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Malaga Travel Guide

Introduction to Malaga

Malaga has a reputation for high rise resorts, white sandy beaches and serious clubbing holidays, but beyond the sun, sea and sangria there are some epic architectural wonders to find. The Alcazaba is a fun-sized version of Sevilla's Alcazar, and the Cathedral in Malaga has a special secret too.

The Costa del Sol is on the south of Spain, and it's peppered with fun resorts like Marbella, Torremolinos and Fuengirola. It's not all about the beach though (although there's plenty of that!), as the towns are packed with beautiful squares, full of chic bars, high-end boutiques and stylish hotels.

Other things to do in Malaga

The Alcazaba is a great start to any trip to Malaga and the Costa del Sol for glimpsing into how the Moorish kings wined and dined, but if you want to dive in further you should head up to the Gibralfaro Castle too. This was built in the 10th century, and has been preserved incredibly well. If you'd prefer to keep your tour to the city, the Cathedral (affectionately nicknamed La Manquita), is a must-see. La Manquita translates as one-armed woman in Spanish, because curiously, the south tower was never finished.

Bring your historic tour into the future with a trip to the Pompidou Centre, the multi-coloured glass cube which houses temporary exhibitions from international artists. Malaga's got serious creative chops thanks to their artistic son Picasso, and the Picasso Museum is essential for gallery hoppers too. If you're on a real photography mission, the Soho district is slowly being turned into an open air street art gallery by Maus.

If the kids aren't sold on contemporary art (yet), they might pay more attention at the Crocodile Park in Torremolinos. There are more than 300 crocs here to mingle with, and they put on a real show at feeding time. Enjoy the water without the danger at Aqualand, the Costa del Sol's biggest water park – wave pools and water slides are the name of the game here. You could choose to keep dry with a trip to Tivoli World, a giant playground of rollercoasters suitable for kids big and small.

A local's guide: 10 of the best things to do in Malaga 

Eating and drinking in Malaga

Foodies in the city can rejoice: Malaga is proud of their local produce and they show it in their dishes. In fact, they're often nicknamed boquerones (anchovies), due to how common they are on most Malageuno menus. If you'd like to try some of the local fare, head to El Palo and nip into the restaurant with the best smelling grills – a plate of hot sardines with plenty of olive oil and salt is one of the best things to enjoy in Malaga.

Similarly, Malaga's got some cosy local wine bars where you can easily while away an afternoon (and an evening). The Old Town is full of small bars and cafes, but as usual in Spain, dinner here takes place at 9 or 10pm.

A tour of Malaga: Picasso style

Malaga climate

The coldest month in Malaga is January, with temperatures averaging at 12° and a nippy chill in the evening. In the summer though, the city and Province is illuminated with all day sunshine and temperatures around 25°-30°.

When to go to Malaga

It's always pleasant in Malaga, with sun shining for most of the year. Holy Week is usually during Easter, and if you're here to soak up the local culture this is an incredible way to do it – the streets are usually filled with processions and parties late into the night.

The Malaga Festival is also on in mid-August. If you're here to party with crowds from all over Europe, summer is high season for the clubs and bars on the Costa del Sol. The Night of San Juan is the peak of party season on June 23rd, with beach parties and bonfires lighting up the south coast.

Flying to Malaga

Malaga Airport is located 11km from the city centre, but you can easily reach any of the resorts on the Costa del Sol with a bus, taxi or transfer from this airport. You can fly directly to Malaga from Shannon, Cork, Dublin and Knock.

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