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what's on in Malaga in May

What’s on in Malaga in May 2023

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 in the city this month. 

Note that this post refers to events in May 2022. We’ll be updating it for 2023 as soon as we have the information (usually towards the end of April) – bookmark the page for future reference.

Public holiday in Malaga

Perhaps best of all, May starts with a public holiday in Malaga. Sunday 1 May celebrates Labour Day and this year, the public holiday has moved to Monday 2 May. Don’t expect to find any banks, offices or businesses open on the day, but most shops, bars and restaurants in Malaga will be open. For a full list of public holidays in Malaga in 2022, read our dedicated post.

Book Fair 

The 51st edition of this event is on daily until 8 May on Plaza de la Marina. Stalls from local bookshops sell new, second-hand and antique books plus there are related events including storytime for children and author signings. Open weekdays 11am to 2pm and 4.30 to 8.30pm, Saturdays 11am to 3pm and 4 to 9pm, and Sundays 11am to 3pm and 4 to 8pm.

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: Wednesday 18 May. Malaga celebrates International Museum Day with free entry to all the museums. Now that’s what we call a good day out!


Malaga Theatre Festival 


The annual Theatre Festival continues in May with its second part. Mostly in the Cervantes Theatre and in Spanish, the works include Diva, about the life of Maria Callas, and the classic, Death of a Salesman . Full details of the programme on the Cervantes website.

Italian Film Festival 

The best of Italian movies come to the Albeniz Cinema from 16 to 21 May. The event includes a homage to Pasolini (this year is the centenary of his birth) and a fest of recent Italian films. You can download the full programme here

Flamenco in Malaga in May 

Electric flamenco 

Jaco Abel brings his particular style of flamenco to Malaga on Tuesday 24 May when he gives a talk about the experience of taking electric guitar to the musical genre and performs live. See him at the Centro Cultural La Malagueta (in the bullring) at 7pm. Free entry, but get there early to be sure of a seat. Full details (in Spanish) here

Flamenco concert 

Aula Municipal de Flamenco in Malaga has its next concert of the season Monday 30 May at 7.30pm in the Centro MVA on Calle Ollerías in the old quarter. Singer Isabel Guerrero will perform. Tickets are free, but you need to get yours from the Municipal Fiestas Department in Camino de San Rafael 99 (available from 9am to 2pm – you can get here on the No 20 bus from the Alameda Principal) or from the MVA box office on the day from 7pm onwards. 

The video below gives you an idea of what to expect. 

Entry is free but you need to get a ticket on the day from MVA (available from 4pm onwards) or from the Municipal Fiestas Department in Camino de San Rafael 99 (available from 9am onwards – you can get here on the No 20 bus from the Alameda Principal). 

Musical Events in Malaga in May

Plenty to choose from on the music scene this month. Highlights include:

Piano concert at the Jorge Rando Museum 

Pianist Leon Gurvitch plays his own compositions inspired by the art work on display at this museum on Calle Cruz de Molinillo 12, to the north of the old quarter. Hear him on Friday 13 May at 7pm. Entry is free, but get there early to bang your place. While you’re there, admire the newly-restored Mercado de Salamanca opposite. 

Tardeo & Music 

This initiative (Sunset & Music) combines great local talent with one of the city’s loveliest locations, Hotel Castillo de Santa Catalina in El Limonar. The free concerts take place at weekends in May (7-9pm) in the gardens at the 5-star hotel where drinks and tapas are available as well as fab views of the city. Book your table ahead by calling +34 952 212 700 or sending an email to sbcastillo@sohohoteles.com. 

Performances this month are: 

  • Sunday 1 May – Duette, soul/blues
  • Sunday 8 May – Adriana Rogan, soul/reggae/funk
  • Friday 13 May – Chelo Soto and Fran Moya, flamenco
  • Saturday 14 May – Tua e Mua, pop 
  • Sunday 15 May – Roberto Cantero, R&B/funk
  • Saturday 21 May – Sabrina Romero, flamenco dance, percussion
  • Sunday 22 May – Ramón Barronquero and Julia Martín, soul/funk
  • Friday 27 May – El Recortao, flamenco fusion
  • Saturday 28 May – Cantando Bajito, flamenco fusion
  • Sunday 29 May – Manu Valiana and Jose Carra, pop/acoustic jazz

Get to the Castillo de Santa Catalina on foot from the centre (allow 30 minutes), by taxi or take the 32 or 33 bus from the Alameda Principal and get off at Avda Pintor J. Sorolla (Miramar,.stop 1108) and walk 10 minutes up the hill. There’s also ample parking if you have your own car. 

