Discovering Málaga: charming places to lose yourself in the city
Here are some magical places to discover the city, its history and, above all, its beauty
Málaga invites you to relax, stroll through its most emblematic streets and discover numerous charming spots where you can lose yourself.
Plaza de la Merced
The Plaza de la Merced in Málaga witnessed the birth of the brilliant artist, Pablo Ruiz Picasso. It was Tuesday, 25th October 1881. Today, the painter's house, declared a Historic-Artistic Monument of National Interest in 1983, houses the Picasso Birthplace Museum, whose rooms offer a thematic tour that highlights the family, social and cultural links of the genius with Málaga.
Presiding over the square is the obelisk to General Torrijos, who, along with the 48 men who accompanied him in the uprising against the absolutist Ferdinand VII, was shot on the beach of San Andrés. The monument marks the crypt where the remains of these liberal heroes rest.
Calle San Agustín
This is one of the most special streets in Málaga because of its vintage feel and cobblestones. Located in the historic centre of the city, it is home to the Museo Picasso Málaga and the church of San Agustin, two symbolic buildings which will be joined in the future by a new headquarters for the State Public Library, in what used to be the convent of San Agustin. Entering from Calle Granada, the view is quite a spectacle, with the tower of the Cathedral in the background.
Baños del Carmen
In 1918, Málaga inaugurated the Baños del Carmen Spa in the eastern part of the city, which soon became a meeting point for the bourgeoisie of Malaga. The Baños del Carmen were a symbol of modernity in the Málaga of the 1920s.
It had a pier, a dance floor, a tennis court and even a football pitch. Over the years, it fell into decadence and it is precisely this that nowadays gives it a special charm and has made it a symbol of identity. In this area, there is a restaurant with a large terrace from where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets by the sea.
It is one of the places that most attracts the attention of visitors to the city. Until its creation in 1831, the death by a Protestant in Spain was a problem, as the cemeteries were sanctified to the Catholic faith and it was not possible to bury those who did not profess this religion. When William Mark was appointed British consul in 1824, he made every effort to find a plot of land to serve as a cemetery so that members of his community could be given a dignified burial. Today, it is the oldest Protestant cemetery in mainland Spain.
Among the people buried in this unique cemetery is Robert Boyd, one of the men shot alongside the liberal general Torrijos, the sailors who drowned in the sinking of the frigate Gneisenau, and the writers Jorge Guillén and Gerald Brenan, among others. The English Cemetery in Málaga was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Andalusian Regional Government in 2012.
Jardín Botánico Histórico La Concepción
Málaga has one of the most important botanical-historical gardens in Europe, La Concepción, an authentic paradise that offers the fascinating sensation of being immersed in a tropical jungle. Created in 1855 by the Marquises of Casa Loring, it is home to more than 25,000 plants of 2,000 tropical and subtropical species, which can be seen along different routes. The estate of La Concepción was declared a Historic-Artistic Garden in 1943 and still conserves its nineteenth-century layout and buildings such as the palace-house, the viewpoint and the gardener's cottage.
Jardines de Puerta Oscura
Occupying the southern slope of Mount Gibralfaro are the Puerta Oscura gardens, named after a gate of Moorish origin that once stood on this site. These gardens, of some 14,000 square metres, were designed by the architect Guerrero Strachan in 1937. Visitors can enjoy a space open to nature laid out in a succession of terraces, walkways and small arbours reminiscent of traditional Islamic gardens. From these gardens, a steep climb leads to the Gibralfaro viewpoint and the castle of the same name.
Mirador de Gibralfaro
Either from the Mundo Nuevo street, next to the Plaza de la Merced or from the well-known Subida de La Coracha, the climb up to the Gibralfaro castle is an interesting walk from which to contemplate wonderful panoramic views of the city. A little before reaching the fortress is the Parador. From this place, surrounded by pine trees, you can see the bay of Málaga, and it has a very pleasant terrace where you can recharge your batteries, chat or simply enjoy the sunset.
Although this neighbourhood in the east of the city is known for its seafaring origins, it has many charms in its interior, where you can discover beautiful mansions, mansions and manor houses with leafy gardens. This is the quietest part of the neighbourhood, in contrast to the bustle of the seafront promenade, and it is also home to buildings of great architectural value, such as the Asunción school, whose neo-Gothic historicist model is mainly reflected in its church; or La Presentación, an imposing late 19th-century mansion in an eclectic style with modernist aspects.