Day Tripper! Málaga Edition

Malaga city and port view from Gibralfaro

Málaga city, the famous birthplace of Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas, stands proudly as the capital of our beloved Costa del Sol. More than just a typical Spanish seaside city, Málaga is as easy to get lost in as it is to fall in love with, though that could be said of any great city. Sitting a convenient distance of just 45 minutes along the AP-7 and MA-20 coastal motorways from Marbella town, it makes for a pleasant and fairly local excursion. There are so many great ways to enjoy the city and all it has to offer, particularly during the festive seasons, but in this current Covid climate it’s ideal to have a set plan, ensuring that bookings are made in advance to secure availability. A simple way to ensure you get a full day out of your trip whilst minimising exposure is to keep site-seeing to a maximum of three activities grouped by area on any particular visit.

Life-size bronze statue of Pablo Picasso in Plaza de la Merced, adjacent to his family home
Life-size bronze statue of Pablo Picasso in Plaza de la Merced, adjacent to his family home

Whilst it’s almost impossible to single out the ultimate best places to visit within Málaga city, a three-destination outing keeps it sweet and neat. This month, our chosen pick-and-mix landed on a ‘museum-lunch-history’ combination trio. Naturally, next month will be the breakfast-gallery-beach option, and of course, the shopping-art-dinner alternative after that. Not to mention the rather romantic tapas-drinks-theatre classic! And that’s not even taking into consideration the future festive events that will be held in various locations across the city. So really, whichever way you’d like to mix your Málaga trip, there really isn’t a wrong choice.

Destination 1

Morning tour around the Museo Automovilistico y de la Moda (Automobile and Fashion Museum)
Address:  Av. de Sor Teresa Prat, 15, 29003 Málaga, Spain
Contact and pre-booking via website. 

This is an excellent experience for anyone, even if you aren’t a petrol head, or even remotely fashion savvy. The 6,000 square metres of exhibition space make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world, that other world being a well-conditioned and spacious open plan feel of the evolution of themed automobiles and the fashion trends which emerged alongside them. All the styles belonging to that of yesteryear and beyond, though nevertheless timeless and ingenious. The collection is a private one, making for a one of a kind unique array of over 100 extraordinary vehicles and over 200 haute couture pieces. They even have the actual 1912 Renault Coupe DeVille car used in the famous Titanic ‘love’ scene.

1912 Renault Coupe DeVille (photo: Bill Wilson)
1912 Renault Coupe DeVille (photo: Bill Wilson)

Allow for 2 hours to take it all in. There is a small Cafe on site that serves the basics, as well as vending machines at the gift shop. Parking is found onsite, however it is advisable to enquire upon booking.

Destination 2

Spot of lunch at the Litoral Pacifico Chiringuito
Address: Chiringuito Litoral Pacífico, Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas, 5, 29004.
Contact and pre-booking: 951084115 / 695781284 / 637991681

This is the best beach bar in Málaga to eat fresh fish
This is the best beach bar in Málaga to eat fresh fish

Somehow the most casual of museum tours manage to work up the largest appetites.Taking the party to the outside world again and on a leisurely 15 minute stroll to the seafront from the museum takes you to the widely acclaimed Litoral Pacifico Chiringuito. Truly specialists in seafood, Litoral Pacifico have been coined ‘masters of marisco’ in the region. Acclaimed for their fresh catches, huge portions and friendly service, this Chiringuito is the perfect place to enjoy Medittaranean views and soak up the sunnier side of traditional Spanish cuisine. Enjoy a selection of seafood, salads, (paella on a Sunday), or go for turf with their steak, eggs and chips.

If you don’t fancy the walk, there is available parking on the opposite street by Calle Concejal Muñoz Cerván, 12, 29004. 

Destination 3

Afternoon Immersion in Málaga’s biggest historic site Alcazaba de Málaga
Address:  Calle Alcazabilla s/n, 29015 Malaga Spain
Booking: Entry tickets are sold onsite for just a few euros from a machine, alternatively a selection of tours can be pre-booked online.

The stunning Alcazaba citadel - visit for sunset and enjoy the amazing vistas
The stunning Alcazaba citadel - visit for sunset and enjoy the amazing vistas

The medieval Alcazaba Fortress dominates the Gibralfaro hills (Monte Gibralfaro) on the east side of the city, just a 10 minute drive along the N-340 and Paseo del Parque from the Chiringuito Litoral. Inside you can explore the Moorish style of the palatial living quarters and key elements of what a working fortress entailed during the 8th century. The reason Alcazaba is so special, is the mix of Roman and Muslim architecture unfound elsewhere. At the foot of the Alcazaba Fortress, the extensive remains of El Teatro Romano (Roman Theatre) showcase the Amphitheatre design of that era, which can be comfortably observed both up close and from the Centro de Interpretación (visitor centre) which is outfitted with serigraphic glass that has been engraved with the legal declaration of Málaga under the Roman Empire in Latin text. In this building you can also find further information about the site and see some of the uncovered artifacts on display.

The extensive remains of a Roman Theatre sit below the Alcazaba
The extensive remains of a Roman Theatre sit below the Alcazaba

This is a really cheap and cheerful way to encompass the cities’ history and take in some impressive vistas. If you hang around until sunset, the night view from the exterior as the castle is lit up, is quite a mystical site to behold. You’ll definitely want to snap a few pictures before leaving. Allow 1-2 hours for your visit, making sure you wear comfortable footwear and bring refreshments. There are however drinks available to buy on site at the Gibralfaro Cafe and souvenir shop.

Route from the Litoral Pacifico Chiringuito to the Alcazaba
Route from the Litoral Pacifico Chiringuito to the Alcazaba

Parking note: There are a few options for parking for the Alcazaba. As you approach the landmark you will come across signs that will guide you, as well as the several options Google maps can indicate in the vicinity. When you have come off the N-340 and are on the Paseo Parque heading east, you will reach a roundabout ‘Plaza del General Torrijos’. Lookout for the signs that point in the direction PARKING ALCAZABA. Following this leads to a tunnel beneath the Alcazaba. Keep right to enter the car park.

For free parking at Gibralfaro follow the Paseo Parque road continuing onto Paseo Reding. Keep going until you come to a traffic light and see the sign for GIBRALFARO. Turn left and head up the mountain. It’s a slightly longer walk from there.

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