Málaga: Life in Plaza De La Merced

Málaga was to be my home for the next four days and my itinerary included a road trip to Gibraltar and an excursion to Tangier. This time around my friends and I stayed in a charming apartment in Plaza de la  Merced. This decision, I eventually learned, was one of the best and memorable times of this trip.

Where I Stayed

Malaga is a pretty big city so it is crucial to look for the perfect home base. If you prefer to be near the beach, the Costa del Sol area is a popular destination for beach goers. This area is a big tourist destination and has all the big city amenities you can ask for. I honestly felt like I was in Miami, but that was just me.

I prefer old towns and the small town feel. Plaza de la Merced was the perfect location for me. I rented an apartment right in the plaza, with a balcony overlooking the whole square, the Alcazar and a big building with Picasso’s name on it just in case I forgot whose town I was in.

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Day One

The taxi from Malaga’s Maria Zembrano Train Station to Plaza Merced was roughly around 10 euros. This was a good indication of how Málaga’s cost of spending was. Pretty affordable compared to the big cities of Madrid and Barcelona.

Finding the apartment was pretty easy, opening the three doors to the apartment was not. First of all, the landlady, Marissa was not able to meet me and my friends so she gave instructions to pick up the key from the bar El Carmen right next door. Another indication of how Plaza de la Merced has the small town feel. They seem to all know and trust each other. Second, there were three doors to the apartment and we all learned the art of opening those heavy wooden doors.

On to my favorite part….

Food and Drinks

The best part of living in the plaza was that the restaurants were literally outside the door. Rightly so, the first place we graced our presence with was a restaurant called Bar Picasso. At this point, my friends and I have mastered ordering tapas. If you are not a picky eater, I suggest ordering the ‘Chef’s Choice’. Most restaurants would have their own version on the menu. It usually comes with five kinds of tapas for a cheaper price, plus it adds the element of surprise!

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We pretty much dined at every restaurant in the plaza by sundown. If you walk a few blocks outside the plaza towards the Alcazaba, you will find many more restaurants. The Alcazaba area is a big tourist spot where you can find the ‘city’ kind of night life.

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For dinner, we ate at Cafe Negro by the Alcazaba. Had wine and paella this time around.

For great (but slightly expensive and fancy) drinks and a great view, look for La Terraza de la Alcazaba after dinner. This place was one of my favorite spots because of the view of the Alcazaba at night!

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Excuse my dark and blurry photos. I might have had a few drinks by that time!

Who I Traveled With


From left to right: Meet Dan, Will and Freddie!

It’s time to introduce my travel buddies since they play an important role on this trip and you will hear a lot of my crazy stories with them.


What I Learned

  • The first floor is actually the second floor, so that means my second floor apartment was actually on the third floor.
  • I learned that lifts are important when traveling with a heavy suitcase.
  • Note to self: make sure to only book hotels and apartments with elevators.
  • How to unlock heavy wooden doors: Turn the key THREE times until you hear it click.
  • The Spanish drink a lot.
  • And nobody gets drunk ever…except me.

My first night in Málaga was already memorable. I wish I can share every single detail, every inside joke, every funny moment, every naughty incident that happened that night…maybe if I release a tell-all book. If you follow me on Snapchat, chances are you know what I’m talking about!

What’s Next

Discovering Picasso’s Malaga!

If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to send me an e-mail: JetsettingJen@gmail.com

Book your Malaga hotel now!

Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.