Best-Kept Secrets in Malaga’s Enchanting Old Quarter

Written by Rachel Webb
Reading Time: 

“Exploring the Enchanting Old Quarter: Discovering the Best-Kept Secrets in Málaga”

Just a short flight from most European destinations, and then a short taxi ride, and you can be on the Mediterranean’s Costa del Sol and its main town of Málaga for lunch.

Málaga stretches along the Spain’s Southern coast, one town merging into the next and many people fly into Málaga and head out again to a different location. But stick around and explore the best and often missed part of the city – the old quarter. Here you’ll find it’s compact and attractive streets and plazas worthy of a long weekend’s meandering…

Best-Kept Secrets in Málaga

                                                                                   Malaga, Spain at the Alcazaba citadel

…which is exactly what I did.

At the far end of the port, the big new shopping centre Muello Uno has been developed, but if you don’t fancy shopping head into the town from the port to the ornate and grandiose cathedral. Take a close look and you’ll see the stunning edifice is missing one of its towers, which is why it is nicknamed “La Manquita” (the missing one or one-armed lady). 

 La Alcazaba de Málaga

A short stroll away is the well-preserved Alcazaba, a hillside fortress and lovely place to rest and wander, with ornate decoration, tinkling fountains and far-reaching views. Behind it is the Castle Gibralfaro dating back to the 8th century. It sits 130 metres above sea level, with views out onto the Mediterranean and over Málaga’s city sprawl, a look from this perspective will help you get your bearings. It’s a steep climb or an easy ride on the hop-on-hop-off open-top tourist bus or local bus.

 

 
Teatro Romano de Málaga, Málaga Costa del Sol, Andalucía, España
 

At the feet of the fortress is Málaga’s oldest monument—a Roman Amphitheatre, which after being buried for five centuries was rediscovered in 1951. After much reconstruction work, it opened to the public in 2011.

Málaga was the birthplace of renowned artist Pablo Picasso so don’t be surprised to see his sculpture sitting on one of the benches in the square. If you’re a fan of his, the Pablo Picasso Museum is home to more than 200 of his works.

After a day out discovering Málaga’s site, head to the 15-storey roof terrace and bar of the AC Hotel Málaga Palacio, especially at night when the harbour twinkles and the cathedral is bathed in light. The bar is open to non-hotel guests, so be sure to grab a seat on a warm sultry night—it will definitely be a holiday highlight.

Málaga for Foodies 

For lunch one of the many Chiringuitos, aka beach bars, beckons. Most have small, old fishing boats now used to barbecue or smoke locally caught fish. That is a must – fresh fish on the sand with the ebbing of the waves nearby.  As Málaga boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, plant yourself under a shade of a parasol – which means ‘for sun’ in Spanish.

In the winter months, Málaga’s climate is still mild and the city isn’t as crowded with tourists so its a good time to escape the cold and explore this Spanish city on the sea. My visit was in late September and we chose a beach bar table in the shade for lunch. We removed our sandals and dug our bare toes into the warm sand. Cold beer while sardines cooked on the open fire revived us for an afternoon of more exploration.

Another visit foodies will love is the attractive 19th-century metal and glass market – the mouthwatering Mercado Atarazanas, brimming with fresh produce stalls, hustling locals and wonderful smells. Head to the back and there’s a couple of small bars teeming with in-the-know locals nibbling freshly cooked tapas. The waft of home cooking is hard to ignore and sampling must be done.

A visit to the oldest bar in the city El Pimpi (founded in 1971 and named after a runner from the ships) has hardly been touched by modern times, except for a wall full of photos of famous visitors. Small meeting rooms, beamed ceilings and barrels are a real blast from the past. This is the spot to try the local Málaga wine and it’s great for lunch or dinner too.

Between beaches and bars, sun, shopping and sand, tradition, culture and history and fabulous food it really is true to say there is something for everyone in the heart of Málaga. And my favourite bit?  It’s too hard to pick just one.

A hidden bench in a private niche in the Alcazaba; my first glimpse of the amphitheatre; the bustle and chatter of the market; and sipping a cold beer with my feet buried in the sand on a beach are among them.

What are you waiting for? Go find your favourites in Málaga.

Museo Picasso Fachada

***

BeSeeingYou In: Málaga, Spain

Good To Know: Loads of great museums featuring anything from classic cars to art

WOW Factor: Views from the Alcazaba, Castillo de Gibralfaro and the Parador de Gibralfaro

TIP: Find out when the cruise ships stop in Málaga and avoid those dates, if possible

 

Images: Provided by the Malaga city council.

Author Bio: Rachel Webb

Rachel Webb
Rachel Webb has lived in Jaén province since moving from England in 1996. She’s an estate agent and writer often found visiting boutique hotels for her portfolio of Only Spain Boutique Hotels. She blogs at Andalucia Explorer and Luxury Spain Travel, and has written the Cordoba and Jaen chapter for Lonely Planet´s Andalucia Guide. She enjoys sampling Spanish red wine and tapas while exploring Spain.

Related Articles

UKFeatured Articles Foodie
Flower essence
Unbottling The Feel-Good Factor of Flower Essences + How to Make Your Own

Unbottling The Feel-Good Factor of Flower Essences + How to Make Your Own

When the sun is shining, there is little dispute that being outdoors in a beautiful garden makes us feel happy. But it seems that it is not just from being outdoors amongst the daisies that can boost our well-being. The feel-good factor can bottled in the form of...

MaltaCity SlickerFeatured Articles
Malta MCC
Valletta’s Imposing Former Hospital Has Two Unique Visitor Experiences You Won’t Want to Miss

Valletta’s Imposing Former Hospital Has Two Unique Visitor Experiences You Won’t Want to Miss

Valletta’s imposing former hospital, once one of the best and biggest in Europe, is now a major event and conference venue and home to The Malta Experience, a must-see! Built as a hospital in the 16th century by the Order of St John, and known by the name Sacra...

Top 10 Travel Tips for 2024

Get the top 10 Tips to increase the awesomeness factor of your next UK Travel Adventure. You will also receive updates on new and amazing places to travel to.

 

Subscribe Now 

 

Become a BeSeeingYou Member

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Top10 Travel Tips for 2023

Top 10 Travel Tips for 2023

Get the top 10 Tips to increase the awesomeness factor of your next Travel Adventure. You will also receive updates on new and amazing places to travel to.

 

Subscribe Now 

 

Become a BeSeeingYou Member

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Top10 Travel Tips for 2023

Top 10 Travel Tips for 2023

Get the top 10 Tips to increase the awesomeness factor of your next Travel Adventure. You will also receive updates on new and amazing places to travel to.

 

Subscribe Now 

 

Become a BeSeeingYou Member

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This