Malaga is not a typical tourist resort like many of the other towns along the Costa del Sol. There is a beach in Malaga but it is not of superior quality. If you're looking for a beach holiday, you should stay in Fuengirola, Marbella or Torremolinos and take a day trip to Malaga.
Málaga provides however a wonderful insight into the Spanish city life and culture. By walking into the heart of the city you quickly realize that this is an old city. The old town as it stands today was mainly built by the Moors - the Arab invaders who had control over the Iberian Peninsula for over 700 years. The Moorish period has had a major impact on the Spanish language and culture and many Spanish words and names of cities comes from the Arab period.
Spanish cuisine is famous for it's use of fresh produce as a lot of all vegetables and fruits distributed all over Europe comes from Spain. You will also find a lot of fish restaurants in Malaga.
A good tip is to look for restaurants where a lot of spanish families are eating, especially after 9 pm.
On a hill above the town is a small castle called Castillo de Gibralfaro with views over the city and the park. Just below the castle is the Alcazaba which is a Moorish palace with Arabic gardens, fountains, a relaxing atmosphere and plenty of viewpoints over the city. The palace was originally equipped with a souk, a hammam and a harem. While wandering around the Alcazaba you can almost imagine what it was like 700 years ago when the Arab sultans reigned.
If you look up in the treetops you may be lucky enough to spot some of the wild parrots that live in Malaga.
Down at the foot of the Alcazaba a Roman theater has been discovered. It has been excavated and partially reconstructed.
Malaga was Picasso's birthplace and there is a Picasso museum, which exhibits many of his original works.
Malaga is a city with lots of cultural events and there are several theaters in the city that hosts plays, dance performances and concerts.
There is an Arab Bath - Hammam - in the old city where you can pamper yourself with one of the many spa treatments offered.
Malaga football club plays in the Spanish league and this gives you the opportunity to to watch Malaga play against Real Madrid or Barcelona. A great experience even for those not interested in football.
The Fair in Malaga is the most spectacular annual event, held in August filling the entire city of Malaga with happy people dressed in their finest flamenco outfits. The Fair opens with a concert on the city beach and the entertainment is provided by top international artists. During daytime the celebration takes place in the old city, while in the evening celebration takes place on the fairground where there is a giant amusement park for the occasion.
Christmas in Malaga . The most beautiful Christmas street in Spain is probably in the center of Malaga. If you are on the Costa del Sol in December, you should definitely get to Malaga and enjoy the shopping street, Calle Larios at its most beautiful.
There are dozens of narrow side streets that zigzag away from Calle Larios. The side streets are also full of small tapas bars, cozy shops and restaurants.
El Corte Ingles is located near the train station in Malaga city center and is Spain's largest shopping mall chain. It has several floors of clothing stores, gift shops, electric articles, sports articles and anything else you can dream of in a mall. If you are curious to try good food and national specialties, you should pay a visit to the delicacy shop in El Corte Ingles.