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tourist tips

Parking in Malaga City centre is problematic. Spaces are scarce and it isn't very clear which areas are permitted for parking and at what times. If you are going to park in the city centre beware of vagrants that ask for money to watch your car. Almost all are unofficial: They won't watch your car, they'll simply leave to prey on the next person. Tourists best defence is to feign ignorance and inability to understand the request.

Malaga City Centre

Cathedral Malaga is the capital city of the Costa del Sol,  founded by the Phoenicians as a colony some 3000 years ago it has come under the rule of the Romans, the Carthaginians and the Moors.  A city of some 600,000 inhabitants, it lives a Janus faced life as both a busy port & industrial centre for the South of Spain, and the gateway to one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Often competing with its neighbour, Seville, as to which claims to be the capital of the region of Andalusia - in reality neither is officially recognised, though this doesn't lessen the rivalry between the two cities.

The city was conquered by the Reyes Catolicos (Catholic Kings) in 1487.  Famous for its still uncompleted Cathedral (see photo right), Alcazaba (Moorish Castle), Gibralfaro (fortress) and wonderful gardens, Malaga boasts many beautiful sights.  The famous painter Pablo Picasso was born in the City and today his house is a popular tourist attraction (Plaza de la Merced).  One of the most interesting areas for the visitor is the old historic quarter, which still carries the mark of nearly eight hundred years of Moorish rule.

City Life
Holy WeekMalaga is a bustling little city, the old and the new meet on Marques de Larios, Plaza de la Constitución and Calle de Granada, which form the backbone of the shopping area and the thriving nightlife.  The narrow side streets form a confusing maze of alleys crammed with tapas bars and bodegas - old fashioned wine shops brimming with casks including the local sweet wine which is similar to Port.  At weekends the area is full of young people going out to enjoy the thriving nightlife in one of the cities many bars, bar de copas (winebars), or nightclubs.  Locals often do not go out until midnight and will continue until morning light, catching some breakfast on there way home. 

At Easter the city comes alive for Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the streets are packed until the early hours of the morning as the night air is filled with music from the processions carrying large flotillas called tronos (throwns). The celebrations for Semana Santa are some of the largest in Spain and draw visitors from all over Spain and abroad, often to the extent that the city's population swells to nearly double in size. The summer fair (Malaga Feria) is the cities other major annual event. Held every August it is claimed to be the second largest fair in Europe. For one week city folk and visitors celebrate in traditional Andalusian style with processions, music and dancing. The celebrations start around midday in the main street of Calle Larios, which becomes pedestrianised, and carry on until 6.00 or 7.00 in the evening. With plenty to eat and drink the streets are full of people enjoying the celebrations. Once the partying subsides its time for a quick rest until 11.00 or midnight and then on to the fair ground outside the city center. The fair has special temporary bars called Casetas, most putting on shows of Flamenco music or dancing, as well as a large fair ground, live music and nightclubs.

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