malaga cathedral customs house and Alcazaba

Málaga – A Historic Jewel On The Mediterranean Coast

Málaga is famous for its bright, sunny days, laid-back lifestyle, and sizzling nightlife. It’s a university city, and from 10pm until the early hours of the morning the streets are alive with people of all ages and nationalities. there’s plenty of street theatre and live music, fantastic food and plenty to drink.

Visit Málaga and you’ll fall in love with this amazing city that’s been baking under the Andalucía sun since it was founded by the Phoenicians nearly 3000 years ago.

It’s been home to Romans, Arabs and Christians, and it’s the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and perhaps more famously, Antonio Banderas.

Málaga is one of the World’s safest cities and really good value; you won’t have to worry about the price gouging you’ll find in other capital cities.

Getting To Málaga From The Pablo Picasso Airport


It’s really easy to get into Málaga from the airport as it’s only 7km from the city centre. As you come out of the main terminal you’ll see the bus stop right in front of you, the taxi rank off to the right, and the Metro station across the road

Trains into Málaga take 10 minutes and run every 20 minutes 24 hours a day

El Pimpi Is The Most Popular Meeting Point For Everyone In Málaga


Named after El “Pimpi”, a popular character from Málaga who helped crew and passengers of boats that arrived at the port.

It’s the number one location for eating, drinking, chilling, and people-watching in Málaga.

You’ll find it in the centre of the historic town, opposite the Roman amphitheater.

Make Sure To Check Out Spanish Fish and Chips


Fritura malagueña is Málaga’s version of fish and chips but way nicer. It’s popular all along the coast but never better than when you eat it in its home town.

Everyone has their own recipe, no two are ever the same except that they’re all made with small white fish, anchovies, crustaceans, and shellfish dipped in batter and fried.

As a starter or a main, fritura malagueña is best eaten on the beach with a sprinkling of lemon juice, a plate of chips, and an ice-cold beer.

La Malagueta Beach


Málaga has seven beaches, and they all have beautiful fine soft sand and safe swimming. Lots of little fish swim along the shore to keep the kids happy.

Malagueta beach is the most popular, it’s just to the east of the port, and it’s lined with fantastic chiringuitos (beach bars) serving ice-cold beer or wine along with local and fried or barbequed fish.

You’ll want to try espetos. (Sardine skewers cooked on a boat-shaped barbecue on the beach), barbequed squid and octopus along with the ever-popular Fritura malagueña.

There are plenty of great hotels close to the beach; the best of all is the fabulous Gran Hotel Miramar which is perfect for a special occasion.

Málaga Has a Huge Range Of Indoor and Outdoor Markets Selling Everything You Can Imagine


The most famous is the Central Market of Atarazanas close to the banks of the “mighty” Guadalhorce River.

(I’m not sure where the “mighty” came from, take a look and decide for yourself).

The market has been supplying Malagueños with their fresh fish, meat, fruit, and vegetables for over 200 years. It’s well worth a visit because you’ll see so many local specialties that you won’t find anywhere else.

You should also take a look at the Salamanca Market to the north of the city. There’s not so much to buy but the building itself with its enormous Neoclassical facade is one of the most astonishing pieces of architecture in Málaga.

Victoria – The Original Málaga Beer “Malagueña y exquisita” (From Málaga and Delicious)


A quick note in passing about the famous Victoria Málaga beer that you‘ll see advertised on awnings and banners throughout the city.

The Cervezas Victoria story begins on the 8th of September 1928, the feast day of Santa Maria de la Victoria, Patron Saint of Málaga.

Their philosophy was to combine German master brewers and their machinery with the local Málaga approach. And over 70 years later Victoria beer is as popular as ever. Don’t leave Málaga without trying it.

Málaga Port Is a Great Place to Hang Out


The port is huge, there are over 70 shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as a massive underground car park which is handy.

If you get bored of the port (which you won’t because there’s always something going on), then you’ve got Maluagetaa beach 5-minute walk away

At the entrance to the port there’s the Centre Pompidou Málaga home to some of the greatest examples of twentieth-century art

The port itself is home to the oldest yacht club in Spain as well as the usual suspects: glass bottom boats, fishing trips, dolphin watching etc, etc. there’s also a ferry to Melilla the Spanish exclave in North Africa.

Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación


One of the jewels of the Spanish Renaissance the cathedral towers is built on the site of the Almohad mosque.

It towers over the old town and looks out across the Mediterranean.

The Málaga cathedral choir has 42 carvings that are mostly the work of Pedro de Mena. It’s a masterpiece and one of the most important works of its kind.

