How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
After spending a few weeks in Spain, I was ready for the beach. Malaga was a short drive from Sevilla and appealed to my desire for sun, sand and of course more tapas.
What was your itinerary?
Day 1: Arrived in Malaga, Palmeral de Las Sorpresas, Playa la Malagueta, Malaga Football Club
Day 2: Went to Castillo de Gibralfaro, Picasso museum
Day 3: Traveled to Mercado Central de Atarazanas
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
Day 1 – I took a ride share from Sevilla to Malaga. If you haven’t used BlaBlaCar, it’s a ride sharing app that often has very low cost options for traveling from one city to another. While it has its drawbacks, it is certainly worth it if you aren’t pressed for time. Plus, you get to meet some nice local people. Upon arriving in Malaga, I checked in at the hostel, The Lights. While there were plenty of nice people there and sufficient social opportunities, I found the dorm rooms to be in need of a serious update. I would later switch to a different hostel TOCHostel Malaga and this place fit the bill. First order of business was to hit up the beach. Make your way towards the Palmeral de Las Sorpresas, a groovy boardwalk that features stands selling local art and live street performers. I paused for a few different musical groups while walking by. Continuing on, you will find numerous restaurants and bars that face the harbor. There are countless great places to enjoy a drink and the view. I stopped in at the Atlantis Lounge Bar for an Aperol Spritz. Next, I was off to Playa la Malagueta. While it doesn’t have the beautiful white sand of other beaches, it is a beach and perfect for relaxing. Following the beach, I made my way to a local football (soccer) match! The Malaga Football Club, a second division Spanish team, hosted a lively crowd and made for a fun evening. After that, it was back to the hostel for a rooftop dinner and some drinks.
Day 2 – While I knew that I would quickly return to the beach, I needed to see some other parts of Malaga. The first thing on my list was the landmark Castillo de Gibralfaro. It is a Moorish castle and fortress from the 1300s! Tickets are super cheap for entry but you can go for free on Sunday after 2PM. It turns out that the majority of museums are free on Sunday in Malaga! Feel free to go crazy visiting the Picasso museum and other historical landmarks. Back to the castle, there is a substantial uphill walk to get there! Yet, this walk offers beautiful views of the harbor and the bull ring below. Continuing to the summit, you reach the castle and fortress! Walk around and enjoy the endless views of Malaga and the surrounding area. Heading back down the hill, I made my way closer to the hostel and ate lunch at Amaretto Trattoria Cocktail Bar. I had an oven fired pizza and another Aperol Spritz. While the pizza was just okay, their outdoor seating was enjoyable and even offered a view of the Easter processions taking place. These processions were fascinating! Men and maybe women were cloaked in white robes and white hoods (these do look way too similar to the hoods used by a certain racist group in the US). These groups will carry large floats or pasos that celebrate a religious figure like Mary, Jesus, or a saint. There is often incense in the air and groups playing music that accompany the floats. It is a spectacle! Following a brief rest at the hostel, I was back out for tapas! I walked to Bar La Tranca. There was a line to get in, which gave some good vibes! Most of the people, myself excluded, looked like locals. I got a spot at the bar and enjoyed some tapas, shrimp and sardines. Both were incredible! After that, it was back to the hostel for some sleep.
Day 3 – I started my day off at the Mercado Central de Atarazanas. You need to visit this place! It’s a beautiful covered market space that has countless vendors and tapas stands. Being relatively new to eating olives, I got a half kilo (about one pound) container of fresh olives to enjoy later at the beach. Enjoy all the different smells and sights there! I really needed a haircut and luckily I found a barber right next to the market. Paco Barea’s Barbershop is the place to go if you need a haircut in Malaga. Following this, it was back to the beach for more sun and sand. Before I hit the beach, I made a stop at an Aldi. Yes, the international grocery store from Germany. Why, you ask. One of the best discoveries that I made in Spain is that their orange juice is from another planet. It is easily the best tasting juice my mouth has ever consumed! It is fresh squeezed and the oranges must be from the gods themselves. Do not skip the OJ in Spain. I lounged at the beach for a bit then it was back for more tapas! I started at El Pimpi and snagged a spot at the bar. Flavorful olives were served to me with a glass of house made vermouth. I ordered boquerones en vinagre (fresh sardines in a mixture of vinegar and olive oil) and they were delicious! After el Pimpi, I walked to Casa Lola. There was a HUGE line here and I wondered if it was worth the wait. I managed to chat with the person taking down names for tables and mentioned I was a party of one. I was immediately shown in and taken to a spot at the bar! Score! There I observed the workers moving at lightning speed to fill drinks and run orders to tables. I ordered a house made vermouth, delicious. This was accompanied with croquetas, more olives, more boquerones en vinagre, and finally some jamon iberico. Wow. Smiling like a Cheshire cat, I returned to the hostel and lounged with some fellow travelers before calling it a night.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
The beach and overall vibe was absolutely wonderful. Malaga has a wonderful pace and incredible climate. In addition to that, the tapas bars were excellent.
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
Do your research on hostels! Their quality can greatly impact your stay. As well, make sure to take advantage of the free days for museums and other local attractions.
@shlarsen8 – (insta)
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