In Poland, Málaga is associated with the famous sweet wine and the Plaza de Toros, i.e. the bullring known from postcards. This Spanish city – the capital of the Costa del Sol, where Pablo Picasso was born – is much more than that. Even during a quick three-day trip, you will be surprised with the wealth of monuments and wonderful Mediterranean cuisine, while lovers of winter frenzy will find a paradise for themselves nearby.

Málaga – the second largest city in Andalusia – is one of those metropolises that do not overwhelm with their size. It has just over half a million inhabitants and is not very extensive, which means that you can get to know it quite well, spending there only a few dozen hours.

Day one: The most important monuments

Unsurprisingly, we will spend the first day in Málaga on short reconnaissance and the most important monuments. Rome has its Colosseum, while Málaga – the ruins of the Roman Theatre (Teatro Romano di Malaga), as the Romans were also present in this part of the Iberian Peninsula. This theatre was built in the 1st century BC and operated until the third century. It is even more worth visiting as that admission is free, and you can take beautiful photos, both during the day and at night, when the architectural details of the theatre and the nearby Alcazaba are emphasized by carefully designed lighting.

The Alcazaba fortress (from the Arabic al-qasbah – citadel) was built by the Moors in the 11th century on the Gibralfaro hill. In the 14th century, the fortress was connected with the castle built at that time and restored after the First World War. Today it is a must-see spot during a trip to Málaga. A walk from the ruins of the theatre takes less than half an hour up hill. However, your effort will be rewarded with unforgettable views of the city. You can also see the interior of the castle for a small fee.

It would not be a city tour without seeing the cathedral. The cathedral in Málaga was built in late Renaissance, although the façade has also some traces of the Baroque. It was built in the years 1528-1782 on the site of a mosque. “La Manquita”, or “One-handed” as the locals call it, is located within the boundaries of Arab walls and, together with the nearby Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle, is part of the entire architectural ensemble. You may ask why “One-handed”? The answer is that it its southern tower was never completed. What’s more, the facade also has not been completely finished. Before you pay a visit, check the opening hours on the website – they vary depending on the month.

You do not need to hurry when going to Del Oeste Park. It is best to take a bus there, although a long walk (almost an hour from the centre) along the sea is also a good idea. This park, arranged 41 years ago as an answer of the city authorities to the lack of green spaces in the western part of the metropolis, consists of 800 trees, a large lake and 45 sculptures by the German artist Stefan von Reiswitz, who chose Málaga as his home. The sculptures are a bit surreal, and one of the favourite and most famous among them is one showing a woman with… an anteater.

Cathedral in Malaga, Andalusia
Old town – Malaga, Andalusia

Cityscape, Malaga

Day 2: Art and cuisine

The capital of the Costa del Sol is the place where Pablo Picasso was born, a fact that you will not forget about in Málaga. The famous Spanish artist has his museum there (Museo Picasso Malaga), and in one of the squares you can visit the house where he spent his childhood (Casa Natal de Picasso, Plaza de la Merced). The museum itself is not yet 20 years old (it has been operating since 2003) and is located in the Renaissance Palacio de Buenavista. Its collection consists of over 200 works – paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from the private collection of two members of the artist’s family: Christina Ruiz-Picasso and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso.

Art lovers should visit Center Pompidou Málaga, the first museum outside of France under the Center Pompidou brand. The first museum was established in 1977 in Paris on the initiative of the then French president, Georges Pompidou. The museum in Málaga has been operating for 6 years in the port of Muelle Uno, and its modern, glass, cube-shaped building itself is intriguing. The museum’s permanent collections include over 80 works by authors such as Picasso, Bacon, Frida Khalo and Giacometti. The temporary exhibition “From Miró to Barceló. A century of Spanish art” is open until February 6.

Soho, an artistic district, created on the initiative of the inhabitants, is located nearby the port. This is where street art fans will find something for themselves – from large graffiti painted on the walls of tall buildings (the works of artists such as Obey or D*face), to smaller, but equally intriguing paintings. It is best to explore the district on foot, with a camera or a phone in hand –the photos will be truly interesting.

