4 Days in South Of Spain
My goal this year was to explore the different parts of Spain. We only had 4 days in the South of Spain. In that amount of time, we were able to visit 4 different cities – Granada, Malaga, Marbella and Seville.
When To Go
I figured May was the best time to go because the weather is perfect. In the summer, temperatures can reach well over 100℉. My gf Ava and I decided to book tickets when we found amazing deals on Vueling.com. It was my first time staying in a hostel and using a cool app called BlaBla car which I will explain later.
Bring cash because half of these places I went to didn’t accept credit cards. Also, the city buses we took accepts cash only. Wear comfortable shoes/sandals because all the cities we went to had cobblestone side streets.
Travel Cost Breakdown
Flight from Barcelona (BCN) to Granada (GRX): $30 on Vueling
AirBnB in Granada for 1 night: $60
Bus from Granada to Málaga: $13.30 with Alsa Bus
Hostel in Málaga for 2 nights: $44.14 – Lights Out Hostel
Train from Málaga to Seville: $38 (Roundtrip) – with Renfe
BlaBla Car from Málaga to Marbella: $10 (Roundtrip)
Flight from Málaga (AGP) to Barcelona (BCN): $56 on Vueling
1st Stop: Granada 4 Days in South Of Spain
Temperature in May: 77℉ and sunny.
We stayed in the area near the Catedral De Granada and it was perfect. If you decide to stay in the area of Sacromonte be prepared for a hike. From the airport, there is an Alsa bus that will take you to the center for 3€.
What To See
- The Alhambra – If you plan on going you MUST book your tickets in advance. I booked 1 month prior, however, the tours I wanted to go to were fully booked. The only ticket available was the Generalife Garden tickets. Click here to buy your tickets direct. Upon booking, the website asks for your passport/id information (which they didn’t check at the door.) You will also have to choose your allotted time slot. The gardens were magical! Take the public transport bus C3 to get to Alhambra (1.50€.) You can walk there but it will be a bit of a hike. If you want to take a taxi, the base rate starts at 1.62€.
- Granada Catedral – dress appropriately if you want to go inside. Entrance fee is 5€.
Where To Eat
Did you know that many restaurants here in Granada offer free tapas when you order a beverage? With that being said we went bar hopping and spent around 5€ for the both of us and by the 3rd stop we were full. Here are some bars that I suggest that won’t break your wallet:
- La Riviera – order a drink and choose which free tapa from the menu
- Bar Poe – order a drink and choose which free from the menu
- Bodegas Castaneda – order a drink and they will bring you a free tapa
- Bar Los Diamantes – order a drink and they will bring you a free tapa
Watch A Flamenco Show
Flamenco dancing originated from the south of Spain. We watched a beautiful dance in a cave up on the hill. The show cost 22€ and includes a free sangria drink. There’s really no public transportation that can take you up there so we took a cab which only cost 5€.
Museo De La Zambre – The show starts at 9:30pm and there are no bad seats.
2nd Stop: Málaga
Temperature in May: 73℉ and sunny.
How To Get To Málaga From Granada
The next day we took a bus from Granada bus station (1.50€ to get there by local city bus from city center) to Málaga. I pre-booked the tickets on Alsa.com and it was $13.30. The only problem is I had a hard time using my credit card from America. For some reason they only take local credit cards so I had to use my Spanish ATM card. The bus was pretty packed as well so I recommend going the day before or early in advance to purchase your bus ticket in person. The comfortable ride was about 1h4 5min.
Where To Stay In Málaga
Ava and I decided to stay at a hostel because we figured – why waste money on a hotel when we’re only going to be there to sleep? Hotels were going for $80/night + tax and this particular hostel Lights Out Hostel was around $18/night + tax. I use the website hostelworld.com to book. This hostel was a 20 minute walk from the bus station.
Tips for staying at a hostel:
- Bring your own towel. I bought this travel towel from amazon.com and it works lovely! If you forget your towel, the hostel can lend you a towel for an extra fee.
- Bring your own lock! Under the bunk beds were storage spaces to keep your belongings.
- Ear plugs is a must – I shared a room with guys that SNORED so loud. Thank god I had these.
- Bring sandals for the shower. Need I explain more?
What To Do In Málaga
- Once we checked in and changed, we took a walk down to the beautiful Calle Larios which is great for shopping.
- Alcazaba of Málaga – There’s also a combined ticket for the Gilgrafaro, but we came too late they wouldn’t let us see that. Tickets to Alcazaba 3.50€ which you can purchase at a ticket machine at the entrance. There was no line when we got there so I don’t think you need to purchase tickets in advance.
- Lastly, we walked along the beach and stumbled across the Gran Hotel Miramar and went up to the rooftop to take in the scenic views and drink overpriced beverages.
If you need a taxi the base rate here starts at 1.49€.
What To Eat In Málaga
3rd Stop: Seville
Temperature in May: 85℉ and sunny
How To Get From Málaga to Seville
We decided to take a day trip to Seville which only cost $38 for a 2.5 hour roundtrip ticket on Renfe.com. Seems like Seville was our favorite city due to the fact that we were surrounded by beautiful architecture.
What To Do In Seville
- Real Alcazar – Did I mention that Game of Thrones Gardens Of Dorne was filmed at Alcázar of Seville? Needless to say, BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE. We made the mistake of not doing so and as a result we had to wait in a long line in the hot sun. General admission tickets was 11.50€ but you can purchase your tickets here. It’s worth it to pay the extra money to skip the line.
- Check out Plaza Españya and watch live street flamenco.
- Metropol Parasol: 3€ entrance fee to go to the top. Pay at ticket window.
4th Stop: Marbella
Temperature in May: 73℉ and sunny
How To Get to Marbella From Málaga
This was our last day. Hence our departure flight wasn’t until 9:30 pm. The goal was to do a day trip to Marbella and make it back to the airport on time. After doing research, it seems like the bus from Marbella to Malaga was going to cost us 30€ each for a 45 minute ride.
BlaBlaCar.com is a carpooling/ride share app. Everything was in Spanish but I managed to sign up/register with no problems.I found a roundtrip ride that cost 5€.
Locker Storage in Màlaga
Because we had to check out of our hostel, we needed a place to store our luggage. Málaga bus station has lockers for storage and the price of 3.50€ for the whole day. It’s accessible between the hours of 6:00 am till 1:00 am. We were able to fit 2 carryon size luggage and 2 backpacks in that locker.
This is where our BlaBlaCar driver picked us up and then we were dropped off at the Marbella bus station.
What To See in Marbella
- From the Marbella bus station, we took a taxi (base rate starting at 3.17€) to Puerto Banús which cost about 12€.
We took a few photos and then took a taxi to Old Town Marbella (12€) I’m in awe of this area. Narrow beautiful streets filled with flowers and quaint terraces.
If you’re searching the typical photos of Marbella, google these locations and you will stumble across these instagram worthy photos:
Where To Eat in Marbella 4 Days in South Of Spain
Casa Bar Bartolo – We found this cute restaurant with nicely priced tapas (2€-3€) and outdoor seating.
After many photos and roaming around the streets of Marbella, we took the BlaBlaCar driver and headed back to the Málaga bus station. We changed into our airport clothes and took a bus to the airport (3€). So long South Of Spain! It’s been truly a remarkable journey!
If you enjoyed my 4 Days in South of Spain blog and want to check out different areas of Spain, click here.