Arriving at a strange airport can often be a stressful experience – especially if it is during the hot and busy summer months and you are travelling with children, carrying a lot of luggage and arriving late at night.
I know Malaga Airport very well as I live on the Costa del Sol and travel to and from there several times a year. I have therefore written a fact sheet detailing all you need to know when you arrive at or depart from Malaga Airport.
1. How to Get to Malaga Airport
When you are booking your flight to Malaga Airport there are over 9 airlines operating from 20 UK airports offering regular scheduled and charter flights.
If you are flying from the London or the South you can get flights from Bournemouth, Bristol, Southampton, Exeter, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted Airports.
Travellers from the North of England can fly into Malaga from Blackpool, Doncaster Sheffield, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle in the North and Midlands’ travellers have the choice of Birmingham and East Midlands Airport.
Other UK airports include Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow International and Prestwick Airports in Scotland, Belfast International in Ireland and Cardiff in Wales.
2. Landing at Malaga Airport
Once you have landed and disembarked from the aircraft you should head towards the baggage reclaim hall which is on the ground floor. Depending on your arrival gate this can be quite a walk, but there are travelators which will take you all the way there. If you do have mobility problems, make sure that you inform your airline of this when you make the reservation so that they can arrange for a buggy to be waiting when the aircraft docks. Look for the TV monitors at the entrance of the luggage which indicate which belt your luggage will appear on. You will find the public toilets situated to the right hand side in the corner of the arrivals hall.
3. Hiring a Car at Malaga Airport
If you have hired a car which you need to pick up from Malaga Airport, if it is from a rent a car company who is located in the main airport terminal (Auriga Crown, Autos Lido, Avis, Europcar, Goldcar, Hertz, National Atesa, Record, Sixt and Solmar) then you will see a slope off to the right at the end of the arrivals hall which leads to their desks. If it is an offsite car hire company (AutoLink, Car Gest, Centauro, First Car Group, Global Car Hire, Holiday Car Hire, Marbesol, Malaga Car, National, Niza Cars, Pepecars, Tony’s Rent a Car, Top Rent a Car and Yellow Car) then you need to go through into the public arrivals hall, out through the main door, turn right, walk a very short distance past the taxi rank and main bus stop outside to the car rental pick up point. The majority of the offsite car rental firms are located on a slip road running adjacent to the Avenida Garcia Morato which is the approach road into Malaga Airport just a few minutes away.
The route to the Costa del Sol is well signposted when you leave Malaga Airport. Drive out of the airport terminal and follow sign to Cadiz, N340-E15. There is a BP garage on your left and after 50 metres there is roundabout and the San Miguel Brewery. Take the second exit off and get into the right hand lane ready to take the slip road in 100m. Direction Torremolinos & Cadiz, N340.
Before you set off check you are familiar with all the controls of your rent a car as this is your opportunity to ask the representative any questions.
4. Taxis at Malaga Airport
If you are planning on getting a taxi to your holiday destination you will find the rank to the right directly outside the arrivals hall. By law standard Malaga Airport taxis can only carry up to a maximum of 4 passengers (including children), and they do not provide baby or child booster seats. If you are travelling in a large party, are carrying a large amount of luggage or if you require special child seating then it is a lot easier if you pre-book a private transfer.
It costs about EUR12 for a taxi into Malaga City centre, EUR16 to Torremolinos, EUR15 to Benalmadena Costa, EUR35 to Fuengirola, EUR35 to Mijas, EUR70 to Marbella, EUR75 to Puerto Banus, EUR80 to San Pedro and EUR90 to Estepona. These fares will vary depending on the time and day you are travelling as late at night or on Sundays and bank holidays will be more expensive.
5. Buses at Malaga Airport
You can find the bus stop by turning right as you exit arrivals and walk for approximately 20 metres.
There are two main services: the C19 to Malaga City Centre and the main bus station and Maria Zambrano Railway Station. It runs every 20-40 minutes depending on the time of day and costs EUR1.10 single fare (pay the driver). The first bus leaves at 07.00 and the last at 24.00.
