Questions about Malaga

Old Feb 14th, 2024, 08:57 AM
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Questions about Malaga

Hello. We're a couple in our 60s and a friend in her 70s, and we're going to be staying in Malaga for three days or so in September after visiting Madrid. We're familiar with Madrid, and I'm just learning about Malaga. I see that the must-see places are pretty concentrated in the city center, but my question is about getting around. I don't think we could handle walking up a big hill to the castle. Could we take a taxi up and work our way down?

Also, anything I should know about arriving by train? We might drive, but the train would be a lot cheaper and it doesn't seem that we'll need a car much. Still, it's fun to drive and see things along the way, and after seeing the main sights in Malaga in a day or two, we might want to take a day trip to Gibraltar or somewhere.

Which leads to another question. Our friend doesn't like the idea of a "fast" train at all, and she doesn't believe me when I tell her it doesn't feel crazy fast and one can see plenty of scenery. But my daughter says there are slow trains and fast trains to most destinations. The schedules seem to indicate that to be the case, but the travel times don't seem much different. I think I've only been on a fast train, Madrid to Segovia. What are the non-fast trains like?

Thank you, as always, for your help!
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Old Feb 14th, 2024, 10:27 AM
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Tell your friend she has nothing to worry about regarding the fast trains. We took them several times while traveling throughout Andalucia, and they are not crazy fast. You don't even realize you are traveling fast. The ride is very smooth, not bumpy at all. You can also take the ALSA buses, which are modern, clean, air-conditioned and reliable. We took them twice, from Cordoba to Granada, and then Granada to Malaga because the train tracks weren't finished to/from Granada at the time.

While in Malaga, we walked to the top of the Alcazaba, which was an amazingly beautiful walk. We then took the elevator down to the street. So you could take the elevator to the top, and then walk down if you wish.

We walked to the top of the Castillo de Gibralfaro, but we did take a taxi down from there. We visited both the Alcazaba and Castillo on the same day, so we were tired by the end of the day and decided to take the taxi back. There is a bar/cafe at the top of the Castillo where we had lunch.

How long is your trip? Are you planning on visiting Sevillle, Cordoba, and Granada?
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Old Feb 14th, 2024, 11:43 AM
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Thank you, Karen - that's all good to know. I've been to Seville, Cordoba and Granada, and I love them all. This will be my friend's first time in Spain, and we don't want to stay in more than two cities. (Don't like packing and unpacking.) We could take a day trip to one of those places from Malaga, but I'm not sure we want to spend 2 hours or so each way to do that. Still, it's in the back of my mind as an option.

We'll probably have eight days in all. I'm thinking maybe five nights in Madrid, with day trips to Toledo, Segovia and maybe El Escorial, and three in Malaga.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 12:15 AM
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Yes, you can take an elevator up to the top of the Alcazaba. It's located behind the main entrance, not obvious. Just ask, and the attendant will give you directions.

And for Gibralfaro, just take a taxi up.

Please don't drive to Málaga from Madrid, as it's a long, tedious drive unless you break it up with an overnight or two, and the high speed train is so much easier.. I take these AVE and IRYO trains frequently here, and as KarenWoo assures you, there is no feeling at all of traveling "fast". It's just a very efficient, comfortable and relaxing way to travel. If you choose an Elige Confort seat on Renfe's AVE you will have a 2-1 seat configuration in these Preferente cars, a larger seat, more leg room,, and it will be a quieter ride for those 3 hours.

As to "non-fast" trains,
on a particular route, such as Madrid to Salamanca, for example (I know this route doesn't apply to you), when there are both non-fast (MD) and high speed trains (ALVIA), there is absolutely no reason to take the slower train, as the scenery is the same since they take the same route, and the higher-speed ALIVIA will reach Salamanca in just 1 hr. 41 min,. while the MD takes 3 hours. These high speed trains are simply a far better use of your limited travel time.

