Our writers share their top tips for making the most of your time in Malaga.
We also delve into local legends and curiosities about the city and take a look at everyday life in Spain…
Why’s there an obelisk in Plaza de la Merced?
Anyone who has visited Plaza de la Merced will have doubtless spotted the enormous obelisk located right in its centre. However, you may be surprised to find out that it actually sits atop a mass grave. It contains the remains of General José María de Torrijos y Uriarte, and 48 others, who were put to death after leading an ill-fated expedition to overthrow King Ferdinand VII of Spain in 1831. Who was Ferdinand VII? In 1813, Ferdinand VII was restored […]
Semana Santa: Easter in Malaga
Semana Santa (Holy Week, or simply Easter Week in English) is not just a religious festival, it’s a deep-rooted tradition dating back centuries. This week-long event brings together whole communities and has in recent decades become a major tourist attraction, especially in the major cities in the south of Spain, such as Malaga and Seville. In Malaga during this week, the city is paralysed by religious fervour. So if you’re counting on getting around without problems, or expecting to have […]
The 4 best bookshops in Malaga (and 1 in Fuengirola)
The vibrant, diverse landscape and culture of Malaga and its surrounding area has long attracted visits from great authors seeking inspiration, including the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote in his travel memoir In Spain, published in English in 1870, that “in none of the Spanish towns have I been so happy, so entirely at home, as here in Malaga”. Nowadays, Malaga is full of places to sit for a while with a good book, whether […]
February 28th: Día de Andalucía, a celebration of regional identity
Every year, Día de Andalucía (Andalucía Day) is celebrated on February 28th. The day marks the anniversary of the 1980 referendum in which the people voted for the region of Andalucía to become an Autonomous Community of Spain. It’s marked by a number of official events and distinctions, including the naming of Hijos Predilectos (Favourite Children) and awarding Medallas de Andalucía (Medals of Andalucía), for local-born personalities and community organisations. Seville, the focal point As to be expected, much of […]
Malaga Carnival, the first big party of the year
After the Christmas and Kings’ festivities are out of the way, we have to wait until around mid-February for the next big party of the year in Malaga. That said, it’s a big one. Like in many towns and cities across Spain, the Carnaval de Málaga is a big deal – a week-long celebration filled with music and colour. Much like Holy Week, the date of the carnival changes every year. In this case, it falls on the week before […]
Día de Reyes: The day the Three Kings come bearing Christmas presents in Spain
The Christmas festivities in Spain don’t officially come to a close until January 6th when Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings or Wise Men) come from the East bearing gifts. It’s a national holiday in Spain (yes, another!) and is definitely the most popular among children as this is when they receive their holiday gifts. Although many families will also now give gifts on Christmas Day, Día de Reyes is when the biggest, most-anticipated presents arrive. Cabalgata de Reyes Across […]
November 1st: Día de Todos los Santos, Spain’s Day of the Dead
Across much of the Latin world, November 1st is a massive occasion. Día de Todos los Santos (or All Saints’ Day in English) directly follows Halloween and is a public holiday in Spain. It’s a day when families and individuals remember those who have died; one during which cemeteries across the country fill up with those who wish to pay a visit to their loved ones’ final resting places. In some cases, especially if the person has recently died, or […]
October 12th: Fiesta Nacional, Spain’s controversial National Day
October 12th marks the Fiesta Nacional of Spain, a national holiday that commemorates the exact date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492. Previously known as Día de la Hispanidad (or Hispanic Day), this is one of Spain’s two biggest national holidays (along with Constitution Day on December 6th) and events are broadcast on national television and radio. In Madrid, the King of Spain supervises the raising of the national flag and presides over the massive […]
Feria de Málaga, the biggest party of the year
Anyone who has been in Andalucía will have heard about the Feria de Málaga – the largest summer fair in southern Europe. This week-long party, which happens in the middle of August, brings normal city life to a stand-still. If you need to run errands, forget it. A five-minute walk will become 45 minutes, and when you get there, chances are it will be closed. In 2022, this week of fun begins on Friday night, 12 August, at both La Malagueta […]
Noche de San Juan: bonfires and a midnight dip in the sea
On the night of 23 June every year the Malaga coast is lit up, both literally and metaphorically, as thousands of people head to the beaches to enjoy the Noche de San Juan (Saint John’s Eve). This festival, which marks the beginning of the summer, is full of pagan rituals centred around fire and, of course, water. As part of the festivities, you have to jump three times over one of the blazing bonfires which are seen for miles along the […]
