Malaga’s Centre for Contemporary Art (cacmalaga.org/) houses a great collection of 20th and 21st-century works featuring artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson and Damian Hirst, as well as recent Andalucian art. Best of all, entrance is free.
Alternatively, the Picasso Museum (www2.museopicassomalaga.org), offers free entrance on the last Sunday of every month. Housed in a renovated 16th-century mansion in the heart of the city’s oldest quarter, it features 155 works donated by Picasso’s daughter-in-law and grandson.
Stroll by the sea
Escape from the city by taking a half-an-hour walk or a 10-minute bus-ride east to Pedregalejo, one of the city’s oldest fishing neighbourhoods, fringing a succession of tiny bays. At the weekends the sandy crescents fill with local families taking a paddle and eating good-value fried fish and barbecued sardines at the numerous restaurants.
Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro
On Sunday afternoons visitors can enjoy the Moorish palace and fortress built on a hill in the centre of the city for free. It is possible to drive to the fortress entrance but the steady climb past the sun-baked pines and eucalyptus is recommended for views of the sparkling Mediterranean, docked ships, the cathedral and bullring. Much of the palace dates from the 11th century and features Islamic pottery, ornate ceilings, and a patio lined with orange trees.
The watchtowers and parapets of the Gibralfaro castle, set just behind the palace, afford a perfect view of the entire complex.
The botanique gardens of Malaga’s city park stretch along the seafront from the Alameda Principal, and are the perfect spot for a stroll with an ice cream. As well as the wonderfully fragrant orange blossoms in season the gardens also feature more tropical plants such as palm trees and frangipani.
Head to this interesting market for piles of fresh Andalucian fare including fish, meat, cheese and plump, pink seafood. Look up as you enter to admire the only remaining horsehoe arch from the building’s days as a shipyard. It opened as a market in 1879.