How to celebrate Christmas in Malaga

Thursday November 23, 2023 | Spanish Language | Posted by studyspanishinspain

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How to celebrate Christmas in Malaga

Málaga, the vibrant capital of Costa del Sol, transforms into a magical wonderland during the Christmas season. Spanish students in Malaga notice the change from the end of November on: from its dazzling Christmas lights to its heartwarming traditions, Málaga offers a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience. Whether you’re an expat living in Spain, a traveler seeking a festive escape, or you are on a gap year in Malaga and/or learning Spanish in Malaga, here’s a guide to help you celebrate Christmas in Málaga in all its glory.

Malaga Christmas market Spain

Immerse Yourself in the Enchanting Christmas Lights

Málaga’s Christmas lights are legendary, earning the city the title of “Ciudad de la Navidad” (City of Christmas). Stroll along the bustling Calle Larios, where a mesmerizing symphony of twinkling lights adorns the buildings, creating an ethereal atmosphere. Take in the vibrant displays in Plaza de la Constitución and Plaza de la Merced, where the lights dance to the rhythm of Christmas carols.

Between the end of November and 6 January, the city sparkles with literally hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights in Malaga. There is a daily lightshow during the evenings. The main squares of the city (Plaza de la Marina, Plaza de la Constitución and Plaza del Obispo) get a large Christmas tree as well as Plaza de Enrique García Herrera (behind the Central Market) and Calle Alcazabilla in front of the Roman Theatre.

Another great place to visit during this time of the year are the Botanical Gardens. During the Christmas season, after dark, the gardens are magically illuminated for the Christmas holidays.

Espetos Chirinquito Malaga


What does Christmas look like in Malaga? How to celebrate Christmas in Malaga? Actually, on Christmas Day, Malaga will be quiet, after the festivities on Christmas Eve. Many locals will spend the day at the beach or walk along the promenade to discover the quaint fishermen’s neighbourhoods of Pedregalejo and El Palo.

A must –do in Málaga is starting your Christmas Day with the typical Spanish breakfast of thick hot chocolate and churros at the best churro place in town: Casa Aranda.

Have your Christmas lunch at a chiringuito (typical open-air beach restaurants); of which many serve the well-known ‘espetos de sardinas’ cooked on the so called “boat barbecues”.

Explore Málaga’s Festive Markets

The aroma of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine fills the air as you wander through Málaga’s charming Christmas markets. Discover handcrafted ornaments, indulge in local delicacies, and soak in the cheerful spirit of the season. The Muelle Uno Christmas Market, located in the port area, offers a delightful blend of local crafts, traditional food, and stunning views of the illuminated harbor.

Christmas market MalagaThe largest market in Malaga at Christmas takes place on the Paseo del Parque. Dozens of stalls sell traditional Christmas gifts and decorations, handicrafts, clothes and accessories as well as artisan products.

Other Christmas markets nearby alga are in smaller cities along the Costa del Sol y Costa Tropical such as Benalmadena, Estepona, Fuengirola and Marbella.

Indulge in Traditional Christmas Cuisine: Malaga X-mas food

Málaga’s culinary scene takes on a festive twist during Christmas, with traditional dishes taking center stage. Sample the delectable ‘turrón’, a sweet nougat confection, or savor the rich flavors of ‘mantecados’, crumbly pastries infused with lard and spices. For a truly authentic Christmas meal, head to one of Málaga’s renowned restaurants, such as Casa Lola or El Mesón de la Serna, and indulge in a feast of traditional dishes.

Read more about typical Spanish Chrismas food and treats.

Embrace the Festive Spirit at Local Cafés and Bars

Málaga’s cafés and bars transform into cozy havens during the Christmas season, inviting you to unwind and soak in the festive atmosphere. Curl up with a warm cup of chocolate con churros, sip on a glass of Malaga’s rich sweet wine, or savor a traditional Christmas cocktail. Enjoy the lively ambiance as you mingle with locals and fellow travelers, sharing in the joy of the season.

Churros with chocolate Malaga

Discover Hidden Gems and Offbeat Experiences

Venture beyond the main attractions and discover Málaga’s hidden gems, where the Christmas spirit shines just as brightly. Explore the charming neighborhood of Soho, where art galleries, boutiques, and vintage shops are adorned with festive decorations. Take a leisurely stroll along the Paseo de los Curas, enjoying the panoramic views of the city and the sparkling lights adorning the coastline. La Mosca is the name of a neighbourhood in the upper part of El Palo. The Nativity Scene here is so big, they start assembling it in September! Built into the side of the mountain, it is probably the most unique nativity scene in Malaga.

What so see and do in Málaga?

Best places to visit in Malaga

How to celebrate Christmas in Malaga

Witness the Three Kings Parade in Malaga

Acording to the Spanish December Calender, the December festivities and Christmas holidays in Spain have a clearly marked end. On January 5th, the streets of Málaga come alive with the spectacular Three Kings Parade, a grand procession that marks the culmination of the Christmas festivities. Witness the elaborately decorated floats, adorned with shimmering lights and vibrant colors, as they carry the Three Kings through the city, casting an enchanting spell on onlookers. Traditionally, the children in Spain don’t get presents from Santa Claus. They get presents on the night on January 5th from los Reyes Magos- the Magic Kings (the Three Kings), officially celebrated on Jan 6th. After this day, live in Spain goes back to normal.

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