Málaga is an exciting port city on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia. The city is the birthplace of the late Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, as well as Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas, who lives there today. The historic centre of the city with its Moorish and Roman ruins, Renaissance architecture, churches, museums and art galleries, makes for an interesting stroll, while Málaga also offers impressive beaches, plenty of entertainment and great restaurants. Dine on the famous fried fish of Málaga before enjoying the nightspots of the town. Shopaholics will love the city for its range of boutiques and other high-end shops.
The following are some of the best things to do and places to visit in Málaga.
1. Shop 'til you drop in Calle Marqués de Larios
Calle Larios, as it is known for short, is a pedestrian-only shopping street running through the city centre where some of the best brands of clothing, jewelry and shoes can be found. Oysho, Mango, Bershka, Pull & Bear and many other well known boutiques are there. All the major banks are also represented. The street ends at the Plaza de la Constitución, with both used for all the major events in the city, including the Christmas lights, parades and much more. Enjoy the street mimes as you stroll through the city.
Calle Marqués de Larios
Address: Calle Marqués de Larios, 29005, Málaga
Website: Calle Marqués de Larios
2. Cathedral of Málaga
The Cathedral of Málaga (officially Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación) is located in the historic centre of the city. The building is well known as a religious landmark, but also contains some of the finest examples of Spanish religious art. It was built on the site of the original Almohad mosque in the 16th and 17th centuries. The cathedral is unfinished, and bears the nickname “La Manquita” (one-armed) as the building looks a little lopsided without its second tower, never built due to funds being used elsewhere.
Cathedral of Málaga
Address: Calle Molina Lario, 9, 29015 Málaga
Website: Cathedral of Málaga
3. Plaza de la Merced and Picasso's birthplace
Plaza de la Merced (also known as Market Square) is located in the centre of the city and is a leafy and pleasant place to relax. The centerpiece of the plaza is the Monument to Torrijos which dominates the square. Surrounding the plaza are several restaurants and bars. The plaza’s main claim to fame, however, is the fact that Pablo Picasso took his first steps here. His original home can be visited today at the Fundación Picasso Museo Casa Natal.
Plaza de la Merced and Picasso's birthplace
Address: Plaza de la Merced, 25, 29012 Málaga
Website: Plaza de la Merced
4. Museo Picasso Málaga
The Picasso Museum is housed in Buenavista Palace in the historic centre of Málaga. The museum exhibits a permanent collection of work by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, born in Málaga in 1881. Work on display spans eight decades of Picasso’s life. Other more temporary exhibitions offer the work of other artists. Prints of Picasso’s paintings can be purchased in the onsite shop as well as other items.
Museo Picasso Málaga
Address: Calle San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga
Website: Museo Picasso Málaga
5. La Alcazaba de Málaga and the Roman Amphitheatre
The Alcazaba (or citadel) is a palace and fortress in the heart of the historic centre of Málaga. Built under the Moorish rule, the palace is nestled at the foot of Gibralfaro hill. As a fascinating contrast, in front of the Alcazaba the Roman Ampitheatre can be seen and close by the Aduana Customs Building, making this area of the city a place to view Arab, Roman and Renaissance culture and architecture in one spot.
La Alcazaba de Málaga and the Roman Amphitheatre
Address: Calle Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga
6. Gibralfaro Castle
The Gibralfaro Castle stands on a hill overlooking the city and port in the Montes de Málaga natural park. The views across the surrounding countryside and sea are spectacular. The Castillo de Gibralfaro was constructed in the 14th-century and was built by the Moors. An image of the castle can be seen on the city’s flag and seal. A wall zigzags down from the top, all the way to the Alcazaba and Roman Amphitheatre mentioned above.
Castillo de Gibralfaro
Address: Camino de Gibralfaro, 11, 29016 Málaga
Website: Castillo de Gibralfaro
7. A stroll in the Parque de Málaga
Málaga has many green spaces, but probably the most popular is the Parque de Málaga, which runs from the Alameda Principal to the Paseo de España. The park consists of several walkways, with shady trees, attractive flower beds, orange trees and restful benches. The rose garden is well worth a visit, as are the Jardines de Puerta Oscura, or dark entrance gardens, due to an Arab gate that was found in the area.
Parque de Málaga
Address: Paseo del Parque, 1, 29015 Málaga
Website: Parque de Málaga
8. Teatro Cervantes Málaga
Teatro Cervantes is one of several theatres in Málaga and is used to stage a variety of different events, including musical concerts, flamenco displays, theatrical performances and children’s theatre. The building was constructed in 1870 and has a remarkable and attractive interior and exterior. Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas has been known to “tread the boards” here.
Teatro Cervantes Málaga
Address: Ramos Marín, S/N, 29012 Málaga
Website: Teatro Cervantes
9. The beaches of Málaga
When visiting the city of Málaga, you are never far from the beach; in fact there are 15 beaches to visit within the city’s limits. Among them, these are the more well known. Playa del Campo de Golf - San Julián, located next to the Parador de Málaga Golf, is a popular spot for windsurfing. Playa de Guadalmar, with its sand dunes, is well known for the nudist beaches hidden away here. Playa de la Misericordia is one of the more popular beaches with its stretch of sand and excellent facilities. This dark sand beach is located between Guadalhorce and Huelin. Playa de San Andrés is popular with families, for its children’s playgrounds, grassy areas and other amenities.
All beaches in Málaga offer a variety of tourist amenities including showers and toilets, beach restaurants and bars, as well as all the popular watersports.
Website: Málaga beaches
Make a point of exploring Málaga
Málaga is so much more than just an airport on the Costa del Sol. Make a point of visiting this historic and cultured city on your visit to Spain.
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