If you really want to get the feel of a place, you’ve got to throw away your list of tourist destinations to visit and live like a local. Planning a trip to Malaga? Here are the non-tourist sites that you should be visiting:
This neighborhood is mostly populated by locals – you won’t spot that many tourists in the area. Back in the day, the area was a popular neighborhood as it was close to the Alameda Principal and set right by the Guadalmedina river. It has since become a vibrant street art location where some of the world’s best graffiti artists stop by to create colorful masterpieces. Support the Malaga Urbano Soho (MAUS), or the local street art initiative, by spending a couple hours hunting for these gorgeous works of art.
You may be familiar with the Atarazanas and La Merced markets. However, they don’t quite have the same local vibe that the Salamanca Market does. You’ll have to travel a little further from the heart of the city in the direction of the large football stadium, but the distance will be worth the sight. The Salamanca Market is common trading grounds for the locals, who stop by daily to pick up some fresh produce in the gorgeous neo-Moorish-styled market. It’s a mere fifteen-minute leisurely walk from the historical center in town, and if you can, we definitely recommend that you take a walk – being able to view the charming neighborhoods on the way will definitely make you feel a little bit more at home.
Bar La Tranca
This vibrant bar is often packed with locals, unlike the nearby Plaza Merced, which is usually populated by tourists. You can pick up some vermouth, a sweet wine, or some mouthwatering tapas. Sit down and enjoy the bustling atmosphere and the Spanish singers gracing the atmosphere with their voices. Bar La Tranca is beautiful and bright, unlike many dark, crowded drinking holes. It’s definitely worth a visit!
El Torcal National Park
The El Torcal National Park is another place mostly populated by locals. It is found slightly more inland, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Limestone rocks line the area from way back when the region was covered by water. Soil erosion and the natural breaking down of these rocks produce fascinating designs that you’ll love to look at. Whether you want a pleasant walk or a challenging hike, you’ll find what you need here. When your throat is dry and your tummy grumbling, stop by the village of Villanueva de la Concepcion for some snacks.
Pueblos Blancos translates to white villages. It is not one particular place, but rather a word used to describe the many small communities of traditional Andalusian homes spread throughout southern Spain. The people living in these neighborhoods usually live quite modest, rural lives that aren’t all that different from the lives of people decades ago. It is a wonderful way to catch an authentic glimpse of the area. Consider renting a car and going on an adventure to look for such areas.
Rondo, El Chorro, or El Torcal
These places are all noteworthy as lovely picnic spots. What better way to take in the local Spanish vibe than to enjoy a rustic picnic around a rural road? You could stop by one of the restaurants on the way, but packing a meal and stopping to spread a blanket and enjoy a meal and a nap is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in the area. Bring a bottle of wine, a pair of sunglasses, and your favorite person to gaze up at the azure sky with.
Lobo Park, Antequera
This park one of Malaga’s hidden gems. It is a reserve committed to studying and protecting wolves. You’ll have to travel a couple of miles outside of Antequera, and even then, it is easy to miss. The ride over is beautiful, and you’ll be treated to stretches of the gorgeous countryside. Tours are available in both English and Spanish, and you’re sure to leave with a greater appreciation for wolves than you had before.