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What You Must Know • We Weblog The World

For a lot of vacationers, the query of Granada vs Malaga is an existential one when planning a journey to Spain. I ought to know, as a result of it was for me. The excellent news, at the very least so far as I’m involved, is that it isn’t an particularly shut contest. The higher information? Even for those who make the choice to base your self in simply one in every of these cities—and also you in all probability will—it’s simple to go to the opposite on a day journey.

Irrespective of which alternative you make, you’ll have a tremendous place to name house as you discover the jap lobe of Andalusia, which for my cash is Spain’s finest area. There’s loads to see right here, nevertheless, so I believe we should always get began.

My Experiences in Granada and Malaga

Nothing tells the story of my time in jap Andalusia than the completely different hospitality I acquired in every metropolis. In Granada, I arrived to my boutique lodge close to town’s large cathedral when the receptionist was on siesta. She nonetheless appeared as I stood there ready, as if alerted just by my presence, and went out of her manner to assist me at each stage of my keep, typically anticipating my questions, even considerably non-traditional ones. She spoke no English, however her intentions got here via clearly.

The defining expertise of my time in Malaga, however, was an ill-fated meal I loved (or tried to take pleasure in) at a tapas restaurant within the metropolis middle. Along with the truth that neither the meals nor the sangria was excellent, the server was wholly inattentive, to the extent that I did one thing I by no means do. Unable to get my test, not to mention to pay, I dined and dashed. I had a bus to catch, and wasn’t about to overlook it as a result of another person didn’t do their job.


Methods to Examine Malaga vs. Granada

Points of interest

Which isn’t to say it’s best to let private experiences of mine (curated ones, no much less) make your choice. Then again, the fact is that not a single attraction in Malaga compares to Granada’s world-famous Alhambra, which is itself actually solely the start of what there may be to see within the metropolis. For those who needed to performed one touristic factor in Malaga, I’d in all probability hike as much as Gibralfaro Viewpoint.

Lodges and eating places

To me, that is an space the place Malaga vs Granada is simply no competitors. Whether or not you keep in bohemian San Nicolas or down towards the Cathedral, each inns and tapas eating places in Granada are genuine, cozy and cute—for inns, I like Casa de Reyes and the marginally extra upscale Palacio de Santa Paula. In Malaga, however, what you’re actually taking a look at its lodging and eating (and nightlife, for those who’re into that) geared towards the bottom overseas denominator.


Malaga is on the ocean, which ordinarily would give it the nod for me. Sadly, Malaga’s city-center shoreline is slightly industrial, and fewer than charming because of this. Granada, in contrast, not solely spreads gently over the hills that run via its middle; the whitewashed buildings of San Nicolas (essentially the most picturesque a part of Granada) nearly appear to be they’re an outgrowth of the character.

Native vs. vacationer vibe

If selecting between Malaga or Granada is a matter of wanting a extra genuine expertise, there’s actually no context. Whereas Malaga is a bigger metropolis and has loads of “actual” neighborhoods, these are sadly amongst Spain’s most harmful and least engaging. Whereas Granada is seemingly designed extra for vacationers, the fact is that the upper caliber of vacationer it attracts when in comparison with Malaga makes any artificiality simpler to disregard.

Day journeys

As a result of it’s bigger, Granada is barely higher positioned for taking day journeys inside Andalusia. It’s lower than an hour from Nerja, lower than two hours from Granada and about 90 minutes from Ronda as effectively. You’ll be able to take all these day journeys from Granada, too, however journey occasions will likely be barely longer, and buses could or could not depart as typically. In each instances, understand that the bus station is outdoors town middle and requires a tram, bus or taxi experience.

Different Locations in Andalusia

I’ll be sincere: Andalusia is simply too huge to have only one base, be it Granada or Malaga. These cites actually solely assist you to discover the jap “lobe” of the area. When you end right here (or earlier than, relying upon what course you journey), I like to recommend heading to Seville. Along with being the very best place to base your self in western Andalusia, I additionally personally discover Seville to be Spain’s most satisfying metropolis, on the entire.

From Seville, you’ll be able to go to many various locations on day journeys. To the north is Cordoba, well-known for its church that also retains a substantial amount of aesthetic reminiscence from its previous as a mosque. Heading south, in the meantime, takes you to coastal Cadiz and to Jerez de la Frontera, a metropolis that’s well-known each for its sherry manufacturing in addition to for its heritage of equestrianism.


Different FAQ About Visiting Malaga and Granada

Which is healthier to go to, Granada or Malaga?

Granada is a way more fascinating, genuine metropolis than Malaga, though you wouldn’t know that based mostly on the hordes that crowd the city middle and seashores of the latter. I’d suggest basing your self in Granada after which visiting Malaga (assume you do) on a day journey.

Malaga is value visiting for those who merely wish to go there to say you’ve been. Nevertheless, for those who’re merely searching for a seaside, I like to recommend visiting close by Nerja as an alternative, or going elsewhere in Spain solely. The truth—and I imply no shade by saying this—is that Malaga feels much less like southern Spain and extra like someplace in England, the pure surroundings however. Maintain this in thoughts earlier than you e-book a visit there.

The Backside Line

I believe it’s fairly clear the place I fall on the Granada vs Malaga debate. Whereas Malaga has sure issues going for it—really only one, its location alongside the coast—it simply doesn’t maintain a candle to Granada, a metropolis mired in delusion and overflowing with power, the place magic is as thick within the air as the warmth throughout the summertime. With a purpose to decrease your disappointment, I’d suggest staying in Granada and, for those who select to go to Malaga, doing so solely on a day journey.

Robert Schrader

Robert Schrader is a journey author and photographer who’s been roaming the world independently since 2005, writing for publications resembling “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” alongside the way in which. His weblog, Depart Your Every day Hell, supplies a mixture of journey recommendation, vacation spot guides and private essays masking the extra esoteric facets of life as a traveler.

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