Malaga is one of those places. It’s definitely not Spain’s most beautiful city, nor can it claim to have great sights that will blow your mind. Still, it has something that makes me return; time and time again.
Nope... it's not the beaches
You may have guessed it, Malaga has an international airport! And I, like most other people living in the south of Spain, are all too familiar with the Pablo Ruiz Picasso air terminal which in recent years has been seriously re-vamped. (Yes, it has been chaotic finding a place to park – let alone finding your way around an airport which changes entrances every couple of weeks). However, Terminal Three opened its doors last year, and things are gradually falling into place. Oh, and Malaga has its own IKEA. So when my friends say they are going to Malaga, nine times out of ten, it’s either to catch a flight, pick up newly arrived loved ones, or to buy themselves a brand new kitchen unit.
But there is of course much more to Malaga than furniture shopping and flying. Once you’ve made your way into the old city centre, there’s actually a whole lot going on! Malaga is Spain’s sixth largest city, and the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
Shopping for a Picasso
Fancy some art? There’s the renowned Picasso museum which we’ve written about in this previous post. And there’s the Museo Carmen Thyssen museum of modern art which opened its doors last summer. Both museums are located in old, charming buildings in the old part of town, and offer an insight into a side of Malaga’s history most people don’t even know existed.
Our man in Plaza de la Merced, in front of his Malaga home.
However, what really makes Malaga worth while (in my humble opinion at least) is the authenticity of the place. Very few tourists and some truly unique shops and restaurants make this Spanish hub a great place for a long weekend. You are guaranteed a very special taste of Andalucia, one that cannot be found elsewhere on this coast.
Here are some photographs to prove my point:
The Malagueta beach is a favourite among locals!
Calle Larios is the Malaga's main shopping street. Pick up some comfy campers!
The Oasis youth hostel opened last summer. We fell in love with its fabuloso view from the roof terrace!
Not the most spectacular beach in the world, but it will still make do on a hot summer's day!
Malaga's only vintage shop Find de Lux is located on Calle Palma 9
Las Garrafas is a great place for lunch! This is 'quita penas' (remove sorrows) sweet wine and 'lagrimas de pollo' (chicken tears) with a very potent alioli.
A little dress treasure found in a shop called Upupa, Calle Comañia 27.
And of course, a compulsory visit to the Gibralfaro castle dating back to the 10th century.
All along the Paseo Maritimo de Pablo Ruiz Picasso, you'll find a place to cool off. The further east you go, the nicer the beaches!