What’s on in Malaga in October 2021

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.

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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

Czech Film Festival 

The CAC art museum screens a number of Czech films in October at 7pm. Entry is free, but you need a ticket available online here. Films are in their original version with Spanish subtitles: 

Tuesday 6 October – National Avenue by S. Altricher.

Tuesday 13 October – Winter Flies by Olmo Omerzu. 

Moments Festival 

The 8th edition of this festival of documentaries celebrating the fusion of artistic expressions with urban culture takes place in the auditorium at the Pompidou Centre from Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 October. 

Thursday 14 – Arc of Aleutia at 5pm and Skate or Die at 6pm.  

Friday 15 – Dope is Death at 4.30pm and American Rapster at 6.15pm.

Saturday 16 – Tell them we were here at 4pm.

Entry is free but you need to get an invitation online. In the ‘mensaje‘ box, you must include your ID number (passport or Spanish residence permit) and the name of the documentary you want to see.

French Film Festival 

This year sees the 27th edition and it takes place from 15 to 22 October. 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 Jean Paul Belmondo, who died recently plus documentaries and shorts. 

Photo exhibition – the French Film Festival also includes an exhibition of photos of film stars (mostly French but Antonio Banderas makes an appearance) by the renowned photographer, Luc Roux. You can visit Le Cinéma au Couer from 13 October to 15 December at the Alliance Française in Calle Canales (west side of the river), Monday to Friday 10am to 1.30pm and 3.30 to 7.30pm. 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:

Lagunijazz 

La Polivalente, a great café/bar/concert space in Calle Lagunillas 53 (5 minutes’ walk northeast from Plaza de la Merced) continues its jazz and jam sessions in October: 

  • Thursday 7 October – ColdClub
  • Thursday 14 October – Juan Sandman
  • Saturday 23 October – Jam session 
  • Thursday 28 October – Red Trio 

It’s a small space so you need to book a place via the email lapolivalentelagunillas@gmail.com

MalakaFest – International Blues Festival

The festival takes place in three places during October – Marbella (15 Oct), Torrox (16 Oct) and Malaga city with Gisele Jackson and The Shu Shu’s Trio on 17 October at 6pm at the MVA Cultural Centre (Calle Ollerías). Jackson is one of the world’s greatest voices in blue – she accompanied Ray Charles as a Raelette and provided backing for Donna Summer and James Brown. 

Tickets available from 10am on 11 October via this link

Swing 

Get in the mood for November’s Jazz Festival with O Sister! at the Cervantes Theatre on Saturday 9 October at 8pm. Tickets cost €20 and you can buy them online here

Greek legend

Eleftheria Arvanitaki and her accompanying musicians play a compilation of the Greek singer’s most successful songs plus a presentation of those in her forthcoming album. Cervantes Theatre on Tuesday 12 October at 7pm. Tickets cost from €25 and are available here

Concerts in the patio

The Malaga Camerata Orchestra performs in the lovely patio at the Carmen Thyssen Museum on Saturday 23 October at 7pm. Entry is free but the patio is small so get there early to be sure of a seat. 

There will also be a Sunday noon concert in the Museum of Malaga patio. Details to follow. 

Municipal Band concerts

Malaga’s Municipal Band has three concerts in October. All have free entry but you need to get a ticket online (note that the links below don’t work until the booking date and time): 

  • 10 October at noon in the Museum of Malaga – tickets available online from 5 October at 9am (click on Reserva tu visita).
  • 12 October at noon in the Botanical Gardens – tickets available online from 8 October at noon. 
  • 24 October at noon in the Botanical Gardens – tickets available online from 21 October at noon.

Flamenco in Malaga in October

Local singers Roció Gil and José de Chaparro and guitarrist Chaparro de Málaga perform at the MVA Auditorium on Calle Ollerías on Monday 25 October. Time to be confirmed, but probably at 7.30pm. Tickets are free, but you need to get yours from the box office on the day from 9.30am. 

FIND OUT ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IN MALAGA

Architecture Week

Malaga’s Architects’ Associations celebrates Architecture Week in October (dates to be confirmed) with talks and guided tours of iconic buildings/settings in the city. Tours include visits to the recently remodelled Alameda Principal, the new Guadalhorce River Bridge, Parque del Oeste and the Malaga Patterns route. Numbers are limited for both tours and talks – book your place online from 1 October. 

