Spanish Riviera – Malaga in Costa del Sol
Malaga is a big city, second biggest of Andalusia the 6th biggest in Spain with more than 500.000 inhabitants. It is also one of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, since 8th century BC. Malaga was settled by the Phoenician and then ruled by the Carthage, Rome, Visigoths, Muslims and only since 1487 is under Castille/Spain control. This long and rich history shows on the city, specially in its old town. The Muslim rule is particularly interesting and reflects very much on Malaga’s beauty and attractiveness. We were expecting Malaga to be much more directed to beach and nightlife tourism, but it does have much to offer in terms of cultural and historical tourism.
Best things to do in Malaga
Malaga’s Alcazaba is one of our favorites monuments in Andalusia, together with Granada’s Alhambra and Cordoba’s Mosque/Cathedral. And just putting it at the same level as these two states how much we liked it. The Alcazaba is the fortress/palace from where the Muslims ruled the city. It’s in the hillside of the Gibralfaro Castle and has 3 concentric walls. It’s full of trees, paths and gardens on the inside, making it a fabulous and romantic monument to go. It costs 2.2 Euros to enter or 3.5 Euros if in a combined ticket with Castle Gibralfaro.
Castle of Gibralfaro was built in the 14th century and from its viewpoints you get the most beautiful views of Malaga, the harbor, the coasts, the bullring, the long horizon. Although not as astonishing as the Alcazaba, it was very nice to walk through it, discover every corner and viewpoint to the city. Tickets have the same pricing as the Alcazaba.
Atarazanas Market is a 14th Century building right in the middle of the town. Interestingly, through its history it has been a shipyard, a convent, a hospital and a medical school… Nowadays is buzzing market, full of people, colors and smells. Fish, meat, cheese, fruit and veggies, all fresh and at the good prices. Seafood (colossal prawns) and olives (the huge ones) were particularly impressive . Note that the market is open until 14:00 from Monday to Saturday.
La Malagueta Beach
La Malagueta beach is the typical sandy urban beach. It’s very close to the center and east to the Part/Marina. Being so close makes it very lively, full of bars/restaurants and easily accessible. On the other hand you lose on water cleanness and peacefulness.
Malaga’s Port goes back to 1000BC and it’s nowadays a big cruise Port. It’s very close to la Malagueta and the new Quay one, full of restaurants, bars and stores make it a very lively place and pleasant for strolls along the water. We definitely recommend you to take a walk from city center to the Port, Quay one and into La Malagueta Beach.
Malaga is a parking nightmare. There are little to no free parking spots near the city center. If you are using a car leave it outside town or in a town car park. In these parks you can ask reduced fee in your hotel/hostel. Full price was 24 Euros but it was reduced to 18 Euros.
If you have a car you can easily have a day trip to Mijas, one of the famous white villages of Andalusia!
Couplertw recommends you to sleep as close to the center as possible and you will in walking distance of everything above! We stayed at Pension la Palma at a fantastic price right in heart of Malaga. It’s perfect for backpackers and the owner is just lovely and helpful. Click to check current price.
Have you been to Malaga? What do think of it? Share your thoughts with us!