Malaga – the 6th biggest city in Spain that has stolen my heart

Malaga – The City that has stolen my heart!!!

Spending three months during my internship in Costa del Sol has given me plenty of opportunities to explore its surroundings.  After Gibraltar, Fuengirola and Benalmadena, I decided to visit the capital of this region and the 6th biggest city in Spain – Malaga.

From the first moment I fell in love with it. The city is a perfect mix of old and new, as well as it has everything that you need to live comfortably and have easy access to  green areas.

Going around Malaga

Malaga is not really a big city, so it is easy to walk around and get to the main attractions without any problems. To those places that are farther away you can reach using  local buses. Remember! This is Andalusia in Spain, so the bus will show up when it will show up 😉.

We (Me and my parents) went to Malaga from Fuengirola by commuter train, costs around €2.50 per person one way (if you plan to stay longer in Málaga municipality it is cheaper when you buy a 10-trip ticket that costs around €20). After we reached the city, my Dad decided that we should take a Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off buss that took us to all the attractions that are worth to visit in this City. 

Hop On Hop Off Bus

I have always been skeptical about this type of city tours. In most cities it does not offer much with the ticket. However, Malaga has a well-designed package.  I chose  24-hour tickets that cost 29€ per person.  With this ticket I could use buses with guide (they offer guided tours in 8 languages) that are stopping next to every important attraction and are running every 20 minutes (in April).

This ticket also gives you access to museums:

  • Casa y Fundación Picasso (The house of Pablo Picasso)
  • Museo de la Música (Interactive Music Museum – if you like music you should visit it)
  • Museo Alborania de Aula del Mar
  • Museo Carmen Thyssen
  • Museo Revello de Toro
  • Museo Málaga C.F.
  • Museo Picasso
  • Museo del Automóvil
  • Cuevas del Tesoro

Isn´t it amazing? And you know what? This is still not everything that you are getting. In the price it is also included a boat tour around the bay (if the weather is good), free tapas with a glass of wine (specific hours), and a Flamenco Show. I think that buying this ticket was one of the best decisions we have made (Big kiss and thank you to my Daddy 😊).

There is also a 48-hour ticket, so if you would like to see everything and fully use the ticket, I would recommend this option instead. It costs 49€ per person

You can buy tickets in advance on the Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off website, through your travel agency or easily buy it from  company personnel next to the bus stops, and on the main train stations.

Flamenco Show and birthday´s dinner

My parents came to visit me one week before my 29th birthday, so I decided to book a Flamenco Show with dinner included to celebrate it.  I got a recommendation from a friend to visit Cal Y Canto Restaurant which offers Flamenco & Dinner packages.

They have the show twice per day: one at 8 p.m and one at 10 p.m. You can choose between 3 different price options:

1.       The show + 1 drink + 1 appetizer – costs €22 per person

2.       The show + 1 drink + tasting of 4 tapas – costs €36

3.       The show + 1 drink + 3-course meal – costs €49

I decided that we should had a big celebration with dinner. The food was amazingly tasty, and we could try typical Andalusian cuisine. However, no one told us that the portions are huuge, so we should not have had eaten anything in the whole day 😊.

 

As a starter the restaurant served a dish called Russian Salad – it is basically potatoes salad with mayonnaise – it was tasty as well as the well-known Spanish croquette with Iberian ham. 

After this it was time for the main dish. Here we could choose between meat and fish. My Mum and I took tuna fillet, and my Dad went with the meat dish. All the dishes were really tasty, but for my taste they were missing fresh vegetables on the side.

After those dishes and some glasses of wine it was time for desserts. As you probably already know, I am the type of person that loves sweets and everything that has chocolate included. So, you can imagine how happy I was when we got a big portion of chocolate brownie in the end 😊. Even though I was already full after the starter and the main dish, I ate the whole cake. 

That would be everything for today. I am planning to go back to Malaga before I return to Sweden. Come back soon and read more about what to visit in Malaga.

 

See you on the road,

Kaja 

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Internship in Costa del Sol – how much it costs.

It has been already one month since I started my internship in Spain. I decided that probably many of you would like to know how much it costs to live here. In this post I would like to cover this topic and how to make shopping smartly to save some money.

My three-month internship here is unfortunately unpaid, so I came here with a tight budget. However, as a traveling-addicted person I would like to explore as much as I can here with the money I have. After one week living here, I have decided that I need 600€ for monthly expenses and the rest I can use for traveling. Read forward to see what I am spending this money on. 

1. Renting apartment

Renting an apartment is one of the biggest expenses here. Of course, you can try to find accommodation through Couchsurfing, however I am staying here 3 months and I need my space.

Costa del Sol is a place which people from Sweden, Norway, Finland and England choose as an escape from a cold winter in their countries. Here they can enjoy the sun almost during the whole winter.

That makes the real estate industry grow really fast. There are several rental options like room rental, apartment rental or simply aparthotel or hotel.

