The city is divided into 11 districts and several neighbourhoods. You might want to start your visit at the Centro, where you’ll find historic sites, opulent churches, and modern architecture. The historical centre also overlooks the famous medieval Moorish fort of Alcazaba. If you’re looking for a relaxing break, head to El Palo, which is a residential beachfront community with plenty of good seafood restaurants. The seaside promenade is ideal for cycling and walking, so park the car nearby and embark on foot. Outside of the capital city, there are many places to visit when you rent a car in Malaga. Drive to Marbella and sample its upscale nightlife or go to Nerja, a seaside resort in Costa del Sol popular for its Balcon de Europa lookout and cave complex. Active holidaymakers can spend time in El Chorro canyoning, hiking, and climbing.
The city is full of pleasant surprises, whether you choose to spend your time beach-hopping or visiting museums. Many Malaga hotels are near the city centre, and from there it easy to stop by the Picasso Museum close to the Plaza Merced, where the world-renowned painter was born. The museum is housed in the Buenavista Palace, a splendid example of Andalusian architecture. Around town are the magnificent ruins of Gibralfaro and the Renaissance-style cathedral of La Manquita. There are at least 15 different beaches in Malaga where you can swim, sunbathe, or simply enjoy the views. Highly recommended is El Pedregalejo, a beach resort just a half an hour’s walk from town, boasting fine restaurants and a lively nightlife. La Concepción Botanic Garden is worth a visit as well, a majestic garden constructed in 1850 with more than 2,000 plant species.
Malaga sits at the bottom of the Montes de Malaga along a narrow strip of the Mediterranean coastline. It has beautiful beaches and coves. Its terrain is rocky and steep, with peaks reaching up to 500 metres. The city is flanked on both sides by the rivers of Guadalhorce and Guadarmina, important sources of water for the town and the valleys. The catchment zone, estuaries, and wetlands are places frequented by migratory birds, some of which are nearly extinct in other coastal areas. The city enjoys a Mediterranean type of climate characterised by hot summers and very mild winters. There are over 300 days of sunshine every year, making Malaga a year-round travel destination. Swimming is possible throughout most of the year with the lowest water temperatures falling to about 18°C. Winds coming from the sea bring cool breezes during warm days whilst the mountains shield the city from the cold in winter.
Cheap flights to Malaga land at Malaga Airport, officially known as Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport. Both budget and regular airlines operate non-stop flights from London to Malaga, lasting two hours and 55 minutes. If you wish to hire a car in Malaga, you must be at least 21 years old and in possession of a licence for at least two years. Depending on the rental company, surcharges may be applied to young drivers. Note that Malaga drivers, like the rest of Spain, drive on the right and overtake from the left. The speed limits are 120km/h on motorways or autopistas, 100km/h on dual carriageways, 90km/hour on single carriageways, and 50km/h in urban areas. Excessive speeds attract hefty fines. For drinking, the legal limit, or blood alcohol concentration (BAC), is 0.05%.