Christmas in Malaga: Experience the lights shows in 2020 and other activities

The Christmas lights in Malaga are switched on the last Friday of November. You can continue reading to find out what’s new this year. There are activities and events taking place during these dates in the capital and in the main municipalities.

The street Calle Larios in Malaga is where you will find this show of light and music at Christmas. This year the inauguration of the lighting should take place on the last Friday of November.

This year the lighting structure will be the same as past year; the name of the lighting structure is “The Christmas Forest” (Bosque de Navidad) and you can visit it during both day and night.

Christmas lighting 2019-2020
Photo of lighting this year in Malaga in Calle Larios

The lighting decoration and switching date change every year, however in 2020 is the same as in 2019. In past events they used up to 600.000 led lights in Larios street, the most centric street in Malaga, nevertheless this city is one of the best places to enjoy the Christmas lighting in the world.

Above you can see the 2019 lights. This year they are ready to be switched on the last Friday in November. There were light and sound shows at 6:30 pm, 8 pm and 9:30 pm every day until the 5th of January.

In 2020 the Christmas lighting and the light and music show was the same as the year before. In 2019, there was a new lighting and the decoration budget was increased.

Lighting for Christmas in Malaga

In 2018 they did repeat design and lighting in the city centre, the design was inspired by the Cathedral of Malaga.

new Christmas lights 2017

We can expect snow cannons in the main squares of the city like Plaza de las Flores or Soho district as they did the last past years.

malagacar

The company responsible for Christmas lighting in Malaga (Iluminaciones Ximénez) which is also responsible for providing lighting to different companies and cities around the world. You can find its LED lighting in New York on Fifth Avenue, Las Vegas, Dubai or even in Hong Kong among other locations.

Malaga christmas lights in 2020
I took this photo while visiting the lights this year.

 

Many visitors come from Europe not only to see the Christmas lights in Malaga, but also to enjoy a festive atmosphere unique in the city.

There were light and music shows daily at 6:30 pm, 8 pm and 9:30 pm until the 5th of January, inclusive. This year, the shows are cancelled to avoid crowding.

Past year the typical Christmas songs and each show lasted a few minutes:

  • Jingle Bell Rock by Hilary Duff.
  • All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey.
  • En Navidad with Javián, Alex, David Bustamante and Academia OT.
  • Never Back Down with Battlecry.

There will be new streets in addition to Calle Larios where you can enjoy the illumination: Calle Marqués, Sagasta, Souvirón, Plaza de Camas, Calle Herrera del Rey, Puerta del Mar, Calle Moreno Carbonero, Calle Álamos and Calle Granada.

The Christmas lighting will be turned off on January 5th, with the arrival of the Night of Kings, so you better visit it before it is too late.

This central square in Malaga is decorated for Christmas with a beautiful illumination offering a show that you should not miss.

Christmas trees in Malaga

As a new there will be a visitable Christmas tree in the Plaza de la Constitucion. You will be able to visit the inside of the tree and take photos.

During Christmas in Malaga six giant Christmas trees (6 to 18 meters high) will be placed. One of them in Huelin Park, two almond trees of 8 meters, one in the square of the Cervantes Theatre and another in Alcazabilla street. A giant Christmas tree with a metallic structure in the Plaza de la Marina; also another one of 18 meters in the Plaza de la Constitución, that you can visit the inside; a Christmas tree in the Plaza Enrique García Square and finally one in Molina Lario Street. All of them illuminated with leds and decorated for the occasion.

Lighting and Christmas tree at Marina Square
Constitucion Square with Christmas lighting tree from a past event.

Christmas activities in Pier One

Every year in Pier One a little house is usually set up for the children to visit Santa Claus, although this year nothing has been confirmed yet.

There will also be other Christmas events: follow the link to find out about the Christmas activities that take place both in Muelle Uno and all the province; you may find one event near you.

Switching on Christmas lights in Malaga in video

In case you’ve missed it, this is the last video of the Christmas lights being turned on and some of the main attractions of the city this winter.

