25 Mar, 2024 @ 14:12
3 mins read

10 things to do when it’s raining on Spain’s Costa del Sol

NAMED after the sun, it’s not that often we have rainy days on the Costa del Sol, but there’s plenty to do when it pours it down and these are our top picks. 

  1. Go shopping
Marbella’s shopping centre is very popular on rainy days. Photo: La Cañada

READ MORE: These are the 12 most beautiful ‘pueblos’ in Spain’s Andalucia – according to National Geographic

There are many great shopping centres on the Costa del Sol. 

Marbella’s La Cañada has hundreds of shops to choose from including a British favourite, M&S. 

It also has an arcade, bowling alley, cinema and expansive food court. 

Malaga city is also home to many shopping centres including Larios, in the city centre and McArthur Glen outlet which offers discounted luxury items. 

  1. Museums and art galleries 

Although many tourists come to the Costa del Sol for its beaches, it also has many fascinating museums. 

Malaga is the region’s cultural epicentre and is perfect for art lovers with the Museo de Picasso, the Centre de Pompidou and the Carmen Thyssen Collection. 

Malaga has any art museums, being the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
Photo: Centre Pompidou Malaga

However, there are also museums dedicated to almost any topic you can think of, including wine, music, flamenco, cars, dolls houses and stained glass. 

Beyond Malaga, Marbella is home to the Museo Ralli and Museo del Grabado, both impressive collections of modern art. 

Though small, Estepona also has several museums dedicated to art, paleontology, local culture and bullfighting. 

READ MORE: 10 things to do in Marbella that won’t cost you a small fortune

  1. Cinema

If the heavens really open, there are many cinemas across the Costa del Sol including Marbella, Puerto Banus, Malaga and Fuengirola. 

  1. Estepona Orchidarium 
The orchidarium is home to 1300 varities of orchid. Photo: El Orquidario de Estepona

For just three euros, you can see thousands of orchids in this unique attraction. 

Follow the path to take a journey around the world through its flowers, with species from South America, Europe, Asia and beyond. 

Outside, the domed glass building is lovely day or night, when it is lit up in dazzling colours. 

  1. Malaga 

Although we have already mentioned Malaga’s wealth of museums, you can still enjoy a drizzly day in the city without stepping foot in one of them. 

The city centre has many shops, restaurants and cafes to enjoy including La Fabrica, Cruzcampo’s indoor ‘brew pub’. 

We also recommend spending an hour in the Cathedral and even going up onto the roof if weather permits. 

  1. Nerja Caves
Nerja caves were discovered by accident when some boys followed bats through an opening in the rocks. Photo: Fundacion Cueva de Nerja

One of the best things to do on a rainy day is visiting Nerja caves. 

This impressive underground cave system was discovered by chance in 1959 by five local boys. 

Now the site has become a tourist hotspot complete with a VR experience, museum, restaurant and botanical gardens on site. 

Tickets cost €16.50 but can also be secured for free for EU citizens if you go to the Nerja caves website at 9:30am the day before. 

READ MORE: These are the two ‘happiest’ towns in Spain, according to study – and they’re both in Malaga

  1. Take a class 

Why not make the most of your time inside to learn something new? 

Maybe you want to learn more about Spanish culture by finally taking a language class, cooking paella or taking part in flamenco lessons. 

Or maybe you’d like to discover your creative side by taking a painting class, learning photography or pottery. 

Whatever you’d like to learn, websites like TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide or even a quick Google offer up a wealth of options. 

  1. Enjoy local cuisine

A rainy day is a great excuse to go to your favourite restaurant and enjoy a long meal accompanied by a ‘sobremesa’ (the Spanish art of talking around the table long after the meal is ‘done’).

You could even tour a few new restaurants or find shelter in your local market to try out different dishes washed down with some cañas. 

  1. Dolmens 
The Antequera dolmens have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photo: Turismo Andalucia

The Costa del Sol is home to not one, but two of these archaeological finds in Antequera and Estepona. 

These ancient megalithic tombs are composed of upright stones supporting a roof. 

Antequera’s dolmens were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 and are the largest in Europe. 

Meanwhile, Estepona’s dolmens were found in 2001 and can be visited upon request, normally on Saturdays. 

  1. Indulge your inner child 

There are plenty of places along the coast to return to your childhood including La Cañada’s arcade, Fuengirola’s bowling alley, various escape rooms and Benalmadena’s ice rink. 

If you have kids yourself, try one of the area’s interactive museums, libraries, trampoline parks and soft play centres.

READ MORE: Where you should visit in Spain and beyond in 2024 – according to your star sign

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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