Updated: Sep 14, 2022
The south of Spain is a wonderful part of the world and deciding on exactly where you want to visit can be an arduous task. Choosing between Málaga or Seville can be as difficult as choosing between red or white wine - and we're here to help you make that decision!
Firstly, lets look at a quick overview of each city and the benefits of both:
Birthplace of Pablo Picasso
Birthplace of Tapas
Population of 600,000
Population of 700,000
45 min drive to Marbella
Capital of Andalusia
Recommended stay: 2-3 days
Recommended stay: 3-4 days
Amazing beaches and coastlines
Largest city in Southern Spain
The birthplace of Picasso is everything you would expect from a city right at the bottom of Spain. It's fast-paced, full of natural and rural beauty, with beautiful weather throughout most of the year - a definitely welcome bonus.
The city is a major European hotspot for tourists, and something that I recognised very early on in my trip is how the city has evolved to accommodate the ever-growing tourist industry. Many residents who live here speak some, if not fluent English, and are always very welcoming to foreigners. There are plenty of hotels and accommodation located within the main centre which are surrounded by hundreds of restaurants and gift shops.
Like most major Spanish cities, the centre tends to get very 'hectic', but Málaga is perfectly located for those who want to relax somewhere quieter. Its also well-placed for those of you who want something more upbeat, with Malaga being conveniently just under an hour away from Marbella. Málaga can sometimes be described by some people as an 'airport city', however, I strongly disagree as it is a great city with lots to explore and some very interesting history and culture to learn more about.
How Long Should Your Trip to Málaga Be?
In my opinion, Málaga is somewhere you could spend 24 hours but I really wouldn't recommend it. In fact, that's how long I spent during my first visit to the city, but, that was far from enough to enjoy a comfortable break and explore. Rushing around on foot or by bus wasn't the most effective way of experiencing what the city has to offer or what the city is about. I would recommend taking a minimum of 2 days to allow yourself to chill out and take in how the city, as well as take advantage of Málaga's wonderful coastline.
Seville, the capital of Andalusia, certainly is somewhere you must explore once in your life. Its home to 3 (yes 3!) UNESCO World Heritage Sites - The Archive of the Indies, The Royal Alcázar of Seville, and Seville Cathedral. All 3 of these have to be on your list of things to do/see in Seville, which is why you will need a minimum of 3 days there to be able to comfortably tick these things off of your checklist.
If you've never heard of or been to Seville and want to know what it's like just try and imagine this - You wake up in the morning where a beam of beautiful sunlight hits your eyes. You then start to hear peacocks acting as nature's alarm clock. You open your eyes, walk to your balcony and instantly begin to think you might possibly be in heaven.
Spain can often be a busy and manic, Seville included, but there is a part to the city that makes you feel so incredibly relaxed, so at-home and so grateful that the universe has brought you there.
What Must You See in Seville?
Setas de Sevilla. Its as simple as that. Now do not be mistaken, I am not saying this is the only thing that you can see in Seville, but its by far my favourite. It's just so unique. The views are spectacular and most importantly it makes you feel like nowhere else in the world
Who's the Winner?
Once again, it really depends on what sort of trip you're looking for. If you are after a relaxing trip in beautiful weather your best bet will be Málaga, which tends to get more sun year-round and has ideal access to Costa del Sol. If sightseeing and history is more your thing then Seville is the place to go.
Obviously I can't leave you hanging without an answer so I will finish by saying my personal favourite is Seville, as the stunning Mudejar and Arabian architecture around the city make it such a beautiful and unique location. There is also slightly more to do and see which is why I recommended staying for longer than Málaga. However, both are great for short city breaks.
Which two cities do you want to see us investigate next? Let us know in the comment section below!
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