Malaga is right next to its more famous neighbour Marbella, and it is more of a port city than the latter. Malaga is a known place in modern history especially being the home of Pablo Picasso.
Since it is located next to several beach resorts it offers a quiet beach life but a pleasant city centre for lounging in bars and cafes. Because it is slightly off the tourist radar it also serves as a pleasant city to stroll around in aimlessly. to explore in addition to a standard sun vacation. It was middle of January when I arrived in Malaga by airplane. With surprisingly mild weather I could enjoy sunshine and wearing a tee and simple cotton pants while taking a walk on the beach. Let’s take a closer look at some of the highlights in the old city of Malaga…
Plaza de Marced
Placa de Marced has an average number of people sitting in restaurants lining the square. They sit huddled close together close to the heaters but it is remarkable that in January you can find so many people sitting outside.
If it wasn’t for the siesta one could happily walk into a tapas bar at any given time. But you will need to coordinate your tapas intake with the siestas in mind because many tapas bars close in the middle of day, only to open in the evening again. The side streets with tapas bars are one of the more entertaining quirks of Malaga. You will find many locals hanging around here and during high season these bars are packed with tourists. In January however, I could observe the daily lives of the Spanish locals. Oh, and the expats of course. You have those as well in Malaga although not as many as in larger cities (think Barcelona or Marbella).
As mentioned you will find many tapas bars in central Malaga. This gives you all the more reason to walk down the alleys that intersect the main shopping streets in the center. Just make your way along the shopping streets in the centre and you are sure to stumble upon tapas bars. This early in the year one has the luxury of picking tables at will as well, a luxury you surely won’t have in the nighttime during the summer months.
The Beach Walk (by Playa Malagueta)
For your convenience during those early mornings after a long night out, there are cafés and barbeques by the beach Malagueta. This is the most known beach in Malaga and even that early in the year you will see people lounging in the cafés lining the beach. The day I went there I was also pleasantly surprised to see the barbeque being lit in one of the restaurants. With the scent of burning charcoal and a magnificient view of the Malagueta sign, I could confirm that yeah, Malaga is a cool dugout in January in Europe.
As if the moderate weather wasn’t enough I also got to enjoy the tunes of a an accordion with a street musician entertaining an entire restaurant. The sun kept shining and for a few minutes I drowsed off to the tones of the accordion and the sun warming my cheeks in that very welcoming restaurant by the beach Malagueta.
Malagueta is by far the largest beach in Malaga. Sadly it has a view of the neighbouring harbour and there are often huge tanker ships anchored some kilometres of the coast. So the entire scene is far from idyllic. Still Malagueta does give you the opportunity to enjoy the beach life during day before you pop back into town for food, drinks and lounging in bars.
Here follow some things that you should check off during your visit in Malaga…
- The Picasso Museum. Learn more about his paintings, sculptures, printmaker, stage designer, poet..
- Placa de la Marced. One of the major squares with tapas bars, proper Andalucian atmosphere with street musicians and good food.
- Alcazaba de Malaga. The old citadel in Malaga that was built in the 11th century.
I’m off to the beach. Hasta pronto, pues nos vemos!