La Malagueta bullring
The Gibralfaro castle casts a watchful eye over this warm-hearted and lively city full of attractive sites such as the Alameda Principal avenue and the La Farola seafront promenade.
Its status as the capital of the Costa del Sol has made it one of Spain's foremost holiday destinations, thanks to its mild climate, its beaches and its outstanding offer of golf courses.
Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans… over 2,000 years ago the most important Mediterranean civilisations found in Malaga an exceptional place in which to establish trade routes, thanks to the strategic location of its port. The Alcazaba (8-11th century) is one of the symbols of the city, and one of the largest Arab fortresses in Andalusia. This building is today the site of the Archaeological Museum, containing valuable pieces dating from Phoenician and Roman times.
The Gibralfaro castle (14th century) is linked to the Alcazaba by a section of wall and offers outstanding views over the city, which is open to the sea through its port and the La Farola seafront promenade, one of the city's main leisure areas. At the foot of the Gibralfaro stands the Roman theatre, the bullring, (known as La Malagueta) and the historic quarter of the city.
In the centre stands the Cathedral (16-18th century), also known as 'La Manquita' ('the one-armed') thanks to its unfinished right tower. This beautiful Renaissance building is home to an interesting series of chapels containing fine examples of Andalusian imagery. In the old part of town there are other interesting churches such as the churches of Santiago 15-18th century), with its beautiful Mudéjar tower, Los Mártires, Sagrado Corazón and Santo Cristo de la Salud.
Historic Malaga offers a whole host of typical sites and corners. These include the façade of the Town Hall, dating from the early 20th century, and the Plaza de la Merced square, presided by the monument to Torrijos and the site of the house in which the famous painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born. A walk around the old quarter has to include the busy streets of Pasaje de Chinitas and Calle Granada, the site of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Calle Larios, the main thoroughfare in the historic centre.
The capital of Malaga also has numerous green areas such as the park, the Alameda Principal avenue, and the gardens of Puerta Oscura and Pedro Luis Alonso. Fiestas and the surrounding area
A good time to visit Malaga is during Easter week. This festivity, declared in Malaga to be of International Tourist Interest, features spectacular religious floats known as 'pasos' and displays of popular devotion in every part of town. One of the best accommodation options in the capital of Malaga is the Malaga Gibralfaro Parador hotel, located beside the castle. However it is essential to reserve your accommodation well in advance during these dates.
The area around Malaga reveals a province marked by extreme contrasts between its inland villages and the coast. The Costa del Sol is dotted with towns and villages with a long-standing tourist tradition such as Benalmádena, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona. The coast is also the site of distinctive hotels such as the Malaga Golf Parador and the Nerja Parador.
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Malaga For you
The birthplace of Pablo Picasso
The figure of the artist is everywhere in Malaga. The best example is the Picasso Museum, founded in 2003; in addition to the painter's House-Museum. Another visit not to be missed is to the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, which highlights the importance of Andalusian artists to 19th-century Spanish painting.
What's more, simply by strolling around its historic centre visitors can immerse themselves in the city's heritage, with monuments like the cathedral, a fine example of an Andalusian Renaissance church; the Alcazaba, a 10th-century Arab palace-fortress; and the Roman Theatre.
The city's best-known festivities are the Easter week commemorations and the Malaga Fair. This first event has been declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest, and the second –in August– is an excuse to fill the city's streets with good-natured high spirits. Finally, Malaga is an excellent destination for those who want to learn more about the art of flamenco.
Golf enthusiasts have another good excuse to visit Malaga, as there are around 30 courses scattered throughout the province, some of which are among the best in Europe.
The city is also the perfect place for enjoying a day at the beach. You can choose from busy urban beaches like La Malagueta, or else more secluded ones like the beach at Guadalmar. Its coastline is also an invitation to indulge in a range of nautical sports.
There are various nature areas in the interior of the province, including the nature reserves of Los Alcornocales-Sierra del Aljibe, Montes de Málaga, and Sierra de las Nieves.
The region's seafood and the produce from the inland areas have combined to create a highly varied gastronomy.
On the coast the most popular dish is the fresh fried seafood platter known as 'pescaíto frito', although other typical dishes include rice with seafood, monkfish with potatoes and noodle casserole.
Soups have pride of place in the cuisine of Malaga, with specialities such as gazpachuelo (a soup made from potato and mayonnaise), gazpacho malagueño and ajoblanco (a type of cold almond soup served with grapes). These dishes can be accompanied by wines with the Malaga Designation of Origin.
And for dessert, choices include sweet potato (baked or in syrup), olive oil wafers, and raisins from La Axarquía.
For young people
This city by the sea has large gardens and parks for strolling, charming squares for whiling away the time and a pleasant climate almost all year round. It also has an attractive marina.
If you're in search of fun, the historic centre of the city offers a wide range of possibilities with well-known clubs, pubs, bars, outdoor cafes and venues catering to the LGBT community.
The city's surroundings also have a number of recreational and entertainment options, including amusement parks like the Tivoli World in Benalmádena, famous marine resorts like Marbella, as well as water parks.
Malaga is an easy and convenient city for exploring with young children thanks to the numerous pedestrian streets and gardens in the historic centre. You can also enjoy a great day at the beach in the city itself. Some of its museums –like the Picasso Museum and the Carmen Thyssen Museum– organise activities to encourage the whole family to learn more about art together.
Nearby you'll find a whole range of ideas for activities with children. For example, Benalmádena is home to the Tivoli World amusement park, and two centres for learning more about marine fauna –Selwo Marina and the Sea Life aquarium; Torremolinos has a crocodile theme park (Cocodrilos Park) and the Aqualand waterpark; while in Fuengirola visitors can go to the modern Fuengirola Bioparc zoo. You'll find all these attractions about half an hour outside Malaga.
The historic centre of Malaga is an ideal place for enjoying a great day's shopping. The area around the Calle Larios is home to numerous fashionable shops. What's more, many of these streets are for pedestrians only, making this the ideal place for a pleasant stroll. There are also numerous traditional cafés for when you feel like taking a break.
Another option is to visit one of the shopping centres. Two of the best-known in the city are the Málaga Plaza and the Larios Centro, while on the outskirts of town you'll find the Factory Outlet Málaga and the Plaza Mayor shopping centre.
Malaga brings all the attractions of the Costa del Sol, one of the world's most sought-after tourist destinations, to your business meetings. It has a first-rate accommodation infrastructure: after all, this is the province with the highest hotel capacity in Andalusia.
The various venues available for events include the modern, multi-purpose Conference and Exhibition Centre, whose architectural design is inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. What's more, the city is just a few hours' flight from the main European capitals thanks to its international airport, just 8 kilometres from the city centre.
Malaga's nightlife guarantees a good time. The evening starts out in the restaurants and pubs to be found around the historic centre, while for dancing we recommend the streets between the squares of Plaza de la Constitución, San Ignacio and La Merced and Calle Echegaray. You'll be sure to have a great time in some of the avant-garde venues, exclusive clubs, discos catering to the LGBT crowd, or even in a 19th-century mansion converted into a dance club.
The area around Malaga also offers a range of nightlife options, particularly in the summer months. Some of the most popular locations include Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Benalmádena.