Malaga has 300 sunny days per year – 50 days with some rain. And the city has plenty of beaches
This is a Free city-guide, our gift in pictures and writing – presenting 50 interesting facts you should know to understand and explore Malaga better.
What: Travel Guide to the city of Málaga
Where: Malaga is the capital of Málaga Province in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía. The largest city on the Costa del Sol.
Population: 568,000 in the city area.
Locals: The People of Malaga are known as “Malagueños”.
Weather in Malaga
Typical Mediterranean climate with sea breezes and the warmest winter in Europe. January coldest month. Malaga has 300 days of sunshine per year.
Malaga Airport: The official name is Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport, the third-largest in Spain.
Getting Around: To and from Malaga Airport by train. Fuengirola is end of the train line. Malaga is compact and almost totally flat, getting around by bike is a good alternative. Alternatives are by bus and Metro. You should be able to do most sightseeing on foot.
Where to stay: There are plenty of hotels in Malaga. Most central: The Old City, known as El Centro, is a vibrant area. Other areas: Malaga Train Station, Soho, La Malagueta, Pedregalejo and El Palo.
The Elegant Street
Most elegant street: Calle Larios is Malagas most elegant shopping street. During the Film Festival, the entire street has a red carpet; the carpet turns blue for Malaga Fashion Week; and at Christmas, the sound and light display is one of the best in Spain.
Culture and Picasso: Malaga is Andalucía’s leading cultural destination. The city´s cultural profile has greatly boosted by the Picasso Museum. Total of 29 museums in the port city showcasing everything from paintings by art world heavy-hitters to rare automobiles. In Malaga they say: Picasso is still living with us.
Loaded with History
History: The Old Town of Malaga is loaded with history. One of the World´s oldest city, founded in 770BC by Phoenicans. The original name was Malaka, which means factory. In Moorish times, the sea splashed at the foot of Atarazanas, once the city dockyards and now the main fresh food market.
The Moorish Alcazaba fortress dates from the eighth century overlooking the city’s restored Roman Amphitheater.
Malaga Old Town: This area of Malaga has 2,800 years of history and is one of the oldest cities in Europe.
The Church: The Cathedral, known as La Manquita, or the one-armed lady because it only has one tower and never finished. Built between 1528 and 1782. Free concerts are held throughout the year.
Religion in Malaga: Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Malaga. There is also a large Protestant population living in the city.
Eat, Sweet and Coffee
Eat in Malaga: Restaurants and tapas bars rank alongside the best in Spain. Spanish eating hours are after 2pm for lunch and 9pm for dinner. Unique Malaga food are Sardines, Fried Fish and Meatballs.
Sweet treat: Chocolate & Churros makes the ultimate comfort food. The deep-fried dough and the hot and thick chocolate. Best places to try: El Caracol, Tejeringos Coffee, Cafè Madrid, Restaurante Bar Ona, and Casa Aranda.
Typical Malaga Wine: Ask for D.O. Malaga and you get sweet red or white wine from this coastal province. Mainly dessert and aperitif wines from Muscat grapes and the variety known as Pedro Ximènez. Quitapenas produce a variety of wines.
Typical Beach Food
Beach food: Anchovies, or boquerones, are local delicacy, crisply fried or pickled in vinegar. Served at most beach bars, known as chiringuitos. The locals eat their boquerones whole.
Coffee in Malaga: The Malagueños are very picky about how they like coffee. Half milk with half coffee. Two-thirds coffee with one-third milk, splash of milk, splash of coffee. And all the different combinations have a name. To check out the correct name for your dose of coffee and milk pop along to Café Central in the Plaza de la Constitución and take a look at the tiled mural.
City and all the Beaches
Malaga beaches: Malaga has 15km of beaches. La Malagueta and La Caleta are the busiest beaches. All are connected via the Nº 11 Bus from Paseo del Parque.
Sea Temperature: The average sea temperature in July: 77.0°F – 25C.
Is Malaga a safe city? It´s a popular destination because it is considered to be safe. However, there are areas which are best to avoid during late nights.
Is Malaga perfect for holiday? Where modern tourism meets traditional Spanish way of life. Visit the charming old town, museums, lots of shopping and kilometers of sandy beaches. Our free advice: you should consider holiday in Malaga.
Cheap or expensive? Surprisingly, Malaga values as one of the cheapest holiday destinations in Spain.
Things to do in Malaga
All the Museums: Visit Alcazaba, Malaga Cathedral, Picasso House Museum, Café de Paris, La Cancela, Parador de Malaga-Gibralfaro, Gibralfaro Castle, Casa Natal de Picasso, Larios Street and Hotel Larios. There are 37 museums, most of them in the historic quarter, making Málaga’s old town one of those with the highest density of museums.
