Málaga: Our highlights and tips for the Spanish port city

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¡Hola Málaga! The second largest city in Andalusia is for many the first stop on their journey through southern Spain. This is because Malaga is home to Andalucia’s main airport. Málaga is a port city, but at the same time it also has a really pretty historic old town. You can therefore look forward to a large helping of Mediterranean flair.

In this blog article we will show you what to expect on a trip to Málaga . We introduce you to the most beautiful sights and vantage points. We also tell you where we ate and stayed. Ready for a concentrated load of holiday mood? Here are our tips for Malaga.

1. Málaga: What awaits you Málaga is located on the so-called Costa del Sol, a stretch of coast on the Spanish Mediterranean. The name already gives it away: there is plenty of sun on the Costa del Sol and therefore also in Málaga. Thanks to the mountains behind it, the coast is sheltered from the wind and spoiled by the sun.

What makes Malaga so special? It’s definitely the mix of sea and historic old town. In the morning you can lose yourself in the maze of streets in the center, in the afternoon you can spend a few relaxing hours on the beach or at the harbour. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Málaga has long been overshadowed by other tourist destinations in the region in terms of tourism. But that has now completely changed. Málaga is now one of the most popular destinations in Andalusia. Many streets have been renovated and the port was also converted into a modern promenade a few years ago.

How much time should I plan for a trip to Málaga ? This question is a very individual one, but we are happy to leave you our recommendation. The center of Malaga is relatively small, so you can see quite a bit in a full day. If you are planning a round trip through Andalusia and don’t have much time, then we recommend that you plan 2 nights for Málaga. So you can definitely visit the most important sights.

If you prefer to take it easy, then better stay 3 nights. Málaga is your only destination in Andalusia and you are also planning one or two excursions? Then it can also be 4 nights or more.

2. Sights in Málaga: Our Highlights In this chapter we present you the most important sights in Málaga. They are all relatively close together, so you can reach them on foot. We actually didn’t use the buses once. In principle, however, it is possible without any problems.

Old Town of Málaga Let’s start in the heart of Málaga: in the historic, almost car-free old town, also called Centro Histórico. It’s easy to lose your bearings in this friendly labyrinth of streets, but that’s exactly what makes the old town of Málaga so appealing. Some of the most important sights of Málaga are located in the old town, including the imposing Cathedral or the Mercado Central. These and other highlights in the old town We will introduce you to Málaga separately in a moment.

A very beautiful street in the center of Málaga (if not the most beautiful) is the palm-lined Calle Puerta del Mar. It is much shorter than expected, but really worth a stopover. Not far from there you reach the most famous shopping street in Málaga, the Calle Marqués de Larios. It passes, among other things, the Plaza de la Constitución. With its magnificent facades and fountain, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Málaga.

The Teatro Romano, the historic Roman Amphitheater. Here was our accommodation, which we will present to you in more detail at the end of the blog article. Otherwise our tip: Just let yourself drift a bit and enjoy the Mediterranean flair.

Cathedral of Málaga The gigantic cathedral of Málaga is enthroned in the middle of the old town near the port and can hardly be missed. Its official name is Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación. In the vernacular it is often called “La Manquita”, which means something like “The one-armed one”.

And with good reason: the Cathedral of Málaga only has one steeple. Instead of the unfinished south tower today a few columns rise up. Due to a lack of money, the south tower was never completed.

As is customary throughout Spain, an entrance fee (6 euros) is due when visiting the cathedral. For us it was one of the first churches we saw in Andalucia, so we were quite impressed. Also typical for Spain is the audio guide, which is already included in the entrance fee. We can highly recommend you to climb the roof of the cathedral. You can find more information about this further down in the chapter on the most beautiful viewpoints in Málaga.

Information on visiting the Cathedral of Málaga Entry: 6 euros (discounted combination ticket with a guided tour to the roof 10 Euro)

Opening hours : You can find it on the official website of the Cathedral of Málaga

Alcazaba de Málaga The former Moorish fortress reminds a little of the Alhambra in Granada from the outside . Although it is of course much smaller and less imposing, the Alcazaba is still very worth seeing.

The visit to the Alcazaba starts at the bottom of the city center near the Teatro Romano. From the entrance you then walk a little up. You walk through several gardens and courtyards and you can also walk along the former fortress walls. In total, you should allow about an hour for a visit.

An important note: There is no direct connection between the Alcazaba and the yet higher lying Castillo de Gibralfaro (as of December 2019 ). So you have to leave the Alcazaba again via the same entrance you used to enter it. Then you walk the path outside along the fortress walls up to the Castillo.

