Gastronomy, culture, tradition, history, innovation. The city of Malaga is a melting pot of opportunities to enjoy a complete vacation. It is also when time is of the essence and, therefore, we suggest a tour of the city centre perfect for one-day visits. A guide with the most interesting points to answer the question that many people ask themselves when they arrive in the capital of the Costa del Sol: what can I do/see in Malaga in a day?
Starting from La Plaza de la Marina, a step away from the Port of Málaga, the first surprise is offered by Calle Larios. Recently remodeled, this street allowed urban planning in Malaga at the end of the 19th century and little by little it has become one of the most important commercial areas in Spain.
It is also one of the axes of events such as Holy Week or the Fair, but also a hotbed of tourists, workers and neighbors in their daily lives.
A few meters away is the beautiful Atarazanas Market, originally built as a Nasrid shipyard in the fourteenth century, when the Mediterranean bathed its southern limit. After falling into disuse, it was used as a barracks and a military hospital, until at the end of the 19th century it was remodeled to accommodate a market. Renovated just a few years ago, today it is one of the most interesting buildings in Malaga.
On the one hand, by its exterior, which still offers an image of the old Arab building thanks to its access door as well as a beautiful stained glass window -in its rear façade- which represents some of the monuments of Malaga.
And, on the other, by its interior, which houses many fruit, vegetable, meat and fish stalls, which serve to know the wide variety of products that are born in the different regions of Malaga, from the vegetables of the Guadalhorce Valley to the subtropical vegetables of La Axarquía. There are also several stands converted into small bars where you can taste Málaga’s gastronomy in an informal way.
Next to the market there are a series of narrow streets that hide beautiful secrets. The church of San Juan and the street of the Cinco Bolas Five Balls is one of them, but also the Plaza de Camas, one of the few open spaces of the historic center.
Next to it, Calle Cisneros, later called Especerías, heads towards the Plaza de la Constitución, one of the main squares of Málaga.
Although before it is worth diverting through Calle Salvago to Calle Compañía, where the church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Carmen Thyssen Museum Malaga are located, the latter having a wonderful collection of Spanish painting from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with works of artists such as Sorolla or Romero de Torres.
In the Plaza de la Constitución, a small street goes through the Passage of Chinitas, a place with as much history as legends. Small restaurants, old traditional businesses and an intense neighborhood life take over an almost labyrinthine layout that deserves to be covered leisurely.
One option is to head south to reach Salinas Street, which leads to the Plaza del Obispo and the main entrance to the Cathedral of Málaga. Another option is to follow the path of Santa María Street to also finish the walk next to the main religious building in Malaga.
Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, it is popularly known as ‘la manquita’, as one of its towers was never finished due to lack of budget. You can visit the interior of the temple, as well as the exterior of its vaults, which – as a terrace – offer beautiful panoramic views over the city.
From there, Císter Street heads towards the Museum of Malaga. Inaugurated at the end of 2016, it is the largest in Andalusia: it houses the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts of Malaga and the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Malaga. It has 15,000 archaeological references and an extensive pictorial collection of 2,000 works, most from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
This space is next to another one of the most interesting points of the capital of Malaga: the Roman Theater (built in the 1st century BC), as well as the entrance to the Arab Alcazaba (built between the 11th and XIV). Both serve to understand the importance that different cultures have had in the city since it was founded by the Phoenicians almost 3000 years ago.
The route can continue from there to the Plaza de la Merced, the same place where Pablo Picasso spent his childhood: in fact, in one of its corners you can visit his home. A bright and atmospheric place with numerous bars and restaurants with large terraces to enjoy the Malaga sun, such as the vegetarian Cañadú or the traditional tapas bar Cortijo de Pepe.
Granada Street descends from there and passes next to the church of Santiago, one of the first to be built at the beginning of the sixteenth century after the capture of Malaga by Christian troops.
The route leaves aside beautiful historical businesses such as Zoilo groceries (full of typical products and gourmet snacks), but also one of the most classic establishments in the city: El Pimpi, next to the charming Plaza de la Judería. A little further down appears Calle San Agustín, narrow, cobbled, with an interesting gastronomic offer and that is also the gateway to the Picasso Museum Malaga. The perfect place to get to know the work of the great painter from Malaga.
From there, it is worth getting carried away by the streets of the center of the city: Beatas, Plaza de Uncibay, Plaza del Siglo … to always appear, again, in Larios street, beginning and end of any tour of the center of Malaga .
Another option is to join us on a Food tour that involves exploring the Old Town, trying some of our delicious local dishes and sampling wines from Malaga’s and other regions.