Douglas Dare

The British singer songwriter presents his third album Milkteeth at the MVA Cultural Centre on Calle Ollerías 34. See him on 14 May at 8.30pm. Entrance is free, but you need a ticket, available later on in the month (usually a week beforehand). Bookmark the website and check back regularly.

Il Trovadore 

Verdi’s classic opera comes to the Cervantes Theatre on Friday 27 (8pm) and Sunday 29 May (7pm) with Malaga’s very own tenor, Carlos Alvarez, in the lead role. Tickets cost from €24 and are available online here.

Malaga Museum concert

May’s free concert is on Sunday 22 at noon in the patio of the Museum of Malaga. This month’s performance is by Sacrum Ministriles who will be singing music from the 15th and 16th centuries. Entry is free, but get there early to be sure of a seat. 

Patio concert

The Carmen Thyssen Museum’s monthly concert takes place on 27 May at 7pm in the museum’s lovely patio with the Escolania University Choir. Entry is free but get in the queue early to be sure of a seat. 

Bloomin’ marvellous

roses 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.

Jacarandas in Malaga in May

After the early spring rain, we imagine the blooms will be extra stunning!


Salón de la Moto

Malaga’s annual date with the motorcycling world takes place 13 to 15 May at the FYCMA Congress Centre. New, second-hand and vintage bikes will be on display plus stalls selling accessories, competitions and shows. Open Friday 13 May 4 to 9pm, Saturday 14 May, 11am to 9pm and Sunday 15 May, 11am to 8pm. Tickets cost €6 and are available on the door. Get to Malaga Congress Centre on buses 4, 19 or 20 from the Alameda Principal (journey time is around 25 minutes with a short walk at the end). 

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.

Russian Museum

This art museum in Malaga says goodbye to its permanent exhibition and 2 temporary ones at the beginning of May. It has open doors (free entry) on Sunday 1 May and Monday 2 May between 9.30am and 8pm when you can see:

War and Peace with 183 works by Russian masters and French and German artists with ties with Russia. They include, as always, paintings and sculptures and provide unique insight into Russian life and culture. 

Read our guide to this exhibition.


Avant-garde in Russian Art – one of the most important artistic movements in early 20th-century Europe and this exhibition celebrates its expression in Russian artists. They include Kandinsky and Chagall as well as numerous others. Expect to see works in the style of abstraction, constructivism, futurism and neo-primitivism. 

Mayakovsky, Poet and Artist – a prominent artist in the Futurist movement, Mayakovsky is known for his revolutionary ‘calling’. 

Bi-centenary of Dostoevsky – a small exhibition honours one of the greatest Russian authors in the year of the bi-centenary of his birth. On show are portraits as well as illustrations from his books and recreations of the rooms where he wrote. 

The Museum will close on from Tuesday 3 May and reopen at the end of the month with a new exhibition featuring Picasso. 

Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm. Permanent exhibition €6, temporary exhibitions €4, €8 combined ticket. Free on Sundays after 5pm.

Picasso Museum

The most-visited museum in southern Spain has its permanent collection, Conversations with Picasso 2020-2023. The exhibition explores 8 decades of artistic creativity from the 20th century’s greatest artist. The Museum has just opened a new room (Sala XII) showing 19 ceramics and 3 paintings created by Picasso between 1931 and 1962. You can also see 22 works from his La Californie sketchbook, which he drew in Cannes in 1956. 

In addition, there are two temporary exhibitions:

Paula Rego is a huge retrospective of the Portuguese artist who has redefined figurative art and revolutionised the representation of women in art. Some 80 of her works are on display, taking you through her artistic journey. Until 21 August. 

Face to face. Picasso and the Old Masters places works by painters such as El Greco, Zurburán, Caracciolo and Gijsbretchs next to Picasso’s to illustrate how the old masters influenced him. Until 26 June.

