Málaga is a city full of history and tradition, but it is also the capital of the Costa del Sol. Cosmopolitan and welcoming, it is a home away from home for the traveler because of the locals' deep sense of hospitality. We will give you just a sampling of what this city of light and sand has to offer, because we are sure you will want to come back to experience more.
Málaga’s Old Town is home to the bulk of the city’s historic buildings, some of which date back to the first century BCE. The city’s Old Town is also where you will find the majority of the museums, like the
Port of Málaga & the Coast
The whole of Málaga is a never-ending beach, stretching from
Los Montes & Outside the City
You take the old Granada road to reach the most beautiful area of Málaga. The many natural scenic lookouts along this route offer magnificent views of the bay, and there is the added interest of experiencing the unique gastronomy, anthropology and history of the area. The whole area is dotted with inns. Some are in the style of rustic taverns, like
Plaza de la Merced
While no one can deny that Málaga is a city of sea and sand, it is no less important for its heritage and monuments. Begin at the Santuario de la Victoria, (Victoria is the city's patron saint), and walk along Calle Victoria, leaving behind Iglesia de San Lázaro (San Lázaro church) and the Jardín de los Monos (Monkeys Garden)—named thus because of the many monkeys that inhabited the gardens around the middle of the century. You will then reach Plaza de la Merced. On the northern side of this square you will find the so-called Casas de Campos (country houses). On the left corner is the building where Picasso was born, headquarters today of the Fundación Picasso (Picasso Foundation) that bears his name. End your little stroll at Cañadú right there in the plaza to refuel with delicious vegetarian dishes while watching the action in the plaza.
Plaza de la Constitución
Take Calle San Juan Letrán, with the Mercado de la Merced on your right (Market of Mercy), and you will find yourself at the Teatro Cervantes. In the stalls is an allegorical painting of the city painted by Bernardo Ferrándiz in 1868. Retrace your steps back to the middle of the Plaza de la Merced and you will see the beginning of the lively, winding Calle Granada, packed with little shops selling unusual wares, silver and presents suitable for ecologists. Following this road you will come to the Plaza de la Constitución, the most characteristic and representative of the city. Here you must visit the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País (Economic Society of Friends of the Country) building and see the Baroque façade of the Iglesia de la Salud.
To the left of the square is the Pasaje Chinitas, the scene of legends about bullfighters and cantaores (Flamenco singers) who have served as inspiration to many poets. This square leads into Calle Larios, the main thoroughfare of the old town; jam packed with shops and traditional cafés. At the end of Calle Larios is the Plaza y Acera de la Marina (square and walkway of the marina). Enjoy the splendid view of the port right in front of your eyes. You can visit it if you like. The Estudios Portuarios building is especially worth a look, with its modern decor and an olive tree in the patio.
Start your tour at Plaza del Obispo, visit the Museo de Arte Sacro (Museum of Religious Art) and cross over to the Cathedral, la Manquita, and its gardens. Continuing along Calle Císter, you will stumble upon three different cultures within feet of one another: the Moorish Alcazaba, the old Jewish quarter and the Roman Theater. Take a walk around the gardens of the Alcazaba, and go down the Coracha, a walled walkway, to Paseo del Parque, Málaga's botanical gardens. At the end is the Fuente de las Tres Gracias (Fountain of the Three Graces) which has been relocated hundreds of times, and behind this the Malagueta, the bullring that is over a hundred years old. To the right of the square is the popular district of Malagueta, where the Museo Municipal (Municipal Museum) opened in 1999. Opposite is a Botero sculpture. Crossing over the square you reach the Paseo de la Farola with views across the Port of Málaga. You can see the bronze sculpture of the Cenachero, the figure representing the city of Málaga. It is a young fisherman, dressed in clothing typical of the beginning of the century, carrying two baskets full of fresh anchovies. Continue your walk to the Glorieta de Jorge Guillén, the square dedicated to the poet Jorge Guillén that contains his statue, and you will reach Paseo Marítimo Antonio Machado with the Mediterranean and the sand of the Playas de la Malagueta (Malagueta Beaches) at your feet. Outdoor cafés abound around here, but we suggest you pay homage to the excellent Antonio Martín where you will eat like a king and enjoy unbeatable views of the sea.
Although the founding of Málaga is attributed to the Phoenicians, archaeological remains in various parts of the province indicate that prehistoric man had already left his mark on the area. Later on, the Carthaginians and Romans would come. The latter bestowed upon the city the status of a confederate city of Rome, a privilege enjoyed by only three cities in Andalusia. The Roman Theater and Lex Flavia Malacitana, the remains of which were found in the 19th Century, date back to this era, the first century CE.
