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North of Malaga city centre walking tour

As regular users of our website know, Guide to Malaga is keen on getting off the beaten track and exploring lesser-known areas of the city. In this post, we explore the north of Malaga city centre and describe a walking tour around this area.

As always, we’ve included a handy Google map, pinpointing the main attractions. 

About the north of Malaga city centre

For this walking tour, we mean the area between the river in the west and Calle Parras in the east. To the south is Calle Carretería, and to the north is Calle Parras. This ‘square’ is merely a 10-minute walk from Calle Larios. 

This area is La Goleta district and, despite its small size, contains plenty of noteworthy sights. North of Malaga city centre is also slightly “gritty” so don’t expect pristine streets and façades. However, gentrification is pushing through from the old quarter, so we don’t think it’ll be long before this area goes mainstream for tourism. 

The best route for this walking tour 

Our recommended route starts at the river end of Calle Carretería and wanders north in and out of this street before it reaches Calle Ollerías. We then continue along Calle Ollerías, with side steps into Calle Parras and Calle Dos Aceras. It ends in Calle Cruz del Molinillo. You can, of course, walk it the other way around!

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Main sights north of Malaga city centre 

Calle Carretería

This street makes a good starting point because it includes several points of interest. It also had a complete facelift in 2023 and is now mostly pedestrian. 

Tribuna de los Pobres  

This stairway is one of the most iconic spots during Holy Week in Malaga and the perfect spot for watching processions on Calle Carretería. It’s known as the Poor People’s Stand because you get a close-up view without paying for it. 

Street art showing Tribuna de los pobres in Malaga
Street art showing Tribuna de los pobres in Malaga

If you need to get to the river, a handy lift avoids the steps (open weekdays 10am to 10pm). 

Façades on Calle Carretería 

This street has some very attractive historic frontages, some of which have recently undergone restoration. Look out for: 

The right-hand side of the street – Nos 16, 60, 70 and 72.

The left-hand side of the street – Nos 19, 39, 43 and 71.

Medieval Wall 

Just after No 60, look out for a stretch of the medieval wall that used to enclose the entire old quarter. It dates from the 11th century and although heavily restored, still stands proud. You can see the other side of the wall if you go up Calle Andrés Pérez and turn right.

Medieval wall in Calle Carretería, a highlight north of Malaga city centre
Medieval wall in Calle Carretería Malaga

Read more about historical walls in Malaga.

Calle Andrés Pérez

This little side Street off Calle Carreterías also houses a sizeable list of treasures and merits its own post. Discover the Andrés Pérez walking tour here.

Calle Ollerías 

This street also has some notable façades, but the highlight is halfway along, just after the MVA Cultural Centre on the right-hand side. Here, you’ll find a stunning vertical garden dedicated to two Malaga poets, Emilio Prados and Manuel Altolaguirre, both from the 1927 Generation literary group.

The text describes the Imprenta Sur printing press; both poets were instrumental in its use. The press is now in the next-door MVA Cultural Centre.

Vertical garden on the north of Malaga city centre walking tour
Poets Emilio Prado and Manuel Altolaguirre celebrated in the vertical garden

Did you know? The MVA Cultural Centre holds free events, year-round. They include a free flamenco show every month. Read all the details in our What’s on in Malaga this month.

Between Calle Carretería and Calle Ollerías 

The labyrinth of small streets and alleyways between the two main streets hide some treasures, including: 

Maria Cristina Concert Hall 

This lovely building dates back to 1871 and was originally a music school. It now hosts concerts and talks throughout the year. The main concert room has exquisite painted ceilings (and excellent acoustics) and is well worth a visit. 

Sala Maria Cristina concert hall in Malaga
Inside the Sala Maria Cristina concert hall

It’s usually open during the week – ask the concierge to let you see inside. For a close-up view of the concert hall, attend one of the performances. You can see the programme here.

Fiat Lux Chimney 

Malaga has around a dozen factory chimneys still standing, a legacy of the city’s industrial past. This one sits between Calle Purificación and Calle Wad Ras and stands 43 metres high. It dates back to 1897. You’ll get the best view from streets slightly further away. 

Chimenea Antiqua Fiat Lux in Malaga from Calle Ollerías
Chimenea Antiqua Fiat Lux in Malaga from Calle Ollerías

Mercado de Salamanca 

This stunning market is the absolute highlight north of Malaga city centre. The 1920s building saw complete restoration a few years ago and its exterior showcases Mudejar style. 

The market has a few stalls, open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 3pm, but you’re here to explore the outside. Don’t miss the wrought-iron details, horseshoe arches and pineapple toppings. 

Mudejar arched windows at Mercado de Salamanca in Malaga
Horseshoe arches at every corner window

Read more about Salamanca Market in Malaga.

Museums north of Malaga city centre

This walking tour takes in several museums on its route. They include: 

Museum of Wine 

Discover all you need to know about the history of Malaga wine and enjoy a tasting. 

Open: Mon to Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-2pm

Admission: €6, including two wine tastings.

How to get there: take the second left (Calle Biedmas) from Calle Carretería.

Read the Malaga Museum Guide

Museum of Glass 

A treasure trove of glass objects and antiques in a historic mansion and a must if you’re a fan of beautiful things. 

Open: Tues to Sun 11am-7pm.

Admission: €7

How to get there: take the first right from Calle Ollerías (Calle Cabello).

Jorge Rando Museum 

One of Malaga’s more unusual art museums and the only one in Spain showcasing the Expressionist style.

Open: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 2pm and 4 to 8pm, June to September, Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm & 5-9pm. Saturday 10am-2pm.

Admission: Free

How to get there: follow Calle Ollerías north until the end. The museum is on your left. 

Patio at the Jorge Rando Museum in Malaga
Patio at the Jorge Rando Museum (with vertical garden)

Where to eat north of Malaga city centre 

Restaurants in the old quarter are just a short walk away, but this area also has some goodies. Our favourites are: 

Alexso – uber wallet-friendly lunchtime menus and fine dining in this small restaurant, just off Calle Carretería. Read more about Alexso

Buenavista Gastrobar – one of the best restaurants in this part of town and with reasonable prices. Read more about Buenavista Gastrobar.

El Gastronauta – great for sharing plates and paella, and friendly service, a stone’s throw from Calle Carretería. Read more about El Gastronauta.

Discover other great places to eat out in Malaga

Where to stay in this part of Malaga  

We think this area is a good choice if you want to have the old quarter on your doorstep but without the crowds. Our top picks for hotels here are: 

Vincci Posada del Patio– 5-star luxury needn’t cost a fortune at this hotel, home to ancient walls in the basement and stunning rooms. 

Hotel Palacete de Álamos – 19th-century features form the backdrop at this cosy hotel on Calle Álamos, just around the corner from Calle Carretería. 

And if you fancy trying another area, read our guide to where to stay in Malaga.

Google map for this Malaga walking tour

The map below shows the location of all the above attractions, restaurants and hotels.

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