Back in May whilst I was travelling around Gdansk in Poland, Adam booked us two return flights with Easyjet to Malaga for November. Firstly as they were a fantastic deal and secondly because that’s the kind of lovely person he is! Always super supportive of my travel blog, to which I am thankful. When we discussed accommodation, he happily booked a place we had been to see a year earlier on a Boxing Day trip to the city, called Dulces Dreams. It was a small hotel, very central to everything and cheap. Our booking was confirmed and we began planning our trip.
Mid November arrived and we flew to southern Spain from Newcastle airport, which is always nice as we don’t often get to fly out of our city airport that much. On arrival in Malaga we had pre organised a transfer with Dulces Dreams and our driver was waiting, you can also take the train to the city centre, we booked this out of ease and it cost 25 euros. Twenty minutes later we were guided into the hotel and after a quick check in, walked upstairs to our room. Dulces Dreams meaning sweet dreams, is described as a boutique hostel with 8 rooms in total, underneath the rooms is an artisan bakery which is great for breakfast, a snack or drinks. Six of the rooms are over two floors with the final two located above and a rooftop on the top floor, these rooms have their own private bathrooms and the others share a shower room and separate toilet. Now I didn’t realise that Adam had booked us a room with a shared bathroom until just before we went (cue argument). However I am pleased to say it wasn’t what I suspected and there was no fear of showering with others, as there was lots of space and I never once used the bathroom with another person. We paid 44 euros per night for us both and it was a bargain for it’s location alone. Our room was simple yet modern, with a small balcony onto the street below, comfortable for the four nights we stayed here. The staff were friendly and we had a code to use on the door for coming in at night as you entered through the cafe that closed around 9 pm. I would happily recommend Dulces Dreams, but have to raise one issue of noise that we had. On our first night due to its very central location and local nightclubs close by, we never slept at all. We did mention this to the staff the next day and they did say it was a problem they are striving to solve. We were given ear plugs and an apology, we slept on all our remaining nights but I feel it’s only right I inform you all of my experience honestly.
I was very excited to explore Malaga, as I had only ever visited briefly before and I knew it had much to offer. It is a bustling city with a real energy about it, the shame is most people myself included never actually stay here long enough to explore. This trip was about to change all of that. I had done some pre reading and spoke to a few lovely travel bloggers before we came and I was armed with a few tips and pointers about the city. Big thanks to Lazy Trips especially, as their tips proved invaluable for food and drink.
We certainly packed a lot into our trip, as we always do, the laid back approach just doesn’t seem to suit us… Armed with a map and comfortable footwear we set off to discover more about Malaga. Then wandered the port and took in all the cruise ships and luxury yachts that had birthed. Witnessed the lighthouse, La Farola in the marina and beach on the opposite side called Malagueta. On the port, slightly set back is a brightly coloured cube which is the Centre Pompidou, a contemporary art museum. Adam then spied a viewpoint way up above the city, the people were like dots in the distance, so yes you guessed it we walked right up there. To Castillo Gibralfaro, after a slight hike we reached the viewpoint and a musician playing Spanish music, it felt like a celebration or an achievement for making it up there in one piece!! But oh my the views were worth every step, you could see for days as they say. The city, the coastline and the port right in front of you. The famous La Malagueta bullring was to the left of us and it is getting refurbished as I write. From the viewpoint we could see the ruins of Castillo Gibralfaro so we decided to walk up and see what there was to discover. You could pay 3 euros to enter the museum and walk through the grounds, which we did and afterwards there is a cafe, where we sat and enjoyed a local beer named Victoria. I throughly enjoyed myself and really recommend you visit too.
Picasso has always been a favoured artist of mine, I had been to the Picasso Museum in Malaga last year and loved it. But I had found out whilst here that you could visit his family home, Casa Natal Picasso, so we set out to go and see it for ourselves. He was born here in 1881. Situated on the corner of Plaza de la Mercad, we entered and paid 3 euros each and were given an audio guide. This talked us around a gallery of prints downstairs and the home upstairs. No photos were allowed in the house. It was an absolute joy to learn more about the man himself, rather than his famous persona, his family and their happy existence in Malaga together. This is a ‘must’ if you come to the city and when you walk outside cross the road into the square in front of you and sit on the bench with the man himself, or at least a figure of Picasso. Adam, not a real art lover himself really enjoyed visiting and happily surprised himself. From here a short walk away is the Roman theatre, Teatro Romano. Definitely worth seeing as it is the oldest monument in Malaga and it was used up until the third century, its origins date back to the reign of Augustus. It is well preserved and highly impressive.
Another Picasso find was by the tourist information at Plaza de la Marina, there was pop up exhibition of his famous Guernica artwork and the story behind it, this was free to enter and very informative. As this year is the 80 th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica.
If sport is your passion like Adam, a tour of Malaga Football Club is perfect for you. We took a local bus to the stadium of Malaga CF, called La Rosaleda known as ‘The Rose Garden’ and were dropped across the road from it. It cost 10 euros each to enter. The tours are on the hour, most hours of each day. There was 7 people in our group with the guide, we were shown around the club including the trophy cabinet, changing rooms and the VIP section, plus the pitch. We were given a brief history and plenty information on the team, I even enjoyed it myself.
A ride on the big wheel called the Mirador Princess, is a fun idea. We took a ride and it lasted 20 minutes, with three turns of the wheel and lots of great views from above. It’s not for the faint hearted that’s for sure. It cost 10 euros per person and is open from 11 am till 12 am daily.
One real highlight was Malaga market, named Mercado Central de Atarazanas. Open from 8 am till 3 pm daily, bar a Sunday. We went to go for lunch on our last day and to discover what delicious foodie options it had on offer! I was instantly reminded of La Boqueria in Barcelona. You could explore the fresh fish, meats, fruit and vegetables all in separate areas then kindly reward yourself with a glass of cava or a beer with your freshly cooked lunch at the end. Now what’s not to like about that. We dined on giant prawns cooked in garlic and oil, paella and Spanish eggs. Delicious, a real favourite of mine to see and visit.
Along with everywhere I have mentioned Malaga is home to a wealth of museums, with over 30 to choose from, or if relaxing is more your thing to do don’t despair, there are endless cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy and people watch till your heart is content. We had a couple of favourites I want to point out and highly recommend, La Tranca bar is an authentic Spanish bar with the most fabulous atmosphere. Great for drinks and tapas, lovely staff and a bill that’s given to you in chalk written on the bar in front of you. What an experience, we went several times. For beautiful food in a one of a kind restaurant head to El Tapeo de Cervantes, pre booking is advised as its not a huge place and it’s very popular. Their menu is full of delicious tapas, I am licking my lips just thinking about it. For a drink with a view go to the AC Hotel by Marriott Malaga Palacio on the harbourfront, their roof top is terrific for that perfect panoramic view with a cocktail in hand.
We throughly enjoyed our trip and I hope this blog post has given you a taster of what Malaga is about and how much you can see and do here. Overall this city is a terrific place to take a break, climate wise it is good to visit year round. We had a pleasant temperature of 18 to 20 degrees and wandered around in summer clothing, a jacket was needed at night when it cooled down. I would definitely recommend 3 days as the perfect amount of time to see the city, as we went to Granada on one of our days, which is easy to get to on the bus (see previous blog post). I would certainly say miss Malaga at your peril as it really does have much to offer, other than a transfer hub for cruises and flights. Go and see for yourself!