Málaga is like a mini version of Barcelona; full of bars and shops, buzzing with life, and oh-so cool. A maze of narrow streets and plazas can leave you wonderfully lost all day.
If you like a bit of retail therapy, you’ll love Málaga! There are an abundance of good quality clothes shops, boutique outlets, and high-end perfume and make-up stores. Head to the main high street where, in the summer, the main strip is covered with sun shades to keep the street nice and cool. Whether you’re looking for clothes, shoes, handbags or jewellery, you’ll find a huge choice in this area.
Bear in mind that Málaga is a city, so beachwear is a no-no unless you’re actually at the beach! To blend in with the locals, you’ll want to don denim or fitted shorts, linen trousers or jeans (if you’re brave enough to stand the heat!) paired with a t-shirt or tank top. Don’t show too much flesh though – keep either your top or bottom half relatively modest.
In the outer areas you’ll only pay around €1 for a coffee and €1.50 for a small beer, and many cafés do coffee and cake for between €2 and €2.50. You can get tapas for €2 per serving, or a small beer and a tapa for €2.50. Tapas can be a little more expensive in the main part of Málaga, but for €4-6 you’ll get a decent-sized portion.
The main meal of the day is at lunchtime (usually between 2pm and 4pm). The most economical way of eating out at this time of day is by taking advantage of menú del dia, where you’ll get a drink, 2 courses, plus dessert or coffee for between €9 and €12.
In the evening do what the locals do; have una caña (a small draft beer) or un tinto de verano (a delicious mix of red wine and lemonade) and a tapa in a bar, before moving onto the next and doing the same again! If you do want a proper evening meal, bear in mind that a lot of restaurants don’t open their kitchens until at least 8pm.
Things to See
Like Barcelona, Málaga is diverse with what’s on offer. Head to the main beach, Playa de la Malagueta, where you’ll find upmarket restaurants, beach-barbecues, and lots of people running and cycling along the promenade.
Just a few minutes from the beach, behind the harbour, is Paseo del Parque and Málaga’s city park. Take a stroll down this palm-tree shaded walkway, admiring the beautiful green scenery and then head further into the park to gaze at the fountains and sculptures.
If sightseeing is more your thing, visit the ruins of an ancient roman theatre which sits next to the Alcazaba, an iconic fortress which overlooks the city. The theatre ruins are free to walk around and the Alcazaba is free after 2pm on a Sunday.
Make sure you drop by the Cathedral, known locally as La Manquita (the ‘one-armed woman’) due to the completion of only one of its towers, making the cathedral look like it’s got one arm!