What’s on in Malaga in October 2019

The latest in our monthly series of Malaga events looks at what’s on in Malaga in October, a special month for the city because it’s Picasso’s birthday month. This year also celebrates the 16th anniversary of the Picasso Museum. Other highlights include some fantastic films, amazing art, great music and of course, the usual markets. Read on to find out what’s on where and when. 

Note that most of the events listed below refer to October 2019. We’ll be publishing the 2020 diary towards the end of September. Bookmark this page for updates! 

Autumn in Malaga

This is one of the loveliest times of year in the city. Balmy temperatures, not many people at the beach (and the sea is the warmest it gets) and lots of things to do. To catch autumn leaves, head for the Botanical Gardens towards the end of the month or take a day trip to Ronda where the chestnut tree forests turn brilliant orange and magenta, again towards the end of October.

If you need an excuse to visit Malaga in the autumn, here are 10 to inspire you!

Public holiday in Malaga

Quick heads-up: Saturday 12 October is a public holiday in Spain and Malaga. Banks,businesses and some small shops will be closed all day in Malaga, but expect to find most large shops cafés, bars and restaurants open as usual. The same applies to museums and monuments. Some will close early – for example, the Museum of Malaga closes at 3pm.

The autumn in Spain is packed with public holidays 🙂 For more information, read our dedicated post here.

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Japan in Malaga

icons of typical Japanese objects for Japan week in Malaga in October

The second edition of this annual event celebrating Japanese culture in Malaga runs from 1 to 7 October. The week includes screenings of Japanese films (with Spanish sub-titles) and lots of workshops on origami, flower arranging, kimono protocol, caligraphy, sake tastings, tea ceremonies… And Okami Restaurant (on Calle Mariblanca off Calle Alamos) has a specially-prepared menu of Japanese food. You can see the full programme here

Film in October 

October sees 2 major film events in Malaga, the French Film Festival and the Billy Wilder Festival. 

French Film Festival

Celebrating its 25th edition this year, the French Film Festival takes place from 11 to 18 October at the Albeniz Cinema, Pompidou Centre and La Termica Cultural Centre. Directors Isabel Coixet and Mathieu Busson open the week that includes several premieres such as FilmmakErs, a documentary interviewing 20 women in film; boxoffice hits like Mon chien stupide, set to become the biggest comedy success in France this year; and La femme de mon frère, one of the award winners at the last edition of Cannes.

The Festival plays homage to the Greek-French director Costa-Gavras. You can see the screening of his films including the opera prima Compartiments Tueurs at the Pompidou Centre on 14, 16 and 17 October at 6pm. If documentaries are your thing then held for La Térmica between 15 and 17 October at 6pm for free screenings. All films are shown in French with Spanish sub-titles and you can find the full programme here

Billy Wilder Festival 

The Albeniz Cinema on Calle Alcazabilla celebrates Billy Wilder in October. You can see Some Like it Hot on 3 October, The Apartment on 10 October, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes on 24 October and Avanti on 31 October. All films start at 8.30pm and you can buy tickets on the door. 

Tapas Trail 

The annual Cerveza Victoria tapas trail runs until 20 October in the city centre and Soho. 29 venues have created innovative tapas based on food from around the world in honour of the centenary of Malaga Airport. A tapa and Victoria beer costs €2.90 and there are some seriously creative dishes on offer. Full details and a map of venues here (in Spanish only).

Musical events in Malaga in October

The musical list of what’s on in Malaga runs long this month and the highlights include:

John Mayall

The legendary British singer and guitar player, now 85 treats you to an evening of his classics as per his latest album Nobody Told Me. Wednesday 9 October at 8pm. Tickets from €14 available here

Classic Beethoven

Double Beethoven musical treat is in store with the Triple Concerto for violin, cello and piano followed by Symphony No 3. Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the Cervantes Theatre on Thursday 10 October and Friday 11 October at 8pm. Tickets from €9 available here

Jazz in October

In the run-up to the Malaga Jazz Festival next month, the Picasso Museum has two jazz concerts, both in the auditorium opposite the Museum entrance off Calle Alcazabilla:

Trumpetist Tom Harrell performs Infinity with an accompanying quartet on Tuesday 1 October at 9pm. The Fred Hersch Trio (Hersch on piano plus double bass and drums) plays on Tuesday 29 October at 9pm. Tickets cost €10 and are available at the Museum ticket office or online.

