I’d been told by many that Malaga wasn’t worth a visit, unless you were going to a shocking all-inclusive beach resort. A month ago, I was fearful to book the only way to Andalusia from Scotland, which was a cheap £20 Ryanair ticket Glasgow-Malaga, and promised myself I’d only stay a night. Not to mention, it was the middle of winter.
OK – so the city isn’t exactly Venice to look at, but when you take beauty out of the equation, the people were lovely (except for my shocking Airbnb host), orange trees line up the streets, bus drivers actually take interest in your journey and make sure to yell at you when you reach the right stop (“OYE CHICA!”), and the lack of tourists (I saw NONE) made it possible to wander through the Old Town.
After hopping onto the local bus and being drenched by the weather (apparently the day I was there, Malaga was properly flooded), I made my way through the quiet Old Town, watching in awe as a herd of marathon runners charged through sheets of rain, unfazed. Luckily I found a wonderful coffee shop (Cafe Julieta), with wonderful views for people watching and exceptional coffee. Apparently hipster coffee shops are not only an Edinburgh thing..
For someone on a tight budget, who’s look for authenticity – the city of Malaga is a good first stop. Going to Malaga will allow you to avoid the crowds, get free tapas (which you should anyway – but other cities charge you for them), get chatted to by the locals and (for some) lower your expectations, which allows the rest of Andalusia to look like a dream!
Pros: The beautiful orange trees, chatty locals and the efficient bus station
Cons: Main attractions are hideous beach resorts, which makes the city in winter seem empty and grim
What ifs: I would have taken the 1 hour bus journey to Ronda!
What are your thoughts on Malaga? What did I miss out on? Do any of you love it?