A Weekend in Málaga, How to Make the Most of Your Time

A Weekend in Malaga (36 hours). We're here to tell you exactly why and how to make the most of your time in the capital of the Costa del Sol.

Friday Night

On Arrival:  Head to your hotel and get freshened up for the evening.

8pm: We suggest you start your weekend in Malaga by heading down to the beach. You can take a walk by the water and enjoy the views. Take your car or the number 11 bus to the beach called El Palo. This is one of the classic fisherman’s neighborhoods, but it is also a great place to get a view of Malaga.

9pm: Time for dinner! There are also lots of chiringüitos (small restaurants along the beach serving up fresh fish (fried and grilled) with views of the water. You can also indulge in a tasty beverage or two as the sun goes down over the water. Our favorite spot on this beach, however, is El Tintero II. As legend has it, the restaurant used to have its tables right out on the sand, but they had to make a change because when you go to pay, the waiters count up the number of plates that your party consumed. When people got wise to the fact that they could bury a plate in the sand and pay less for their meal, you can imagine the craziness that broke out. Needless to say, El Tintero II is now firmly planted on a cement floor.

(El Tintero II: Playa del Dedo, s/n, 29018 Málaga)

El Tintero Malaga

11pm: Head back to the city center and enjoy a drink on the rooftop of the Alcazaba Premium Hostel (c/Alcazabilla 12). The drinks are well poured, the DJ is decent and the views of the Alcazaba are impressive. It’s a great way to end your first night in the city!

Saturday morning

We suggest you get up early to get a jump on your day! The first stop, of course is breakfast! We want to warn you that in Malaga we have a special way of talking about our coffee. Depending on how much milk you want, the waiter may bring you a sombra, mitad or nube. This all started with the Café Central in the Plaza de la Constitución. Although it attracts tourists for it’s location and fame, we think it’s a great place to get a cup of coffee. Of course, you should order a “pitufo” (literally a little smurf), but what we mean here in Malaga is a small breakfast sandwich. You can choose ham, cheese, tomato or Olive Oil to go on it!  Other great options for breakfast include Cafeteria Framil (c/ Cisneros 1) or La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira (c/De la Victoria, 31).

10:30 am: A walk through the historic center. Now that you have enjoyed your breakfast, we suggest you head to the historic center. Start by strolling up the Calle Marques de Larios. This is one of the most beautiful main streets we know and at Christmas time they have some of the best lights in all of Spain (at least we here in Malaga like to think so!).

Malaga Cathedral

When you arrive at the Plaza de la Constitución, take a right and head toward the Cathedral. Take a photo from the outside (tomorrow you’ll be back for the interior). The main thing  you want to know about our Cathedral is that the second tower was never finished, so they call it “La Manquita” (the one armed lady). Pretty cool, huh?

Continue on to the Alcazaba. We highly recommend that you take the time and enter this historic monument. In fact, there is a reduced price for visiting both the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle. If you have the time, we recommend that you visit both, although make sure to plan ahead if you buy the combined ticket because Gibralfaro Castle closes early and you may not have time to make your way up there before dusk. The Alcazaba, however, is one of the best preserved Moorish citadel and is even older than the Alhambra in Granada. Pretty cool, huh?

12:00pm When you are done there, you may want a bit of refreshment. We suggest you take a break in touring and have a delicious smoothie at El Ultimo Mono (calle Santa Maria 9). You can get freshly made smoothies, juice or coffee and the decor is made up of different mismatched furniture. The music is great too- indie rock to recharge your batteries.

12:30pm Now that you’ve got a bit more energy, we suggest you saunter down calle Granada until you come to the Plaza de la Merced. Keep an eye out, as the church where Pablo Picasso was baptised is on your right (calle Granada, 78). If it is open make sure to stop in. This is a classic church in Malaga and quite dark, which can be a relief on a hot summer day!

In the Plaza you will find a large obelisk which is the most important urban civil monument of the 19th century. It is a monument to José María Torrijos and 48 of his companions who were killed by order of Fernando VII on the beach of San Andres for a liberal uprising in Gibraltar a few days earlier. Also in this plaza is a statue of Pablo Picasso just in front of the home where he lived for the first ten years of his life. It’s a great photo if you are the kind of person who enjoys taking photos with statues 😉 Which we admit to doing from time to time! We also recommend a visit to Picasso’s home if you have the extra time. It is an interesting museum and gives you a different viewpoint into the artist’s life. and work.

Plaza de la Merced Malaga

Another option, if you are interested in flamenco, is the Flamenco Museum: Peña Juan Breva. It’s open from 10am-2pm and closed on Mondays, so make sure to fit this into your morning. With 20 different guitars, and 5,000 pieces related to flamenco music and culture, it is worth a visit. (Calle Ramón Franquelo, 8)

2:00pm You may be getting hungry for lunch by this point in the day. We have a couple suggestions in the city center. For traditional tapas with a cultural twist, we suggest you head to Las Merchanas. It is a “Taberna Cofrade” and the bar is decked out with memorobilia from Holy Week. The food is good and the atmosphere is great! (c/Mosquera 5). For those of you craving veggies, we would direct you to nearby Restaurante Calafate (c/Andrés Pérez, 6) or La Casa del Perro (calle Andrés Pérez, 12). La Casa del Perro has tapas for vegetarians, pescaterians and meat eaters alike! Everyone is bound to find something tasty.

3:30pm Time to relax! (regardless of the weather!)

