Malaga Carnival 2020 Guide: What, When, Where?

Girl blowing confetti during Carnival

After a wonderful Christmas holiday season, you went back to reality. Back to work, back to the gym, back to your new years’ resolutions… Now, after January, a month full of efforts, it’s time for a little break, time to get dressed up to join the great 2020 Carnival Parade in Malaga!

If you think about Carnival in Spain, some cities like Cadiz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Sitges will probably come to your mind, but I can assure Malaga’s Carnival has no reason to envy them: you will find buzzing parades, fantastic costumes and fabulous parties in Malaga as well!

Now, let me show you what’s going on in Malaga Carnival this year:

When is Malaga Carnival 2020?

Carnaval, as it’s known in Spain, takes place during the week leading up to Lent, usually around the end of February, and is one of the most vibrant and lively events on the Spanish calendar. In this 2020, you will find amazing Carnival parties from February 21st until March 1st. Ten days full of fun!

What is Carnival in Malaga like?

Carnival-lights-nights-ohmygoodguide
Carnival Lights in Malaga

Carnival in Malaga is unique because of its multicultural, colourful and spontaneous character when celebrations are held in both the Historic Quarter and in the other districts of the city.

You can find a bit of everything: from parades for children and adults to meetings of groups of singers, bands of street musicians, parades, quartets and choirs in the Teatro Cervantes in a Carnival singing contest (similar to the one in Cadiz) that attracts contestants from the whole region.

Gastronomy also plays an important part during the preliminaries. Cabbages, casseroles, rice dishes, stews and much more; each district organises its popular taste sessions with Carnival songs as an essential part of the fun.

But of course, if you are coming to Malaga at Carnival and want to discover even more about our delicious typical dishes and famous wines, you have to join our Tapas and Wine Tour! 👈 This is just an idea, we offer many more local and creative experiences to make you discover the real Malaga. Check them out here!

Finally, Carnival takes to the streets of Malaga on the week before Ash Wednesday; a week of `partying that ends on Malagueta beaches with the “burial of the anchovy”.

Another curiosity is that Malaga reuses its Christmas lights for Carnival, so don’t worry if you couldn’t come and watch the famous Malaga Christmas Light Show: you will be able to see the beautiful lights’ structure that was covering Calle Larios in Christmas, now with some Carnival motifs added

Full Programme: Carnival Events and Parade Route in Malaga 2020

Friday – 21st February: Malaga Carnival Opening

2020 Malaga Carnival Opening: Inauguration of Carnival followed by the Carnival Anthem, by the famous singer Vanesa Martin.

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 8:00pm

Election of the Carnival Gods: Who will be the Gods representing Carnival this year? Go and find it out!

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 9:30pm

Saturday – 22nd February: Carnival Children Parade and Drag Queen Contest!

Election of Malaga Carnival Princes and Gods for children: children need their Carnival Gods too, so their festival get started with this election! Take your little ones there and let them shine in their costumes!

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 12pm

Children’s Parade: follow the first parade that starts in the main square and goes all the way through the city and back to the starting point. Fun for everyone, adults allowed!

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 6:30pm

Malaga’s Carnival Drag Queen Contest: a true battle for the glory that will impress you. Don’t miss the opportunity to cheer for your favourite and help her win her crown

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 9pm

Sunday – 23th February: ⭐2020 Malaga Official Grand Carnival Parade is here! Check the route! ⭐

Children’s Costume Contest: admire the beautiful masks and the joy of kids in their costumes!

Location: Plaza de la Constituciòn

Starting time: 12 pm

Malaga Grand Carnival Parade: follow the parade all the way through the city and enjoy the fancy masks and the cheerful music. Don’t be just a viewer but dive into the Carnival Parade and show your original costume!

Official Carnival Parade Route 2020: Plaza de fray Alonso de Santo Tomás, Plaza de la Legión, Puente de la Esperanza, Atarazanas, Puerta del Mar, Alameda Principal, Marqués de Larios, Plaza de la Constitución, Calle Granada, Plaza Uncibay, Plaza de la Merced

Starting time: 5:30 pm

Monday 24th – Thursday 27th February: Malaga Children Carnival, Games & Concerts

Children’s Carnival: take your children to enjoy Carnival music and fun games

Location: Plaza de la Constituciòn

Starting time: 5pm

Carnival concerts: head into the historical centre and enjoy the atmosphere. A lot of carnival musical players will entertain you with their comparsas or chirigotas (satirical spanish songs) and you won’t have no choice but dancing!

Location: Plaza de la Constituciòn

Starting time: 8pm

Friday – 28th February: Gods and Goddess’ Malaga Carnival Parade

Gods and Goddess’ Carnival Parade: starting from Plaza de la Constitución follow the reduced version of the official parade of the Gods, enjoy the lights, the beautiful masks and the playful music.

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 12pm

Saturday – 29th February: Finals, Flower Battle and Goodbye Parade

Goodbye Parade of the Gods: say goodbye to the Gods that have joined us during this Carnival in their final parade from the main square all along Calle Granada 

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 6pm

Flowers Battle: be sure to have with you confetti and streamers and have fun throwing them. Eventually a shower of thousand of petals will cover you!

Location: Calle Larios

Starting time: 8pm

Malaga Carnival Singing Contest – Grand finale:  don’t miss the last dance! The finalist, the best music players will be there to delight you with their music and win the competition!       

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 9pm

Sunday – 1st March: Anchovies for everyone!

Gran boqueroná: Time for free food!! Malaga offers you its well-known fried anchovies, so don’t waste your time and get your free portion!

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

Starting time: 2pm

The Burial of the Anchovy: celebrate the end of Malaga Carnival with the parade that leads you to the Malagueta beach where the Big Anchovy Statue will be burnt in a huge bonfire

Location: Plaza de la Constitución

 Starting time: 5pm


All in all, Malaga Carnival has so much fun to offer! If you end up visiting this beautiful city during Carnival or in any other period, don’t forget to check also our other blog posts to become a Malaga local!

And of course, if you come to Costa del Sol, check out our fantastic experiences and leave a comment telling us which was your favourite Carnival event! See you around!

1 thought on “Malaga Carnival 2020 Guide: What, When, Where?”

  1. We just happened to be in Malaga for the end of Carnaval. What a wonderful, colourful, joyous experience. Singing and dancing erupted all around us. It was magical to see the delight in the children’s eyes. I think this might become a regular experience.

    Thank you Malaga

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *