The impressive city of Málaga is one of our favourite haunts whenever we fancy escaping the frivolities of the coast for a little ‘big city’ culture. With its wonderful museums, including of course the famous Picasso Museum, as well as art galleries, theatres, expositions, live music, dance shows, concerts and the imposing cathedral, Málaga offers all the perks and commodities of urban life but with its own Andalusian charm. Boasting rambling cobbled streets, quaint pedestrian quarters, charming traditional architecture, from wooden shutters and wrought iron balconies to inner courtyards, Moorish archways and Roman churches, Málaga is a vibrant and colourful city full of backstreets and hidden gems to discover. With an eclectic array of shops and boutiques and a plethora of exciting restaurants and tapas bars dotted about the town, serving everything from fine dining to yummy snacks on the go, the city offers a great variety of treats for all the senses. The heat brings activity in the city to a gentle pace over the summer months, but Málaga truly comes alive as Christmas approaches. This is the ultimate time to discover this fantastic city and, boasting Christmas lights which rank in the top three in Spain, the festive spirit is alive and kicking. Approximately two and a half million Christmas lights are installed throughout the city, especially the main street, Calle Larios also famed for its marble paving. The lights are turned on in the last weekend of November, when locals and tourists alike pack the streets and sidewalks to marvel at the breathtaking spectacle. As well as the multicoloured hanging street lights featuring pretty shapes and motifs, the many palm trees that line the avenues are similarly decorated with little white fairy lights – which makes for a magical and ethereal feel to the city. Find dazzling red poinsettias on every street; displayed in window boxes, hanging from lampposts and planted along roadsides, on roundabouts and in fountains, and there is a jovial festive atmosphere as people pack the streets each night to observe the lights and saunter down to the Christmas night market. Málaga’s celebrated Christmas market is located in the central Paseo del Parque, with stalls of seasonal items, handmade gifts, artisan produce, arts, crafts and bookstalls. Stop at any number of quaint or funky little tapas bars for a bite to eat and a glass of wine, and if you’re with little ones there’s nothing better than a warming cup of hot chocolate with churros. With food, drink, sights and delights for the whole family to enjoy, Christmas in Málaga is a magical affair. Romantic for couples, fun for kids and a paradise for foodies and culture vultures – yet only 45 minutes from Marbella, it’s the perfect festive night out for everyone!