Located on the Costa del Sol, Málaga is the southernmost large city in Europe. On the one hand, it has a modern and cosmopolitan feel, being more built-up than most Andalusian cities you will visit. On the other, you are confronted with beautiful and unignorable signs of its long history as you walk through its streets; take, for example, the Roman amphitheatre and Alcazaba in plain sight as you walk along a street in the old town.
Did you know? – With around 2800 years of history, Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world.
This museum pays tribute to the most famous Spanish artist of all time, Pablo Picasso, who originally hailed from Málaga. His daughter-in-law and grandson made sure that Picasso’s desire to have his work displayed in his own hometown was fulfilled. He believed that to be a true cubist artist, you have to have been born in Málaga!
The Museo Picasso boasts 233 of his works, covering the evolution of his style and experimentation with different techniques and styles, including Cubism, of which he was a pioneer. The artwork is accompanied by an exhibition narrative, updated in 2017 to be more informative and accessible, explaining the stories behind the paintings. Visiting this museum will help students to understand the life and work of an individual Spaniard and may inspire them to find out more about Spanish art.
The museum caters to English, German and French-speaking school groups. This includes organising a guided tour or a workshop – they also give the option of ‘bilingual visits’, adding in a suitable level of Spanish for the group, enabling them to practise the language whilst also gaining a proper understanding of this great artist. Bear in mind that these tailored school group options will cost extra and require booking.
Did you know? – The Museo Picasso Málaga is only 200 metres from the Plaza de la Mereced where Picasso was born.
From the Arabic al-qasbah meaning ‘citadel’, this structure served as a palace and a fortress during the Moorish period. It is the best-preserved alcazaba in Spain. The well- preserved and restored interior decoration along with the abundance of colourful plants such as bougainvillea, orange trees, and jasmine, mean that when you visit this site you can imagine the luxury in which the Moorish rulers lived.
The Roman amphitheatre right next door attests to the mark that different civilisations have left on Spain since its ancient history. In fact, the Moors re-used some of the materials from the ruins of the ancient Roman theatre to build the alcazaba.
Castillo de Gibralfaro
In contrast to the well-preserved alcazaba, this Castle really shows its age – much of it is no longer intact. There are two main sections to explore – the upper part and the lower part.
In the upper part there is a courtyard with an Interpretation Centre which tells you the stories of people who used to live in the castle. Beside this are a 17-metre-high tower, a 40-metre-deep Phonecian well and the baths. In the lower part, where the troop barracks and stables used to be, there is another courtyard and a watchtower.
The best thing about the Castle are the views of Málaga – to reach it, you must climb a steep path which takes a little time (or catch one of the buses which ascend the hill periodically) and you are rewarded with a magnificent vista of Málaga from above.
Shopping and city centre
The centre of Málaga is located in the old town, and is therefore a beautiful place for a stroll or to stop for a bite to eat. As it is such a popular city, there are plenty of shops and restaurants here.
There is a higher concentration of shops the closer you go to the more modern port area, including some shopping centres and a large department store (El Corte Inglés).
Journey time to Málaga: Around 2 hours 50 by coach