Historic city center
The old center of Málaga clusters around the cathedral and the principal shopping street, Calle Marqués de Larios, and exploring this area is a wonderful way to pass an afternoon here. Calle Larios itself is a marvel in southern Spain, where many of the streets – including the most modern – are narrow and overshadowed by stately old office and residential buidlings. But Málaga’s busiest thoroughfare feels more like a Parisian boulevard than anything else you are likely to encounter in Andalusia: wide and spacious, it leads up from the port area to old Málaga’s principal sqaure, Plaza de la Constitución. Lined with smart designer shops, Larios hosts some of the most hardcore street parties during the city’s August festival, and is beautifully illuminated by the Christmas lights every December.
Calle Marqués de Larios, Málaga, Spain
The old part of Málaga is unusual in Andalusia for its wide-open spaces | © Emilio/Flickr
The old and the new sit side by side in this part of Málaga, giving it a cosmopolitan yet traditional atmosphere all of its own in Andalusia. Heading from the Plaza Constitución, you can meander up Calle Granada, past El Pimpi – the city’s best-known restaurant, but more of that later – and towards the other key square of the neighborhood, Plaza de la Merced. On this lively square, where Pablo Picasso was born in 1881, street artists are often found painting, sketching and performing, and its many bars’ sunny terraces are great places to enjoy a drink and bite to eat.