Last Saturday was certainly a night to remember in Malaga – the whole city took to the streets for an evening of free culture. All the museums and monuments in Malaga opened their doors to offer their usual sights and lots of new ones too. Here’s our round-up of the best things to see in Malaga on the 2016 annual ‘Noche en blanco’.
Great variety of events and things to see
Whatever your taste there was something for you to see in Malaga. We started our evening in Soho where dozens of children were lining up for face painting and white balloons with a led light inside. This imitated a star, perfect for the evening’s theme of “Everyone’s a star”.
We then crossed to Calle Larios where the crowds were already packed in. We’ll admit that we were disappointed that there was no decoration in Calle Larios – the illuminated jellyfish that lined the street last year were one of our highlights. But the flashy gold Rolls from the Malaga Car Museum added a touch of glamour to the evening.
The Noche en blanco caters for all cultural genres and you got a taste of this in just a few short paces. We saw a modern dance performance, a brass band and a local artist busy at work before we got to Plaza de la Constitución where a DJ was warming the packed square up before the singer Chenoa took to the stage.
We then made our way to Calle Alcazabilla via Calle Granada and Plaza de la Merced. Here, some great mural painting was going on, part of the Urban Photo Festival (in Lagunillas district of Malaga until 29 May). A gospel choir, all dressed in white and all singing their hearts out, were performing against the lovely backdrop of the Alcazaba Fortress.
Inside the Alcazaba Fortress
We’d queued for over an hour the day before to get tickets for the night-time visit of the Alcazaba Fortress. When we saw that the guided tours were for 50 people every 10 minutes we were worried that the oldest and most famous monument in Malaga would be too packed to enjoy. But we needn’t have worried – our guide made sure the tour went smoothly and that we didn’t encounter any of the other groups while we were going round.
Seeing something by night makes a huge difference to how you see it and the Alcazaba was no exception. The Moorish architecture was somehow easier to see and we loved how the lighting inside the gateways and towers meant you could really appreciate the stone work and painting.
The views of Malaga by night below were exceptional and our whole tour was accompanied by music from Malaga’s Municipal Band who were playing big screen soundtracks in the Paseo del Parque below. How unusual is that?
And the added bonus was that the tour ended via the lift exit that takes you down a long tunnel to City Hall (our next venue).
Hats off to the organisation behind the Alcazaba Fortress visits and many thanks to our guide Maria whose enthusiasm was contagious even though she’d already done several guided tours that evening.
We saw City Hall was open so we popped in and discovered a concert by a small orchestra, mostly string players with the exception of a piano and a young trombonist whose solo was simply stunning. Add to this a thought-provoking art exhibition on gender equality in the same venue and the Noche en blanco was full of suprises.
Next stop was Muelle Uno where we enjoyed the star-lit façade on the Pompidou Centre. This video posted by El Pimpi on Twitter gives you a good idea of what it looked like.
Great family atmosphere on the streets
This is 1 of the best things I like about Malaga (and Spain generally) – they do celebrating very well and the Noche en blanco was no exception. People of all ages were out enjoying themselves. We saw no drunken behaviour or any trouble anywhere. Just good clean fun.
Press reports say that this year’s edition of the Noche en blanco attracted fewer people than last year. We thought things were pretty packed, although we didn’t have to queue for any of the venues we visited this time round. Bars and restaurants reportedly did a roaring trade, but best of all, everyone had a lot of fun and it was an excellent evening out!
This is just 1 of the big events in Malaga during the year. Check out our listings for all the others.