Home > Study in Spain > City Guide > Málaga
Málaga City Guide
- Places of Interest
- Getting to
- Getting around the city
Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol, the second most populous city in the autonomous community of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain making it a well-known, popular destination for people all over the world. Not only this, but this beautiful tourist hot-spot location experiences the warmest weathers of any European city.
As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, this city is bursting with culture and a vast influential history. Malaga is lined with 16 beaches so offers an incredible relaxing haven to explore and enjoy the beach cafés as well as the city's gastronomy such as "pescaito frito" (fried fish).
The historical centre makes it an ideal cultural spot with ancient ruins from both the Romans and the Moors dating as far back as 1st century BC. Not only this, but Malaga is bursting with museums and is scattered with stunning parks and gardens all over the city. With this explosion of greenery, bright colours, sparkling blue waters and ancient monuments, Malaga is an ideal destination for anyone as it has much to offer for all tastes and will not fail to impress.
Places of Interest
Built mainly during the 11th century, this is one of the older attractions in Malaga and the best-preserved Alcazaba in Spain. It was once the palace-fortress of the city's governing Muslims and was built on the summit of a hill formed by two walled areas which overlooks the city's port. There is a lift running from Calle Guillén Sotelo, behind the Town Hall making the Alcazaba more easily accessible. Entry is a mere 1.95€ and opening hours run throughout most of the day.
Built in the 14th and 15th centuries on the site of a Phoenician lighthouse, the castle was originally constructed to defend the Alcazaba against military attack. This is located next to the Alcazaba and is a beautiful, historical piece of architecture to be admired. Entry costs 1,95€ and the castle is open from 9am-6pm.
Dating back to the 16th-18th century, Malaga's cathedral lies where the city's main Mosque once stood during the eight centuries of Muslim domination. What makes it interesting is that the cathedral still remains unfinished as it is missing the top part of the main piece and the south tower is also incomplete. It is for this that it has been affectionately named La Manquita or "one-armed". Inside, the cathedral contains stunning choir stalls, beautiful sculptures, and magnificent 18th century organs which are still in good working-condition to this day. If you fancy discovering more about the cathedral's vast history, it is well worth making a visit to the Cathedral Museum also which is tucked inside the cathedral itself.
Dating back to the 1st century B.C, Malaga's Roman theatre is situated at the foot of the Alcazaba. It was disovered in 1951 and appears to have been out of use since the 3rd century. The theatre is currently undergoing renovation however this is proving slightly problematic as the Moors used it as a quarry and took parts of it to build the Alcazaba fortress. It is free to visit the Roman theatre and is a wonder to see and imagine the thousands of civilisations that have passed through it since its creation in 1st century B.C.
Plaza de la Merced (Picasso's Family Home)
This is a stunning square containing the obelisk erected as a tribute to General Torrijos and the house where Picasso was born. This square saw Picasso as a boy, and him growing up through the early years. It is where his parents met and also once held the residence of well known politicians, artists, sculptors and writers. By the end of the 19th century, Plaza de la Merced was where the bourgeoisie chose to spend their time. Today, the square is filled with the flight of pigeons and doves and is an important part of Malaga in terms of the history it fills and its spectacular beauty.
Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens
Designed by the architect Guerrero Strachan in 1945 post-war, these are Malaga's purest example of formal, Mediterranean gardens. Strachan is responsible for many other of the city's magnificent historical gardens. Characterised by both Hispanic-Muslim and French styles, the gardens are flourishing with colour and vibrancy. With cypress hedges, orange trees, calm ponds, gushing fountains and a large aviary, the gardens offer much variety and a sublime mix between architecture and botany. Being located in the centre of the city, these gardens are a great place to stop-by and relax in between sightseeing.
Not only is Malaga popular with tourists for its fantastic weather and beaches, but also for its incredibly host of cultural elements. Malaga is a true city of museums, offering an abundant amount, and all catering for different interests.
Picasso Museum of Malaga
Located in Buenavista Palace, a 17th century Renaissance building lies the stunning architectural dream of the Pablo Picasso Museum. More than 200 of the artist's works such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, sketches, etchings, ceramics, oil paintings and much more are here to be seen by the public. It is one of Malaga's gems and is not to be missed out on. 6 euros is the small price to pay to see Picasso's masterpieces and all that he has left behind in the incredible museum. The museum is also open between 10am – 8pm allowing you plenty of time to appreciate the art.
Picasso's Birthplace Museum
As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, this museum is a popular attraction for many people. Inside, the museum contains original works by the artist himself and is located on the first floor of the house where the artist was born and lived the first years of his life. There are also three separate rooms dedicated to the different artistic means of expression that Picasso used: ceramics, etchings and illustrated books. Entry is only 1€ and the museum is open from 10am-8pm so there is plenty of time during the day to make a visit!
World famous for its beaches stretching out for more than 14 kilometres, Marbella is a holiday haven for anyone wanting to enjoy the Spanish climate and a thoroughly relaxing break. With 16 beaches making up the city's coastline, there is an ample choice between the urban and lively beaches close to all other amenities such as La Malagueta, Pedregalejo and San Andrés, or the more out of town secluded beaches offering tranquillity and privacy such as Guadalmar or Campo de Golf. Moreover, Malaga's beaches are lined with cafés and restaurants along the esplanades where you can taste true Malagueño cuisine such as an array of seafood dishes.
Getting to Malaga
Malaga Airport is the busiest in Spain is located a mere 8km from the capital receiving flights both nationally and internationally. The airport has an abundance of services to cater for everyone's needs such as bars, restaurants, fast food outlets, a pharmacy, ATMs, a bank, cafés and plenty of shops. There are buses leaving the airport to enter the city every 30 minutes from the early morning until midnight.
Malaga has an extremely well-connected railway station offering services all throughout Europe. Its central location makes it easily accessible and it offers quick services direct to Malaga Airport.
As Malaga's bus station is in an ideally central location, in fact next to the train station, transfer to other modes of transport is very easy. Also, the bus station offers cheap transport all over Spain and moreover, even to various destinations across Europe. The surrounding villages are also only a stone throw away and easily reached by bus so a visit to any of these is well recommended.
Malaga is linked to the sea and has its own port where it receives Tourist Cruise ships from various destinations around the world.
Getting around the city
Walking is a fantastic way of getting around Malaga as, once you are in the historical city centre, everything is very nearby. In Malaga, there is a highly efficient bus service in operation which will take you to any point in the city and runs relatively regularly throughout the day depending on the route and the day of the week. Bus tickets come very cheap at 0.85€ a ticket or 5.70€ for 10 on a "Multitravel" ticket. There are also 3 night buses in operation making travelling around Malaga simple, affordable and readily available at almost any hour.