Malaga in January: Weather & Things to Do

December 18, 2023

Malaga is a popular, vibrant, and exciting city that welcomes holidaymakers and tourists from across the world, even in January, the European winter. It lies at the very crossroads and center of the Costa del Sol, at least in terms of popularity. What’s more, its sun-soaked beaches, fun atmosphere, and castles in Malaga are well-known, too.

Malaga’s weather in January is favorable, too. As such, this city remains one of the warmest winter holiday destinations in Europe. In part, this has to do with the mountainous surroundings, which seem to protect the city from the colder drafts that emanate from the north.

An added bonus is that winter in Malaga sometimes brings discounted attractions, car rentals, and accommodations. All of this makes the city a really attractive proposition for a winter getaway. Let’s take a look at what to do in Malaga in January.

Malaga Weather in January

January sees Malaga experience shorter days, with darkness arriving at around 6 pm.

  • Average daytime and nighttime temperatures:

The Malaga temperature in January hovers around a high of 62°F, falling to a low of 46°F in the coldest parts of the day or evening.

  • Rain in Malaga in January

Weather in Malaga, Spain, in January, is relatively moderate. Weather guides might mention that this is among the wettest months in the region. But that just means that a few days (about six on average in the month) might bring some rain.

Tip: Malaga’s January weather may not demand heavy raincoats and boots. But pack a pair of long pants and a light long-sleeved top, just in case.

Things to Do in Malaga in January

So, understanding that Malaga is now near the top of the list of choices for January getaways, what is there to do in this vibrant city? The first option that comes to mind would be choosing from the best tapas bars in Malaga. You could also take a look at this fine list of the best things to do in Malaga, Spain, overall. But we want to dig into winter and January specifically, so here goes:

Side note: Malaga’s citizens are known colloquially as Los Boquerones or “The Anchovies” because the fish is the most popular pescaito in the city.

1. Do a Tapas Crawl

It would actually be silly to visit Malaga and not truly explore the tapas scene. A guided three-hour tapas crawl around the city should be just enough to introduce the tip of the proverbial iceberg in this regard.

When you’re ready to expand the palate, add some drinks on a wine and tapas tour. Make sure to include Malaga’s famous sweet wine on the taste list.

2. Add Some History to the Mix

So you’ve been hooked by the tapas and perhaps the wine. Why not combine the food with some actual educational aspect while skipping the lines at the ticket booths to some of the monuments? A licensed, guided history and tapas educational walking tour is a perfect combination. You might even get to feel like a local with your newfound knowledge of the city.

3. Cycle or Hike Around Malaga

The awesome weather in the Costa del Sol means that hiking and cycling are still very much an option. Something potentially easy for casual walkers is a six-hour hike to a small town. The Frigiliana hiking tour involves passing through an avocado plantation and, of course, local wine and tapas at your destination.

4. Do Something Free!

Enjoy some of Málaga’s top attractions for free if you time your visit right! On Sundays, a few hours before closing, places like La Alcazaba, Gibralfaro Castle, and the Picasso Museum offer free admission. The Center of Contemporary Art Málaga is open for free visits all week long, too.

Festivals and Events in Malaga in January

There is one particularly special festival around Spain and in Malaga at this time of year, and it takes place on 5 January.

Procesión de Los Reyes

On 5 January, the Three Kings or Magi that visited Christ at his birthplace “arrived” in the city. They then lead a procession from the Paseo del Parque to the Ayuntamiento. The parade also includes floats, sweets, and small gifts handed out to all children on the route.

Many other separate processions, performances, and concerts will happen on the two days of celebrations. For some, this is also the day when Christmas presents are finally opened. The atmosphere in the city at this time is quite magical, especially for the devout of faith.

FAQs About Malaga in January

Here are some frequently asked questions people ask about Malaga.

Can I Swim in Malaga in January?

Some really do believe that January is the best time to visit Malaga, Spain. Among the reasons is the ability to still swim despite it being winter. The sea is cooler, but if you’re not too precious about a little bit of chill, the waters are still very swimmable.

Is Malaga Lively in January?

Malaga is quite lively all year round, and January is no exception. Tourists love to walk the city, enjoy wine and tapas, and grab photo opportunities around popular monuments like El Cubo or along the Muello Uno. You can also shop on the popular Larios Street. It’s mild, touristy, and has a healthy social culture involving sweet wine and tapas.

Final Thoughts on a Malaga Winter Getaway

Malaga, Spain, weather in January certainly sets the city up for a superb offering in the heart of winter. For some accommodation advice when it comes to great neighborhoods and locations? Check out our article on where to stay in Malaga City.

Looking for more specific kinds of accommodation? There are several Malaga hotels and Airbnb Malaga options to look at.

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