What’s on in Malaga in October
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 15th anniversary of the Picasso Museum.
Note that the events listed in this post refer to October 2018. We’ll be updating them for 2019 as soon as we have the details. Watch this space!
Other highlights include some amazing art, great music (including the start of Malaga Jazz Festival), dance galore, architectural celebrations and of course, the usual markets. Read our guide to the best things to do in Malaga in October.
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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: Friday 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.
Malaga Jazz Festival
One of the biggest musical events in Malaga takes place between 29 October and 4 November. This year’s Jazz Festival is the 32nd edition and as usual, has a star-studded line-up. You can read the full details here.
Other jazz events are happening around the city this month. See below for more details.
Top tip – book ahead for all jazz concerts because they sell out fast!
Malaga Architecture Week
Coinciding with World Architecture Day on the first Monday in October, the Malaga Architects Association has organised a week of events in Malaga. Highlights include:
- Exhibition on Calle Alcazabilla from 1 to 14 October.
- Drawing the Palmeral de las Sorpresas (our favourite pergola) with Urbansketchers on Thursday 4 October from 6.30pm onwards.
The city holds the first edition celebrating Japanese culture between 1 and 7 October. There’s a long list of activities based around Japanese costume, martial arts, literature, cooking… given by Japanese experts. Most will be in Spanish or with Spanish translations. Full details on the Viviendo Japón website.
Musical events in Malaga in October
The musical list of what’s on in Malaga runs long this month with jazz a recurring theme. Highlights include:
Marriage of Figaro in a jazz version. An unusual version of Mozart’s classic gives the opera a fresh look with the original libretto accompanied by a jazz orchestra. Saturday 6 October at 8pm. Tickets from €9 here.
West Side Story, also in its jazz version. Spanish The Insostenible Big Band plays classics from the world famous version as composed by British trombonist Callum. Wednesday 10 October at 8pm. Tickets from €9 here.
Chamber music concert at the Picasso Museum on Tuesday 16 October at 8pm. Trio of piano, viola and cello playing Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. Tickets available here.
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.
Sundays in the Museum
On Sunday 7 October the next in the series of monthly Sunday concerts at the Museum of Malaga takes place. The OFM Low Brass Quartet will be performing from noon in the museum patio, one of the loveliest spaces in the city. Free entry.
Jazz in the Picasso
Warmly up nicely for Malaga Jazz Festival later in the month the Picasso Museum auditorium (great acoustics) hosts 2 concerts. Aruán Ortiz and Donald Byron play together on Thursday 18 October at 9pm. Expect a fun eclectic mix since the duo’s inspiration comes from Bach, Cuba, rap, funk and Bud Powell. And famed jazz pianist Steve Kuhn takes to the stage accompanied by Aidan O’Donnell on the double bass and Billy Drummond (appropriately) on the drums on Thursday 25 October at 9pm. Tickets available from the ticket office during museum opening hours or online here.
Dance events in Malaga in October
October is one of the biggest months for dance in the city with the Dance Festival.
A host of dance event takes place in Malaga from 9 to 30 October. On stage, the highlights include:
Swan Lake performed by the Russian National Ballet on Tuesday 16 October at 8pm. Tickets from €15 available here.
Carmen performed by the Victor Ullate dance company. The new modern version of Merimée’s classic brings very different take on one of Spain’s most famous women characters. Friday 19 October at 8pm. Tickets from €12 and available here.
Free performances by international and Spanish dance companies take place at a range of venues in the city:
Calle Alcazabilla (next to the Roman Theatre) at 12.30pm and again at 6pm on the esplanade in front of the Cervantes Theatre on Sunday 21, Wednesday 24, Thursday and Sunday 28 October. There are also choreography classes and workshops. Details of who’s dancing when here.
A fun exhibition in the Mingorance Room at the Archivo Municipal (Alameda Principal 23) shows the history of music in plasticine. Exquisite figures map music throughout the ages. A fun visit for kids or if you’re a fan of great craftsmanship. Until November. Open weekdays 10am-1pm and 5.8pm, weekends 10am-1pm. Free entry.
