Think of Malaga, and you will reply with a summer sun destination where millions from Northern Europe descend each year to soak up the sun rays. Nothing wrong with that either. A place blessed with sandy beaches, vibrant culture, warm weather and delicious food can’t be bad.
The Andalusian city is on something of a renaissance course, it’s reinventing itself, and we’re giving you the lowdown on why adding Malaga to your wish list is a must. And it’s not just an arrival point, or a place to catch the sun, although you can choose to relx on one of its 16 beaches. And here’s why.
Malaga has a fascinating cultural side, neighbourhoods that are on the innovative side of Spanish culture, a culinary, well, tapas scene that is thriving and a port that’s been transformed. Many visitors will head for the resorts and not give this city their time, really they should be. Let’s explore Malaga, it’s prettier than you think.
Let’s start our look at the best of Malaga by talking about the city’s most famous son, Pablo Picasso, well, it seems appropriate. Malaga is the birthplace of the famous artist, and where he spent his early childhood. The city influenced his work and there are several places worth going to. The Picasso Museum Malaga is the prime attraction, go there for the art. Other places of interest include the church of Santiago (where he was baptised), Picasso foundation and birthplace museum and the La Malagueta bullring (a place he attended with his father).
Other museums of note
Away from Picasso, there are several interesting museums to visit. The Pompidou Centre Malaga, the collection of the Russian Museum in Malaga and the Roman theatre are places that’ll keep you interested.
Around the historic centre
Going for a wander is one of travel’s great pleasures. Finding those pretty squares and little hidden away cafes. Slightly livelier, the city’s well-known street is Calle Larios, a place full of life. Try out one of the nine different ways to drink coffee! Yes, there really are!
It’s close to here you’ll find the Picasso Museum, and in the historic centre there’s also the Basilica de la Encarnacion, the cathedral. Plenty to keep you occupied.
The fortress-palace is one of Malaga’s top attractions, so is well worth a visit. Built in the 11th century, you’ll also find the Roman theatre at the foot of the fortress. So you’ll get to enjoy two great places in one go.
Around the neighbourhoods
There are some fascinating and interesting neighbourhoods well worth exploring before hitting the beach. It’ll highlight the artistic and rebellious side of the city. Barrio de las Artes is where you’ll get your contemporary art pickings. There’s graffiti to spot, and the Malaga Contemporary Art Centre to explore.
On the beach
To finish, let’s head to the beach! Well, it’s what the vast majority of people come here for. The Pedragalejo esplanade may be a little way out of town, but it’s worth visiting for the snack bars and restaurants on the beach, and a swim in the sea! Back in town there are beaches, Malagueta beach, an example.
Malaga is a changed place, a city revived. So, next time you decide to head for the sun, the sandy beaches of the Costa del Sol spend some time exploring its principal city, away from the resorts and development towns. You’ll find a very different place.