What are good souvenirs from Malaga? Where is a good place to get them? If you’ve ever had difficulties finding the right gifts for your loved ones, I have a few suggestions you might like.
When one goes away on a trip you research what to do there, what and where are the main sights, and you read a little about the gastronomy or history of th place. But when you arrive and think about your loved ones, you’re left with the eternal question: what to buy them as a present or souvenir?
I recently had family over for a visit, and when they asked me what are some typical products they could take back home, and my advice on where to buy souvenirs from Malaga, I was left wondering for awhile and had to think hard.
If you want to skip the obvious key chains, magnets, t-shirts and anything with a torero or flamenco dancer, it gets a lot harder trying to come up with a good idea for a souvenir. Then you think about cured ham and cheeses, but that is not something everyone can take back home (my case, as my family comes from America).
Now, for people flying within the European Union, there are no restrictions for travelling with cured meats or cheeses. Luckily for some, they can take back home as much Jamon Iberico and Manchego cheese as they want! But visitors from other countries have a more limited list of products they can fly with.
I’ve come up with a few ideas of typical local products you can buy as souvenirs from Malaga. Hopefully you find it as useful as my family did. Most of these products (but not all) are allowed through customs no matter the country. I’m also including recommendations on where to get them, so you can avoid tourist traps and cheap poorly-made products.
Good artisan crafts are always a great present. Beautiful original pieces that can be used for decoration, kitchen, garden, etc. You can find many different designs or colors, but know that the pottery of Malaga usually uses metallic tones. The downfall of buying ceramics is that they’re fragile, so you will either have to wrap them very well, or pack them in your carry-on luggage.
There’s a great shop called La Recova, located at Pje Ntra. Sra. de los Dolores de San Juan, 5. You should also visit Alfajar, behind the cathedral, where you’ll find excellent products for a slightly higher price range.
Fans and mantillas
Mantillas are Spanish veils, made in triangular shape and in silk, usually decorated with elaborate embroidery. They are part of that traditional look that the younger generations are leaving in the past, but are still used in certain celebrations. They are a symbol of elegance and class, since a good hand-made mantilla can cost a few hundred euros. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a souvenir, there are more affordable versions in many stores. I recommend you check out Guillermo on calle Cisneros 14. They have a very big selection of fans, hand painted and mass produced. Definitely worth a visit if you want to get someone a good Spanish fan at a very low price.
You can buy a lot of different Rioja wines during your visit. But since you’re in Malaga, how about getting a wine you can’t find elsewhere and get a local product? Malaga is a big producer of moscatel grapes, which are very sweet. Our wines are therefore sweet (but not all) and have a high alcohol level (some are even fortified). Most known varieties are Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel. There are a 2 shops I really like, not only because of their great local wine selection, but also because they have tastings and classes, so you can learn more about the many wines made here. Visit El Templo del Vino (Sebastian Souviron 11) and El Almacen del Indiano (Cisneros 7).
Malaga grows a lot of figs and almonds, therefore you will find a lot of desserts and other dishes containing these two ingredients. I recommend buying Pan de Higos as a gift for very typical local sweet. This is a dessert made from almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and lots of dried figs. It lasts a very long time before going bad, is very healthy and tastes delicious. I would define it as the Arab predecessor of power bars.
For cheese, local goat cheeses have won a few international awards. Try (and buy) the goat cheese with rosemary and the cured goat cheese in extra virgin olive oil… amazing!
Another great souvenir from Malaga is pure sugarcane honey from Frigiliana. The only European factory that makes this product without any additives in the most traditional way. It can be drizzled on top of fried aubergines, fresh cheese and/or yogurt.
Olive oil is by far, the go-to gift I use most times. It is one of the best in the world, there are many different varieties to choose from, and you can get it in convenient tin containers.
You can buy all these products at the Atarazanas market (market hall) or at gourmet specialty stores like La Mallorquina located on Plaza Felix Saenz.
The last idea I’ll give you for souvenirs from Malaga is getting a hat. Buy a hat to protect yourself from the sun during your visit, and get hats to take back as gifts for your loved ones. There is a century-old hat store located on calle Especeria 18 called Casa Pedro Mira. Cool Panama hats, with a larger brim for more protection, or even better; get a typical Andalusian hat used during local festivities such as Feria.