Christmas lighting in other municipalities

Although the dates may vary slightly each year, it is common for lighting to begin in late November or early December in different municipalities.

  • Torremolinos Chrismas lighting on the 7th of December at Plaza Costa del Sol.
  • 29 November at 7.30 pm is the inauguration of the Christmas lighting in Fuengirola at Plaza de España from 6 pm to 10 pm.
  • The inauguration of the Christmas lighting in Estepona will feature a large fir tree of 60 metres, although the day has not been specified..
  • In 2019 it was the 29th of November when the Christmas lights were switched on in Benalmádena at 6pm in the Plaza 3 Culturas in Benalmádena Pueblo. At 7.30pm at Plaza de la Iglesia in Arroyo de la Miel and at the roundabout D. Fermín Aguirre at the entrance to Puerto Marina. This year there is no official information.
  • There is no date for Christmas lighting in Marbella. The lights will be installed in Avenida Ricardo Soriano, in Marbella; and in Calle Marqués del Duero, in San Pedro. This year, priority is given to investment in the municipality’s businesses, so the lighting will have a smaller budget.

Visiting Traditional Nativity Scenes

traditional nativity scenes

Every year they organize nativity scenes, some of the nativity scenes can be found inside the Cathedral of Malaga or in the Diputación. This year the exhibition “Jesus is born in a manger” (+info).

  • When: Monday to Friday: 10 am -2 pm / 3 pm – 6 pm. Exceptions: On 7, 8, 24 and 31 December and 5 January from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
  • Place: Mingorance Acien Exhibition Hall (Map)

Best Christmas Market in Europe

In 2018 more than one million visitors visited the Christmas lighting in the city centre. In addition, Malaga won first place as “Best Sunny Christmas Markets in Europe”, from the organisation “European Best Destinations” which presents Malaga as an ideal destination to celebrate a Christmas with good weather.

This year 2020 the Malaga market will be opened on 30th November with a total of 70 stalls. It will be open until Epiphany and will have security measures. The stalls must close at 6pm to respect the time restriction until further notice.

Christmas Market in Plaza de la Marina
Christmas Market at Plaza de la Marina. It is next to Calle Larios, where the lighting event takes place. I bought there some typical chorizo and morcilla from Malaga (4€ each). Before leaving you can try also the typical churros with chocolate (3€ for half a dozen churros). There are many stuff there to check, from traditional cheeses, to beer and olive oil made in our province.

Many locals enjoy the Christmas in Malaga by visiting any of the many Christmas markets in the province. Those markets in the city are usually in the area of Soho and the Alameda park, but there are many other in the province.

Initially I think the list will not be much different than the previous year, you can check our current list of Christmas Markets in Malaga.

torremolinos-christmas-lighting
Torremolinos chrismas lights and markets

After Christmas: New Year’s Eve in Malaga

You can find a wide variety of hotels for the New Year’s Eve party with dinner included . You can celebrate in one of the main squares of the cities of Malaga; there typically meet a large number of people to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.

In addition if you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Malaga with more people you can visit my other article with the incoming events for that night.

Malaga: Plaza de la Constitucion and Calle Larios
Torremolinos: Plaza de la Nogalera
Benalmadena: Plaza de la Mezquita
Fuengirola: Plaza de España
Marbella: Plaza de la Iglesia

Procession of the Three Kings 2021

Night of the Three Kings

The Three Kings in Malaga during 2021 might not visit us due the Covid-19 situation, but we expect activities for children.

The parade use to begin at 5 pm on January 5th and the route is as follows*:

  • Paseo del Parque
  • Plaza de la Marina
  • Alameda Principal
  • Puerta del Mar
  • Atarazanas
  • Plaza de Arriola
  • Pasillo de Santa Isabel
  • Carreteria
  • Calle Álamos
  • Plaza de la Merced

Restrictions for Covid-19 at Christmas and New Year’s Eve

The government proposes restricting meetings during Christmas or New Year’s Eve to 6 people. The time restriction would be from 0.00 a.m. to 6 a.m.

