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What You Need To Know about Malaga

Malaga is located in Andalusia in southern Spain. Its capital is the city of Malaga, the birthplace of the painter Pablo Picasso, and it is home to monuments such as the Alcazaba Arab citadel. It is also the setting for the religious processions which form part of Malaga’s Easter Week celebrations, declared a Festival of Tourist Interest. The province lies on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and has 160 km of coastline with a multitude of beaches and marinas. One of its most famous cities is Marbella, known all over the world as Europe’s golf capital. The interior is well worth a visit to see the charming “white villages”, and the historic centres of towns such as Ronda. It also boasts over 15 protected natural spaces. Its gastronomy is based mainly on assorted fried fish dishes using the smaller fish (anchovies, mullet, mackerel…) and on typical recipes such as gazpacho.

Area: 395 km²
Population:566,913 (2014)

Currency

  • Euro is the official currency of Spain, The Euro is the official currency of Spain, and of most European Union member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, among others. The Euro, symbolized by a “€,” has been in public circulation since January, 2002. The peseta, the former official currency of Spain, is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in Spain give the price both in Euro and in pesetas, to help those who still think in terms of pesetas.There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation. Coins are denominated in 2 and 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Each member state decorated their own coins, but all coins are interchangeable within the countries. Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and they vary in color and size.
  • In Spain all banks use the same daily-established rate for currency exchange. However, as commission rates vary considerably between banks (typically between €3 and €6), the ICS recommends that students exchange their money at those banks with lower commission rates. Regardless of where one exchanges money, a valid passport (not a photocopy of it) must be presented as identification.
  • The best way to dispose of money while you are in Malaga is to own an ATM card. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere thoughout Spain. Of all credit cards, VISA and American Express card are the most widely recognized.

Weather

Malaga enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate which has helped make it one of Europe’s favourite holiday destinations – it is, after all, the capital city of Spain’s ‘sun coast’, the Costa del Sol.

The climate is characterised by long, hot, dry summers and very mild rainy winters. The city receives almost 3000 hours of sunshine a year which equates to about 300 days every year with sunny weather. However, Malaga is also prone to fog which develops over the sea and blows inland.

Language

The official language of Spain is Castilian (Castellano); however, it is important to keep in mind that Castilian is not the only language spoken in Spain. There are a number of different languages and dialects that are spoken throughout the various regions of Spain, four of which are co-official languages (Catalan, Basque, Galician, and Valencian).

Health and security

  • In case of a health emergency while visiting Costa del Sol, there are ambulances, doctors and hospitals that are all rated as excellent. Any tourist can visit the emergency room of any hospital if there is a need. There are public health clinics that are open 24 hours a day, however, many tourists prefer to visit only the private health facilities. So, it’s a good idea to quickly review the list of available clinics at the beginning of a vacation just in case one is needed.Traveling and vacationing in Costa del Sol should be a safe and enjoyable experience for anyone who chooses to visit. Because it is such a touristy area, there are always going to be incidents of small crimes like pick-pocketing, but being a victim of this can easily be avoided. Other than small crimes, Costa del Sol is a safe place to vacation. However, there is a definate risk of attempted theft, even if unsuccessful. You should be aware that there are a large number of active criminals in the large areas especially Fuengirola.

DON’T

  • Be warned and double check that the taxi driver picking you up is from the company you booked with.
  • Parking in Malaga City centre is problematic. Spaces are scarce even in Winter, and it isn’t very clear which areas are permitted for parking and at what times. If you are going to park in the city centre try to use one of the underground car parks.

DO

  • Try and hunt out small, spanish bars that serve traditional tapas free with each drink.
  • If you’re not particularly squeamish the ‘Museo Taurino de Malaga’ makes for a fascinating visit. The museum’s collection covers six centuries of bullfighting history both in Malaga and throughout Spain. It features works by Goya and Picasso as well as hats, procession capes, costumes and much more.