Malaga Christmas lights just keep getting better and better. They provide festive illumination from the huge Christmas tree in Plaza de la Constitucion all the way down the dead straight Calle Marques de Larios to Plaza de la Marina from the last Friday of November until the 7th January. The switch on event is rapidly becoming an attraction in its own right with live bands playing in the street and street food vendors competing with the bars and restaurants.
The celebrated lights are just a taste of the Christmas magic you will find in Malaga during December and the first week of January. In addition to the huge Christmas tree in Plaza de la Constitucion there are three more (or there were in 2018), one in Plaza de la Marina, one in Molino Lario and one in Huelin Park. The Paseo de Parque is festively illuminated every year and has been joined by Calle Granada, Calle San Juan, and Calle Carcer. The lights are switched on at 6.30pm every evening until 2am. To add to the festive spirit the Paseo de Parque hosts a Christmas market with stalls selling gifts, fireworks and street food from midday until midnight daily.
Children and adults will adore the Nativity Scenes. There are over seventy belen on display in Malaga over the Christmas season. The tourist office may have a map of all the locations. Not surprisingly the most traditional belen is in the Cathedral. This is on display 10am to 2pm, and 5pm to 8pm daily. Others worth seeing are at the Carmen Thyssen Museum (closed on Mondays), and at the Diputacion on Calle Pacifico next to La Termica cultural centre. The latter is only open on weekday mornings. The most unusual is at Archivo Principal on Almeda Principal. The scene is comprised of fifteen life-size figures made from papier mache on a wooden frame in the traditional Valencian ninot-figure style. Every year, for the festival of San Juan, these figures are taken to Valencia and burnt. The Archivo is open weekdays 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 8pm and weekends 10am to 1pm. Whilst you are at the Archivo try and see the magnificent collections of tin soldiers, some of which are unique.
Santa’s grotto, complete with reindeer, is set up at Muelle Uno at the eastern end of the port from the 2nd December to the 5th January. Santa will be there from noon to 2.30pm and 5pm to 8pm. Funfair rides will prevent any boredom during the wait. Tip for Kids - Put a parent in the queue and enjoy the rides.
More adult entertainment can be found to the west on Corte Inglés esplanade. The famous store sets up an ice rink, toboggan ride and traditional Merry Go Round that is open 10am to 10pm daily.
Return to Plaza de la Constitucion between 7pm and 10pm any evening over the Christmas period and you will find a concert. It can be anything from traditional Spanish carols to flamenco, to children’s choirs. It does not really matter, it is the atmosphere.
When you have had enough of the festive spirit there is one place where you can put your feet up have a coffee or something stronger, and still enjoy the scene – the rooftop terrace at the AC Hotel – acknowledged as one of the best views of Malaga in the city.
Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.
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© Visit-Andalucia 2019