Information on visiting the Alcazaba de Málaga Entry: 3,35 Euro (discounted combined ticket for Alcazaba and Castillo Gibralfaro 5,50 Euro)

Opening hours: April to October from 9 to 20 pm, November to March from 9 am to 19 o’clock (last entry each 35 minutes to go)

Castillo de Gibralfaro The Castillo de Gibralfaro is located t above the Alcazaba and is one of the highlights of Málaga. As the name suggests, this is a former castle complex. She was born in 11. Built in the 19th century to protect the Alcazaba.

When you visit the Castillo de Gibralfaro, you walk in a circle along the defensive walls. Meanwhile you can look forward to amazing views of Málaga. There are also some exhibition rooms where you can get some background information, but all in all the focus here is definitely on the view from the wall.

To the entrance of the Castillo de Gibralfaro you have two options. Variant no. 1 (and our recommendation): You take the approx. 25-minute walk along attack the wall. The path starts at the bottom of the Alcazaba in the old town on the Paseo Don Juan Temboury (i.e. on the side towards the sea). The path is sometimes quite steep, which is why the walk can be quite sweaty, especially in midsummer. Variant No. 2: You take the bus (No. ) or take a taxi to the entrance.

Information on visiting the Castillo de Gibralfaro Entrance fee: 3,30 Euro (discounted combined ticket for Castillo Gibralfaro and Alcazaba 5,45 Euro)

Opening hours: 9 to 18 clock (summer) or 12 Clock (Winter)

Mercado Central de Atarazanas

The Mercado Central is the most important and largest food market in M álaga. He goes in a historic market hall from the 18. Century over the stage, which is located in the middle of the old town of Málaga.

Every day except Sundays you can immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the market: mainly fresh food such as fruit, vegetables is sold , cheese, fish or meat. (Good to know: the fish stalls are usually closed on Mondays because there is no fishing on Sundays.)

Although here Of course some tourists are bustling about, we experienced the market quite authentically. It’s best to treat yourself to a fresh smoothie and let the hustle and bustle sink in.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8 to Watch

Museo Picasso To the Picasso Museum? Where if not here in Málaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. The museum is located right in the center in a really beautifully renovated historic building from the 16. Century.

The museum extends over two floors. In total, about 35 Works by Pablo Picasso shown – mainly paintings, but also some sculptures. Before your tour, you will receive an audio guide, that will guide you through the exhibition (included in the price). In addition to this permanent exhibition, there is also a changing special exhibition that is shown for several months.

We ourselves have a rainy day to visit the museum utilized. Our conclusion: Very worthwhile if you are a little interested in art. However, even in November there was a lot going on. The rush in the high season should be correspondingly higher. Then it might be worth buying the ticket in advance. You can find information about this on the official website: Picasso Museum Malaga.

Important to know: Photography is strictly forbidden in the exhibition area!

Port promenade of Málaga (Muelle Uno) We continue towards the port, which is just approximately 10 walking distance from the old town. The port promenade of Málaga is one thing above all: futuristic! The port of Málaga used to be impassable, but a few years ago the port area was de completely redesigned and reopened under the name Muelle Uno.

Muelle Uno is roughly divided into two areas: On the one hand there is the promenade called Muelle 1. It leads out towards the lighthouse. You walk past a few cafés, restaurants and boutiques. After about 10 minutes you get to the Lighthouse La Farola. From this promenade you have a really nice view back towards the center of Málaga.

And secondly (back towards the city centre): Muelle 2. This promenade leads under the white roof construction called Palmeral de las Sorpresas along. The curved architecture is quite an eye-catcher and a popular photo motif. Incidentally, the Centre Pompidou Málaga is located at the point where Muelle 1 and Muelle 2 meet. It is actually the small counterpart to the Center Pompidou in Paris.

Málaga city beach: Playa de la Malagueta Playa de la Malagueta is the beach that faces the centre closest to Malaga. Considering that it is right on the outskirts of the old town, so to speak, the beach is really beautiful.

We were in Malaga in the off-season (November), so outside the bathing season. When we visited the beach was almost deserted, but of course there is a lot going on here in summer. The stand is great for a quick cool down. But we would definitely spend a beach holiday somewhere else for several days.

Artist District Soho: Málaga Street Art You want to get to know something different from Málaga away from the classic sights? Then we can recommend the Soho district. Soho is usually mentioned in the same breath as Málaga’s Street Art. In this quarter to the west of the harbor there are innumerable murals and graffiti, some of which are really impressive.

So that you can actually find the most beautiful works, it is best to take a look at the website of the MAUS project (Málaga Arte Urbano Soho) over. There you will find a map on which the most important works of art are marked. (The map is also available in printed form at the tourist information office.)

