With 570,000 inhabitants and an area of 398, 25 km², Málaga is the second biggest city in Andalusia and the sixth biggest in the country. The metropolis lies directly at the Mediterranean Sea at the Costa del Sol and is surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Mijas and the Montes de Málaga. They protect the city against the cold, so that there is mild to hot Mediterranean climate. It is rarely colder than 16 °C in winter and often 30 °C or more in the summer months.
Málaga was founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC under the name of "Malaka". After the Romans, Byzantines and west Goths had ruled the city in the course of history, it was the Moors which made Málaga an important trade centre of the Iberian Peninsula. One of the city's most significant buildings dates back to their time of rule (711-1492): the Alcazaba, which was built in 1065. The impressive fortification was erected on the remains of a Phoenician castle complex and is connected to the Castle of Gibralfaro above by a kind of defensive corridor (coracha). Below the Alcazaba you see the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. Another extraordinary building in the city centre is the Cathedral of Málaga, which was built on the remains of a great mosque. The Catedral de la Encarnación is also called La Manquita ("The One-Armed Lady") in colloquial speech because its second tower was never completed due to a shortage of money. Other sights are the botanic garden Jadín Botánico-Historico La Concepción, the Parque de Málaga, the bullring La Malagueta, the lighthouse La Farola on the Paseo de la Farola, which is almost 200 years old, and Pablo Picasso's birthplace at the Plaza de la Merced. You find the Picasso Museum with over 200 works of art in the Palació de Buenavista.
Several interesting festivities take place in Málaga every year. Besides the processions of the Semana Santa (Holy Week), the Festival de Cine Español de Málaga in May and June as well as the Feria de Agosto in the middle of August are of particular significance. The latter is characterised by bullfights, concerts, vibrant activity and a spectacular opening firework. But travellers cannot only experience the authentic life in the city at such events but also at lunch in one of the many restaurants or bars during the siesta. The Spanish appetisers tapas are particularly popular in Málaga but fish and seafood are also part of many dishes. Pescaítos fritos, small fried pieces of fish, are ordered especially often and are usually accompanied by a glass of Andalusian wine. If you want to join the vibrant city life again afterwards, you can go to the Calle Marqués de Larios. It is Málaga's main shopping street and one of the most exclusive shopping miles in the whole of Spain.
Travellers reach the city's most important sights on a sightseeing bus. This way, you can see Málaga's attractions in a minimum of time and get a great overview. You can hop off at any location which interests you and have a closer look. The city beach of Málaga is called La Malagueta and is a very popular retreat and meeting place among the locals. For many tourists it is the ideal way of combining a city trip with holidays at the seaside. In addition, there are several golf courses around the city, so that golfers get their money's worth too on a trip to Málaga.
There is no perfect time for travelling Málaga. As it is pleasantly warm throughout the year, a trip to Málaga is a good idea at any time. In winter, it is definitely emptier and quieter in the city, which is why it is the ideal season for holidaymakers who want to avoid crowds of tourists and people.