Welcome to the guide to using the main railway station in Malaga.
Malaga Maria Zambrano station, named after the writer is in effect three stations in one.
1: The mainline station at street level, which is used by the express and Media-Distancia trains to/from Malaga
2: The lower level station used by the local ‘Cercanias’ trains
3: The Metro station, which is named ‘El Perchel’.
The building which houses the station also contains a fairly large shopping mall.
When you enter the building from its most obvious street entrance, by the taxi ranks and pedestrian street crossings, the access to/from the Cercanias trains will be ahead of you.
From here you need to turn to the right and then left to access the vias (tracks/platforms) that the mainline trains use.
Though if you arrive by taxi, use the entrance to the station which will be to the right; behind the old station building on the traffic island, which is now a post office.
From this entrance the vias (tracks/platforms) that the mainline trains use will be directly ahead of you, at the back of the building.
When using the main entrance the ticket office is over to the left and its divided into two parts;
(1) The AVE ticket desk for advance reservations on the AVE and other larga-distancia express trains
(2) The main ticketing lounge where you take a take number from the machine and then go to the ticket desk when your number is called.
The left luggage office, the 'Cosignia' is by the entrance to the Cercanias station.
The Sala Club 1st class lounge is on the level above the main concourse; access is by elevator on the right hand side of the concourse, as you face the trains.
Malaga city centre is divided into half by the Guadalmedina River, the newer part of the city is on the west bank and this is where Maria Zambrano station is located.
However, neither the Malaga Metro, or the Cercanias trains, connect Malaga Maria Zambrano station with the old town and port areas, which are over on the river’s east bank.
The Cercanias trains terminate at Malaga Centro-Almada station by the river, but it is only a 10 -12 min walk from Maria Zambrano station; so it’s not worth making a one station hop on a Cercanias train.
Though if you are heading to the heart of Malaga on the Cercanias trains, then book tickets to Malaga Centro-Almada
Malaga Cathedral in the old town, is a 20-25 min walk from Malaga Maria Zambrano station.
If you don’t want to walk or take a taxi, the best option for accessing the old town from Maria Zambrano station is to take bus route/line C2.
It only goes one way, towards the old town, and departs every 12 mins from a stop outside the exit nearest to the Cercanias end of the station.
It then stops along the street named ‘Passeo del Parque’ which separates the old town from the port.
Connecting to The Cercanias Trains at Maria Zambrano station:
The signposting is generally easy to follow at Maria Zambrano station, but to access the Cercanias station from the express train arrivals, initially head over to the right hand side of the main concourse.
Walk passed the ticket office and then turn to the right down a passage way lined with shops, it will feel like you’re in a mall (the station complex is housed within a mall).
At the end of this passage is the Cercanias entrance; the access to the trains is by the escalators and lifts/elevators, over to the right.
The Cercanais trains operate on two lines, but line C1 connects Malaga Maria Zambrano station with Malaga Airport and the Costa Del Sol resorts nearest to the west of the city – Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola
Trains on line C1 towards Fuengirola depart every 20 mins.
Arriving at Maria Zambrano by Cercanias train:
When heading to Malaga on the Cercanias trains take care to leave the train at Maria Zambrano station; though remain on the train to Malaga Centro-Almada station, if you’re heading to the city centre.
If you’ll be connecting into an AVE train, allow a minimum of 15 mins between the arrival of the Cercanias train and the departure of the AVE train, even if you already have a ticket.
When you exit the Cercanias part of the station, you will need to turn to the left and walk down a passage way; it will seem as though you’re walking into the main part of the mall.
Take the first passage way you’ll then come to on the left and walk towards the trains, the ticket offices will be over to the left.
If the via (platform/track) that your AVE train is leaving from has already been confirmed, you’ll then need to join the queue to board the train; hence the advice to be at Maria Zambrano a minimum of 15 mins before your AVE train is due to depart.
Connecting to the Cercanias trains at Malaga Airport:
The Cercanias station at Malaga Airport is a 5-10 min walk from the exit from the Arrivals Hall.
The signposting isn’t the best, we thought we were being directed to the upper level of the airport, but in fact you need to initially remain at ground level.
When you leave the arrivals hall turn to the left and then walk ahead towards the far end of the terminal building.
Turn to the right and then when you exit the terminal, the Cercanias station is across the street.
The ticket machines aren’t particularly complicated and then once you have a ticket, there are escalators and elevators to take you down to the trains.
The journey to Malaga city centre takes 12 mins and the trains depart every 20 mins from via 2 (any train) – a single ticket costs less than €3.
Trains to Fuengirola via Torremolinos and Benalmadena depart from via (platform/track) 1.
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.