Malaga Travel Guide
Introduction to Malaga
Serving as the gateway city to one of Spain’s most popular sun destinations (the Costa de Sol) and as the birthplace of one of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century, Malaga is a city that caters to hedonists and bohemians alike.
From the laid back beach district of Playa de la Malagueta, to Roman ruins and Moorish fortresses, Malaga has something for every type of traveler.
Cultural Experiences in Malaga
Centuries prior to Malaga’s current status as the urban centre of the Costa de Sol, it was a coastal stronghold for the Moors during their reign on the Iberian peninsula.
One of the best looking remnants of this era can be found at the Alcazaba of Malaga, a palace and fortress all in one.
Being the toughest forts to take during the Reconquista, the beauty found within its inner sanctum may strike you as surprising.
Numerous courtyard gardens, fountains and brilliant arches await you once you pass through the gates into its interior, and when you stand upon its ramparts, you’ll quickly understand how it was so difficult to defeat in the first place, as its elevated location grants sweeping views of the city of Malaga below, as well as the Mediterranean Sea.
Being home to one of the greatest painters to ever live, Malaga is home to Museo Picasso, a place which honors the works of Pablo Picasso, who was born here in 1881. Over 280 works by this man of many artistic talents (in addition to painting portraits, he also created sculptures, prints, ceramics, plays and poetry) hang on the walls of this modern but minimalist building, which also includes a small but slick looking courtyard.
After that, the Malaga Cathedral should be next on your list of things to see. Built mostly in the Renaissance style over the course of 254 years from 1528 to 1782 (the facade was constructed in the Baroque style), it is the second highest church in Andalusia; only Seville’s cathedral reaches higher heights.
Be sure not to miss a number of excellent art pieces that can be found within the sanctuary, which include the painting, The Beheading of Saint Paul by Enrique Simonet, as well as several sculpture and an altarpiece done in the neoclassic style.
Other Attractions in Malaga
When touring the Alcazaba, be sure to make time to check out the Roman Theatre that lies adjacent to it. Unearthed in 1951, it bears witness to the days when one of the greatest ancient empires to ever roam the Earth had a provincial city where Malaga stands today.
While parts of it were quarried by the Moors for use in building the Alcazaba, much of this ancient entertainment venue remains intact for visitors to enjoy.
Be sure not to miss it on your way to other attractions in the area, as it is one of the only remaining sets of ruins left in Andalusia.
The Alcazaba wasn’t the only fortification that the Moors used to defend this part of Andalusia, as the Castillo de Gibralfaro also played a role in keeping this part of the Iberian Peninsula in their hands well into the 14th century.
It stood up to a three month assault by Crusader forces, which only ended in the latter’s victory because the Moors had exhausted their food supply.
If you want to see a bullfight without paying admission at the nearby arena, it is possible to see inside from the top of the ramparts, giving more of a reason to clamber up top than simply shooting panoramic shots.
Being the gateway to the Costa de Sol, you might also want to visit the beach during your time in Malaga. The best beach located within close proximity to the city centre is Playa de la Malagueta.
While the sand is a bit on the dark side, it is handy to all sorts of amenities, including countless bars from which you can enjoy a refreshing sundowner beverage after your day of splashing in the waves has concluded.