This past weekend was a weekend of firsts for me; first time travelling alone, spending the weekend somewhere by myself, and the first time staying in a hostel. And, to my surprise, it wasn’t half bad!
After spending 2 weeks in Sevilla, I decided to stick to my Year Abroad Bucket List promise and go travelling somewhere different. I chose Málaga after my friend Verity had recommended it to me and it was only a 2.5 hour train ride away from Sevilla, so it seemed kind of perfect. I had a lot of preconceptions about Málaga as a city, so I thought I would take a visit to see what I made of it. I ended up booking my hostel through a company called HostelWorld and stayed out Lights Out Hostel, the second best rated hostel in the city. For €17 a night with breakfast and free sangria on the roof terrace every evening, I couldn’t complain!
So, here are my favourite things to do in Málaga:
- The Beach! One of the main reasons I went to Málaga was to go to the beach. Here in Sevilla, the one thing I am missing is a little bit of sea and sand. Compared to Barcelona for example, it was actually quite quiet and there were loads of places to sit without feeling like you were in anyones personal space. The view from where I was sat (see photo on the right) was beautiful and I ended up spending about 10 hours there over my weekend. It definitely helped that men were walking up and down the beach selling cans of ice-cold Cruzcampo for €1.
- Picasso Museum! Entry is €5 for students, or €7 normally, and an audio guide is included in that price. This museum contained a lot of Picasso’s earlier works and the audio guide explained a lot of his earlier influences and thought processes, with an in-depth section of identity in regards to his self-portraiture. Although it certainly not the most extensive collection of his work, it’s definitely worth a visit.
- Alcazaba of Málaga! Built in the 11th century, it is the best-preserved Alcazaba in Spain (essentially an old, Arabic fortress). It was €0.60 to enter if you’re a student and although it was essentially just a walk through some gardens with some old brick wallks surrounding them, it was very very pretty and hence why I’ve included it!
Mirador Gibralfaro / Castillo Gibralfaro! On top of a very, very high hill (I wanted to call it a mountain, but upon research, it is in fact just a hill), there is Gibralfaro Castle. On the way up to said castle, you pass Mirador Gibralfaro, a viewpoint from where you can see the port, the harbour and the majority of the south facing side of the city. These two were by far the most impressive sites of Málaga, just for the views alone. Upon a little bit more research, a lot of people flock to Mirador Gibralfro to watch the sunset, which I can only imagine would look incredible. Standing at about 430m tall, the views from the castle were incredible also, no matter what time of day. After paying the €0.60 to enter the castle, you can see all around the city. Do make sure you wear trainers when you go though, the slopes up to it are extremely steep and I did in fact slide down a few on the way back down.
Just incase that wasn’t enough, here are some other random shots I got from random walks around the city:
Although I had a great time in Málaga, I was definitely put off by one thing in particular. From the moment I left my centrally located hostel, I could instantly feel the effects of tourism on the town. Having come Sevilla, there was definitely a stark contrast in the overall feel of the city. The streets of central Málaga were filled with English, French, American, German and Chinese tourists to the point where I don’t actually think I heard Spanish spoken once on the streets. As a result of so much tourism, English was the ‘go-to’ language for many staff in restaurants and shops and also, overall prices in restaurants appeared to have been affected by companies wanting to exploit foreign visitors. All the restaurants, that I saw anyway, clearly catered to tourists and only tourists. To be fair, I’m sure there are other less touristy parts of Málaga but I just didn’t see them. I was only there for 3 days so centred my weekend on where all the main attractions are, so didn’t have chance to travel properly throughout the city. My advice to you, if you wanted to visit, would be to go for a bit longer and to try to explore a lot more of Málaga, the parts where tourists don’t go to.
I’m heading off to Cádiz next weekend so there’ll be another blog post up soon enough. See ya!