The second service is the non stop coach direct to Marbella bus station, where you can get connections to San Pedro, Estepona and Puerto Banus. Journey time is 45 minutes and it costs EUR4.30 (pay the driver) with buses leaving at hourly or two hourly intervals depending on the time of year.
6. Trains at Malaga Airport
There is a train service from Malaga Airport which goes to Malaga City in one direction and Fuengirola in the other.
The platform is on the opposite side of the road from the airport terminal first floor level (departures). You turn right out of the departures hall, walk past the new terminal 1 extension until you come to a sign sending you over zebra crossing into the car park area. Look to the left in the car park and follow the signs until you get to an elevated metal bridge which crosses the motorway below and eventually leads to the station.
It is about a six minute walk which is all on one level until you get to the station platform when you need to climb a dozen or so fairly steep concrete steps to get to it. So anyone with walking difficulties will have a problem. You can purchase your tickets from a machine at the base of these steps.
Trains run to Malaga City Centre every 30 minutes from 06:49 to 23:49. The single fare is between EUR1.20 and EUR1.30 depending on the day of travel. Journey time about 10 minutes.
Trains from Malaga Airport to Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola every 30 minutes from 05:24 to 22:34. to 23:17 The fares for this journey range from EUR1.85 to EUR2.00. Total journey time around 35 minutes.
7. Parking at Malaga Airport
There are currently over 2,000 parking spaces at Malaga Airport split into three different areas: P1, P2 and the General Aviation, P1 is the largest with 1,533 spaces, P2 has 968 spaces and General Aviation has just 47.
Parking for hire cars is located on floor 1 of P2 and floors 1 and 2 of P1. You pay for your parking at the machine with either credit card or cash before you get to your car when leaving the airport
The tariffs for the parking at all Malaga Airport car parks are first 30 minutes or less EUR0.63: second half hour or less EUR1.00: all or part of each additional hour EUR1.64: daily maximum up to 4 days, EUR18.00: daily maximum from the fifth day EUR14.40.
8. Checking in and Departing from Malaga Airport
There are three departures halls at Malaga Airport. The main one is on the first floor of Terminal 2 (above the arrivals hall) and handles most of the flights.
There is also a check in hall on the ground floor of Terminal 1 and on the first floor which can be accessed from Terminal 1 and also via a slope in the left hand corner of Terminal 2.
9. Shops, Bars & Cafes at Malaga Airport
Malaga Airport Shops provide a good opportunity to stock up on last minute presents and duty-free goods. Goods sold range from sporting gear through to fashion, jewellery, music, toys, electronics, home decoration, confectionery, local foods, as well as five Aldeasa Stores selling the usual duty-free make-up, perfumes, cigarettes and alcohol. The main shopping area is in Terminal 2 past security on the second floor, although there are a few duty free shops and newsagents leading to the departure gates.
There is a pharmacy in the public area on the first floor of Terminal 1, which you can get to from Terminal 2 via an adjoining tunnel. It is open from 09:00 to 21:00. There is also a post office (Monday to Friday 08:30-14:30 & Saturday 09:30-13:00) and lost luggage office located here.
Opening times for the shops are generally 08:00 to 20:00 although this may vary for individual boutiques.
There are several restaurants at Malaga Airport with a couple of cafes before security in the Terminal 2 building and a restaurant serving meals in the adjoining walkway to Terminal 1. Inside the entrance hall of Terminal 1 there is another cafe serving sandwiches and drinks.
Once through security there is an upstairs area on the second floor of Terminal 2 where you will find the majority of shops and a large self service cafeteria serving hot and cold food, a small cafe and a Haagen Daz kiosk. There are also a few cafes serving cold snacks and drinks by the departure gates.
If you are meeting someone in the public arrivals hall then the Bar del Golf on the left hand side of the entrance doors from the luggage hall is a good place to wait.