>  Holiday Experiences   >  Malaga Love at First Site
malaga centro

The first time I visited Malaga was a summer evening in 1998. We were attending a seminar in Granada and we all decided to drive south towards the sea. We arrived in Malaga and first impressions blew me away, I was left with my mouth hanging open by this city with its illuminated boulevards by the sea, palm trees, crowded streets and fountains. It made such an impression on me that I said I must come back.

Fast forward 10 years later, I have moved there and live like a Malagueña. I got my coffee and breakfast at the bars. I greeted all the people with a smile, enjoying my walks on the main avenues under the palm trees. Already from the first time the plane landed, my soul smiled. I could see the city from above and all the coastlines of the Costa del Sol bathed in sunshine. 320 days of sunshine and a temperature that rarely drops below 10C. I began to realise that the locals, at every opportunity, went to the sandy beach. It’s great for a city to have a beach and Malaga has more than one.

playa de malaga

We took every opportunity to have a good time. Going for tapas, for cañas, for espetos. We were wondering what all those boats were doing next to the chirringuitos. Then I realized that the boat was used as the grill and placed on it were the sardines on skewers.

In addition to gastronomy, Malaga is a city with a remarkable cultural heritage. To be more precise, I think it is the combination of cultural heritage, natural beauty and its inhabitants that gives it its special character. Very cordial people, always smiling and willing to help. They lift you up as a person by the way they talk. They call everyone guapo/a (beautiful). How could that not make you feel good?

Malaga’s ancient name was Malaca…indeed, it is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, hence the name of its airport, but it is also the home of Antonio Banderas. In its historic centre there is a museum dedicated to the great sculptor and painter, but one of his most famous works, Guernica, is in the Reina Sofía Museum.

What to see?

You can walk around the entire historic centre on foot. From the fortress palace of La Alcazaba (in Arabic it means citadel) to the Roman Theatre and the Cathedral and to the castle of Gibralfaro on the hill you will need transport to get up the hill. From up there you can admire almost the whole city (This is the best place for photos). You’ll be gazing at the view from Muelle Uno – a relatively new part of town on the sea front with various cafes, restaurants and shops all the way to Sacaba beach.

There are two especially interesting streets in the city. The Alameda with its palm trees and the pedestrian street of Calle Larios where it ends at Plaza de la Constitución. The Calle Larios during the Christmas season becomes particularly spectacular with the thousands of lights with which it is decorated.

Where to eat ????

Everywhere! The bars and restaurants are always  full. Of these I will single out El Pimpi because it is a must in the city. It is probably the most iconic “cellar-restaurant” with typical dishes from the south of Spain and is a meeting point for locals and celebrities. The second is the curious fish tavern Tintero. I single it out for the quirky way they serve. There is no menu, just dishes that come out of the kitchen and the waiters move between tables and whatever we like, we eat. You’re sure to find something in the historic centre that will satisfy your taste. Malaga is one of the best cities in Spain for tapas and thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate and the ¨street culture¨, people are out all day. Their fun is inextricably linked to food.

After dinner, browse the various bars and roof tops for drinks!

malaga por la noche

Other points of interest

Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum. Pompidou Centre, Mercado de Atarazanas.

What else can I do?

Malaga airport is essentially the airport of the Costa del Sol and the one with the highest summer passenger traffic in Spain. From Malaga you can reach Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz in 1 to 2 hours by road or train . More nearby options are Ronda, Marbella and the east coast. By ferry you arrive in Africa in Melilla.

For all this I love it very much and call it House No. 2.

More details and tips about Malaga a, its famous Ester Week and the surrounding areas in a future article!


Photographs Martyn Wilkes Photography, Rumyana Parvanova