What’s on in Malaga in January 2020

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

Christmas Lights


view of Calle Larios Malaga Christmas lights 2019

The 1.7 million LED bulbs continue to twinkle away until Sunday 5 January. If you haven’t seen the Christmas lights, don’t miss the light and sound shows on Calle Larios and Calle Alcazabilla 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 Sunday 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 Philharmonic Orchestra plays Johan and Josef Strauss to welcome 2020. Friday 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 Thursday 2 January at 8.30pm. Tickets from €30 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).

String Quartet

The Quiroga Quartet (string) play Beethoven and Brahms at the Picasso Museum Auditorium on Tuesday 21 January at 8pm. Tickets are €12 and available from the museum or here.

Piano concerts

If you fancy getting off the beaten track and enjoying a free piano concert at the same time, make your way to the Jorge Rando Museum Calle Cruz del Molinillo to the north of the city centre on Friday 10 January at 6pm. The first concert of the season features Maria Iciar Serrano Quiñones playing Spanish composers such as Albeniz, Falla, Granados and Turina. The museum is also well worth a visit. It’s a small venue to arrive early to be sure of a seat.


Malaga Theatre Festival

Design for Malaga Theatre Festival 2020

Malaga celebrates the 37th edition of the Theatre Festival between 7 January and 15 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 (or you don’t need a high level of Spanish to understand them) including:

Bells & Spells

This clown cabaret performance is the creation of Victoria Thierrée Chaplin, Chaplin’s daughter and stars her daughter Aurelia Thierrée, a ballet dancer, magician and acrobat. Wednesday 8 January at 8pm. 

Young Frankenstein

A musical based on the Mel Brooks film. See this from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 January. 

You can see the full programme for the Malaga Theatre Festival here.

Goya Ceremony

This year, Malaga has the honour of hosting the Goya Ceremony when the highest accolades in Spanish cinema are awarded. They’re the equivalent of the US Oscars and the British BAFTAs. The Ceremony takes place on Friday 25 January at the Sports Stadium (Palacio de los Deportes) and will be attended by everyone who’s anyone in Spanish cinema. Up for awards this year are directors Amenábar and Almodóvar, and actors Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, both for Pain and Glory. The day before and weekend after this big event will offer plenty of opportunities for celebrity spotting in Malaga. If you want to watch the crème de la crème on Spanish screen walk the red carpet, bag your spot to the Sports Stadium well before the Ceremony starts (8pm). Get there on the No 7 bus from the Alameda Principal (last stop) or on the metro Line 2 (Palacio de los Deportes stop). 

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):

Klimt’s Gold 

A new multi-media art exhibition arrives on Muelle Uno on 17 January showcasing Gustav Klimt. The exhibition offers an immersive experience into the Austrian painter’s work with video projections of his paintings and quotes. It promises to be a similar experience to the Van Gogh Live exhibition in Malaga last year. Tickets cost €11 (€13 at weekends) for adults with various discounts available for family groups and Malaga residents (Mondays only). See all the gold at the space in the intersection between the Pergola and Muelle Uno until 19 April. Open daily 10am to 10pm. More information here

example of multi-media experience at Klimt exhibition Malaga

Carmen Thyssen Museum 

The Carmen Thyssen Museum continues with its temporary exhibition Arabian Fantasy featuring paintings by Spanish artists between 1860 and 1900. The central theme is North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) and the 70 works depict the people, customs and landscapes found by the artists in the second half of the 19th century. Be sure to check out the great themed gifts in the museum shop.

Portrait of a Dervish at the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga

Until 1 February Tues-Sun 10am-8pm. €10 combo ticket for permanent and temporary exhibition. Reduced rate of €6 if you visit between 2.30 and 4pm. Free entry on Sundays from 5pm onwards.

Both the Picasso Museum (see below) and Carmen Thyssen Museum have lovely cafés serving coffee, light snacks and lunch.

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CAC Malaga

CAC Malaga has 2 exhibitions in January.

Eleuthera by Sean Scully – the 40 works on display by the Irish artist include large-format paintings, photos and drawings of Scully’s son on the beach in the Caribbean. Geometric shapes and bright colours (great for a winter’s day) take centre stage on a set of unusual paintings. Read more about this exhibition here. Until 19 January. 

