments that make Malaga “The city of Museums”.

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