Malaga: What to do in January

Reading time: 5 min.

January 2020, Málaga – Spain

Escaping winter has become a funny habit for us in the last years. January is the perfect time to make plans, take a well deserved break after the Christmas hustle and bustle, avoid the most depressing days of the year and, why not, chill under the sun!


After living in the Netherlands for the last 4 months, we found Spain with just the right dose of sunshine to come back to life. 😂 This year we picked Málaga and had an amazing time!

If you’re looking for January travel inspiration, then read on. Here is a short guide of what to do in Málaga in January.


Some weather facts first, if you’re not fully convinced:

  • Málaga experiences the warmest winters of any European city with a population over 500 000;
  • The average temperature during the day from December to February is 17–18 °C;
  • Málaga has an average of about 300 days of sunshine per year.



We land on a Friday evening, being absolutely sure we don’t even need the jackets anymore. I was almost prepared with my sunglasses and suncream. That’s how hot we imagined Málaga weather would be. 🙂

Guess what, as soon as we get off the airplane, a heavy rain takes us by surprise. Apparently this is not one of the 300 sunny days. 🙂 By the time we reach the hotel, it becomes a storm. We enter the room all wet, hungry and, above all, feeling that the curse of Dutch weather is following us everywhere.




Next day, it’s time to reset all plans and check what’s feasible to visit on a rainy day. Luckily, there’s plenty! Whether you like archaeology, contemporary art or 19th century painting, you’re interested in glass, cars, music or wine, you’ll find at least one cool museum in the city. Málaga itself is an open air museum!


  • Málaga Museum: Málaga’s Museum holds the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Provincial Archaeology Museum. So it’s 2 in 1, for both history and art lovers. With archaeological remains from Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras, you will not get bored discovering nearly 3000 years of history. We’re rather nature lovers and prefer to walk outside, but this one was a great way to spend a few hours on a rainy day. Plus, the entrance is free for EU citizens! 😀


  • Cathedral of Málaga: This is an awesome Renaissance and Baroque-style cathedral built between 1528 and 1782 near to the site of an early Almohad mosque. It’s nicknamed “La Manquita” or “the one-armed woman”. I’ll let you discover why. 🙂



  • Picasso Museum: Did you know that Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881? Buenavista Palace houses a permanent collection showing eight decades’ work of the famous artist. If you see a huge queue outside forming on the narrow pedestrian street, be sure those are the free entrance lovers (entrance is free every Sunday 2 hours before closing time).
  • Museum of Glass and Crystal
  • Interactive Music Museum
  • Wine Museum
  • Automobile Museum

As soon as the sun appears again on the sky, we literally run outside! 🙂 And because everything is reacheable within walking distance, we try to make the most out of it.



  • Jardines de Puerta Oscura: These gardens were designed to supplement the surroundings of the Alcazaba, harmonising with its layout. It’s amazing how a rugged slope was transformed into a succession of beautiful terraces, that you can easily explore and enjoy before reaching the city center.




  • Roman Theatre: Málaga’s Roman Theatre is one of the surprises you will discover in the heart of the city. Built in the time of Augustus in the 1st century AD, it was in use until the 3rd century. Much of its construction material was later used for building the Alcazaba. How cool is that?


  • Alcazaba: Now this is where the fun part begins: walking through a walled passage invaded by orange trees! The building that dates from the Muslim period is located at the foot of the Gibralfaro hill, crowned by the Arab defence works. According to Arab historians, it was built between 1057 and 1063.








  • Gibralfaro Castle: Of course, we keep the best for last. The castle was built in the 14th century to house troops and protect the Alcazaba. With two lines of walls and eight towers, it was considered one the most impregnable fortresses on the Iberian peninsula.












  • La Malagueta: As the weather gets better, with no cloud on the sky and some pleasant 20 degrees, we run to the beach! Measuring 1.2 km long and 45 meters wide, La Malagueta is the beach located closest to the Port of Malaga. Walking along the coast, with waves of joy going deep into the soul, is the best way to say goodbye to this beautiful city.







  • El Galeón: And because lucky events go well together, we spot the Galeón waiting for visitors in the last opening day. It is the unique replica of the legendary Spanish galleons that for centuries united Spain with America and crossed the Caribbean. After its long journeys around the world, it stopped in Malaga exactly the time we are visiting!





  • Accomodation

85 EUR/night/double room (breakfast included)

We stayed at Hotel California, within walking distance from Malagueta beach.

  • Food

25 EUR/pers/day

  • Local Transportation

We only used the Express bus (A) connecting the airport with the city center, for 3 EUR/pers/one way.

  • Attractions

Combo ticket Alcazaba + Gibralfaro: 5.5 EUR/pers

Cathedral: 6 EUR/pers, Cathedral + roof: 10 EUR/pers

El Galeon: 7 EUR/pers

Happy travels & stay safe!

6 thoughts on “Malaga: What to do in January

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, i think we passed by it but had no idea it can be visited 🙂 bullfighting is definitely not our cup of tea, it might be interesting to just visit the arena some other time


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