Nestled in the southern snippet of Spain is Malaga, a treasure-trove of attractions and the birthplace of the one and only Pablo Picasso. Kooky art aside, this town offers the perfect mix of old and new. Although popular with British sun-seekers and ex-pats, it’s far from a ‘little England’ and should be marked down as one of Spain’s lesser-known greats.
Walk the stone-paved paths of the 14th Century Castillo de Gibralfaro and its 11th Century neighbour, Alcazaba, for a hit of history. Next, try the Museo Interactivo de la Música de Málaga/the Malaga Interactive Music Museum for one of the biggest collections of musical instruments (old and new) in Europe. Like your entertainment with a bit of bite? Swallow your preconceptions and visit Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta to watch some bull versus toreador action.
Malaga’s Top 10
10. Tivoli Park Re-live your youth by hopping on a rollercoaster that takes you to the point of puke. Ahh, good times…
5. Picasso Museum It’s not as big as the one in Barcelona, but there are still plenty of gems to discover.
9. Alcazaba Put on your own show in the Roman theatre and reel in the crowds. A Streisand tune should do it…
4. Castillo de Gibralfaro This Moorish castle is old but hanging on. Bring sturdy shoes so you can explore comfortably.
8. Picasso’s Birthplace Visit Plaza de la Merced and take a look at some of Pablo’s early artworks from when he was a wee one.
3. La Conception This botanical garden is lush, fresh and a little awe-inspiring. Relax in the beauty of nature.
7. Pileta Caves Explore the caves and their drawings, which date back 40,000 years. Wow!
2. Malaga Cathedral This stunning Roman Catholic cathedral showcases the finest of the Renaissance.
6. Centre of Contemporary Art Achingly-hip art and photography exhibits, plus a killer gift shop. You know you want a key ring.
1. Calle Marqués de Larios One of the most deluxe shopping strips in the country. This will fulfil your every shopping desire.
- Castillo de Gibralfaro – Arabic castle with incredible views of the city and its suburbs.
- Alcazaba – A highly decorated Arabic castle that is easily accessible for visitors of all ages.
- Casa Natal Museum – This former residence of Picasso is packed with artefacts from his childhood years.
- Malaga Cathedral – Built in 1529, this popular tourist destination was influenced by the baroque styles.
- Bullfighting Museum – Learn the history of bullfighting in Malaga.
Malaga Art & Culture
- Interactive Museum of Music – Home to one of Europe’s greatest collections of musical instruments.
- Picasso Museum – This fascinating museum boasts exclusive paintings and exhibitions from this famous artist.
- Liberia de Idiomas – Located on the Plaza de la Mercred and dedicated to the learning of any European language.
- Centro de Arte Contemporaneo – A former trade market, this centre hosts a collection of works of art.
- Iglesia De Los Martires – Founded in 1487 and devoted to Malaga's martyrs.
- Malaga Central Market – This market is the ideal place to stock up on fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
- El Corte Ingles – This well-known shopping centre spans several floors of fashionable clothing, perfumes, shoes, furniture and food.
- Marques de Larios – One of Malaga's most popular shopping spots for Spanish fashions.
- Malaga Plaza Centro Commercial – This large shopping centre houses more than 50 department stores.
- El Ingenio Centro Commercial – A shopping centre boasting an array of quality products.
Gay & Lesbian Malaga
- Bar Reinas – This gay-friendly bar is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or two in the evening.
- Disco Kiu – Dance the night away at this mixed sex yet gay-friendly venue.
- Bar Kudos – This bar is mostly frequented by local gay men.
- Passion This nightclub features lively tunes and a vibrant atmosphere.
- Palladium – A popular nightclub frequented by members of Malaga’s gay community.
- Nerja Beach – Home to an extensive palm grove with a big massif, perfect for fishing.
- Torremolinos Beach – Situated in the centre of Torremolinos, this beach is popular with tourists and locals.
- Roman Theatre – This Roman Theatre built in the 1st century BC is adjacent to the Moorish Alcazaba Fortress.
- Plaza de la Merced – This large walking plaza is home to the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
- El Parque – El Parque is packed with stunning tropical flowering trees and shrubs.
- Watch the Unicaja Malaga (Club Baloncesto) baseball team play at the Martin Carpena Stadium.
- Embrace Spanish culture and witness a bullfight at The Malagaueta, the main bullring in Malaga.
- Enjoy a Malaga football club game at the team’s home ground, the La Rosaleda Stadium.
- Watch a round of golf at the Parador del Golf Club.
- Check out the skills of the members of the Club El Candado sailing club.
February’s Fiestas de Carnaval always attracts the big crowds. Expect to see traditional dress, flamenco dancing, parades, contests and a plethora of stalls. Oh and food. Lots of food.
Holy Week (around March/April) marks the lead up to Easter and is celebrated with parades and performances morning, noon and night.
The first week of June welcomes Feria del Libro, an enormously popular book fair. Keep an eye out for some first editions.
Mid-August’s Feria de Malaga is the number-one summer festival. Come for the fireworks, food, light displays, art, musical performances and a lot of alcohol-induced dancing.
Tourist Day in September is Malaga’s way of saying thanks to visitors. Celebrate your awesomeness with dancing, booze and an epic paella feast.
When To Go
Winters in Malaga are mild, with daytime temperatures around 15°C (59°F). Rest assured, you won’t be encountering a typical, Euro-style chill.
Humidity not your friend? Avoid looking like a walking frizz-ball by skipping Malaga from October to December.
November and December experience the heaviest rainfall.
Buses are the main transport of choice. Plus, fares are pretty damn reasonable.
Taxis are well-priced and most of the drivers speak English. Some drivers offer tours, but beware of being ripped off.
If you’re exploring outside the city, the high-speed AVE trains will get you from A to B in the blink of an eye.
Lodged in the southern fringe of Spain, Malaga's immediate appeal is twofold: first, as a city with a high degree of culture, architecture and history to share and second, as a coastal gem that refreshingly, isn't shrewdly dedicated to cater solely to beach-hungry package holiday tourists. While the Costa del Sol is riddled with hotel and resort-lined stretches of shore that welcome the sun-worshipping masses, Malaga thankfully, offers much more.
When the initial charm of Marbella and Torremolinos wears off, this lively Mediterranean hub is sure to please. Malaga is first and foremost after all, a dynamic little city that just happens to have a most enviable coastal location. From the Pablo Picasso Museum to the dramatic Alcazaba, historic harbour and brilliant Plaza de Toros, there's a lot to see and do. Malaga has every angle of the culinary spectrum covered as well, from a simple dish of freshly-grilled sardines on the beach to more elaborate al fresco dining in the heart of the city.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
The south of Spain is rather ideal any month of the year, most notably between May and October.
- Winter (December to February) -6-10°C
- Spring (March to May) 1-25°C
- Summer (June to September) 13-32°C
- Fall (October to November) 1-22°C
Malaga On Wikipedia
Malaga official guide
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