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Málaga is a large city in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia and capital of the Málaga Province. The largest city on the Costa del Sol, Málaga has a typical Mediterranean climate and is also known as the birthplace of the artist Picasso. The city offers beaches, hiking, architectural sites, art museums, and excellent shopping and cuisine. While more laid back than Madrid or Barcelona, Málaga is still the center and transport hub for the hugely popular Costa del Sol region, which is flooded with tourists in the summer, and the city has certainly cashed in on the sun and sand, with lots of new construction as well as hotels and facilities geared to tourists. However, Málaga also offers some genuinely interesting historical and cultural attractions in its old city and its setting on the coast is still beautiful. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest in Malaga
- Alcazaba, C/ Alcazabilla 2, ☎ +34 630 93 29 87. Tu-Su 9:30-19:00, closed on Mondays. A Moorish castle built in the 11th century on a hill in the middle of the city, this old fort is the best-preserved of its kind in Spain. Upon entering you'll climb up past the ramparts offering excellent views of the city and lush gardens to a small Moorish palace at the top which holds a number of artifacts from excavations on the site. €2.10, free Sundays after 14:00.
- Roman Theater (Teatro Romano), C/ Alcazabilla 8 (next to the Alcazaba), ☎ +34 951 04 14 00. Situated under the Alcazaba facing a small plaza are the beautiful remains of an old Roman theater. You can view them anytime from the overlook in the plaza, but if you want to get up close you can enter the attached building, where you'll be shown a short film and view some artifacts before entering the theater itself, where you can walk past the old stage and sit on the stone steps. Free.
- Castillo de Gibralfaro, C/ Gibralfaro 11 (at the top of the hill, you can walk or take bus #35). Tu-Su 9:30-19:00, closed on Mondays. Another Moorish castle and the counterpart to the Alcazaba, the Castillo sits on a larger hill behind the Alcazaba and offers an incredible view of the city and neighboring suburbs from the ramparts that encircle the castillo. Within the fortress is a set of gardens and some displays, including an exhibit on the various military forces to have occupied the fort. Between the Castillo and the Alcazaba, visit the Alcazaba if you only have time for one, as the Castillo requires a hefty hike or a bus ride up the mountain. €2.10, free Sundays after 14:00.
- Málaga Cathedral (Catedral de Málaga), Calle Molina Lario 9, ☎ +34 952 21 59 17. M-F 10:00-17:30, Sa 10:00-17:00, closed on Su and holidays. Located right in the heart of the city centre and well worth visiting. €5.
- Picasso Museum, Palacio de Buenavista, C/ San Agustín 8, ☎ +34 952 127600. Tu-Th 10:00-20:00, F-Sa 10:00-21:00, Su and holidays 10:00-20:00. Exclusive paintings and exhibitions. €8.
- Picasso's birthplace (Museo Casa Natal de Picasso), Plaza Merced 15, ☎ +34 951 92 60 60. 9:30-20:00. Loads of objects and some paintings that the most famous artist of the 20th century created during his childhood. €1.
- Museo Carmen Thyssen, Plaza Carmen Thyssen, C/Compañía 10, ☎ +34 902 303131. Tu-Th 10:00-20:00, F-Sa 10:00-21:00, Su and holidays 10:00-20:00 (open M and closed Su in summer). Opened in 2011 and has an excellent collection of 19th and 20th Century Spanish paintings. €8.
- Interactive Museum of Music (Museo Interactivo de la Musica Málaga), Muralla Plaza de la Marina, ☎ +34 952 210 440. Daily 10:00-14:00 and 16:00-20:00. Has one of the largest collections of musical instruments in Europe. €3.
- Centro de Arte Contemporáneo. Closed Mondays. Located in a former wholesale trade market, it houses a good collection of works of art and installations. Guided visits. Free.
- Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta, Paseo de Reding. M-F 10:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:00, closed Sa, Su and holidays. Málaga's bullring.
- La Conception Botanical & Historical Garden (Botanical Garden), Camino del Jardín Botánico 3, ☎ +34 95 225-2148. 9:30-20:30. Botanical and historical garden with beautiful views of the city from this garden; worth a visit. €4, guided visits and special prices for children.
- Visit the newly remodelled Port Area. A hive of activity, especially at weekends, the new Port Area or "Muelle Uno" is a wonderful seaside addition to the city. Bars and restaurants abound overlooking the harbour and there are normally free music concerts and market stalls at weekends. A great place to people watch.
- Rock Climb. There is lots of great rock climbing in and around Málaga. The amazing El Chorro gorge is 50 minutes drive to the North West and this also features the 'Kings Walkway' - an amazing pathway suspended high above the gorge. There is also Via Ferrata and rock climbing at El Torcal near Antequerra.
- Beaches: The nearest beach to the centre is La Malagueta - this is fine for a day's sunbathing although quieter and prettier beaches can be found further east or west. It can be a nice (if rather long!) walk along the waterfront to reach these beaches, otherwise you could get a bus from near the bull ring in the direction of El Palo (e.g. line 33). Malaga East tends to have smaller beaches while Malaga West have long streches of beaches.
- Bodeguita El Gallo, Calle San Agustin (Opposite to Picasso's museum's door). Typical andalusian tavern evironment, Sweet Málaga wines and the most traditional tapas.
