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Useful information for excursions in Málaga
In the following paragraphs, you will find information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights and a lot of useful information for shore excursions in Málaga.
The most beautiful sights in Málaga
The port city Málaga is located on the Iberian Peninsula on the Costa del Sol and is the second biggest city of Andalusia. Málaga is one of the oldest Spanish cities besides Cadiz. Under the name “Malaka” seafaring Phoenicians founded the city approx. in the 8th century before Christ. The rivers Guadalmedina and Guadalhorce, which flow into the Mediterranean, run through the city. Furthermore, Málaga is surrounded by the Sierra de Mijas mountains and the Montes de Málaga.
Málaga is characterized by nature, culture, monuments and beautiful beaches. During your cruise stay, let yourself be fascinated by the province and its captivating past. Admire numerous historical sights and museums from different eras and enjoy the pleasant temperatures all year round.
Alcazaba and Roman theater
The Moorish fortified palace Alcazaba is the most important landmark of Málaga and overlooks the city from a hilltop in the heartland. The representative building was built in the 10th century as a military fortress by the Arabs on the ruins of a Roman fortress. After the Alhambra in Granada, the Alcazaba is the second biggest Moorish fortification of Andalusia. The palace extends on approximately 17,940 square yard and accommodates many remains of the fortification that are in a well conserved condition. Inside the Alcazaba there is a permanent archaeological exhibition on “Techniques and use of ceramics in Málaga from the 11th to the 14th century”. The interior of the fortress is characterized by a colorful variety of flowers and plants from the Mediterranean region. The fortress offers a breathtaking view of the city and the sea.
At the bottom of the Alcazaba there is also a Roman theater that was not discovered until 1951. The open-air museum was built in the time of Augustus during the Roman colonization. Once it was used for cultural events, but the theater was rapidly decaying. Discover the visitor center with finds from the theater, which were found during the excavations. The open-air museum is accessible free of charge.
Cathedral of Málaga
The cathedral of Málaga is called “Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación”. The local people call the cathedral “La Manquita” (in English: the one-armed one), a thing that is due to the reason that the second tower of the sightseeing was never finished, despite the construction works that lasted more than 250 years. The splendidly designed cathedral, which is 384 foot long, 236 foot wide and 285 foot high, is mostly built in the style of the Renaissance. From the north tower you have a great view of the city and the harbor. Inside the building you can admire the impressively decorated vaulted ceiling and also the semi-circular altar, built in 1541 by the famous Basque stonemason Diego de Vergara.
Another highlight of the port city is the castle called Castillo de Gibralfaro, which was declared a national monument in 1931. The castle, built in the 14th century, was used to house troops and protect the Alcazaba. The name of the monument comes from a lighthouse that once stood on the mountain. Although the castle was already used by Phoenicians and Romans, it was the Nazarite king Yusuf I who built the fortress in 1340. The castle walls offer a unique view over the port and the city of Málaga. In the Castillo de Gibralfaro you can visit a military exhibition that displays armour, swords and other historical objects, as well as a miniature of the city.
The bullring “Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta” was built in 1874 by Joaquín Rucoba. Since 1981 the arena, which is located in the quarter “La Malagueta”, is under monumental protection. The building, which has a 16-sided outer wall, measures around 171 foot and can hold around 9000 spectators. Bullfights take place here during the Easter period and in August during the Feria de Málaga. Besides the bullfights, there are also concerts, different shows and cultural and sports events. The arena also houses the “Taurino Antonio Ordoñez” museum, where visitors can learn about the history of the creation of the Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta.
Center Pompidou Málaga
The Center Pompidou Málaga, is the first seat of the Parisian art and culture center outside of France. It is located in “El Cubo”, a cultural center in the shape of a cube at Harbor One, right next to the port of Málaga. Since 2015, art lovers can view 90 masterpieces from the 20th and 21st centuries from the collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne. Among them are works by Frida Kahlo, Antoni Tàpies, Orlan and Picasso. The museum is divided into five thematic areas: “Metamorphosis”, “Self-Portraits”, “The Faceless Man”, “The Political Body” and “The Body in Pieces”. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are up to three temporary exhibitions per year.
The “Museo Picasso” is an art gallery dedicated to Pablo Picasso, not far from the birthplace of the Spanish painter. Only in 1997 the government of Andalusia got the permission to build the museum in Pablo Picasso’s birthplace. The exhibition contains over 200 of his works, including drawings, sculptures and paintings. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are temporary changing exhibitions that focus on modern art.
Map of the cruise port in Málaga
The port of Málaga is one of the oldest ports of Spain, beside the one of Barcelona. The port is centrally located in the city and has several landing stages:
At the berth Palmeral de las Sorpresas only smaller cruise ships can dock. There is also a small terminal here. This berth is particularly central and you only need a 5 minute walk from here to the city center.
The larger cruise ships usually dock at the two harbors on the east quay, also known as Muelle Levante Atraque Sur and Muelle Levante Atraque Norte. These have a total of four berths and two modern terminals. There is a small tourist information office and free WLAN in the terminal. There are souvenir shops, bars and restaurants on the quaysides. From the terminal it is about 1,25 mile (2 km) on foot to the city center. Some cruise lines offer their own shuttle service to the city center, others use the harbor shuttle service. This takes guests to the old town to the Plaza de la Marina and costs approximately €3.00. The walk takes about 20-30 minutes.
Things to know before your trip to Málaga
Shipping companies and routes
Málaga is served by international shipping companies, including Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.
Entry and visa
Spain is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Spain for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
Please check the entry requirements with your cruise company.
In Málaga you pay with the Euro. If you would like to pay without cash, you can do this with the credit cards.
Taxi and public transport
There are several taxis just outside the port area. Málaga also has a well developed bus line network, which is operated by EMT (Empresa Malagueña de Transportes). So you can also explore the city on your own. Many city buses arrive in the center in the main street Alameda Principal. There are also regional buses that go a little further outside the city, for example to Ronda and Marbella. The bus station called Maria Zambrano is located just outside the city center next to the main train station. From here you can also take the train to the airport, Cordoba or Seville. The port city also has two metro lines that also meet at the Central Station. The L1 and L2 lines run approximately every 10 minutes.
The Costa del Sol is known for its over 300 days of sunshine a year. The climate is already subtropical-Mediterranean in spring with temperatures between 52 and 70 Fahrenheit. The high summer months are dry and hot and reach peak values of 86 Fahrenheit on average from May to August. The bathing season starts in June. It is not until October that the peak values slowly fall below 77 Fahrenheit again. The main season for cruise ships in Málaga is from April to November.
Website port operators and tourism organisations
- Official port site: Puerto Málaga
- Official tourism information website: Tourismus Málaga
- Online tour guide: Wikivoyage – Málaga
Video: Impressions of Málaga
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