Saturday lunch time concerts

The Jorge Rando Museum on Calle Cruz del Molinillo (north of the old quarter) continues its weekly lunchtime concerts held every Saturday at noon in the chapel next to the museum. Free entry.

Andalusi concert

In honour of the newly-opened exhibition celebrating Arabian Fantasy, the October concert in the lovely patio at the Carmen Thyssen Museum features a performance by the Andalusi Orchestra. Saturday 19 October at 6pm. Free entry, but get there early to be sure of a seat. 

Flamenco in Malaga in October

Famed local singer Amparo Heredia sings with her flamenco accompaniment on Monday 28 October at the MVA auditorium on Calle Ollerías at 7.30pm. Entry is free, but you need a ticket available from the MVA ticket office on the day from 9.30am onwards. 


Open doors at museums

The Russian Museum holds the 4th of its open doors evenings on Saturday 5 October. Free entry from 8 to 11.30pm to an evening of theatre, cinema with musical accompaniment and guided tours. 

The Picasso Museum celebrates its 16th anniversary this month. On Saturday 26 October, the Museum has a series of family-friendly activities based around the Calder-Picasso exhibition (see below) with workshops and debates. On Sunday 27 October, the Museum has free entry all day. 

Cirque du Soleil in Malaga

You’re just in time to catch the highly-acclaimed performers’ latest show, Kooza. Performances take place until 6 October in the Recinto Ferial. Tickets cost from €30 and are available online here. Expect an amazing evening of talent, acrobatics, music and dance plus stunning costumes. Get to Kooza from Malaga city centre on the C1 cercanias train (from Malaga Centro to Victoria Kent plus a 13 minute walk) or on the No 4 bus from Plaza de la Marina with an 11 minute walk at the end. 

Lego and 3D exhibitions

Malaga continues to host the largest lego exhibition ever with almost 5,000,000 bricks that make up just about anything you can think of – a giant model of the Titanic (made of over 500,000 Lego pieces), sports personalities, part of the human body… plus there’s an area where you can build your own creations.

3D image in Malaga of dad pouring giant milk carton in child's mouth

The 3D images, the largest in Spain, has a collection of 30 stands where you can place yourself in the image. You then take a pic on your phone of yourself in an FBI line-up, on the front cover of Time, fishing a shark….

Both exhibitions open daily from 11am to 9pm and are a perfect activity for families and kids. Ticket prices start at €5.50 and combos are available for both exhibitions with a 50% discount, but you must visit one of them before 3pm. Tickets available on the door. This will be popular in the school holidays so visit first thing in the morning or at Spanish lunchtime (2 to 4pm) to maximise your chances of getting a photo with just you in it. More details here. The exhibition has been extended and is open until 24 November.

Art events in Malaga in October

As always, events in Malaga in October include lots of great art (whatever your favourite genre):

Malaga Urban Sketchers

As part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, Malaga Urban Sketchers have just opened an exhibition called “The Drawn City” featuring 136 sketches of Malaga by some 60 artists. They include Luis Patrón, the author of 1 of our favourite books about Malaga. See it at the Archivo Municipal on the Alameda Principal 23 until 24 November. Open Mon-Fri 10am to 1pm and 5 to 8pm and weekends 10am to 1pm.

Picasso Museum

A Calder mobile and Picasso sculpture at an exhibition of art in Malaga in autumn 2019

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. 

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

Carmen Thyssen Museum 

The Carmen Thyssen Museum continues to offer exceptional art in Malaga. This autumn’s temporary exhibition welcomes 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.

12 October – 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 and Carmen Thyssen Museum have lovely cafés serving coffee, light snacks and lunch.

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Russian Museum

As well as this year’s permanent exhibition, the Russian Museum has just opened two new temporary exhibitions: 

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 the main topics for his paintings. 

Himalayas by Roerich, part of the autumn art in Malaga exhibitions

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.

