Wondering what’s on in Malaga in May? The latest in our monthly round-up of events in Malaga brings the best of everything on this month.
Malaga in May certainly packs in the events. From one of the biggest events in Malaga of the year, the Malaga Gastronomy Festival, to a full-night of culture, literary fest, sustainable fashion show… there’s plenty to do in the city this month. Read on for our highlights.
Note that most of the events listed below refer to May 2019. We’ll be publishing the 2020 diary towards the end of April. Bookmark this page for updates!
Public holiday in Malaga
Perhaps best of all, May starts with a public holiday in Malaga. Friday1 May celebrates Labour Day so don’t expect to find any banks, offices, food stores or shops open on the day. For most bars and restaurants in Malaga, however, it’s business as usual. For a full list of public holidays in Malaga in 2020, read our dedicated post.
International Museum Day
If you’re on a budget holiday in Malaga this month or just like to make a saving, make a note of this date: Saturday 18 May. Malaga celebrates International Museum Day with free entry to all the museums. Now that’s what we call a good day out!
Fashion Revolution Week
La Térmica cultural centre hosts a day centered on Fashion Revolution Week, an event that aims to showcase and promote sustainable fashion. On Friday 3 May, there’s a Swap Party: take along a maximum of 7 items (clothes or accessories) between noon and 4pm. You’ll get a number of points for your items that you can then use to swap for others from 7pm onwards.
You can also see 7 shorts themed on the Fashion Revolution from the British Council. And then watch a sustainable fashion show from 10.30pm. The evening events take places within the Red Friday market (see Markets in Malaga in May below).
Get to La Térmica on the No 7 bus from Plaza de la Marina or walk along the western seafront.
The noche en blanco celebrations count as one of our favourite events in Malaga. On Saturday 18 May from 7pm to 1am you can enjoy cultural events throughout the city.
This year celebrates the 12th edition of the event and the central theme is “Around the world in a night” so expect plenty of unusual travel installations and events round the city. The full programme hasn’t been released yet – watch this space and to give you an idea of what to expect read our dedicated blog post about this amazing event in Malaga.
Top tip – you’ll be celebrating all-night culture with most of Malaga. To avoid the crowds, go to events off the beaten track. See our post for some ideas.
Musical Events in Malaga in May
Plenty to choose from on the music scene this month, plus a little bit of dance. Highlights include:
Verdi classic – opera fans are in for a treat when one of Verdi’s best-loved operas, Othello, arrives in Malaga. Wednesday 1 May at 7om, Friday 3 May at 9pm and Sunday 5 May at 7pm at the Cervantes Theatre. Tickets from €24 here.
Cossack legends – some 60 artists, musicians, dancers and acrobats take to the stage at the Cervantes Theatre on Tuesday 7 May at 8pm for an evening of legendary Cossack entertainment. Tickets from €14 and available online here.
Sophie Auster – the New York singer/songwriter presents her latest album, Next Time, at the MVA auditorium on Calle Ollerías on Thursday 16 May at 9pm. Free entry, but you need to reserve tickets online, available from 10am on 9 May.
Malaga Jazz – local saxophonist Daniel Torres plays with his sextet on Sunday 26 May at the Cervantes Theatre when they present his latest album, Statement One. The band includes Perico Sambeat, also on the sax, Peter Bernstein on the guitar, Sri Hanuraga on the piano, Romeu Tristao on bass and Joao Lopes on drums. Tickets priced €19 and available from here.
Tutto Puccini – the opera continues on Friday 31 May when Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra play Puccini classics at the Cervantes Theatre. Tickets from €12 here. Take your hanky for those arias. 😉
Hotel Habana Show – Cuban music, dance and acrobatics based loosely around the stories of guests at the Hotel. In the Recinto Ferial from 21 May to 2 June. More details here.
Flamenco in Malaga in May
As part of the Flamenco Bienal 2019, there are several events in Malaga this month showing some of the best dancers in the region. They take place at the Edgar Neville Auditorium in the Diputación on the western seafront (get there on the No 7 bus from Plaza de la Marina or walk from the centre (allow 20-30 minutes). Tickets for all events are available online here.
Anorañza – 4 May at 8.30pm.
Emovere – 11 May at 8.30pm.
David Martín – 18 May at 8.30pm.
Cristóbal García and Carmen Ríos – 25 May at 8.30pm.
Evening of flamenco – Rocío Bazán sings flamenco at the MVA auditorium on Calle Ollerías Monday 27 May at 7.30pm. Free entry, but you need to collect your ticket on the same day from the office between 9am and 5pm.
Make the most of May to see some of the best and most authentic flamenco around at the moment. Read more about flamenco in Malaga.
While April is the month for wisteria at the Malaga Botanical Gardens, in May it’s the turn of rose bushes and jacaranda trees. See the roses at their best in the Pedro Alonso Gardens (next to City Hall on the Paseo del Parque) from early May to the end of June. Jacaranda trees show off their brilliant purple flowers throughout the city but perhaps the best display in on Plaza de la Merced from the middle of the month onwards.
After all the rain this April, we imagine the blooms will be extra stunning!
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.
What’s on in Malaga in May at the art museums
As usual, some of best things to do in Malaga in May include art.
This art museum in Malaga has 3 women-themed exhibitions:
Saints, Queens & Workers – the main exhibition 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, from everyday drudgery to imperial finery. On show until 27 February 2020.
Women Artists – continuing the female theme, the main temporary exhibition has works by 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 her 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.
You’re just in time to see 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
Like the Russian Museum, the Thyssen Museum has also decided to take women at its central theme for its first big temporary exhibition of the year. 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.
You can also see a great retrospective of Henri Matisse at the Pompidou looking at 6 decades of creativity. A New Country: Henri Matisse 1869 to 1954 includes 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.
You’re just in time to catch 2 exhibitions at this funky venue in May.
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 18 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.
Sporting events in Malaga in May
In its 4th edition this year, the 7km race runs for freedom of the press (and for fun). You don’t have to be a journo to take part on Sunday 5 May from 10am. Sign up here. See you there!
The annual sports takes place over the weekend 17 to 19 May at various locations in Malaga. The main 2 are in the Guadalmina riverbed near the CAC and on the beach at the Misericordia on the western seafront. Fun for all ages from young to old and fitness levels from zero to pro. You can see the full list of activities here.
Markets in Malaga in March
3 May – Red Friday at La Térmica – retro and vintage stalls, plus food trucks, DJs, and British Council documentaries at La Térmica (on the No 7 bus route from the Alameda Principal) . 7pm to midnight.
11 May– Organic Market – fruit, vegetable and products, all grown and produced locally. Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding. 10am to 2pm.
25 May – Organic Market. Parque de Huelin 10am to 3pm.
26 May – 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. Don’t forget to admire the jacaranda trees while you’re there!