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Miro painting as example of what's new in Malaga in 2020

What’s new in Malaga in 2020

With the new year and decade underway, it’s time for our annual look at what’s in store for Malaga in 2020. The new year promises plenty of great events with sports and smart tourism taking centre stage. Malaga should see further progress on new hotels and metro works, although probably not completion on all.

European Capital of Sport

Malaga has taken the baton from Budapest and received the Capital of Sport crown for this year. On the agenda are a long list of sporting events and the objective of getting everyone fitter through sport and exercise.

Big events include the basketball Copa del Rey tournament with the best Spanish teams taking part; a visit by the Harlem Globetrotters in May; the Spanish Indoor Football Cup; the World Paddle Tour in August; and the International Rowing Open in September. It’s also the 30th anniversary of the Malaga Half Marathon this year.

European Capital of Smart Tourism

Malaga is wearing another big crown this year and this one comes with the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism. Most of the activity will take place behind the scenes and as a visitor, you won’t really notice much difference. But accessibility and sustainability will improve all round.

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Clear-up round El Corte Inglés

The metro concession expects to have finished the works going on around el Corte Inglés department store by May/June this year. This part of Malaga has been dug up for far too long and it’ll be a huge relief to see the area back to its original state again.

The newly pedestrianised Alameda Principal won’t be completely finished, however. There’s still quite a lot to do on the section on the north side near Atarazanas.

All change at the Pompidou Centre and Russian Museum

Not many cities can boast whole new art exhibitions every year, but Malaga is one of the exceptions. Both the Pompidou Centre and Russian Museum renew their collections in 2020 with yet more world-class paintings from the Pompidou in Paris and Russian State Museum in St Petersburg on loan to the city.

New at the Pompidou

Modern Utopias has just said goodbye after two years in Malaga. We have to wait until 12 March for the new one, entitled From Miró to Barceló: a century of Spanish art in Paris. Expect some real masterpieces from 20th century Spanish artists. As a taster, our header image features Miró’s Peinture. Huile sur Toit, painted in 1927.

Also on at the Pompidou this year will be an exhibition featuring Nicholas de Staël, a French artist of Russian origin known for his abstract paintings.

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New at the Russian Museum

This art museum in Malaga welcomes Realism yesterday and today from 25 March. There will also be two temporary exhibitions: Tarkovsky and Silent Cinema and Maiakovsky.

Other art in Malaga in 2020

Barceló also features at the Picasso Museum where the next temporary exhibition will feature the artist’s work. The Carmen Thyssen Museum hosts an exhibition looking at masks in modern art from mid-March onwards.

Bridge over the waters

Finally! The footbridge connecting the city to the Guadalhorce Nature Reserve will be complete soon allowing us all to visit this lovely natural area without having to get our feet wet or walk along the busy motorway. About half the wooden structure is up and the rest is on its way. It’ll be open to pedestrians and bikes.

Tourist tax

After reaching record visitor figures in 2019, Malaga is now seriously thinking about sustainability. As those who visited at Christmas will agree, things got a bit too crowded for comfort. One of the measures on the table is applying a tourist tax, already commonplace in lots of cities. Predictably hotel owners are against it, but at Guide to Malaga we think it’s a good idea as long as the proceeds are used to make tourism more sustainable in the city. Quality should always be ahead of quantity. Not for nothing is our slogan, “The tourism everyone wants”.

More cruise ships

Cruise ships are familiar landmarks on the horizon in Malaga, so nothing new for 2020. But almost 300 of them are due to dock this year so be prepared for a crowded city centre. April and May are particularly busy months with a potential record in the offing at the end of April. Check out our dedicated post on cruise ships in Malaga listing the busiest dates so that you can either avoid the crowds or join them!

New flight to North America

After the departure of Delta Airlines from the Malaga-New York route last year, Malaga tourism authorities have been looking for a replacement. The flight was the only connection between Andalusia and the US and will be missed. Fingers crossed a new company jumps in to offer the route.

New hotel

After the arrival of Palacio Solecio in 2019, Malaga continues its hotel expansion this year. The Vincci Hoteles chain will open their third establishment in the city on Calle Larios. With 76 rooms and a rooftop terrace, the 4-star hotel opens later this year.

What no driver?

The first driverless bus will start running in Malaga later this year. The 12-metre long bus with room for 60 passengers will serve as a shuttle between the seafront and centre of the city. Look out for the AutoMost bus over the next few months.

What we won’t be seeing in Malaga in 2020

An end to the metro works

The stations outside El Corte Inglés and Atarazanas Market are still a looong way off being finished. The latest date for completion is autumn/winter 2021. *Sigh*

New hotels on Malaga Port and on Plaza de la Marina

The authorities are still sorting out the paperwork for the skyscraper hotel on Malaga Port. Don’t expect ground-breaking in 2020. Back at Plaza de la Marina, work will continue all this year on the two hotels being built in the iconic Equitativa Building: the 4-star hotel, part of the Soho Boutique chain in the tower and the 5-star establishment in the rest.

New cultural centre at the Astoria

Work is about to start on excavation of the remains found under the old Astoria cinema on Plaza de la Merced. This will probably take several months – meanwhile, enjoy the full views of the façades on the square. Work is expected to start on the new cultural centre later in the year, but we won’t see anything complete until 2021.

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