Malaga is the sixth-largest city in Spain. Considered to be the most cosmopolitan city in southern Spain, this city is the home to over 571,000 citizens and it’s also one of the most chosen tourist attractions in the entire country.
The city of Malaga is very rich in history and in fact, it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe. Often called “the new Barcelona”, Malaga is also the capital of Costa del Sol (an autonomous community of Andalusia). If you are looking for a trip to Spain and you want to experience the Spanish culture then this article is for you. You’ll likely want to hire a car in Malaga airport if you are visiting. Here is what makes Malaga a great city to visit and why you should pay it a visit.
The Gibralfaro Castle is perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Malaga. It was built in the 14th century with its main purpose being to protect the “(La) Alcazaba”. The castle’s origins can be traced all the way to the era of the Phoenicians. The Gibralfaro Castle offers fantastic views that can show you the size and the location of Malaga.
· (La) Alcazaba (of Malaga)
Alcazaba comes from Arabic and translated in Spanish it means “citadel”. It was built in the late 10th and early 11th century by the Hammudid dynasty. This palatial fortification has a military aspect and for that, it’s one of the most valued Islamic constructions in the entire country. If you are interested in getting a better view of Malaga, then you have to check the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro.
La Malagueta Beach
Located between “Playa de La Malagueta” and “El Puerto de Malaga”, La Malagueta Beach is another tourist attraction. This popular beach Is just 10 minutes away from the city centre. Over a kilometer in length, the dark sanded beach is the perfect place for a day in the sun or near the sea. Surrounded by fresh air and small areas filled with palm trees, the beach also has many beach bars where you can try some of the traditional cocktails or foods such as “fritura malagueña” (cooked seafood varieties), “boquerones” (anchovies in vinegar), and “espartos de sardines” (sardine skewers).
The old town in Malaga combines both modernity and tradition and that’s why it’s must-see. Among some of the locations in the Old Town that are worth visiting are the “Cale Marques de Larios” (pedestrian and shopping street), “Calle Granada” (the most central thoroughfare in Malaga), “El Pimpi” (the city’s most famous restaurant) and of course, the “Plaza de la Merced” (which is where Pablo Picasso was born).
Galleries and museums
Malaga is the home to one of the most popular artists ever – Pablo Picasso and it’s full of magnificent galleries and museums. In fact, the city is known to offer the best gallery scene in southern Spain. Starting from “Plaza de la Merced” (Picasso’s birthplace), “Museo Picasso” (the most popular gallery in Malaga), “Pompidou Centre” (often compared to the Parisian gallery).
Among some of the other museums and art galleries in Malaga that are must-see are the “Picasso Museum”, the “Museo Casa Natal de Picasso”, the “Contemporary Art Centre of Malaga”, and the “Museo Carmen Thyssen Malaga”
La Alameda Park
Also known as the “Alameda Park”, this is the perfect place for walking, relaxing, or taking a break from the rush of the city. The subtropical botanical garden is one of the most beautiful spots in the entire town. Located right in the heart of Malaga, the park was reconstructed in 1876 and it became one of Malaga’s main avenues. In the La Alameda Park, you can see fountains, statues, gardens on both sides and plenty of subtropical vegetation.
Among some of the many monuments that can be seen in the Alameda Park are: “Biblioteca de Mujeres”, the “Nymph Pitcher”, “Arturo Reyes”, the “Statue of Summer and Winter” (also called “Dame Goyescas”), “Burro Platero”, the “Nymph Conch Shell” and many others.
Also known as “Manquita” (which means one-armed), this humongous Roman Catholic church was constructed between 1528 and 1782. Manquita has a very unique appearance and is certainly worth a visit. The majestic building is built in parts in Baroque style and is divided into two levels. The cathedral serves as one of the best examples the Spanish religious art. It’s also worth noting that the Malaga Cathedral is in the Renaissance architectural tradition and inside, you can find the Cathedral Museum (or “Museo Catedralicio”).
The Roman Theatre
In Spanish “Teatro Romano de Malaga”, the theatre is one of the remaining symbols of the Roman Hispania. This historical tourist attraction in Andalusia was discovered in the 1950s and it’s believed to be built around the 1st century AD during the age of Augustus. Currently, all of the theatre’s elements have been uncovered – the entrance to the stage/proscenium, the “cavea”, and the “vomitorium”, however, there are still excavations running.
Located right next to the main port of Malaga, Muelle Uno was opened in 2011. The port offers some of the best (panoramic) views of Malaga. It is covered with bars, modern shops, and restaurants and is definitely worth a visit.
Another perfect example of the architecture from the past in Malaga is the Ataranzas Market. Also known as “Mercado de Ataranzas”, it dates back to the 14th century and was occupied by the Nasrid dynasty. A few centuries later, it was reconstructed and turned into a central food market. Now the Ataranzas Market is open from Monday to Saturday and it serves as one of the most important shopping centres in Malaga. From the market, both locals and tourists can buy fresh products such as all sorts of sea products, especially fishes like sardines and anchovies that are the key ingredients to some of Malaga’s traditional dishes (“pescaito” among many others).
Besides all of these fascinating tourist attractions, what makes Malaga a great city to visit is the fact that you can witness the unique and exciting Spanish culture and history. If you are a fan of cultural, dynamic, or exciting cities, then Malaga should definitely be on your list of cities to visit.