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10 Things to Do in Malaga in December

When the rest of Europe is cold and rainy, Malaga stays bright and sunny. If you want to know everything you can do in the month of December, today I tell you in detail.

Andressa García

Andressa García

9 min read

10 Things to Do in Malaga in December

Malaga at Christmas | ©lameato feliz

Visiting the city of Malaga for the month of December and Christmas is one of the best decisions you can make. Its climate, with around 300 days of sunshine throughout the year, offers tourists and locals many alternatives for fun at all times!

Another great advantage of visiting Costa del Sol during this season is the evident decrease in the number of tourists visiting the place, which will leave you with more space to enjoy the best things to do in Malaga with more ease and comfort.

Below, I leave you a list with specific, fun and recommended plans to do in Malaga in December. Organize your trip with these suggestions in mind and include as many of them as possible in your travel itinerary.

1. Go shopping at the Christmas Markets in Malaga

Christmas Market in Benalmádena| ©AYTO
Christmas Market in Benalmádena| ©AYTO

December is a beautiful season to visit Spain, but especially Malaga. If you have the opportunity to organize a trip during the holidays, you should know that both in the city and in the surrounding areas are organized the most lively and picturesque Christmas Markets.

Shopping in the markets is one of the best activities to do in Malaga, while you walk through all its streets and learn more about its history and culture. Here is a small list of the most traditional and popular markets in Malaga.

Christmas Market in Muelle Uno

Muelle Uno in Malaga is a space frequently used for the celebration of fairs and local events. During the Christmas season is no different and in this place, which offers wonderful views of the Mediterranean Sea, is organized the largest Christmas market in the city.

If you decide to attend you will find a variety of stalls selling clothes, handicrafts, but above all gastronomy and locally produced sausages.

  • Date: The market is set up at the end of November and extends beyond Three Kings Day in January.
  • Hours: Open to the public from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Christmas Market in Fuengirola

Considered one of the most original and beautiful markets on the Costa del Sol, the event takes place in the Plaza de la Constitución in the small town of Fuengirola. It is located 30 minutes drive southwest of Malaga.

  • Date: From the beginning of December until December 20, approximately.
  • Schedule: From 10:30 am to 6 pm.

Book a private tour of Malaga

2. The Corralones Houses of Malaga celebrate their festival in December

Christmas in Malaga| ©alienganímedes
Christmas in Malaga| ©alienganímedes

The Corralones are one of the hidden surprises of Malaga: traditional houses with interior courtyards of Andalusian design, full of plants and flowers. They are private residences that remain closed most of the year. However, in mid-December and for a week they open their doors to the public.

Historically, these spaces were designed for the enjoyment of the social activities of the families who lived in the complex. During the week of the Corralones festival, the best decorated and most beautiful courtyard is chosen.

Tour as many of the Malaga Corralones as you get the chance and see some of the most beautiful Spanish patios you have ever seen. Even if your stay is of short duration, like 3 days in Malaga or less, I recommend dedicating an afternoon to this tour.

Information of interest

  • Location: These traditional buildings are mainly located in the Malaga neighborhood of La Trinidad and also in the Perchel neighborhood.
  • Price: The event is free for all public.
  • Hours: The schedule may vary, generally open to the public from morning until dusk.

3. Tour Malaga at night to see the city illuminated

Christmas Lights| ©Remy Frank
Christmas Lights| ©Remy Frank

If you go to the city for the holiday season one of the best things to do in Malaga during the night; will be to enjoy the wonderful Christmas lights that flood the main squares, streets and historic buildings of Malaga.

The Christmas lights of Malaga are inaugurated at the end of November and remain installed until the first days of January; consequently December is the best month to enjoy the show, during these days one of the best plans is always to take a walk through the streets to enjoy the lights, taste some tapas or a glass of wine.

Information of interest

  • Location: The most famous and most elaborate stretch of lights is possibly the one on Calle Larios taking the route in the direction of Plaza Constitución. However, I highly recommend walking the side streets and the surrounding area to find really impressive creations.
  • Price: They are not necessary, just reserve one of your nights to walk the streets of Malaga alone or with friends.

4. Ice skating in the Christmas Village of Malaga

Ice Rink| ©Sergey Zayko
Ice Rink| ©Sergey Zayko

Every year in December the famous departmental group El Corte Ingles installs in the heart of Malaga its attraction called El Pueblo Navideño. A place of family fun where you can find everything from carousels, snow decorations, sleds, slides, a Christmas train and an ice rink.

If you go to Malaga with children in December this is an attraction that you simply can not miss. The Malaga ice rink at the Corte Ingles is usually installed during the first days of December and remains open to the public until after Epiphany.

Information of interest

  • Location: El Corte Inglés de Málaga is located on Av, Andalucía in the Central District of Málaga. You will find several bus lines whose stops are just a few minutes away, for example Alameda Principal and Plaza de Arriola.
  • Price: Tickets are purchased directly at the box office at a price of about 6 € per participant.
  • Hours: The official opening hours are from Monday to Sunday open to the public from 11h to 14h and from 16h to 22h, so you will have enough time to organize a visit.

