Malaga is Spain's oldest city in the world, where art is everywhere. It's set along the sparkling coastline of the Costa del Sol and a gorgeous Mediterranean seaside town and home to delicious wine. This hidden gem has become a travel hot spot with year-round sunshine, exquisite food, sandy beaches, natural parks, and different excursions. There are some of the most beautiful moments that people can experience on a cruise ship. So, discover the hidden tourist attractions, culture, traditions, cuisines, and more when you take a cruise to Malaga.
Located near golden sand beaches and a few minutes’ walk from art galleries, boutiques, and a trendy new creative quarter, Málaga is a cultural mecca. You should visit this corner of Spain if those reasons haven't convinced you yet.
Various empires have attempted to hold down Málaga over the past 2,800 years. A Roman Theatre in the city center served as a venue for entertainment between the first and third centuries BCE. Moorish settlers used the site as a quarry after the Roman Empire ceased to exist while building the nearby Alcazaba Fortress. It took five centuries for the theatre to be rediscovered in 1951. The venue has been hosting public performances since 2011, including local poetry readings and stage performances.
There's no better shopping street for fashionistas than Calle Larios in Málaga. Begin your shopping tour at Cafe Central with a coffee and plan your route while you drink. Victoria's Secret, L'Occitane, and Bershka are the international brands you can find here. Jewelry Montaés is a family-run jewelry store with over 100 years of service in the area if you're looking for something authentically Andalusian. Don't drip mint choc chip on your new purchases after a trip to Casa Mira ice cream parlor.
Fried fish is a local favorite, so be sure to order it if you want to eat like a local. The dish is served in restaurants across the city and isn't glamorous but is a Malagueo lunch staple. Don't worry, though - if you aren't a fan of fish, you can still enjoy a tapas dish - or three - instead. With a seasonal menu that combines Spanish and Argentinian flavors, El Mesón de Cervantes is one of the best restaurants in the city. In case you are a carnivore, serve yourself the juicy lamb chops.
Art and culture abound in Malaga. Pablo Picasso was born in this city. A museum honoring this Malaga-born son was built - the Picasso Museum. People visit the building for the exceptional examples of this great artist's work displayed inside, but not for the inventive combination of modern architecture and history. Besides the Museum of Cars, the Pompidou Centre, and the Carmen Thyssen Museum, Malaga offers many other museums. A beautiful current port area and an art district called Soho are located in the city. There are also a half dozen new galleries in the area.
In Malaga, you can explore its historical heritage and enjoy its vibrant nightlife. There's a lot to do, and none of it will hurt your wallet! We've compiled a list of Málaga's must-sees and must-dos to make your planning easier.
An ideal day trip from Málaga, Málaga Natural Park is a 5,000-hectare nature reserve known as 'Málaga's green lung.' Getting there by car takes about an hour. The park has 400 species of plants, 27 mammals, thousands of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and reptile species. Several hiking and cycling trails are marked with different levels of difficulty. Mountain bikes are even available for rent.
A labyrinth of medieval-era pedestrian lanes surrounds the cathedral. There are many atmospheric shops, cafes, and tapas restaurants along the atmospheric streets. This busy square in the Old Town is the center of activity. A good starting point for exploring the historic center of Málaga is here. In the 15th century, the Catholic Monarchs founded the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista near the Plaza de la Constitución. Designed in 18th-century Baroque style, the church blends Gothic and Mudéjar architecture.
The Alcazaba was built in the 11th century on a hilltop in the city's center. From the ramparts, one has a magnificent view of the whole city. A small palace on top holds digs and artifacts. An ancient Moorish castle was built in the ninth century on the ruins of a Roman bastion. For many years, the Muslim rulers ruled from this citadel. With 110 towers and three defense walls, the palace stands on Mount Gibralfaro. Today, only the Torre de la Vela and Torre del Homenaje remain. Castle courtyards also have beautiful gardens. The Provincial Museum of Fine Arts and the Archaeology Museum is housed in the Alcazaba. Both museums exhibit Roman antique goods, such as Hispano Arab pottery and castle models. The first exhibits an exquisite collection of 19th-century paintings.
Gibralfaro castle is another must-see in Malaga. A path offers excellent views over the city from the Alcazaba, where you can walk to the castle. If you don't want to walk too far, you can take bus #35 from the Avenida de Cervantes to get there instead. Throughout the 14th century, the castle was a protective structure for the Alcazaba. There was a lighthouse and a barracks for soldiers. Gibralfaro means "mountain of light," which gave the castle its name. You can see Malaga and the sea from the ramparts and learn about the castle's history in a building right at the entrance. Gibraltar Strait can even be seen on clear days. The view of the Malaga city lights at night is quite beautiful, and it's the best scenic view over the city.
Markets are always the best place to get some tasty local products when you travel to Spain, Sicilia, or Greece. The Atrazanas market is one of the best markets in Malaga. An impressive 19th-century building contains this covered market. Besides fresh produce stalls and cured meat and cheese from Spain, the market is very vibrant. Near the main entrance are also tapas bars, where you can try these fresh, tasty products!
Any time of year is a great time to visit Malaga. A comfortable temperature can be found in spring and autumn. Even though it is pretty hot during the summer, tourists are not adversely affected. During the Mediterranean holiday season, you can enjoy cool breezes all year. Malaga is a popular destination for people from Northern Europe in autumn when the sun is available. In addition to festivals and bullfights held during the summer and autumn, these times are also known for various festivals.