As December unfolds, Malaga transforms into a winter wonderland with the dazzling Christmas lights adorning the city. With its wonderful Christmas atmosphere, a visit to Malaga to see the spectacular light show is a must do for our family. In this blog we explore Malaga’s Magical Christmas Lights.
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Family Traditions: The Spectacle of Christmas Lights
For years now we have made the 27th December the day we venture up to Malaga to marvel at the Christmas lights display.
After a few days feasting and slobbing about this is a day to go out for some more…feasting! After driving for an hour and a half it will be time to feed the dragons… oops I mean boys! A quick pit stop at Five Guys usually gets us some peace and quiet before dragging the monsters …oops boys around the shops. I get it, this is not the most exciting activity for a 13 and 9 year old (unless it involves shopping for themselves) but, there’s usually some good deals at Plaza Mayor just before Spain celebrates their Dia de los Reyes. In Spain they exchange gifts on the 6th January and not the 25th December as it is with us. Christmas Day itself is a much more low-key affair with their traditional celebrations happening on the day of the Epiphany.
If you are visiting Plaza Mayor before the 24th December you will also be able to visit Santa and his elves. Visit on a weekend up to the 23rd December and you will also be able to enjoy various activities for children including face painting and Elvish flash mobs.
After a stroll around the shops, we head down into the centre of Malaga for a walk around Muelle Uno. Here you can find a Christmas market open from 11am to 10pm between 24th November and 6th January. There are over 90 stalls selling delicious Christmas treats – I know, as if we need to eat anymore! They also sell beautiful Christmas decorations, gifts and books. There is also a snow village where little ones can enjoy various activities and take a photo on Santa’s sleigh.
If you are down by Muelle Uno at 8.00pm on the 3-7th December or the 23rd December or at 8.30pm on the 9th December, check out the new drown show. 120 drones will depict Christmas images.
If you are planning on visiting Malaga between the 6th and the 10th December be sure to head on over to the Paseo Del Parque. On these days hundreds of local producers will sell their delicious goodies such as homemade breads, honey, wine, olive oil, jam, cheese along
Traditionally there are four places to find Christmas trees around Malaga. The main tree can be found in the Plaza de la Constitucion and this year you will also be able to enter inside the tree’s structure.
But be sure to explore this beautiful city and find the three other trees. One can be found next to the bishop’s square in front of the nativity by Malaga Cathedral. Another is located by the Roman Theatre in Calle Alcazabilla. The fourth tree, whose coloured lights will change constantly, can be found in the centre of the Plaza de la Marina.
For a unique winter experience, lace up your skates and glide across to to the ice rink at El Corte Ingles Avenida De Andalucia for a fun afternoon activity with the kids. The rink is open from 10am to 10pm throughout December and up to the 6th January 2024. You can also enjoy additional activities around the ice rink such as a carousel, a ferris wheel, a Christmas train and more.
Did you know that there are approximately 70 different nativities around the city of Malaga? To be honest, neither did I! The most popular ones however are the following:
- Municipal Nativity Scene of Malaga Town Hall
- Nativity Scene in Malaga Cathedral
- Belén de la Mosca
- Mollina Nativity Scene Museum
- Living Nativity Scene of Almayate
Christmas concerts more your thing? Then head over to the Plaza de la Constitución from 13 to 23 December where Christmas concerts take place daily at 6:45 pm and 8:15 pm.
At the 19th century garden within Protestant cemetery you can also enjoy Christmas activities based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol throughout December and up to the 4th January. You can enjoy hot chocolate and mulled wine whilst listening to Christmas carols and buying presents at the Christmas market. Please note however that the admission fee is 5€ per person. This attraction closes on the 15th, 24th, 25th and 31st December as well as on 1st January.
Botanical Gardens Christmas Lights
This garden was created in 1855 by the Marquises of Casa Loring. Today it has more than 50,000 trees and at Christmas time it is transformed into an enchanted forest.
This year’s theme is Angelic: The Kingdom of Christmas Angels and the Christmas garden will be open throughout December until the 7th January from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Along the route, you will walk through eight angelic realms: The realm of enchanted winter, renewed hope, healing myrrh, peace and harmony, gold and light, generosity and solidarity, sweets and treats and finally the realm of dreams and desires.
Tickets are priced at 15,50€ for adults and 11,50€ for under 12s. Buy tickets exclusively here.
The route is 2.2 kilometres long and will take you about an hour and a half to walk through. Bear in mind that the path is mostly uneven and it is recommended that you wear flat shoes which you don’t mind getting dirty!
It is however Calle Larios which steals the spotlight during December as it becomes a mesmerising display of twinkling lights. Stroll down this bustling street, where the radiant decorations illuminate the night, creating a captivating ambiance. The city square, Plaza de la Constitución, also dazzles with festive flair, making it a perfect spot for soaking in the holiday spirit.
This year the Christmas lights will include 730,000 LED bulbs and thousands gather daily to enjoy the changing lights which dance to the rhythm of Christmas music.
After a full day exploring the city, it’s time to treat your taste buds to some of Malaga’s culinary delights. Near Calle Larios, you will find an array of restaurants offering a mix of traditional Spanish and international cuisine. Here are a few recommendations to explore:
- El Pimpi – This is a renowned institution in Malaga in a unique setting adorned with local artwork and historical charm. El Pimpi offers a diverse menu of Andalusian dishes.
- Toro – Located in the heart of Muelle Uno, toro offers tasting menus and tapas with a twist.
- El Meson de Cervantes – Located in the heart of Malaga, this restaurant combines modern gastronomy with a traditional touch. Indulge in their exquisite tapas and a selection of wines for a delightful culinary experience.
- La Mafia Se Sienta A La Mesa – Centrally located Italian restaurant offering a range of foods which will satisfy even the most picky of eaters like our Jamie!
A Day of Magical Memories
Spending a day in Malaga in December will definitely make for some wonderful family Christmas memories. With the mesmerising lights in Calle Larios, Christmas markets, nativity scenes, concerts and more, Malaga ensures that your holiday season is filled with joy, warmth and unforgettable moments.
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