In Malaga destination guides ‘La Malagueta’ we take a close look at this popular area of Malaga, located to the east of the city. It’s best known for its beach, but there’s a whole lot more to La Malagueta.
Must-sees and dos here include a couple of the best museums in Malaga, some seriously fine dining and lovely views of the city, particularly at sunset. We’ve included a map of this Malaga destination below, marking the main things to see and eateries.
Malaga destination guides La Malagueta – a bit of history
When you see La Malagueta from afar, its high-rise apartment blocks make it look modern, but this district of Malaga is actually far older. Traditionally home to a sizeable fishing quarter, La Malagueta was also the first (and last) stop on the railway line to Vélez-Málaga. Sugar cane was grown here and it was also home to the headquarters of the Malaga Electricity Company.
Some of its finest buildings (see below) were built between 1870 and 1920, but it wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that construction began in earnest and most of the towers went up. Today, it’s a popular residential area and favourite place for tourists.
Malaga destination guides La Malagueta – What to see
La Malagueta is home to a surprising number of things to see including (in alphabetical order):
Beach – What most people come for in La Malagueta and one of the city’s biggest beaches. 1,200 metres of fine yellow sand and safe bathing make this a favourite with locals and tourists. Like all beaches in Malaga, it has showers, bathrooms, good beach bars and lifeguard services in season. There are also lots of children’s play areas and palm tree oases for shade.
Bullring – Built in 1876 in the Neo-Mudejar style, the bullring is one of the main venues for events in Malaga. As well as bull fights (held mainly iduring Malaga Fair in August), the bullring hosts concerts, exhibitions and shows. Even if you’re not a fan of bullfighting, it’s worth putting in to see the 56m diameter of perfectly-swept sand. You also get a good view of La Malagueta from the upper floors.
Chapel – Located in the midst of Muelle Uno, this tiny Barroque chapel was built in 1719, making it one of the oldest buildings in this part of Malaga. It’s rarely open, but is in a lovely spot with fountains and orange trees in front of it.
Lighthouse – La Malagueta’s lighthouse isn’t particularly big or relevant – there are plans to convert it into a boutique hotel – but it’s an important landmark and one of just two feminine’ lighthouses in Spain. It’s known as La Farola while all other lighthouses are El Faro.
Façades on Paseo de la Farola – On the road (up the steps from Muelle Uno) are a series of fine houses built at the beginning of the 20th century when Malaga architecture was perhaps at its finest. Most of the buildings are home to public administration or associations so you can’t see inside, but their exteriors are well worth a look.
Fountain – One of the loveliest fountains in Malaga is here. The Fountain of the Three Graces (Fuente de las Tres Gracias). Made of marble and iron, the sculpture includes three nymphs, children and swans. Views of the Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle are lovely from here.
Municipal Museum – Not one of the most visited museums in Malaga but well worth it if you have the time. As well as good temporary exhibitions, the Museo del Patrimonio Municipal gives a great overview of the history of Malaga from the Phoenicians to present day. Free entry.
Pergola – One of our favourite spots in Malaga and an icon of the city, the Pergola stretches the length of Muelle Dos and provides a lovely walk. It’s especially lovely at sunset and night.
Pompidou Centre – This one needs no introduction and it too has become something of an icon. Home to one of the best art museums in Malaga, the Pompidou Centre showcases cutting-edge modern art in all its forms. The museum hosts regular temporary exhibitions as well as events. Even if modern art isn’t your thing, be sure to take a close-up look at the multi-coloured cube.
La Malagueta – Where to eat
La Malagueta is home to a very varied range of cafés, bars and restaurants, and there is literally something for everyone here.
If fine dining is your thing, try the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Malaga – José Carlos García Restaurante on Muelle Uno. Book in advance to be sure of a table here.
If you’re with children, try the restaurants on Muelle Uno and Muelle Dos. Most are family-friendly and serve food all day. Many serve sharing portions so you can order a selection of food (and hopefully cater for everyone’s tastes!). The beach bars and restaurants are also good family venues with the added advantage that your kids can play on the beach before and afterwards. Read more about things to do with children in Malaga.
For coffee and afternoon tea, the cafés on the corner of Muelle Uno and Muelle Dos might not have the best coffee but their views of the port make up for that. If you want something a little less touristy, head for Galopain on Calle Maestranza (French patisserie) or La Canasta opposite.
Map showing the location of all the venues mentioned in this blog post: