Things to do in Malaga
As a major tourism hub in Spain, Malaga is evidently one of the most visited cities in Spain and most popular summer destinations for Europeans. Malaga has its excellent location along Costa del Sol to thank for. But are there just beaches and nothing else in Malaga? Go beyond the touristy-clodded beach towns and you’ll find a charismatic side to Malaga that few see. In the old city centre of Malaga, you’ll find charming streets lined with the usual traditional stores and cafeterias as well as emblematic monuments such as the Alcazaba fortification and Roman theatre ruins.
What you will manage to see and do in Malaga depends on how long you’ll be here for – you can easily combine a visit to Malaga city with a beach vacation along Costa del Sol. If you are on a short vacation or simply stopping by, there are plenty of attractions in Costa del Sol as well as free things to do in Costal del Sol that can make your trip worthy and memorable. If you’re short of time, check out our 2-days in Malaga itinerary suggestions. Here are our suggestions for things to do in Malaga:
Museo Pablo Picasso
In honor of the great artist, the Museo Pablo Picasso was built in his hometown of Malaga. The father of cubism, Pablo Picasso, was born in Malaga on October 25th 1881. Malaga has never forgotten its local hero, who has become one of Spain’s greatest artists. The city is home to no less than three museums dedicated to keeping the artist’s memory alive. The Museo Picasso Málaga opened in 2003 in the Buenavista Palace, and has 155 works donated by members of Picasso’s family. Although there is also a Picasso Museum in Barcelona, this is the original site where Picasso had created some of the best art works in the world. Besides its role displaying the work of Picasso, the museum has also committed itself to relaunch the city’s cultural life, and to focus not only on tourism but on the local culture.
Enclosing the old centre of Malaga, the Alcazaba is a Moorish fortification created in the 8th century to serve as the palace of the governors of the city. It is the best-preserved alcazaba, meaning citadel, in Spain. Next to the entrance to the Alcazaba are the ruins of a Roman theatre dating to the 2nd century which is undergoing restoration. Built on a hill in the centre of the city, overlooking the port, the Alcazaba offers the best panoramic view in town. Be sure to come here at night, you’ll have the place to yourself and the night lights of Malaga at your feet.
Visit the Gibralfaro Castle
Poised on the hilltop overlooking Malaga old town, the Gibralfaro is an ancient fortress on mount of 131 meters that is closely linked to the Alcazaba. It dates back to the time when the Phoenicians founded the present city of Malaga. The name is derived from the Phoenician word for light, Jbel-Faro, meaning “Rock of Light”. The castle overlooks the modern city of Málaga and the Mediterranean Sea, with the Alcazaba and the Jardines de Puerta Oscura etched at the end of the fortress. Currently, there are plans to build a funicular railway that will bring visitors to the centre of the Gibralfaro Castle. Along with the Alcazaba, this is the most popular place to visit in Malaga.
Try Malaga Sweet Wine
Malaga is best known as the birthplace of specialty sweet wine, Malaga (named after the city). Evidently, this is where you come to try the best sweet wine. The wine is produced using grapes grown in the región and has acquired a special flavor from the combination of natural earth and sunny climate. One place highly recommended by locals is the Antigua Casa de Guardia. By night, people in Malaga like to go to the tapas bars for some food before heading to the wine bars for some Malaga sweet wine.
Stroll through its Shopping District
Malaga’s main shopping avenue is ablaze with the new season’s collections. Calle Marques de Larioshas got it going on when it comes to finding quality one-offs. As well as flashy designer boutiques, there are bohemian galleries and those ubiquitous family-run huckster shops that you always seem to come across on Spanish side-streets.
Day Trips from Malaga
Thanks to its convenient location, there are several excellent day trip options from Malaga. One of them include the Finca del a Concepción (La Concepcíon Estate): a botanical and archaeological garden exuding a relaxing atmosphere and an alluring setting. Other nearby destinations worth visiting include the Alhambra in Granada, El Torcal National Park, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Caves of Nerja. These are all within a 2-hour drive and offer a glimpse of Andalusia’s countryside.