Spain has been recognized as one of the top destinations for solo travelers.
While Spain’s 3 major cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia are all fantastic and diverse Metropolitan cities, they only show a fraction of Spain’s beauty, mystery, and charm.
In the region of Andalucia, there are eight provinces with their own unique culture and cuisine but the same welcoming vibe. One area in particular has been drawing in solo travelers.
It’s a place that offers stunning beaches and small towns of white-washed buildings that shine like a pearl in the sun. It also offers an assortment of tapas and primarily sunny days all year.
If a solo trip to Spain is on your radar, you’ll want to visit Malaga, and here’s why.
What makes Malaga so magical?
When people talk about Malaga, they often mention it being a part of the “Costa del Sol” or the sunny coast.
While many people come to spend their days soaking up the sun while relaxing on the beach, Malaga is much more than a beach getaway.
The Andalusian town offers history, archeological sites, diverse cuisine, year-round festivals, and, most importantly, friendly locals and expats.
When planning your trip, it’s best to come before the high season in summer. Aim for a trip in late May or September when the beaches aren’t so packed with locals and tourists.
If you want to experience culture, check out the Feria de Malaga or the city fair in the second week of August. During this time, you’ll see locals dressed in their finest attire, experience local music and food, and experience culture firsthand.
Free things to do
While solo traveling in Malaga, you’ll find many free things to do. The first free thing to check out is the free walking tours. It’s a way to learn about the city, get a little history lesson, and meet other travelers.
Other free things to do include:
- The Botanic Garden at the University of Malaga
- Venture through the Cortijo de Torres Flea Market every Sunday
- Stroll through Parque del Oeste, which leads to Misericordia Beach,
- Enjoy free entertainment while strolling along Malaga’s port Muelle Uno
Many small towns to explore
The capital of Malaga is usually the first stop for travelers. The city offers an assortment of restaurants and shops to meet the needs of tourists.
However, if you want to get off the beaten path, Malaga has many small towns accessible by bus or train. Here are some towns you can make a day trip out to.
Enjoy delicious meals for under $15
Because Malaga is close to the sea, seafood options will be good and plenty. However, Malaga has various food options, from traditional Spanish to international cuisines.
Remember that restaurants in the city center tend to have higher prices, so it is best to visit restaurants that aren’t centrally located.
If you want to feel like you’re an expert solo traveler, whether it’s your first trip or your 10th trip, then you’ll want to know about the “Menu del dia.” Also known as the menu of the day, where you can get a three-course meal for $15 or less.
This, almost too good to be true, deal is a pre-arranged meal where you can choose an appetizer, an entree, a drink, and dessert for a set price of around 12 or 13 euros, which converts to about $15 or less. These offers happen during lunch, starting around 1 p.m. and finishing around 4 p.m.
Here are some bars known for their Menus of the day
- Bar Los Locos
- Soca Restaurant
- Café Bar Arriate
Opportunities to meet other travelers
Of course, as a solo traveler, you enjoy your solitude. However, if you need company or want to meet new people, Malaga offers many opportunities to socialize with other travelers and locals.
Misericordia Beach is a popular beach where people play volleyball and other activities.
You can also meet people online through Meetup groups. Lastly, you can check out the LGBTIQA+ scene in the bars in the downtown area of Malaga.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com