Oh Malaga…it was fun!

It was the beginning of 2017 and the middle of a very grey winter in Brussels. It was the right time to make some changes. I pulled out a map of Spain, closed my eyes and blindly pointed my finger to an unknown location… When I opened my eyes I saw that Malaga is going to be a place where I am going to start an early summer.

I have been struggling with learning Spanish for a while now and I just really wanted and needed to take it to the next level. So, why not, I thought to myself, going somewhere in Spain, spending a month, doing an intense course and discovering a new place? I could not name one reason not to go…
It has been a month now, since I am back, and even though I could still not write this blog fluently in Spanish, but my mother in law recognized a significant improvement. And that’s what counts at the end of the day…
This blog is about Malaga, the city, the museums and the life in it. Definitely worth a read for anyone who’s planning a trip there.

Overview:

Malaga lives and breathes tourism, so the city is very well connected with the rest of Europe. Only 3 hours away from Brussels, and about 4 from the North of Europe.
Malaga is big enough for one to merge in the crowds of people, especially during the Semana Santa, but feels small enough to walk everywhere on foot. It basically feels like the city is one big street with some neighborhoods up the hill. Or at least this is what I was able to discover in my 4 week stay.
Malaga is a good starting or ending point if you are here to discover the beautiful beaches on Costa del Sol or Costa del Sol Oriental.
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Where to stay:

After careful consideration I ended up staying in Playa Pedregalejo, previously fisherman’s village, now part of the town, only 4 km away from the center. Life here does feel like a life in a village, one of the best city’s beach is just steps away. On weekends the seafront restaurants are crowded with big Spanish families having traditional, long Spanish lunch. Bust just after 5 in the afternoon, when families are off to siesta, 30+ people come out here for a cerveza or gin-tonic in the sun. However, as soon as the sun comes down, so does the people and Pedregalejo becomes again a family friendly zone, with more lively action continuing in center.

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Museums:
With more than 30 museums, Malaga is rightfully called the city of museums. No matter if you are into arts, history, cars… Malaga has a museum for you. I only managed to visit a small bunch of them, but here are my recommendations:
Carmen Thyssen Museum – a beautiful collection of Andalusian painters.
CAC Malaga Contemporary Art Center – a free museum, with a mind-blowing temporary exhibition by Jia Aili, when I visited it.
I haven’t visited myself but I’ve heard that Colección del Museo Ruso is an impressive place to visit.

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Other things to do:
After the lunch on the beach and the walk around the historical center, once the sun starts coming down, I would recommend a stroll in Muelle Uno, a newly renovated port area.
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Then continue to the Soho Art District of Malaga to admire wall art…
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For a better view to Malaga from the top try the rooftops of Hotel by Marriott Malaga Palacio and Alcazaba Premium Hostel. Also, if you get a chance visit the roof of the cathedral.
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For the true Malaga feeling – visit El Pimpi, crowded with locals and tourist alike, this place is just too important to be missed and too beautiful not to have a glass of Rioja or Jerez inside.
For flamenco spectacle – Peña Juan Breva with shows on some week days and Saturdays. Call to book your seat!
For a Spanish course – Alhambra Instituto Internacional, just doesn’t get better than this.
The ugly beauty of Malaga:
So yes, Malaga is not the most beautiful place in Spain. Certain decisions by the city’s architects really struck me and many other visitors. But at this point the overall mixture of Morrish, medieval and 70s architecture is what is making this city unique. In the end, nobody is perfect!
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Malaga, I felt in love with you from the first sight!
I will be back!
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