Art events in Malaga in October
As always, events in Malaga in October include lots of great art (whatever your favourite genre):
The most visited museum in southern Spain (and one of the top museums in Malaga) hosts of the big art exhibitions in Malaga this autumn looking at the artist’s Mediterranean roots. The ambitious curation contains over 200 art works and pieces and goes back to the early Iberian culture before coming forward through the centuries to meet Picasso. Expect to see lots of archaeological artefacts as well as paintings by some of Spain’s greatest classical artists including El Greco and Velázquez.
9 Oct – 3 Feb. Daily 10am-7pm (6pm from Nov-Feb). €5.50 (€10 combined permanent and temporary exhibition).
The Russian Museum is showing:
Brilliant Future. The Art of Socialist Realism – the main exhibition this year offers an insight into art produced to ‘official guidelines’ during the Stalin dictatorship. The hallmark Soviet scarlet red dominates the exhibition that includes lots of stunning paintings and objects from the era. The audio guide gives comprehensive background information into the art works themselves as well as their historical background.
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 autumn’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. 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 Cubism and Juan Gris; €9 combo ticket for permanent and temporary exhibition. Free entry on Sundays from 5pm onwards.
CAC Malaga hosts 3 new exhibitions in October:
Hernan Bas – his first exhibition in Spain takes up the largest space at CAC and takes a look at some of the most emblematic work by the American artist. A Brief Intermission includes the piece “Sorting out Andy” created for this exhibition and depicting the objects found in Warhol’s house after his death. You can also see 35 other paintings and drawings created by Bas over the last decade, all depicting men. Until 9 December.
Miguel Gómez Losada – giving you a gender balance, the Spanish artist exhibits for the first time in a museum with pictures of women depicting family memories, 20th century classic films and dance. Until 25 November.
Vasco Araújo – in the video room, see the 8 thought-provoking videos by the Portuguese artist.
Don’t miss the permanent and Neighbours exhibitions, both full of interesting and thought-provoking art work and installations.
Tuesday to Sunday 10am-8pm. Free entry.
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.
You’re just in time to catch this retrospective look at one of the biggest 20th century artists. Travelling without a Compass includes work from his first period when figures, brutal art and graffiti featured heavily, and from the second half of his creative life when he focused on investigating materials in art. “Man must express himself but so should the materials and tools,” said Dubuffet. Until 14 October.
Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 8pm. €7
Top tip – art museums in Malaga have free entry on Sundays after 5pm.
15th anniversary of the Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum celebrates its 15th anniversary with several events including:
Saturday 27 October is the actual anniversary and commemorate the occasion, it’s open doors all day. Free entry from 10am to 7pm.
An open-air painting competition from 9am to 6.30pm for children and adult artists. The subject matter (plenty of scope here) are the Picasso Museum surroundings. Even if you’re not artistically inclined, this should be fun event to watch.
Festival of French Cinema
French speakers and fans of France have a date during the last week of October when the 24th edition of the Festival of French Cinema takes place. You can watch 10 films made in France or Canada at the Albeniz Cinema and the Pompidou Centre where there’s a homage to the French film director Jean-Pierre Melville. Films are shown in their original version with Spanish subtitles. 24 October to 2 November. Full information (in Spanish only) here.
Markets in Malaga in October
The monthly evening market returns to La Térmica on Friday 5 October from 7pm to midnight. Over 50 stalls selling vintage pieces, collectibles, second-hand clothes, vinyls… Plus a live concert by DJ Jay Jay Revlon, one of the dance kings in London and a specialist in voguing (think Madonna and Willi Ninja). And a selection of foodtrucks to get your energy levels up.
The annual antique books market takes place daily until Sunday 14 October on Plaza de la Merced. Specialist shops from all over Spain has stalls with ancient tomes and volumes. Worth a browse if you love old books. Open weekdays 10am-2pm & 5.30-8.30pm, weekends 10.30-2.30pm and 5.30-8.30pm.
La Plaza Merced Market
Sunday 28 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.
October in Malaga celebrates Picasso’s birthday – he’d have been 137 this month. As usual, there’s a full programme of events celebrating Picasso’s life and works. Centred around his birthplace, expect to see lots of multi-coloured paper doves and the inspiration behind Guernica. This year’s edition is the 31st anniversary of the event.