Malaga, More than Just an Airport
Welcome to Malaga Area Guide, this post gives you the best of Malaga, and what you need to see and do while visiting. Culture, ancient ruins and the Picasso Museum is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to touring Malaga. Malaga, unfortunately has been ignored for far too long as many just think “airport” when planning a trip to the Costa del Sol. But, and thankfully, since 2014, many of its amazing attractions have been getting plenty of worldwide attention.
Malaga City is dubbed the “capital of the Costa del Sol” and it’s easy to see why, once you get to know this beautiful city. There was a time not to long ago, when many referred to Malaga has “Seville’s poor Andalusian cousin”. Seville after all is the capital of Andalusia, and of course another destination that is a must for your holiday “must see” list.
Today however, Malaga city is at the forefront when it comes to attractions and most notably it’s spectacular feria’s and events – especially Easter, known as Semana Santa. Malaga City suits every taste, with its mixture of Moorish, Renaissance and Modern cultural landmarks.
Malaga Area Guide – Cities History
Today, Malaga is a urban metropolis with a population of 600,000, and where the past meets the present in magnificent splendor. The city is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 770 bc. Malaga city was originally a Phoenician settlement, and called Malaka. Throughout centuries it was occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans and Arab Maurer. Then in 1487 it was conquered by the Christians.
Places you should See while in Malaga
Around every corner of Malaga you will be treated to many different sights. With so many cultural and historical attractions, we suggest you start the day nice and early, and wear comfortable shoes! Walking Malaga is the best way to take it all in. If you want to dive into some history, check out Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress, sitting high on a hill and overlooking the entire city. To get to Alcazba, we recommend the lift on Calle Guillen Sotelo. You may also catch the cities tour bus, which will drop you off and pick you up.
If you make your way down to the city centre, you can continue your exploration of Malaga’s Moorish past. The Gibralfaro Castle, which is the lower fortress and the royal residence linked to the Alcazaba. The Renaissance cathedral’s presence won’t go unnoticed in the heart of old town. In 1528 construction began after the city was conquered by Ferdinand and Isabella. In 1782 construction was finally stopped, and the building work was never completed. Eventually most of the façade was completed in Baroque style, but the South tower was never constructed, and today locals call it “La Manquita”, which translates to “the one armed lady”.
Malaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and the city has three main art spaces – Picasso Museum, Thyssen Museum and the Contemporary Art Centre. Malaga has always been incredibly proud and rightfully so, of its born and raised celebrities. Besides Picasso, Malaga is home to Movie Star Antonio Banderas, who also owns a home in the city, and in Marbella. Every year, Antonio visits and sticks around for many events including Semana Santa.
The brand new area of SOHO is now the location for street art, which is part of the Maus Project, an urban regeneration initiative featuring renowned street artists. In 2015 Malaga’s art circuit was further enhanced with the opening of the Pompidou Centre in Muelle Uno port.
The very modern port area, Muelle Uno is an area worth visiting. It’s the go to zone for shopping, dining and just walking to take it all in. During your walk, you will no doubt notice the largest cruisers docking at the port. Millions of tourist disembark the large cruise liners and make their way across the city to soak up all that sunshine and culture.
Next on the “must see” list is Malaga’s markets, particularly the Atarazanas Market. This is a great place to get to know Malaga’s sometimes quirky nature. The Mercado Central is an absolute paradise for foodies, and most restaurants on the scene purchase fresh fish, meats, vegetables, spices, fruit and more. For more information on Atarazanas Market, check out this Insider’s Guide.
Malaga really sets itself apart, and is a destination like no other the world over. Where else can you visit world-class museums in the morning, each lunch by the port or beach in the afternoon, and blend in with the historical significance all around you.
Beaches in Malaga City
Obviously we can’t possibly end our literary tour of Malaga without telling you about the beaches. This is the south of Spain afterall and if you want sunshine and blue flag beaches, you’ve come to the right place.
In Malaga there are 15 beaches, from chichi beach of Baños del Carmen to Playa de la Misericordia, golden sands and clean beaches is what awaits you and the entire family. The beaches of Malaga are clean, family-friendly and accessible. Retaurants, bars and clubs line the beaches and offer traditional cuisine like Pescaito Malagueno (fried mixed fish). If you want something a bit more historic, you will love the Moroccan style couscous and mint tea.
For a truly Andalusia experience in culinary delights, you must try the Sangria, Calamari, and of course Paella. Paella is the national dish in the South of Spain, and will tantalize your taste buds.
Remember, when you leave the Airport don’t forget the best part
The south of Spain is incredibly unique, and has a cultural all of its own setting it apart from the rest of the country. In Malaga province, you will experience more than just sunshine, sights and cuisine. Something about Andalusia stays with you when you leave, and it’s a love shared by millions the world over.
Have you been to Malaga? What did you think? Leave us a comment below and tell us about your Malaga experience.