Welcome to the Costa del Sol, where travelers can discover gorgeous landscapes, beautiful beaches, turquoise blue waters, delicious food, and unique traditions and customs. But if you are heading over to Spain, you might be wondering, is Malaga worth visiting?
The capital, Malaga, is one of the oldest cities in the world and is the birthplace of the famous Pablo Picasso. Located in the southernmost part of Spain, the city was founded in 770 BC by the Phoenicians,
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Although it is famous for its sunny weather, enjoying an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, this Spanish city has quite a historic past.
Malaga was ruled by Ancient Carthage, seized by the Roman Empire in 218 BC, fell under Islamic rule for 800 years, and then was conquered by Christian forces in 1487. The influence of each of these civilizations has resulted in a rich mixture of cultures that can still be felt within the city today.
So why visit Malaga? From architecture to gastronomy, Malaga is one of Spain’s most culturally rich cities.
Its history dates back 3,000 years resulting in an eclectic mixture of Roman, Spanish, Christian, and Islamic influences.
So is Malaga worth visiting? Here are just a couple of things to know before going to Malaga.
Reasons To Visit Malaga: The Pros
Located in Andalusia, in the South of Spain, Malaga is a Mediterranean city and beach lover’s paradise. The city is known for its sunny disposition, 300 days of it, and it is the perfect European holiday destination for anyone looking for a Mediterranean beach vacation.
Although Malaga is home to one of the most visited beaches in the world, Malagueta Beach, there is more to see in Malaga than just the seashore.
So is Malaga Worth visiting? Here are some reasons to visit Malaga.
Let’s start with an obvious pro. One of the reasons you visit Malaga is to enjoy its landscapes, beaches, and overall beautiful climate.
If you didn’t already know, the Costa del Sol, translated to the Coast of Sun, has one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand and sea. Thousands of tourists flock to this region every year to enjoy its stunning beaches.
The closest and most accessible beach to get to if you are staying in Malaga is Playa Malagueta. It is the perfect place to take a dip before heading out to one of the many bars and restaurants near the Paseo del Muelle Dos.
But if you are willing to travel a little bit outside of the city, there are several other beaches that you can explore. For example, El Palo beach is located just 3.1 mi (5 km) away and is a quaint fishing village that is perfect for anyone looking to escape that big city vibe.
Other noteworthy beaches include Playa El Salón, Playa El Cristo, Playa de la Misericordia and Playa Peñón del Cuervo. There is no shortage of beaches in and around Malaga, so if you are craving a beach vacation, then this is the place for you.
Malaga is a port city whose port was founded in 1,000 BC by the Phoenicians and It hasn’t stopped operating since at least 600 BC. Today it is a port-of-all-trades—serving as a commercial, fishing, and cruising port as well as a marina.
In the 21st century, the Malaga seaport underwent a massive renovation, leading to a waterfront that is one of the city’s main attractions. Stalls and restaurants line the two quays, beckoning travelers to pause for a drink, snack, or buy a souvenir.
It is one of the best places for an afternoon stroll or a happy hour drink.
If you are a history buff, one of the reasons to visit Malaga is its culture, art, and history. The mixture of cultures and different architectural styles have contributed to the mystery, personality, and allure surrounding this beautiful city.
What are some things to see? Well, make sure to visit the best preserved Moorish fortress in Spain, the Alcazaba, go back in time at the Gilbralafo Castle, explore the Cathedral of Malaga, or even visit one of the many museums.
Our recommendation? The Museo de Malaga or the Picasso Museum.
Visiting Malaga is not complete without food. The city is known for having some of the best tapas in Andalucia and is also famous for anchovies, or “boquerón” in Spanish.
In the South of Spain, eating is an experience. Meals are when friends and family can enjoy each other’s company.
Mealtime is about food and socializing, so take your time when you are enjoying meals. Soak it all in.
One of the things you should definitely order in Malaga is fresh sardines from chiringuitos. Chiringuitos are beach bars that offer a unique barbeque set-up, usually barbecuing anchovies on a stick inside a small boat.
For dessert, try the Malaga tortas local, pastries filled with custard and topped with orange frosting plus a cherry or torrijas, which are pretty similar to french toast. Make sure to pair it with some sweet vinho de Malaga!
One of the things to know before going to Malaga is that mealtimes are a little different in Spain. Dinner, for example, is usually between 21:00 and 23:00.
You probably don’t consider Malaga a shopping paradise, but it is one of the best Spanish cities for anyone itching for a shopping spree.
Make sure to head on over to Calle Larios, one of Malaga’s more renowned and exclusive shopping streets. It is also known as Malaga’s “high-end” street and is located in the city center.
Afterward, head over to Larios Centro. If you are interested in an authentic foodie experience, end the day at Atarazanas Central to try some local fresh produce and food.
Want to party at Pablo Piccasso’s (rumored) favorite hangout? Well, in Malaga, you can do that.
The Antigua Casa Guardia opened its doors in 1840 and is the oldest bar in Malaga. It is also rumored that Picasso loved to frequent this bar when we would visit his hometown.
If you are not into the bar scene, do not worry. No matter what kind of nightlife you are into, Malaga has something for you.
The city’s nightlife is on par with other crazy hotspots like Ibiza and Mykonos. So whether you are looking for a crazy night out on the town or a relaxed evening sipping cocktails, Malaga has something for you.
Reasons To Visit Malaga: The Cons
Although the pros may seem to outweigh the cons, there are a couple of things to know when traveling to Malaga, as these particular cons may somewhat influence your Malaga travel plans.
What is Malaga like? Malaga is one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Spain.
It welcomes millions of tourists every year from across the globe. It is also the second most populous city in Andalusia and sixth in Spain.
This can mean long queues to enter tourist attractions, overcrowded beaches, or limited space in nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. And if you plan on renting anything for a more extended period, then make sure to plan ahead and be prepared to pay higher prices.
If you are searching for a small quaint little Spanish town where you can relax and enjoy a peaceful beach vacation, then Malaga is not the place for you.
Instead, travel off-the-beaten-path to one of the many other Costa del Sol towns and villages to experience a little more peace and quiet.
One of the things to know before going to Malaga, especially if you come during the summer season, is to prepare yourself for the heat. Although the city doesn’t suffer the same fate as other Andalusian cities like Seville, which can become unbearably hot, it does get hot and humid in Malaga in the summertime.
Temperatures can reach up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celcius) in the summer months. Make sure to bring the essentials with you, including plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes.
In many cities in Spain, there is a concept called siesta. Siesta means “sixth hour” and is used to explain a period in the day when shops are closed in Spain due to the hot weather.
This happens in many Spanish cities, including Malaga. Although larger shops remain open, smaller restaurants and shops, as well as government buildings (like the post office), will close during the day between around 14:00 and 17:00.
Siesta can be a little frustrating if you want to get anything done during those particular hours.
The Final Verdict: Is Malaga Worth Visiting?
At this point, you are probably asking yourself: is Malaga worth visiting? As you can see, our pros seem to outweigh the cons that we’ve provided in this article.
Not only does Malaga offer stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of history, culture, and art, but is a location that can be visited all year round.
That’s the beauty of Malaga; its position makes it the perfect destination during the shoulder seasons and even the winter season. In fact, the temperature can rise to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celcius) even during December or January.
So if you are looking to beat the heat and the crowds, Malaga is a perfect all-year-round destination.
Malaga is also a great jumping-off point to other Costa del Sol destinations, including Marbella, Puerto Banus, Frigiliana, and many more beautiful seaside villages, towns, and cities.
So is Malaga worth visiting? Absolutely.
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