April 18, 2023 · , ,

How Safe is Málaga, Andalucía in Spain


malaga safety crime

Málaga, a charming city nestled on the southern coast of Spain, is a popular destination for travelers seeking sun, sand, and culture. As with any city, visitors may have concerns about safety, and that’s completely understandable! In this article, we’ll talk about Málaga’s safety levels compared to other Spanish cities and share some tips to help you enjoy a worry-free stay.

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Málaga’s Safety Scene

When it comes to safety, Málaga has a lot to be proud of. In fact, it’s considered one of the safer cities in Spain, boasting a lower crime rate than many other well-known tourist hotspots. Of course, petty crime like pickpocketing or bag-snatching can still happen, particularly in busy tourist areas or on public transport. The key to a safe visit is staying vigilant and taking the necessary precautions.

Top Safety Tips for Your Málaga Adventure

  1. Keep your eyes peeled: Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas like La Malagueta beach or Calle Larios. Pickpockets often target tourists, so keep your belongings secure and close by.
  2. Opt for reputable transport: Stick to official bus and train services when using public transport, or choose licensed taxis and trusted rideshare apps like Uber or Cabify.
  3. Buddy up after dark: Málaga is generally safe, but it’s always best to avoid walking alone in poorly lit or unfamiliar areas. Stick to well-lit streets, and try to travel with others, especially at night.
  4. Secure your accommodations: Whether you’re staying in a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, remember to lock all doors and windows when you leave or go to bed. If available, use a safe or locker to store your valuables.
  5. Keep beach belongings close: Málaga’s beautiful beaches can be prime targets for opportunistic thieves. Avoid leaving your belongings unattended, and consider using a waterproof pouch for valuables while swimming.
  6. Stay connected and informed: Keep your phone charged and handy, and familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers. In Spain, dial 112 for general emergencies, 091 for the police, and 061 for medical assistance.
  7. Watch out for scams: Be cautious when strangers approach you offering help, directions, or unsolicited services. Some scammers might use these tactics to steal your belongings or overcharge you.
  8. Be ATM-smart: When withdrawing cash, choose ATMs in well-lit areas, preferably within banks or shopping centers. Always shield your PIN and be wary of anyone lingering nearby.

Areas in Malága where you need to be alert:

Area/PlaceReason for Caution
El Palo / PedregalejoPickpocketing and petty theft, especially during busy hours at beaches and bars
La Malagueta BeachCrowded areas, pickpocketing, and unattended belongings
Soho DistrictNightlife area, watch out for pickpocketing and intoxicated people
Plaza de la MercedCrowded, popular tourist area, beware of pickpockets and scam artists
La Larios StreetBusy shopping street, potential for pickpocketing and bag snatching
Central Market (Mercado Central de Atarazanas)Crowded market, risk of pickpocketing and scams
Bus and Train StationsKeep an eye on belongings, be aware of pickpockets, especially during peak hours
Málaga AirportBe cautious of pickpockets and luggage theft in busy areas
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Malaga Official Crime Statists

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