Málaga is a beautiful, culture-filled port city in southern Spain. It has everything from an amazing port to a great art scene to gorgeous beaches. Planning a vacation to Malaga? Here are seven things you should most definitely not miss in Malaga.
Málaga’s port is wide and roomy, known for being the oldest port in Spain that is still operating. It was completely renovated a few years ago, and the “Palm Garden of Surprises” was added. This beautiful garden is actually quite a few gardens, decorated with sculptures and dotted with bars with comfortable outdoor seating. It’s a fantastic place to bring a date to watch the boats and ships while enjoying a few drinks. Near the end of the port is the Paseo del Muelle Uno. It is a wonderful strip to walk, where bars and restaurants are abundant. When you get to the end, you will have reached the Malagueta beach. The Port is a definite must when visiting southern Spain!
This major Spanish monument has been sitting here for centuries, since Spain was under Arabic rule. It was built on top of the leftovers of a Roman fort a long time ago, and it’s a wonderful historical site to visit for a few hours. Around ten centuries ago, it was renovated by the Sultan of Granada. Three centuries later, it was extended to connect with Gibralfaro Castle nearby. You can see it from Málaga’s port – the gorgeous architecture looks completely at home on the hill. When inside, you’ll be able to explore all the courtyards, corridors, and battlements and enjoy the gorgeous view out to the ocean.
Every historical city has an old town. Málaga’s in particular is close to a popular shopping area on Calle Marques de Larios. It too is close to the port, and though there is a lot of old culture and architecture here, there are also modern touches integrated effortlessly. The people are friendly and the vibe is inviting – you’ll feel at home roaming the streets and basking in the sun, even stopping for a cold drink and some tasty tapas. There are locals and tourists alike venturing about the terraces. When you’ve worked up enough of an appetite for a meal, visit El Pimpi, one of Málaga’s most well-known restaurants. After grabbing some delicious food, if you keep walking past the restaurant you’ll reach the Plaza de la Merced. It is here that Pablo Picasso was born so many years ago. The square is bustling with tourists, locals, vendors, and street entertainers alike.
If you’re an art enthusiast, you’ll love the variety of galleries that Málaga has to offer. You could spend days only admiring art. It is the birthplace of Picasso, after all. Make sure you visit the Museo Picasso, a hall well-maintained housing a great number of its namesake’s work. Pompidou Centre is another must-visit for some great European art. No matter what is your preferred style of art to admire, there will be something in this great city that you will enjoy.
The cathedral, known to the locals as La Manquita, was coined as such because it has a second tower that was left uncompleted many years ago. It is located in the old town and is a major monument in the area. It was built a few centuries ago over quite some time, and we definitely recommend that you reserve around an hour for roaming the grounds. The architecture is a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles, and though it was supposed to have two towers, the second was never finished when money dried up. The architect that designed the grand structure also designed the Gaudix and Almeria cathedrals, and the choir stalls were designed by Pedro de Mena, student of Alonso Cano. There are some great names involved in the architecture, which only gives you more reason to visit.
Southern Spain is known for its fantastic beaches, and the Málaga province is no different. You’re never too far from the beach anywhere in the capital city. In fact, from the port area, you could easily walk to the sand. La Malagueta is one of the more local-populated beaches. Playa Caleta is a must visit – it has clean, beautiful sand and crystal clear water and is incredibly well-maintained. Though both are small, you would definitely enjoy the view from the area.
If fine art isn’t your thing, you should definitely check out Soho. The locality is home to the Málaga Arte Urbano Soho (MAUS), which is an initiative backed by incredible graffiti artists working together to brighten up Soho with colorful art. You could get online and look up the locations of each masterpiece, but personally, we think it’s much more fun to just go on foot and explore the area, searching until you run across those splashes of paint on an otherwise uninspiring wall.
Málaga restaurants are unique in culture & diversity, this is a must-do when visiting Málaga. If you would like to find the best restaurants in Málaga & guides on where to eat in Málaga, take a look around our site for incredible options.