There is no better way to spend an afternoon in Málaga than on the beach relaxing in the sun. If the weather is nice, don’t hesitate to change into your swimsuit, grab a hammock and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea! Of course, if you happen to be visiting our fair city in the winter months, we have another option for you! Why not book a spot at the Hammam Al-Andalus. These are the Arab Baths in Málaga and they are beautiful, as well as the most relaxing thing you can do for yourself. For 90 minutes you will enjoy baths with varying temperatures, a massage with lovely smelling oils and sweet Moroccan style tea. A third option for art buffs is to hit one of the museums. Part of a visit to Andalucía, and Málaga, of course, is allowing yourself to slow down and live in the moment. Whether you choose the beach,the baths, or a museum we’re sure you’ll be glad you took a bit of time for yourself.

Saturday Evening

7:30pm Take a walk through the gardens.

The Paseo del Parque, just off the Calle Larios is a gorgeous place to take a walk. Many of the plants were taken straight from the Botanical Gardens La Concepción and they are beautiful in the Spring and Summer months. In Winter you will love the greenery and milder temperatures (we can guarantee, as it happened to us when we visited from Madrid or New York!) Cross the street to the Jardines de Puerta Oscura. These are the beautiful gardens next to the City Hall and at the foot of the Alcazaba. Here you will find some beautifully tiled benches with verses of poetry about malaga hand painted on them.

8:30pm Taste some local wines before dinner.

One of our favorite wine bars in Málaga is La Odisea de los Vinos. There is an interesting story behind the name “La Odisea” which translates to “The Odyssey.” The restaurant is actually an old house in what used to be known the neighborhood of La Coracha. It was a little neighborhood on the hillside that has since been torn down. All except for this one house. Apparently the city tried to get the family to sell the house for years and years, but they stood their ground. When the city gave up, the family opened up La Odisea de los Vinos as a tribute to the odyssey of trying to keep their home. Thank goodness they did because they have a selection of almost all the Málaga wines you could ever want to try and a bunch of nibbles to try along with your wine. In fact, if you call ahead, the grandmother of the family will make a Spanish omelette. We’ve yet to try it, but we have on good authority that it is delicious!

Fried Fish at Freiduria Las Flores

10:00pm Dinner!

You might be feeling like you need something more substantial for dinner by this point. We suggest you treat yourself to a nice meal at La Montana. A restaurant that does classic Spanish dishes with a more modern twist. It is located in the neighborhood of La Victoria and well worth the 15 minute walk from the Plaza de la Merced (although we think it might be a better idea to splurge for a cab from La Odisea.)

Sunday morning

10:30am– It’s Sunday and you’re on a weekend away, so we think you should give yourself a treat for breakfast! Head across the river to our favorite spot in the city: Los Valle. It is on Calle Cuarteles, 54 (a 5-10 minute walk from the Center for Contemporary Art). They have over 70 years of experience in making a special kind of churro unique to Malaga. It is called the “tejeringo” and the name comes from the fact that the dough is squeezed into the hot oil using a device that resembles a syringe (“jeringa” in Spanish). Delicious hot chocolate, as well!

MAUS Malaga

11:15am– Take in some art!

This of course depends on the kind of art that you are most interested in viewing. We are fans of contemporary art, so our suggestions have more to do with that, but Malaga has something for everyone! Make sure to check out museum time tables and locations before setting off. That being said, we suggest that after breakfast you take time to visit the Center for Contemporary Art. The exhibits are rotating and always interesting. Make sure to take some time to pop into the museum store, as well!

12:00 pm– Enjoy the outdoor art!

Malaga’s SoHo area (just next to the CAC) has a good number of murals. The initiative Malaga Arte Urbana SoHo (MAUS) has really contributed to high quality street art in what used to be a less than stellar area in Malaga. It is well worth taking a walk through the streets and discovering some of the murals on the walls. Check out a map.

12:45pm This is a perfect time to visit the Cathedral. Since it is free to enter on Sunday (just imagine you are going to mass!). You can check out the impressive interior of the church and cool off if you are visiting in the summer months!

1:30 pm  Enjoy the hour of the “aperitif” with the locals.

One of our favorite things to do on a Sunday is head out to the local bars and enjoy lunch. Where to begin? If you are a fan of sweet wines, you can’t miss a visit to Taberna de Guardia. They will pour your glass of wine and write the running tab on the counter using chalk. You’ll probably run into a bunch of Malagueños, so just push your way up to the bar to order! Another good place to try is La Campana on calle Granada. You can order up an ice cold beer along with some cod fritters (buñuelos de bacalao). If you fancy something a bit different, head to Casa Lola for a vermouth and some local Aloreña olives.

2:00pm– Lunch.

We suggest Taberna Uvedoble for a sophisticated take on some traditional tapas. (calle Cister, 15). Try the porra antequerana or the black noodles with baby squid. The flamenquín is also delicious, but a bit more substantial.

By this time you’ll probably need to be packing your bags and saying your good-byes to our gorgeous city by the sea. Of course, if you have a bit more time, you can take the chance to drive up to the beautiful Gibralfaro Castle. Here you will have a view of all of Málaga and just nearby is the Parador hotel where you can sit on the terrace and enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee. The perfect end to a weekend away.

Of course, there are lots more things to see and do in Málaga, but we hope this gives you a good start. See you soon!

If you have any questions or if you need help organizing your trip to Malaga or Andalusia, don’t hesitate to contact us (info@elboqueronviajero.com)

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Abby Roule
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, USA. I've lived in Reading and Pittsburgh (PA), in New York City for 6 years and in Spain for 5 years (in Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona, and now Málaga). I designed Rusko!
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