April this year includes one of the biggest events in Malaga of the year – Easter week – when the entire city celebrates with its unique processions. But April in Malaga isn’t just about Holy Week. Flamenco takes centre stage this month too plus there are plenty of free concerts, interesting markets and great exhibitions. Read on for our round-up of what’s on in Malaga in April.
Public holidays in Malaga in April
Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April are both public holidays in Malaga. Bars and restaurants will be open as usual, but shops will be closed. Museums and monuments have their usual opening hours with the exception of the Museum of Malaga, open on both days 9am to 3pm only.
Easter in Malaga
Known as Semana Santa, Easter means long processions throughout the city between Palm Sunday (14 April) and Easter Sunday (21 April). Malaga holds one of the most famous Holy Weeks in Spain and it’s also one of the most colourful times of year in the city. We have a section dedicated to Easter in Malaga that includes a guide to what to see, when processions take place and some top tips on how to make the most of the pageantry.
Musical Events in Malaga in April
Plenty to choose from on the music scene this month. We’ve highlighted the following:
Traditional Easter concerts
The monthly Sunday concert in the central patio at the Museum of Malaga takes on an Easter theme this year. The Lent Quartet (Cuarteto Cuaresma) will perform on Sunday 7 April at noon. Free entry.
Easter in Malaga wouldn’t be complete with a Requiem. This year’s the Philharmonic Orchestra plays Mozart on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 April at 8.30pm in the Cervantes Theatre. Tickets from €12 available here. Don’t forget your hanky…
Fans of flamenco in Malaga are in luck this year with both the Bienal de Flamenco festival and Municipal festival taking place. The Bienal starts its 5 months of flamenco with the inaugural concert at the Cervantes Theatre. Wednesday 3 April at 8pm with dancer Triana Ramos starring in “The Image of Passion”. Tickets from €11 here.
The Bienal includes over 200 activities between now and September including several big-name flamenco shows. The full programme hasn’t been released yet (sigh) but as soon as it is we’ll add the details to our what’s on in Malaga page.
Aula Municipal de Flamenco in Malaga has its second concert of the season on Monday 29 April at 7.30pm in the Centro MVA on Calle Ollerías in the old quarter. Fabiola Santiago and Pepe de Campillos sing accompanied by Gabriel Cabrera on the guitar. Free entry (get there early to be sure of a seat).
Mayte Martín, one of Spain’s top flamenco singers and composers, presents her new record, Memento at the Picasso Museum Auditorium on Sunday 7 April at 8pm. Tickets €12 available at the museum ticket office or online here.
Canadian Nancy Ruth and her 5-piece band perform at La Nave on Calle Cerrajeros (slightly west of the mainline train station) on Friday 12 April at 9.30pm. She composes all the pieces herself and brings together a unique fusion of jazz, flamenco and Latin rhythms. Tickets €8 available on the door.
Homage to Olga Picasso
The Moreno Gistaín brothers play music from Russian ballets in honour of Olga Picasso at the Picasso Museum Auditorium on Friday 12 April at 8pm. Tickets €10 and available at the museum ticket office or online here.
Free lunchtime concerts
If you fancy getting off the beaten track on a Saturday morning and enjoying a free concert at the same time, make yourself to the Monasterio de las Mercedarias in Calle Cruz del Molinillo to the north of the city centre. Sponsored by the Jorge Rando Museum next door (well worth a visit too), the concerts take place every Saturday at noon in the monastery chapel. It’s a small venue to arrive early to be sure of a seat.
One of the fragrant highlights during the spring in April is the wisteria pergola at the Botanical Gardens. See the wrought-iron pergola literally groaning with scented purple blooms at the beginning of this month. Gardeners tell us that it should be in full blooming glory from 1-10 April. The gardens are a great place to visit all year round – the wisteria is an added extra! Read all about the Malaga Botanical Gardens.
Van Gogh Alive
Some 40 projectors on giant screens immerse the visitor in Van Gogh’s work using his art and high-tech graphics. Expect to see his most famous works and as you’ve never seen them before. We’ve had excellent reports of this art exhibition in Malaga so if you’re a Van Gogh fan or just love art, add it to your must-see list. Paseo de la Farola – look for the white marquee on the port near the lighthouse. Daily from 9 March to 9 June. Open Sunday to Thursday 10am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to 10pm. Entry costs €12 for adults, €9 for children aged 4 to 15 and €10 for the over 65s and students. You can get tickets on the door or buy them online here.
Top tip – the entry fee is cheaper during the week and to avoid the crowds, go at Spanish lunchtime (2-4pm).
The annual Healthy and Sustainable Living Fair takes places from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 April at the Congress Palace. Stalls selling natural and organic products, ideas for sustainable tourism and workshops on a variety of activities including mindfulness, gardening and nutrition for kids. Plus lots of family activities and workshops specially for kids. Friday and Saturday 11am to 8.30pm and Sunday 11am to 7pm. Tickets available online €3 here or €4 on the door.
Malaga Book Festival
Held in the Plaza de la Merced, the book festival brings together the city bookshops and booksellers. Mostly in Spanish but there are antique book stalls and some books on sale in English. Events for children take place on Friday afternoons and at weekends and this makes a lovely morning browsing in the sunshine. Friday 26 April to Sunday5 May. Open daily from 11am to 1.30pm and 5 to 9pm.
