What to see in Málaga in one day
Málaga is one of those cities that has been adept in capitalising on its countless attractions. Its monuments look better than ever; the number of museums has increased; its shopping streets are home to the most illustrious brands; and the cuisine available never fails to satisfy even the most discerning tastes. Even if you only have one day to explore Málaga, you will find the trip well worth it.
Begin with a stroll along Calle Larios, and then visit the Cathedral. Next, you could move on to the Picasso Museum, and round off the morning by enjoying some delicious tapas at El Pimpi, a veritable city institution. This restaurant even has Antonio Banderas as a shareholder. In the afternoon, visit the Alcazaba, the attractive marina area of the Port of Málaga or one of Europe’s finest botanical gardens. A good dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant and a drink at a trendy disco will put the finishing touches to your day in Málaga.
Itinerary day 1
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Calle Larios is Málaga’s most emblematic street, and it’s a good place to start familiarising yourself with the city. In this historic shopping thoroughfare (which opened in 1891) can be found all the big national and international brands. The street provided a link between the city and the port.
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Málaga’s Cathedral, known as ‘La Manquita’ [the One-armed Lady] stands on the site of a Moorish mosque. Its construction began in the sixteenth century at the request of the Catholic Monarchs. Funding ran out in 1782 and as a result, certain elements (including the South Tower) were never built. So that is how the Cathedral got its peculiar nickname.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
The Buenavista palace, a sixteenth-century edifice, houses Málaga’s Picasso Museum.
Notice its exquisite lookout tower and its Mudéjar-style coffered ceilings before you begin to admire the collection of over 200 works by this city’s favourite son. In addition to the permanent collection comprising sculptures, prints, paintings, etc., the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
This tapas bar is a classic and essential feature of any trip to Málaga. Its pedigree is accredited by its establishment in 1971, its location in an eighteenth-century building, and all the stories of its most famous visitors. Step into this traditional bodega to enjoy some fried fish among the wooden casks. Browse through the inscriptions chalked on the casks.
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
This fortified palace, built between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries on the hill of Gibralfaro, was where the Moorish rulers lived. Three rings of walls are discernible, together with the keep and three palaces. Take the time to wander through the archaeological exhibition hall and the gardens.
The La Concepción Historic Botanical Garden is considered the finest tropical garden in all of Europe. It was created in 1855 by the Marquises de Casa Loring who had a passion for exotic plants and archaeological artefacts—which they gathered together in the Museo Loringiano. Meander along its paths to find the most charming spots: ponds, bridges, sculptures and waterfalls.
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
The remodelled port of Málaga has two very attractive areas where you can go for a stroll, have something to eat and drink, and go shopping. Quay 1 and Quay 2, with the so-called Palmeral de las Sorpresas [Palm Grove of Surprises] are two areas where you can relax by the sea.
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
This prestigious restaurant with a Michelin star is run by José Carlos García. This chef offers original dishes based on seasonal ingredients. Demand is high, so you will need to book in advance.
11:30 PM - 1:30 AM
This establishment, midway between theatre and disco, is an essential stop-off on a Málaga night out, whether you’re seeing a show or having a few drinks.