10 Things To Do In Benalmadena, Spain: Exotic, Traditional & Modern

things to do in benalmadena spain
Andrea
Andrea
Updated

In Benalmádena, you can choose your own adventure. Located on the Costa del Sol, this lively Andalusian municipality is comprised of three parts: the pueblo (town), costa (seaside), and Arroyo de la Miel ( the village between the town and coast). From the trendiest restaurants to mountaintop attractions, there is something for everyone in this bustling holiday destination.

With its mild climate and stunning surroundings, it’s no surprise that tourists flock to Benalmadena especially during the summer. Although Benalmadena has seen many developments and urban expansions, efforts are made to retain its natural surroundings and historical sites. With Benalmadena’s natural beauty, everything is indeed worth visiting, protecting, and experiencing.

Read on to find out about the top 10 things to do in Benalmadena, Spain.

1. Ride the Teleferico Benalmádena (cable car) and say hi to rare birds

Teleférico Benalmádena
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user robbie jim used under CC BY 2.0

One of its main tourist attractions, the cable car was opened in 2003 and offers visitors a 15-minute ride to see stunning views 800 meters (2,625 feet) from the ground. On clear days, the Sierra Nevada and the mountains of Morocco can be seen. The cable car stops at the top of Calamorro Mountain where the Jardin de Las Aguilas (Garden of the Eagles) is located. The bird sanctuary, housing more than 60 different bird species, provides visitors with performances by its feathered residents, one of which is a rare condor.

Teleferico Benalmádena

Address: Explanada del Tívoli, Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission fee: Adult return ticket - 16.33 USD (14.50 EUR), Child return ticket - 12.39 USD (11 EUR). Disabled visitors get a discount.

Getting there: Bus - Line 121, 126, L1 or L2 and get off at Tivoli. Train - Get off at the Arroyo de la Miel stop.

Contact: 902 19-04-82, [email protected]

Website: Teleferico Benalmádena, Teleferico Benalmádena Facebook Page

Jardin de Las Aguilas

Address: Monte Calamorro, Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: October to April - 1 to 5 p.m., May to August: 1 to 8 p.m., September - 1 to 6 p.m.

Admission fee: Adults - 6.76 USD (6 EUR), Children - 5.63 USD (5 EUR). These are included in the cable car ticket.

2. Immerse yourself in the exotic beauty of its castles

Benalmadena has the beautiful architecture to go with its majestic natural surroundings. The Castillo de Colomares, built between 1987 and 1994, is a magnificent monument to Christopher Columbus conceptualized by Dr. Esteban Martín Martín. Despite being a fairly recent structure, this castle is every bit like the ones in fairy tales but with a twist. The castle is a hybrid of Moorish and European architecture, fused with references to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Aside from being the largest known tribute to Columbus, it also houses the smallest church in the world.

Castillo de Bil Bil is a less recent architectural wonder. Despite being built in the 1930’s, this castle looks like a medieval Moorish fortress. Modern art exhibitions, music recitals, and concerts are often held in the castle. It is also a popular wedding venue in Benalmadena.

Castillo de Colomares

Address: Finca la Carraca, Ctra. Costa del Sol, Benalmádena Pueblo, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 to 7 p.m., 5 to 9 p.m. (summer)

Admission fee: Adults - 2.25 USD (2 EUR), Children and pensioners - 1.46 USD (1.30 EUR). Special group prices available.

Castillo de Bil Bil

Address: Av. Antonio Machado, Benalmádena Costa, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 10 p.m.

Admission fee: None, but donations are accepted.

Contact: +34 952-44-43-20

3. View butterflies and more at the Mariposario de Benalmádena (butterfly park)

Black butterfly at Mariposario de Benalmádena-Butterfly Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Scaramanga731 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Housing more than 1,500 species of butterflies, the park is Europe’s largest butterfly exhibition. Its exterior looks like a Thai temple, adding to the air of exoticism that the place evokes. Aside from butterflies, the park also has animals like iguanas and turtles as well as waterfalls.

Mariposario de Benalmádena

Address: Autovía del Mediterraneo, El Retamar. Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Admission fee: Adults - 9.59 USD (8.50 EUR), Children and seniors - 8.46 USD (7.50 EUR)

Getting there: Train - Get off at the Arroyo de la Miel station, then take the L2 Bus and get off at Stupa Tibetan. Bus - Lines 103 or 126, and then 112 or 121.

Contact: +34 951-211-196

Website: Mariposario de Benalmádena

4. Check out marine life at the Sea Life Benalmádena

Sea Life Benalmádena A 115
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ciacho5 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

On the port area of Benalmadena lies this modest-looking building which also happens to be one of Andalusia’s best aquariums. Teeming with a variety of marine life and a couple of otters, Sea Life offers visitors a chance to interact with the animals by feeding and touching them. Children can also have fun with activities like games and face-painting sessions. Sea Life is also disability-friendly so no visitor gets left out.

Sea Life Benalmádena

Address: Puerto Marina, Benalmádena Costa, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission fee: Adults - 17.49 USD (15.50 EUR), Children and seniors - 14.11 USD (12.50 EUR)

Contact: +34 952560150

Website: Sea Life Benalmádena

5. Take a stroll through Parque De La Paloma

Parque de la Paloma 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Keke999 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Also known as the “Dove Park,” this lush oasis is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the Costa del Sol. Located at the center of Benalmadena, the park is also a wildlife sanctuary containing a menagerie of animals. You may also see some rabbits and hamsters running around. They are very tame and had been formerly abandoned.

