1. The Noblest of Them All – Calle Larios
When it opened in 1891, this was a smartest shopping street in Spain. Just over 125 years later, Calle Larios still ranks as one of the most elegant in Spain with some of the highest retail rents to match. Along the 1,140 or so feet, you’ll find lots of big Spanish retail brands (think Massimo Dutti, Desigual, Mango… - Zara is just down Calle Liborio García) with a good sprinkling of women’s lingerie shops plus a couple of cosmetics stores. Calle Larios is also your port of call if you’re looking for & Other Stories.
And while you won’t find any specialist stores on Calle Larios itself, pop down a couple of sidestreets to discover:
- Ultramarinos Juan de Dios Barba on Calle Martínez where you can admire the window stuffed with dried cod and baskets of smoked herrings, and buy typical Malaga produce from one of the oldest grocer’s store in town.
- Ferreterín Llavín on Calle Santa María is a treasure trove of paella pans, tools, door handles, coffee pots, knives… They just don’t make hardware stores like this anymore.
Not just stores
Even if you’re not getting your wallet out, Calle Larios is a street to wonder and admire. Flanked on both sides by stunning façades in pastels and wrought-iron balconies, the entire street comes paved in cream and beige marble. You’ll find lots of street entertainment here as well – buskers, performers, mime artists and face painting for kids.
Calle Larios does fiestas and events big time too. The Christmas lights rank among the best in Spain; this marble paving plays centre stage for Malaga Fair in August; and the length of the street gets red carpet treatment for the Malaga Film Festival in spring and a blue carpet catwalk for Malaga Fashion Week in September.
2. Off the Main Trail – Calle Andrés Pérez
Tucked away behind the Carmen Thyssen Museum, one of the over 30 museums
, lies one of the city’s best-kept secrets: Calle Andrés Pérez not only has some great stores, it does some of the best places to eat in Malaga.
If you’re shopping, don’t miss the clothes boutiques – a refreshing change after the much-of-a-muchness retail in Calle Larios. Be sure to visit La Casa del Cardenal, home to the best antique shop in Malaga and a 17th century architectural jewel in itself and pop into Mahatma Showroom to take in the latest art exhibition. Then pop round the corner into Calle Ballesteros and the modern artisans’ square where among the many workshops you’ll find a luthiers complete with its window displays of violins and guitars.
Calafate vegetarian restaurant, one of the best in Malaga, lies at the heart of street and does a value lunchtime menu. Nearby Casa Mira serves homemade ice cream in the city’s most elegant parlor and Julia Bakery on the corner with Calle Carretería sells some of the most delicious pastries and cakes in Malaga.
3. Goodies Galore – Calle San Juan
Two blocks west of Calle Larios lies Calle San Juan, a winding street home to lots of specialist goodies. This is your port of call if you’re looking for unusual gifts or something different to take home. Pop into:
- Calzados Hinojosa with possibly the best line in espadrilles in southern Spain. The windows might be packed with granny slippers and sandals but step right inside to choose your espadrille type and colour, and all with super wallet-friendly prices.
- Aqua sells lovely gift after lovely gift. From home décor to scarves and accessories, this friendly store is a great stop for the ultimate present. If you’re in Malaga at Christmas
pop in here for traditional decorations and clockwork toys.
- La Recova specializes in artisan and handmade items. This is your stop for earthenware pots, vases and bowls, traditionally-woven rugs and those cute Andalusian donkeys. Step right inside for breakfast at the small café – some of the best coffee in town plus toast with all the traditional trimmings.
4. Modern Meets Old – Calle Especería and Calle Cisneros
Between Plaza de la Constitución and the river are two of the city center’s historic streets where old meets new when it comes to shopping. You’ll find modern boutiques cheek-to-cheek with traditional stores here. Our favourites include:
- Casa de Pedro Mira where you can buy a hat for any occasion including traditional Andalusian headwear plus fans.
- Golden Tips serving a long, long list of teas and tea-making accessories. Their choice of white, red and green teas is the best in town.
- Viva La Feria, slightly further along in Calle Cisneros, sells flamenco fashion and even if you’re not planning to buy one of the frilly polka-dot dresses this is great for browsing.
- Mercería Aranchata is one of the best haberdashery shops in Malaga where you can buy buttons and braids galore. Or again, just browse.
5. Feast Your Senses – Atarazanas Market
Not officially a street but long and with enough stalls to qualify for this post, the Atarazanas Market is a must-visit and a feast for the senses. And that’s all five of them. Malaga’s biggest indoor market comes packed with stalls selling the very best in fresh produce, most of it local and all delicious.
Once the city’s docks – don’t miss the original Moorish horseshoe arch entrance on Calle Atarazanas – the market has an elegant wrought-iron façade and a stunning stained-glass window along the entire back wall. The stalls themselves are divided into food types – fish and meat plus cold cuts and cheeses take up the western side while fresh fruit and vegetables occupy the rest. You’ll also find olives and dried nuts stalls plus several good bars serving freshly-fried fish and shellfish.
The market (open Monday to Saturday 9am to 3pm) does a thriving tourist trade, but it’s also a shopping spot for residents too. Unlike some big city markets, Atarazanas has kept its prices local-friendly and as a result, it offers a genuine insight into shopping in Malaga.
Author Name: Joanna Styles
Joanna Styles is the creator and curator for Guide to Malaga
, the go-to reference guide in English about the city of Malaga in southern Spain. Joanna is specialist travel guide writer and updater, and has lived on the Costa del Sol for 30 years.