If you’re looking for a true Mediterranean experience, consider Malaga, Spain. Located on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, Spain, Malaga is known for its artistic heritage, with beautiful, architectural wonders located throughout the city. Like other destinations in the region, its preservation of both Moorish and Catholic influences makes it one of the most unique locations to visit in Europe. You can “do” the city in a couple of days, but four days here will ensure you enjoy everything Malaga has to offer.
Here are some suggestions for enjoying the city on any budget:
Budget Aware: Major holidays like Carnival (late February timeframe) will increase lodging costs. Instead, visit Malaga in early spring, when the weather is starting to heat up but before tons of tourists descend on the city. If you’re traveling with a group, the best bang for your buck is getting a rental vacation, which can be found for as low as $700/week. There are several hostels in Malaga, two of which are the most recommended: The Melting Pot Hostel, located on the beach with a 10-minute walk into the heart of the city; and Picasso’s Corner Backpackers, the only hostel located in the historical center. Hostels will cost you about $20/per person.
For art lovers, visit the university’s art gallery, free to all. The city also has a museum dedicated to its most famous artist, Pablo Picasso, which is free of charge every last Sunday of the month. Note that English-guided tours occur on Wednesdays.
There are several inexpensive restaurants in Malaga – try Meson el Dique for daily, delicious seafood items for which Malaga is known. Pick up some fried almonds from the street vendors at the Plaza de la Constitucion – they are delicious!
Budget Don’t Care: If you’re looking to be pampered, try Hotel Villa Padierna, known for its splendid views of the Mediterranean Sea and Malaga. On a clear day, you can see the shores of Morocco from here. The hotel also offers guests the opportunity to enjoy the nearby private beach, on-site golfing and a spa. Byblos Anduluz’s beautiful architecture and heated, indoor seawater pool is another luxurious option.
After spending a day at the beach or enjoying some of the sites below, visit Puerta Oscura, a baroque-style salon with excellent drinks. The waitstaff here knows how to take care of its guests. For dinner, Adolfo Restaurant will serve you a succulent, classic Andalusian feast to remember.
Must Do for All Budgets: Everyone should budget time to walk along the sun-drenched beaches, especially during the hot summer months. Take advantage of the city’s rich history by visiting Malaga’s beautiful cathedral, a fusion of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Malaga Park features verdant pathways and the Fuente de las Tres Gracias, a fountain of 19th century French design. Perhaps the city’s most well-known landmark is the Alcazaba, one of the best preserved Moorish fortresses in Spain. For a small fee, visitors can walk all through this vast structure. Alcazaba links to Gibralfaro Castle.
Try a variety of wines for a very reasonable rate at Antigua Casa de Guardia, the oldest tavern in Malaga. The wines are stored in oak casks in the tavern, giving the place a 19th-century feel.
Tapas are the food of choice in Spain and in Malaga, you’ll find several restaurants serving the little dishes. Eat your way through the night Spanish-style, hopping from one bar/restaurant to another. If this doesn’t strike your fancy, order some paella, a Spanish delicacy. Note that most Spaniards eat dinner late and enjoy the nightlife every evening, so experience the real Malaga and stay out with the locals until the wee hours of the morning!
Whatever your budget, Malaga is a destination for everyone to enjoy.