For the love of coffee! The 5 best specialty coffee spots in Malaga
I don’t know about you, but for me, a visit to a new city is never truly complete until I discover at least one coffee brewery. One of those places where the city opens up to you. Where the friendly owner chats away about the best coffees in the world. A modern space with organic design, kinda hipsterish, if you may. Jazzy tunes coming out of the old gramophone. A magical aroma of freshly brewed coffee is filling the whole […]
The origins of Malaga’s peculiar system for ordering coffee
When learning Spanish, when it comes to ordering coffee, you might be familiar with “café con leche” or “café solo”. However, once in Malaga, some new phrases like “corto” (short), “sombra” (shadow) or “mitad” (half) get thrown into the mix. At first, these confuse foreigners and non-Malagueños alike. That’s because this system is unique to Malaga. Go outside of the city and few will know what you’re talking about! Hopefully this video can make it all clear for you. Café Central, […]
Malaga’s evolving vegetarian and vegan scene
Malaga has come a long way in the last decade when it comes to restaurants and eateries catering for vegetarians and vegans. There were few vegetarians in Malaga when El Calafate first opened its doors in 2010. It became one of the first eateries in Malaga to have no meat on the menu. In fact, this gap in the market was the primary reason they began their business. “In principle, we make vegetarian versions of traditional Spanish food,” says Javier […]
What causes the ‘taró’ fog that closes Malaga’s beaches every summer?
If you’ve been in Malaga in the summer, you’re quite likely to have experienced ‘el taró‘ at least once. Taró is a type of dense fog or mist that is especially common between Malaga and Ceuta during August, producing a notable drop in temperature of between 4 and 5 °C. However, unlike coastal fog in other locations, it doesn’t always disappear by midday. Taró usually occurs on the hottest days of the year when the cold water from the Atlantic […]
Atarazanas market, a former Arab shipyard
Nowadays, Atarazanas is a marketplace and a major hub of activity in Malaga city centre. However, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, when it was first built in the 14th century, the city was very different. Large parts as we know it today (Paseo del Parque, Muelle Uno…) were underwater, and the sea shore came right up to where Atarazanas market is today. The building’s original use, therefore, was as a shipyard (Atarazanas means ‘shipyard’ in Arabic). The massive […]
How to survive the Terral
The Terral is coming… Are you prepared?! Temperatures around 40 degrees might sound like heaven, but this dry wind makes for an especially unpleasant time so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Keep your house cool There won’t be much respite outside, so make sure your home is Terral-proof by closing all your windows and blinds so that your place stays cool. While you came to Spain for the wonderful sunshine, that sun is what’s going to bring the heat […]
The (in)famous Terral wind
If you’ve been in Malaga during the summer, the chances are that you’ve experienced the dreaded Terral. Temperatures shoot up and the dry heat makes it feel like you’re in an oven. But what is it exactly? Many think, given Malaga’s proximity to Africa, that this is a phenomenon that comes from the Sahara. However, that’s not true. In fact, the Terral is a wind that comes from the north-west and heats up significantly on its journey south until arriving […]
What’s so ‘noble’ about the Hospital Noble?
If you’ve lived in Malaga for some time, you’ll have passed this building hundreds of times. Located beside the Fuente de las Tres Gracias roundabout, from which you can get spectacular views of the Alcazaba, is the Hospital Noble. You’ve probably never been inside because these days the building houses council offices. So why is it called a hospital? And what’s so noble about it? Well, once upon a time it was indeed a hospital. And it was built between […]
Why is there a ‘German bridge’ in Malaga?
Anyone crossing the Guadalmedina river, heading from the city centre out west, is likely to have crossed the Puente de los Alemanes (Bridge of the Germans). But have you ever wondered how it got its name? The story begins on 16 December 1900, when a frigate belonging to the Imperial German Navy, the SMS Gneisenau, crashed into the harbour breakwater. The Gneisenau was a training ship which was sent with a crew of 470 men to pick up a diplomat. […]
Why does Malaga Airport have the code AGP?
If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll be familiar with the concept of airport codes. Normally they are based on the letters of the city’s name. For example, AMS is Amsterdam, Madrid is MAD, Barcelona is BCN, Brussels is BRU… So why then is Malaga AGP? It really doesn’t follow any pattern. It probably comes as little surprise to hear that there are several colourful urban legends about the origins of the code. Some of them are more popular than the […]