What’s on in Malaga in October 2023
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 20th 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, here are 10 compelling reasons to visit Malaga in autumn!
Public holiday in Malaga
Quick heads-up: Thursday 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.
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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 29th edition and it takes place from 13 to 20 October. The majority of films will be screened at the Albeniz Cinema, in French with Spanish subtitles. You can see the full programme here.
Musical events in Malaga in October
The musical list of what’s on in Malaga runs long this month and the highlights include:
Municipal Band concerts
The band plays two concerts during October, all with free entry:
- Patio de las Cadenas – this square at the Cathedral entrance on Calle Císter has great acoustics and provides a lovely setting for concerts. Listen to Malaga Municipal Band play a varied programme on Sunday 8 October at 8pm. Seats are provided, so go along early to grab yours.
- Museum of Malaga – this gorgeous patio at the Museum of Malaga welcomes the band on Saturday 21 October at 7pm. The programme includes works by Liszt, Strauss and Chabriel. Go early to be sure of a seat (we’d recommend 6pm).
Piano concert at St George’s Church
The pianist Maria Marquez Torres will play at St George’s Church in the grounds of the English Cemetery on Saturday 7 October at 7.30pm. Tickets cost €12 and you can book yours here.
You can find the English Cemetery on Avda Pries, almost opposite the Malagueta bullring.
A celebration of the Concert Grand Steinway at the Cervantes
Swedish pianist Helge Antoni takes to the keys of the Concert Grand Steinway he selected for the Cervantes Theatre’s new piano last year. The programme celebrates 300 years of piano music and includes nods to Andalusia and flamenco.
Tuesday 24 October at 8pm. Tickets cost €20. More information and link buy tickets here.
Concerts in Museum patios in October
As usual, the city’s lovely patios offer free performances this month.
Museum of Malaga
Two pianists perform at this month’s concert on Saturday 15 October at noon in the lovely patio at this museum. The programme includes piano music by Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin. Free entry but get there early to be sure of a seat (we’d recommend by 11am).
Carmen Thyssen Museum
This month’s free performances are on:
Friday 6 October at 7pm in the patio at this art museum in Malaga. The Malaga Guitar Orchestra will perform. Free entry, but arrive in good time to get a seat.
Friday 27 October at 7pm, the Youth Choir from the Martín Tenllado Music School will be on stage. Free entry, but arrive in good time to get a seat.
Lazy Friday afternoon live music
If you fancy spending Friday afternoons with a little something and live music, Araboka Plaza (10 minutes walk from the city centre) is your venue. Treat yourself to some fine wine while you enjoy some easy listening (jazz-flamenco fusion, hits from the 80s etc.). From 4.45 until 7pm every Friday.
Looking for somewhere good to eat out?
Malaga has dozens of good restaurants and we’ve selected the best. You’ll find them divided into handy categories, allowing you to easily select what you’re looking for.
Or if you like a detailed description of what a venue is really like, take a look at our Malaga Restaurant Reviews. We’re continually adding new ones, so check back regularly.
Malaga at a Glance
The international photography exhibition, Malaga at a Glance, organised by Leica brings the best 78 pictures of Malaga to the city. The exhibition is part of the Picasso celebrations and coincides with the October for Picasso.
The photos, chosen from over 600 entries, all showcase Malaga and its attractions. You can see them on the Paseo del Parque until 25 October.
October for Picasso
Every October, the city celebrates its Picassian heritage with events and activities centred around the great artist. The Casa Natal in Plaza de la Merced and the Picasso Museum are the two main focal points in the last week of the month.
For more information, read our dedicated October for Picasso post.
Dance in Malaga in October
This year’s edition of Malaga Dance arrives on 18 October and continues for the rest of the month. As usual, it 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.
Premier of Invocation
Flamenco dancer Carmen Muñoz performs the premier of her work, Invocation, at the Pompidou Centre on Saturday 28 October at 6.30pm. Entry is free, but you need to get a ticket from the museum beforehand, available from 5pm on the same day. We’d recommend getting in the queue bright and early to be sure of yours.
Flamenco in Malaga in October
This month has several flamenco events including:
The Embrace of Tango and Flamenco
Spain and Argentina’s prime musical and dance genres come together in what promises to be an excellent concert on Monday 9 October at 8pm. Antonio Carmona, one of the biggest representatives of ‘new flamenco’, and Raúl Lavié, one of the best tango singers, are stars of the show.