CAC Malaga

This avant-garde museum space reopens on 15 October and the first exhibition features Eleuthera by Sean Scully, the Irish artist based in America who has twice been nominated for the Turner Prize. The 40 works on display include large-format paintings, photos and drawings with Scully’s signature use of colour and geometric shapes. 

Eleuthera art exhibition in Malaga at CAC

Until 19 January. Tues-Sun 10am to 8pm. Free entry.

Pompidou Centre

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.

New pompidou centre collection
NY 06:00AM by Frank Scurti

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

Hors Pistes The Moon

In line with this year’s 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon, the Pompidou Centre has a temporary exhibition exploring our journey from earth to the moon and back again. The quirky art pieces will include photography, paintings installations and poetry. From 18 October to 24 November. 

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. From 4 October to April next year.

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

Top tip – art museums in Malaga have free entry on Sundays after 5pm.

The Art of Protest

Banksy shows (or at least, his pictures) at La Térmica Cultural Centre until 13 October (extended from 15 September).Over 40 original creations by possibly the world’s most famous street artist including paintings, sculptures, installations, videos and photos. All the works come from private collections and this is the first time they have been on display in Spain. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 10pm. Tickets cost €9 (plus €1 costs). Tickets available online herepart of the Banksy exhibition on in Malaga in JuneGet to La Térmica on the No 7 from Plaza de la Marina or walk along the western seafront until the Diputación.

The Vision that Thinks

The MUPAM museum (at the end of the Paseo del Parque on Plaza General Torrijos) has an exhibition showing 27 original works based on the Malaga City Hall. The visions of the iconic building are almost all by local artists and include paintings, photos and prints. You can also see 8 original sketches by Alvarez Dumont who was commissioned to draw the interiors and façade of City Hall in 1917. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 2pm and 6 to 9pm. Free entry. Until 13 October.

Last Summer

The Alliance Française is showing the first exhibition in Spain of young Parisian artist Edouard Taufeubach. He’s currently one of the French artists with biggest international reach and his works are guaranteed not to leave you indifferent. You can see his 17 photo collages at the Alliance on Calle Beatas 36 until 12 January next year. Free entry and open Monday to Friday 10am to 1.30pm and 4.30 to 8.30pm. 

Guided tours round the botanical gardens

Autumn makes a great time to visit these lovely gardens in Malaga and it’s still balmy enough for evening visits. The first guided tour of the month takes place on Friday 4 October at 8pm. Book your tickets by phoning 951 926 180. 

Markets in Malaga in October

Red Friday

The monthly evening market returns to La Térmica on Friday 4 October from 7pm to midnight. Over 50 stalls selling vintage pieces, collectibles, second-hand clothes, vinyls… Plus live music and a selection of foodtrucks to get your energy levels up.

Organic markets

The best autumn produce (think sweet potatoes, figs, custard apples and Muscatel grapes) are now in season and these markets sell them plus products, all grown and produced locally in the Guadalhorce River valley. Saturday 12 September on Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding (near La Malagueta) and Saturday 26 September in Huelin Park. 10am to 2pm.

El Zoco 

The arts and crafts market takes place on Muelle Uno every Sunday in October from 11am to 7pm. 

La Plaza Merced Market

Sunday 27 October on Plaza de la Merced between 11am and 7pm. Arts and crafts, vintage clothes and a great atmosphere at this market where you’ll also be able to check out the installation decorating Picasso’s birthplace.

Read about markets in Malaga.

Picassian October

October in Malaga celebrates Picasso’s birthday – he’d have been 138 this month. As usual, there’s a programme of events celebrating Picasso’s life and works, but at the time of writing (early October), we are still waiting for events to be confirmed. Centred around his birthplace, expect to see lots of multi-coloured paper doves and the inspiration behind Guernica. This year’s edition is the 32nd anniversary of the event.

Heads-up for November

Next month sees 2 big cultural events in Malaga: the Jazz Festival at the beginning of the month and Danza Malaga 2019 running well into December with world-class dance companies in town and performing at the Cervantes Theatre and Echegaray Theatre. Full details in our next round-up of monthly events in Malaga.

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