Monday, 30 April 2012 1:27 PM
The Costa del Sol has long been a popular holiday destination for Brits and Malaga is certainly no exception. Not only does it offer plenty of family fun, but it's also a great place for couples wanting a romantic break as well as for 20-somethings who want to party.
Whatever you're after from your getaway, you're guaranteed to find it here and on top of that, you'll get to bask in the glorious Spanish sunshine. Here's a rundown of the five essential things you should do while in the city.
Check out the home of Picasso
Without doubt, Malaga's most famous son is Pablo Picasso and you can learn all about the painter by visiting the Museo Picasso Malaga, which is dedicated to his work.
Located in the stunning 16th-century Palacio de Buenavista, here you'll find many of his most famous pieces - including Woman Standing Outside a Cafe and Fruit Bowl - on display and you can even take a free guided tour to find out more about the man behind them.
Just a short walk from the museum is the Casa Natal de Picasso, which is where the artist grew up and has since become a protected heritage site. Here, you'll find even more of his paintings, as well as his personal possessions.
Explore Malaga Cathedral
The city has a long, rich history and it's been a melting pot of different cultures over the years, something you'll clearly see when visiting Malaga Cathedral. Built on the site of a mosque, this 16th-century building contains elements of Baroque and Renaissance architecture, as well as ornate wooden choir stalls.
You can take a tour of the cathedral every day of the week (with the exception of Sundays) to learn more about how it has developed over the years. It was originally intended to have two towers; however, a lack of funding during the construction phase meant that only one was built. As such, locals began referring to it as La Manquita, which translates as one-armed woman in English.
Take in the sight of La Alcazaba
There's plenty more culture to be soaked up and after you've got your Malaga Airport car hire sorted you should definitely visit the 11th-century La Alcazaba. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the old town district, much of this Moorish fortress is intact despite being nearly 1,000 years old.
Wander through the tropical gardens, before soaking up amazing sea views from the defensive walls. The military complex also contains ornate fountains, the remains of palaces and an archaeological museum, where many ancient artefacts (some dating back to Phoenician times) are on show.
Hit the beach
Of course, many people go to Malaga in order to spend time by the sea, so it's vital that you have at least one day relaxing on the beach.
There are many stretches in the area to choose from, although El Candado is particularly popular among families, due to its fine sand and clean waters. If you fancy being a bit more active than just basking in the sunshine, there're plenty of activities you can do here, including sailing, diving and windsurfing. Las Acacias is another great beach spot, not least of all because it has a children's playground and umbrellas where you can get some shade from the sun.
Try the local cuisine
Whatever you get up to in Malaga, you'll quickly work up an appetite. While restaurants serving international fare can be found across the town, it's a good idea to try authentic Spanish dishes.
Cafe Central is just one establishment dedicated to local specialities and you can tuck into the likes of paella and pescaito frito - where fish is deep-fried in olive oil and sprinkled with salt - before washing it down with a glass of sangria.