With more than 3000 years of history, Malaga is one of the most internationally renowned cultural destinations. Birthplace of artists such as Picasso, it has fulfilled all of its potentials in order to give you unforgettable experiences and memories in every sense. Observe and admire the monumental heritage which Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs have left us. Enjoy the beauty of the art on display in the numerous museums which are open every day.
Try the exquisite and varied gastronomy in the bars and restaurants which offer the best products of our land, and also from all over the world, while you take time to browse around in our shopping areas.
Feel the breeze, the sun and savour the aroma of the sea and jasmine which perfume our city.
Culture, gastronomy, parks, natural spaces, beaches, shops, holidays…Malaga is brilliant. Enjoy your stay!
Perhaps two days is not enough to experience everything it offers you. But it will be more than enough to fall in love with Malaga and want to come back. So let’s start!
First of all, start your journey to Malaga with the best airport transfer service Welcome Pickups! The local driver will pick you up at the gate and provide some useful tips on the way to your accommodation. Check the details below!
Malaga Day 1: Old Town, museums, architecture and history!
We start our tour at the emblematic Calle Larios. Its important shopping area of Malaga, where the most exclusive shops are located until we arrive at Plaza de la Constitución: the heart of the city´s old quarter. From there we head west, along calle Compañía where we find the Palace of Villalón (16th century). Which is home to the Carmen Thyssen Museum Malaga, the first stop on our route.
1. Morning introduction: Calle Larios, Plaza de la Constitución, Carmen Thyssen Museum and a nice breakfast.
This museum, inaugurated in March 2011. Has a permanent collection of more than 200 works by 19th-century Spanish artists, centred especially around Andalusian painting and which makes up the most complete collection in Spain.
Here we find works by such great artists as Valeriano Domínguez-Becquer, Eugenio Lucas Velázquez, Julio Romero de Torres and Joaquín Sorolla, among others. In addition, the museum counts on a careful programme of temporary exhibitions of undoubted artistic interest. It is definitely worth a visit.
Returning to plaza de la Constitución, we can take time out to have a rest and enjoy a good Malaga breakfast. Nice coffee with churros or a toasted sandwich will go down well.
But please note it is important to know how to order a coffee in Malaga, because depending on the amount of coffee served, eachhas a different name. For example, a “café mitad” is half coffee and half milk and a “sombra” is three quarters milk and one quarter coffee. Furthermore, more coffee than milk is a “largo” and there are up to nine different ways to order a coffee. But there is no need to worry, the friendly waiters will help us to learn this typical custom of Malaga.
2. Malaga’s Cathedral and Episcopal Palace.
Rested and refreshed, we head east this time, and take calle Santa María, which brings us directly to the Cathedral and its Museum. Although work on the Cathedral started during the Gothic period (16th century) with the old mosque of the Arabian city, the current building is of Renaissance style and is still unfinished. Funds ran out in 1782 and so work was stopped, leaving the south tower unbuilt. This lead to it being given the popular nickname of “The One-Armed Lady”. In front of the Cathedral is plaza del Obispo and the Episcopal Palace (1762).
This palace is, in reality, a collection of terraced buildings whose front façade gives a beautiful example of the baroque architecture of Malaga.
3. Archelogy time: Malaga’s Museum, the Roman Theatre, the Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro
We go around the Cathedral along the last stretch of calle Santa María, where we can contemplate the majestic Elizabethan facade of the Sagrario (side chapel). Then we continue to calle Císter, and come out onto the Palacio de la Aduana (1826), location of Malaga’s Museum and which keeps the provincial collections of Archaeology and Fine Arts. In this amazing museum we can find more than 15,000 archaeology pieces and more than 2,000 titles of Fine Arts, amongst them is one of the best collections of Spanish painting from the XIX century.
Next to it, and at the entrance to calle Alcazabilla , we come across our next stop: The Alcazaba which, together with the Castle of Gibralfaro and the Roman Theatre, form the city´s most important archeological collection.