These restrictions would take place both on December 24 and the evening of January 1. This is currently a draft and needs to be confirmed. It can be assumed that during these two special days the measures will be different for the ordinary citizen.

Private or public transport during Christmas

During Christmas in Malaga the public transport is still working as usual and it is one of the recommended options for getting to the city centre.

Evening is a far more popular and crowded time than afternoon, just letting you know.

Public buses

Usually they add special offers during these dates and there is more availability on weekends. Other years they sold a 15 trips card for 9.95€ which you can buy at kiosks or tobacco shop.

This transport campaign use to finish the 30th of December.

Commuter train

The commuter train in Malaga continues being an excellent choice for those living near the train station. The last stop will get you next to the city centre; remember to check the timetable for the train in our guide.

Driving a car

If you plan to rent a vehicle on your arrival, then you might prefer just driving to Malaga. You will have to park in a public parking; it is more than possible that you will experience traffic jam in some areas.

I used to drive to Pier One at Malaga Port and park in that parking lot. Sometimes and depending on the time, I experienced some traffic jam near the city centre; evening is a far more popular and crowded time than afternoon, just letting you know.

Taxis and transfers

Taxis usually extend the fleet during the 24, 25, 31 of December and 1st of January.

You can also book a private transfer, I can recommend malagatransfer.co.uk as I always had a good experience with them and the price is fair.


Do you plan to spend this Christmas in Malaga? We hope you enjoy and don´t forget to share your experiences and questions in the comments below.

Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!

Raúl G.T
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Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.

18 thoughts on “Christmas in Malaga: Experience the lights shows in 2020 and other activities”

  1. Hi this article has been very informative, we are travelling with our nine year old son for the first time to malaga and are really looking forward to the lights , Can i check would the new years eve festivities at Plaza de la Constitucion be suitable to take our nine year old to ?

  2. Hi do you know if it possible to get taxis Xmas eve 24th in evening from Malaga airport to centre Malaga?
    And is that possible very late through the night?

    Also what about on the 25th?

    Many thanks

  3. yes me too,got the same responses myself,thank you for your help,looks like I will have to assess situation when we get to Fuengirola and visit the bus station offices.thanks again and keep up the good work of keeping us all informed about our beloved costa del sol.

    1. The information I provided is acurate, you can even book online the tickets for the bus on the 25th December from their website. The price is 4.37€ and as I said there are three buses, at 8:50, 13:50 and 20:15.

      Thanks to you for visiting us and commenting, It is always nice to have participative readers 🙂

  4. these lights look fabulous and certainly something that is on our list of todos whilst we are in Fuengirola for the christmas period, thank you Raul for keeping us informed,did you manage to establish whether there was a bus service on 25th (christmas day) dec from Fuengirola to Marbella for me please,depending on which website I go on as to the answer I get !!!

    1. Hey Gary, yeah I asked and their answer was to try searching closer to that date. I have tried again today searching for your bus and there are a few options for getting to Marbella from Fuengirola on 25th:
      at 8:50 am, 3.50 pm and 8.15 pm from the bus terminal.

      Please check here: https://www.avanzabus.com/
      Hope to be of help, enjoy your visit 🙂

  5. We have never visited Malaga in December till now, I will remember the experience for the rest of my life the lights the atmosphere was just amazing it brought tears to our eyes, what an amazing show you put on well done we will be back next year

    1. Hello Pamela, that was an amazing description! Im sure many people reading will feel curious about having the same experience 🙂

  6. We got caught out 2 yrs ago as wanted to see the late show ( along with a couple of hundred other people ) but it never happened. Then last year we thought, okay, let’s see the early one.. but that didn’t happen either so …

    1. Hello, it is supposed to happen the day we state in the article as it is the official date and time. This year there is not yet an official time for the music and light show, but we can expect to be the same as last year.

  7. Hi I’m a bit confused as to the date for the switch on of the lights, some say the 30th others the 24th. Which is the correct date?

  8. It should be taken into account that while the Christmas lights in C/Larios are on until 6th January the last light show is actually on Jan 4th. There are no light shows on Jan 5th as the Reyes Parade is on.

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