The Gibralfaro Castle is one of the most visited monuments in Málaga, not just for its cultural value, but also for its great location – from the fortress, you can enjoy some outstanding views of the city and its surroundings, sometimes even see Morocco when the conditions are right.
The Gibralfaro Castle, or Castillo de Gibralfaro, is one of the oldest remaining Moorish castles standing in Spain today. The solid ramparts rising above the pines are the most visible remains of the fortress. It is an architectural masterpiece of the last Moorish Muslim dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula, ruling the Emirate of Granada in the 13th–15th century, and listed as a Cultural Interest Site.
Panning to travel to Málaga soon? In this article, you will find useful information about the Gibralfaro Castle: from interesting facts to opening hours, entry fee and more.
Where is the Gibralfaro Castle?
The ancient castle stands at the top of Gibralfaro hill in the historical center of Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. The hill is part of the Montes de Málaga mountain range, protected by the Montes’ natural park status.
You can climb your way up to the hill starting at the bottom (take a bottle of water, as there is no kiosk until the top!) or, if you prefer, you can use the hop-on-hop-off bus (or a taxi).
Address: Camino de Gibralfaro, 11, 29016 Málaga
Coordinates: 36°43’22″N, 4°24’40″W
Altitude: 132 meters/ 433 feet
Phone: +34 952 227 230
Website: Alcazaba y Castillo de Gibralfaro
Opening hours & Admission prices
Monday to Sunday
09.00–20.00 (April, May, June, July, August, September, October)
09.00–18.00 (November, December, January, February, March)
Closed: 1 Jan, 28 Feb & 25 December
Full entrance fee: 3.50 € (Joint ticket Alcazaba & Gibralfaro Castle: 5.50 €)
Reduced entrance fee: 1.50 € (Joint ticket Alcazaba & Gibralfaro Castle: 2.50 €)
Sundays: Free from 14.00
Historical facts about the Gibralfaro Castle
- In 770 BC, the ancient Phoenicians built an enclosure and lighthouse on this hill, where the castle now stands.
- Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba, build the castle in 929 BC.
- It was enlarged and turned into a fortress in 1340 by Yusef 1, Sultan of Granada.
- The Catholic Monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, besieged the castle in 1487 and made it their temporary residence after the victory.
- In 1494, King Ferdinand choose the castle for the coat of arms they gave the city.
The castle, built using brick and earth, occupies an area of over 21,000 square meters (5.2 acres) and has an irregular-shaped floor plan. It consists of two lines of strong walls measuring 730 meters (2400 feet), 30 canvases, and 8 towers, mostly massive. The Main Tower (Torre Mayor), with a height of 17 meters (56 feet), and the White Tower (Torre Blanca), facing the Northeast, are the most visible. Another remarkable feature is the Airón well, excavated through solid rock and goes down around 40 meters (131 feet). On the parade ground are the troop barracks and stables.
Gibralfaro Castle Interpretation Center & Military museum
The Gibralfaro Castle Interpretation Center (you will find it near the entrance) is housed in the former gunpowder arsenal of the castle. Here is a small one-room museum that depicts the castle’s history over the centuries, and contains various military paraphernalia explaining about daily life of soldiers in the fortress.
Visiting the Gibralfaro Castle
It is quite a climb but well worth the effort to reach the top to see the fortress – the Gibralfaro Castle is a fine example of Moorish defensive architecture. I walked right around its walls which offered many great photo opportunities and a panoramic view from each wall I stood on.
Standing in the sun overlooking the city and its surroundings, I felt a surge of peace and tranquility. In conclusion, Gibralfaro Castle is one of the best places to visit in Málaga.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to visiting the Gibralfaro Castle! Please share it with your friends on your social media. Here are a few more informative and interesting articles that I recommend you read next:
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Have you been to Málaga? Have you visited this Moorish fortress? Feel free to post a comment below.