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The Enrique García-Herrera square in Malaga is in vogue. Even though its design is rather unsophisticated it is still a cool place to hang around.
The reason for being so trendy is largely due to its strategic location which is exactly between the old and the new city centre. To the west, across the river Guadalmina, is the modern part of the city. Here you will find Spain’s largest department store, El Corte Inglés, many shops and several hotels.
Situated on the south side you will find a fresh food market, the Mercado Atarazanas; on the east side the historic centre and to north Carretería, an old street that is slowly being gentrified.
In short, the demanding consumer finds everything he needs within a five minute walk.
Plaza Enrique García-Herrera
This square is despite its fairly recent refurbishment not exactly easy on the eyes. Which is a shame because the rest of Malaga is slowly but surely turning into a tourist hot spot.
According to an architect friend, this is because the town hall managed this renovation project in house; whilst in the rest of the city centre professionals have been working on the various restoration programmes. For example the harbour, the Roman Theater and the neighbouring area Soho are other recent refurbishments that combined contemporary design whilst retaining the historic value of the site.
Before the renovation this piece of land functioned primarily as the roof of the subterranean car park “Camas”. The exits of the garage are nowadays equipped with white arches, the renovation also delivered some giant triangular planters, in which patchy grass and some trees grow. Moreover, today the square also features a playground, which undoubtedly improves the quality of life in the neighbourhood, but is not aesthetically pleasing.
In short, except for the freshly painted look, it is not exactly a prize-winning design. Even though the plaza lacks sophistication, the concept still seems to draw in people. Whereas the neighbouring Soho project somehow does not seem to get off the ground, the hipster scene is flourishing here. On and around the square are all kinds of trendy restaurants, alternative shops and trendy cafes.
And importantly, unlike the rest of the city, which is now flooded by hordes of tourists, it is still a square for Malagueños. You will see children play, urban youth and the elderly, enjoying some quiet time outdoors.
So if you are not an old fashioned or snobby Roman-Greco-Catholic fundamentalist (like me), in your appreciation of modern design or simply prefer a relaxed functional environment over a museum this is your square.
- The ReCycle Bikerscafé. The menu includes sandwiches, smoothies, burgers and tacos. It’s all tasty and the prices are low. You can also rent bikes here or have them repaired. The café attracts at a hipster crowd at night, but it is also a great place to eat with kids.
- Astrid restaurant is on the corner of the square. The food served here is organic, healthy and delicious. An ideal location for a lunch with (female) friends.
- Siete Semillas is a vegetarian / vegan restaurant. It is located around the corner of the square.
On the square you will find a fabric store and a bridal shop, around the corner on St. Isabel Pasillo, a herbal business, La Tienda Las Especias and south of the square is the fresh food market Atarazanas.
A little further, to be precise walk 250 meters down the road, lies Calle Carretería, where hip lunch cafés, tattoo parlors, organic food and pawn shops are vying for customer attention.
Furthermore the area has several hotels catering for every budget. There is plenty of choice. To check availability and prices click on the links below:
- First of all the centrally located five-star Vincci Posada with luxurious rooms. Do visit the bar with a glass floor overlooking the remains of Moorish walls to enjoy an evening of “Jazz on the Wall” even if you are not lodging here.
- Slightly cheaper is the four-star NH Malaga, it lies across the river, it boasts a very good breakfast buffet.
- The Novotel also on the other side of the river is also an excellent option.
- Opposite the market is the somewhat cheaper three-star boutique hotel Atarazanas.
- Hotel Trebol is the budget option from this list.
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