¡Bienvenido a Malaga!
A port city in the south of the country, lying on the Costa Del Sol, Malaga, Spain, is truly enchanting. Known for its scenic beaches, ancient castles, stylish harbors, and great restaurants, Malaga will fascinate you the minute you set foot there. Tourists know popular attractions, but a worldwide local knows how to best experience the city. This is an insider’s guide of some of Malaga’s exceptional spots.
Malaga is a city known for its rich history, delicious seafood snacks, and interesting traditions, that have shaped its people and its history. Whether you arrive on the Madrid to Malaga train or fly into Malaga airport, there is a phenomenal surprise waiting for you. With so many ways to see the city, a first-time visitor may find it a bit frightening, but this guide will help you make the most out of your visit.
Malagueta--A Must-Visit Neighborhood
Book a room in one of the Malaga hotels in the best place to stay--the Malagueta neighborhood. Here, you are within walking distance to the famous historical sites such as La Alcazaba, the Roman Theater, the Cathedral, and Gibralfaro Castle. Malagueta also has a bustling urban beach that is only a few minutes away from Málaga’s International Seaport and city center. The Port of Málaga is lined with restaurants, bars, shops, and has spectacular views of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: A famous, although controversial, tradition in Spain is bullfighting. There is a bullfighting ring located in the Malagueta neighborhood, which hosts bullfights throughout the year. Even if you object to bullfighting, you can still take a tour to learn about the heritage of the Spanish bullfighting culture.
Hip Malaga: Soho
The hip neighborhood of Soho is another exciting place that should be on your travel plans. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or you just want to explore an alternative region, you’ll love Soho. This hipster area is the heart of Malaga’s creative art scene. Once considered a declining part of town, it’s now filled with bright, colorful street art, charming local shops, cafés, and funky Malaga restaurants. Simply wander around this unique neighborhood to explore where its streets take you. Step into one of the many private small businesses in the area and support the local owners by purchasing souvenirs.
Shopping and More
Malaga’s two most popular markets, Atarazanas and La Merced are great places to explore, but for a local experience, you are better off shopping at Mercado Salamanca. Only a ten or fifteen-minute walk from Malaga’s historic center, this market is used pretty much exclusively by Malagaueños, as it’s where they go to get the fresh catch of the day.
Worldwide Local Tip: There is a little bar on the side of the market where vendors go to enjoy a drink after work. This is a great place to come to get a sense of neighborhood life in Malaga. Order an ice cold beer and a tapa or two and interact with the locals.
The food culture in Malaga includes small meals/snacks eaten throughout different times of the day. One of the most popular snacks in Malaga is campero, a special round bread, served toasted and stuffed with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and sometimes chicken pieces. You can find different variations of campero served all around the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: Head out to the Pedregalejo, a delightful old fishing village, to try your campero sandwich at a place called Mafalda. This is a family-run place with 15 different types of camperos. It’s located right next to the beach, making it the perfect place to take a stroll after your meal and to bask in the glorious Malaga weather.
Malaga After Dark
The best place to go to in Malaga at night is Mitjana Square, in the old center of town. This busy space is packed with people and energy, no matter what day it is. This the perfect place to mingle and people watch. Some of the city’s most popular bars and clubs are also around this area, so it’s the best place to go if you want to dance or just kick back and watch a Malaga FC match alongside local fans.
Learn the Flamenco, a traditional Spanish dance originating in Andalucía (the region of Spain that contains Malaga), and dance the night away at Kelipe Centro de Arte.
Worldwide Local Tip: Cruzcampo, a local beer, is the most popular beer in Malaga. You can enjoy a fresh brew at a Cruzcampo microbrewery, located in the Soho area of Malaga a short walk from the Ataranzas market. This is the perfect spot for a night out when you’re sick of tapas.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Word of Malaga’s charm is spreading fast, attracting many more visitors to this amazing city. You can opt to visit as a tourist and only experience part of the town, or you can explore the city as a worldwide local and get a full taste of Malaga’s appeal. One thing is for sure, the latter will leave you with a lifetime of memories.