For a long time, the city of Malaga was preceded by its reputation as a fly in-fly out mecca for sun and sand seekers. But there’s more to Malaga than its beautiful beaches – over the past 10 years, Malaga council have been investing money in a variety of home improvements, amongst them a glittering new port area and a recently pedestrianised city centre.
This makeover, teamed with Malaga’s natural beauty and laid back cosmopolitan vibe, have established it as one of the most exciting destination cities in Spain, and there’s plenty of things to do in Malaga to keep visitors entertained. Read on to find out why visiting Malaga should be top of your travel priority list in 2020.
If you’re looking for things to do in Malaga city centre, then sightseeing should be top of your list.
There’s plenty on offer in Malaga to please the history buff – the city traces its past back to Phoenecian times and many examples of ancient architecture are still visible in the streets today. Amongst these are well-preserved ruins of a Roman theatre and a vast 11th-century Moorish citadel known as the Alcazaba, perched on a hillside overlooking the town.
There’s also the Gibralfaro, built in 929AD on the site of a Phoenician lighthouse. The impressive structure stands at the summit of a steep incline and boasts panoramic views over the Mediterranean sea. Well worth the climb! You can find out more about monuments in Malaga by checking out TOMA & COE’s informative city guide here.
One of the best things to do in Malaga is to enjoy one of its many festivals. Malagueños love a party and are more than happy for visitors to join in the celebrations with them! Every August, Malaga centre closes down as the locals concentrate on celebrating their annual summer fair – the Feria de Malaga. The fair has been running since 1487 when it was first held as a celebration of the city’s conquest and incorporation into the kingdom of Castile by Los Reyes Católicos, Isabella and Ferdinand.
Festivities traditionally kick off with a spectacular firework display at midnight and continue in the form of drinking, dancing and general merrymaking for the next few days. During the daytime, the Malaga feria is centred around the city’s main shopping street, Calle Marques de Larios, before moving to an expansive fairground beyond the city centre at night.
This spectacular street party is too good to miss – visit Malaga in August next year and get involved in the fun!
Food & wine
Malaga province is home to an array of wineries, and there are plenty of bars around the city dedicated to exhibiting their produce.
Amongst the most famous of these is Bar El Pimpi. This iconic taverna specialises in local Malaga wines, making it the ideal place to sample some Andalucian vino and traditional tapas.
And if you’re in need of some sustenance to soak up that wine then Malaga delivers on the food front, too. Its proximity to the sea means Malaga is the place to sample fresh seafood. You can’t leave the city without trying its most famous local dish – espeto de sardinas – sardines threaded on a cane stick and cooked over an open fire.
This tradition is believed to date back to the 19th century when local fishermen would cook their catch on the beaches of Malaga at the end of a long day’s fishing.
If you want to find out the best places to eat in Malaga without hours of painstaking Tripavisor scrolling, we’d recommend taking a private tapas tour with your very own guide. Their local knowledge of the city centre will ensure you access to the most authentic tapas bars and make sure you know exactly what to order!
They don’t call it the Costa del Sol – the sunshine coast – for nothing! Malaga is widely recognised as having the best climate in Spain, boasting an average of 320 days of sunshine each year. Its balmy summers are counterbalanced by warm springtimes and mild winters – meaning you can make the most of Malaga’s lovely coastline and lively beach bars all year round.
If you consider yourself a Culture Vulture and are looking for things to do in Malaga, the city centre is home to a variety of art galleries and museums that are well worth visiting during your stay.
Malaga was the birthplace of the iconic painter Pablo Picasso, so a visit to the museum opened in his honour should be top of your cultural activities list. The Picasso Museum houses a permanent collection as well as some slightly more unusual pieces of work donated by family members.
Also on offer is the Russian Museum – set in a former tobacco factory and home to a selection of works from the Russian State Museum’s collection in St Petersburg, and the Contemporary Art Centre – CAC Malaga – which includes amongst its 400 pieces the work of iconic artists such as Andy Warhol.
If art is your bag, you could even opt to team the galleries with a wander around the historical centre and a trip to some of Malaga’s best tapas bars on a private tour with a local guide. Sound appealing? Check out TOMA & COE’s Art in Malaga tour here, and let us show you around our town! In the meantime, to learn more interesting facts about Malaga, be sure to give this article a read!