Malaga's charming Old Town is packed full of great restaurants and shops, museums and sights. It's the cultural centre of the town with important buildings like the grand Cathedral of Malaga and the Town Hall. The winding roads at the bottom of the hilltop crowned by the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro are perfect for wandering and with lots of baroque and Moorish architecture and hidden squares there's always something good to see. The nearby Paseo del Parque marks the edge of the district and is a lovely green space for some shade or a stroll.
Further inland from the Old Town lies the Los Montes district, which has long been popular for the great views across the Old Town and out to the bay. There is plenty of budget accommodation here with numerous guesthouse and apartments available, as well as an excellent variety of fine traditional eateries in the nearby streets serving tapas, gazpacho and local wines. As the University of Malaga is in this area there's plenty happening most nights.
Most people come on Malaga holidays looking for sun and the beaches here are varied from small and secluded to huge. The beaches of Malagueta and Playa Caleta are the closest so they often fill up early in high season. There's always plenty of watersports on offer, particularly around the marina with sailing and windsurfing very popular activities. The seafood restaurants along the promenades are excellent and for something a little different try those by the Pedregalejo and El Palo beaches.
Stretching from Gibraltar in the south to Nerja in the north, the Costa del Sol has been popular with holidaymakers since the '60s who come for sun, beaches and world-famous golf courses. To follow in the glam footsteps of the film stars who made the area popular, Marbella is the only place to go, or to step up the partying further head for Benelmádena or Torremolinos. For a quieter family-friendly resort Nerja and Fuengirola are excellent.