I visited Malaga, Spain a week ago and was blown away at the beauty, history and charm of the city. I recommend staying in historical section of Malaga. You can get Airbnb accommodations away from the main tourist plazas for $60-$80/night, a rental car from the airport could be as low as $30/week, cheap tours within walking distance of the city and delicious food.
Most Spaniards speak multiple languages including English but I would recommend practising some Spanish to better communicate with your waiters and waitresses.
Here’s a quick guide to how we spent our 4 day Malaga getaway.
Day 1 – Alcazaba and Gibralfaro
Start your day of with a full breakfast at Cafeteria Dulces. It opens around 8:00 AM for the early risers. Relax and drink a cup of coffee before heading to the Mercado Central Atarazanas for vacation snacks and cooking supplies if you feel up to cooking.
After you’ve stocked up on snacks, head to Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle . The self guided walking tour of Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle took us two hours but pace yourself. There’s so much beauty around, you’ll want to pause and take in the amazing views. Disclaimer alert: take a slow hike up to Gibralfaro and bring a bottle of water with you. You’ll be well rewarded at the top of the hill. If the steep hike isn’t for you, take the public bus to the top but the hike is more rewarding.
After basking in the views of Alcazaba and Gibralfaro grab some sangria and tapas from one of the many tapas bars surrounding Calle Alcazabilla. Once hydrated with sangria, do what the Spaniards do, take a siesta before a later dinner. We picked El Beato for dinner for a more local experience. Try pipirrana (octopus, onions, olives, and tomatoes). It’s a local dish to the Andalusian region.
Day 2 – Museums and Gardens
Start the day as previous day with an early coffee or sleep in then take a drive outside the city for leisurely tour of the Jardin de la Concepcion . These gardens are about 20 minutes outside of central Malaga. Give yourself about an hour in the gardens and be sure to stop by the restaurant for fresh fruit juice before getting the road to your next destination. You can continue your day with a drive to the explore the rest of the Andalucian region but we opted to head back to the city to catch a flamenco show and an audio tour of the Picasso Museum.
Take in another late dinner then take a walk along the port. Wait for the sun to set and to take in the views of the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro at night. My camera couldn’t quite capture the beauty – it’s much better in person.
Day 3 – Beach day in Marbella
No vacation in Costa del Sol is complete without a beach day. We settled for a quiet beach in Marbella away from the busy tourist area. I’m a jersey girl and not used to the Mediterranean beach but chairs and umbrellas are available for rent for for 15 Euro/day. Lunch could be a bit on the expensive side but it is still delicious.
Enjoy the drive back to Malaga central to enjoy a bit of partying at a local nightclub. Late night falafel spots are open if you work up an appetite on the dance floor. Felt like college day all over again.
Day 4 – Roman Theatre & Malaga Cathedral
Our last day in Malaga we took leisure walks through the cobbled streets to visit the sights we missed. Malaga Cathedral and the Roman Theatre.
We broke for meals at the tapas bars and restaurants. I tried carbon cod for the first time and fell in love with it. Other favourites: Mozzarella and tomatoes with olive oil and fresh basil, grilled sardines, tuna ceviche and ice cream Casa Mira.
Four days was too short however we enjoyed our stay in Malaga. On our next trip to Andalusia, we’ll take more day trips to take in more of the province.