There are also mini-parks situated within the Parque De La Paloma. There is the Cactus Garden, Tree Park, and two parks for children. The park has a lot of cafes and kiosks within it, and on the western side of the park is a large municipal auditorium where events like musical performances are held.

Parque De La Paloma

Address: Av. Federico García Lorca, Arroyo de La Miel, Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (winter), 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (summer)

Admission fee: None

Getting there: Train - Get off at the Arroyo de la Miel stop. Bus - Line 110, 120, L2, or L1.

6. Play with dolphins at the Selwo Marina

Delfines Selwo Marina
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user __Lolo__ used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Small but fascinating, the Selwo Marina houses animals from nearly every habitat. The 1.7-hectare (4-acre) park is divided into four areas: Antilla (dolphins and sea lions), La Hondonada (exotic South American birds), Amazonia (tropical flora and fauna), and La Isla de Hielo (penguins). If you’re not content with just watching dolphins perform tricks from a distance, the park also lets visitors swim with the dolphins.

Selwo Marina

Address: Parque de la Paloma, Arroyo de La Miel, Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: Opens at 10 a.m., closing times vary from 6 to 9 p.m. depending on the season.

Admission fee: Adult - 21.46 USD (19 EUR), Children and seniors - 16.94 USD (15 EUR). Families and disabled visitors get a discount.

Getting there: Train - Get off at the Arroyo de la Miel stop. Bus - Line 110, 120, L2, or L1.

Contact: +34 952-577-773, [email protected]

Website: Selwo Marina, Selwo Marina Facebook Page

7. Explore the pueblo and Plaza España

Plaza de España Benalmádena
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bjørn used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’ve got your fill of natural wonders and the seaside bustle, head to the pueblo (town) for traditional Andalusian vibes. Filled with trademark whitewashed houses and narrow streets, the town is perfect for a casual stroll to catch a glimpse of the locals’ daily lives. Pass by the lovely Plaza España and choose from a wide array of restaurants and cafes. While there, check out the allegedly haunted yet still very cool Fountain Bar. The plaza is also where the statue of La Niña, the symbol of Benalmadena, is located. A few steps further and you’ll get to the ruins of an 18th-century mill.

Plaza España

Address: Plaza España, Benalmadena, Malaga, Spain

Opening hours: All day

Admission fee: None

8. Get enlightened at the Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena

Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain - panoramio (3)
Source: Photo by user Ricardo Ricote Ro... used under CC BY 3.0

Visiting this stupa is like getting teleported to Nepal. The Enlightenment Stupa, the final project of Buddhist master Lopon Tchechu Rinpoche before his death, was built by Polish architect Wojtek Kossowski and inaugurated in 2003. It is considered to be the largest stupa in the West. It has a stark white facade, making it a little different from the traditionally brightly colored stupas.

In Buddhism, a stupa is a spiritual monument symbolizing peace, prosperity, and harmony. It also serves as a place for meditation. There are eight types of stupas, each representing an important event in the life of Buddha. This stupa represents Buddha’s enlightenment, hence the name “Enlightenment Stupa.”

For those looking for inner peace, free meditation classes are held at the Stupa. And while you’re there, try walking clockwise around the Stupa. Buddhist tradition says it will make your wishes come true.

Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena

Address: Estupa de la Iluminacion en Benalmádena, Benalmádena Pueblo, Malaga, Spain

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Sunday (with inside entry) - 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Admission fee: None, but donations are accepted. An exposition on Tibetan Buddhism and Himalayan culture costs 2.27 USD (2 EUR)

Website: Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena

9. Experience the beach scene

Playa de Benalmádena
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user monstermunch99 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Benalmadena is great when it comes to nightlife by the seaside. Aside from quality beaches (four of which were awarded Blue Flag status), there are also promenades that pass through a lot of restaurants, cafes, and chiringuitos or beach bars. Benalmadena also has the Puerto Marina, a food and shopping destination as well as the center of activity. It is home to Boal’s Ice Bar, Spain’s very first ice bar. True to its name, the bar allows guests to drink cocktails out of glasses made of ice.

Boal's Ice Bar

Address: Puerto Marina, Benalmádena Costa, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Contact: +34 603-48-81-55

Website: Boal’s Ice Bar, Boal’s Ice Bar Facebook Page

10. Hang out at Tivoli World

Eingang Tivoli World
Source: Photo by user Hombre1896 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A perfect place to just chill, this amusement park has a variety of rides and attractions like its ever-popular Haunted House. Aside from family fun, there are also a lot of bars and restaurants in the vicinity. On Sundays, Tivoli World is the venue for a market where vendors sell knickknacks of all shapes and sizes.

Tivoli World

Address: Avda de Tivoli, Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain

Opening hours: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Admission fee: Adults - 9 USD (7.95 EUR), Seniors and children less than 1 meter (3.3 feet) high are free of charge.

Contact: +34 952-57-70-16, [email protected]

Getting there: Bus - Line 121, 126, L1 or L2 and get off at Tivoli. Train - Get off at the Arroyo de la Miel stop.

Website: Tivoli World *in Spanish

Choose your own adventure

Castillo de Colomares cerca del pueblo de Benalmádena - Provincia de Málaga, España. - panoramio
Source: Photo by user LANOEL used under CC BY-SA 3.0

What makes Benalmadena unique is the diversity of its surroundings: modern and traditional, exotic and colonial, natural and man-made. Whatever suits your fancy, take a stroll around Benalmadena and experience something different.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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