Can a city become just another character in a series? That’s exactly what happens to Malaga in “The Snow Girl” (2023), directed by David Ulloa and Laura Alvea and produced by Atípica Films and Netflix. It is an adaptation of the best-seller of the same name by Javier Castillo and, although the plot of the book is set in New York, in this case it is the capital of Malaga that has become the setting for this disturbing thriller. Known for its overflowing luminosity, the Malaga of the series surprises by becoming a city of chiaroscuro, full of mystery.
Miren, the journalist played by Milena Smith, follows the trail of Amaya, a little girl who disappeared during the Three Kings parade. Miren’s investigation takes you to get to know the city beyond the tourist routes, where modern art merges with the most traditional neighbourhoods. Today we want to tell you precisely how, by visiting the most famous locations of the series “The Snow Girl”, you can discover the other versions of the same city: the cosmopolitan one, full of urban art, and the traditional one, with its low houses and beach bars.
A Malaga of crime novels and urban art
The plot of the series begins in the central Plaza de la Constitución, in the heart of the historic centre and the starting point to the main points of interest in the city. From here starts the real commercial artery of Malaga and the centre of much of the city’s social life: the famous Marqués de Larios street. A few minutes away you can reach the Cathedral and Calle San Agustín, where you can visit the Pablo Picasso Museum in Malaga or the Plaza de la Merced, one of the most beautiful squares in the city and where the painter’s birthplace is located. Before entering the more monumental Malaga, you may want to visit the nearby Plaza de Capuchinos, another of the locations of this fiction, where the Police Headquarters are located.
In the Plaza de la Constitución Amaya disappears / Turismo de Málaga
Filming of the disappearance scene / Netflix
Next, we suggest you let yourself go as far as the series will take you, because it is in the Plaza de la Merced where you start to get off the beaten track, entering the Lagunillas neighbourhood. This area brings together an amalgam of narrow streets, squares and nooks and crannies which, after resisting total abandonment for years, now give way to a new version of the place, where art flourishes in every corner. Its streets are full of colourful murals, making this neighbourhood an open-air museum and a visit not to be missed. Furthermore, in this part of the city there is a stop of interest for film buffs: the Albéniz cinema, one of the main venues of the Malaga Film Festival. It currently serves as a film library and a large part of its billboard is made up of films, shorts and documentaries outside the commercial circuit.
Continuing our tour of Malaga, at various points the series seems to revolve around the port, creating a halo of mystery coming from the sea. If you get there from the historic centre, down Calle Larios, you’ll come across the area where Miren goes out to do sport. This is El Palmeral de Las Sorpresas, the walkway under the iconic pergola between the Jardines del Parque de Málaga and the docks.
El Palmeral, one of the most popular walks in Malaga / Turismo de Málaga
This is the place where Miren likes to run / Netflix
Moving on from the end of the Parque Málaga you will find the cube of the Centre Pompidou, another iconic reference that appears in “The Snow Girl”. This building is the Malaga headquarters of the famous Parisian museum and is a must-see if you want to see the most avant-garde artistic proposals. From there, you have to drop into the seaside neighbourhood of La Malagueta. We recommend a stroll along Muelle 1 to La Farola, a lighthouse with a feminine name that is an emblem for the people of Malaga. Continue your walk to Malagueta Beach, one of the most legendary beaches in the city and an ideal place to stay and enjoy some tasty espetos, the most famous grilled sardines on the Costa del Sol.
The Pompidou Centre, an icon of modern art / Tourism in Malaga
Here you find Miren one of the clues to the case / Netflix
To complete your experience in the most modern Malaga, in the area west of the port you’ll find the old port district of Soho, nowadays a reference point for urban art and underground culture. The main attraction of the neighbourhood is the result of the MAUS project, an initiative of the Malaga City Council that is committed to the creation of a cultural legacy of Malaga through a new vision of urban spaces and their everyday life. The aim is to turn Soho into an open-air museum with murals and graffiti by the best international contemporary artists. A highly recommended visit that you can complete with the Contemporary Art Centre, or with the small art galleries, theatres and the gastronomic offer that nourishes this captivating neighbourhood with a New York feel.
Off the beaten track
Much of the series takes place in a more realistic setting, showing the other Malaga, the one that has not yet surrendered to the usual tourist circuits. This is the case of the seaside neighbourhood of El Palo and its village-like streets, where the Malaga character of the series is best perceived. This is the location of the fictitious editorial office of the Sur newspaper, where Miren and Eduardo work. Nearby is also the SAT Electrónica shop, which is shown in the series practically as it is in reality, full of electrical appliances being repaired. A visit to El Palo is a must if you are a fan of the series and the beach is highly recommended if you want to get away from the beaten track. Moreover, just to come and eat espeto in any of its chiringuitos is worth the trip. El Tintero is absolutely legendary. Right on the beach and with the traditional fish “auction” system, it will make your visit unforgettable.
The fish skewers are made on the beach, in front of the locals / Turismo de Málaga
Smit and Coronado in a scene from the series / Netflix
Exactly on the opposite side of the town, on the western edge, is Sacaba Beach, the least frequented stretch of Malaga’s coast. The nearby caravan site is the one that appears in the series at one of its key moments, although it is indicated in the series as belonging to Coín, an inland municipality. Sacaba beach precedes the Paraje Natural de la Desembocadura del río Guadalhorce, a protected environment on an island in the middle of the river. In addition to being a place of passage and observation for thousands of migratory birds, it is equipped with a complete network of paths and walkways that allow you to cross it on foot or by bicycle.
And this is how “The Snow Girl” will take you to the end of an unexpected journey, where you will experience this destination in a way you never imagined. Without a doubt, the work of the Málaga Film Office, collaborating with a filming that wanted to show an unusual side of the city, has been fundamental to achieve this. And beyond this successful series, we invite you to discover the best recommendations for screen tourism with Malaga Film Office. What are you waiting for to pack your bags?
By Victor Cervelló
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