I admit not being a fan of Gibraltar and especially of the drive along the autoroute west of Málaga, but if you want to visit the hill town of Ronda, you can certainly take the train or bus. You might take the train one way and the bus the other way, if it fits your schedule better. You won't need a rental car.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 01:30 AM
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taking the train in Europe is nearly always the best way to go compared to the car. Yes it is a public space but then so was the airline you flew over in. Far safer than a car, often with access to food, a loo and the chance to make new friends it is the only way to travel. Plus you can take a picnic and offer it other people. Finally it goes city to city, which is nearly always where you would like to be (and I didn't mention the benefits of less contribution to Climate Change at all)
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
taking the train in Europe is nearly always the best way to go compared to the car. Yes it is a public space but then so was the airline you flew over in. Far safer than a car, often with access to food, a loo and the chance to make new friends it is the only way to travel. Plus you can take a picnic and offer it other people. Finally it goes city to city, which is nearly always where you would like to be (and I didn't mention the benefits of less contribution to Climate Change at all)
What Bilbo said…🙂
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 04:56 AM
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cgreer426,
I amend my "you can certainly take the train or bus" to Ronda, although it's true, by public transportation now it's become very time consuming, since public transportation has been cut back seriously to Ronda after covid.
There is a 9:17 train departure with train change that arrives at 11:07 but the return train at 6:41, arriving back at 9:46, a journey of 3 hrs. 5 min. also with train change.
The Avanza bus group offers service, but the ride is equally long, from 2 hrs. 40 min to 3 hrs. 15. Not easy anymore.
There is another company, Damas, that offers bus service via another route, and its rides may be shorter. ( can't connect with them at the moment)
Check https://damas-sa.es/690-2/

If you decide to venture to Ronda, it may be best to take a small group tour, if that appeals. But please note that it makes for an 8-hour day.

Last edited by Maribel; Feb 15th, 2024 at 05:06 AM.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 05:06 AM
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Thank you all - all tips are welcome!
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 05:34 AM
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You may find that you will want 3 nights in Málaga with your first day getting over jet lag, assuming you're traveling from the US.

It's a lovely city in which to have a "soft landing", as the center core is highly pedestrianized, there are plazas galore where one can sit at an outdoor café with a drink and watch the world go by, or have a cocktail or mocktail on one of the many roof top terrace with sea views. Visit a lively indoor market, the Mercado Atarazanas, especially lively in the morning, the "one-armed" cathedral, "La Manquita" (the 2nd tower was never finished).
There is a beautiful palm-lined seaside promenade, parks, plenty of benches along the way, and some fine museums in addition to its Alcazaba and Gibralfaro monuments.:
the Museo de Málaga has an outstanding archaeological wing, there's the Carmen Thyssen, an easy see, the Picasso Museum, a nice little folkloric museum, the Museo de Artes y Costumbres, a wine museum, a glass museum, and...

for something of interest to men (car enthusiasts) and women (fashion enthusiasts) alike, the Museo del Automóvil y La Moda (really well done) and across the way, the Museo Ruso, with works brought from the Hermitage, housed in the former Royal Tobacco Factory, La Tabacalera. This is a nice combo for museum lovers. Take bus 7 or 3.

And it offers very good dining, especially if you're a seafood lover.

Read more about all there is to see and do in the city here-Read all about things to see and do here

https://www.andalucia.com/cities/malaga/home.htm


Here is the Malaga to Ronda bus schedule for all current providers, mostly Avanza.
Horarios%20LR_01122023_Ed_01.pdf

Last edited by Maribel; Feb 15th, 2024 at 06:09 AM.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 11:02 AM
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Maribel, can you recommend a hotel with an elevator near most of what you just described? Price of 150 Euro would be nice or hopefully not too much more, for a single room. Thank you.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 11:48 AM
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Hi SusanP,
What are your dates? And which city?

Last edited by Robert2016; Feb 16th, 2024 at 11:51 AM.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 12:04 PM
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It would be late August/early September, for Malaga. I like to be in the middle of everything. Right now, I'm trying to decide where to go!
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 11:53 PM
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August 17-24 will coincide with Málaga's yearly Feria, which may affect room rates, so you would want to be there afterwards when hotel prices go down, although it's still high season.

The 3-star Hotel Don Curro should come within your budget and its location couldn't be more central. Right in the heart of the city.
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 12:36 AM
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I loved the fast AVE train from Madrid to Malaga. It wasn’t that fast - you could see the landscape perfectly well.
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 05:28 AM
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We stayed at the Soho Malaga, Cordoba 5. Excellent location. Very close to the pedestrianized calle Marques de Larios. It's a small boutique hotel (28 rooms).
https://www.sohohoteles.com/destinos...ique-malaga-3/
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 05:50 AM
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I can’t add anything cgreer426, but following as we leave on Monday for 16 nights in Malaga.

Maribel, thanks for the link to the Andalusia site, very useful info as we’ll be taking day trips out.
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 06:05 AM
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I just checked KarenWoo's choice (had initially thought it would be over your budget so didn't mention it), but for the night of Aug. 29, a double room for single use (that's their version of a single) comes in at 141.75 and with breakfast, 151, just a bit more. Just make sure you join the SBLovers program (free) to get the best price at any Soho hotel. I'm a member.
This is a much better, newer, "snazzier" choice than the Don Curro. Any hotel close to the beautiful Calle Marqués de Larios is a fab location.
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Old Feb 17th, 2024, 10:49 AM
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Thanks, Maribel and Karen!
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