Though Malaga is a popular destination itself, this Andalusian city is frequently visited by cruise ships heading for other seafront locations. So many tourists can afford only 8 to 10 hours to make friends with this wonderful place, dine at a first-class restaurant, or have a glimpse of Picasso’s artistic heritage.
Malaga through eons of time
Whichever way you come to this Mediterranean city, you will explore the historic Soho area and the typical old-style district, Calle Marques de Larios. Strolling along the narrow streets, you can see souvenir shops, comfortable cafes and terraced restaurants popping up here and there and offering fragrant coffee and sweet local churros with hot chocolate. But do not stay there for long – the best is yet to come. The main landmarks of Malaga are the 2000-year-old Roman Amphitheater, the elaborate but unfinished Catedral de Málaga built on the site of a mosque, the Phoenician-time Gibralfaro Castle and its neighbor, the 11th-century Alcazaba Arab fortress, often dubbed as Malaga’s Alhambra. Local guides will help you get the most of the city’s open-air architectural treasures and priceless collections, kept at Museo de Málaga.
Finding the hidden gems
As you make your way through the maze of charming streets, such as Císter and San Agustín, and pass the well-known Pasaje de Chinitas, you reach Malaga’s busy meeting point, Plaza de la Constitución. This square accentuates Spanish traditions and hospitality, giving you the authentic flavor of the carefully hidden local life. Your next destination may be another symbolic place, buzzing and bustling Plaza de la Merced in Picasso neighborhood. A spare hour would come in handy, if you are planning a stop at Picasso Museum, which hosts a permanent collection of more than 200 artworks, or striving to watch Flamenco in the Museo de Arte Flamenco.
Malaga’s iconic restaurant
If you are looking for a small pitufo sandwich or a delicious meal with traditional tapas and the best Andalusian wines or vermouth, you must go to El Pimpi. A lunch at El Pimpi will turn into a sophisticated feast that you can enjoy, contemplating the old Moorish Alcazaba and thinking about eternity. The restaurant’s gastronomic offers are literally endless, from tomato soup to fried eggplants with honey, seafood delicacies, and traditional flamenquín rolls. After lunch, you can relax and spend siesta in the exotic and peaceful Jardín Botánico Histórico gardens.
At the end of the day
The best thing to do before sunset is a stroll in the beautiful port. Walking along the renovated promenade from the port to the old bullring, Paseo del Muelle Uno, you can feel the sea breeze on your face, watch cruise ships leave the harbor, enjoy the delicious smell of grilled sardines coming from a tiny beach restaurant, take a picture of the La Farola lighthouse, or admire the stunning sunset at the Málagueta beach.
These are the things you will never forget at the end of your one-day stay in Malaga, one of Spain’s most atmospheric cities.