Belonging to the Costa Del Sol region, Malaga in Spain is full of delightful places to explore. Whether visiting or looking at extended stays in this province, everything from the food to natural attractions, tourism, beaches and hidden gems portrays the best of Spain and the Costa Del Sol. As one of Spain’s oldest cities, the name Malaga applies to the city centre and larger province, of which Malaga city centre is the capital.
Famous people from Malaga are too many to mention. Names that foreign people might recognise include Antonio Banderas and the renowned artist Pablo Picasso. In the Andalusia region, Malaga is Spain’s sixth most populated city, with a history of nearly 3000 years. The history that spans Islamic, Roman and Christianity influences make this Costa del Sol city a delight to explore during modern times.
Reasons to Visit Malaga in Spain
1: Picasso Museum
Called Museo Picasso Museum, the building opens from 10 am to p.m. every day. Sitting in Malaga’s old town, close to the Cathedral, Alcazaba and Roman Theatre, Picasso Museum portrays the famous artist’s life and work. In addition, they produce apps and run guided tours to enhance visits, while the Picasso Museum bookshop sells various souvenirs. Given the artist’s profile, not only in history but current day, Picasso Museum pays homage to artistic brilliance. This museum sits in the Palacio de Buenavista building, and is the most famous museum in the Costa del Sol.
2: Other Museums in Malaga City Centre
Notable tourism museums include Museo Municipal de Málaga museum, Museo de Málaga Fine Art and Archaeology Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Centre Pompidou Malaga, the Coleccion del Museo Ruso Museum, Saint Petersburg, Museum Jorge Rando, Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares Museum of Art and Popular Traditions, and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga. Indeed, the city is highly noted for its collection of impressive museums.
3: Food to Try in Malaga
Malaga and the Costa del Sol are known for small fish, like anchovies or sardines. Visit any small beachside bars that grill them over open fires, and enjoy an ice-cold beer. Other Andalusia foods include Gambas al Pil-Pil chilli and garlic prawns, Carne en Salsa pork stew, and for hot summer days, Gazpacho. Lastly, tapas is delicious in any part of Spain, and the Costa del sol has its own unique taste. Try Boquerones, Patatas bravas, Queso Manchego, and Pimientos de Padrón.
4: Festivals Not to Miss
If visiting the Costa del Sol and Malaga around Christmas, attend the Fiesta Mayor de Verdiales, which celebrates our version of April Fool’s Day. Alternatively, the Fiestas de Carnaval takes place in February, and locals dress in many different costumes. Then, there is the 8-day Feria de Malaga cultural fair in August, which also sees many locals dressed in traditional Spanish costumes, and night fairs at Recinto Ferial. Finally, the Malaga film festival covers a week in either March or April. On Palm Sunday, the holy week starts with processions through the street.
5: Plaza de la Merced and Historic Center
Many historical tourist sites are in the old city part of Malaga and expect to be impressed. A walking tour of one day is enough to see them all, and tourists can break up the day with lunch in a cafe or restaurant. Plaza de la Constitución is the main square, having been there since the beginning. The Fuente de Génova fountain marks the city centre square.
Famous streets and attractions to explore include Marqués de Larios, Puerta del Mar, Iglesia de San Juan Bautista church, Calle Molina, Cathedral de Málaga, Episcopal Palace and Museum of Sacred Art, and the Roman theatre. The Centro de Arte de la Tauromaquia city museum talks about the history of bullfighting. End your visit at Plaza de la Merced square and the museum of Picasso that we mentioned above. This area is on the Guadalmedina river’s left bank.
6: The Moorish Castle of Alcazaba de Malaga
The 11th-century Alcazaba near the old town attracts many tourists. Visitors instantly wow at the marvellous gardens of palm and orange trees. One reason for its fame is that the architecture is still impressive despite its age. Find beautiful gardens in the Plaza de Armas section, or admire the stunning views from the Nazari palace.
7: Castillo de Gibralfaro
Likewise, the 10th-century Castillo de Gibralfaro castle sits near the old centre and has been built on a hill with stunning views. Originally used to protect the Alcazaba mentioned above, there is an onsite museum. If walking is your passion, take the Paseo Don Juan de Temboury route to Gibralfaro castle; otherwise, jump on the number 35 bus. This is another top attraction of Malaga.
