The port of Malaga is one of the historic and tourist landmarks of the city. For centuries, this port which opens out onto the Mediterranean sea has been a strategic point for trade and the defence of the city for different cultures that have passed through it, from the Phoenicians to the Arabs.
This seaside spot has evolved over the years, becoming one of the most popular tourist areas in Malaga, since its facilities are home to museums, restaurants, shops and one of the best sunsets in the city.
Visitors that come here by hire car will be able to get to the port of Malaga, also called Muelle Uno, easily and will find a public car park where they can leave their hire car with complete peace of mind while they enjoy everything that this port area has to offer.
History of the port of Malaga
As mentioned above, and just like other port cities, the port of Malaga has been one of the key strategic points for the development of its civilisation, as it is a means of fishing, trade and the defence of the city walls. This has also made it the point of arrival for various cultures that have made Malaga the city it is today, from the Phoenicians who baptised it ‘Malaka’ to the Catholic Kings who ended Arab rule.
According to old maps of the city, which can be viewed at MUPAM, one of the essential museums of Malaga that helps people to understand the city’s history, the port was once different to how we see it today. Its waters bathed the city walls, making it a safe city that could easily defend itself from sea attacks.
Additionally, the Romans and Arabs used this advantage to trade with their ports of origin, trading products with their own civilisations that they could produce on the rich lands of Malaga, such as almonds, raisins, honey, fabrics, ceramics or Malaga’s garum, a sauce created by the Romans from fish remains and in popular demand among high society.
The port of Malaga today
Over the years, the Mediterranean sea has receded, with the sea moving further away from the city and creating the current port of Malaga, a social, tourist and cultural meeting point which is bursting with life and has a lot to offer visitors.
The area known as Muelle Uno is a relatively new project which has turned this area, dedicated solely to the arrival of commercial ships, into a hot spot for Malaga social life, with all types of establishments and points of interest. It is one of the city’s most important tourist attractions.
What is there to see in the port of Malaga?
The port of Malaga may initially seem like it has little of interest for visitors. However, its vast area is home to a variety of places of interest, including its popular lighthouse, known as La Farola, which is now one of the city’s symbols and is located at the end of Muelle Uno.
Another point of interest is the Port Chapel (Capilla del Puerto), a small building which stands out among the commercial establishments. Also known as the Chapel of the Virgin of the Carmen (Capilla de la Virgen del Carmen), patron saint of fishermen, this small religious building is not open to the public. However, it is impeccably preserved and all tourists stop to take a photo in front of its fountain.
The port of Malaga also has a space for culture with the Centre Pompidou Málaga, a delegation from the Parisian cultural centre dedicated to contemporary art and artistic avant-garde. This museum boasts one of the tourist points par excellence of the city: the cube of colours created by Daniel Buren which can be seen from almost any part of the dock and also from the viewpoint of Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro).
In this sense, it also boasts an open artistic space which, until a few years ago, was home to works by local artists and now features travelling exhibitions, such as the famous interactive exhibitions that offer visitors an immersive sensory experience.
Another cultural centre situated in the port of Malaga is the museum, Museo Alborania, dedicated to disseminating information about the flora and fauna of the Alboran Sea. An interactive museum so children can have fun while they learn everything about this natural area.
In addition, Muelle Uno regularly holds a craft market with all types of stalls where visitors will be able to buy some handmade souvenirs from their trip to Malaga.
Cruise ships and boats at Muelle Uno
Travellers taking a walk around Muelle Uno will be able to see an outstanding fleet of sailboats, yachts and small fishing boats floating in harmony to offer a beautiful image of this spot. But that’s not all, there are an increasing number of cruise ships from all over the world with tourists wanting to discover what to see and do in Malaga.
The variety of tourist cruise ships that reach the city dock at the Muelle de Levante dock, situated at the end of the pier, although some also ask to dock at Muelle Dos or Palmeral de las Sorpresas so they can visit the city easily thanks to their proximity to the urban centre.
Restaurants in the port of Malaga
Visitors to the port of Malaga will find an extensive culinary offer, with restaurants of international and local cuisine, in addition to fast food chains and small kiosks where you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the views that this port area has to offer.
Muelle Uno is even home to one of Malaga’s Michelin star restaurants, belonging to famous chef José Carlos García, although it also features a popular Hard Rock Café where you can eat surrounded by relics belonging to the famous faces of international film and music.
For the icing on the cake to any meal, in the port of Malaga, visitors will be able to find ice cream parlours and sweet shops where they can find a sweet dessert, as well as a plethora of shops to buy a souvenir of their visit
The best sunset from the port of Malaga
Many factors make the port of Malaga a tourist attraction for the city but, without a shadow of a doubt, the most important factor are its sunsets. That’s why many people choose the bars of Muelle Uno to enjoy a drink while they admire one of the most photogenic sunsets of the Costa del Sol.
Places of interest in the Port of Malaga
This map shows all of the places of tourist interest in the Port of Malaga that are mentioned in this post so visitors can get an idea of where to find each place.