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, no less than 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 among these cities—and also you most likely will—it’s simple to go to the opposite on a day journey.
Regardless of which selection you make, you’ll have a tremendous place to name residence as you discover the japanese lobe of Andalusia, which for my cash is Spain’s greatest area. There’s rather a lot to see right here, nonetheless, so I believe we must always get began.
My Experiences in Granada and Malaga
Nothing tells the story of my time in japanese Andalusia than the totally different hospitality I obtained in every metropolis. In Granada, I arrived to my boutique lodge close to the 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 approach to assist me at each stage of my keep, usually anticipating my questions, even considerably non-traditional ones. She spoke no English, however her intentions got here by way of clearly.
The defining expertise of my time in Malaga, alternatively, was an ill-fated meal I loved (or tried to take pleasure in) at a tapas restaurant within the metropolis heart. 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 verify, 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 did not do their job.
Methods to Evaluate Malaga vs. Granada
Which isn’t to say you need to let private experiences of mine (curated ones, no much less) make your resolution. However, 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. When you needed to achieved one touristic factor in Malaga, I’d most likely 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 motels and tapas eating places in Granada are genuine, cozy and cute—for motels, I like Casa de Reyes and the marginally extra upscale Palacio de Santa Paula. In Malaga, alternatively, 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 reasonably industrial, and fewer than charming consequently. Granada, against this, not solely spreads gently over the hills that run by way of its heart; the whitewashed buildings of San Nicolas (essentially the most picturesque a part of Granada) virtually look like 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 enticing. 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.
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 properly. You may take all these day journeys from Granada, too, however journey instances can be barely longer, and buses could or could not depart as usually. In each circumstances, take into account that the bus station is outdoors the town heart and requires a tram, bus or taxi trip.
Different Locations in Andalusia
I’ll be trustworthy: Andalusia is simply too large to have only one base, be it Granada or Malaga. These cites actually solely help you discover the japanese “lobe” of the area. When you end right here (or earlier than, relying upon what path you journey), I like to recommend heading to Seville. Along with being the perfect 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 quite a lot 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 attention-grabbing, genuine metropolis than Malaga, though you wouldn’t know that based mostly on the hordes that crowd the city heart 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 price visiting for those who merely wish to go there to say you’ve been. Nevertheless, for those who’re merely searching for a seashore, I like to recommend visiting close by Nerja as an alternative, or going elsewhere in Spain solely. The fact—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 ebook 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—truly only one, its location alongside the coast—it simply doesn’t maintain a candle to Granada, a metropolis mired in fantasy and overflowing with vitality, the place magic is as thick within the air as the warmth throughout the summertime. In an effort to reduce your disappointment, I’d suggest staying in Granada and, for those who select to go to Malaga, doing so solely on a day journey.