by John Kramer,
Malaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol (the sun coast) is one of the most visited cities in the World. Over 5 million tourists landed in Malaga’s International Airport last year.
It is also a city that very few tourists actually stay in. Malaga is more of a transit point to get from A to B. People land, jump in a hire car or taxi and head off for their beach holiday in one of the Costa del Sol’s better known destinations. It’s a shame because Malaga is a beautiful city and one that is richly steeped in culture and tradition. It is also one of the few cities on the Costa del Sol that has managed to retain its Spanish character and feel.
Having lived on the Costa del Sol for over thirteen years, it never ceases to amaze me how few people know Malaga. Here are my five top suggestions for things to do when visiting the city.
Malaga’s most famous artist and most probably the World’s most renowned Malagueño (outside of Antonio Banderas). No visit to Malaga would be complete without a visit to the Picasso Museum. Situated in the heart of Malaga, the museum has recently extended its collection and now offers some 233 works of art. Entrance to the museum is free on the last Sunday of each month. For more information
I am big believer in the saying ‘to really get a feel for a country or place, you should visit its market.’ The Atarazanas is Malaga’s central market and one with quite a history.
Built by the Moors in the 14th century. It was originally used as ship builder’s yard. Atarazanas can be loosely translated as such in Arabic. Not to be missed. The market is open from Monday to Saturday from 0800hrs until 1400hrs. Closed on Sundays. For more information – Google map
Gibralfaro Castle and the Alcazaba
The Gibralfaro, or lighthouse hill, is without a doubt Malaga’s most emblematic landmark. Perched on a hill, overlooking the city, it also offers the best views of Malaga, the port and the surrounding areas. There is no better place to watch the sunset. The Gibralfaro Castle sits just behind the Alcazaba. The Alcazaba in Malaga is the largest Muslim military installation to have been preserved in Spain. It is also blessed with some spectacular gardens.
The Centro Historico
Malaga’s old district. Wandering around the centro historico is like nothing else. Unchanged throughout the years, it almost feels as if you are stepping back in time. Small, windy streets that lead to beautiful squares and hidden churches. Some of Malaga’s best bars and restaurants can be found here, including what many consider to be the best – Bodega-Bar El Pimpi.
The Centro Historico is not on the usual tourist route but for anyone looking for the ‘authentic’ Malaga, it is highly recommended.
Finca de la Concepcion – Malaga’s botanical gardens
Malaga’s botanical gardens, known as the ‘Finca de la Concepcion’ are an authentic oasis. Situated just 7kms outside the center of Malaga. The magnificent gardens were created in the middle of the 19C by an upper-class Malaga couple, Jorge Loring and Amelia Heredia. With over three hundreds specifies of tropical and sub-tropical plants, waterfalls, lakes and Roman Ruins you could hope for a more refreshing place to escape the warm Malaga summers.
Author’s Bio : John Kramer travelled extensively before settling in Southern Spain over thirteen years ago. Tri-lingual and with a background in IT, he now works for Spain Holiday which provides rental solutions across Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Holiday rentals in Malaga