Day two in Málaga is a time spent with art, and what is cuisine if not art. Andalusian cuisine consists largely of fish, seafood and cold soups. Have you ever tried ajoblanco or salmorejo? The former is a cold soup from almonds, olive oil and garlic, served with white grapes, while the latter is made of fresh tomatoes, stale bread, olive oil and garlic. Strong Arab influences are visible in the cuisine – Aleksandra Lipczak in the book “Lajla means night” about Andalusia writes: “What was not there in Spain before the year 711: rice, oranges, lemons, sugar, pepper, garlic, eggplant…” – and the list goes on up to dulce de leche. All these fruits, vegetables (there are also pickles made of tiny eggplants), spices and fish can be found at the famous Mercado Central de Atarazanas market. It is an iconic place and one of the main attractions of Málaga, which does not mean that you will not meet locals doing their daily shopping there. Is there a better place to get to know the city, its culture and customs, than the local market? The market makes an impression from the outside, as the body of the building – with its 19th-century architecture – consists of a stone arch from the 14th century, which is a piece that is left from a Nasrid shipyard. Besides, the very name “Atrazanas” means a place where ships are repaired. Later, the building was used as a warehouse, arsenal, barracks and even a hospital, only to become a strategic point again when it reopened in 2010, but this time on the culinary map.

Center Pompidou, Malaga 

Sardines baked on a typical Spanish boat-shaped grill

Day 3: Let’s go skiing!

On the third day, we offer you… a ski trip. Sierra Nevada National Park is located just over 150 kilometres from the sea, and from its peaks (the highest, such as Mulhacen and Veleta, are well over 3000 tall) you can even see Morocco. It is a paradise for skiers, as you can ski there from November to May, for example in Pradollano. The town of this name itself, lying at an altitude of over 2,000 meters, is the highest urban agglomeration in Spain, while the station is the southernmost ski resort in Europe. On the same day, after returning to the coast, the more courageous ones can do some splashing around in the sea, as the water in Costa del Sol in winter is often warmer than in the Baltic Sea in summer.

Ski slopes of Pradollano ski resort in Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain
Caminito del Rey
Caminito del Rey

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CAC - Contemporary Art Centre of Malaga. It is located in the old market square and exhibits works by Juan Muñoz, Tony Cragg and Sigmar Polke.

Plaza de Toros

Plaza de Toros, or bullring – a place known from postcards from Málaga. Built in 1874, after reconstruction, it can accommodate 9 000 spectators; there is a museum documenting the six centuries of bullfighting history.

Caminito del Rey

Caminito del Rey, a picturesque eight-kilometre route near Málaga for people without fear of heights, as you walk on footbridges built over ravines at a height of over 100 meters.


Antigua Casa de Guardia

Antigua Casa de Guardia is the oldest winery in Málaga – it is 181 years old. It has retained its old decor, customs and atmosphere. You can try different types of famous Málaga there.

El Pimpi

El Pimpi – a must-see place on the Málaga culinary map. Such famous figures as the Picasso family and Carmen Thyssen dined here. Today the restaurant belongs to Antonio Banderas. Both amateurs of fish (deep-fried anchovies, typical of the local cuisine) and carnivores (fancy, thinly sliced local ham) will feel satisfied.


In Málaga, you must try espetos, sardines grilled on a sugar cane stick. They are said to taste best in the months with the letter "r": enero, febrero, marzo, abril, septembre, octubre and dicembre. What’s your decision? Have you already booked tickets for the autumn/winter espetos trip? A tip: the best ones are served at beach bars.

Picasso Tapas Bar

Picasso Tapas Bar – Andalusia means tapas, while Málaga means Picasso, so there is no better place for this culinary pleasure in this city. Although tapas (tapa - a cover, a lid in Spanish; apparently the first tapa was a slice of jamón serrano ham placed on a glass of wine) can be found all over Spain, it is in this part that serving miniature snacks to a glass of drink has become a real art.