Two weeks ago we were walking around Malaga, and enjoying this beautiful city which is by the way over 3000 years old. This was our first time in Spain. (Been to Italy a thousand times, but never to Spain.) Honestly, we never imagined we would love it so much. So, today I will share with you what’s charming about this city, some tips and why to visit Malaga in Spring.
I call Malaga “City for the people”. Ron and I were impressed with the beautiful seaside alleys, abundant city parks, excellent transport links, cleanliness, children’s playgrounds and all the opportunities to spend time outside. They say it’s Andalusia’s most cultural and exciting city, but I heard the entire Costa del Sol is amazing. Judging by Malaga, absolutely believe this.
HOW TO GET THERE
There’s a significantly large airport in Malaga. It’s easy to get there with WIZZ AIR’s new direct flight from Sofia. The inbound journey took us 3 hours and 50 minutes arriving there at 21:20 local time. I really started enjoying those late flights, because we arrive at dark, we see almost nothing, and then we wake up with fresh minds in a completely new city.
Once you get there, there’s a direct bus A Express Line which stops just outside the airport and can get you to the city centre for about 25 minutes. It costs 3 euro per person. The taxi would cost you about 25-30 euro.
The return flight is later in the evening and is slightly inconvenient as it arrived at 3 a.m., but we could sleep and time passed by quickly.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the charming Villa Elisa at Santa Catalina. An authentic Spanish Villa located outside the city centre within a short walking distance to the beach. It took us 15-20 minutes of walking the beach alley to get to the centre. We preferred to walk, because we are seaside addicts, but there are many public transport options, too. Malaga has excellent and very convenient public transport links.
However, if you wish to be somewhere near the museums and city attractions, check for properties and hotels around La Merced – Malaga’s trendiest quarter, where Pablo Picasso was born. La Malagueta where you can have the Mediterranean literally to your doorstep. Around Calle Marques de Larios to experience the modern yet still typically Andalusian old town centre. I wouldn’t advice you stay in the western side of the city, because it’s more modern and ordinary to me.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Malaga offers a dazzling array of museums, historical monuments and art galleries. You can visit both Pablo Picasso’s birth place which is now a museum, including the museum with his works. (Two separate buildings.) You can walk around Alcazaba – Hilltop Moorish-style medieval fortress overlooking the sea, with lush, fountain-filled gardens, as well as visit Gibralfaro. Definitely go inside Malaga’s main Cathedral. I myself liked it very much. You can also pop onto Malaga’s Big City Wheel. We had to, as Alex insisted, but it was worth the view. And last but not least, the Fashion & Automobile museum was very impressive with its countless retro exhibits.
WHERE TO GO
For eating out and drinks: Plaza de la Merced offers a range of places to sit down and enjoy food and drinks. Bodega Bar El Pimpi is an iconic spot, too, located in the old town. Calle Granada and the area are good, as well. Our favorite spot was Paseo de la Farola with all its restaurants overviewing the port. Order espeto (grilled sardine) at a local chiringuito (beachfront bar) to try a very local dish. You can also take a food tour for the best experience if you can! I really wanted to but we weren’t sure how it would work with a 3-year-old boy. Also go and watch a Flamenco show in a local restaurant. We wanted to do it on Friday night, but it was pouring, so unfortunately missed this opportunity.
For relaxation: Of course, the beach! But also along the beach alley, and in the beautiful Parque de Malaga. The Botanical Garden, which I heard was amazing. Palmeral de las Sorpresas is by the port is very nice for walks, but not as peaceful, because there are generally a lot of people.
For shopping: Calle Marques de Larios is a pedestrianised street flanked by boutiques and smart shoe shops. It’s my favorite. Vialia Shopping Centre alongside Maria Zambrano train station for high-street fashion. But to be honest, I do prefer pedestrian streets for this.
WHAT WE DID NOT ENJOY AS MUCH
Nothing. We loved it! I’m not surprised that statistics show 90% of the people who live in Malaga are happy to live in the city.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT MALAGA IN SPRING
The weather is warm (20-25 degrees), but not too hot. You can’t swim in the water, but you can enjoy a day at the beach without getting overheated. Occasional rain may occur, but there’s much beauty in the sky after it’s over.
The Jacaranda trees are in bloom, turning the Plaza de la Merced into a truly magical place. And not just them. There are plenty of trees in Malaga.
It’s not overcrowded.
It’s ideal for long walks and the air feels so fresh and clean. People who live in polluted cities appreciate this a lot.
Many events are taking place in Spring. We were in Malaga during the popular Film Festival. In early May a Gastronomy Festival is being held. You can research in advance.