Visiting Malaga, south coastline of Spain
It is easy to understand why Malaga City is dubbed the Capital of the Costa del Sol. Whereas it was once considered to be the poor cousin of Andalusia’s capital city, Seville, it now competes successfully for attention. Since the opening of the already well acclaimed Picasso Museum in 2003, cultural tourists have been flocking to this and the now beautifully refurbished birthplace of the great artist, all in the heart of the historic centre of the city.
The spotlight is expected to shine on Malaga for some years to come since Malaga City Council decided in 2004 to present a bid to the European Union requesting it be given the title of European Culture Capital in the year 2016. This bodes very well for work and improvements to continue over the next decade to achieve this goal.
At Malaga Center, the night air is almost always filled with the sounds of laughter and music, especially the flamenco and the verdiales. In fact, there is always something happening in Malaga!
Come Holy Week (Semana Santa), Malaga Center comes alive with color and sound. Even the air vibrates with the rhythmic beating of the drums and the singing (or more like wailing) of the “saeta.” Magnificent floats carrying precious religious sculptures draped in velvet and gold and finished off with candles and an indeterminate amount of flowers are sights to behold.
Summer ushers in the Feria de Malaga, which is the second largest fair in all of Europe. The city streets fill with processions and dancing while casetas (like temporary bars) are erected to showcase exhibitions of flamenco music and dancing.
The typical cuisine of Malaga is like throughout Andalusia, light, healthy and always prepared with fresh Mediterranean ingredients. The use of olive oil for cooking in Andalusia has proven to decrease the possibility of heart diseases, improve the blood circulation and digestion and the oil as well is rich in vitamins (A, D, E, K).
Being a costal province has made a great influence in the cuisine of Malaga, which includes a great variety of seafood. Some of the most typical dishes are Shrimps in all variations, roasted or boiled, fried fish (Pescaito Frito), Chanquetes (a small fish in the anchovy family) and boquerones in vinagre (also a small fish which has been marinated in vinegar for a day).
Apart from seafood Malaga and the rest of Andalusia are probably most known for the cold vegetal soup Gaspacho (for recipe see below). Gaspacho is a very refreshing dish mainly served during the summer and is made by fresh blended vegetables.
It is also possible to find meat dishes of a good quality in Malaga. Especially the many variations of chicken are worth to try and specialities as Rabo de Toro (bull’s tail) can also be recommended.
Malaga Airport is located about 15 km. East from the center of Malaga. The airport is an international airport and the third most visited airport in Spain. Domestically the airport connects Malaga to Madrid and Barcelona. For other destinations within Spain it is frequently necessary to change in Madrid.
You can get from Malaga Airport to the centre of Malaga or the rest of Costa del Sol in either bus, local train or taxi or you can also rent a car in one of the many car rental companies in airport. To get into Malaga centre by bus or train takes about 30min and costs about 3Eur and by taxi about 20 minutes with a price of about 20-30Eur.
Malaga Airport Information: 952 048 842
Malaga by Train
Malaga has 2 types of trains – local trains and national train. From the central train station the national trains connects Malaga to the rest of the Andalusian capitals as well as Madrid and a few other destinations. There are 2 local train lines – one connecting Malaga with Fuengirola (including Torremolinos, Benalmadena and the Malaga Airport) and another line going inland from Malaga town.
Taking the train is normally the fastest way to get from one part of Andalusia to another. It is a bit more expensive than the bus net but is compensated by being faster. As to the local trains they can highly be recommended especially during the summer where there are heavy traffic on the roads between Malaga and the rest of Costa del Sol.
The train station in Malaga is located on Explanada de la Estacin. For Information call 952 360 202 and for reservations call 902 240 202
Malaga Central Bus Station
From the central bus station in Malaga it is possible to find bus companies who connects Malaga with all the provinces of Spain as well as some companies with international destinations. Taking a Bus in Spain is normally the cheapest alternative when wishing to travel within the country. The buses are modern and comfortable and the road net is usually effective although the many mountains and the heavy traffic (especially during the summer and during national holydays) can make it very time consuming.
The central bus station is located on Paseo de los Tiros. For information call 952 350 061.
For Information and a map of the urban bus transportation in Malaga click here.
Car Rental in Malaga
Being a tourist destination Malaga has various different car rental companies and the rental price is not very expensive. When travelling with your family or friends it can therefore be the cheapest way to discover Spain and it gives a freedom movement to discover all parts of the Malaga province. During the summer months traffic can be a bit chaotic so you should always leave in good time. For further information see car rental in malaga or Malaga Car Hire.
One of the first rather delightful aspects which a visitor will notice, however, is that the Malagueno never walks around with a fixed purpose in mind as he always seems to have time for that impromptu coffee with friends or stroll through the park. In essence, this is true hospitality which is considered perfectly natural and normal. Interestingly, this is a trait which is also reflected in the Arabic cultures of the world, which is hardly surprising given the Moorish influence over the entire province of Andalucia.
Another equally endearing trait of the Malagueno is his (or her) extrovert character. Conversations are light-hearted, boisterous, peppered with amusing stories and subtle jokes. Malaguenos do not take themselves too seriously and don’t expect others to either!.