A walk through Malaga reveals the rich history of the city that was founded over 3000 years ago. Romans and Moors left behind monuments to their occupation and the remains are part of the charm of this destination city. On a hill over the harbour is the Alcazaba, an ancient fortification built by Moors, just above the ruins of a Roman amphitheater. On the way up the hill, stop to look back at the stunning views of the city. Higher still is CastillodeGibralfaro, another Moorish castle, where the view of the city and the harbour are not to be missed.
Malaga is more than sun and tranquil beaches. There are more than twenty museums in Malaga, many situated close together in the historical district. Not to miss are the Bullring and Bullfighting Museum, Malaga's Cathedral with it's magnificent sculptures and the Cathedral Museum, Museum of the Brotherhood of La Esperanza, the Popular Arts and Customs museum that depicts historical daily life in Malaga, and the Contemporary Art Centre.
Surrounded by eating and drinking establishments, the Plaza de la Merced is where to find the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Just a few minutes' walk is the Picasso Museum with twelve halls of permanent exhibitions and many temporary exhibits. At the end of the 15th century the Plaza de la Merced housed a public market and by the end of the 19th century it had become a place where the bourgeoisie dedicated themselves to pleasure and leisure.
Tropical gardens and parks abound in and around Malaga. The JardínBotánico La Concepción has over 3000 plants in gardens dotted with fountains and statues. PuertaOscura Gardens, Malaga Park, Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens, and San Jose Estate Gardens are each a relaxing oasis of tropical beauty in Malaga.
The people of Malaga tend to be conservative in dress and visitors may want to follow the example of the locals. Revealing clothing should be left for the beach and dress up when going to nicer restaurants. English is not spoken as often as in other parts of Europe so take a language book along. Tapas bars are everywhere in Malaga and seafood is at it's best. Grilled sardines, squid, and fresh anchovies, gazpacho, and local sweet wines are definitely to be tasted. Wander the streets of the historical quarter to find hidden tapas bars and dine at sidewalk cafes.
Malaga's Central Market is where locals shop for fresh fruits, meats, and seafood. Stroll the Calle Marques de Larios for fine shops and boutiques but also expect to find family-owned shops where goods may be cheaper and better quality. The Malaga airport is one of the largest in Spain and train and bus transportation run frequently from the airport to Malaga. In the city, bikes, buses, taxis, and rental cars are available but walking is the best way to see the sites.
Author: By Sophie Norris