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Travel Report: Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Visit Andalusia Malaga Fortress.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

2016-2017. Breaking News! It turns out that, once again, I didn’t take enough photos during my year in Málaga. Consequently, I find myself pushed into one of my signature roundup reports.

Having already published articles on The Alcazaba, Street Art in Malaga and Where to Eat and Drink, this piece collects the best of the rest, with my Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Plaza de la Constitucion Malaga.

Plaza de la Constitución.

A walk through Malaga’s magnificent historical centre sees visitors pass through a series of splendid squares. My favourite is the already reviewed Plaza de la Merced. However, in terms of grandeur, there’s no denying the beauty of Málaga’s main square, Plaza de la Constitución.

Plaza de la Constitucion in Malaga.

Plaza de la Constitución.

Although there’s been a square of some sort here as far back as the late 1400s, the current design dates to the mid 1800s.

Today it’s Málaga’s definitive meeting spot and home to a number of high end stores. Including Nespresso, where I came once a month to bulk up on coffee. Gotta have those Vanilla Lattes.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Fuente de Genova Fountain Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Fuente de Génova.

“Meet me by the fountain!” was a familiar message for me back in my Málaga days. Known locally as Fuente de Génova (Genoa Fountain), this sixteenth century marble fountain was made in Italy by an unknown sculptor.

Brought over to Málaga in the mid 1800s, it subsequently lived in a number of locations, including El Parque, the main park. Finally, local authorities placed it in Plaza de la Constitución in 2003.

Plaza Victoria Malaga.

Plaza de la Victoria.

Despite the main square’s impressive scale and undoubted elegance, I always preferred Málaga’s smaller, more understated plazas. Take Plaza de la Victoria, for example, a tiny little square near my apartment on Calle Lanuza.

Tucked away in a purely residential part of the city, I used to pass through on my way to teach private English lessons.

Plaza de la Victoria Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Plaza de la Victoria.

Packed with lush greenery, a little fountain and a few benches, this was a lovely spot for a brief rest as I cycled back home. More often than not, there’d be an old dude smoking and staring into space. Presumably pondering where it all went wrong.

Towards the end of my year in Málaga, one of my students told me that senior locals call the square Garden of the Monkeys. Due to the fact that in the 1960s a neighbourhood man regularly came here to show off the family of monkeys he’d acquired from Gibraltar.

Plaza de Uncibay.

Plaza de Uncibay Cool Spots Around Malaga

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

I also had a soft spot for Plaza de Uncibay, quite possibly Málaga’s weirdest square. Packed with budget bars and tapas cafes, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off the towering, fascinatingly ugly obelisk.

The artists Luis Bono Ruiz de la Herran and Jose Fernandez Oyarzábal created it in the late 1980s. It references Fernando de Uncibay, an army captain heavily involved in The Catholic Kings’ Conquest of Malaga in 1497.

Visit Malaga El Parque de Malaga.

Parque de Málaga.

Málaga is also a wonderfully green city. Two to three times a week I’d go jogging to Malagueta Beach and back. The twenty minute route took me through the city’s main park, comprised of several parallel, 800 metre walkways.

Opened in 1904, it features stunning orange, cypress and palm trees, all of which provide decent shade from the often ferocious sun. Moreover, there’s an adventure playground for kids and a small, open air theatre.

Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso Malaga.

Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens.

Separated by a main road, there’s more delicious greenery at Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens. Named after Málaga’s first mayor following The Spanish Civil War, the gardens feature Italian, French, Moorish and Hispanic elements.

In addition to fish inhabited ponds and a charming rose garden, one can also visit a small aviary. The Spanish architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan created the gardens in 1945.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Ayuntamiento Cool Spots Around Malaga

Málaga Town Hall.

Furthermore, the same architect was responsible for the nearby Málaga Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). Championed as one of Spain’s most picturesque town halls, this Neo-baroque structure was built between 1912 and 1919. Unfortunately, you need either a professional appointment or written permission to go inside.

Malagueta Beach Malaga.

Playa de la Malagueta.

As city beaches go, Malagueta Beach is one of the finest I’ve seen across Spain. At 1200 metres long, it boasts handsome dark sands, a decent surf and a pretty, palm-tree lined promenade. In the summer months I would come here to sunbathe or read, renting a parasol for 8 Euros a day.

Malagueta Beach.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

But it was during the winter months that I really loved Malagueta Beach. For the most part the sands would be quiet, largely stripped of tourists. Perfect for a late afternoon stroll listening to English Premier league football matches on BBC Radio Five Live.

Visit Malaga cathedral.

Málaga Cathedral.

As I’ve said before many times on these pages, wherever you are in Andalusia there’s no shortage of spectacular churches. In this regard, Málaga is no different.

The sumptuous, renaissance style Málaga Cathedral opened its doors in 1782 after a complicated construction process that spanned over two hundred and fifty years.

Málaga Cathedral.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

The cathedral has an amusing nickname, La Manquita, which roughly translates as “The one armed woman”. This references the fact that only one of its proposed towers got built. To make up for it, I encountered a stunning six armed woman on the day of my first visit.

Malaga Cathedral Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Inside Málaga Cathedral.

Photo courtesy of Bert Kaufmann.

Fear not through, the exquisite interior more than compensates for that missing tower. Among the many highlights are the stunning carvings of the choir stalls, the giant Gothic altarpiece and the frankly terrifying painting The Beheading of Saint Paul by Enrique Simonet.

Church of Santa Ana Cool Spots Around Malaga

Santa Ana Abbey.

