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DISCOVER MALAGA CITY
While millions of visitors pass through Malaga Airport each year, the clear majority stay in the resort towns of the Costa del Sol without venturing into Malaga City.
Full of beautiful churches, striking monuments, vibrant street cafes, traditional tapas bars, over 30 art galleries and museums and a stunning port area with award-winning restaurants, Malaga city is just waiting to be explored.
Shopping and eating in Malaga
Compact and easy to walk around, Malaga is also a mecca for shopaholics and foodies, with chic boutiques, designer labels galore and a vast choice of fresh fish, seafood and exotic fruit and vegetables at the Atarazanas Market (Central Market).
If you want to combine history and culture with eating and drinking, visit the Antigua Casa de Guardia, the oldest tapas bar in Malaga (established in 1840). Choose from a range of classic Spanish wines and sherries, served from traditional wooden barrels. Try the delicious tapas, standing at the bar, ‘Spanish-style’ for an authentic experience.
At the heart of the city, and just a few minutes’ walk from the bustling port area with its recently created glitzy restaurant and shopping area Muelle Uno, is Calle Larios – Malaga’s answer to Bond Street, with leading footwear and upmarket clothes shops and jewellers.
History and Culture in Malaga
Standing proudly above the Old Town is the Alcazaba Palace, a major landmark and one of the largest Muslim military buildings preserved in Spain, with tranquil gardens and magnificent views over the city. The Palace is connected by walled corridors to the Gibralfaro Castle; and down below in the pedestrianised street is an excavated Roman theatre dating back to the 1st century AD.
Nearby is the imposing Malaga Cathedral, known as La Manquita – the one-armed one – as its south tower was never completed. Work began in 1528 on the site of the Aljama Mosque, and encompasses architectural styles spanning the 16th to 18th centuries.
Pablo Picasso – Malaga’s most famous son
Born in Malaga in 1881, Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. As a young man, Picasso showed great signs of artistic promise and aged 16, attended the Royal Academy of San Fernando, Madrid, in 1897.
Picasso left within a year and furthered his career by spending time recording life around him in Madrid; in the cafes, on the streets, in the brothels and in the Prado, where he was inspired by the paintings of Velázquez, El Greco and Goya, which he described as ´beautiful.’
The house where he spent his early childhood, Casa Natal, can be found on the corner of Plaza Merced in Malaga and it contains an archive of his life and work. The Picasso Museum is open to the public and is housed in a sympathetically converted old palace just a few steps from the cathedral.
His children donated more than 200 of his works, which are on permanent display, and the museum is regularly refreshed by temporary exhibitions. Archaeological remains unearthed in the basement revealed Phoenician, Roman and Arab occupation.
Malaga’s importance as a culturally rich city was firmly cemented by the arrival of the magnificent Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Located in the restored 16th century Villalón Palace, just a few steps from the top of Calle Larios, the museum displays more than 230 works from the art collection of Baroness Carmen Cevera, a former Miss Spain who was the fifth wife of the late Swiss industrialist and art collector, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza.
The Baroness’s collection is recognised as one of the most important in the world and includes works by Picasso, Joan Miró and Francisco Zubaran.
For those who prefer more contemporary art the CAC Malaga is free to enter and exhibits modern artists which have included noted names such as Tracey Emin.
The Centro Pompidou, Malaga adds to the city´s impressive range of art galleries. The Pompidou Art Centre in Paris is, without doubt, one of the greatest homes of 20th century art in the world. The stunning Malaga collection is housed in the large coloured-glass cube at the corner of Muelle Uno and Muelle Dos in Malaga Port.
For museums with a difference the Malaga Motor Museum (Museo Automovilistica Malaga) offers the opportunity to admire an astonishing collection of cars, from the very first ‘horseless carriages’ through the glamorous days of The Belle Epoque, The Twenties, and La Dolce Vita, up to creative models using alternative energy sources.
The collection includes iconic models, including the 1956 gull-winged Mercedes, known as ‘The Masterpiece’, Porsche’s 1956 Speedster ‘The Myth’ and the supremely elegant E-Type Jaguar. The cars are accessorised with fashion displays from the various eras and the collection is housed in a beautifully renovated former tobacco factory.
Malaga is an all-year-round city. Its historical heart and its cultural gems are complemented by its landmark famous events, like the deeply- moving Semana Santa processions at Easter, the buzzing week-long Feria each August and the glittering Christmas lights which draw throngs of visitors and are believed by some to be one of the best Christmas displays in Europe.
Whether it’s shopping, culture or enjoying Spanish traditions first hand, you will find a wealth of exciting things to see and do in this colourful and vibrant city.
Public transport/taxi are simple ways to get there. Firstly, catch the number 220 bus from outside the resort, or take a cab from resort, into central Fuengirola. Walk around the corner from the bus station to the Renfe train station and take the train all the way into central Malaga, roughly 45mins. Trains run every 20 mins back and forth with the last train leaving Malaga at 23:42.
Alternatively, ask at CLC Club La Costa World reception for details of tours, excursions and exclusive car hire member discounts.