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Málaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol, is home to 550,000 residents and is a marvelous city for visiting and sightseeing. The weather in Málaga is fantastic, and the wide array of activities and interesting features will have you begging for more. No stay is too long in Málaga, and the diversity of the city is magnificent. The port area is comprised of ancient streets and gorgeous foliage, and at the center of the city is a mass of high-rises and government buildings.

The climate of Málaga is subtropical, and the region averages 324 days of sunshine every year. Talk about a prime vacation spot! About a decade ago, crime in Málaga reached an all-time high, as unemployment rates and drug use skyrocketed. Thanks to government programs and aid from nearby cities and countries, the area has improved greatly. Tourism has certainly benefited Málaga. The drug peddling that was occurring on the streets ten years ago has thankfully been virtually eliminated. However, like anywhere, it is still wise to be conscious of your surroundings at all times, and do not leave valuables lying around. Taking such care should be the norm whenever traveling, no matter where you are.

The Plaza de Merced, cathedrals, and museums of Málaga make it a remarkable site for studying the history and culture of Spain. The coastline that borders the city is magnificent, and it creates a wonderful backdrop to the ancient land.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Málaga (952/125-003), located at Muelle de Canovas. Taxis and buses will be waiting to take you to your destination.

Málaga is served by a city bus system that can take you around the region affordably and efficiently. You can take taxis around Málaga, and if you can't hail one from the street, call Taxi Unión Sociedad Coóperativa Andaluza (952/040-804) and they'd be happy to pick you up. If you want to rent a car while in Málaga, contact J.J.A. Autopro (952/176-030) for an affordable and reliable automobile.

Local Interests
The Plaza de la Marina is located in the center of the city and is a great place to experience the sights and wonders of Málaga. The illuminated fountain and outdoor cafes create a wonderful ambiance, and a romantic setting that is unique to the area. The Málaga bullring, La Malagueta, was built in 1874, and stands only blocks from the Plaza. Peer inside and let your mind run wild, full of images of old-time matadors and bulls fighting it out, with a roaring crowd in the background. The view of the port from the Plaza is truly spectacular.

The Mercado de Atarazanas is probably the most colorful and vast market in Andalusía. This extravagant marketplace is literally breathtaking; you will no doubt want to bring your camera to the Mercado to record this culturally splendid meeting place.

The Cathedral, located on the site where a mosque once stood, is a Renaissance-style edifice that has a tremendous story behind it. The legend of the Málaga cathedral is quite intriguing, but who am I to let the secret out of the bag without you having been there? Visit the fascinating cathedral located on Calle Molina Larios (952/215-917) and discover the mystery and adventure for yourself.

Activities
Great Sights
The Fundación Picasso (952/600-215) is an art history library and a tribute to this brilliant man. Several pieces of ceramics and sculpture can be found here as well, and exhibits of various art and memorabilia comprise the ground floor of this interesting structure. The Moorish Alcazaba is located on Alcazabilla (952/225-106), down the street from the Plaza de la Merced. This is known as the greatest monument in Málaga, and it is incredibly impressive. This amazing fortress was begun in the 11th century, at a time when Málaga was the main port in the Moorish kingdom. The inner palace, built around 1060, is beautifully crafted. After conquering Málaga in 1487, Ferdinand and Isabella lived in the Alcazaba for a short while. Orange trees and bougainvillea surround these enchanting ruins, and from the top of the building you have a tremendous view of the port and nearby parks.

The Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares (Museum of Popular Arts & Customs) is located at Pasillo de Santa Isabel 10 (952/217-137) and is an outstanding arts and crafts museum. Horse-drawn carriages, ancient agricultural implements, a bakery, old grape presses, and Malagueno sculptures and ceramics are just some of the extraordinary sights inside the museum.

Dining and Nightlife
Café de Paris, located at Velez Málaga 8, (952/225-043) features sophisticated French and Belgian food in an elegant setting. Casa Pedro is located at Quitapenas 121 (952/290-013) and is the most popular restaurant in Málaga. The dining room overlooks the ocean, and is the best place to enjoy a wide array of fresh fish dishes.

The Antigua Casa de la Guardia is located at Alameda Central 18 (952/214-680) and is right around the corner from the Marcado de Atarazanas. This ancient bar is one of the most unique in the entire world, featuring Andalusian wines that flow straight out of the barrel into your glass.

The Teatro Cervantes is the main theater in the region. Located on Ramos Marín (952/224-109), the Teatro Cervantes features wonderful programs including plays, flamenco, and concerts.

Shopping
The Corte Ingles is located at Avenida de Andalucía 4-6 (952/076-800) and is the best place for shopping in Malaga. This extensive department store offers interpreters, VAT refunds, shipping for all items that you may purchase, and even currency exchange.




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