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The Best Things to Do in Malaga

Beaches, boats and automobiles (and Picasso, of course)

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View over Malaga, Spain

With its historic ruins, eclectic museums and fine dining institutions, Malaga has everything you need for a deep and enriching holiday. It’s also jam-packed with beaches and glitzy destinations that’ll keep even the staunchest of sunbathers sufficiently lobster-hued and skin-wrinkled. Ultimately, it’s up to you. We’ll provide a list of some of the best things to do in Malaga, and you’ll take it from there. And you’ll be staying all the while in one of our luxurious homes. We’ll take you through castles and cathedrals, hit up the swanky harbours and introduce you to Picasso (or at least, a museum devoted to him). We’ll wander together, hand in hand (if you can touch the hand of a blog journal) down deluxe shopping streets, and explore the botanical gardens in this Mediterranean treasure. We're sure you'll enjoy the ride to the largest city in the Costa del Sol, because here at Plum Guide we've gone above and beyond to guarantee that your trip is filled with nothing but quality (you're welcome).

Explore the historic ruins

The Alcazaba archaeological site is the highlight of the city. It comprises an 11th-century Moorish castle (that means it was built by the Moors, rather than it being somewhat addictive and tasty), with a hilltop fort among the best-preserved in Europe. Clamber to the top of the ramparts for extraordinary views of the city and the gardens around the palace. Study the array of artefacts found at the site in the small palace here. Other fascinating crumbling vestiges in this district include the Roman Theatre that dates back to…you guessed it, Roman times.

A Splash Of Lime, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

A Splash Of Lime, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

See the city centre

Malaga Cathedral, Malaga, Spain

Malaga Cathedral, Malaga, Spain

To get a handle on the city and find all sorts of things to do in Malaga, amble around the historic centre. Here, you’ll find some of the architectural treasures of the city, such as Malaga Cathedral. Admire its rising domed tower, and check out the various side chapels. To get a sense of the local culture, delve into the Mercado Central de Atarazanas, a farmers market with all manner of stalls. Right at the heart of the district is La Calle Larios, one of the most exclusive (and expensive, of course) shopping streets in Spain. Your pockets will likely feel a lot more spacious by the time you reach the end of the street.

Palm Winds, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

Palm Winds, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

Head down to the harbour

The Costa del Sol is known for its glitzy yachts and a general whiff of affluence. The Puerto de Malaga doesn’t disappoint; it’s packed to the rafters with luxury boats. Enjoy a meal nearby, and wander along the piers, pretending to own some of the most expensive-looking models. Market stalls and bars surround the port, making for a buzzy spot. An hour west along the coast by car, you’ll find the Puerto Banus of Marbella, another iconic harbour full of famous faces and ridiculously plush yachts. Grab crepes at a fancy eatery, then stroll along the renowned boulevard.

Zephyr Effect, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

Zephyr Effect, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

Soak up some sun at the beach

Beach at dawn in Malaga, Spain

Beach at dawn in Malaga, Spain

OK, we’ve done all the adult stuff, from shopping streets and ports to markets and historic ruins…not to mention the cathedral. But it’s finally time to strip off and rush to the beach. The Playa de la Malagueta is surprisingly beautiful for a large city beach, its wide, long strand made up of golden sand. Visit the surrounding destinations of Torremolinos, Nerja and Marbella for more glorious beaches.

Where Sand Meets Sea, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

Where Sand Meets Sea, Plum Guide home in Malaga, Spain

Tuck into the local cuisine

Eat like a local by ingesting (not a very culinary word, but it is what it is) Gazpachuelo Malagueño or the Plato de los Montes de Malaga, which comprises chorizo, black sausage, egg and chips. The fried fish on the beach is another succulent tradition in these parts. As for the restaurants, the Terra Mia 2.0 delivers a fine-dining take on pizza, while Tercer Acto is the perfect spot for sushi. Try the seafood at the Marisqueria Jacinto and enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at Beluga Malaga and Restaurante Amador.

Rummage through the museums

When looking for things to do in Malaga, note that it has some pretty intriguing museums, a little different from the typical city stuff. The Museum of Imagination is replete with optical illusions that’ll keep the whole family entertained and confused in equal measure. Visit the Museo Picasso Malaga for an audio-guided tour of some of his best works. The artist was born here, don’t you know. Another Malaga favourite is the Museo Automovilistico y de la Moda, which mixes retro car collections with samples of haute couture fashion items. Somehow, the unexpected melange works beautifully...much like Malaga itself.

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