Let me introduce you to Málaga, one of the oldest cities in the world. I’ll warn you now, this post is going to be a looooong one.
Málaga has quite the historic background. Here’s a short summary: It was founded by the Phoenicians around 770 BC and is said to be named after the the Phoenician word for “salt” due to the fish salted near the harbor. Later, it became part of the Roman Empire and was transferred into a confederated city. However, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was taken over by the Visigoths of the Byzantine Empire. The Visigoths ruled until the Umayyad Muslim conquest in 711. The Muslims continued their rule until 1487, when the city was taken over by Christian forces during the reconquista.
So, are you impressed with the city’s history yet?
Fun Fact: Pablo Picasso AND Antonio Banderas are from Málaga!
A little side note: My group and I and took classes at the Malaca Instituto, a well known Spanish School that has been around for 45 years! We took about 2 weeks worth of Spanish classes here, and I absolutely loved it! My Spanish teacher, Maria Jose, was so passionate about helping us with the language and was so enjoyable to be around.
During our free time, we would go to the pool or the beach. I’ll be honest with you, being able to go straight from class to the pool was the life! I miss this place so much already! The institute offered us a cooking class and a dancing class, both of which were so much fun!
Anyways, here are a few things I did during my time in Málaga and things I definitely recommend that you do:
- Visit the Teatro Romano de Malaga AND Alcazaba de Málaga
The Teatro Romano was built during the first century AD and is the oldest monument in the entire city. It used until the third century AD. After being abandoned for centuries, the Arabs used some of the rocks and materials from the theater to construct the fortress that stands above the theater. If you look closely, you can see some of the Roman columns throughout the fortress.
The Roman Theater was buried under piles of rubble and dirt for almost five centuries, and was not rediscovered until 1951. Archeologists discovered some clues to the Roman theater during the building of Casa de Cultura, and construction was discontinued.
More than half of the seating area has survived, as well as some of the marble slabs and the supports for the stage. It is so hard to imagine how old this theater is, and how it easily it could have continued to be ignored!
Just above the Teatro Romero is the Alcazaba de Málaga. Built in the early 11th century, it was used as a fortification which overlooks the port. Originally there were three inner walls inside of the Alcazaba, but today only two walls remain. It is the one of two Moorish fortresses in Spain, the other being the Castillo de Gibralfaro, which I’ll mention a little later in this post 🙂
The first defense wall was designed to slow a potential attack. Inside, there are a number of gardens you can get yourself lost in. I would recommend setting aside an hour or two to roam around the gardens. It’s honestly a picture perfect area, AND you get a perfect view of the port of Málaga!
The second wall contains more dwellings and patios. It served mostly as a defense from the Western side. Take your time through this area, enjoy the landscape and the architecture!
- Castillo de Gibralfaro
Built in 929 AD by the Cordoban Calif, Abd ar-Rahman I, this castle was built on top of a former Phoenician lighthouse. It sits more than 430 feet above elevation and sits on the foothill of the Montes de Málaga.
This castle is best known for King Fernando II and Isabel’s three month siege during the year of 1487. Long story short, after a failed surrender the Muslims of Málaga retreated to this castle. After months of battle and lack of food, the Muslims finally surrendered to Fernando. He then decided to condemn the group to either slavery or death, as punishment for prolonging the resistance.
This was my favorite historic site I visited in Málaga. I loved walking around the walls, and more importantly the beautiful view of the city! I definitely recommend stopping by this castle.
- Nightlife and Food- Clubs, Bars, and more!
- Two of my favorite clubs:
- Sala Gold
- My favorite bar: Bourbon Street
- My favorite restaurant in Málaga: No Piqui
- Two of my favorite clubs:
Clubs are interesting in Spain. There is a dress code for most (not too restrictive but notably different from the States) and most don’t get busy till around 4 AM. I’ve never been clubbing until this trip, and I gotta say… it’s pretty damn fun.
Bourbon Street Bar was a two minute walk from the Institute, but was our go to place on the week nights and especially before we went clubbing. Shoutout to Hugo, the owner, for the free shot cards 🙂
No Piqui- another close walk from my institute but literally my favorite restaurant in the entire city. I think I ate here at least 20 times during my time in Málaga.
Other things to do in Málaga:
- The beach! (No brainer of course)
- The Caminito Del Rey. See my post about it here!
- Shopping through the city center
- Walk through the Mercado Central de Atarazanas- A market with a bunch of tapas, drinks, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more!
Things I wasn’t able to visit during my time in Málaga but think are well worth a visit:
- Museo Picasso Malaga- The Picasso Museum! Also, see the house where he grew up
- The Cathedral of Málaga
- Noria de Málaga- Málaga’s Ferris Wheel
- Teatro Cervantes- A Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Hall
If you are still reading, YAY! Thanks so much for sticking around! I know this post was long, but I absolutely loved getting to know the city of Málaga and I had so much to say about it. I am so sad I had to leave so soon, but I know there is so much in store in Barcelona!
Have you been to Málaga before? Comment below! 🙂