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Exploring Málaga as a Language Assistant: A City Guide

Meet our Language Assistant Emmie. She is currently placed in sunny Málaga and has decided to renew her participation in the program for another school year! Her students love her, but not as much as she loves them. Her teaching experience has really opened her eyes to the world and what this opportunity has to offer. Check out this video about her placement.

Emmie has had the chance to explore new places and fall in love with the beautiful city. Emmie has taken the time to prepare for us a sneak peek into all her favorite places in the city. You will also be able to hear more about what she has to say in this post.

One of the Greatest Experiences of My Life

Becoming a Language Assistant in Spain with Meddeas has been, and continues to be, one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being a language assistant is not just about growing your career and gaining outstanding work experience, but also taking the opportunity to travel and explore wonderful new places, learn new cultures, and meet people from all around the world.
Here’s my city guide to Málaga, a beautiful city on the ‘sunset coast’ often overlooked for its stigma as an airport city (which I can guarantee is so much more than that!).

Must-See places in Málaga City Centre!

1. The Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle

Two of the first places I visited in Málaga were the impressive Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle. A site with an abundance of history, Alcazaba and Gibralfaro are said to be built in the 11th century and played a key role in the Siege of Málaga in 1487. Both sites are connected by the walled path called the coracha. For the best experience, I’d recommend taking the number 35 bus from Alameda Principal to Gibralfaro, then walk down the coracha to the Alcazaba since the uphill walk can be very strenuous. Once inside, you can spend hours exploring in the incredible architecture and history!

Top tip: Both sites are free to enter after 2 pm on Sundays! However, at only 5,50€ for entry into both during the week, it really is must-see.

2. Calle Larios

Calle Marqués de Larios, often colloquially referred to as Calle Larios, is the main hub of Málaga. Constructed in 1891 and renovated in 2003, Calle Larios is the most expensive street in Málaga, with designer shops everywhere you look.

However, Calle Larios is not only great for shopping, but it’s also where a lot of the action happens! Very typical of Spain, Málaga is always looking forward to its next fiesta or parade and you can often find them here. Some of my favourites that take place along this street every year include the Christmas lights, the Carnival of Málaga, and the Málaga film festival! No matter when you visit Málaga, you will always see something advertised or taking place on this street.

3. Muelle Uno and Parque de Málaga

Just a few minutes from Calle Larios is the beautiful Parque de Málaga, which runs alongside the main street in the centre. With 800 meters of lovely green spaces, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll whilst observing the wide variety of wildlife (the green parrots are my favourite!), fountains, and sculptures in this botanical garden.

Alongside this park is also the stunning port and tourist hub of Málaga. I’d highly recommend walking along the harbour and observing the impressive, docked boats. Since I’ve been in Málaga, there have been a few boats docked which are actually open to the public! In January, I hopped aboard a Navy boat from Peru – for free! As well as boats, Muelle Uno also has an impressive array of restaurants and bars which come highly recommended – dinner with a view!

4. The Beaches: Malagueta & Pedregalejo

Of course, I can’t talk about Málaga without bringing up the incredible beaches. Just a short walk from Muelle Uno, you’ll find Málaga’s main beach called Malagueta which spans 1200 meters. Here, you can wander along the beautiful beachfront, top up your tan, and relax on the ‘sunshine coast’, or join in on one of the many beach activities. In addition, hop on the number 3 bus and you’ll find yourself at an equally as beautiful, but not as busy, Pedregalejo beach!

Restaurants, Cafés, and Bars

Whilst you’re at the beach, you can’t help but notice (or smell!) the small beach bars called Chiringuitos dotted along the seafront. These offer tapas and drinks but, most famously, the traditional dish of espetos – six sardines often cooked on a grill shaped like a mini boat. They are a must-try (according to the locals)!

Top Tip: Since I started my placement in January, I’ve not yet had the privilege to try them since, according to the locals, the best time to eat them are within the months that don’t include an R in their name – e.g., May, June, July, and August. So, from next month I’ll be sure to try them! But, as for now, I can confirm that the smell is incredible and, I assume, will only get better when they are cooked during their prime.

For cafes, Next Level Specialty Coffee is one of my go-to’s. Their French toast is unlike any other and it’s quite simply a lovely atmosphere with welcoming staff and delicious food and coffee. They have two locations in Malaga so keep a look out on your next trip!

As for restaurants, Casa Lola is a very popular (and cheap!) spot for tapas in Málaga – I love their garlic prawns! Or, if you’re looking for something more authentic, El Pimpi is one of the most famous tapas restaurants here, with its outdoor seating looking directly onto the Alcazaba!

 One of my favourite activities in Málaga is to take advantage of the warm weather and incredible views by going to one of many rooftop bars, I’d recommend ‘La Terraza de la Alcazaba’ with an insane view of Alcazaba or, for a more chill vibe ‘La Terraza de San Juan’. With a classic Tinto de Verano costing only 3€, you’ll be guaranteed a relaxing and fun evening with friends.

Day Trips In and Around Málaga

El Torcal de Antequera

One of the most incredible trips I’ve taken is to the World Heritage Site of El Torcal de Antequera. Millions of years ago, this area was once underwater and now stands at 1300 meters above sea level which gives the rocks their unique and interesting formation. There are different hike levels, so it’s accessible to almost everyone – but bring comfy shoes…on certain trails, I felt like I was actually rock climbing!

I went to El Torcal with the wonderful travel agency MSE (Málaga South Experiences) – top tip: MSE offers various trips year-round and is a wonderful way to explore Málaga and its surrounding areas, as well as an excellent way to meet new people! I’d highly recommend!

Caminito del Rey

Finally, Málaga is probably most famous for the Caminito del Rey – an impressive aerial trail located only 50 minutes away from Málaga centre by train. It’s a must-see destination. But book fast! Tickets tend to sell out very quickly, which is why I have not been able to go yet – but I have mine booked for next month and I can’t wait!

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