MalagaMalaga might not be as popular as other Spanish cities, but a quick visit to the birthplace of Pablo Picasso is enough to win any visitor's heart. With a great mix of ancient history and modern culture, nearly 3.000 hours of sunshine a year, and several kilometres of beach, it's quite easy to see why Malaga has been described as "Ciudad del Paraíso" ("Paradise City").
The CityIn Malaga, nearly everything is within walking distance in or around the “Centro Antiguo”. Wherever you look, you are reminded of the city’s rich heritage – Malaga was founded in 900 B.C. and forged by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, and Arabs. The city’s most famous inhabitant, Pablo Picasso, was born at Plaza de la Merced in 1881. Picasso’s life and work is still present in most places and the citizens of Malaga are very proud of their son. The opening of the Museo Picasso in 2003 was a big hit and has certainly made the city flourish culturally. Next to the museum, the visitor can find both the Roman theatre, an Arab castle and, not far away, is a bull fighting ring. CAC, with its international contemporary art, is located on the other side of the old town. The Plaza Episcopal is adjacent to the Cathedral and has occasional exhibitions, often of high quality. Teatro Cervantes offers a wide range of concerts, dance, and musicals.
Do & See
Malaga is an excellent base for those looking to take day trips along the coast, up to the small mountain villages, or to one of the larger Andalusian cities. It is approximately a two hours’ drive from Granada, Córdoba, or Seville in a hired car or by bus. When in Granada: don't miss the fabulous Moorish palace Alhambra, the Gothic cathedral, and the Arab quarters in the Albaicín. Córdoba: walk to the old Jewish quarters and La Mezquita to experience this region's rich history. Seville: make sure to visit the Santa Cruz and Real Alcázar districts at the heart of the city. In Puerto Banús, you will view the gigantic luxury yachts, splurge on designer name shopping, and mix with the rich and famous at the chic bars on the sea front. There are also yachts, discothèques, bars and restaurants in Puerto Marina in Benalmádena. Ronda is a picturesque town located on a precipitous limestone cliff. The road leading there from San Pedro de Alcántara on the coast is a dizzy mountain trip.
In Malaga, you won't find that many restaurants with white tablecloths. This is a city full of informal bars packed with people and a wide range of tapas. Here, they generally eat a lot of fish and shellfish at the so-called “chiringuitos” on the beach and on the Paseo Marítimo in Pedregalejo.
There aren't many trendy, international-style cafés in Malaga, but there are some genuine ones as well as cosy teashops in Arab-inspired surroundings. Not to forget the “churrerias”, shops selling churros dipped in hot chocolate.
Bars & Nightlife
Just like other Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Granada, Malaga and the Costa del Sol are also famous for their bustling nightlife. And just like the rest of Spain, the inhabitants of Malaga enjoy partying until the early hours of the morning. In the centre of town, it's not difficult to find a bar with music and people chatting – there are many in close proximity to each other. If you're looking for a proper nightclub, you should go to Puerto Marina in Benalmádena.
Calle Larios and Calle Nueva, the street running parallel to it, are the main shopping streets in Malaga for shoes and clothes. Shoes can be found, for example, at Antonio Parriego and Nicolas on Calle Larios. You can also find the Spanish clothes shops Mango, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull & Bear there.