Everyone likes to take something home as a memento of a holiday. You’re certainly spoilt for choice in terms of Malaga souvenirs. But if you want to step beyond the fridge magnet, flamenco dress apron or bull ashtray, what do you get and where do you buy it?
At Guide to Malaga, we’ve had a good look round the souvenir shops in Malaga (and there are plenty of them). We’ve taken holiday memento buying to another level and come up with a list of the top 10 Malaga souvenirs. Not only do they capture the best of Malaga, they’re souvenirs that won’t be stuffed in a drawer or sent to a charity shop.
As you might expect, Picasso souvenirs abound. All the souvenir shops sell Picasso-influenced stuff. And as you’d expect, it ranges from tacky to sophisticated. Since this post is about souvenirs worth buying (and receiving), we’ve gone for the upper end.
In the tasteful Picasso echelons, you’ll find tote bags, mugs, pencil cases and of course, lots and lots of books. The best place to buy Picasso memorabilia is easily the Picasso Museum where there are 2 shops. The larger one at the back has the largest selection.
The Pompidou Centre also has a good collection of Picasso-themed gifts. And the Malaga Shop houses a Picasso Corner.
Top buy: Fans of Picasso will love a book of Picasso prints. Those aren’t so enthusiastic would probably prefer a blue-and-white striped mug and plate.
Where to buy it: Picasso Museum shops. Open daily 10am to 7pm (6pm Nov to Feb; 8pm July & Aug).
Top tip – if you want to visit the shop but not the museum, enter via Calle Pedro de Toledo.
Food from Malaga
You’re spoilt for choice if you want to take home some typical Malaga produce. The list of delicious souvenirs runs long – from raisins and olives to Malaga salchichón (sausage) and goat’s cheese.
Atarazanas Market should be your first port of call, but there are several good grocer’s shops in town where you’ll find plenty of food from Malaga. We like La Mallorquina on Plaza Féliz Sáenz, Ultramarinos Zoilo in Calle Granada and Ultramarinos Juan de Dios Barba on Calle Martínez.
Top buy: a box of raisins and jar of olives from Álora.
Where to buy it: at any of the above venues.
Top tip – if you’re buying cheese or cold cuts, ask to have them vacuum-packed so they last longer.
Typically from Malaga
If you’re looking to take the feel of Malaga home with you, a good place to start your shopping is at the Malaga Store in the tourist office on Plaza de Marina. The shop is divided into several sections, housing mostly tasteful Malaga souvenirs.
There’s a Picasso corner with a reasonable selection of items. Another section is dedicated to souvenirs with a Moorish theme. Based on the mosaics and architecture at the Alcazaba Fortress, the souvenirs include tiles, fans and boxes. Plus the inevitable fridge magnet.
There’s also a colourful stand showcasing gifts based on Malaga Fair posters through the ages. Some might find them a little gaudy for comfort, but they certainly brighten up a dull corner.
Top buy: the small plates in blue, green and black in a Moorish design.
Where to buy it: Malaga Store has the same timetable as the tourist office. Daily 9am to 6pm.
Top tip – the Museum of Malaga shop also does a tasteful line in Moorish-inspired gifts.
There might not be quite as many hectares of olive groves in Malaga province as other parts of Andalusia, but Malaga produces several notable olive oils. Top of the pick in 2017 for extra virgin, come Aceites Finca La Torre (best intense fruity green); Aceites Molidur (best fruity green); and El Labrador (also produced by Finca La Torre and best ripe fruity oil).
Several shops in Malaga sell locally-produced olive oils (see Food from Malaga above). The Gourmet Experience section of El Corte Inglés also has a good range of Malaga olive oils. If you’d like to try before you buy, Los Patios de Beatas organises olive oil tasting sessions. Find out more here.
Top tip – if you’re flying with hand luggage only, buy a bottle of olive oil from Malaga at Petra Mora at Malaga Airport.
If you’re on holiday in Malaga between June and October, you’ll notice the biznaga sellers. A biznaga is a large white ‘flower’ made up of lots of jasmine flowers and a typical symbol of Malaga. You won’t be able to take a fresh biznaga home with you, however, because they rarely last more than an evening.