Tickets cost from €20. More information and link to book here.
Antonio Najarro’s dance company brings a mixture of flamenco and bolero to the stage at the Cervantes Theatre on Wednesday 18 October at 8pm.
Tickets cost from 15. More information and link to book your tickets here.
Free flamenco concert
Local singers José Chaparro and Vanesa Fernández and guitarrist Chaparro de Málaga perform at the MVA Auditorium on Calle Ollerías on Monday 30 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).
The video below gives you an idea of what to expect.
Malaga’s Architects’ Associations celebrates Architecture Week from 2 to 8 October, with talks and guided tours of iconic buildings/settings in the city. The tours will be in Spanish, but in our experience, most architects in Spain speak some English, so they might be willing to translate some of their talk for you.
This year’s guided tours include the Baroque Nuns Chapel in El Perchel district, the city’s medieval walls, the Picasso Museum, the Tabacalera (home to the Russian Museum and Car Museum, and celebrating its centenary this year) and the Parque del Oeste.
Numbers are limited for both tours and talks – book your place online from 10am on 25 September via this link.
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.
October in Malaga celebrates Picasso’s birthday – he’d have been 142 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 35th anniversary of the event.
Art events in Malaga in October
As usual, there’s an excellent choice of world-class art in Malaga this month.
The latest exhibition, Our Own Time, is our favourite so far. 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.
A retrospective of sculptures, drawings and designs created by Austrian Ettore Sottsass arrives on 11 October at the Pompidou Centre. Until 25 February 2024.
Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 8pm. €7 for the permanent exhibition, €9 for both. Free Sundays after 5pm.
Carmen Thyssen Museum
The museum continues to showcase Spanish art from the 18th and 19th centuries seen in the permanent collection.
The museum also has the following temporary exhibitions:
Rafael Canogar – one of the biggest representatives of Spanish abstract art has an exhibition of ten of his largest paintings. Canogar’s works focus on structure and are almost archectural in their form. From 19 September.
Fiercely Human – 17th-century Spanish art comes into its own at the Carmen Thyssen Museum with this exhibition of works by Spanish painters of saints, whose dramatic images were designed to draw people to religion. Until 18 February 2024.
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 €12.90.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm. Tickets cost €10. Free entry on Sundays after 4pm. Note that if you’re resident in Malaga (you need to show proof), the entry fee is €6.)
Although this art museum in Malaga is no longer showing artworks from the Russian State Museum, its latest exhibitions are excellent and both draw on the alternative collections.
Ahead of his time – dozens of artworks from the huge collection owned by José María Castañé. Divided into four sections, it showcases work by Russian artists as well as key figures from 20th century art such as Paul Delvaux, David Hockney, Eduardo Arroyo and Diego Rivera.
The two largest sections cover 20th century Russian art and contemporary art.
Different perspectives – two award-winning photographers, Elena Anosova and Javier Arboledas showcase their images of two different parts of Russia. Anosova focuses on a remote part of southern Russia, where his family comes from, and reflects on isolation and collective memory. Arboledas looks at Sosnovy Bor, one of the secret cities built during the 1950s in the USSR, and his pictures reflect on memory and utopia.
In the flow – German artist, Boris Groys, who spent many years in Russia, has three videocollages on display.
La Suite des Saltimbanques – 15 sketches of circus scenes by Picasso who created them during his Pink and Blue period, between 1904 and 1906. Until 5 November.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm. Permanent exhibition €6, temporary exhibitions €4, €8 combined ticket. Free on Sundays after 5pm.
Picasso Photos in Palacio Solecio Hotel
This lovely hotel in Calle Granada has an exhibition of 8 photos of Picasso by Juan Gyenes, on display in the lobby. The exhibition forms part of the city’s homage to the great artist on the 50th anniversary of his death. Free entry and on display until June 2024.
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 welcomes the second of its big exhibitions commemorating the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death this year in early October. The Echo of Picasso examines the enormous influence the artist has had on other creators, both his contemporaries and those living now.
The exhibition showcases the work of 30 artists, all influenced by some aspect of Picasso’s creativity. The specially curated collection includes paintings, sculptures and installations, all of which are placed within the concept of Picasso and his work.