Three centuries later the Christians arrived, and the Visigoths made their presence felt. Their might was definitively established in the 7th Century. The Arabic invasion occurred in 711 and with it the capture of Málaga. During the time of the taifas (small Spanish kingdoms), Muslims from the kingdom of Granada established themselves in the city. From 1057 this had a positive effect on the city's growth, and was the period during which the Alcazaba (Citadel) was built. Five centuries after this, on the 18th of August 1487, Málaga surrendered to Castilian troops after a cruel battle in which Ferdinand the Catholic King acted without compromise in dealing to the Arabs. Any survivors were sold as slaves, or exiled. The void left by the Arabs was filled by Christians from all parts of the country.
The 17th Century was a tragic time for the city. Added to the poor harvests, famine and epidemics were the huge floods in the years 1580, 1621 and 1661, and the earthquake of 1680 damaged many buildings. Surprisingly, one that was saved was the cathedral.
Málaga would not return to normality until well into the 18th Century. This was a time of renewed commercial activity, largely thanks to business dealings with America. However, just as the city had recovered from the tragedies of the 17th Century, it again suffered a harsh setback with the outbreak of yellow fever in 1803 and 1804. This set off another downward trend that the city would take years to recover from. There were also the effects of the French invasion, despite the achievements of the guerrilla resistance movements of Serranía and Axarquía. During the absolutist reign of Ferdinand VII, altercations never ceased between his followers and the liberals. The King's troops in Málaga arrested the liberal General Torrijos along with some of his companions. In December 1831, they were executed by firing squad on the beaches of Málaga. Years later a memorial obelisk was erected in their memory in the Plaza de la Merced (Square of Mercy).
Following the death of Ferdinand VII in 1833, the liberals took power and Málaga assumed an important role in the nation thanks to industrialization. Iron and steel works and textile factories were established. The latter were instigated by the Larios and Heredia families. They jointly founded Industria Malagueña in 1846, which made Málaga the second most important industrial center in the country after Barcelona.
Málaga began the 20th Century with an industrial crisis that had started at the end of the previous century with their inability to compete with Catalan industries, and the high price of coal. The agricultural sector was also in crisis due to the destruction of the vines by phylloxera (similar to green-fly). The economy deteriorated with the loss of Cuba, and commercial activity slowed. The situation did not change until the Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1929). Agricultural prosperity had a positive influence on external commerce and industry. The economy once again suffered with the proclamation of the Republic. The working classes were constantly striking over conditions and increasing unemployment. The torching and sacking of religious institutions in 1931 were manifestations of this discontent.
After the military uprising on the 18th of July 1936, Málaga remained under Republican control until their defeat in February 1937. With the Civil War over, the arduous task of rebuilding the city began. Some industries began to recover, but true recovery began in the 1950s with the tourist explosion. This generated enormous economic activity, making public works possible. The service sector then developed, and it remains the basis of today's economy. By exploiting its sun and its beaches, Málaga has become one of the most important tourist destinations in Europe.
In the capital of the Costa del Sol there are endless ways to spend a weekend, a month or your whole life. Here we offer you a broad range of accommodation options: luxury, modest, rural, and charming, by the sea or in the mountains. It is simply up to you to decide when, how and with whom.
Old Town & Center
The Old Town and Center of Malaga lead right down to the water and, naturally, contain most of the historical buildings and areas of interest for visitors to this Mediterranean city. The extensively renovated Málaga Palacio and the NH Málaga, both four-star hotels, will surely fulfill all your requirements. Smaller, but optimally located in the very heart of the old town is the Larios, or the Don Curro, which are popular with business travelers. The Hotel Venecia is located just next to the water, making it an ideal location for sightseeing or just relaxing.
If you'd rather have a dream weekend barely outside of the main urban area, but with a view of it stay at the Parador Nacional de Gibralfaro (paradores are tourist hotels which were initially set up by the Spanish government; they are of high quality and fairly exclusive.
Outside the City
There are innumerable hotels, apartment-hotels, pensiones and camp grounds spread all around the province of Málaga, from Estepona to Torremolinos. In Fuengirola you might try Las Palmeras or El Puerto (part of the multinational Transhoteles chain.) In Benalmádena Costa is the Torrequebrada, with its impressive casino where you can while the nights away amidst the grand show of music and bright lights. In Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) we find both Las Pirámides and the apartment-hotel Los Alamosbeside the beach of the same name. Also in Torremolinos are the Royal Al-Andalus and the Melia Costa del Sol, both with all kinds of amenities and recreational facilities. There are two other national Paradores in the province, one in Ronda. And the Posada del Canónigo is a delightful spot in the Sierra de las Nieves.