Malaga – not to be missed

Here’s why you need to add the capital of Costa del Sol to your bucket list.

A couple riding a carriage through Malaga Spain at sunset

You’d be forgiven for not knowing much about Malaga, a port city on Southern Spain’s Costa del Sol. However, the once rundown port is now home to a wealth of history and culture that is well worth adding to your bucket list or next European itinerary. Here’s why.

The fifth-most populated city in Spain, Malaga sits in the south of the Iberian Peninsula with the Mediterranean Sea hugging its coastline. With the benefits of both the Malaga mountains rising up behind the city and the regulating effect of the sea, the area enjoys mild temperatures, averaging between 13­–23°C. This means that you can almost always enjoy the beautiful beaches and sparkling Mediterranean waters.

Once considered the poor cousin of Andalucia’s capital city Seville, Malaga now receives the attention it deserves thanks to its quirky museums, pedestrianised centre, stylish hotels and high-calibre restaurants. So what highlights can you expect from Malaga?

Malaga has more museums than any other city in Andalucia. With 36 thus far and counting, there really is something for everyone. You’re literally spoiled for choice in the historic quarter where you’ll find the Carmen Thyssen Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Picasso Museum among others – from A (Air Transport) to W (Wine), the hardest part is choosing which ones will be on your hit list. You’ll find an impressive list at Malaga Tourism.

Other historic landmarks well worth their hype include the newly restored Roman Amphitheatre and imposing Baroque Cathedral, coined ‘La Manquita’ (One Armed Lady), which remains unfinished after it was decided in 1782 that work would stop on the project due to the cost after some 200 years of building, leaving the cathedral with only one of two bell towers. Displaying a collection of religious items that span a period of 500 years, the cathedral really is a work of art with its fabulous domed ceiling soaring 40m into the air. The lone bell tower also offers stunning panoramic views of the city skyline and coast as a reward for those who climb the 200 steps to see it. 

As for the food, there’s no shortage of place to eat and drink in Malaga. You’ll find fare from top end Michelin-starred restaurants to the most humble tapas bars. The traditional espeto (skewer) of fresh sardines cooked over hot coals is an integral (and delicious) part of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

With the rundown port also rebuilt and returned to all its grand glory, Malaga is the perfect port of call for cruisers or as an addition to any European break. An intriguing city, it is one that will delight rather than disappoint. The record number of tourists to the city proves its popularity, so make sure you discover this hidden gem for yourself before every man (and his dog) is there with you.

Find out more at Malaga Tourism.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    18th May 2016
    I'm not keen on big cities, and Malaga didn't do it for me. Instead I visited Frigiliana, a delightful village just north of Malaga a few kilometers from the coast with views of the ocean. It, plus San Jose, a village on the coast just north of Almeira were for me the highlights of my visit to southern Spain last year. Highly recommended!
    18th May 2016
    My brother lives in Marbella and one has to fly into Malaga to get there. In my view Malago is an unattractive industrial city whose main claim to fame is being the birthplace of Picasso. The Picasso museum is worth a look but there are a few Picasso museums in Spain. Avoid Malaga - get on the motorway towards Andalusia which is fab. Córdoba, Seville, Jerez all marvellous typical Spanish cities. Marbella is a sunny place for shady people( to paraphrase Somerset Maughan) but stay there for the Blingy shops then go north.!

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