There is plenty of websites like https://www.milanuncios.es/ where you can find information about room rental from a private person or use a holiday rental agency to find it through them. I chose to rent the apartment through an agency to have comfort with communication in English. In Spain not everyone speaks English.  I found the apartment through https://www.spainhouses.net/ .

I think it was a great idea to do like I did, because I feel safe and everything is perfect. I am renting my apartment together with my classmate, which is also doing an internship in the same company. In my opinion, it is the best option if you can share the cost of accommodation with someone. We pay 800€ per month, including all utilities. However, if we would have a consumption on utilities for more than 60€ per month we would need to pay extra. It is a 65m2 apartment with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a small kitchen and a balcony with sea view. I was thinking that this is a really good price, but according to a colleague who lives here, it is an expensive one.

Be careful with the distance from work when you look for an apartment. Costa del Sol is a mountain area, so 2.5 km on the map to an apartment that is for example up in Benalmadena will not be the same as 2.5 km if you will have an apartment next to the sea, where you have flat ground. I asked a friend to come and see the apartment and the area before I decided to take it. 

2. Food and other things that I need in home (washing soap, shower gel, etc.).

As I said, in the beginning I came here with a short budget and still I would like to explore a lot. To do so, I decided that I can spend 50€ per week on food and other necessary things. To be able to stick to this budget I need to make shopping carefully and that is why I can give you some tips on how to buy good things cheap and not overpay.

Fuengirola, the small town where I am staying, is a typical touristic place, so shop owners take advantage of it. The first thing that you should know is to not make shopping in a supermarket next to the beach. The prices there are twice or even three times higher than in the shops that are farther from the coast.

I have also found that in Costa del Sol they have local outdoor markets, where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. In Fuengirola this market takes place on Tuesdays. You can read more about local markets here (link to next article). This is the best and the cheapest place to buy fruits and vegetables. The colors, variety and prices are outstanding. As an example, 1 kg of tomatoes or avocado (from local producers) costs 1€ each, or 1 kg of juicy mango 1,50€. I spend every week around 7€ there and I am coming back with my backpack (30l) full of good stuff.

I usually make my weekly shopping in a supermarket called Jamón  Supermarcado. It is close to my office and I can find everything I need there in a good price. They have fresh meat, different types of ham and cheese, and everything you need for a weekly shopping. I spend there between 15-25€ per week. It depends a lot on what I buy, but I always get turkey, yoghurts, lactose-free milk and some snacks to work. I am not eating so much meat here, but once I bought two chicken breasts and I paid around 2€ for it. A good bread costs between 1,50€ and 3,50€. I am buying it in a bakery close to my house. This store (Jamón Supermarcado) is not the cheapest one. You can find here a store called Mercadona, which is cheaper, but I do not have it close.

3.Transportation

I do not use so often local transportation, because I walk to and from work. The buses around Fuengirola cost 1,15€ and you need to buy it by cash from the driver. Remember to have coins, because drivers do not have change.  If you would like to go between cities in Costa del Sol, the price depends a lot on how far you want to go. The problem with the busses is that they do not have accurate time schedules. According to the locals, the buses “comes when they come” 😊.

There is also train between Málaga and Fuengirola with stops in all the towns on the way like Benalmadena, Torreblanca, Torremolinos as well as Málaga Airport. The one-way ticket costs 2,10€ and you need to buy it on the platform before getting on the train. This trains are comfortable and quick. From Fuengirola to Málaga it takes around 45 minutes.

4.Eating outside

The cost of eating outside depends a lot on where and what you want to eat. Until now I have visited some of the restaurants next to the sea (which in theory should be more expensive) as well as coffee places around.

The special food here that you can find everywhere is of course sea food and fish. One of the famous dishes is grilled sardines, which costs between 3,50€ to 6€. For me that dish would be enough for lunch, but probably for most people that would be a starter. A main dish with fish or meat costs around 10€ – 15€ and a paella with sea food – around 25€ for 2 people. 

We are in Spain, so of course tapas are a must. The traditional way of tapas was a social thing, going from one bar to another with friends, grabbing one or two beers and getting some tapas (small dish) for free. Nowadays, it is really difficult to find places where you get tapas for free. Now it is more common that you pay for a drink and for the tapas separately. And here again the difference between prices is big. You can find tapas from 1,50€ per plate up to even 6€ per plate. There are places that make combos such as beer + tapas that cost between 2,50€ to 5€.

In Costa del Sol it is common to drink coffee outside home. That is why you can find good coffee almost everywhere and it costs between 1,20€ up to even 3,50€. Check where locals drink coffee, so probably there you will find a good and cheap cup of coffee. As I mentioned before, you can meet here a lot of elder English people, who runs many restaurants and coffee shops that serve English breakfasts and coffee with brandy for 3€.

 That is everything for today. I hope you found in the information in my post interesting and useful, and if you have some more question about doing an internship and living in Spain send me a message or leave a comment.

See you on the road,

Kaja

 
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