3. The most beautiful viewpoints in Málaga Málaga is quite hilly, so there are some beautiful viewpoints from which you can partly you can also admire the sunset. In this chapter we present you our favourites.

Roof of the Cathedral of Málaga You have a great, close to the center view over Málaga from the roof of the cathedral. Unfortunately, you can only visit this as part of a guided tour. (But don’t expect a guided tour with background information – someone will just accompany you upstairs.)

Round 50 You have to climb steps before you can 50 meters high you will be rewarded with a magnificent view over Málaga. When you reach the top of the roof, a path runs in a circle so that you can look in all directions . By the way, unlike other churches, you are not in a church tower up here, but really on the roof construction.

Information about the tour to the roof of the Cathedral Price: 6 euros (combined ticket with the church interior of the cathedral Euro)
Time: You can find it on the official website of the Cathedral of Málaga Duration: approx. 30 Minutes

Viewpoints on Gibralfaro hill You will often read about the so-called Mirador de Gibralfaro. The problem with it: On the Gibralfaro hill there is (fortunately) not just one Mirador, but several, all of which are mixed up.

On the way to the Castillo de Gibralfaro you already arrive numerous smaller and larger vantage points. To do this, take the path that leads up on the sea side of the hill. The path starts near the tourist information or the Alcazaba at the Paseo Don Juan Temboury.

You will reach a very well-known vantage point after about 2/3 of the way (coming from the center). Since the trail is accessible 24/7, you can also visit the viewpoint after dark (which we also highly recommend).

A great sunset viewpoint is even higher, namely at the hotel Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro. We don’t have there stayed the night, but simply allowed us a sundowner. If you walk back a little bit from the Hotel Parador, you will reach another very well-known vantage point. From here you can see, among other things, the bullring of Málaga.

So that you can find your way around the site better, we have listed the individual viewpoints Drawn on the map at the end of the article.

4. Eating and drinking in Málaga: Our tips Admittedly, we are not necessarily the biggest fans of Spanish food. Usually there are only a few vegetarian dishes, which are often very unimaginative. But the good news: We were able to enjoy the best meal of our entire trip to Andalusia in Málaga.

Fonzo (to be seen on the photos): Big recommendation! This young, hip tapas bar is a gem. There are delicious, very creative vegetarian dishes, but there are also some meat dishes on the menu. We even ordered more because we liked it so much. In addition, great craft beers from Spain and regional wines are served. As usual in a tapas bar, space is limited, so you’ll have to hope for a bit of luck. It’s worth the wait, I promise!

Mia coffee shop: You can get probably the best espresso in Málaga in this small, unassuming coffee shop. Perfect for a caffeine boost in between!

Pizzamore: If you’ve had enough of tapas, then we can highly recommend a visit to this pizzeria. While the ambiance could be improved (it’s just a bit too sterile and too bright for us), the pizzas are delicious.

5. Our accommodation tip for Málaga We can highly recommend. you our accommodation, the so-called Suites Teatro. As the name suggests, this is not a classic hotel, but apartments, that belong to a hotel. We spent three nights here and felt completely at home.

The accommodation could hardly be more central because we looked straight up from our room the Teatro Romano, the Roman theater. All other sights are practically on the doorstep. For example, it is less than a 5-minute walk to the cathedral. Due to the very central location, it can get a bit noisy, especially in the evenings. (If you’re a very light sleeper, earplugs are a good idea – that’s generally true for central Malaga.)

Our room was very bright and also quite large, allowing us to spread out . All in all: Very tasteful, recommendable apartments in the center of Málaga with a great price-performance ratio.

You can book the accommodation here: Suites Teatro

Another tip: Parking in Málaga Are you traveling by car? Then you should definitely avoid the historic old town of Málaga with its many pedestrian zones. Apart from the fact that many streets are closed to regular traffic, you won’t find a parking space.

It is best to park your car in a underground car park on the edge of the old town. We ourselves have opted for the (very central) underground car park at the Alcazaba because it is just a few minutes walk from our accommodation. You can find the exact location on the map below.

Parking in Málaga’s underground car parks is unfortunately quite an expensive undertaking: we have per day Euro (during the week) or 26 Euro (on weekends ) paid. The further out of the center you park, the cheaper it gets.

6. Map: All Málaga tips at a glance To make it easier for you to find your way around, we have put you on this map the most important sights and all our recommendations are marked. The red dots are sights or vantage points, the green dots our recommendations for restaurants and cafes.

2019Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Malaga? How did you like it? Do you have any other tips? We look forward to your recommendations!