Looking to explore? Malaga is best known for its beautiful sandy beaches and diverse culture, but the coastal city in the Costa del Sol in southern Spain has so much more to offer. Put aside the sunshine and sea, if you’ve got an eye for ancient architecture and are curious to explore places with historical significance and beauty, then there’s plenty here for you to see and do too. We’ve rounded up six places you absolutely have to see in Malaga.
1) The Citadel: Alcazaba de Malaga
Towers galore, ancient walls, lush gardens, and artifacts in abundance, this ancient Moorish Castle dates back to the 9th Century and has something for everyone. Situated on Mount Gibralfaro, if you’re not blown away by the architecture, then the view will definitely appease you. Boasting 110 towers and 3 defense walls, inside is the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts and The Museum of Malaga, housing Hispanic-Arabic pottery, and Roman archaeological exhibits. Don’t miss the stunning gardens in the courtyard or the Teatro Romano, the ruins of a Roman theater where performances continue to date.
2) Malaga Cathedral
This Renaissance-era cathedral is nicknamed La Manquita (one-armed lady) since the Cathedral’s south tower was peculiarly left unbuilt during construction. The structure is a combination of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural influences and is sure to make history enthusiasts marvel at its beauty. The one completed tower stands at a whopping 84 meters in height, making it the second tallest Cathedral in Andalusia.
Thinking about the scrumptious food you might enjoy in Malaga? We’ve got you covered. When you need to refuel, drop by to one of these local eateries and enjoy the best tapas Spain has to offer.
3) Botanical Gardens – La Concepcion Jardin Botanico
Take a short trip out of town and get lost in the mesmerizing botanical gardens. Created in 1855, you’ll be stunned by the romantically styled landscapes and collections of tropical and Mediterranean plants. Take a walking route around the gardens, marvel at the view of Malaga city, and don’t miss the heavenly wisteria tunnel that blooms in early April.
4) The Market Hall – Mercado de Atarazanas
Walk through the dome shaped doorway and be blown away by the incredible scents of the food market. With a display of everything from fruits and vegetables to meat, fish, and cheese, the marketplace is bustling with life, especially in the morning when fresh produce and poultry arrives. Possibly the most beautiful market setting in Spain, the stained-glass window depicts the colorful history of Malaga, while the architecture and interior tell it’s own unique story.
Wandering through the market is sure to make your tummy rumble. We recommend you drop by to the El Bar de Los Pueblos, right across the marketplace for a scrumptious meal at a reasonable price.
5) Contemporary Art Center – Centro de Arte Contemporaneo
Be dazzled by awe-inspiring modern art pieces of the 20th century. Not only is the building a creative marvel, but the displays feature art from significant artistic movements, and are frequently updated. Masterpieces by famous Spanish artists will tantalize your senses and give you a sneak peak of the colorful culture as well as a modern day commentary on heritage.
6) The Beach – Banos del Carmen
There are 15 beaches in Malaga, each with their own unique charm, but Banos del Carmen stands out for its unique history. Being the first Spanish beach to have a public spa facility, the now semi-ruined site was a groundbreaking concept when it was built in 1918. It’s a must-visit for its vibrant summertime parties and concerts. We wouldn’t tag it as a family beach, but, it’s definitely one of the best for sunbathing, and to enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand.
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