Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol. They say that it is “the new Barcelona”, due to its large cultural variety; it is considered the most cosmopolitan city in the south of Spain.
It is a city where its strong historical significance fuses together with its modern and avant-garde character, with a very special charm.
Malaga offers a great variety for tourists, as you can enjoy its extensive beaches, its many historical monuments, its diverse museums, and a wide variety of leisure activities for all tastes.
This, together with its privileged climate, which you can enjoy all year round, makes Malaga one of the major tourist destinations in Spain.
The historical centre of Malaga is practically all pedestrianised; therefore, you can enjoy a pleasant walk and see all the main sites of interest (stopping from time to time to enjoy the excellent food). But if you prefer, you can also go on a bike or even a Segway.
If you’re thinking about visiting Malaga, here is a list of the ten must-see places to visit during your stay:
1 – Gibralfaro Castle
The origins of the castle can be traced back to the Phoenicians, who constructed a lighthouse inside, and from where the castle gets its name (faro is Spanish for lighthouse).
Together with la Alcazaba, it forms a fortified site which extends along the hill. From the top of Gibralfaro Castle you will get excellent panoramic views that allow you to get a better idea of the size and location of the city.
On clear days it is even possible to make out some mountains on the Rif mountain range (in Africa) and the Strait of Gibraltar.
2 – La Alcazaba
La Alcazaba is a fortress from the Arab period built in the eleventh century. Its military aspect makes it one of the most important Islamic constructions in Spain.
The lattice framework of the internal defences is impressive, although its main defence comes from its advantageous location, as together with Gibralfaro, these are the two points in Malaga from where you have a complete view of the city.
3 – Calle Larios
This street, the Andalusian equivalent of Fifth Avenue, is the fifth most expensive street to go shopping in the whole of Spain.
Calle Larios or calle Marqués de Larios is where the main celebrations of the city take place, such as for example, Easter, Carnival, the Malaga Film Festival, la Feria de Agosto (August Fair) etc.
During summer you can walk along the street without suffering too much from the heat as it is covered by canopies hung from building to building creating a pleasant shade.
4 – Atarazanas Market
Originally this building, from the Nasrid period, was a naval workshop where they built and repaired ships, which gives the market its name as Atarazanas means shipyard. Now, only a marble door remains from this period.
It is also known as “Mercado Central” (Central Market) the current building is by the architect Joaquín de Rucoba, and was built between 1876 and 1879.
It is worth visiting to appreciate its unique architecture with a forged steal exterior, a huge stained glass window at the back or the impressive marble door.
5 – The Roman Theatre
This theatre, located on calle Alcazabilla, was discovered in 1951 when working on the adjacent gardens of what was then the House of Culture.
You also have the option to visit the Centre of Interpretation of the Roman Theatre, which allows you to see the life and traditions from the period.
6 – Malaga Cathedral or “Manquita”
This majestic building is the main monument to visit in the historical centre.
It is known as “Manquita” (one-armed) as it was opened without the southern tower.
Its unique appearance, both inside and outside, is because it was built during a period of architectural transition, and with many interruptions, which led to corners of very different styles that go from the Gothic to the Renaissance.
7 – Muelle Uno
Considered one of the main ports on the Mediterranean for its volume of traffic in passengers and trade, Muelle Uno is one of the main must-see sites.
8 – La Malagueta beach
This dark sanded beach and over a kilometre in length, is just 10 minutes from the city centre, which makes it easy to get to at any time.
Along the beach you find small areas with palm trees, and various beach bars where you can enjoy the traditional espetos de sardinas (sardine skewers) and other typical dishes from the region. And in summer you can even enjoy an open air cinema.
9 – La Alameda Park
La Alameda Park is a garden with many subtropical species that runs parallel to the port, between Plaza de la Marina and the Tres Gracias fountain.
650 metres in length, it runs lengthwise along the main street of the city, which makes it an ideal place to walk at any time of day.
10 – Museums
Malaga has a total of 36 museums, the majority of which can be found in the historic centre. This means Malaga is one of the cities with the most museums in its historic centre and makes it impossible to visit just one museum. But amongst the most important, it is worth pointing out the Malaga Museum, the Picasso Museum, Jorge Rando Museum and the Pompidou Museum.