The Alcazaba, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, was the palace fortress of the Muslim governers. It is built upon the remains of an older Phoenician fortress on the side of the mount of Gibralfaro, in a privileged position above the city. The grounds house an interesting exhibition room where ceramic materials of 11th to 15th century Muslim Malaga are on display.
This palace is connected to the Castle of Gibralfaro by a steep mountain pathway. Public transport is available in order to offer easy access to the fortress. We shall visit it later on.
Malaga’s Roman Theatre, situated at the foot of the Alcazaba, was built in the 1st century B.C., it was in use until the 3rd century A.D. After its restoration, the Roman Theatre of Malaga is used once more as a scenic space.
4. Picasso in Malaga? Impossible to miss!
We continue along our route and head north up calle Alcazabilla, arriving at plaza de la Merced where we enter into the Picasso route of Malaga. Objective: Picasso Foundation. Birthplace Museum. A 19th century
building, where the artist was born and lived for the first few years of his life and where original works of Pablo Ruíz Picasso are on display, both in the permanent collection and also on loan. Ceramics, engravings, illustrated books and personal possessions of the painter and his family.
From plaza de la Merced, we walk onto calle Granada, at the entrance of which the church of Santiago is found and where Picasso was christened. Of a Moorish Gothic style, building was started in 1487 and it is one of the oldest in the city. Its architectural beauty is enhanced by its artistic richness and value befitting the home of some of the most important brotherhoods who take part in the processions of the Holy Week of Malaga.
At some 200 metres from the church, and on the left, we arrive at the narrow calle San Agustín where the Palace of Buenavista home of the Picasso Museum Malaga is found. This is a 16th-century Renaissance-style building, with Moorish artisan destails and a lovely watchtower, which has been extended with other constructions to house the collections of the Picasso Museum Malaga. Opened in 2003, the museum displays 233 works by the Malaga artist, including paintings, sketches, sculptures, engravings and ceramics, which form part of the permanent collection, along with interesting temporary exhibitions.
5. Lunchtime! Malaga’s wine, tapas and fish.
And now it´s time to take a break and try the varied, rich local and international cuisine in one of the many establishments which are to be found in the old quarter of Malaga. Fried fish, white garlic and almond soup, Malaga salad, potato and fish soup with vinegar…
And all accompanied by the delicious wines which Spain produces.
But if you want to discover more about Malaga’s food culture, its wines and local’s favourite bars and taverns, join our Malaga Traditional Wine and Tapas Tour! You won’t regret!
6. A little hike into the nature: Castle of Gibralfaro
We take up our journey again and travel to our next stop: the Castle of Gibralfaro. On the way we walk down calle Larios again, which will be bustling with people shopping. Something that,undoubtedly, we will have observed during our travels, and that we have taken advantage of to make a few purchases in some of the
excellent shops found there.
Now in the plaza de la Marina, we go to the start of the paseo del Parque and head East to the bus stop of the number 35 bus which will take us to the Castle of Gibralfaro. Abderramán III made a fortress from the existing ruins at the top of the mountain, among them those of a Phoenician lighthouse and that is why the Arabs
called it “Yabal Faruh” (mount of the lighthouse).
Later on, in 1340, the Nazarí King Yusuf I, extended the grounds and built a castle. In the visitors centre, located in the old powder keg of the fortress, there is an exhibition which displays elements of everyday military life in the castle, throughout its history.
Furthermore, we can enjoy the impressive views over the city and bay of Malaga, where we can see all the places which we have visited and those which we will visit next.
But if you really want to getthe most of this hike and want to have a local tour that can tell you everything you need to know for your perfect holiday in Malaga, join our Sunset and Nightlights’ Tour!
7. Malaga’s Bullfighting Ring (Plaza de Toros) and the MUPAM
With that view in mind, we catch the bus which will take us back into town and where we get off at the bus stop in front of the plaza de Toros La Malagueta. We are, practically, at the door of our next stop: the “El Museo del Patrimonio Municipal” (The Municipal Heritage Museum), which it exhibits the pieces of artistic and historical nature of the municipal heritage.