8: Muelle Uno Port City Part
Muelle Uno promenade sits beside the port part of Malaga and is the perfect place to spend the day eating, drinking and shopping. Also, sitting a short distance from the old centre, local artisans display their handicrafts at the local market, which sells food and clothing. Shop for great souvenirs at Muelle Uno. After spending time here, take a short walk to Paseo del Parque, a delightful green place and hidden gems.
9: Gorgeous Beaches in Malaga
Don’t assume Malaga city is all about exploring urban attractions. All city beaches sit along the Pablo Ruiz Picasso promenade, which features cafes and bars to break up days swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. San Julian is a nudist beach but is visited by all types of bathers. The 2-kilometre Playa San Andres beach offers plenty of good beach bars, while east of the port part is an artificial beach called La Malagueta. La Caleta beach is best for wheelchair users, while Banos is known for the Chiringuitos beach bars and fishing. For family-friendly atmospheres, head to Las Acacias or eat fresh fish at the Playas del Palo site. Also, watch delightful sunsets from Playa Fabrica de Cemento beach.
10: La Concepción Historical Garden
Ah, to spend time in this exotic garden is to spend time in tranquil peace. Holding Europe’s most extensive collection of sub-tropical plants, this site originally opened in 1855 for upper-class society. Yet now, La Concepción is Malaga’s most beautiful place and is open to everyone. Also offering panoramic views across Malaga, it covers 23 hectares. A good time to visit is spring when plants bloom.
11: Wander the Calle Larios
Calle Larios, the most expensive street to live in Malaga, is Spain’s 11th most expensive place to live. Named after the family who purchased many shares to build the street in 1880, over 1200 men worked to complete it. Only foot traffic is allowed on the road, but the buildings’ architecture lining both sides deserve a slower pace so that pedestrians can admire it. This is where high-brand fashion stores take all your cash while in Malaga.
12: The Andalusia Transport Hub
Getting around attractions in Malaga City centre and the larger Andalusia region is accessible thanks to the unique transport system. There are two train lines, a metro system, and local buses from central Malaga around the city and surrounding areas. For drivers heading out of Malaga city to explore, use the A45, A7 or N-340 road. Additionally, there are high-speed trains to many other places in Spain. To get to Malaga, fly into the Malaga Airport, which has bus and train connections to other parts of the province and city. Malaga airport is one of Spain’s busiest but expect a smooth journey thanks to their efficiency.
Fun Fact to Know: Malaga city centre excels in foreign language learning. Thousands of people worldwide head to Malaga to attend Spanish courses every year.
13: Explore Torremolinos
From Malaga to Torremolinos, it is just a 20-minute journey. Torremolinos, another Andalusian hotspot, is many expats’ first choice when looking for somewhere to live in Spain. The popular holiday resort during summer months sits west of Malaga international airport and offers six main beaches and a 7-kilometre-long promenade lined with cafes. However, Torremolinos is also famous for its nightlife scene and green spaces. In addition, golfers often head to several renowned golfing courses.
About the Costa del Sol
Once a popular tourist destination full of gorgeous beaches, many wannabe expats now look at living in the larger Malaga province and on the Costa del Sol of Spain. And why not? This picturesque Andalusian haven offers many towns and white villages among mountains and beautiful landscapes. Roughly 140,000 expats live in Costa del Sol, scattered around various towns catering to tourists. They chose this Costa of Europe for multiple reasons because as well as delivering traditional Andalusia vibes, the Costa del Sol satisfies everyone.
Best Cities: Collectively looking at cities in Spain, they all form a magnificent cooking pot of modern, new trends and traditional Spanish culture. From history to nightlife, food and beaches, whether you want to visit or move to Spain, the wide choice easily matches cities in other countries like France. There are 50 cities, of which Madrid city, Barcelona city, and Valencia city are the largest in Spain based on population. So, after you have explored Malaga in Spain, there are many other places to choose from.