This formerly down-at-heel port has been transformed into a vibrant city with plenty to please culture vultures, plus exciting new places to eat and drink
For most visitors, Málaga is simply a gateway to the beach resorts of the Costa del Sol, with few venturing far from the airport or into the city. Well, they’re all missing a trick because this once-shabby port has undergone something of a reinvention. There’s a sparkling new waterfront and millions of euros have been pumped into the art scene, thanks to mayor Francisco de la Torre’s vision to turn his city into a cultural hub, with a branch of the Parisian Pompidou Centre among the latest museum openings.
The Alcazaba fortress, Málaga’s more modest answer to Granada’s Alhambra, sits proudly in the historic centre – a maze of gardens and fountains – and above it 10th-century Gibralfaro castle stands guard over the coast. Round the corner lies the vast Renaissance cathedral, nicknamed La Manquita (“one-armed woman”) because its south tower was mysteriously left unbuilt.