Malaga offers many attractions and sites linked to its history, art and culture. The city has 20 meseums and most of them are in the same area. In addition to historical sites and art museums, there are wonderful parks, sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife and many excellent restaurants in town.
Some of Malaga‘s most famous attractions:
Castillo de Gibralfaro
The castle Castillo de Gibralfaro with its fortress, was built by Arab Yusef I of Granada in the 1300’s. The location of the Gibralfaro Hill was a strategic choice, because an important task for this facility was to protect the Alcazaba, which is located very close nearby. It had previously been an important Phoenician viewpoint, and there had also been a lighthouse there. The name is derived from Gibralfaro gebel-faro, which can be translated as the «beacon mountain».
Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress, is located on the hill behind overlooking the port of Malaga. Parts of the building are dating back to the 8th century, while the rest of the fortress was built between the 1100’s and 1500’s. The Alcazaba is an impressive building and the best preserved castle in Spain. At the main entrance to the fort one can see the ruins of the Roman theatre from the 2. century.
The Picasso Museum
Malaga is Picasso’s birthplace and in 2003 the Museo Picasso was inaugerated by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. It is located in the Palacio de Buena Vista in the middle of the city’s historic centre, only a minute’s walk from the Malaga Cathedral. Nearby at the Plaza de la Merced, lies the Casa Natal, the house where Picasso was born (open to the public since 1988).
«Plaza de Toros»
In the Calle de Cervantes ligger Malaga’s famous bullring, ”Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta.” It was designed by Joaquin Rucoba in 1874, with its distinctive round shape (modelled on the ancient Roman amphitheatres), and it is easy to sport with its dominant position near the port area. There is also a separate toreador museum in the arena building.
The erection of the Malaga Cathedral (Catedral de Encarnación) located in the “old town”, began in 1528 on the foundation of the city’s mosque, which had been Malaga’s main place of worship for 800 years under Moorish rule. The cathedral was expanded and extended several times in 1600’s and 1700’s, but has never been fully completed. Among other there is one unfinished tower, which has given rise to the nickname La Manquita, “the one armed”.
Centro del Arte Contemporáneo
Malaga has since 2003 had its own museum of contemporary art, Centro del Arte Contemporanéo (CAC Malaga). It is centrally located in the centre of town, where it is housed in a functionalist building from 1939. This house was formerly a wholesale market. There are plans for an expansion of the museum in the near future, and the award-winning architect Rafael Moneo is engaged in this work.
Museo de Artes Populares
This museum is also located in the centre of Malaga. It is housed in a 1600-century building which was a former restaurant, which in itself is an attraction. Museo de Artes Populares is an ethnographic museum whose purpose is to show aspects of daily life in Malaga and the surrounding areas, particularly as they were in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Here one can visit fully furnished rooms and a large selection of utility and ornamental objects typical for the place and the era.
The Santiago Church
As with the Malaga Cathedral, also the Santiago Church (Iglesia de Santiago) lies in Calle Granada and it was built at the site where one of the mosques from the Moorish era lay. The church was erected in 1490, and is thus Malaga’s oldest. It is primarily known for its well-preserved entrance and beautiful bell tower of the Arabic inspired mudéjar style, and Picasso was baptized in this church (1881).