Another wonderful Málaga church is the beautifully tucked away Santa Ana Abbey on Calle Abadía Sta. Ana. Built in 1878, a number of notable Andalusians are buried here, such as the Granada born sculptor Pedro de Mena. As a nearby resident, this was his place of worship, while several of his daughters served the abbey as nuns.

Calle Marques de Larios Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Calle Marqués de Larios.

Whenever I visit big cities, I usually stay away from the main shopping streets. Crowded, commercial and stuffed with all the typical branded goods stores, there’s rarely anything of interest. And while this remains largely true for Malaga’s Calle Marqués de Larios, it’s still an undeniably handsome street.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Newspaper man Calle Marque de Larios Malaga

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Constructed in 1891, Calle Marqués de Larios is worth a wander on your way to Malagueta Beach. Often, there are street performers doing their thing, such as Newspaper Man, a familiar sight back in 2016-2017.

It’s also fun to watch the lottery vendors pedalling their tickets, while the grand apartments that overlook the street stand as some of Spain’s most expensive real estate.

Lottery vendor Calle Marqués de Larios.

Calle Marqués de Larios.

At Málaga Port, art lovers can indulge in the galleries of The Pompidou, the first branch of the world famous Paris museum outside France.

Opened in 2015, its exhibitions walk visitors through some the most celebrated works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries. With a full cultural calendar, they also host regular plays and movie screenings.

Pompidou Centre Malaga.

Pompidou Centre.

As a huge football (that’s soccer folks) fan, I made sure to catch a match during my stay in Málaga. At that time, Málaga Club de Fútbol was a struggling La Liga team fighting for their top flight survival.

I went to La Rosaleda Stadium to see them play a crucial home match against fellow strugglers Alavés in March 2017.

La Rosaleda Stadium.

La Rosaleda Stadium Malaga.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Football really is like a religion in Spain and indeed there was a palpable sense of intensity outside the stadium that day. A row of police vans lined Camino la Palmilla as supporters quietly browsed the rows of souvenir stalls wedged between the ticket counters.

Lightening the mood somewhat, I’ll never forget the custom designed Seat 600 Mini that chugged by, blaring out messages of support for Málaga.

Malaga CF Football Club Spain.

La Rosaleda Stadium.

Sadly, it didn’t help the home team much that day. Alavés won an entertaining game 2-1, despite playing the final twenty minutes with ten men.

And the real kicker was that the away team’s winner came right at the end in the 91st minute. Just when Málaga thought they’d done enough to earn a precious point.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

La Rosaleda Stadium Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Cool Spots Around Malaga.

Since then Malaga have been relegated from La Liga and now ply their trade in Spain’s second division. Stagnating in 13th place at the time of writing, it doesn’t look like they’ll be returning to the top league time anytime soon.

Leighton Travels travel reports short stories.

Like this? Why not check out more of my travel reports from Malaga.

To delve further afield, I’ve also written articles from across Andalusia and all over Spain.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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  • salsaworldtraveler

    I’m really enjoying this tour of Spain. There are many very beautiful sights and interesting cities I’d like to explore one day. Thanks.

    January 10, 2021 - 3:29 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thank you! It’s taken me over a month just to get my Andalusia series written. Think I’ll take a break from Spain once this concludes and come back later in the year with a new region. Stay safe and healthy!

      January 10, 2021 - 3:31 pm Reply
  • rkrontheroad

    It looks like a lovely place to spend some time. The tiled walls in the garden photo are beautiful.

    January 10, 2021 - 6:35 pm Reply
  • Little Miss Traveller

    I enjoyed a few days in Malaga several years ago and could be tempted to return.sometime. Your photos are pleasant reminders. I was actually quite close just before Christmas. Thank you for sharing.

    January 10, 2021 - 7:32 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading Marion! I hope to go back someday too, perhaps as a base to see more of Andalusia.

      January 10, 2021 - 7:48 pm Reply
  • Memo

    Congratulations on constructing another great post from “bits and pieces.” I always love old buildings and green parks like Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens with the fish ponds would get me coming back. My favorite photo though is the cool first picture.

    January 10, 2021 - 7:44 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Memo. I feel like I should have been able to do more articles from my year in Malaga. But back then I didn’t have my travel blogger head on and was a bit short on photos. Nevertheless, happy to put out this miniseries. Thanks for reading!

      January 10, 2021 - 7:51 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    Love the tour you gave around Malaga, even if virtually so! I imagine it must get really hot in the summer, but the social life looks incredible with the copious bars and restaurants to mingle, at least in pre-COVID times. Plus, the beach is right there! Thanks for sharing your experiences in Malaga once more– can’t wait to read more!

    January 10, 2021 - 11:45 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading, as ever. That wraps up Malaga. Next, finally, much later than billed.. Seville.

      January 10, 2021 - 11:49 pm Reply
  • rajanisingh885721172

    Beautiful blog

    January 11, 2021 - 3:41 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thank you! Appreciate you following and reading.

      January 12, 2021 - 8:48 am Reply
  • Jyothi

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit! Great post, thanks for the virtual tour!

    January 11, 2021 - 4:40 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      As ever, thanks for reading!

      January 11, 2021 - 4:46 pm Reply
  • Lyssy In The City

    The city looks so clean! The sidewalks remind me of a school hallway that’s just been waxed haha. I would LOVE to go in that Cathedral one day, it’s stunning!

    January 12, 2021 - 12:36 am Reply
  • InsideMySlingBag

    Beautiful captures and a lovely post Leighton❣️

    January 12, 2021 - 2:20 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      January 12, 2021 - 8:29 am Reply

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