You have already visited Malaga on more than one occasion and want to see new things
That’s easy, this is a fascinating city with many nooks and crannies to discover. In this post we are going to recommend 10 charming and less frequented places or activities. Sometimes they are off the beaten tourist track, sometimes they are in the centre itself. And what they all have in common is that they are wonderful places in authentic Malaga.
All the places in this article have been experienced by us, so we recommend them as something personal. If you are looking for the 10 best rated places in Malaga follow the link.
What you will find here
The markets played a very important role in the life of the Andalusian neighbourhoods before the arrival of the big shopping centres. They were a hive of people where the locals bought the fresh food of the day. The recovery of these spaces has been oriented towards leisure, with the installation of several bars. However, the Salamanca Market (also known as the Molinillo Market) remains true to its origins. Every morning, the residents of Molinillo come to do their shopping just as they did in 1925, when the building was completed. Local products, little packaging, fewer intermediaries, and almost always fresher. This beautiful building combines neo-Mudejar style with the advances of iron and glass architecture of the late 19th century.
This space’s days are numbered, so “now” is a good time to visit it.
Terrace of the Molina Lario
Seeing the Cathedral of Malaga from a terrace with a lot of charm is one of the things that the Hotel Molina Lario offers you. We are in Andalusia, here even in winter there are very good days to enjoy the heights. At the top of the hotel there is a modern rooftop bar. Its two panoramic terraces are open to the public and offer an original view of Malaga. In addition, if you are staying at the hotel, you have at your disposal a crystalline water swimming pool where you can refresh yourself after visiting the city. The terraces are not fully open all year round, so it’s best to enquire directly at the Hotel.
Pasaje de Chinitas
This is a narrow charming street in the historic centre of Malaga. In the 17th century a convent was built here, of which the marble façade is still preserved. With the confiscations of the 19th century, this private space became public property. A great deal of commercial activity began at that time and continues to this day. Towards the middle of the passageway there is a crossroads where a unique small square opens up. One of the establishments was the mythical Café Chinitas (1857-1937). This little theatre was an institution in Malaga and a national reference point for singing and dancing. Mentioned by Federico García Lorca, inhabited by the great flamenco figures of the time and visited by Alberti, Machado and many other geniuses.
Baños del Carmen (Baths of Carmen)
This former seaside spa was built in 1918. It is not a thermal spa, but a saltwater spa. It was the first to allow women and men to bathe together. But it was also a leisure centre for the bourgeois class of the time. It had a pier, restaurant, football pitch, tennis court and even a small cinema. Then came the abandonment and for many years it was forgotten. Its restoration and enhancement has been a real odyssey, but finally a private initiative has managed to reopen its doors. Now you can enjoy its elegant lounge and its magnificent terrace both for lunch and dinner.
The city bus “11 Universidad” will take you 13 minutes from the centre and a stroll through the Malagueta will get you there in 40 minutes. The best time to visit is at sunset, like most places, but this is a special place.
“Espeto” in El Palo
You can’t come to Malaga and not try some espetos de sardinas. This dish consists of skewering (stringing) the fish on reeds and cooking it on the embers. It is a tradition in Malaga, Almeria and Granada, although in Malaga it is more popular. It is usually eaten in the chiringuitos on the beach and with your feet in the sand. It is said that the months without “ERRE” (May, June, July and August) is when sardines taste more like the sea, although they are good all year round, especially if they are small. Sardines are not only a tradition, they are a sustainable activity due to the consumption of a local and natural product and the simplicity of preparation. In addition, its nutritional properties and flavour are unbeatable.
If you want to eat them in a more authentic atmosphere and surrounded by locals, you should go to the seafood neighbourhood of El Palo. It is in an easterly direction, just past the Baños del Carmen. The city bus “11 Universidad” will take you there in 15-20 minutes.
Historic Botanical Garden La Concepción
It was originally a private estate with a multitude of exotic plants and archaeological remains. Its owners followed the English model of the romantic garden. At times it can seem like a real jungle where you can discover singular buildings or small charming places. Its first owners accumulated here many archaeological remains that today are in the National Archaeological Museum or the Customs House of Malaga. Galleries of vegetation, exuberant flora, bridges over streams and modernist benches are to be found in this place of contemplation, but also of study. With the purchase of the garden by Malaga City Council, a scientific and pedagogical work began to develop, which is combined with visits by travellers.
It is not very well communicated with the city by bus. You must use line 2 from the centre and then walk for about 15 minutes. The official website explains them in more detail.
Standard admission is 5,20 €, but they have many discounts and free opening hours. You can stay in the garden until an hour and a half after closing time and there are special opening hours on some Christmas days (information updated as of November 2018).
- Winter (October to March): 09:30am to 4:30pm
- Summer (April to September): 09:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Plaza de la Merced Square
This central square in Malaga is a real spectacle when the jacarandas are in bloom. These trees that surround the square blossom twice a year, in spring and autumn. Then the place is dressed in purplish blue, and even the pavement is coloured when the flowers fall.
It is also known as the Market Square, as it was used for this purpose in the 15th century. Picasso was born in the buildings overlooking the square. Illustrious figures such as General Riego, the sculptor Fernando Ortiz and other artists lived here. Pigeons are a recurring element in Picasso’s work and today, as in the past, they fly around symbolising peace.
In the centre of the square is a great obelisk commemorating Torrijos with slogans of freedom and justice. It is an icon in the defence of liberties in Spain.
Viewpoint of the Alcazaba
This is a short walk under the wall of the Alcazaba and over the Roman Theatre. At the back of the Theatre Interpretation Centre is one of the entrances. After a few flights of stairs you will reach different platforms with very similar views. The perspective is magnificent. We can see the Roman Theatre from above, the Cathedral, the Museum in the Aduana building and the rooftops of Malaga. The walk takes about 10 to 15 minutes and there are some benches where you can rest. The pity is the timetable, which does not allow you to enjoy the sunset. As well as being less frequented than the crowded streets of the centre, the access is free.
Here are the opening times, and remember that the last pass is always half an hour before closing time (information updated to November 2018).
- Winter (October to May): 10:00 to 17:00
- Summer (June to September): 10:00 to 20:00
Arco de la Cabeza Street
This street runs alongside the old Moorish city wall. In fact, at some points, such as the plazuela de la Virgen de las Penas, the wall is visible. Names are not given to the orange blossom, so in this street there must have been a gate in the wall that would have given access to the Andalusian medina. In this same square is a beautiful 18th-century house. You will see paintings on its façade and a fragment of a reused marble shaft in the corner of the plinth. Turning into Pasaje Gordon, you will come to the small Plaza del Pericón. In this square you will find a vertical garden with a plinth of beautiful words.
Chapel of the port of Malaga
Little remains of the old configuration of the port of Malaga. It once had fortifications such as the fort of San Felipe and a rudimentary lighthouse, the old wooden lantern from the 18th century. The Chapel of the Port has survived from that period. A small baroque-style oratory to which the sailors of those times used to address their prayers. Today it is located on the Paseo de la Farola and faces the sea, although this was not its original layout. It was dismantled stone by stone when it was next to the fort of San Felipe. Nowadays, unfortunately, its interior cannot be visited.
Thinking about taking a guided tour in Malaga?
The Heart of Malaga will enchant you. You will walk through the historic centre of Malaga
and get to know its monuments and culture in depth.
MAP OF THE ENCHANTING PLACES OF MÁLAGA
We show you the location of the places to see in Malaga described in this post.