Málaga is not exactly stuffed with tourist attractions. The smallish city centre is surrounded by, to the north, Plaza de la Merced, the principal square of the city. To the east sitting high on the hill is the Alcazaba de Málaga (Malaga Castle), further down the slope towards the centre is the Catedral de Málaga. To the south is the tree lined Alameda Principal and to the west the River Guadalmedina. The main shopping part of town, and also where you will find most banks, is clustered around Calle Marqués de Larios. The principle monuments are generally based around Calle San Augustín and Calle Alcazabilla.The city has two beaches, heading through the Tunel Alcazaba from Plaza de la Merced leads you to Playa de La Malagueta (Malagueta beach). The more family friendly Playa de Pedregalejo (Pedregalejo Beach) is a little quieter but requires taking the 34 bus from Alameda Principal.
We start our tour in the heart of the old city on Calle Alcazabilla, next to the Teatro Romano (Roman theatre). Constructed in the 1st century BC during the reign of Emperor Augustus, its ruins were not discovered until 1951. Perching high above, on Mount Gibralfaro, is the Alcazaba (summer 9am – 8:15pm, winter 8:30am – 7:30pm: Price: 2,20€, combined Alcazaba and Gibralfaro: 3,55€), one of the best preserved Muslim citadels in Spain. It contains both an outer and inner citadel, is extremely quaint with beautifully ornate décor and water features, and offers great views over the city and port. Further up the hill is the even older but less well maintained Castillo de Gibralfaro (Gibralfaro castle). Better examples of Muslim fortifications can be found in southern Spain, but the views it affords over Málaga are worth making the effort to visit.
After visiting the wonders on the hill, it is now time to continue the trip down Calle Alcazabilla until Plaza de la Aduana, taking a right on Calle de la Cortina del Muelle towards the Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación or more simply Catedral de Málaga (10am – 6pm Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm Sat, Closed Sun & Mon – Price: 5€). Built on the site of the city’s main mosque, this rectangular Renaissance church took over 200 years to build. At the main entrance lays the once beautiful but now frantic Plaza del Obispo (Obispo square), and the Palacio Episcopal a 16th century palace now used as an exhibition hall.
Creeping deeper into the old town along Calle Molina Lario, take a left down Calle Santa Maríain order to visit Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square). The charming 15th century public space is a great place to catch your breath.
A short venture north of the square on Calle Granada is the Iglesia de los Santos Mártires, built mainly in the Rococo style, it also has a very interesting Mudéjar tower. Further along the road is the Museo Picasso (10am – 8pm Mon – Thur & Sun, 10am – 9pm Fri & Sat, Closed Mon, Price: Permanent Gallery: 6€., Temporary Exhibitions 4.5€. , Combined: 9€)situated in the Palacio de Buenavista a 16th century Renaissance palace. It contains over 200 works by the Master, including painting, sketches, sculptures and ceramics.
Now we continue in the footsteps of Picasso along Calle Santiago onto Plaza de la Merced, the beating heart of the city and birthplace to its most famous son. The Fundación Picasso Museo Casa Natal (Mon – Sun 9.30am – 8pm; Price 2 euros)is another museum dedicated to the great man, but this time in the house he was born. The square was originally constructed in the 16th century and was extended in the 18th century and is a pleasant enough place to while away the time, or, alternatively, you can head through the tunnel for a swim at the beach.
written by: Jon
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