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Big City Buzz, Culture and Beaches

MÁLAGA

Luxury Villas Near Malaga

This lively Mediterranean port city on the edge of the Costa del Sol is fast becoming one of the top cultural, historic and gastronomic destinations of Spain. Explore the city in our guide to Malaga below and see our top villa picks for visiting this wonderful city.

Malaga cultural and historical capital, Costa del Sol

Malaga Highlights

  • City centre improvements have revealed the architectural beauty of this vibrant city as never before
  • Great shopping, dining, tapas and café society in the historic centre or on the water’s edge at Muelle Uno
  • A cultural hub, Malaga is home to grand theatres, open-air Roman amphitheatres, film festivals and an active events calendar
  • Enjoy art and museums; the Picasso and Carmen Thyssen museums, and one of the finest motoring museums in the world
  • The vibrant atmosphere of this city blends remarkably well with its beach culture
  • Convenient  transport facilities of a modern city

The Jewel in the Costa del Sol Crown

Southern Spain is home to both the sun-kissed Costa del Sol and historic gems such as Granada, Seville, Cordoba and Cadiz. In Malaga all these elements come together in an exciting mix

Visit Malaga, capital of the Costa del Sol

In recent years the captivating city of Malaga has undergone a true renaissance, with new public facilities and improved transport links contributing to an impressive beautification process that has transformed it into one of Andalucí­a’s finest cities.  Malaga is now firmly on the map and holding its own against  famous sisters Granada, Seville and Cordoba as a cultural destination in its own right.

Thanks to millions of euros investment, the city’s historic centre has once again become a major international attraction, drawing visitors to its grand architecture, fine museums, vibrant gastronomic scene and lively streets bustling with cafés, tapas bars and shops.

Founded by the Phoenicians, Malaga is a city rich in historic traditions that also include the Romans, Moors, Iberians, the Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

A key attraction in the birthplace of Pablo Picasso is the museum dedicated to him and located since its opening in 2003 in the beautifully restored Buenavista Palace. It stands under the shadow of the imposing Malaga cathedral, whose magnificent architecture and workmanship is certainly worth a visit. Less than a kilometre from here you will find the Carmen Thyssen Museum, another temple of art housing works that reach across the centuries.

The Classic Car Museum represents another art form altogether, but housed in the magnificent old tobacco factory just out of the centre it offers one of the finest experiences of its kind in the world, with a collection that will enthral lovers of design and beauty, and of course fine automobiles.

If you can resist the nearby beaches, then head for the elegant Teatro Cervantes, the Roman amphitheatre or the imposing neoclassical buildings at the base of the Gibralfaro. Situated on a prominent hill overlooking the entire city, this old Moorish citadel now houses a stylish Parador hotel that allows you not just to view one of Malaga’s oldest buildings, but experience it first hand.

Big City Atmosphere Within Sight of Glorious Beaches

There are not many big cities in Europe that can boast of sun-kissed sandy beaches within walking distance from the centre

Malaga beach, Costa del Sol

Malaga is one of few, in fact, and its climate is perhaps the best of all, making it possible to stroll through the city centre in the morning, go for a spot of lunch on the beach and spend a lazy afternoon on the sand. Or the other way round, of course. With so little distance separating beaches and sophisticated city, it makes for a highly seductive mix of the best of both worlds.

A tree-lined park leads you from the historic centre to a seaside promenade popular with joggers and cyclists that runs for several kilometres along a beachfront dotted with fish restaurants, trendy beach bars and chill-out lounges. Traditional or trendy, the choice is yours, and it’s all within easy reach. The range of budgets, likewise, is very broad, so you don’t have to be on a five-star trip to enjoy the setting or the delicious seafood dishes for which Malaga is rightly famous.

Not surprisingly, the area facing the seaside boulevard is lined with hotels and luxury apartments, ensuring that this part of Malaga has a Riviera feel about it that ranks amongst the least well known of its multitude of charms. Visit Malaga and see why it is one of the fastest growing destinations in the Mediterranean.

Gastronomy and Nightlife the Andalucian Way

Best restaurants in Malaga

From breakfast through lunch and daytime snacking to dinner and late night tapas, Malaga has it all to offer. Its tapas bars are famous, the fine dining restaurants increasingly so and with a climate like this café society is a pleasure to be savoured at most hours of the day. For pastries in a classic setting head for Lepanto on Calle Larios, or any of a multitude of little corner pastry shops or sandwich bars. The latter will also proudly display Spain’s greatest contribution to social dining, the tapa.

Entire pedestrian streets are lined with tapas bars that offer a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. A popular first stop is Antigua Casa de Guardia, a quaint old Malaga vino bar that is the oldest in town, while those who want to appreciate a stylish setting will love the welcoming ambience of Puerta Oscura, a true little oasis of calm in the midst of a lively town. Wander past the different cuisines on offer, the Moroccan style tearooms and the busy tapas bars that also double as popular night time spots, and you may just be led to the many beachside cafés and seafood restaurants nearby, passing the trendy restaurants and lounge bars of Muelle Uno en route.

Though Malaga has a young vibe, Spanish cities are renowned for a friendly, easygoing nightlife scene in which all the generations rub shoulders. Remarkably brawl-free, the crowds in the busy bars and cafés spill out onto terraces that remain busy well into the night, so if you’re of a sociable disposition you’ll love this gregarious city that goes to sleep very late.

Open Air Shopping in a Glorious Setting

The shopping street to head for first is the Calle Larios, a broad and attractively paved promenade lined with attractive shops, cafés, tapas bars and designer outlets located at the base of stylish historic buildings. Pass the Art Deco Hotel Larios and you come to the Plaza de la Constitucií³n, from where the atmospheric pedestrian shopping streets continue to wind their way through the city’s historic centre.

Dotted with galleries, charming boutique hotels, restaurants and theatres, this elegant shopping district with its marble pavements is the lively heart of the city. You can walk around for hours, chancing upon quaint squares, old-fashioned shops and modern outlets without having seen it all, and if it’s serious retail therapy you’re after then just cross the bridge over the Guadalmedina River and you’re only a short walk from one of Spain’s famous El Corte Ingles department stores.

Also popular is Muelle Uno, a modern quayside development featuring award-winning architecture. Situated close to where the many cruise ships visiting Mšlaga dock, it is also just a few hundred metres from Calle Larios, though offering a much more languid waterside atmosphere. Naturally there are also large shopping malls outside the centre, but those in search of the unusual might just want to follow their nose and savour the quaint old shops and authentic atmosphere of the areas on the edge of the old town.

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pompidou gallery malaga