What I did and saw:
Castillo de Gibralfaro-
The Gibralfaro castle is a great place to walk up to. It offers some amazing views of the city, the ocean, and the mountains. It is also a very historic place with construction dating as far back as 770BC!
Alcazaba de Malaga and Jardines de Puerta Oscura-
An Alcazaba is the term for a Moorish fortification inside a city. The Alcazaba of Malaga was built in the early 11th century and is one of the most well preserved Alcazabas in Spain. There are also some Roman ruins by the Alcazaba that date back to the first century BC. The Jardines de Puerta Oscura, or Gardens of the Dark Gate, is a nice area to explore or to just sit and admire the ocean views. The Alcazaba is free to enter after 2pm on Sundays, but only costs a few euros on other days/times.
Museo Picasso Malaga-
Prior to living in Barcelona and Paris, Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga. While many of his works are now in cities such as New York and Madrid, there is still a good collection of his works in the museum in the city he was born in. The museum is free to enter during the last two hours it is open on Sundays, which was when I was able to visit.
Catedral de la Encarnacion de Malaga-
The Malaga Cathedral is a beautiful building located in the city center, but its construction was never finished. After one of the cathedral’s towers was completed, the money for the construction of the second tower was diverted elsewhere (there is some disagreement on exactly where it was diverted to). Because of this, some locals now call the building “La Manquita,” which roughly translates to “The one-armed lady.”
Mercado Central de Ataranzanas-
The central market in Malaga is a beautiful building that offers a variety of different foods for sale. There are also a good number of places to get something to eat or drink around the market.
Where I ate and drank:
Bodega Bar El Pimpi-
Around the corner from the Picasso Musuem, Bodega Bar El Pimpi is a nice, local, wine and tapas bar. It is worth checking out on a visit to Malaga.
I had a nice, tasty dinner at Los Gatos. It was also located right around the corner from The Urban Jungle Hostel.
Mia Coffee Shop-
Mia Coffee Shop is one of my favorite coffee spots, not just in Malaga, but anywhere. The coffee is delicious and the service is excellent. They don’t have much of a food menu, but what they do offer in terms of food is super tasty. I highly recommend stopping by this cozy little place if you are in Malaga.
Casa Mira is a historic place that serves ice cream and turrons. It is located on the beautiful Calle Marques de Larios.
Santa Canela Cafe-
Santa Canela Cafe is an excellent coffee shop in Malaga. They serve quality coffee, and I had a Chemex brew while I was there. I also at a “Pitufo,” which literally translates to “Smurf,” but it is the local term used for a type of sandwich unique to Malaga.
Cafeteria Bertani Cafe-
Cafeteria is another little spot in downtown Malaga that serves craft coffee.
El Rincón Del Cervecero, La Botica de la Cerveza, Cerveceria Arte&Sana, and Central Beers-
Despite its relative size, Malaga offers some great options for craft beer. Also, the Beer-amisu at Central Beers was super tasty.
Antigua Casa de Guardia-
Located close to the Mercado Central de Ataranzanas, the Antigua Casa de Guaria is a unique, rustic spot. It features a simple long bar that stretches almost the entire length of the space. Behind the bar are barrels of different types of wine to choose from. They also offer a small selection of food. One of the unique things about the place is they write your tab on the bar in front of you with chalk, then add it up when it is time to pay. It is an great, inexpensive place to try some local wine and snacks.
Where I stayed:
Picnic Dreams Botique Hostel-
I only stayed one night at Picnic Dreams Botique Hostel. Overall, it was a nice, comfortable place to stay. However, due to its downtown location (which is very convenient) it can get a bit noisy outside at night. There is also a very nice cafe in the lobby of the hostel.
The Urban Jungle Hostel-
I was very happy with my stay at The Urban Jungle Hostel. The staff were super nice and helpful. It is well located in the city center. Also, each of the dorm beds had curtains on them (which not enough hostels do).
How I got around:
I flew to get to Malaga, and took the metro to get downtown. The metro was clean and easy to use. Once in the city I walked to get around, enjoy the city, and take in the sites.
My favorite thing:
The weather in Malaga was very nice while I was there, and the downtown area is very walkable. I really enjoyed stopping at Antigua Casa de Guardia, and Mia Coffee Shop is my favorite coffee spot in Andalusia.
My least favorite thing:
There is not much to dislike about Malaga, but I’ve heard it can get crazy hot in the summer. Also, it may not be as big as other cities like Barcelona, London, or Chicago, but there are still a good amount of things to do and see and eat and drink.
For next time:
Next time in Malaga I would like to check out the beach, because I didn’t get a chance to last time I was there. I would also like to go outside of town to visit the Caminito del Rey if I got the chance.
My name is Billy. I am a personal trainer and teacher. I love traveling, and wanted to share some of my experiences. I hope to inspire you to see, taste, and experience more of the world. Feel free to take some of my recommendations for your own travels. I also blog about health and fitness at CustomizeMyWorkout.com/blog