Malaga City Guide & Area Profile
With a population of over half a million people, Malaga is deceivingly large and like anywhere it has good and bad parts but the city centre itself is comprised of a myriad of interconnecting lanes and alleyways, leading to endless amounts of bars and restaurants.
Considering it’s the capital of the Andalucía province, I thought it was about time we discovered the city of Malaga. When I first moved here, I naively thought of Malaga as nothing more than the airport, it wasn’t until constant persuasion from family and friends that I delved into the depths of the city itself and discovered a beautiful and fascinating city where we now regularly go for mini breaks at the weekend. The streets are kept pristinely clean, and during the summer months, the main street, Calle Larios is draped with a canopy which cools you down with sprays of water vapour, making the city heat bearable. The street is home to many of the city’s street entertainers offering an assortment of different talents including art, magic and mime, and for a small contribution they will amuse you with a performance.
Although it’s one of the largest cities in Spain, hotels are extremely reasonable. Roommate Larios and the Petit Plaza are conveniently located right in the heart of the centre, and the Barceló is located inside the train station, making it an ideal choice for those travelling to the city by train or bus, however there are hundreds of options from as little as 25 euro per night. Malaga has a fantastic nightlife and a huge selection of bars and restaurants to choose from. The most famous is probably el Pimpi which is one of the oldest bodegas in the city. It has a great range of tapas on offer and a large terrace to enjoy it in, however be prepared to wait as it is always extremely busy. Gorki is another popular choice as they have an extensive wine choice, which you can order by the glass, and the tapas here has a modern twist on traditional Spanish favourites.
If you’re looking for a change from Spanish fayre, Katogui Agora has fantastic Greek Mezze to share, and the pizzas at La Tagliatella are definitely worth travelling to Malaga for.
If you have self catering facilities and are looking for somewhere to buy groceries, Malaga has a huge indoor market located in the heart of the old town which dozens of different local suppliers to choose from selling a huge array of fresh produce of the very best quality. However its not just food shopping that Malaga excels in, shopping in general is far superior to anywhere else. There are a huge choice of shops on offer, many of which we don’t have available to us here in Marbella, and those of which we do, Malaga often has larger versions. There are a selection of shopping malls on the outskirts of the city where you can find outlets that are often missed by expats from back in the UK including, Ikea, Toys R Us and Mothercare.
Plaza Mayor has a variety of rides to entertain your children whilst you shop, and the cinema always has a good range of English films showing. There’s also a good range of museums in Malaga if you’re looking for an educational family day out, including the Picasso Museum, the automobile museum and the recently opened Museo Carmen Thyssen. The recently renovated port in Malaga is definitely worth visiting. It’s a stark contrast to the historic old town as the port has a very modern feel to it. It’s a lovely setting to enjoy a drink whilst admiring the boats and the beautiful sea backdrop.
There are boat trips that you can take from here to enjoy a trip out to sea and there are a variety of different companies offering different experiences depending on what you are looking for.
The beaches here have long stretches of sand and there are chiringuitos and restaurants all the way along to enjoy a spot of lunch at the beach. For something a little more luxurious, it’s worth travelling a bit further along the coast to Candado beach. This stunning beach club has first class service where you can enjoy a personal waiter serving you drinks from your four poster sun bed, for a fraction of the cost of the beach clubs on the Costa del Sol, and in addition, the beaches here are a lot cleaner than others.
I wished I had listened to the advice and visited Malaga sooner. If you haven’t yet been, make sure you put it on your to do list for this summer, whether it’s a romantic weekend for two or a mini break with friends, there’s something for everyone in Malaga and it’s somewhere that definitely should not be avoided. Less than an hour away, and with much of the same lively ambience and character as Barcelona or Madrid but without the long journey and tourist traps , its somewhere you can enjoy as a last minute getaway.