Malaga, the birthplace of Picasso, is a cosmopolitan city with much to offer visitors. There are narrow streets to explore, a rejuvenated dockside area, thousands of years of history and world-class art.
Malaga is a destination that can be enjoyed all year round, although in July and August it can be extremely hot. The religious calendar plays a large part in local city life, especially at Easter and Christmas. Easter Holy Week is celebrated with large processions, while children eagerly anticipate the fun of Three Kings on the 6th January. This is traditionally when Spanish children receive their Christmas gifts. Sweets are thrown into the crowd during the lively procession of the Three Holy Kings. The second half of August sees the city come alive with the Feria de Malaga. Many locals celebrate in traditional costume and elegant flamenco dresses are worn. For nine days people party in the streets and at the huge feria ground. Every evening finishes with firework displays.
Visitors wishing to hire rental cars to explore the Andalucian countryside and coastline are advised to book well in advance. There are underground car parks in the city, but parking spaces can be hard to find and the narrow streets tricky to navigate. A few phrases of Spanish will come in useful, although in the tourist areas many people speak some English. Eating out is reasonable with cheap midday meals, called 'Menu del Dia', available from around 6EUR in many restaurants. Restaurant and grocery prices are generally around 50% cheaper than in London. Spain still enjoys a siesta from 2pm until 5pm, when many smaller shops shut. Spain follows Central European Summer Time and CET, which means clocks are set an hour ahead of UK.
Malaga Airport has good transport links into the city, which take about 15 minutes. The bus costs around 3 euros, the train is about 1.75 euros, while a taxi will cost approximately 20 euros. Buses run from the airport to other Costa del Sol destinations, such as Marbella (around 6 euros), or Torremolinos and Benalmadena (approximately 4 euros).
Hotel accommodation starts from around 50 euros per person per night, while budget hostels can be found from 10 euros a night.
Drivers should be aware that the drink-driving laws are much stricter in Spain than in the UK and are enforced. The legal limit is just 0.05% (0.25mg/l).