English Cemetery: Cementerio Inglés was the first Protestant cemetery built in Spain. Here are the graves of important people from Malaga´s economic, social and cultural elite. Conceived as a botanical garden arranged in terraces and overlooking the sea, it contains exotic species and monuments and tombs with classic, Gothic and modernist elements.
Easter Festival: Holy Week – Semana Santa – is the biggest event of the year. We had the pleasure to rub shoulder with Antonio Banderas. The Hollywood-star spend the Easter Week in Malaga. Always watching the processions, the glorious floats with religious sculptures moving slowly on the streets. Night after night from the same balcony. But Banderas also takes part in the celebrations.
Picasso and Banderas
Flamanco: Malaga is a city of Flamenco. The colorful polka-dot dresses, castanets, and the acoustic guitar represent the authentic side of Flamenco, it´s all about singing, dancing and playing music.
Local Music: Malaguena is name of everything, but mostly after the music of this region.
Famous locals: The painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas, and footballer Isco in Real Madrid.
Bullfighting: «Corrida de toros», is bullfighting in Spanish. “La Malagueta” is name of the bullring of Malaga, opened in 1876. The most important event of the year is the Fair of Malaga in August.
La Rosaleda Stadium: Malaga Football Club established in 1921 and played matches on the beach Baños del Carmen. La Rosaleda Stadium hosted three matches in the 1982 World Cup.
Walking Malaga. Malaga has trails connected with the nature. The trails are signposted, so no expertise is needed to follow any of these routes. You just have to be prepared with the right shoes, water and a snack in case you need it. The trails are classified as Long Distance (GR), Short Distance (PR), Local (SL) and Urban (SU).
Long routes are generally over 50km long and form part of the larger network. These are marked with a white line above a red line. In Malaga we find the GR-92 Eastern Coastal Path that starts in Tarifa (Cadiz) and ends in Portbou (Gerona).
The part through Malaga contains two segments. One is the Western Coastal Path, covering 12.8 km, which starts in La Cizaña and ends in the district of La Malagueta. The other is the Eastern Coastal Path, covering 9.7 km, which begins in La Malagueta and goes all the way to the Totalán river.
Siesta time in Malaga
Tradition in Malaga: They have one lazy tradition called Siesta. In the afternoon between 2-5 they close down for the siestas. After lunch people settle down for a nap, and that makes your brain sharper, a study shows. The findings come from a study of 2,214 who slept 6,5 hours a night and napped from 5min to two 2h after lunch.
In Spain, they say siesta give more energy for the evening.
Cocktail Bars: Tres Sesanta, in Calle Compañía, 34. What this bar doesn’t have in views, it more than makes up for in the cocktails. The Mojito mixed here is reputedly the best in town and it’s only €5.
Batik, on the roof of Alcazaba Premium Hostel. Sip cocktail while gazing at the Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle. Address: Calle Alcazabilla, 12.
Local Bread: Known as a pitufo, comes as white or brown with a long list of fillings. Try a mixto, with ham and cheese.
Tips or no Tips
Best Veggie: Being a vegetarian isn’t easy in meat-loving Spain, but things are improving and most venues have vegetarian-options. Here is the best for veggies in Malaga: Siete Semillas, El Calafate, Astrid Taperìa Orgánica, Canadú, and El Vegetariano de la Alcazabilla.
Leaving Tips: As a general rule, leave between 5 and 10 per cent of your bill as a tip. But if the food and/or service doesn’t live up to your expectations or is just down right poor, then reduce your tip or don’t leave one at all. Leave the tip in cash rather than adding it to your card.
Facts and Fun Fact
Province of Málaga: Malaga is one of eight provinces in Andalucia, the entry point if arriving by plane.
Surprising fact: Malaga Bay is famous for its seafood, and anchovies, named boquerón in Spanish. So famous in fact that if you’re born in Malaga you’re a boquerón or boquerona if you’re female.
Ask a Local: We asked and took advice from Antonio.
Malaga Tourist Information: Head Office. Address: Plaza de la Marina, 11, Malaga.
There is tourist office in the Airport, located in the Terminal 3 arrivals area.
Fun Fact: In the center, Plaza de Uncibay and Plaza de la Merced are lively nightlife areas with clubs open until around 4am. There are plenty of cafés and bars in the centre for after-dinner drinks, particularly around Granada, Comedias and Alcazabilla streets.
FOODY MALAGA: SOUP MADE IN THOUSAND VERSIONS