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 17th 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 this round-up is (as always 😅) a work in progress and we add to it as the month moves on and we get notice of events. Bookmark the page and check back for regular 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: Tuesday 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 monuments and museums.
The autumn in Spain is packed with public holidays. For more information, read our dedicated post here.
For more information on what’s on in Malaga throughout the year, why not subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter? Join other Malaga fans in being the first to know about the latest events in Malaga.
Noche en blanco
After a two-year hiatus, this great cultural event is back in the city. But instead of its usual May date, the evening of culture takes place on Saturday 8 October from 7pm to midnight. The entire city becomes a background for free events, all based around this year’s theme of the four elements: air, fire, earth and water. Find out more about this unique event.
Film in October
The Albeniz Cinema on Calle Alcazabilla has a weekly programme of films in their original version, usually independent European productions. Check out the programme here.
French Film Festival
This year sees the 28th edition and it takes place from 14 to 21 October. The majority of films will be screened at the Albeniz Cinema, in French with Spanish subtitles. You can see the full programme here. There’s also a homage to Sebastian Lifshitz with a screening of three of his films.
Photo exhibition – the French Film Festival also includes an exhibition of photos entitled “I am the norm” (Je suis la norme) and questioning what is normal. The exhibition includes a video artwork by Lifshitz. You can visit Je suis la norme from 11 October to 15 December at the Alliance Française in Calle Canales (west side of the river), Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and 5 to 8pm. Free entry.
Musical events in Malaga in October
The musical list of what’s on in Malaga runs long this month and the highlights include:
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 October (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 email@example.com.
Performances this month are:
- Sunday 2 – Adriana Rogán (reggae, soul and funk)
- Friday 7 – Diego Lara (singer songwriter)
- Saturday 8 – Cantando bajito (flamenco fusion)
- Friday 14 – Anita Vega & Raúl Valencia (flamenco and pop)
- Saturday 15 – Chelo Soto & Fran Moya (flamenco)
- Friday 21 – Raquel Pelayo Dúo (jazz)
- Saturday 22 – Chanwei (flamenco fusion)
- Friday 28 – Enrique Oliver & Tony Romero (jazz)
- Saturday 29 – Easy Riders (hits from the 60s and 70s).
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.
An eclectic line-up of international and Spanish artists arrive in Malaga for this festival between 19 and 21 October. 8 concerts take place over the 3-day event on 3 different stages in the city – the Contenedor Cultural and Escuela de Arquitectura (School of Architecture) at Malaga University Campus (UMA) in Teatinos and at the Pompidou Centre. On stage will be British artists UH and Rachel Aggs, and Spanish artists Cardusanto, Dodecarmenismo, Dar Ghost, Dominicana, Canizano and Orthodox.
Tickets and more information available via this link.
Municipal Band concerts
The band plays three concerts during October, all with free entry:
- Plaza de Fray Alonso (next to the Santo Domingo Church, on the west side of the river) – part of the Noche en Blanco programme, the band plays on Saturday 8 October at 9pm. The programme fits in perfectly with the Noche en Blanco theme this year, the four elements.
- Botanical Gardens – perhaps the perfect autumn setting for this concert on Sunday 9 October at noon with a programme including music by Barnes and Ponchielli. The event is free, but you need to get a ticket from this link. Note that the link only works from 11am on Thursday 6 October so you won’t be able to do anything with it before then.
- Museum of Malaga – in the lovely patio on Sunday 23 October at noon with music by Borodin, Bela and Vives.
Free concerts in museum patios
The Choir from the Architects Association sings in the Gibralfaro Castle on Friday 7 October at 8pm. Free entry.
The Puschka Quartet play Beethoven and Mozart in the patio at the Museum of Malaga on Sunday 9 October at noon. Free entry.
The choir from the Martin Tenllado Music School performs in the lovely patio at the Carmen Thyssen Museum on Friday 28 October at 7pm. Entry is free but the patio is small so get there early to be sure of a seat.
Peter and the Wolf
This takes us right back to our childhood and reminds us of our introduction to the instruments in an orchestra. The Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra plays Prokofiev’s classic on Saturday 29 October at 6pm and 8pm at the Cánovas Theatre (on Plaza de El Ejido, to the north of the historic centre). Link to more information and tickets here.
Dance in Malaga in October
This year’s edition of Malaga Dance arrives on 18 October and as usual, brings world-class performances to the city. The programme is eclectic and encompasses all types of dance from ballet to hiphop via flamenco and modern. Performances take place at the Cervantes Theatre and you can see the full programme here. Click on performance to get to the link to book tickets online.
Flamenco in Malaga in October
Several events take place this month celebrating Andalusia’s quintessential art form.
Josemi Carmona from one of Spain’s most famous flamenco families brings his flamenco guitar to the stage with Javier Colina (double bass and acordeon) and Bandolero (percussion). They play at the Cervantes Theatre on Monday 3 October at 8pm. Tickets cost €24 and available online here.
Marina Perea – brings her show “The Speech” to the Cervantes Theatre on Tuesday 18 October at 8pm. Tickets cost 15 and you can buy them here.
Sara Baras – comes to the Cervantes Theatre with her company and the performance “Soul”. See them on Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October at 8pm. Tickets cost from €18 and are available online here. The ‘trailer’ below gives you an idea of what to expect.
