The ultimate transportation guide between Malaga and Cadiz
Despite both being in the province of Andalucia, Malaga and Cadiz are two very different cities. While both cities are rich in history dating back to the Phoenicians, they have developed differently over the centuries.
Today Malaga is a big city with over half a million residents, while Cadiz remains a mellow place with around 120,000 people calling it home.
Malaga is also home to thousands of foreigners who have retired to Spain for their golden years and is a major holiday destination for northern Europeans looking for summer sunshine.
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Cadiz, in contrast, is much more authentic, giving visitors a feeling of what it means to be Spanish.
While both Malaga and Cadiz have lovely beaches, Malaga’s mellow Mediterranean waves are no match for the Atlantic swells that crash ashore in Cadiz.
If you were wondering how you can best get from Malaga to Cadiz, we have compiled a list of the options to help make deciding easy.
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Distance from Malaga to Cadiz
Driving west from Malaga’s beaches to the Bay of Cadiz is a 146-mile road trip that should take around 2 hr 37 min by car.
Along the way, you will pass through the Costa del Sol towns of Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Estepona, and Sotogrande before reaching the port city of Algeciras.
From Algeciras, you drive northwest for 1 hr 17 mins along the A381 before arriving in Cadiz.
If you decide to travel from Malaga to Cadiz using public transport, there are two direct buses a day in the morning, one in the evening with a journey time of four hours.
There are also other buses throughout the day that take five hours and require a bus change in the port city of Algeciras.
Traveling by train is a longer route as there is no dedicated Malaga to Cadiz rail line. You need first to travel north to Cordoba and then west to Seville.
In Seville, you then change trains and head southwest to Cadiz.
Top Things to do on a Day Trip from Malaga to Cadiz
- Visit and climb up the tower of Cadiz Cathedral
- Teatro Manuel de Falla
- Relax at La Caleta Beach
- Visit San Sebastian Castle
- Day Trip to White Villages & Ronda
- Day Trip to Doñana National Park – Get your guided tour here
BEST OPTION: How to get from Malaga to Cadiz
With only two direct buses a day and the need to change trains in Seville, traveling by car is the best way to get from Malaga to Cadiz. – Check car rentals here
From Malaga to Cadiz by Train
Price: Depending upon the time of day, you can expect to pay between 23€ and 45€ for a one-way ticket.
Schedule: There are 13 trains a day between Malaga and Cadiz with the first train departing Estación de Málaga María Zambrano at 06:45.
The journey takes just over five hours and requires a change of trains at Sevilla Santa Justa train station or Dos Hermanas train station.
From Malaga to Cadiz by Bus
Schedule: Two direct buses a day departing the Estación de Autobuses de Málaga at 07:30 arriving in Cadiz at 13:05 and 13:30 arriving in Cadiz at 17:30.
There are other buses throughout the day, but they require a bus change in Algeciras.
There is no toilet on the bus, so if this could be a problem for you, be sure to use the facilities at Malaga bus station before boarding the bus.
From Malaga to Cadiz by Car
As we already mentioned, driving to Cadiz from Malaga is the preferred option. Having a car enables you to not only travel at your own pace but the ability to stop off and explore places along the way.
The drive from Malaga to Cadiz is along the AP-7 and A381 motorways and can be done in 2 hrs 40 mins.
Also, if you do not have a car, they are easily rentable in Malaga or at Malaga Airport.
From Malaga Airport to Cadiz
With Malaga Airport (AGP) being the main gateway to the Costa del Sol, getting from the airport to the train and bus station is straightforward.
If you plan to travel to Cadiz by train, cross the square to the airport train station when you exit the airport terminal.
Trains from the airport to Maria Zambrano long-distance train station run every 20 to 35 minutes and cost 1.80€.
The trains start running from 06:44 until 12:54. The journey time from the airport to Maria Zambrano Station is 12 minutes.
To get from Malaga Airport to Malaga central bus station, you need to take the Línea A or Aeropuerto Express from the stop outside Terminal 3.
The bus runs every 15 to 25 minutes during the day and then once an hour after midnight.
The bus makes ten stops, with the journey from the airport to the bus station taking between 15-25 minutes depending on traffic.
A one-way ticket costs 3€ and can be purchased from a vending machine at the airport or paid to the bus driver.
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to take the bus or train, a taxi from the airport to either the train or bus station costs 28€ and takes around 15 minutes depending on the time of day.
From Malaga airport to Cadiz by train
After having landed in Malaga Airport and cleared customs you need to exit the terminal and take either a train, bus, or taxi to the main train or bus station in the center of Malaga.
From Malaga airport to Cadiz by Bus
The dedicated Malaga Airport to Malaga city center bus operates 24 hours a day stopping outside Terminal 3 arrivals.
The fare costs 3€ and can be purchased from a vending machine at the airport or paid to the bus driver.
Taxi from Malaga airport to Cadiz
Getting from Malaga Airport to Cadiz by taxi is the most expensive option and will cost you around 255€. Before getting in the cab, discuss the fare with the driver first.
A dedicated airport transfer between Malaga Airport and Cadiz
It is always best to make all your travel arrangements in advance and give you peace of mind knowing that someone will be waiting for you at the airport.
Using a dedicated airport transfer service is not only a great option but will make you feel as though you are a VIP.
A driver will be waiting for you in the terminal with your name written on a board and will help you with your luggage to the car.
You can also request anything from a car to a minivan depending upon your needs.
Malaga to Cadiz by plane
The closest airport serving Cadiz is Jerez Airport (XRY) in Jerez de la Frontera, 15 miles from Cadiz.
While Jerez has plenty of flights from European destinations, domestic arrivals are limited primarily to Madrid. There are no flights between Malaga and Cadiz.
Return: Travel from Cadiz to Malaga
If you plan to return to Malaga from Cadiz just repeat the journey but in the reverse order.
Given the difficulties of getting between the two cities, driving is the obvious choice when traveling between Malaga and Cadiz.
Failing that, your next best option is the bus as it is quicker than taking the train.
Even though it might sound like a lot of work to get from Malaga to Cadiz, the reward at the journey’s end is well worth it.
Cadiz is one of the best cities in Southern Spain, you wouldn’t want to miss it.
Cadiz is one of the oldest continually inhabited places in Europe and has many things to do in Cadiz.
Short FAQ about visiting Cadiz from Malaga
Is there a direct train from Malaga to Cádiz?
No, there is no direct train between Malaga and Cadiz with a change of trains needed at either Seville or Dos Hermanas.
If, however, you wanted to make it a multi-city journey, you could take time to see Cordoba and Seville before heading onto Cadiz.
What airport serves Cadiz Spain?
The closest airport to Cadiz is Jerez Airport (XRY) in Jerez de la Frontera, 15 miles from Cadiz.
While the airport has daily flights from Madrid and other European capitals, there are no flights between Jerez Airport and Malaga.