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There's plenty of nightlife to be had in Malaga. Whether you just want to wander around the streets exploring or stop at every tasca and have a drink, you certainly won't be bored. Year-round there are plenty of things to do and see. If it's a traditional flamenco performance or some house music you crave, you'll find it here. For the aforementioned flamenco, check out Vista Andalucia or Gilbralfao Bar.
Calle Larios is a great place to start - it's the "main" street of sorts in Malaga. From here, you can frequent the discos, tascas and bars on Calle Granada. When in doubt, follow the locals. Tapas are a favorite, so hit up the many tapas bars to get an authentic experience. If it's dancing you're after, get your butt to Saloma on Calle Luis de Velázquez, but make sure to be fashionably late - locals don't get there until at least 11 pm.
Other places to get your dance on: Anden, Siempre Asi, Vankuver and Luna Rubia. There are plenty of clubs to be found in downtown Malaga, for example the salas: Sala Gold, Sala Moncloa, Sala Wengé. Furthermore there's also White, Opium and Sound. If you hit the area during the summer, you'll also find places to have a great time in Pedregalejo along the beach with bars, discos and just general merriment, for example Bolivia 41.
If you just want to drink you can go to the little known place called Urbano. It's placed a few minutes away from the bigger streets, however it's it definitely worth it. They have more than 100 different shots, ranging from very complicated mixed shots with whipped cream to a simple shot of Tequila. If you go here, try the Bombastic.
To be in the know like a local, the best way to keep informed is to grab a copy of Malaga's daily paper El Sur. If you don't speak Spanish, don't worry - you can get an English edition.