Málaga is one of those Spanish cities that rarely hit number one on anyone’s bucket list. It’s nice, many people visit it, but there are other cities that get much better press. And I admit – before I went there I didn’t know much about this town and if I was to make the itinerary, I might have missed it completely. If I was asked about Andalusia, I would rather think of Córdoba or Granada, and not Málaga. But this time I went on a trip organized by someone else – and had to go with it.
I am glad it went this way, as Málaga is a very charming place with a lot of historic and architectural interest. I hope the few modest photos will be enough to convince you to put Málaga on your Spanish trip itinerary!
The ancient city of Málaga
Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its history reaches almost three thousand years ago when the Phoenicians established here a port named Malaka. For a few hundred years Málaga was part of the Ancient Carthage and later Roman Empire. After a pretty short Visigothic rule it became an Arabic town for about 800 years before it was conquered by the Catholic Crown of Castille as a consequence of the long Reconquista wars. Málaga was one of the Andalusian cities which were the longest under the Arab rule, as part of the Emirate of Granada.
As you can see this amazing city has a very long and rich history – and we are lucky that we can see a lot of it while walking through its historic center. Málaga is a place of history and ancient stones, but also of art and poetry. The genius painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso called Málaga his home. An outstanding Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher Shlomo (Salomon) Ibn Gabirol. From more recent years – the actor Antonio Banderas was born here as well.
That the best way for me to make you want to pack your bags and visit Málaga will not by writing many words, but by showing you photos I took when visiting. I hope they show the beauty and historic importance of this place, as well as a great place for beach holidays (it’s on Costa del Sol after all!).
Get your cameras ready: what to see in Málaga
Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro
Beautiful fortress (“alcazaba” means “fortress” in Arabic) dating back to 11th century and the times of Moors. Ancient walls, lavish gardens, and beautiful views – it is a true gem! For best views over Málaga and a touch of Islamic history of the city take a walk along the ramparts of this military structure built by Abd ar-Rahman I, the 8th-century Cordoban emir. It was built to protect the palace – Alcazaba.
Rediscovered mid-20th century, the ruins reach 1st century BC and the times of Augustus. What is interesting, many of the stones and columns of this theater were later used to build the Alcazaba.
Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square) and streets surrounding it
I loved walking through the streets winding around the old town. Populated by charming cafes and restaurants, with small balconies and inviting gates they are not to be missed! Don’t miss the Fuente de Génova (Genoa Fountain) – the Renaissance-style fountain funded by king Charles V in 16th c. Plaza de la Constitución is the best starting point for your walk through the Historic Quarter of Málaga.
Beautiful building built over a span of two hundred years and never completely finished. It is called La Manquita (the one-armed lady) because of the towers was not completed as they run out of funds. It was constructed on the spot were a mosque stood earlier on. There is very little left of the old building.
Mercado Central de Atarazanas
Wonderfully colorful market with a dazzling variety of fruits, vegetables, and seafood.
Centre Pompidou Málaga
The City of Picasso must have an art center. This place is part of Parisian Art Institution and the first one opened outside of Paris. All art lovers need to put this place on their itinerary!
It is Costa del Sol after all! You have about 14 km of beautiful sand beaches with all the benefits of a city nearby.
Did I convince you to go and see Málaga? I hope so!
Or maybe you have been there already? How was it? Did you like it?