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10 Things to Do in Malaga in Winter

Malaga is the perfect vacation destination to visit at any time of the year. Despite being associated with beaches and sun, the city offers a great number of activities also in winter.

Andressa García

Andressa García

9 min read

10 Things to Do in Malaga in Winter

Malaga | ©Johannes Schwanbeck

Winter in the city of Malaga is the off-season for tourists, which leaves travelers and locals with the best scenario to fully enjoy the city. The weather is usually quite pleasant and visitors will find a large number of activities to do and enjoy in Malaga in addition to its usual attractions.

Today I present you with a list of activities, events and festivities that you can enjoy during the winter in Malaga. I hope you can integrate as many of them as possible into your itinerary and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

1. Enjoy the Malaga Carnival.

Malaga Carnival.| ©Katterine Dimas
Malaga Carnival.| ©Katterine Dimas

Every year between February and March the carnival is celebrated. It is a full week of festivities that make up an event known colloquially as Malaga's warm winter festival.

The date varies according to the current liturgical calendar, although it is generally celebrated between the last days of February and the first days of March.

Numerous events take place throughout the week, but those that you cannot miss are the election of the Goddess and God of Carnival on the first Saturday of the celebration, the Grand Carnival Parade, the children's Carnival activities, the Battle of the Flowers and, finally, the Burial of the anchovy.

I recommend visiting the official website of Carnaval Malagueño to learn more about the scheduled activities.

Where it takes place

The Carnival party in Malaga takes as its main stage the streets of the Old Town of the city and its main public squares. Historically the places where you can expect great celebrations are:

  • The Plaza de la Merced, where the Grand Carnival Parade concludes.
  • Larios Street, where the historic Battle of the Flowers takes place.

How to buy tickets

Tickets are not necessary. The event is free and open to tourists and locals.

2. Attend the Cavalcade of the Three Wise Men.

Cavalcade of the Three Wise Men.| ©lameato feliz
Cavalcade of the Three Wise Men.| ©lameato feliz

The colorful parade known as the Cabalgatade los Reyes Magos takes place in Malaga every year on January 5, on the eve of Three Kings Day: musicians, decorated floats, artists, trapeze artists and children's characters fill the streets of downtown Malaga for the amusement of the whole family.

Generally, the parade takes place at sunset, starting at 6 pm. Part of the fun consists of enjoying the magic of the parade and trying to catch as many of the candies that the Three Wise Men throw from the floats as possible.

Between 12 to 15 floats participate each year. If you are going to Malaga with children for a family vacation, this is an event you won't want to miss.

Where it takes place

The parade takes place in the streets of the historic center of Malaga. It usually starts from the City Hall, passes through points such as Cervantes Avenue, Plaza de La Marina, Alameda and Puente de la Esperanza and ends at Cortina del Muelle.

How to buy tickets

Tickets are not necessary, the event is free for everyone. Be sure to arrive early and get a good spot.

3. Attend the traditional Andalusian Cheese Market

Cheese Market| ©Fredrik Rubensson
Cheese Market| ©Fredrik Rubensson

An event that takes place for two days every year during the winter in Malaga, specifically in mid-February. It is the perfect opportunity for travelers and locals alike to enjoy delicious artisan cheeses made by local producers.

Although the calendar of activities may vary from year to year, the program includes different activities, among which the following stand out: cheese tasting, cooking workshops, homemade cheese making workshops, the opportunity to assemble your own cheese board and children's games.

The program of activities usually starts shortly before noon and lasts until late in the evening. The event is organized by the Quesandaluz Association and they publish the detailed activities each year.

Where it takes place

The event takes place every year in the municipality of Alora, located just 40 km from the city of Malaga. You can arrive by private car or take the train Malaga - Alora in a journey of approximately 50 minutes.

Whenever you visit the city, take the opportunity to visit other villages near Malaga.

How to buy tickets

The entrance to the event is free for all those interested.

Book an excursion to Frigiliana and Nerja from Malaga

4. The Flower Market is held in the Plaza Mayor.

Flower Market.| ©Robert Hetherington
Flower Market.| ©Robert Hetherington

The beautiful Flower Market takes place the first weekend of every month in the Plaza Mayor, the most important public square of the city. The celebration is defined as a must for lovers of fashion, music and art in general.

The focus of the event is to support local business by promoting the work of entrepreneurs and artisans of the Malaga community. On your tour you will find all kinds of original and signature pieces, such as decorative items, costume jewelry and fashion pieces, as well as cosmetic and confectionery items.

Note that the organizers of the event usually take breaks during the annual calendar. For example, during the summer in Malaga the Market is not held.

Where it is held

It takes place in Malaga's iconic Plaza Mayor, located in the heart of the city's Old Town. The best way to get around this part of the city is walking.

How to buy tickets

The entrance to the event is free.

Book a private tour of Malaga

5. Winter in Malaga: the best time to visit the Alcazaba.

Alcazaba| ©Herbert Frank
Alcazaba| ©Herbert Frank

Winter is one of the best times to visit the Alcazaba, possibly the best example of Muslim heritage in the city of Malaga and a must-see tourist visit to learn about the historical past of the city.

Upon arrival you will find an impressive fortified enclosure, an ancient Mulsuman palace surrounded by impressive walls from where you get breathtaking views of the city.

The complex is one of the most visited works in Malaga, which is why the tourist flow is usually overwhelming in the peak months. During the winter the number of visitors is reduced so you can enjoy the Alcazaba in all its splendor.

Arrange your excursion to this marvelous architecture and be sure to check the Alcazaba's opening hours and admission prices in advance.