To the South of the South

Bienal Sur comes to Malaga for the ‘To the South of the South’ exhibition at La Térmica Cultural Centre, designated km 9692 for the event. There are several talks and conferences celebrating the Bienal as well as an exhibition, ‘Dissident Maps & Zoo’. On show until 1 November are works by 4 South American artists that question the way we look at and interpret maps, archives and graphic documents. Open Tuesday to Friday 3 to 8.30pm and weekends 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).

Find out more about Bienal Sur

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. 

Art events in Malaga in October

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

Russian Museum

This art museum in Malaga has a permanent exhibition and 2 temporary ones.

This year’s exhibition takes War and Peace as its central theme with 183 works by Russian masters and French and German artists with ties with Russia. Expect to see references to epic battles, the October Revolution and World War I. The works include, as always, paintings and sculptures and provide unique insight into Russian life and culture. Read our guide to this exhibition

Leningrad Woman (1941) by Boris Ugarov
Leningrad Woman (1941) by Boris Ugarov

There will also be two new temporary exhibitions – details to follow.

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 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 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.

A new temporary exhibition arrives this month: Photos of the City Picasso Loved, showcasing photos of Paris taken by Brassai in the 30s and 40s. Picasso and Brassai had a long and close personal and professional relationship while they lived in the City of Light and this exhibition pays homage to that. As well as photos, on display are also Brassai’s book cover designs and sculptures. From 19 October.

Open daily 11am to 7pm. Tickets €8, free Sundays after 5pm. Note that the Picasso Museum café is closed at the moment 😞

CAC Malaga

This avant-garde art museum has 2 main exhibitions showing this month: 

Michelangelo Pistoletto – One plus one equals three. A retrospective with more than 30 works by the Italian artist whose creations include photos, installations, sculptures and paintings. From 10 September until 5 December. 

Mark Whalen – I am just here. Wall reliefs and 3D prints come into their own at Whalen’s new exhibition. Works on display include some exclusively created for this exhibition at the artist’s studio in LA. Until 29 November.

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.

A temporary exhibition, Painting Light, Catalan Masters, has artworks from 36 artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. They include Fortuny, Anglada-Camarasa, Tapiès and Súner. Until 17 October.

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm. €10 (including main collection).

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 multi-coloured cube recently opened its latest permanent exhibition, A Century of Spanish Art from Miró to Barceló. As usual, you can expect to see an eclectic collection of paintings, videos, installations and sculptures. Read about the latest art.exhibition in Malaga here.

4 Piggbacks with Knife Juan Muñoz and Suspended Corridor Cristina Iglesias at Pompidou Centre Malaga
4 Piggbacks with Knife Juan Muñoz and Suspended Corridor Cristina Iglesias

Spanish artist Julio González has a dedicated exhibition at the Pompidou Centre until 17 October. You can see 33 drawings and 18 sculptures by the Catalan artist, exiled in France like Picasso.

Open Wednesday to Monday 9.30am to 8pm. €7 for the permanent exhibition, €9 for both. Free Sundays after 5pm. 

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 infojbotanicomalaga@gmail.com. 

DISCOVER THE GUIDE TO MALAGA EBOOKSHOP

Markets in Malaga in October

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 10 October on Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding (near La Malagueta) and Saturday 24 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. 

Merced Market

Enjoy arts and crafts, vintage clothes and a great atmosphere on Sunday 3 October between 11am and 7pm on Plaza de la Merced. 

Organic produce markets

The best autumn fruit (think custard apples, pomegranates and quince) and vegetables are now in season and these markets sell them plus products, all grown and produced locally in the Guadalhorce River valley. Saturday 9 September on Calle Cervantes and Paseo de Reding (near La Malagueta) and Saturday 30 September in Huelin Park. 10am to 2pm.

Read about markets in Malaga.

Picassian October

October in Malaga celebrates Picasso’s birthday – he’d have been 140 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 33rd anniversary of the event.

Heads-up for November

As usual, November will have a fully packed month of events including the 35th Malaga Jazz Festival. Antonio Banderas also has a new musical, Company, with performances from 17 November onwards. Sign up for our free fortnightly Malaga newsletter to be the first to know! 

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