Malaga,a city that amazes its visitors. The daily life in Larios street, the lively conversations between Malagan people, the Plaza de la Constitución and the cultural inheritance fills every corner of the city with stories of emperors and kings. Malaga, Spain is the ultimate travel destination offering scenic beauty, sunny beaches, and incredible mountain views. The ancient name given to the city was Malaka by the Phoenicians who colonized the city of Malaga in 1000 B.C. In 1960’s Malaga started gaining popularity as a tourist destination with hotels and resorts mushrooming up in the city. Since then Malaga has undergone drastic changes regarding transport, hotels, and services offered to tourists. It has become Spain’s second largest port in addition to being its third largest airport.I’ve prepared a list of the top 10 reasons to visit Malaga and to fall in love with this southern city.
- Learn about the art of Pablo Picasso at the Picasso Museum
It’s said that Malaga has two “famous brothers”. One of them is the actor Antonio Banderas, but the other is none other than Pablo Picasso, a household name in the world of modern art. The famous artist was born in Malaga and lived in the city until he was ten years old. Today the house of his birth is open as a monument, as well as a museum which houses many of his works. You won’t find all his famous pieces here (as they are in galleries all around the world) but what you will find is the story and evolution of his life as an artist – an absolute must for any art lover!
2. Food, food, food
Tapas, anyone? It would be a shame to not try tapas on a visit to Malaga.But Malaga isn’t all about the tapas! This gorgeous city is also home to a handful of fantastic places for a hearty Andalusian breakfast, Spain’s most colorful local markets, delicious fried fish shops, and some of the best chiringuitos (beachside seafood restaurants) in the country. Start the day with a billion calories at churrería La Malageña. Churros is a dough made of flour, sugar, salt and water that is deep fried. You dip it in thick, hot chocolate. It’s a breakfast that can wake the dead, the Spanish say who love to eat them on the way home from a night on the town.
3. Sweet wine
Malaga produces some of the best wines every year. You can visit bodegas (pubs) where you can try sweet Malaga wine (Falstaff’s “sack”) dispensed straight from the barrel.Take a glass of wine (make sure you have some tapas too) in the legendary winery El Pimpi. If you’re lucky you could meet some of the celebrities who have left their signature on their barrels.
- THE WEATHER
Málaga benefits from an average of 305 sunny days each year. No rain-checks needed on this vacation!
5. Soak up the sun on Malagueta beach
Malaga is so much more than the Costa del Sol, but given that we have more than 330 days of sunshine per year, no trip to Malaga is complete without paying a visit to the beach. Take a short walk down to Malaga’s most popular beach, Malagueta Beach, where you will find the famous stone sculpture proclaiming its name. Sit in the sun, swim in the sea, or stop by one of the chiringuitos (beach front restaurants) for a cold cerveza and something to eat.
- The Cathedral
A unique and beautiful building that is visible from most of the city. What makes it unique is that it is unfinished and only one of its two towers was ever completed giving it the local name of “La Manquita” – “The One-Armed Lady”. Even though it is incomplete (and actually for us and the locals that is one of the attractions) it is an extraordinarily lovely building. Dating from the mid-16th Century (Diego de Sligoe was the original architect) when construction was started on the site of the old Málaga Mosque. It is a mix of styles and incorporates Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque influences from its lengthy period of construction. Magnificent inside too – highlights are the sculpture by Pedro de Mena, delightful hand-carved wooden choir stalls, a couple of organs and various works of religious art.
- Malaga’s culture
Málaga is an intensely cultural city, and you’re sure to always have something to do. In Malaga, culture runs deep. Malaga has 3,000 years of history from which it has accrued a multitude of customs; hailing from many different cultures, these traditions have left a fascinating flavor that is unique to Malaga. Plus, there is always something going on in Malaga! There is a wide range of exhibitions, festivals (or “ferias”), musical concerts, and more. Witness Malaga decked out in its finest during festivals such as the Feria de Agosto, Carnaval de Malaga and the Fiesta Mayor de Verdiales. As a melting pot of cultures and civilizations, there is no limit to how much you can learn about Malaga’s culture…Four theatres and three concert halls host a wide variety of theatrical, dance, classical music, modern concerts and operatic events.The city is also home to 29 museums, including the Museo Picasso, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, the Contemporary Art Centre… And the list goes on!
Fiesta! Malagueños really know how. The party scene comes into full swing around midnight and continues right up until the break of dawn. Get caught up in the fever and dance the night away in Malaga’s modern disco and night club scene.
9. The People
The laid-back, friendly and warm locals always have a smile ready for the visitor. Malagueños, as the locals are called, also know how to let their hair down- they don’t take themselves seriously and neither should you. Malagueños love their food, and you will usually see them congregated in pubs, tapas bars and restaurants where they are sure to amuse you with their stories and jokes.
10. Malaga Parks and Wildlife
Malaga is blessed with strikingly beautiful and unusual flora and fauna. It is said to be a botanical heaven with tropical and ornamental flowering plants which are amazing and mesmerizing. Malaga Park and La Bateria Park have some plants which have been imported from all over the world and makes these places to be a must visit place. Visit Crocodile park or Lobo Park for some wildlife fun and adventure.
Nothing can beat the superior location of this gateway to the Costa del Sol. Along with being a perfect jumping board for excursions, including quick trips to Granada, Sevilla, and Córdoba, its shore-side location offers up the best of two worlds. Imagine having the sophisticated pleasures of a modern, culture-packed metropolis while basking in the relaxed vibe of a beach town. So whether you’re a culture vulture, a beach comber, a party animal, or a sports enthusiast, you will find yourself right at home in Malaga. 🙂
By Galina Grkovikj