3 October 2023 until 31 March 2024
You can also see The Many Faces of Picasso’s Late Works, intended as a companion exhibition. This one focuses on the artist’s depiction of the human face in the latter part of his life. Many of the works on show were controversial when Picasso created them, but are now highly considered. Until 4 February 2024.
Open daily 11am to 7pm. Tickets €9, free Sundays after 5pm.
The contemporary art museum has the following exhibitions in October:
For Future Purposes – Nigerian everyday life and culture comes to life in paintings and sculptures by the artist Atanda Quadri Adebayo. Until 26 November.
I am my own landscape – German-Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe brings over 100 works for her first exhibition in Spain for over 20 years. Her paintings, drawings and photos merge the real with the unreal against a background of nature and natural phenomena. Until 3 December.
While you’re at CAC, don’t miss the permanent and Neighbours exhibitions. They’re both packed with interesting and thought-provoking artwork and installations.
Tuesday to Sunday 9am-9.30pm. Free entry.
Jorge Rando Museum
As well as the permanent exhibitions, you can see one combining the work of Pablo Picasso and Jorge Rando. Their shared theme is bullfighting and you can see engravings by Picasso made between 1929 and 1960 and paintings by Rando from the 70s.
Open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and 4 to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm. Free entry. The museum is on Calle Cruz del Molinillo 12, on the northern edge of the old quarter. Don’t miss the Mercado de Salamanca market opposite.
This cultural centre on the western seafront has a new exhibition for October and one of the most colourful in town this autumn.
Victus et amictus showcases work by Mallorcan artist Ela Fidalgo, an award-winning fashion designer who has recently turned her attention to painting. You can clearly see the influence of fashion in her works that combine the use of fabrics, oils and crayons.
Until 28 January 2024. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 2pm and 5 to 8.30pm. Free entry.
Get to La Térmica Cultural Centre by walking along the western seafront or on the No 7 bus from the south side of the Alameda Principal (get off at the Santa Paula stop).
Markets in Malaga in October
Arts and crafts – the autumn market at Muelle Uno takes place daily from noon to 10pm Monday to Thursday and from midday to midnight, Friday to Sunday. The Sunday market, El Zoco, is on every Sunday between noon until late.
Up-and-coming designers – 10 newbies on the local design scene exhibit their creations at the Market La Plaza at Malaga Plaza shopping centre ( just behind El Corte Inglés on Calle Armengual de la Mota) on Saturday 7 October from 10am to 9pm.
Mercado de la Merced – arts and crafts stalls in the lovely square at Plaza de la Merced from 11am to 7pm. Sunday 1 October.
Soho Market – artisan produce and crafts on Sunday 22 October on Calle Tomás Heredia, 11am to 7pm. October date to be confirmed.
Organic Markets – the best summer fruit (think melons, peaches and the first of the grapes) and vegetables are now in season and these markets sell them plus products, all grown and produced locally in the Guadalhorce River valley. Saturday 14 October on Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding (near La Malagueta) and Saturday 28 October in Huelin Park. 10am to 2pm.
Red Friday – Friday 6 October is the date for this funky market at La Térmica cultural centre. Over 40 stalls offer a mix of vintage goods, antiques, designer items and crafts, and there’s also live music and a dance performance. 6pm to midnight. Free entry but you need to get tickets, available from 10am on 4 October and from 7pm on 5 October from this link. Note that the link doesn’t work beforehand.
Sporting events in Malaga in October
This month has several key sporting events. They include:
The local Aliquindoi swim club is organising its 5th charity swim in the sea on 1 October at 10am. Races are 1,500m, 3,000m and a relay of 2 x 1,500m. All taking place at the Misericordia beach (western seafront).
More information and link to sign up here. Proceeds in aid of the Red Cross.
Malaga City Golf Trophy
In its 27th edition, this tournament takes place on 30 September and 1 October at the Real Guadalhorce Club de Golf. Entry open to all golfers and the cost to non-members is €65.
More information here.
One of the biggest running events in Malaga takes place on Sunday 29 October. Sign up for the 21k race around the city here. And if you’re in town that day and see us running past, please give us a big cheer!
Stay up to date with Malaga
This monthly events post is just one of the ways Guide to Malaga offers you to keep up to date with what’s going on in the city.
If you want more, sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter. October’s editions will be in our subscribers’ inboxes on Friday 13 and Friday 27 October.