Free flamenco concert – local singers Sole de Málaga and Rosa Linero and guitarrist José Satorre perform at the MVA Auditorium on Calle Ollerías on Monday 29 October at 7.30pm. Tickets are free, but you need to get yours from the box office on the day (available from 7pm 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).
Malaga’s Architects’ Associations celebrates Architecture Week in October (3 to 9) with talks and guided tours of iconic buildings/settings in the city. Activities for this year include visits to the mansions in the Limonar, a refurbed building in Plaza de la Merced, Malaga Metro and Malaga University campus in Teatinos. Numbers are limited for both tours and talks – book your place online from 27 September.
Can’t come to Malaga this autumn and missing the food?
Why not create great Malaga food in your own kitchen? Our foodie ebook, Malaga Fine Wining & Dining, includes 11 exclusive recipes served in Malaga’s best restaurants, 2 with Michelin stars. Easy to create and make plus a chef’s top tip for each one and a Malaga wine pairing suggestion. Our cookbook has received the thumbs-up from some real foodies too – see their reviews here. All for just €8.95.
The desbandá (mass exodus) of Civil War refugees from Malaga in February 1937 is one of the city’s darkest events in recent history. Between 100,000 and 150,000 terrified civilians fled Malaga, mostly on foot, along the seafront road eastwards. Nationalist forces bombed them from the sea and air, killing 3,000 to 5,000 of them. This exhibition in Bishop’s Palace (opposite the Cathedral on Calle Molina Lario) tells the story with exhibits, photos and texts. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and 4 to 7pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Until 31 October.
Art events in Malaga in October
As always, events in Malaga in October include lots of great art (whatever your favourite genre):
It’s been all change at this art museum in Malaga since (understandably) no new artworks from the Russian State Museum have arrived. But the latest exhibitions are excellent and both draw on the massive collection in the archives at the Picasso Foundation.
Incessant Picasso. Freedom and Life – over 150 works by Picasso or depicting him are on display to illustrate his seemingly limitless creativity. The exhibition takes the theme of the different stages of his life and you’ll see photos, books, sketches, prints and ceramics.
The Reasons for Dreams – this collection, divided into eight sections, looks at the different shapes and forms of dreams. Works on display are by artists including Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Francis Bacon, Georges Ségel, Joaquín de Molina and local Chema Cobos.
Shadow Dancers – Mallorcan artist Bernardi Roig has two art works at the Russian Museum this month from 19 October onwards. Shadow Dancers are four bronze sculptures of ballerinas displayed in a room and his drawing Cap Negre.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm. Permanent exhibition €6, temporary exhibitions €4, €8 combined ticket. Free on Sundays after 5pm.
The most-visited museum in southern Spain has a permanent collection, called Conversations with Picasso 2020-2023. The exhibition explores 8 decades of artistic creativity from the 20th century’s greatest artist. The Museum also has a 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.
The Picasso Museum celebrates its birthday on 27 October with free entry all day.
Open daily 11am to 7pm. Tickets €9, free Sundays after 5pm. Note that the Picasso Museum café has now reopened 🎉
This avant-garde art museum has 2 main exhibitions showing this month:
- Osgemeos – Brazilian twins, Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, showcase 22 paintings and a musical installation in their exhibition When the leaves turn to yellow. Until 4 December.
- Work, Rest and Play – one of the most representative exhibitions ever of work by British artist James Reilly. The works include oil and watercolour paintings, many of which are based on stories and pictures from newspapers. Until 27 November.
- While you were asleep – almost 40 works from the museum’s archives by local artist, David Escalona
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 9.30pm. Free entry.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
The museum has just celebrated its tenth anniversary and continues to showcase Spanish art from the 18th and 19th centuries seen in the permanent collection.
You can also see Masterpieces in Belgian Art, an exhibition with the essence of Belgian art from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th. René Magritte is just one of the artists. You can see this exhibition from 11 October until 5 March.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm, €10 (€6 for entry between 2.30 and 4pm), free from 5pm 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.
The latest exhibition, Our Own Time, arrived recently 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.
You can also see The Laberynth of Light and the Minotaur by Bernardi Roig, an installation made from 25 blocks of polystyrene. From 19 October to May.
Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 6pm. €7 for the permanent exhibition, €9 for both. Free Sundays after 4pm.
Top tip – art museums in Malaga have free entry on Sunday afternoons.
Guided garden tours
Soak up the feel of autumn at the lovely botanic gardens on a guided evening tour. They take place at weekends in October (dates to be confirmed) and last for an hour and a half. The tour includes a walk around the historic part of the garden, a peek inside the library in the house and a stroll to the mirador. Cost is €7.50 per person and you can book by phoning 647 585 457 or 951 926 180 or writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Markets in Malaga in October
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 8 October on Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding (near La Malagueta) and Saturday 22 September in Huelin Park. 10am to 2pm.
This big market is open on Muelle Uno daily from 10am to 10pm until 13 November.
The arts and crafts market takes place on Muelle Uno every Sunday in October from 11am to 7pm.
Enjoy arts and crafts, vintage clothes and a great atmosphere on Sunday 2 and Sunday 9 October between 11am and 8pm on Plaza de la Merced.
October in Malaga celebrates Picasso’s birthday – he’d have been 141 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 34th anniversary of the event.
Heads-up for November
As usual, November will have a fully packed month of events including the 36th Malaga Jazz Festival. Antonio Banderas also has a new musical, Godspell, with performances from 3 November to 8 January. Sign up for our free fortnightly Malaga newsletter to be the first to know!