Getting off the beaten track in Malaga turns out to be pretty easy – you don’t have to walk far to take yourself away from all the crowds, the busy streets and the tourist traps. Unusual sights that you’ll find in just the occasional guide to Malaga (including ours!) are just around the corner.
In the first in our new series, we take you right off the beaten track in Malaga to the surroundings of the Picasso Museum. This art museum is, of course, one of the top things to do in Malaga, but how many of the museum visitors take the time to explore the streets just behind it?
Your starting point
Malaga Cathedral is another one of the big attractions in Malaga and we’re presuming you’ve already visited it inside and on top, but as you’re walking along the street towards Calle Alcazabilla, take in the historic gateways and painted façades before you get to:
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]Did you know? In the 18th and 19th centuries, the owners of buildings in Malaga painted the façades as a way of disguising the poor materials used. Look out for other façades as you walk around the city – some of the most decorative are on the Alameda Principal.[/box]
Abadía de Santa Ana – on the left street on the left, this abbey, owned by Cistercian monks, includes a museum of sacred art, although for us the highlight is the chapel itself with some stunning deep blue stained glass. Open Mon-Sat 10am-1pm.
Museo Revello de Toro – on the right, this is one of the lesser known art museums in Malaga and exhibits work by local artist Félix Revello de Toro who mainly paints portraits of women. As well as the paintings – in a romantic style – the museum is a restored 17th house, one of the few examples remaining in the city. The celebrated sculptor Pedro de Mena lived here. Open Tues-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-2pm.
Off the beaten track in Malaga up Calle Pedro de Toledo
This pedestrian street, first on the left from Calle Císter, doesn’t look particularly promising. The premises near the start of the street are non-descript, but carry on up and the street narrows dramatically and the interesting bit begins.
This part of the city is home to some of the best restaurants in Malaga. They include Araboka, fine wining and dining for very reasonable prices. Check out our review of Araboka here.
You’re now in one of the oldest parts of Malaga city centre and this area dates from the 16th century. You walk behind the Convent of San Agustín (1575) and the San Agustín church. Here, look skywards and take in the detail on the ochre and red façades.
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]Did you know? The patio in the Picasso Museum café is one of the quietest places in Malaga city centre to have a coffee[/box]
The street then leads to a lovely cobbled square. Entry to the Picasso Museum café and museum shop (without paying the museum charge) is here as is the Picasso Museum auditorium.
Top tip: the Picasso Museum holds regular cultural events (concerts, flamenco performances etc) in this small auditorium.
When you’re in the square, have a good look at the different façades – modern and old, stone and brick, white and yellow. We think this must be one of the few places in Malaga where you can see so many different architectural styles in such a small place.
Walk down Postigo de San Agustín towards Calle Alcazabilla. Take a moment to admire the Moorish fortress and tall palms in the background as you go along this narrow alleyway.
(Note that Postigo de San Agustín is gated at both ends and closed outside Picasso Museum hours so you can’t explore this area of Malaga at night.)
Plaza de la Judería
Now, you hit some of the most popular tourist attractions in Malaga – the Roman Theatre and Alcazaba Fortress – so things get busy after a quiet half-hour. Turn left into Calle Alcazabilla and then left again.
Here, you’ll see El Pimpi, one of the best-known restaurants and tapas bars in Malaga. If you’re thirsty and/or hungry, this is a nice spot to sit. El Pimpi serves great tapas and oozes history – take a wander round the inside patios for some real Malaga memorabilia – and the outside terrace has lovely views of the Alcazaba Fortress.
Walk towards Plaza de la Judería for some of the latest street art in Malaga. This giant mural combining flamenco and verdiales (traditional music and dance from the Malaga Mountains) was painted in March by Doger, a Spanish artist. The vibrant colours really cheer this corner of Malaga up. If you’re interested in other murals in Malaga, read our Malaga walking tour blog post and our guided tour of the Soho district.