A Travel Price Comparison for Spain Marbella vs. Malaga for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Marbella or Malaga?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Marbella or Malaga, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Marbella

Marbella is a city in southern Spain in the province of Malaga. It is part of the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) and is located on the Mediterranean Sea between Malaga and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is one of the most important tourist cities in the area and receives many national and international tourists year round due to its climate and tourism structures. Marbella is a bit of a glamorous city due to its beauty and resort-type environment. The old town with its narrow cobbled streets and flower-filled plazas is packed with shops and art galleries selling boutique clothes and accessories, and handmade wares. The city has significant archaeological and historical heritage and many events and performances throughout the year.

Malaga

Malaga is a port city in the southern part of Spain. It is the 6th largest city in Spain and the southernmost large city in Europe. Malaga lies on the Mediterranean on the Costa del Sol, only 62 miles east of the Strait of Gibraltar, and 80 miles north of Africa. Malaga's history dates back about 2,800 years, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the world. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic center of the city an "open museum", displaying its history of more than 3,000 years. Because of its important cultural infrastructure and the artistic heritage, Malaga has been nominated for the European Capital of Culture. Malaga's most important economic contributors include tourism, technology, and construction, but transportation and logistics are becoming increasingly important factors as well.

Which city is cheaper, Malaga or Marbella?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Marbella is €93, while the average daily cost in Malaga is €106. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Marbella and Malaga in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Marbella can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is €49, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around €98.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about €108 for a double occupancy room in Malaga.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Marbella 49
    Malaga 54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Marbella 98
    Malaga 108

Food

While meal prices in Marbella can vary, the average travelers spends about €31 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Marbella should cost around €12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Marbella is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Malaga food costs typically run travelers around €27 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Marbella 31
    Malaga 27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marbella

For Marbella, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking courses at home & online: $75
  • Tapas & Paella Cooking Course: $80

Typical Food prices in Malaga

Some typical examples of dining costs in Malaga are as follows:


  • Breakfast for 2
    8.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Malaga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Malaga.

  • Sardines Espetos Cooking Workshop: $73
  • Typical Andalusian Dinner with Wine Pairing in Málaga: $79
  • Malaga Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $86
  • Sardines On Skewers Cooking Class in Malaga: $111
  • Malaga Sunset Cruise and Restaurant Dinner: $112
  • Málaga Swim Cruise with Tapas Dinner and Flamenco Show: $128
  • Malaga Catamaran Cruise with BBQ Lunch and Port Restaurant Dinner: $146
  • Malaga Market Visit and Cooking Class in Malaga Countryside House: $149

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Marbella than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €19 on transportation in Marbella on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Malaga is €25 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Marbella 19
    Malaga 25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marbella

Also for Marbella, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Marbella to Malaga Airport (AGP) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $45
  • Marbella to Malaga Airport (AGP) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $61
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Marbella to Malaga airport AGP: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Van Marbella to Malaga airport AGP: $92
  • TRANSFER MALAGA AIRPORT from/to PUERTO BANUS-PRICE ALL INCUSIVE: $106
  • TRANSFER MALAGA AIRPORT from/to MARBELLA-PRICE ALL INCLUSIVE: $106
  • Private Transfer from Las Chapas to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Elviria to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Marbella Beach Resort to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Marbesa to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Lomas De Cabopino to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Los Monteros to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $122

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Malaga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Malaga:

  • Transfer from your Hotel to Malaga Airport (Departure Transfer): $17
  • Transfer from Nerja to Granada: $62
  • Transfer from Malaga Airport to Costa del Sol Hotels (Any Hotel): $17
  • TRANSFER MALAGA AIRPORT from/to ESTEPONA-PRICE ALL INCLUSIVE: $133
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Malaga Airport to Costa del Sol Hotels: $36
  • Round Trip Malaga Airport (AGP) Transfer to Malaga City Center: $39
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Malaga (hotel OR airport pick-up): $34
  • Private Transfer: Malaga to Malaga Airport (AGP): $622
  • Private Transfer: Malaga Airport (AGP) to Malaga: $622
  • Private Transfer from/to Motril to/from Malaga with private driver: $158
  • Private Transfer from Rivera del Sol to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $88
  • Private Transfer from Málaga to Faro (FAO) Airport: $909

Is it cheaper to fly into Marbella or Malaga?

Prices for flights to both Malaga and Marbella change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Marbella, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €15 per day, per person.

Malaga's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €25 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Marbella 15
    Malaga 25

Tours and Activities in Marbella

For Marbella, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Secrets of Marbella walking tour (Group): $19
  • Marbella small group walking Tour: $24
  • Marbella group walking tour: $32
  • Bike City Tour Marbella: $32
  • Marbella Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $41
  • Paddle Boarding Tour on the beautiful Marbella Coast: $49
  • Sunset SUP Tour in Marbella: $61
  • Can-am Route Experience: $77
  • Original Marbella Tapas Adventure: $86
  • Marbella Gourmet Tapas Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $88
  • Stand-up Paddle Sunset Tour in Marbella: $91
  • E-Mountain Bike Explorer Tour departing from Marbella: $93

Typical Entertainment prices in Malaga

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Malaga are as follows:


  • Entrance to Castillos
    7.10
  • Concert
    31

Tours and Activities in Malaga

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Malaga are as follows:

  • 1 Hour Malaga Panoramic Segway Tour: $39
  • 1-hour Segway Tour in Malaga: $28
  • 1.5-Hour Roman Theater and Alcazaba Castle Walking Tour: $16
  • 2-day Granada, Toledo & Madrid Tour from Costa del Sol: $311
  • 2-hour E-bike Tour of Malaga: $30
  • 3 Hours Malaga Tapas Crawl Tour: $83
  • 4-Day Morocco Tour: Fez, Meknes, Rabat and Tangier: $671
  • 5-Day Morocco Tour: Casablanca, Marrakech, Meknes, Fez and Rabat from Malaga: $677
  • 6-Night Morocco Tour from Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier: $899
  • 7-Day Morocco Tour from Costa del Sol: Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier: $899
  • 8 Days Morocco Tour From Spain: $1,460
  • 90min Segway Small Group Tour in Malaga: $34

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Marbella spend on average €4.57 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about €18 on alcoholic beverages in Malaga per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Marbella 4.57
    Malaga 18

Sample the Local Flavors in Marbella

Also in Marbella, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • E-Mountain Bike & Wine Tour from Marbella to Sierra Blanca: $123
  • Manilva & Gaucin Wine Tour from the Costa del Sol: $160
  • Ronda Full Day Wine Tour from Marbella: $210
  • VIP Wine Tour through the Guadalhorce Valley & Wolf Sanctuary Visit: $360
  • Ronda Private Wine Tour and Tapas from Marbella: $406
  • VIP Ronda Wine Tour and Tasting and Gourmet Lunch Experience with Winemaker: $778

Sample the Local Flavors in Malaga

Also in Malaga, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Malaga Nightlife - Pub Crawl Tour with Skip-the-line Club Access: $26
  • Frigiliana Small-Group Hike and Wine Tasting Tour from Malaga: $49
  • Muscatel Winery Tour and Wine Tastings from Malaga: $75
  • Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour: $81
  • Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour: BEST OF Málaga in one evening!: $108
  • Private Ronda Wine Tour with Tapas Including a Visit to Ronda: $404
  • Ronda Private Full Day Wine Tour with Tapas: $406
  • Malaga Shore Excursion: Panoramic Buggy Tour with Wine Tasting in a Historical Cellar: $481


When comparing the travel costs between Marbella and Malaga, we can see that Malaga is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Marbella vs. Malaga Travel Comparison

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