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Top Museums On The Costa Del Sol For History & Art Lovers

Museums and art galleries on the Costa del Sol in Spain
Museums and art galleries on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain [Image of Malaga Port by Enrique from Pixabay]
Quite rightfully, the Costa del Sol in Andalucía, southern Spain is known for its idyllic, Blue Flag beaches. It’s all in the name, which translates in English to Coast of the Sun. However, not everyone wants to lie on the beach all day during their vacations. All along that coastal highway, the towns offer much in the way of history, culture and art. The following are five cultural and often unique attractions to visit on the Costa del Sol. Even better, most are only a few steps away from the beach.

Mirador del Carmen, Estepona, Costa del Sol, Spain

Close to La Rada Beach in Estepona is a fascinating cultural center overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The center is equipped with a music school, a library, an exhibition hall and a lookout tower. The tower offers the best panoramic views over the town of Estepona and the coastline. This is one of the best places to take photos of the area to share on social media.

Paleochristian Basilica Vega del Mar, Marbella

Paleochristian Basilica Vega del Mar, Marbella
Paleochristian Basilica Vega del Mar, Marbella [Image by kakov on Flickr]
The town of Marbella is renowned for its beaches, restaurants and fashion, but also has its historic side with interesting sites to visit. Among these is the Paleochristian Basilica Vega del Mar. Likely dating back to the 6th century, these are the ruins of one of the oldest examples of a Christian church on the Iberian Peninsula. Exploring the basilica reveals the clear structure of the church itself, as well as the baptismal font and a group of tombs grouped around it. The site can be visited from Friday to Sunday mornings – 9 am to 11 am.

Ralli Museum, Marbella

Ralli Museum, Marbella
Ralli Museum Marbella [Image @museorallimarbella/Instagram]
This next museum is a must for contemporary art lovers and is located a short walk from the Rio Verde Beach in Marbella. Here, visitors can explore a valuable collection of Latin American art, displayed in 10 exhibition rooms. Meanwhile, the art of display reveals the various avant-garden art movements that took place in Latin America and Europe. The museum was opened in 2000 and is free to visit, as with all Ralli Museums in the world.

Torreón de la Cala de Mijas, Costa del Sol, Spain

El Torreon, La Cala de Mijas, Costa del Sol, Spain
El Torreon, La Cala de Mijas [Image by Olaf Tausch on Wikimedia Commons]
La Cala de Mijas is a hugely popular small town located close to Marbella and is a foodie favorite. However, besides the many restaurants, serving a range of Spanish and international cuisine, the town features an old watchtower, known as El Torreón. Moreover, the structure nestles in the Torreón Square right on the beachfront in La Cala. The renovated tower is a visitor center with information about the building itself, but also the sea and fishermen. In the first of its three themed rooms visitors can find out more about the watchtowers dotted down the Mijas coastline. The second offers information about the history of the tower itself, while the third is a tribute to the town’s fishing past with boats and other artifacts on display.

Automobile and Fashion Museum, Malaga

Automobile and Fashion Museum (Museo Automovilístico y de la Moda) Malaga
Automobile and Fashion Museum (Museo Automovilístico y de la Moda), Malaga [Image by Mikel Agirregabiria on Flickr]
Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol and offers many great museums and art galleries, but the Automobile Museum is one of its most famous. The museum is hosted in a famous and attractive building known as the Tabacalera (a former cigarette factory), located close to the Antonio Banderas promenade on the western side of Malaga’s coastline.

The Automobile and Fashion Museum (Museo Automovilístico y de la Moda) hosts a prívate collection of classic cars in perfect condition, paired with fashion from the period. The museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 2:30 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm.

Enjoy exploring the history and culture of the Costa del Sol in southern Spain in your next vacation.

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