Spain, my precious country, with very kind and welcoming people, with a very interesting history behind, with that hidden charm on streaked streets, with balconies decorated with flags and flamenco rhythms!
I fell in love with Spain 5 years ago when I was Erasmus. I fell in love with its breathtaking landscapes, with its lovely language, with its cheerfulness, with the long conversations with loud locals (did you notice that the Spanish people talk so loud?), with its imposing cathedrals, with long and relaxing walks through the city centers. Since then, I have dreamed of coming back and visiting again all the lovely places that I have seen during my Erasmus. For me, Spain is not just a country, but a feeling!
Malaga was a real surprise for me from the moment I have visited it for the first time. It has so many to offer! Its history dates back in 770 BC when the Phoenicians founded a colony there, which makes Malaga one of the oldest city in the world. The Moorish domination (approximately 718 to 1487) left behind some precious citadels, in which the mudejar style triumphs. But not only that…you can get to the beach (Malagueta is the most famous one), enjoy Malaga from the sightseeing boats, hike up to mount Gibralfaro and enjoy Malaga from above, have a walk through the modern city center, visit for free the Roman theater, visit Picasso museum, etc, etc. Do you still need reasons for visiting it?
How to get to Malaga from the airport
The airport is located at 10 km from the city. There are 2 options: bus or train. We have chosen the train.
The train station is right next to Terminal 3 (next to Departures). There are some tickets` machines (when we bought the tickets, the only option available was cash so be prepared with coins. One way is 1,80 euros and the journey will take approx. 10 minutes. The train departs every 20 minutes and you can stop either near the city center (Centro Alameda) or in the train station (Malaga Maria Zambrano).
If your accommodation is near the city center, the best option is to stop at Centro Alameda. Malaga Maria Zambrano is not far away, but you will save 10 minutes.
*Tips! They have a luggage service at the central station. The price is only 3,60 euros.*
Curiosity! At least for me, the security check (scanning the luggage) just like in an airport was surprising. This happens in all of Spain, in the important train stations.
*Getting to know Malaga*
We arrived late, at 7 o` clock so until we got into the city center it was already dark outside. My first impression was “Malaga is such a quiet place” It was Tuesday and not so many people in the street (well, on Saturday I changed my mind) We walked with no destination, just admiring the surroundings. Also, as we got there with 2 weeks before Holy Week, there were lots of arrangements for the spectacular parades that take place that week.
It was also a good moment to taste some Spanish food. We tried tortilla (my favorite Spanish food), sangria and enjoyed tapas.
The next day, we booked a free city tour. The guide was awesome, it showed us the surroundings, explained to us the history of each place and other interesting things.
After the guided tour, we went to Alcazaba and Gibralfaro.
Alcazaba, the Moorish citadel, is a symbol of Malaga. It is situated on Mount Gibralfaro (a pretty strange hill due to its position – right in the middle of the city!) and besides the spectacular views over Malaga it offers spectacular mudejar architecture. Alcazaba dates back in the 11th century.
The entrance (including Gibralfaro) is 3,50 euros/person.
Right from the entrance, you will be amazed! There are lots of gates, medieval Moorish walls, gardens with perfect symmetry and a fountain in the middle and mudejar style everywhere.
In the citadel, you will find lots of Roman columns. They were taken from the Roman theatre and used for decorating the citadel.
Then, you can continue your visit with Gibralfaro (warning: a bit of effort required!) but the view from the hill will totally worth! There is an overlooking point over Malaga that will enchant you! (guaranteed) Gibralfaro is nice but for me, Alcazaba is better. We
ve moved around the Gibralfaro citadel, admiring the beautiful views through the citadels walls.
*Tips! You can get to that overlooking point over Malaga for free, just following the road near Alcazaba.*
Cathedral – La Manquita
The Cathedral is another symbol of this lovely city. It is a mixture of Renaissance architecture and baroque façade. Its tower is up to 80 meters high while, the second tower is not finished (but it`s beautiful too). It was built in 250 years!
The entrance is 6 euros (Cathedral) and it`s included also the episcopal palace (at least this is why they said) as we did not have enough time for the second objective. Also, there is a rooftop tour (but it has some specific hours) for 10 euros. What is really nice is that the ticket includes an audio guide and the interior is marked with numbers (the first stop 1 – you press one and listen to the audio guide) and so on. Also, the fourth stop is to admire the facades while listening to some interesting explanations. The interior is also made in Renaissance style.
The Roman Theatre is also a must see (it
s for free and its really nice). You can admire it while you are walking through the city center as it is an open-air theatre. It is well persevered and this because it was hidden by Culture House until 1951 (what an interesting way of hiding this monument).
Los Jardines del Umbral are a delight to one’s eyes.
Walking through the city center, I have found a very interesting Cathedral (Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon) – neo-gothic style.
Also, if you wanna be surprised, in the interior garden of Bodega Pimpi, you will find lots of plants and flowers – such a nice decoration! Don`t miss it!
Did you know that Malaga is the hometown of the famous painter Picasso? You can visit the museum and admire his beautiful paintings.
I have visited also the shipyard and Malagueta`s beach (even if the weather was not very welcoming for having sun tanning) The shipyard has an interesting design and I saw a sightseeing boat full of tourists (so if you wanna enjoy Malaga from the boat, you can do that).
Malagueta beach is not that beautiful as I expected to be. The beach was pretty dirty and the landscape is not amazing.
Plane tickets: 70 EUR/person/return
Accommodation: 200 EUR/2 persons/4 nights (central)
Train to Seville: 60 EUR/2 persons/return
Train to Cordoba: 140 EUR/2 persons/return (train: AVE)
Travel. Enjoy. Repeat.