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Málaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, is home to 550,000 residents and is a marvelous city for visiting and sightseeing. Its wide array of activities and interesting features will have you begging for more. The port area is comprised of ancient streets and gorgeous foliage, and at the center of the city is a mass of high-rises and government buildings.
The climate of Málaga is subtropical, and the region averages 324 days of sunshine every year. The Plaza de Merced, cathedrals and museums of Málaga make it a remarkable site for studying the history and culture of Spain. The coastline that borders the city is magnificent, and it creates a wonderful backdrop to the ancient land.
Here are the major cruise lines with ships that visit Malaga:
The Plaza de la Marina is located in the center of the city and is a great place to experience the sights and wonders of Málaga. The illuminated fountain and outdoor cafes create a wonderful ambiance and a romantic setting that is unique to the area. The Málaga bullring, La Malagueta, was built in 1874 and stands only blocks from the Plaza. Peer inside and let your mind run wild, full of images of old-time matadors and bulls fighting it out, with a roaring crowd in the background.
The Mercado de Atarazanas is probably the most colorful and vast market in Andalusía. You will no doubt want to bring your camera to the Mercado to record this culturally splendid meeting place.
The Cathedral of Málaga, located on the site where a mosque once stood, is a Renaissance-style edifice that has a tremendous story behind it. The south tower still remains unfinished, and there are rumors to why it remains in that state. Visit the fascinating cathedral located on Calle Molina Larios (952/215-917), and discover the mystery and adventure for yourself.
The Fundación Picasso (952/600-215) is an art history library and a tribute to the brilliant artist. Several pieces of ceramics and sculpture can be found here as well, and exhibits of various art and memorabilia comprise the ground floor of this interesting structure.
The Moorish Alcazaba is located on Alcazabilla (952/225-106), down the street from the Plaza de la Merced. What is believed to be the greatest monument in Málaga was built in the 11th century, at a time when Málaga was the main port in the Moorish kingdom. The inner palace, built in 1060, is beautifully crafted. After conquering Málaga in 1487, Ferdinand and Isabella lived in the Alcazaba for a short while. Orange trees and bougainvillea surround these enchanting ruins, and from the top of the building, you have a tremendous view of the port and nearby parks.
The Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares (Museum of Popular Arts & Customs) is located at Pasillo de Santa Isabel 10 (952/217-137) and is an outstanding arts and crafts museum. Horse-drawn carriages, ancient agricultural implements, a bakery, old grape presses, and Malagueno sculptures and ceramics are just some of the extraordinary sights inside the museum.
The Corte Ingles, located at Avenida de Andalucía 4-6 (952-076-800), is the best place for shopping in Málaga. This extensive department store offers interpreters, VAT refunds, shipping for all items that you may purchase, and even currency exchange.
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Málaga (952-125-003), located at Muelle de Canovas. Taxis and buses will be waiting to take you to your destination.
Málaga is served by a city bus system that can take you around the region affordably and efficiently. You can take taxis around Málaga, and if you can't hail one from the street, call Taxi Unión Sociedad Coóperativa Andaluza (952-040-804) and they'd be happy to pick you up. If you want to rent a car while in Málaga, contact J.J.A. Autopro (952-176-030) for an affordable and reliable automobile.
Documents: U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport.
Tipping: In Spain, it’s common to tip around 10% in restaurants. This is in addition to any service charge that may appear on the bill. Tipping needs to be done in cash, not on a credit card. For taxi drivers, a 10% tip is also fine. Usually, you round up the charge.
Safety: About a decade ago, crime in Málaga reached an all-time high, as unemployment rates and drug use skyrocketed. Thanks to government programs and aid from nearby cities and countries, the area has improved greatly. The drug peddling that was occurring on the streets 10 years ago has been virtually eliminated. However, like anywhere, it is still wise to be conscious of your surroundings at all times, and do not leave valuables lying around.
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