Malaga, with its large international airport, is your gateway to the south of Spain. Located on the south coast of Spain, Malaga is well connected by bus and train to cities such as Seville and Cordoba and the many popular beach towns along the Costa del Sol. And the closest of Spain's Best Cities to Malaga is Granada.
Malaga may be the gateway to the south of Spain, but remember you don't need to spend too much time at the gate! You don't even need to go all the way into Malaga as there are buses direct to Granada from Malaga airport. Read more about Malaga's Bus and Train Stations.
Which is the best way to travel to Granada from the south coast? As there is, remarkably, no train, taking the bus is a no-brainer in this case. Read more about Bus Travel v Train Travel in Spain.
Malaga to Granada by Train
There are no direct trains to Granada from Malaga. If you really want to take the train (maybe you have a rail pass), you can transfer in Antequera, but there's a long transfer time and the train station is far from the city center so you won't even be able to get out and explore.
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Malaga to Granada by Bus
The best way to get from Malaga to Granada by public transport is by bus. There are regular buses throughout the day. The journey takes two hours and costs about 10 euros.
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Malaga to Granada by Guided Tour
If you want to do a day trip to Granada, a guided tour from Malaga is a good option. This Granada Guided Tour from Malaga picks you up in the morning and takes you by air-conditioned coach to Granada, where you'll have a guided tour of the Alhambra and surrounding area, followed by free time to explore the city by yourself. The time you'll save by jumping the line to the Alhambra is worth the price of this tour alone.
If you were planning on going to Granada on the way to Madrid, you might prefer this Costa del Sol to Madrid Guided Tour, which takes you from Torremolinos (twenty minutes from Malaga by train) to Madrid in two days, visiting Granada and Toledo on the way. This tour is especially good if you had wanted to travel from Granada to Toledo, a journey that is virtually impossible by public transport.
Malaga to Granada by CarThe 130km drive from Malaga to Granada takes about one hour 30 minutes, traveling mainly by A45 and A92 highways.
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Where to Next?
Heading north from Malaga to Granada, the obvious choices are west to Seville or north to Cordoba and on to Madrid.
If you're just arrived on the south coast in Malaga, there's not really much further you can go, apart from along to coast towards Almeria or the Costa del Sol. If you're headed to Morocco, check out this page on How to Get from Spain to Morocco.