- Vegetarian Restaurant Calafate, Calle Andrés Perez, 7. At in Málaga center, hidden gem around the corner from Thyssen Museum. Offers traditional Spanish & Andalucian dishes, with a vegetarian twist. Low-key interior with art for sale on the walls. Good choice for lunch and dinner. Tel: +34 952 22 93 44.
- Cafetería Córdoba 7, Situated in street Córdoba, nº 7 in Málaga center, between the Port and Alameda Principal. Offers traditional and typical andalucian dishes, including soups, salads, meats and fishes or sandwiches, cakes, croissants or baguettes. Star dishes include: Gazpacho andaluz, Paella, Porra Antequerana, Rabo de Toro, Croquetas caseras, and many more. Breakfasts and meals with inexpensive prices.
- Along the coast there are dozens of restaurants and chiringuitos (beach restaurants) where you can have fish, seafood, paella, sangria, etc. One of the most famous chiringuitos is El Tintero, at the east end, where there is no menu: the waiters sing out what they are carrying and they leave you a plate at your signal. From time to time, one of them offers to give you the bill.
- The most typical thing to eat in Málaga is espetos, sardines squewered on a bamboo stick and grilled over a fire (typically driftwood); and pescaíto frito: all types of deep-fried fish from anchovies to squid. A speciality of Andalucia is fish (most commonly dogfish "cazon", although sometimes other fish such as tuna, "atun") marinated in a garlic and vinegar preparation - look on the menu for "Cazon en adobo". Try also the coquinas (small clams cooked in white wine). Simply delicious!
Jamon is a regional specialty, and is an aged, salted ham, from acorn-fed pork, similar to prosciutto.
- Famous sweet Málaga wine can be tasted in popular pubs in the city center, like the famous old La Casa del Guardia (Avenue Alameda Principal) or the very typical El Pimpi where everyone, from celebrities to local teens meet.
- Restaurante Gallego Candamil, ☎ +34 95 232-3907. Cuarteles 15. On the street leading from the train station to the centre, this Galician restaurant is very popular with the locals. This is understandable when you see the great range of quality tapas at fantastic prices, e.g. tapa of empanada €1.25, glass of cider €1.15.
- A Casa Gallega, ☎ +34 95 204-2332. Fernán Núñez 2. Another Galician haunt a little further towards, although still outside, the center, this one does not have any menu but relies on the clientele knowing what they want. Good empanada, pimientos de Padrón. Atmospheric.
- Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, ☎ +34 95 222-1902. Castillo de Gibralfaro. Some report being disappointed by the restaurant at the Parador. The food was sub par, but the service by contrast was exemplary, together with all the nice little free appetizers, aperitifs, etc. Wine list tended towards the expensive but with the excellent idea of a monthly wine choice 'balancing quality and value', for example a very palatable Ribera del Duero Crianza at €10. Set menu €27 pp (plus VAT). Fantastic view of the city, especially from the terrace.
- Las Garrafas, ☎ +34 95 222-3589. Calle Méndez Núñez 6. Winery and "taperia". Typical Málaga cuisine in a large and clean locale. Delicious and reasonably-priced food. Especially recommended are the mouth-watering "albondigones," large meatballs served alongside french fries.
- Bodega-Bar El Pimpi, Calle Granada, 62 (entrance around the corner from the Museo Picasso), ☎ +34 952 228 990, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:00-late. Enormously popular with both locals and tourists, this place serves up excellent food and wine. Despite being frequented by such celebrities as Antonio Banderas and Placido Domingo, the prices are very moderate.
- Mesón Lo Güeno, Calle Marín García, 9, ☎ +34 952 22 30 48. Daily 12:00-24:00. Offers a large range of tapas and excellent wines.
- Málaga has a typically sweet wine called Moscatel made from muscat grapes.
Málaga nightlife will make you think that nobody sleeps in this town even during the work week! However, it is especially busy from Thursday to Sunday, where people buy their drinks in the supermarkets and have them at night in controlled areas known as "botellodromos" in the city center, before going into the clubs:
- Metropol, Cosa Nostra, Vaticano, Andén (big busy Latin club)
- Velvet Club (aka Sonic, plays metal, hardcore, punk) [not open Sundays]
- Nyx, Urbano, Village Green (Rock, Indie, etc.).
- White, Abyssinia, Bar El Sound (Rap, Hip Hop, R&B)
- Paradise/Punto G, Warhol (gay)
- ChillHouse ( house-dance music)
- There are several nice Moroccan-style tea houses in town, serving an amazing variety of teas in addition to other interesting non-alcoholic drinks.
- Central Market (Mercado Central de Atarazanas), Calle Atarazanas (north of the Alamada Principal). M-Sa 08:00-15:00. A lively market featuring regional produce and olive oil, fish, meat, and cheese, housed in a 19th-century wrought iron building. Don't miss the recently restored enormous stained glass windows, as well as the large 14th-century Moorish gate incorporated into the building's southern façade.
- Librería de Idiomas, on the Plaza de la Merced. A valuable resource, offering textbooks and dictionaries for learning just about any European language you could desire.
- Ricardo del Cid Fernandez (aka. Del Cid), Calle Caldereria 11, is a fantastic old school hat shop in the old town (selling real sombreros, Panama hats, etc.). Worth to visit even just because of the atmosphere and the very helpful owner.
- SuperSol, Calle de las Atarazanas (across from the Mercado Central), ☎ +34 95 221 07 25. Oct-May M-Sa 08:30-21:30, Jun-Sep 09:00-21:30. A conveniently located branch of the Spanish supermarket chain.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Málaga on Wikivoyage.