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, a minimum of so far as I’m involved, is that it isn’t an particularly shut contest. The higher information? Even in case you make the choice to base your self in simply considered one of these cities—and also you in all probability will—it’s simple to go to the opposite on a day journey.
Regardless of which alternative you make, you’ll have a tremendous place to name dwelling as you discover the jap lobe of Andalusia, which for my cash is Spain’s greatest area. There’s rather a lot to see right here, nonetheless, so I feel we should always get began.
My Experiences in Granada and Malaga
Nothing tells the story of my time in jap Andalusia than the totally different hospitality I obtained in every metropolis. In Granada, I arrived to my boutique resort 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 means 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 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 examine, 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’s to see within the metropolis. If you happen to needed to achieved one touristic factor in Malaga, I’d in all probability hike as much as Gibralfaro Viewpoint.
Accommodations 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 really 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, in case you’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 moderately industrial, and fewer than charming because of this. Granada, against this, not solely spreads gently over the hills that run via 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 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.
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 nicely. You possibly can take all these day journeys from Granada, too, however journey instances shall be barely longer, and buses could or could not depart as typically. In each circumstances, take into account that the bus station is outdoors town heart and requires a tram, bus or taxi trip.
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 can help you discover the jap “lobe” of the area. When you end right here (or earlier than, relying upon what route you journey), I like to recommend heading to Seville. Along with being the most effective 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 alternative 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 best 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 in case you merely wish to go there to say you’ve been. Nevertheless, in case you’re merely on the lookout 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. Preserve this in thoughts earlier than you e book a visit there.
The Backside Line
I feel 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 delusion and overflowing with power, the place magic is as thick within the air as the warmth through the summertime. With a view to decrease your disappointment, I’d suggest staying in Granada and, in case you select to go to Malaga, doing so solely on a day journey.