Malaga is alive. Both the capital and the province demonstrate that each year with a wide variety of activities ranging from gastronomy to movies, traditions, music, folklore or summer “moragas”, festivals at the beach. In Spain Food Sherpas we chose the essential things to do in Malaga in 2017.

They may not be the most important ones, but those that we believe will allow you to discover the true essence of Malaga. Take your calendar and something to write.

Theater Festival

The cultural year begins very soon in Malaga. Every January and February since 34 years we celebrate the “Malaga Theatre Festival”, which in 2018 will be held from January 7 to February 11. Throughout these five weeks “theater” becomes the protagonist of the Cervantes Theatre and Echegaray Theatre, but also of other stages around the city like Joaquín Eléjar, the Cultural Collective Maynake, Chela Mar or Microteatro Malaga, among even more hotels and terraces included in OFF Festival. Nearly fifty plays are presented each year in an intensive program that also features workshops and exhibitions. Impossible to see everything, but it’s worth a try.

theater festival malaga

Photo: Teatro Cervantes

Holy Week

Malaga’s “Semana Santa” or Easter celebration is one of the most important ones in Spain. It is celebrated with religious processions during seven days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, being the Holy Saturday the only one on which images or sculptures are not being carried out on the streets of the city. This year it will take place between the 25th of March and the 1st of April. The traditional Easter processions in Malaga began after the Catholic Monarchs entered the city in 1487 and since then they took root in most of the districts of the city of Malaga.

Although, yes, they live it especially intense in neighborhoods such as “El Perchel” or “La Trinidad”, two of the most traditional ones. Every day, the different brotherhoods carry thrones with representations of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary along an official tour attended by thousands of people. Every Holy Thursday and Good Friday some of the greatest moments, and the most passionate ones, of Malaga’s Easter celebration take place. Although another of the most awaited moments is the procession of “Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo”, popularly known as El Cautivo and one of greatest devotion of “malagueños”, which is carried every Holy Monday. If the rain permits it, of course.

holy week malaga

Photo: © Área de Turismo. Ayuntamiento de Málaga.

Malaga Gastronomy Festival

Ten days of colors, aromas and flavors to give Malaga a bite. Like this you could define the Malaga Gastronomy Festival, an event that was recently created and held for the first time in 2015. Days in which Malaga will become the national food capital. Show cookings, food culture workshops, conferences, debates, adult and children cooking workshops and tastings are some of the activities taking place these days. It is an event in which some of the best national and local chefs are involved. To do so, this event uses a large tent in the Marina Square, but also other spaces in hotels and restaurants, both in the capital and other towns of the province. In 2018 the dates are not public yet, but it ususally takes place in April.

malaga gastronomy festival

Photo: Málaga Gastronomy Festival

Malaga Film Festival

Each year Malaga rolls out the red carpet for national movie stars. The city breathes glamour for a few days and welcomes the releases of the latest Spanish movies, but also documentaries, short films and even Latin American cinema. The capital fills up with events and the cinema becomes the main protagonist of the everyday life of the “malagueños”: thousands of people go out on the streets every day to enjoy good weather and good cinema. A spectacular cocktail that makes this festival one of the most attractive ones of the Spanish panorama. In 2018 it takes place from 13 to 22 April.

malaga film festival

Photo: © Área de Turismo. Ayuntamiento de Málaga.

“Noche en Blanco”

The “White Night” is the most important cultural event in Malaga in terms of numbers: it gathers in just one night nearly two hundred activities and more than 200,000 visits. In the capital of the Costa del Sol it has been held since 2008 and since 2016 included a novelty: they are the people from Malaga themselves who have been able to choose the theme around which revolves the White Night this year. And the chosen one by the public hasn’t been decided yet. Like similar events in other cities throughout the world, the aim of this initiative is to bring contemporary artistic creation to the citizens. And its characteristics are that it’s for free, cutting-edge, with citizen participation and sustainability.

Noche en Blanco malaga

Photo: © Área de Turismo. Ayuntamiento de Málaga.

San Juan Festival

When summer has just arrived, every 23rd of June Malaga lives one of the most fun nights. It is the eve of San Juan and, like many other Mediterranean cities, this night people go on the streets to celebrate the arrival of the summer season. However, in Malaga it’s done in a very particular way: celebrating “moragas” on the beach, where sardines and the consequent skewers are the protagonists between the embers of the barbecue.

Tradition dictates that just at midnight “júas” need to be burned in the bonfire: these are dolls representing some kind of character. The legend also tells that wishes can be burned in the fire that will become true, once you jumped over it and that everyone who bathes or washes his face in the seawater at midnight, will maintain his beauty. Whether it’s true or not, it’s well worth a try and also to go with the flow during this special festival in Malaga.

San Juan Festival

Photo: © Área de Turismo. Ayuntamiento de Málaga.

MAUS Malaga

The Malaga Urban Art Soho (MAUS Málaga) project began in 2013 and has held various activities throughout the year since then without fixed dates. Focused on contemporary art, it is much focused on urban art and graffiti, discovering new spaces and involving the neighbors where it takes place, very close to the city center.

Since its beginnings some of the most important urban artists worldwide have passed through this initiative like Obey, Faith46, Dal East, Suso 33 or D * Face, as well as groups such as Boa Mistura and local artists like Dadi Dreucol. Music, dance, theater, photography, painting or sculpture are disciplines that are also part of MAUS Malaga.