Where to find it

The important historical monument is located on Alcazabilla Street, in the heart of the Historic Center. The best way to get there is to walk through the old streets of Malaga.

How to buy tickets

If you want to live the full experience, I recommend you to visit the Alcazaba in an organized tour. You will find options that combine the Roman Theater and the ancient castle for less than 20€.

Book an excursion to the Alcazaba

6. Enjoy the last Christmas Markets in Malaga.

Benalmadena's Christmas Market| ©AYTO
Benalmadena's Christmas Market| ©AYTO

Throughout the month of December and during the first week of January you can enjoy the Christmas markets in Malaga. It is the perfect opportunity to soak up the holiday spirit and enjoy the Christmas decorations and local arts and crafts.

Several Christmas markets take place in the city and surroundings. If you go to Malaga in January, take the opportunity to visit some of them.

Benalmádena Christmas Market

It is installed in the Casa de la Cultura of Benalmádena, located 30 minutes by bus from the heart of Malaga. The local Town Hall sets up each year up to 50 booths distributed in categories: local crafts, allegorical Christmas products and gastronomy.

  • Date: It opens around December 5th and ends on January 6th.
  • Hours: From 1 pm to 11 pm. Every day.

Christmas Market in Muelle Uno

If you want to enjoy the beautiful views of the coast of Malaga while attending one of the best markets in the city, do not miss this market.

Malaga's Muelle Uno offers clothing stalls, local gastronomy, gourmet gastronomy, handicrafts and more.

  • Date: It usually opens in the last days of November and runs until January 10.
  • Hours: From 10 am to 6 pm, every day.

7. Have a day of relaxation in an Arabian Hammam.

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

With temperatures dropping, winter is undoubtedly the best time to enjoy a relaxing hot bath. The Muslim conquerors who settled in Malaga instilled in their people the tradition of the Arab baths and today there are still some in operation.

Sip a Moroccan mint tea, receive an exfoliating massage and finally soak in the warm water for a relaxing afternoon and regain your strength. This plan is excellent whether you are in town with friends or as a couple.

Possibly one of the main advantages of visiting southern Spain is the possibility of appreciating the remarkable combination of Catholic and Moorish traditions that define the country.

Where it takes place

In the city of Malaga, one of the most reputable centers is the Hammam Al Ándalus, located near the Plaza de los Mártires.

How to buy tickets

You can book the spa sessions at the Hamman in advance. The price is usually around 55€ for a spa session of about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Book your Arabic bath in Malaga

8. Enjoy the winter ice rinks in Malaga.

Ice rink| ©Sergey Zayko
Ice rink| ©Sergey Zayko

During the winter you can skate on ice in the rinks that are installed in the city of Malaga and in the nearest municipalities, mainly during the month of December. Here are some interesting alternatives.

Ice rink in the Christmas Village.

Every year, the department store El Corte Inglés sets up in the heart of Malaga the fair "Pueblo Navideño". This includes, among other activities, a spectacular ice rink for the enjoyment of adults and children.

  • Rink dimensions: 35 M long by 15 M wide.
  • Hours: Open to the public every day from 10 am to 10 pm.
  • Price: Around 6€ per participant.
  • Dates: All the fair that makes up the Christmas Village is set in Malaga from late November until the first days of January.

Ice rink in Benalmádena

In Benalmádena, you will find a natural ice rink just 25 minutes from Malaga. In addition to the rink, there is a swimming pool in the sports complex for swimming in case you feel like it.

  • Rink dimensions: The total size of the rink is about 900 square meters.
  • Opening hours: The center is open from 11 am to 2:30 pm and from 4 pm to 10 pm in the afternoon.
  • Price: The adult ticket costs approximately 11€.
  • Dates: From October to May.

9. Attend the Chamber Music concerts at the Picasso Museum

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

Art lovers visiting Malaga during the winter will find interesting options in the program of activities at the Picasso Museum. During the winter, and over the course of several months, the museum hosts numerous Chamber Music concerts.

The program varies from year to year, however the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra performs constantly, often in an opening concert. The rest of the guest artists change from year to year.

The musical offerings range from boleros to jazz, with guest artists from all over Spain and the world.

Where it is held

The event takes place in one of the most important museums in the city: the iconic Picasso Museum of Malaga, located in the Buenavista Palace, on Calle San Agustin.

How to buy tickets

You can purchase your tickets for the Picasso Museum in advance. Tickets for the concerts can be purchased at the virtual ticket office of the museum or directly on the day of the event at the physical ticket office.

Book your ticket for the Picasso Museum

10. Go on sale in Malaga.

Take advantage of the sales| ©Sam Lion
Take advantage of the sales| ©Sam Lion

Take advantage of your stay in Malaga during the winter to go shopping with the winter sales. The seasonal sales start the first days of January and last until the end of February or the first days of March.

This is the best time to buy fashion products such as clothing, footwear, accessories and perfumes at very low prices. It is also the perfect time to buy souvenirs of your trip to Malaga.

Where it takes place

Take a stroll through the streets of the historic center of Malaga and the many stores available. If you want to know the local brands I recommend visiting Moda Malaga; Fusion Malaga, Bimba y Lola or Chavala .

I also recommend visiting the stores of Desigual, Pull & Bear and, of course, Romwe.

What is the weather like in Malaga in winter

Malaga| ©Tony Makepeace
Malaga| ©Tony Makepeace

Generally speaking, Malaga's winter is usually quite mild. The maximum temperatures are usually no lower than 15º, while the minimum stays at around 8º. The rain, although not very abundant, can appear during these months, so it is advisable to bring an umbrella or a raincoat.

Despite the above, it is always advisable to consult the weather forecast shortly before traveling to have a clearer idea of what you will find.