Dracula x Dracula – remember the iconic Dracula ice lolly? Some 70 works – paintings, photos, drawings and sculptures – take the Dracula lolly as their central theme. Until 2 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. 

Picasso Museum

The most visited museum in southern Spain (and one of the top museums in Malaga) hosts one of the big art exhibitions in Malaga this autumn featuring American artist Calder and Picasso. The pieces in the collection compare the 2 contemporary artists’ take on empty space. 

Calder Picasso art exhibition in Malaga

Until 2 Feb. Daily 10am-7pm (6pm from Nov-Feb). €5.50 (€10 combined permanent and temporary exhibition).

Russian Museum

You can still catch this year’s main exhibition on Women in Art in Russia. The interesting collection includes early icons, typical costumes, objects from the Russian court and lots of portraits showing women in all facets of life. Well recommended. You can also see:

Roerich's views of the Himalayas, see it during autumn in Malaga


In Search of Shambhala: 70 works by the master of Russian symbolism, Nikolai Roerich, are on show. Roerich was one of the most prominent artists in Russia during the first half of the 20th century as well as an archaeologist and promoter of culture and peace. He journeyed to the East for five years between 1923 and 1928 and Tibet and the Himalayas (see the photo below) make up one of the main topics for his paintings. You can also see his take on Russian legends and folklore in paintings that remind you of comic strips.  

Anna Ajmátova: the Russian poet takes central stage in another of the temporary exhibitions and continues the Russian Museum’s theme of women this year. The collection showcases portraits of Ajmátova and the men in her life alongside her poetry and books. 

Until 1 March 2020. Tues-Sun 9.30am-8pm. Entry to the temporary exhibitions costs €4, a combined ticket €8. Free entry on Sundays after 5pm.


Pompidou Centre

January is your last chance to see Modern Utopias at this iconic museum before it’s all change in February. Works by some of Europe’s greatest painters on are display including Picasso, Kandinsky, Miró, Le Corbusier and Chagall. There are also some great installations including a revolving nose, sheep on wheels and sardine-tin bed. Until 26 January. 

Read our dedicated post about the exhibition at the Pompidou Centre.

Alechinsky in the Land of Ink – a retrospective including 75 works by the Belgium artist, known for his inventive use of materials. The exhibition includes works from 1952 when he moved to Paris to the present day. Don’t miss the paintings on top of old manuscripts and mariners’ maps. Until 12 April. 

Magic Lantern 

Remember those? This interactive space that is perfect for kids plays homage to the earliest cinema will teach you how to make a magic lantern. Until April 2020.

Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 8pm. €7

La Termica Cultural Centre

Surrealist Lee Miller – a model for Vogue, a World War Two correspondent and Man Ray’s lover, assistant and muse, Lee Miller ranks among the world’s most famous photographers. You can see over 100 of her photos on display at La Termica until 26 February, Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 2pm and 5 to 9pm. Free entry. Get to La Termica on the No 7 bus from the Alameda Principal or walk along the western seafront

Bishop’s Palace

The first UNICAJA exhibition at Bishop’s Palace showcases one of the most famous Spanish artists from the 19th century. Sorolla is best-known for his beach scenes on the sands in Valencia and for the giant panels he painted for the library at the New York Hispanic Society. The new ‘Inland Sorolla’ exhibition includes both these themes as well as over 100 paintings of inland Spain as the artist saw it on his travels. Expect to see a very different Sorolla and get an insight into Spanish rural life.

Sorolla art exhibition in Malaga in November

Bishop’s Palace: Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, weekends 9am to 2pm. €3, free on Sundays. Until 30 January.

Top tip – art museums in Malaga have free entry on Sundays after.4pm.

Retro Malaga

Fans of vintage cars are in for their annual trip at Retro Malaga, now in its 8th 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 24 Jan (4-9pm), 25 Jan (10am-9pm) and 26 Jan (10am-8pm). Pre-ticket sales cost €8 and are available from here.

Richard picnic car 1908
Richard picnic car 1908

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 10 January from 10am to 2pm and in Huelin Park (western seafront) on Saturday 24 January from 10am to 3pm.

Plaza Merced arts and crafts market takes place this month on Sunday 26 January between 11am and 6pm.

Heads-up for February

Save the dates for Malaga Carnival coming up 21 February to 1 March this year. Read more about this event in Malaga.

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