8. Malaga’s New Port: Muelle 1, time to have fun!
Our next stopping point is found just in front of us. We cross the paseo del Parque and enter the paseo de la Farola (Lighthouse) which comes out onto the landmark which gives it its name: La Farola (1817), symbol par excellence of the city of Malaga.
From the Lighthouse we can enjoy further spectacular views of the Port of Malaga and of the city, to whose old quarter we return by passing through Muelle 1, which contains a shopping and leisure centre, where we can take advantage of the exclusive establishments to do a spot of shopping and take some drinks in the bars and restaurants next to the sea.
Between Muelles 1 y 2 we can visit the Centre Pompidou Málaga. It is the first international branch of the prestigious Parisian art gallery. It is located in the building known as El Cubo (The Cube) and it offers a permanent exhibition of a selection of the impressive collection of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, 20th and 21st centuries.This centre includes big names such as: Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Constantin Brâncuși, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Giorgio de Chirico, Tàpies, Picasso.
We continue on through Muelle 2, transformed into a boulevard named The Palm Grove of Surprises. A pleasant area to walk and relax which brings us back to the old quarter, where we can enjoy a night out in Malaga before returning to the hotel filled with unique experiencies and eager to see more.
Malaga Day 2: Local traditions and relax
1. Plaza de la Merced and Teatro Cervantes
There’s still much to see in the city and much to learn about the life and customs of its citizens. Let´s make the most of the second day to explore traditional Malaga in depth and visit some of its interesting museums.
This time we will set off from plaza de la Merced. Thats where Picasso was born, passing along calle Gómez Pallete before reaching the Teatro Cervantes, built in 1870 by Jerónimo Cuervo.
Declared a National Artistic Historical Monument, the density and assortment of activities performed here sets it apart: symphonies, plays, comedies, operas, ballets, jazz, flamenco and rock concerts,musicals and all kinds of shows. It is also the showcase for the Spanish Film Festival in Malaga.
2. Wine time: Enjoying Calle Carreteria’s taverns and the Wine Museum of Malaga
We now come out onto Calle Carretería. Where half-way down and on the right, we take calle Biedmas until we arrive at plaza de los Viñeros where we find the Wine Museum of Malaga where will learn all the secrets of this famous wine´s production and after having tasted the different varieties, we may take some bottles of the one which we most like. A real pleasure.
3. Museum of Popular Arts and Customs of Malaga
We continue along the traces of the wall until we arrive at the river and turn south, along the Pasillo de Santa Isabel, to the Museum Unicaja of Popular Arts and Customs, located in an old 17th-century inn. A trip through Malaga´s history and its traditional customs of the 19th century.
4. Interested in Ancient Art? Then don’t miss this stop!
Afterwards, we make our way south to the Alameda Principal. But before that, we will make a stop to visit the Ifergan Collection of Ancient Art . One of the best collections of European archaeology. Gathering together more than one thousand pieces dating from the year 3000 BC to the 13th century.
5. Atarazanas Market: fresh products from Malaga and its surroundings
We go back on ourselves, crossing the Plaza de Arriola to visit the Atarazanas market. So-called because it occupies the site which belonged to the Nazari atarazanas (shipyards), and where the original main door is still retained. It has always been said that if you want to know a city well, the first place to visit is its market. The beauty of the facilities and the contemplation of the magnificent products which we have seen in the market has awakened our appetite.
6. Pedregalejo: time to have a “espeto” (grilled sardines) and finally relax!
Now is the moment to have some refreshment,in a tapas bar or local establishment in the area, and finish. If we wish, by visiting the Paseo Marítimo de Pedregalejo, to enjoy the magnificent and varied cuisine on offer in one of the numerous chiringuitos (beach bars). A perfect end to our 2-day stay in this wonderful and luminous city of Malaga.
Hope you like the proposed route, that is practically the same one recommended by the Malaga’s Official Tourism Office. If you have new ideas to add or just want to share how was your visit to Malaga, leave a comment!