Open daily 11am to 6pm. Tickets €9 for all 3 exhibitions, free Sundays after 3pm. Note that the Picasso Museum café is closed at the moment 😞

Carmen Thyssen Museum

The Carmen Thyssen Museum has just celebrated its eleventh anniversary showcasing Spanish art, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries seen in the permanent collection

You can also see An Intimate Anthology showcasing works by Juana Frances, one of the most important Spanish artists in the second half of the 20th century. You can see her abstract and figurative creations until 19 June.

And Real(ism). New figures in Spanish art 1918 to 1936 shows over 80 paintings, sculptures, sketches and drawings by artists such as Arteta, Dalí, Gargallo, Miró and others. Until 4 Sept.

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm, €10 (€6 for entry between 2.30 and 4pm), free on Sundays.

The Carmen Thyssen Museum has a lovely café serving coffee, light snacks and lunch. There’s a daily lunchtime menu, which is excellent value for €11.90. 


Pompidou Centre

The latest exhibition, Our Own Time, has just arrived and we love it! It’s divided into six sections (Leisure Time, Holiday Time, InnerTime, Interspatial Time, Introspective Time and Confrontation Time) and showcases work by artists from the early 20th century to the present day. Expect to see the usual thought-provoking collection of paintings, sculptures, videos, photos and installations. Artists on show include Accardi, Léger, Matisse, Picasso and Zangewa.

Read about this art.exhibition in Malaga here.

Japanese architecture since the 1950s – the new temporary exhibition at the Pompidou Centre returns to architecture from 20 May when the work of 30 Japanese architects will be on show. Expect to see drawings, designs and models plus objects by masters of building and planning such as Kenzo Tange, Kisho Kurokawa and Sou Fijimoto. Until 19 Sept. 

Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 6pm. €7 for the permanent exhibition, €9 for both. Free Sundays after 4pm. 

Top tip – Pompidou Centre, Picasso Museum and Jorge Rando Museum are the only art museums open on Mondays.

CAC Malaga

The contemporary art museum has 2 main exhibitions this month.

  • Phil Frost – Plotting Upon the Passage of Time by the American artist arrives on 4 March, showcasing his work from 1997 to the present day. Frost favours mixed media and uses canvas, wood and doors for his work. Until 22 May.
  • Julian Schnabel – the next major exhibition comes from the American artist showing how his art is influenced by Spanish paintings, Anything Can Be a Model For a Painting. Until 12 June.

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 9am-9.30pm. Free entry. 


La Térmica

La Termica Cultural Centre has over 100 pictures by photographer Michael Grecco. He took the photos at nightclubs in Boston and New York when punk rock was just emerging in the late 1970s. The exhibition also includes a soundtrack and documentary. Until 26 June. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 2pm and 5 to 8.30pm. Free entry.

Get to La Térmica by walking west along the seafront (the cultural centre is behind the modern glass Diputación building) or on the No 7 bus from the Alameda Principal (south side).

Markets in Malaga in April

Red Friday at La Térmica (see above) on Friday 6 May from 6pm to midnight. Over 40 stalls selling vintage items, antiques and collector’s items plus a programme of live music and food trucks. 

El Zoco market on Muelle Uno sells arts and crafts every Sunday from 11am to 7pm. Combine your browsing with a stroll in the sunshine under the Pergola.

Spring market on Muelle Uno with arts and crafts, clothes and accessories. Open until 8 May 10am to 9pm. 

La Merced Market on Plaza de la Merced takes place on Sunday 1 and Sunday 29 May from 11am to 8pm.

El Paseo Market has its monthly date on Sunday 8 May on the Malagueta seafront promenade 11am to 7pm.

Soho Urban Market has arts and crafts stalls on Calle Tomás Heredia, 11am to 7pm. Date for 22 May.

Organic markets selling fresh produce grown organically in the Guadalhorce Valley to the north of Malaga. As well as fruit and veg, local producers sell bread and cakes, honey, olive oil, dried fruit and nuts, and organic soaps and creams. La Malagueta (between Paseo de Reding and Calle Cervantes) on Saturday 7 May from 10am to 2pm and Huelin Park Saturday 21 May 9am to 2pm.

Heads up for forthcoming events in Malaga 

The Andalucia Big Festival arrives in the city on the weekend 8-10 September. There’s a big-name lineup including Jamiroquai, Rage Against the Machine and Muse with more to come. Tickets go on sale soon for this event – bookmark this website to buy yours.  

Keep your finger on the Malaga buzzer – sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter. All you need to know about what’s on and what’s new in the city in your inbox every other Friday.


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