Malaga, Spain is located on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain on the northern part of the Mediterranean. The second largest city in Andalucia with a population of 550,000, Malaga is known for its wine, beaches, year-round blue skies, and history.
The Alcazaba castle stands impressively over the city, providing beautiful views. Resembling the more well-known Alhambra in Granada, this 11th century Moorish fortress was inspired by the Alhambra, and was built atop the ruins of a Roman fortress. Most of the castle is in ruins – you can see what used to be a Roman theatre, more than 100 towers, 3 palaces, and beautiful, intact gardens. Enter the castle through the Puerta del Cristo (Christ's Door), where the first mass was celebrated. Directly next door is the The Gibralfaro Castle, which you can visit with a duo-ticket.
The most pleasant way to see Malaga is on foot. Also in the center of town, visit the bullfighting ring, eat tapas, and enjoy a walk along the seaside promenade. In the evening, enjoy the fresh wine on the Plaza de Merced, live flamenco music, and parties that last until early morning. Though almost any month you visit Malaga you will find a festival, the 9-day Feria de Malaga in August is the biggest party of the year. Originally celebrating the transfer of power from the Moors to the Castillian Crown in the 1400s, during the festival today you can experience a bullfight every day, enjoy traditional flamenco music and dancing, and fireworks every night.
Malaga has a lively art scene. Pablo Picasso was born here, and today there is a very large Picasso Museum located on Palacio de Buenavista. Other attractions include the Contemporary Art Center, the Museum of Glass and Crystal, and the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares, specializing in everyday Malaga life of the past.
If you need respite from the vibrant city life, visit the Malaga’s many churches with varied architecture. Two notable churches are the main city Cathedral and the Santiago Church. The Malaga Cathedral dates back to 1528, and was built on top of the ruins of a mosque after the Moors relinquished control of the town. It combines Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture. Pablo Picasso was baptized in the 16th century Santiago Church, which features both Gothic and Mudéjar, or Arab styles.
Finally, don’t forget to spend time on the beach! The city has 3 main beaches: Playa de la Malagueta and Playa de Pedregalejo are both man-made sandy beaches with beautiful promenades, bars, restaurants, and endless opportunities to enjoy watersports. Playa del Palo is one of Malaga’s original fishing villages and offers some of the best seafood in city.