When talking about Spain, most people think about Barcelona, Madrid, or Seville, and travelling to such crowded and touristic places was a no-go because of my family. We decided to opt for a less crowded yet one of the most fascinating places in Spain, Malaga.
Home to some of the best museums, beautiful beaches, and traditional music, Malaga is a must-visit tourist destination. The culture, traditions, and epic food surely changed the way we look at Spain, and that’s not even the best part. Whether you are going on a solo trip or with your family, like me, you will never run out of places to explore and fun things to do.
Let’s delve right into the important details and everything you need to know about Malaga before visiting this amazing place.
Where is it Located?
Málaga city is located in the south of Spain, and since it is a port city, it touches the north side of the Alboran sea. The climate is warm and humid throughout the year, which was a plus for me since I’m not too fond of winters; even in winters, the weather remains somewhat warm. The gentle sea breeze makes the intense heat of Málaga much bearable.
The city enjoys sunshine eleven months a year, and rainfall mainly occurs in winter. Therefore, you will have no problem with whichever season you go. However, whenever you do, make sure to pack loads of sunscreen!
How to Get There?
Traveling within the city is so much fun with various environment-friendly options like bicycles. This horse-drawn carriage takes you on a 45-minute tour to cities main sights and the most fun Puerto de Málaga sightseeing train. Other than that, if you are traveling outside the city, there are many options; you can enter Málaga city by plane, train, boat, and bus, and even by road if you’re traveling within the country.
If you are traveling by airplane Málaga’s Costa del Sol airport is 5 miles from the city, which is not very far, and from there onwards, the airport shuttle “An Express Aeropuerto’ operates 24/7 and takes you to the center of the city. However, other than that you can also travel by car, bus or train if you live in Spain for a cheaper and more fun traveling experience as you will be able to explore their popular places on the way.
Being an overly enthusiastic individual at her dream place, we took the airport shuttle to the central city. After 1 hour’s rest, we took the city bus tour, which I think was the best decision because after that we had an exact idea of all the locations we would visit and how much time we would spend on each.
9 Things to Do in Malaga
Málaga was on my wish list for so long since my family and I are nature and history lovers, so it was my dream come true moment when we finally had the chance to visit the beautiful place. This city was so much better than most places I have visited before. The trip with my family consisted of 10 days in Málaga, which I still think was a little less for such a welcoming city.
Even though Malaga is a relatively small city, there are a plethora of fun-filled activities you can do throughout the year. You can find all types of activities ranging from exhilarating and exciting activities like climbing Caminito del Ray. You can also find some relaxing activities to do when you are tired, like visiting some museums or paying Alcazaba de Málaga a visit.
Soak in the Sun at Costa del Sol
Coast of the sun- the name was given to the beach after a tourist got impressed by the region’s warm temperature and sunny days. Tourists love the beaches due to their yellow-colored sand. There are a total of 15 beaches in Málaga city, extending from the cliffs at Maro to Punta Chullera, where beach clubs, restaurants, and bars are readily available.
The eateries at the beach are obviously a bit costly as compared to the center of the city. These beaches, cliffs, and dunes are kept especially clean, and the authorities maintain the family environment despite heavy tourism.
Hike the Caminito del Ray
King’s pathway, Caminito Del Rey, located near El Chorro; Ardales, is a very exciting, spine-chilling, blood-curdling hiking challenge going from mountains, valleys, gorges, and reservoirs. Previously it was known as the “most dangerous walkway in the world” with a few causalities.
Believe me when I say the trial is deathly; you will remember all your life’s happy moments while thinking about your death. The trail is a hundred meters above the ground, YES, but the trail gives us the best views and exceptional pictures where ever we go.
Visit Castillo de Gibralfaro
Built-in the 10th century, this castle, basically a fortress, was modified several times to protect Alcazaba. This fort is built on Montes de Málaga, a small hill on the long range of mountains, the Cordillera Penibética, and overlooks on entire Málaga city and the Mediterranian Sea like a security guard.
Apart from its mind-blowing ruins, there is a military museum, and the best part; is you can walk all along the castle’s double-walled boundary coracha Terrestre; looking down below, the city looks tiny.
Discover the Cathedral de la Encarnacion de Málaga
This particular building was never properly completed due to a lack of government funds and looks almost as complete as possible. The cathedral was built in the 17th century and is said to have mixed architecture of renaissance, baroque and gothic styles of construction.
In cathedral de la Encarnacion de Málaga is Museo Catedralicio, an art gallery that contains numerous objects related to religions and wars. The building consists of a grand marble staircase, two organs containing more than 4000 pipes, and a sculpture made by the legendary Pedro de Mena.
