Welcome to the New Year in Malaga and a whole new series of monthly posts on events. This one rounds up what’s on in Malaga in January.
This is traditionally a quiet month for tourism in the city, but there’s still plenty going on including the annual (and highly- acclaimed) Malaga Theatre Festival. Read on for our pick of the best events in Malaga this month.
Christmas events in Malaga in January
The 1.7 million LED bulbs continue to twinkle away until Monday 7 January. If you haven’t seen the Christmas lights, don’t miss the light and sound show on Calle Larios daily at 6.30pm, 8pm and 9.30pm.
Three Kings Parade
The highlight of the year for all children in Spain and this is a great activity if you’re in Malaga with children. The Three Kings Parade starts at 5pm on Saturday 5 January when the three kings arrive at the Alcazaba Fortress and walk to City Hall to join the floats and rest of the parade. Grab your place on the route nice and early to be sure of a good view.
The itinerary runs along the Avenida Cervantes to Plaza del General Torrijos before returning to the city centre via the Paseo del Parque and Plaza de la Marina. From here, the Kings et al parade along the Alameda Principal, up Puerta del Mar and along Calle Atarazanas to Plaza de Arriola. They then go along Calle Carreteriá and Alamos to finish their route in Plaza de la Merced.
Top tip – this is 1 of the most popular events in Malaga so expect the streets and city centre to be jam-packed. Keep a close eye on your children and make sure they stand behind the barriers and away from the floats. Keep an eye on your belongings too.
Musical Events in Malaga in January
New Year’s Concerts
Malaga Provincial Youth Orchestra welcome in the New Year with a concert outside the Mariner’s chapel on Muelle Uno. Tuesday 1 January at 1pm. Free.
Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra plays Johan and Josef Strauss to welcome 2019. Thursday 3 January at 8pm. Tickets from €12 here.
Michael Jackson Tribute
King of Pop fans will lap up this 2-hour bonanza of Jacko favourites at the Palacio de Congresos on Friday 4 January at 8.30pm. Tickets from €38 here. Get to the Palacio de Congresos by taxi or on buses 4 (direct) or 20 (short walk at the end) or by Cercanías train (get off at Victoria Kent station and walk about 10 minutes).
Soprano and trio
Soprano Berna Perles accompanied by trumpet, harpsichord and cello performs chamber music by Vivaldi, Purcell, Handel and Telemann. At the Picasso Museum Auditorium on Tuesday 15 January at 8pm. Tickets are €10 and available from the museum or 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.
Malaga Theatre Festival
Malaga celebrates the 36th edition of the Theatre Festival between 6 January and 13 February. A long list of plays and dance pieces come to the city at the Cervantes Theatre and Echegaray Theatre with a good dose of very famous Spanish actors. The majority of the works is in Spanish, but several aren’t including:
¡A morir se ha dicho!
Roughly translated as “Time to die!”, this dance performance tells the story of 3 inmates at an asylum whose warden disappears. The 3 local dancers won an award last year for this creation that draws on flamenco roots. Echegaray Theatre, Wednesday 16 February at 8pm. Tickets €15 from here.
Rain looks at loss through humour, dance and poetry. Echegaray Theatre, Sunday 20 January at 11am and 1pm. Tickets €6 from here.
One of the highlights of events in Malaga in January is this opera by the renowned Spanish theatre company, La Fura dels Baus. Vibrant, avant-garde and as always, surprising. Cervantes Theatre on Friday 25 January at 9pm, Saturday 26 January at 6pm and 8.30pm, and Sunday 27 January at 5pm and 7.30pm. Ticket prices start at €20 and are available from here.
You can see the full programme for the Malaga Theatre Festival here.
What’s on in Malaga in January – Art exhibitions
As always, events in Malaga in January include lots of great art (whatever your favourite genre):
CAC Malaga has 2 main exhibitions this month.
Jose María Baez – the Cadiz artist exhibits his takes on literature and philosophy in art in his colourful installations in work. Until 10 February.
Dionisio González – in the largest section of the CAC, this contemporary artist from Gijón in northern Spain has almost 100 works on display including photos, videos, prisms and models showcasing architecture, design and photography. Until 17 February.
While you’re at CAC, don’t miss the permanent and Neighbours exhibitions. They’re both packed with interesting and thought-provoking art work and installations.
Tuesday to Sunday 10am-8pm. Free entry.
