Malaga’s brand new new airport terminal is finally shedding some well deserved light on the city that is overlooked by so many. Possibly because the average traveler that arrives in Malaga has got his mind set on sunshine and beach. Horrendous places like Torremolinos or Marbella lure them away from the greatness of Malaga.
Here’s my pick of the top four things to do in the Malaga:
1. Atarazanas Market
Forget everything you know about food shopping. Forget cling filmed fruit and stale bread. Think freshly pickled olives, juicy oranges that weigh in on five hundred grams each, figs still warm from the Spanish sunshine… those kind of things. Food that impresses and seduces your palate way before they’ve even made it to your plate. Add ferocious señoras for whom shopping for quality is no joke. Oh, and look up, and discover a building that has survived the centuries as a naval workshop, a military hospital and barracks. This is more than food!
2. Picasso’s doorstep
World famous artist Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881. The building where he was born and lived lies in central Malaga on Plaza de la Merced. The place houses an exhibition of paintings and artifacts from Picasso’s life. However, I believe that the best way to enjoy this place is with a cool drink in one of the many bars right outside Picasso’s apartment.
3. Picasso’s works of art
In the Picasso Museum in the Buenavista Palace, you’ll find 155 paintings as well as drawings, sculptures and much more by Picasso. The collection was initiated by Picasso’s own family who felt it was long overdue that the artist’s birthplace had its own Picasso museum.
4. A festival… life is one long party it seems in this corner of the world. Be it a tick in the religious calendar like the Easter processions or the Three King’s arrival – or something a lot more upbeat like the carnival or the city fair – the Malagueños can never put their party frocks too far behind in the wardrobe.
A personal favorite of mine are the very solemn Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions that take place at Easter. It’s all about penance and making up for possible sins. This is what catholicism does best, and it’s a spectacular display of ornate artifacts, devoted believers – oh, and you can forget about digging into mouthwatering meaty tapas dishes at this time of the year. Semana Santa is strictly vegetarian – so expect snails (as if they weren’t animals…never really understood this!) and spinach on your plate.