Visit the Alcazaba de Málaga
Alcazaba de Málaga is a sight to see if you are a history or architecture fan. It was built in the 11th century with a network of 110 main and smaller towers along the orange groves. I was particularly fascinated by the way this ancient building was so well kept; the pillars made of marble from the Roman times are still as new as ever as if showing that no war was able to leave its mark on it. Its beautiful horseshoe arches and lush greenery.
Go on a City Bus Tour
I have already mentioned before that you will not need a vehicle to travel in Málaga city, but if you want to save some energy for later and get incredible pictures, open top bus is s good option. Málaga has mountains, beaches, rural escape, pine forests, deep valleys, wildlife, and city escape all in one, which makes it an even better option for a long relaxing vacation.
As my budget was a little tight, we chose to ride around in the city buses rather than booking a cab. It was an overall fun experience as the locals are very friendly to tourists and are always willing to help.
Explore the Feira de Málaga
This is a traditional and somewhat cultural celebratory event where the locals dress up in traditional costumes. The celebrations go on for around seven to nine days depending upon the location. The festival goes on from morning till late at night. If you are lucky enough to visit Malaga in August, you can experience the grand festivities.
Since I went to Malaga in mid-august, I was able to experience the festivities at their peak. Every day of the festival is something new and exciting like exhibitions, bullfighting, and concerts. This festival is also enjoyed by the children as there are a plethora of fairs and games available for the younger ones.
During the festival, the whole city is decorated with floral decorations and lanterns. All of my family enjoyed walking around at night fairs while trying the delicious traditional dishes like buñuelos de Viento and collecting souvenirs for our friends back home.
Go to Jardín Botánico Histórico La Concepción
Jardín Botánico Histórico La Concepción is an 18th-century park made for the bourgeois class which extends on 23 hectares and, to date, looks as magnificent as three centuries before. If you take a picture there, it looks straight out of some Hollywood movie.
We visited all the places in Málaga in detail and still had time, so instead of returning, we made our way to Frigiliana, the prettiest village, and we went by car. Hence, it took us even less than an hour to reach Frigiliana.
Visit the Museums
Málaga is the birthplace of the world’s most admired and sought-after artist and painter, Pablo Picasso. With the Contemporary Art Centre and Thyssen Museum, Malaga is a dream destination for artists as well.
Since I am a fan of art and crafts, I loved this place. You can click some great pictures there as the place is quite exotic and looks like something straight out of the 1600s.
Things You Must Know Before Visiting Málaga
Malaga is a tourist-oriented city and is filled with loads of fun-filled activities. Even though all the activities can’t be listed, I have managed to shortlist some of the best places for you.
If you’re traveling within the city, only the entrance pass is necessary; you don’t need to have a car with you all the time since the small city has all the important visiting places within walking distance.
If you want to shop in Málaga, in the center of the city Calle Larios has numerous independent boutiques, stores, restaurants, and cafes. Besides that, near the port, Muelle Uno has some very expensive shops and cocktail bars.
If you are going along budget and want to bring lots of gifts back home, the Larios center, along with hypermarket and chain stores, offers the best shopping opportunity.
Málaga is a blend of traditional Spanish food to Moroccan, Asian, and South American. The best food is said to have been in the neighborhood of Pablo Picasso, Plaza de la Merced, open-air cafes on a bright sunny day, and right after that, Mercado de la Merced is the most expensive place with designer tapas bars. The cultural blend is what baffles me the most. The traditional food consists of fish and shellfish and their sweet wines.
Remember, you cannot simply ask for coffee in Málaga just like we do in America or Asia. They have totally different names for coffees; mind you, the names are not easy to pronounce for a non-native. Café solo (Italian espresso), café Americano (long black), café con leche, un nublado, un cortado, sombra and so many more etc etc,
The city doesn’t sleep at night, especially in hot summers; beach bars are always full to the brim, not just teenagers and tourists but entire families come out to the beach at night time in summer. Travelling at night is not a big issue since four-night metro lines operate between midnight till 6 am.
Throughout the year, the people of Málaga find ways to celebrate and party. With good food, good music, and lots of happy locals and tourists who are always up for parties.
Where the small city of Málaga might not be as popular as other cities, it has so much to explore with enthusiastic and kind locals. The people are very helpful and will not let you down. Throughout history, Málaga has had a crucial role in helping Spain due to its harbor port. All in all, this entire city is a whole vibe with rich culture, exceptional seafood, mesmerizing architecture, and lots of parties!
Whenever you get time to pay Malaga a visit, make sure to give this article a quick read, as it will give you a brief idea of what you should expect. Overall this city will provide you with an enriching experience you will never forget.