The most visited museum in the south of Spain (and one of the top museums in Malaga) hosts Picasso’s South, looking at the artist’s Mediterranean roots. The ambitious exhibition contains over 200 art works and pieces and goes back to the early Iberian culture before coming forward through the centuries to meet Picasso. On show are archaeological artefacts as well as paintings by some of Spain’s greatest Grand Masters including El Greco and Velázquez.
Until 3 Feb. Daily 10am-6pm. €5.50 (€10 combined permanent and temporary exhibition).
Your last chance to see this exhibition in January before the new collection arrives for 2019. Brilliant Future. The Art of Socialist Realism is the main exhibition this year and showcases art produced during the Stalin era and subject to ‘official guidelines’. Expect to see lots of the signature Soviet scarlet, some great paintings and objects from the 20th century and get an insight in a unique period of world history.
Kazimir Malévich – the new temporary exhibition showcases some of the most famous paintings by the creator of Suprematism, an art movement that isn’t too well known in western Europe. The exhibition includes 16 works that have never been exhibited in Spain before.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm. Permanent exhibition €6, temporary exhibitions €4, €8 combined ticket.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
The Carmen Thyssen Museum continues to offer exceptional art in Malaga. This season’s temporary exhibition welcomes Fury of Colour featuring paintings by the great Spanish artist Francisco Iturrino. One of the key figures in Spanish Modern Art during the early 20th century, Iturrino takes colour to another level. We love his watercolours of the Botanical Gardens in Malaga, painted during a stay in the city. You can also see Jazz by Matisse, a lovely collection of vibrant collages made by the artist at the end of his life when he was too ill to paint. And as usual, don’t miss the great themed gifts in the museum shop.
6 Oct – 3 March Tues-Sun 10am-8pm. €4.50 for Fury of Colour and Jazz; €9 combo ticket for permanent and temporary exhibition. Free entry on Sundays from 5pm onwards.
This great creative space on Muelle Uno (at the corner with El Palmeral) has lots of art on show with exhibitions from new artists. Artsenal is open daily from 11am to late. Look out for their free events throughout the month too. Check out their Facebook page for details.
The multi-coloured cube houses Modern Utopias taking you round European ideals in art with some of the continent’s greatest painters on display. Picasso, Kandinsky, Miró, Le Corbusier and Chagall all rub shoulders with fun installations including a revolving nose, sheep on wheels and sardine-tin bed, plus some great videos.
The Pompidou Centre has 2 temporary exhibitions. Reprojected Materials is one of the most interactive experiences you’ll find at art museums in Malaga. Using a projector (remember those?), light, colour and transparencies you get to create your very own reprojection. Until 11 January with special opening hours – Mon, Weds, Thurs and Fri 5 to 8pm, weekends 12.30 to 2pm and 5 to 8pm.
Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 8pm. €7
Top tip – art museums in Malaga have free entry on Sundays after.4pm.
Fans of vintage cars are in for their annual trip at Retro Malaga, now in its seventh edition. This year’s 3-day event includes a retro market, exhibitions of vintage cars and motorbikes, plus lots of trips for fans of automobiles from yesteryear. At the Palacio de Congresos 25 Jan (4-9pm), 26 Jan (10am-9pm) and 27 Jan (10am-8pm). Pre-ticket sales cost €8 and are available from here.
You can also buy a combined ticket for Retro Malaga and Malaga Car Museum, home to one of the world’s largest vintage car collections. The ticket costs €12 and you can visit the Museum between 25 and 31 January. On Sunday 27 January, the Museum has a special event, “Engine Jungle” with lots of surprises including the roar of an Aston Martin – petrol-head paradise!
Markets in Malaga in January
Monthly markets in January include:
Organic markets selling locally-grown fruit, vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, homemade bread and cakes, and handmade cosmetics take place in
La Malagueta (between Paseo de Reding and Calle Cervantes) on Saturday 12 January from 10am to 2pm and in Huelin Park (western seafront) on Saturday 26 January from 10am to 3pm.
Plaza Merced arts and crafts market takes place this month on Sunday 27 January between 11am and 6pm.
Heads-up for February
Save the dates for Malaga Carnival coming up 23 February to 3 March this year. Read more about this event in Malaga.
The first big exhibition of the year arrives at the Picasso Museum. Olga Picasso takes a look at Olga Khokhlova, Pablo Picasso’s first wife and his main model. From 26 February.
Heads-up for later events
Magical Circus (Circo Mágico) comes to Malaga 1 to 3 March with performances at the Palacio de Deportes sports stadium. Tickets from €25 and available here. Good discounts for early-bird bookings.