It is easy to understand why Malaga City is dubbed the Capital of the Costa del Sol. whereas it was once considered to be the poor cousin of Andalusia’s capital city, Seville; it now competes successfully for attention. Since the opening of the already well acclaimed Picasso Museum in 2003, cultural tourists have been flocking to this and the now beautifully refurbished birthplace of the great artist, all in the heart of the historic centre of the city. Of course the great beaches of nearby Costa del Sol are what have made Malaga one of the most visited regions of Spain. But this town has more to offer than just seaside and sunshine! The people in Malaga, called Malagueños, are known for going out a lot at night for a chat, a drink or to eat out. The town therefore has a great variation of restaurants, bars and bodegas, which normally are busy throughout the week. The Malagueños are also known for loving everything about their town and they are particularly proud of their two world famous citizens, the painter Pablo Picasso and the actor Antonio Banderas. Malaga is the capital city of this area in Spain’s Andalucian region and, unique to Malaga, is its high concentration of history in one small area.
The Basics of Malaga
Size Malaga Province: 7,276M square meters Population Malaga Province: 1.141.000 Population Malaga Capital: 561.565
Density: 157 inhabitants per square meter Mean Altitude: 9 m above sea level
Average Temperature: 23C (73F)
Sunny Days a Year: 310 days
Rainy Days a Year: Less than 40 days a year
Annual Rainfall: 59.7 cm a year
Tourism: Over 6.5 million tourists visit Malaga Province each year
Foreigners: 53,093 foreigners lives in Malaga mainly on the coastline from Malaga town to Estepona west of Malaga town or to Nerja East of Malaga. (1996)
Granada: 129 km
Sevilla: 219 km
Madrid: 558 km
It was founded already by Phoenicians, and was of great importance in the Moorish epoch. Highly interesting historical remains are left as well in the town itself as in all the province. Add to that beautiful landscapes and picturesque villages, and perhaps you will know what for to come here. Malaga’s history is so visible as you walk around the city. It does not take much imagination to whisk yourself back to Roman times at the Roman theatre, or to the Moorish Court with its cooling foundations at the Castle. Or the splendid court of Isabella and Ferdinand at the great Cathedral or nearby 16th century Palace which houses the Museum of Fine Arts. There are also many churches in and around the centre, of great architectural and historic interest well worth visiting.
Sea breezes from the Mediterranean coastline regulates the summer heat to a more comfortable levels than the inland Andalusian towns and the Malaga Mountains form the perfect barrier to protect the city from the colder weather in winter. It can still be very hot in July and August and it can be colder (minimum of around 13 °C) between December and February. Some much needed rainfall is to be expected in the colder months, but it usually does not usually last for long.
The best itineraries to discover monuments, museums, and everything else that makes Malaga worth a visit. A great way to get a good overall impression of Malaga is to hop on the Official Malaga Tour Bus. The whole tour takes under one and a half hours and is well worth it at around 15 euros per adult. The Tour Bus ticket not only allows the enjoyment of taking in all the sights of the city, but it also offers a free voucher for bust transport to the beautiful botanical gardens on the outskirts of Malaga, Jardines de la Concepcion, on the main road to Antequera. There are many beautifully kept gardens in Malaga also worth seeing. Malaga is the quintessential city of museums. With close to 20 museums, it is among the cities worldwide that have the highest density of museums housed in one city.
Sights in Malaga
• Gibralfaro Castle
• Malaga Walls (Phoenician, Roman, Visigothic, Arab and Spanish remains of the defensive compounds of the city)
• Flavian Roman Theater
• Flavian Roman Amphitheatre (Underneath “Plaza de la Merced” Picasso’s birthplace), under the former cinemas “Victoria”, “Astoria” and “Andalucia”).
• Alcazaba (Arabic for fortress)
• The cathedral, in the Græco-Roman style, on the site of an ancient Moorish mosque, was begun in 1528 and completed in 1719
• Harbor, one of the most important in Spain.
• The Picasso Foundation – Native Home Museum of Picasso
• Museo del Patrimonio Municipal de Malaga
• Museo Picasso Malaga
• CAC Malaga (museum of modern art)
• Museo Interactivo de la Música (MIMMA)
• Museo Municipal (city museum).
• Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares (Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions)
• Cathedral of the Encarnation (neoclasical).
• Palacio Episcopal (Bishop’s Palace)
• Iglesia del Sagrario (church)
• Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago (St James’s church)
• Palacio de los Condes de Buenavista
• Plaza de Toros (bullring)
El Candado, Banos del Carmen, San Andres, El Palo, Caleta, La Misericordia, Las Acacias and Malagueta are Malaga Beaches which are wide, clean beaches that are protected by break waters. Beaches that are enjoyable for the whole family with great views to the rest of the Costa del Sol.
The choice of hotels in Malaga city is vast and varied. Over recent years and especially since the inauguration of the Picasso Museum in 2003, this vibrant Andalusian city has undergone much renovation and restoration. Many old buildings have been brought back to their former glory, a number of which have been tastefully converted into 21st century hotels, without losing anything of their enchanted past.
Food and Drink
The Malaguenos love their food and you can see that from the many restaurants, “chiringuitos” (beach cafes) and pubs. Featuring typically Spanish-Mediterranean dishes, Malaga’s cuisine is light and nutritious. Just as you will find in every facet of Malaga’s culture, in its cuisine you will find a rich blend of the traditional and the innovative.
There are very cheap flights to Malaga from countries in Northern Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany.Most airlines travel to Malaga as it a key holiday destination. From BMI to Easy jet, prices vary depending on which travel agent you use.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso Malaga International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Spain, with up to a staggering 16 million passengers annually. It serves much of Andalusia and especially the ever popular area all along the Costa del Sol.
Malaga is a fascinating mix of the old and the new. Years ago shopping for the malaguenos was a fairly parochial, low-key affair but economic booms and the increase in tourism, has resulted in more contemporary and chic shopping options, including international chains and shopping malls. If this all sounds worryingly anonymous, don’t worry. Malaga is still home to plenty of small idiosyncratic shops, many of which have been in the same family for several generations and seem to charmingly thrive on selling just one or two specialties Calle Marques de Larios is the main shopping street in Malaga, showing off the shop windows of exclusive boutiques. The narrow alleyways and side streets branching out also make interesting window shopping. Malaga is also a region well-known for its handcrafts such as esparto grass works, embroidery, iron work and pottery.