Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Things to do and see in Málaga

I am in no means an expect when it comes to this city, however, let me share  a thing or two about Malaga and its people base on the things I've seen, observed and experienced while on a too- short- for - my- liking- birthday- getaway. Exploring Malaga is never tedious and stressful  unlike other big cities. For one, this is  the most pedestrian friendly place I've ever been to. Most landmarks, museums , plazas, gardens and the beach are accessible by foot. Aside from a short ride to and from the airport, we never took a bus, taxi or train to go anywhere while we were here. The city centre where most attractions are,  is compact yet never gives an impression of being overcrowded. The labyrinth of cobbled streets makes me feel like I'm just passing through somebody's backyard. It has less tourist compare to Barcelona, Madrid or any Spanish cities. Less tourist means, less crowd and yes,  less expensive! Although peddlers are starting to be visible on the streets, they are still nothing  compare to what I saw in Rome. It means, you can leisurely   enjoy the place,  eat outside in the restaurant and still have very little tendency of having empty cups, anything plastic or another things shove up your nose. People are also genuinely warm and welcoming . When FF and I asked for directions, the locals we met are always been ready to provide whatever help they could give. One old guy even went up different buses to ask drivers for information which he himself could not provide. How nice of him!

Also, locals  especially those in tourism are never pushy , making this place tourist friendly!  We stopped by horse-drawn carriages  out of curiosity, when a driver came  asking if we want to have a tour around the city. After saying, ''No ,thank you.'', he politely step back without insisting , with the same friendly smile on his face. People in the restaurants also give us and other by passers space and time while we look over menus, which are mostly displayed in front of the restaurants. You don't feel rushed or intimidated . You can literally look around without having anybody breathing down your neck.Your personal space will be respected . 

 We saw and did many things while in Malaga. Here are my favourite 10.

1. Start your day right. Have some  churros con chocolate..

Freshly deep fried dough, dipped in thick hot chocolate.  Available at many cafes around the city. If this is not the perfect way to start your day, please share  ideas on how to better spend your mornings.

2. Visit the cathedral.

Fondly referred to as La Manquita or the ''One armed Lady'' by the locals because having two towers, one being unfinished, this  mosque turned catholic church was built between 1528 to 1782.  The influences of different eras are evident  in its diverse architecture. Renaissance interiors  and Baroque style facades, Medieval  Moorish walls and Gothic altarpiece.This is Malaga's main architectural landmark and a must-visit site .

The  interior with its stained  glass windows, marble sculptures, impressive paintings, wooden choir stalls is just as impressive as the facade .

3. Explore the long stretch of Costa Del Sol .

 Enjoy the warm and calm sea,   walk and let the fine , powdery sand tickle your toes. Get that marvellous ,  been-to-the-tropics- tan you could brag to your stressed and pale colleagues.

 When hunger strikes, eat freshly caught grilled sardines  by the beach . The tantalising whiff  of sea and seafood could be smell a mile away. Just follow your nose and it will lead you to these al fresco dining by the bay.

 Spend a lazy afternoon at Muello Uno.  Enjoy the sight of the sea, sunshine and flashy yachts, gigantic cruisers and colourful fishing boats moored at the newly spruced up and revamped city harbour.

When the sun sets , have a drink or two, or have a nice  dinner at the some trendy bars and restaurant along Muello Uno.. 

4. Pay some interesting museum a visit.

Málaga is the birthplace of the famous Pablo Picasso. Some of his works and art pieces are proudly displayed at the museum. 

5. Visit Roman Theater and the neighbouring Alcazaba Fortress

6. Wear a comfortable shoe and go up Gilbralfaro castle

Nothing beats the city view  from up there!

7. Visit the Central market

One of the cleanest markets I've ever been to. The harvest of both land and sea are abundant and fresh.

8. Who cares if you're not in Valencia? Have a Paella!

Try this place  for some authentic paellas in town. You will be licking your paella pan clean in no time!

9. Join locals and tourist at Calle Larios and enjoy shopping, dining and  people watching 

Calle Larios at night.

10. You are in Andalusia, have some Tapas!

Tapa Bars are abundant in the city .If you are unsure where to go and which amongst the hundreds of tapa bars offer excellent foods, try this guided tapa tour . You will not be disappointed

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