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Malaga carnival 2024

Malaga carnival 2025

Malaga carnival is one of the fun highlights of the year, but in 2025, carnival fans have rather a long wait. Because Easter is late, carnival events in Malaga won’t start to late February/ early March.

Carnival 2025 dates are not confirmed yet.

If you’re looking to let your hair down by joining in the fun or just like the idea of looking on, read our guide to what’s on in Malaga during carnival. We’ve also included tips on where to buy that essential fancy dress for full Malaga carnival enjoyment!

Preparations start early for Malaga carnival. The special carnival lights are up in Calle Larios – replacing the Christmas lights – the harlequin is in place next to the Marqués de Larios statue and the official carnival poster has been released.

Lights for Carnival in Malaga

Find a hotel for Malaga Carnival

Once you’ve booked your flight, you’ll want to find the best place to stay. To help you, we have two great resources:

District by district guide to where to stay in Malaga – we’d recommend the city centre if you want to be at the heart of the action, but our definitive guide gives you the absolute low-down on every single area.

List of best hotels in Malaga – our (long) list includes accommodation that comes tried and tested, either by ourselves or other Guide to Malaga users.

Our top picks for hotels during Malaga Carnival is:

Splurge hotels

Vincci Posada del Patio

Owned by the Vincci hotel chain, a stay at this 5-star hotel comes with a splash of luxury. The traditional 19th century façade hides a mi …

Mid-range hotels

Atarazanas Boutique Hotel

Handily placed in the centre of town, Atarazanas Boutique Hotel offers a good accommodation option in Malaga. Its rooms are good value and …

Family-friendly hotels

Petit Palace Malaga

Petit Palace is a boutique hotel in the heart of Malaga, combining modern amenities with a charming and intimate atmosphere. It’s great for …

Malaga carnival events

Events start on a Saturday and last until the following Sunday (dates to be confirmed for 2025). Most events happen on Plaza de la Constitución where the action takes place on a giant stage.

The video below of Malaga Carnival 2023 shows what to expect.

Note that the dates and times below are provisional. Bookmark this page and check back in early January for the definitive schedule.

Saturday 3 February

This is the official start of Malaga carnival events with the grand opening at 8pm plus the selection of the carnival Gods (god and goddess) who will officially represent the carnival during the week. 

Sunday 4 February

Children’s fancy dress competition – from noon on Plaza de la Constitución.

Official carnival parade – starts in Pasillo de Santo Domingo on the west side of the river and the floats accompanied by lots of people in fancy dress make their way through the historic centre to Plaza de la Merced. Parade starts from 5.30pm.

The parade usually follows this route: Plaza de Fray Alonso de Santo Tomás, Plaza de la Legión, Puente de la Esperanza, Calle Atarazanas, Puerta del Mar, Alameda Principal, Marqués de Larios, Plaza de la Constitución, Calle Granada, Plaza Uncibay and Plaza de la Merced.

To find out, listen out for the loud music and follow your ears! 

Harlequin for Malaga Carnival at the entrance to Calle Larios

The search to find the best group of carnival music players (the satirical songs and music are known as comparsas and chirigotas) goes on throughout the historic centre. Concerts take place every early evening from 8pm onwards on the Plaza de la Constitución. You may not understand the words to the songs, but there’s always a fun atmosphere with lots of music and dancing.

Children’s carnival – a great things to do for kids in Malaga. Children’s parade from noon onwards. Children’s fun and games from noon-2pm and 5-7pm on Plaza de la Constitución. Check out other things to do with children in Malaga.

Friday 9 February

Update: Note that because of the forecast rain, there are no carnival events today. They are now taking place on Saturday 10 February.

Saturday 10 February

Kids’ Fancy Dress Competition – from noon on Plaza de la Constitución.

Gods’ and Goddess’ Carnival Parade – from Plaza de la Constitución, along Calle Especería, Calle Nueva, Calle Puerta del Mar, Calle Martínez, up Calle Marqués de Larios back to Plaza de la Constitución. From noon.

Battle of the Flowers – a brightly coloured parade throws confetti and streamers into the crowd before the final shower of thousands of petals. From 6pm in Calle Larios.

Drag Queen Contest – expect impossibly high platforms, giant wigs and make-up in spades as Malaga drag queens compete for Queen of Malaga carnival. From 9pm on Plaza de la Constitución. Butchqueens are the stars of the show this year. (Note that this event has been moved from Friday 9 Friday because of the bad weather forecast.)

80s Fancy Dress Competition – reveal your inner 80s persona with this fancy dress competition on Plaza de la Constitución from 11pm. Live music and entertainment.

Sunday 11 February

Gran boqueroná – literally a huge fried anchovy and a culinary highlight during Malaga carnival. Get your free portion of fried anchovies at Plaza de la Constitución from 1pm. Not sure how to eat them? Check out our guide.

The burial of the anchovy – carnival always comes to a tragic end in Spain and Malaga is no exception. Most of Spain buries a sardine to mark the end of festivities and the start of Lent, but Malaga buries an anchovy.

The Entierro del boquerón parade consists of official mourners dressed in widow’s weeds and weeping, and a giant boquerón whose end comes on a huge bonfire on La Malagueta beach. 5-8pm from Plaza de la Constitución throughout Malaga Port, Muelle Uno and to La Malagueta beach.

Best places to buy fancy dress for Malaga carnival

Luis Casquilla (Calle Juan de Padilla 12, off Plaza Uncibay) and Party Land (Paseo de Reding 47, near the bullring) have a great selection of costumes, make-up and accessories for the best Malaga carnival outfits.

If you’re planning on making your own, head for one of the many material shops in Malaga. We like Ribes Casals behind Atarazanas Market but if you’re looking for cheap remnants, try El Kilo in Calle de Liborio García, off Calle Nueva.

Carnival is just one of the great annual events in Malaga. For information on the rest, sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter. All you need to know about what’s on and what’s new in the city in your inbox every other Friday.

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