But you can buy a replica in ceramics, silver or gold. Several jewellers specialise in handmade biznaga souvenirs with prices ranging from €10 to several hundreds.
Where to buy them: Hago jewellers on Calle Santa Lucía 8 (off Plaza de la Constitución) sells lovely handmade biznaga pendants and broches. Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-2pm and 5.30-8.30pm, Sat 10.30am-2pm.
Top tip – for a non-scented version but just as beautiful, check out the biznaga seller statue in the Pedro Alonso gardens next to City Hall.
A football strip from Malaga CF makes a great gift for a football fan. And let’s be honest, Malaga CF need all the support they can get in the 2017/18 season. Buy your official blue-and-white kit from the Malaga football club shop on Plaza de la Judería or at the shop outside the Rosaleda Stadium. Open Mon-Sat 10am-2pm & 4.30-9pm, Sun 10.30am-2.30pm. Or you can shop online.
If basketball’s your thing (and Unicaja, the Malaga basketball team, are 1 of the top teams in Spain), buy a green and purple strip from the Unicaja stores. The main one is located on Plaza de la Marina 3 and opens Mon-Fri 9am-2pm and 4-7pm, Sat 10am-1pm. Or shop online.
Ceramics from Malaga
Ceramics are one of the most typical souvenirs from Spain and almost every area has its particular style. Malaga is no exception and you’ll find a range of ceramics on sale at souvenir shops. However, if you’re looking for something a little more stylish, unique and handmade, Alfajar is your store.
The shop specialises in unusual pieces, all handmade designed and made by local artisans. We like the Picasso-inspired range and the Malaga lighthouse. Plus there’s a good range of brightly-coloured ‘everyday’ items such as crockery and kitchen ware.
Top buy: our favourite is the Malaga lighthouse, but you can’t really go wrong with any purchase.
Where to buy it: Calle Cister 1. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8.30pm, Sun 10am-3pm.
Top tip – the shop holds regular exhibitions by ceramic and other artists. Check out the room on the left as you go in.
No list of Malaga souvenirs would be complete without mentioning Malaga wine. Not just Malaga sweet wine, but whites, reds, rosés and sparkling too. You can try Malaga wines at most good restaurants in Malaga. If you’re a fan of sweet wine, head for La Casa de Guardia on the Alameda Principal.
For other wines, try La Mallorquina and Casa Zoido (see above). For a more comprehensive selection, visit:
Maineke Vinos – Calle Victoria 45. Open Mon-Sat 10am-2.30pm & 5-10.30pm.
El Almacén del Indiano – Calle Cisneros 7. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm & 6-9pm, Sat 11am-4pm.
For all the fun of Malaga fair or if you just want a lovely reminder of how Andalusian women dress for annual festivities, buy a flamenco dress. They don’t come cheap but it’s worth paying for the real thing. The cheap imitations tear easily and don’t last.
Prices start at €100 and go up as high as you’re prepared to pay. You can go for a classic style or something more modern. And as for colours, the world is your oyster.
Where to buy them: we like El Rocío on Calle San Juan1 and Viva La Feria on Calle Cisneros 4. For something a little bit more special, try Golo de Lunares on Calle San Juan 8.
Top tip – Cudeca charity shops on Plaza de la Merced and in Calle Compañia stock second-hand flamenco dresses from €20. You won’t find the range of styles or possibly your size but it’s worth taking a look.
And last but not least, what about a book about Malaga? One of our favourites is Malaga Sketchbook by Luis Ruiz Padron and published by lovingbooks. The book includes sketches of emblematic places in Malaga and includes snippets of information about them.
Where to buy it: this book is stocked by the CAC Malaga museum shop, Luces bookshop on the Alameda Principal and Mapas y Compañia bookshop on Calle Compañia.
And a classic tourist souvenir
If you feel you or your friends and relatives just can’t live without those classic Malaga souvenirs, we recommend the following:
Evalo on Calle Granada 67 does a good selection of fridge magnets, ceramics and t-shirts plus some other pretty original souvenirs.
Discover the best of Malaga before you buy your souvenirs!