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What to see in Málaga in two days

Cities such as Málaga have been blessed with so many attractions that it is difficult to squeeze them into two days, but if you organise your time well, you can meander through the streets at leisure with no chance of missing the most interesting sights. Start off with a stroll through the historic quarter, the very streets that witnessed the early years of Pablo Picasso. Visit this genius’s home and museum for an insight into how his childhood in this city came to influence him.  Carefully select the museums you want to visit, as there are several so important that it would be difficult to leave them for another time. The city’s architecture (with its splendid Alcázar, Gibralfaro Castle and Cathedral) should also be included in your itinerary.

Apart from art and architecture, Málaga is characterised by its pleasant atmosphere, its unfailingly lively squares, its terraces, bars and superb restaurants. In many establishments, the Andalusian culinary tradition combines with modern techniques to produce once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

So, we hope you have your answer ready if you’re asked: “Shall we go to Málaga for a couple of days?”

Day 1 Day 2

Itinerary day 1

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Calle Larios

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.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga

Located in the Palacio de Villalón, this museum has a permanent collection of over 200 works, and is considered the country’s most complete collection of nineteenth-century Andalusian paintings. Julio Romero de Torres and Eugenio Lucas Velázquez are just two of the artists whose works are exhibited here. Other museums of interest include the Picasso Museum, the Centro Pompidou Málaga, the Málaga Centre of Contemporary Art (CAC), and the Russian Museum.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Cathedral

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.

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Taberna El Pimpi

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.

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Málaga’s Picasso Museum

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.

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Plaza de toros La Malagueta (La Malagueta Bullring)

If your stroll happens to take you past the Bullring, pause for a moment to gaze at this monumental arena built in 1876. It is Neo-Mudéjar in style, and has an unusual, sixteen-sided shape. You could also attend a bullfight if you are a fan—in August, the Bullring holds its most important event, the Feria Taurina (bullfighting festival). Inside the Bullring is the Museo Taurino [Museum of Bullfighting], which is open to the public.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

La Malagueta Beach

Thanks to its proximity to both the city and the port, this is one of the most popular beaches with the residents of Málaga. It is over a kilometre long and 45 metres wide. It provides every facility required by bathers: showers, hammock hire, floating platforms, beach bars—and, in summer, it even has a cinema.

9:30 PM - 11:00 PM

Figón de Juan Restaurant

This restaurant, one of the city’s classic establishments, enjoys a central location. Its traditional décor is in perfect harmony with its menu, which gives prominence to Andalusian dishes and the finest market cuisine. You cannot go wrong if you order the salted fish, fried anchovies, oxtail, or Antoñita’s famous rice pudding.

Itinerary day 2

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

The Alcazaba

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.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Roman Theatre

This theatre, along with the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro Castle, is the finest archaeological complex in Málaga. Built during the time of Augustus I (first century BC), it remained in use until the third century AD. Consult the cultural programme to check whether your visit coincides with a performance here.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Gibralfaro Castle

This fortress is the result of several reconstructions and extensions undertaken by Abd al-Rahman III and the Nasrid King Yusuf I. In the interpretation centre, located in the former gunpowder store, you can trace its history. Don’t forget to allow time to enjoy the panoramic views of the bay of Málaga.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Óleo Restaurant

This pleasant restaurant is located in Málaga’s Centre of Modern Art, so it’s the perfect place to eat if you are visiting the Centre later. You can have traditional tapas with a creative touch, or you can opt for sushi. If the weather is good, you can sit out on the terrace.

3:45 PM - 7:00 PM

Málaga Centre of Contemporary Art

Housed in a former wholesale market, Málaga’s Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC) has a superb collection of modern works by both Spanish and international artists. Canvases on display include those by Juan Muñoz, Tony Cragg and Signar Polke. Make sure to allow enough time to take in the temporary exhibitions.

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The port of Málaga

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

José Carlos García Restaurant

This prestigious restaurant with a Michelin star is run by José Carlos García. This chef offers original dishes based on seasonal ingredients. You will need to book in advance.

Day 1 Day 2