There are also two magnificent working organs with more than 4,000 pipes, beautiful examples of these 18th-century musical instruments.

If you like a church then make sure to spend a few hours here, it’s just great

The Cervantes Theatre – Home To The Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra


This is the city’s main theatre and as you’d expect it has great acoustics.

Some of the biggest names in classical music perform here every month from June to September

Christmas and Easter are usually celebrated with some special events.

Málaga Is The Place For Live Music


Whatever your taste in music you’ll always find something to make you happy.

Málaga attracts big names from both the international and Spanish music scene. There’s every kind of music playing around the city throughout the year.

There’s classical, salsa, flamenco, pop, rock, latino, bachata, merengue, reggaeton, and much more playing in the concerts halls, clubs, bars, and beaches that Málaga is so famous for.

Málaga has a thriving jazz scene, and the annual Málaga Jazz Festival in November features the best jazz artists from around the World.

El Teatro Romano – The Roman Amphitheatre Of Málaga


This huge Roman amphitheater is the oldest building in Málaga City and one of the few remaining symbols of Roman Hispania in the city.

Built in the first century AD, It’s really well preserved and has so many interesting features like the salting ponds where they made garum (fish paste). It’s well worth a look.

You’ll find it in the cultural heart of the old city (opposite El Pimpi) at the foot of the famous Alcazaba fortress.

In the square opposite, there are usually music students from the university practicing and hoping to make a few euro in tips.

The Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro


This huge fortress-palace, whose name in Arabic means citadel, is one of the city’s most popular historical monuments.

Built at the foot of the Gibralfaro hill in the early 11th century by the Muslin Hammudid dynasty the Málaga Alcazaba is the best-preserved alcazaba in Spain.

On the top of Gibralfaro is a smaller castle.  There have been fortifications here since the Phoenicians founded Málaga in 770BC.

(The name comes from Arabic: Jbel, meaning rock or mount, and the Greek word for light: Faro, hence Jbel-Faro, “Rock of Light”).

There’s a walled passage called the Coracha that connects the Alcazaba to the Gibralfaro. It’s a tough walk up but well worth the efforts for the amazing views from the top.

Together With the Roman Theatre and the Aduana Customs Building,  this enclave lets you see World-class examples of Roman, Arab, and Renaissance culture, all within a few metres of each other.

The Palacio De La Aduana (“Customs Palace”)


Originally a customs house for the Port of Málaga, this Neoclassical building was modeled on Renaissance Italian palaces. Charles III of Spain approved it in 1787 and it was eventually finished in 1829

Having started life as a customs house it was later used as Real Fábrica de Tabaco (Royal Tobacco Factory). As the seat of the city government. By the Policía Nacional, and as storage for the collection of the Fine Arts section of the Museo de Málaga.

Plaza De La Constitución and Calle Larios –  Málagas Champs Elysees


Calle Marqués de Larios, or just Calle Larios, is a pedestrianised shopping street built in 1891 by the famous Larios family. It leads from near the port up to the Plaza de la Constitución. 

It’s the most expensive street to live on in Málaga and it’s filled with upmarket bars, cafes, businesses, shops, and hotels. It’s very nice.

At Christmas, they have an amazing light show and they often hold live events in the main square especially at Easter and during the famous Málaga fair in August.

The Annual Málaga Fair In August Is One Of The Biggest In Spain


Amazingly it been held every year since 1487. It was canceled in 2020 due to the covid pandemic but hopefully, it’ll be back this year.

The fair is really important for Malagueños. It celebrates the retaking of the city from the Muslims by the Catholic Monarchs Isabel and Fernando on August 19, 1487.

There are two parts to the fair; during the day the celebrations are in the historic center of Málaga. As night falls they move to the Cortijo de Torres fairground at the edge of the city.

It’s a huge event with every kind of attraction. Rides, dancing, music, street theatre and lots and lots (and lots) of very happy people.

The Picasso Museum


This is the most-visited museum in southern Spain bar none.

The Picasso Museum has a permanent collection, called Conversations with Picasso 2020-2023. It’s a journey through the most representative periods of his long career.

The exhibition explores the artistic creativity of the 20th century’s greatest artist and Málagas’s most famous son.

There are usually some good exhibitions from other influential 20th century artists. It’s a must-see for anyone visiting Málaga.

Having read this far you’ll now know enough about Málaga to hit the ground running. If you need help or advice don’t be afraid to talk to the locals (especially the young ones). Many of them speak English and they’re all very friendly.


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