5. Enjoy the traditional Christmas concerts in Malaga

Philharmonic Orchestra of Malaga.| ©E Press
Philharmonic Orchestra of Malaga.| ©E Press

Christmas concerts in Malaga usually take place in different theaters and art centers of the city, usually in the days before Christmas.

As you will soon realize, music and dance form an important part of Malaga's culture and traditions. For this reason, if you go to the city in December, take the opportunity to enjoy the traditional Christmas concerts and also some of the best flamenco shows in Malaga, in any of its wonderful local tablaos.

You will find numerous options throughout the city. The best way to purchase tickets is directly at the box office on the day of the performance; some concerts, such as the one at the Cathedral of Malaga, are free.

Some of the most popular and highly anticipated performances are:

6. Take advantage of a rainy day to enjoy the museums of Malaga

Picasso Museum of Malaga| ©Fran Villena
Picasso Museum of Malaga| ©Fran Villena

From December to January is the season with more rainy days in Malaga. If during your vacation you get caught on a rainy day, the city has excellent alternatives for these occasions; one of my favorites is to visit the amazing museums of Malaga and spend an afternoon exploring the artistic side of the city.

As you may remember, Malaga is famous for being the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, that's why the Picasso Museum is one of the most visited museums in the city. Here you can find the most complete collection with the works of the famous artist, but also exhibitions of other famous figures of art.

Information of interest

Book your ticket to the Picasso Museum

7. December: the best time for a trip to Gibraltar from Malaga

Hiking along the Gibralfaro Wall.| ©Rafael Gómez
Hiking along the Gibralfaro Wall.| ©Rafael Gómez

Winter is undoubtedly the best time to take a road trip through the beautiful valleys, seascapes, and villages of the Costa del Sol in Malaga. The excursion to Gibraltar, for example, is an ideal day trip from Malaga.

Gibraltar is less than 2 hours from Malaga. This small British Overseas Territory enjoys pleasant temperatures all year round. December is an excellent month to explore it, as the tourist flow is greatly reduced.

Keep in mind that the territory is extremely small, so a day trip is usually enough time to explore all the highlights.

It is best to plan and book your tickets in advance before your arrival in Malaga. Excursions are priced at around 70€, which covers round-trip transportation, guide accompaniment and entrance fees to some attractions.

Book your excursion to Gibraltar

8. Enjoy the beaches and a snorkeling experience in Malaga

Marbella Beach| ©Damien Ramos
Marbella Beach| ©Damien Ramos

Famous throughout Europe, Malaga's beaches are the city's unique trademark. No matter what time of the year you visit Malaga, you should take advantage of your trip to take a quick dip in the Mediterranean waters.

If you have the opportunity to combine a swim in the beaches with a snorkeling experience in crystal clear waters and even a boat ride around Malaga, you will have the full Costa del Sol experience.

December is an excellent month to carry out these activities and enjoy a day of fun in the sea of Malaga due to the small amount of visitors that are in these areas and the pleasant temperatures that can be enjoyed. On sunny days, temperatures on the coast range between 20 or 25 degrees.

The city of Malaga offers numerous dream places to carry out this adventure, one of the favorite places of the locals is the Natural Park of the municipality of Nerja, known asthe cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo, a 50 minute drive from Malaga.

9. Take a gastronomic tour of wine and tapas in Malaga

Street Food Malaga| ©TeaMeister
Street Food Malaga| ©TeaMeister

A perfect month to enjoy another of Malaga's great pleasures; as well as its beautiful beaches, you will find the delicious gastronomy of southern Spain.

In December you can enjoy the traditional gastronomic tours of Malaga, but also the seasonal delicacies andseasonal dishes that are only prepared for the holidays, such as picadillo soup, lomo en manteca or borrachuelos.

The tours usually last about 2 or 3 hours and the company of an expert guide on the subject. When booking them, you can choose to do it at different times during the day, so it can be carried out even in a day trip to know Malaga.

For these experiences it is best to book in advance using digital channels, thus ensuring availability for the day and time that best suits your itinerary. The average price of the experience is around 79€ per participant.

10. December: the best time to visit the hammams of Malaga

Hammam Al Ándalus| ©OneTwoTrip Travel Expert
Hammam Al Ándalus| ©OneTwoTrip Travel Expert

Take a break from the more traditional tourist activities to visit the famous Hammam of Malaga. I recommend taking advantage of the slightly lower winter temperatures to enjoy this activity.

The Turkish baths are a way to connect with the remnants of Moorish culture and, of course, relax in the process. The spa experience includes steam baths, relaxing exfoliating massages, time to swim in indoor pools and tasting traditional Arabic mint tea.

If you want to learn more about the Moorish heritage in the city of Malaga, you should take the opportunity to visit the ancient Alcazaba Castle, one of the most impressive historical sights.

Information of interest

  • Where to find them: in the old town is one of the most traditional and famous Arab hammams, El Hammam Al Ándalus.
  • Price: the cost of the experience is usually around 55€ per participant.

Book your Arab bath in Malaga