Málaga is a city I knew very little about, yet a delightful surprise. There’s tons of great food, lots of city life and full of incredibly kind people. No matter what time of day, there seems to be tons of locals flooding Old Málaga. Every time I think of Spain, I immediately crave for cafe con leche (cafe latte made with local milk) and tinto de verano (a simplified summer wine that tastes like Sangria, but often consists of just red wine and usually Sprite or Fanta). Other than my addiction to gelato and ice cream, these two things bring me to cloud 9!
Last year, I visited just to get a taste of where my husband lived in Spain, and this time, I returned with him to photograph his adventures at a Brazilian jiu-jitsu training camp. To be completely frank, I actually love to watch Tom roll because I never see him any happier than when he trains with others, and hey, indulging in tons of good food every day is nothing to complain about. I’m incredibly grateful for that.
Since Tom’s visit is much shorter than mine, It’s nice to be able to squeeze in some quality time and share new experiences between training sessions.
If you plan to make a stop and have limited time in the city, here are my top recommendations for your visit.
Much like various parts of Italy, you’ll find restaurants, cafes and shops tucked away in the quaint alleyways within the old historic centre. Happily get lost on your visit and you’ll eventually find yourself on track again! The city centre feels incredibly safe and the people are kind and full of hospitality. It’s very clean and the ground is a glossy and smooth cobblestone, which is washed nightly.
I’ll be very excited for you if you get a chance to visit. So, let’s get started!
How You Can Spend a Day in Malaga
For breakfast, stop into Casa Aranda for churros and hot chocolate. Churros are popular in Spain, but they’re not like what you get in North America. They’re plain, freshly deep fried dough fritters. In Madrid, locals consume them after enjoying a really night out. Others have it for breakfast. Here, you can order the number of churros you want and the way you would typicall eat them is to dip it in your hot chocolate. For 8-10 pieces, a double (or large) hot chocolate should be enough. You’ll find tons of locals here. They close for siesta, so make sure you get there at least 20 minutes before closing time. There’s also a morning market in the area to visit after you’re done, if you enjoy shopping for fruits and fresh produce.
Afterwards, take a stroll down the main arcade just one street over into Old Málaga, a pedestrians-only area. Take photos of the beautiful fountain in the piazza at the end of it. This arcade is has cute shops, including Mango and Desigual. For some inexpensive footwear, you need to move one lane over. There are so many lanes you can walk through here, so just enjoy! Don’t forget to visit the Castillo de Gibralfaro, Catedral de Málaga, see the Roman Theatre and the Museo Picasso Málaga.
When you need a break, grab a coffee at El Ultimo. Their staff is really friendly, the coffee is really good and there’s free wifi here.
In between any of those options, enjoy lunch nearby. There are a few options and recommendations I’d make If you only have 1-2 days in Malaga.
Best Tapas: On this trip, it was at Taberna de Pitita. The quality is just great and the flavours are always well balanced. Tapas start at €2. Have their food with their tinto de verano, made with their lemon Fanta if you like sweet summer wines like sangria.
Best Views: Dine in a piazza by L’Experience facing a beautiful fountain and cathedral. El Pimpi has an incredibly large outdoor dining space right by their historic Roman Theatre. It’s like a must for locals here. Or, take a taxi about 10-15 Euros out and hit Restaurant Armador where you get a view of the city.
As the day starts to move into the night, walk through the beautiful architectural arcade along the Málaga Port. This is where these photographs are shot. It’s just off the water and between Old Málaga and the Málaga Port. Continue walking and grab a drink and take a seat, or get a frozen yogurt or gelato walk while you stroll through the cute little shops. You’ll find the Centre Pompidou Málaga here, and it’s a great place to cool off at the building inspired by the Pompidou in Paris.
The Málaga Port is a great spot to watch the sun go down. You can also go to one of the beautiful waterfront hotels like AC Hotel. Food is hit and miss along the port. I’d go for the seafood at the Michelin mentioned restaurant, Marisquería Godoy. In general, expect dining to cost more than the city centre here, but it’s the nice view you’re really paying for.
Put on a nice dress and grab drinks at Vincii Hotel where you get a nice crowd and view. Then walk the Old Málaga one last time to get a feel of the night life before departing. It’s like being at a street festival.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you’ve been to Málaga and have a favorite spot, let me know. I’m sure I’ll be back again. If you want to visit our plan to go to Málaga, or have another destination planned, comment below. I’m always interested in hiring up new places!
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