Art Exhibitions in Malaga
This art museum in Malaga has just welcomed 3 brand new exhibitions:
Saints, Queens & Workers – the main exhibition takes women as its central theme and celebrates art works of women by Russian artists. The works will travel through the entire history of Russian art from early icons of the Virgin Mary to contemporary portraits of women. On show until 27 February 2020.
Examining the Bride second half of 19th century
Women Artists – continuing the female theme, the main temporary exhibition showcases the most important Russian women artists from the 20th century to today. Until 8 September.
Gmurzynzka Collection – Gmurzynzka was the first western art collector to take a serious interest in early 20th century Russian art and this temporary exhibition shows some of the most important works in the collection. Until 8 September.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm. Permanent exhibition €6, temporary exhibitions €4, €8 combined ticket. Free 10-11 February all day and on Sundays after 5pm.
See the latest temporary exhibition at one of the visited museum in Malaga, Olga Picasso. The exhibition takes a long look at the life of Picasso’s first wife and his works during their marriage. Picasso met the Ukrainian ballet dancer in Paris in 1917 and they married a year later. The 350 objects on display include photos, letters, paintings, sketches and videos that reflect their relationship until 1935 when they separated.
Until 13 May. Open daily 10am to 7pm. Temporary exhibition €5.50.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
The first new temporary exhibition of the year has arrived. Like the Russian Museum, the Thyssen Museum has also decided to take women at its central theme. Perversity: Femmes Fatales from 1880 to 1950 looks at the shift in women’s position from passive to active in society. Works include paintings by many of the world’s top 20th century artists including Klimt, Modigliani, Man Ray, Picasso, Dalí and Miró. Until 8 September.
The museum is also hosting a small temporary exhibition called ‘New, modern women’ showing illustrations from the Spanish magazine Blanco y Negro during the first 3 decades of the 20th century. Expect plenty of femmes fatales and suffragettes. Until 26 May.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm. €10 (including main collection).
The multi-coloured cube continues with Modern Utopias, an exhibition that takes you round European art with some of the continent’s greatest artists on display. Think Picasso, Kandinsky, Miró, Le Corbusier, Chagall… Some fun installations including a revolving nose and sardine-tin bed, and some whacky videos.
Henri Matisse has arrived at the Pompidou with a retrospective of 6 decades of creativity. A New Country: Henri Matisse 1869 to 1954includes all the artist’s genre – paintings, sketches, sculptures, illustrations from the very different creative periods of his life. Until 9 June.
Also on is the temporary exhibition, Mon Oeil. The main children’s character from the Centre Pompidou in Paris website is the thread through 5 interactive spaces created by 5 artists. Visitors discover how to see things with their own oeil as they walk through the spaces. Very hands-on so great for kids and of course, creative adults! Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 5 to 7.30pm, weekends 12.30 to 2pm and 5 to 8pm. Free entry. Until 16 June.
Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 8pm. €7
Top tip – Pompidou Centre, Picasso Museum and Jorge Rando Museum are the only art museums open on Mondays.
The funky cultural centre hosts 2 exhibitions in April
Homo-? – Filip Custic takes a very unusual look at the evolution of man in the past and humanity move to a utopian future. Photographs and photomontages with 3D imagery accompanied by audioguides. You won’t be left indifferent. Until 5 May.
Days of Brilliant Satin – the first individual exhibition by British photographer and model, Nadia Lee Cohen. Expect lots of colour and food for thought. Until 12 May.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 1pm and 5-9pm. Free
Get to La Térmica Cultural Centre on the No 7 bus from Plaza de la Marina.
Pedro de Mena sculptures
He’s one of Spain’s most famous sculptors of religious figures and although he was born in Granada, Pedro de Mena made Malaga his home. Bishop’s Palace has an exhibition of some of the 17th-century artist’s finest works and in honour of the exhibition has given Mena’s choirstalls in the Cathedral a facelift. Open daily 10am to 9pm. Entry costs €6 (€4 for residents in Malaga province). Until 14 July.
Markets in Malaga in April
5 April – Red Friday at La Térmica – retro and vintage stalls, plus food trucks, DJ, roller disco and British Council documentaries at La Térmica (on the No 7 bus route from the Alameda Principal) . 7pm to midnight.
13 April – Organic Market – fruit, vegetable and products, all grown and produced locally. Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding. 10am to 2pm.
27 April – Organic Market. Parque de Huelin 10am to 3pm.
28 April – La Plaza Merced Market, recently placed among the 10 best street markets in Spain, this great Sunday market offers arts and crafts in the lovely surroundings of the Plaza de la Merced. 11am to 7pm.
Every Sunday – Arts and Crafts market on Muelle Uno 10am to 10pm.
P.S. – Heads-up for events in Malaga in May
Noche en Blanco, a whole evening and night of free culture events and happens is on Saturday 18 May. More details to follow.
Malaga Gastronomy Festival takes place from 24 to 26 May this year. The fifth edition has invited the Basque Country, one of the world’s top foodie destinations, as the star guest. Keep an eye on our dedicated post for more information – we’ll add the details as soon as they’re confirmed.