Held every year during August to commemorate the reclaiming of the city from the Moors by the Catholic Monarchs (Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon) on 18th August 1487, the Málaga feria is one of the largest fairs in Spain with millions of people joining the fun throughout the week.
Many daytime activities take place on the main shopping street – Calle Marques de Larios, Picasso’s birth-place – Plaza de la Merced and throughout the historic centre of the city from noon until around 8pm each day. There are open-air bars to tempt passers-by with sherry, delicious sweet Málaga wine and tapas while the sound of music fills the air.
Many people dress in traditional costume and spontaneous demonstrations of flamenco dancing often break out in the street.
Yesterday, it was a joy to wander around the city, soaking up the party atmosphere before heading to the Bodega Bar El Pimpi for a spot of lunch. El Pimpi seems to get bigger and bigger every time I go, with it’s warren of rooms and outdoor terraces, which were all packed with feria-goers. The inside walls of the bar are decorated with photographs of famous visitors and historic posters of ferias past. You can also see the enormous barrels signed by some celebrity patrons including former UK prime minister, Tony Blair and, one of Málaga’s famous sons, film-actor Antonio Banderas.
Tradition then dictates a short siesta before heading to the outskirts of the city (next to the Palacio de Congresos building, near the airport) for La Feria de la Noche (the night fair), which starts very slowly around ten in the evening and continues all night, until the break of dawn.
Here you will find hundreds of marquees (known as casetas) scattered throughout the fairground where you can enjoy more drinks and food, whilst dancing to the sound of both modern and flamenco music.
And, if like me, you LOVE fairground rides, then you can be flung here, there and everywhere on some wild, mechanical rides or take a gentle journey on the huge ferris wheel, for great views across the feria.
There are shuttle buses throughout the night from city centre to the fairground.
Malaga Feria looks quite spectacular….I saw it from the motorway 2 years ago, amazing sight & so bright! Don’t think I’ll ever get to experience it though as I would not visit Spain again during August….unbearably hot and too busy!
You have a point! We tend to spend most of August in the pool or in the shade 🙂
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beautiful photos! I’ve been in Malaga some years ago for the Ferìa…such beautiful memories I have!Great fun!
El Pimpi!!! I ate there a few times when I studied abroad in Malaga and I remember all those barrels signed by famous visitors. Good memories. 🙂
Happy memories, Amelie 🙂
Your lovely post exemplifies everything we think about when we think of Malaga and Spain.
Thanks Karen – much appreciated. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
i hope you dont mind me emailing you but we have received you “Dancing in the street” -which we enjoyed reading and as we are thinking of coming out to live in spain within the next couple of—months and are looking in the Camposol area we were wondering if you could enliken us on what the area is like eg land grab and structual as we were looking on you tube and it has made us worried and feel it might be best to hear from yourselves thanks and heres hoping to can help us decide steve and dee moore coventry england —————————————
Hi Steve and Dee
Bear in mind, I don’t live in Malaga city – I live about 50 kilometres to the east. I’m afraid I don’t know where the Camposol area is (is it in Malaga city?), but what is commonly known as “land grab” is associated with the Valencia area (I think) – so a long way from here.
Don’t be put off by what you’ve seen on YouTube. This is a wonderful area in which to live. My advice is to come and see for yourself – but make sure to rent for at least 12 months before you buy, so you can work out which area is best for you.
All the best 🙂
Great photos! We went to El Pimpi last time we were in Malaga – great place!
I guess it’s a bit “touristy” – but hey – it’s feria week! 🙂
Great pics, Marianne. But where’s the ‘like’ button gone? SD
I’ve got rid of the ‘like’ button as I’m preparing to move over to self-hosting 🙂
Definitely would love to join the festivities! Wonderful colors.
It looks absolutely stunning Marianne. Great to see a City celebrate it’s heritage like that.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
Ooh, that looks like so much fun! So many colours and so much happiness! 🙂 And ‘El pimpi’ – what a cool name 🙂
We’ve been to the Pimpi bar! It’s fab. I drank too much there before a concert though and decided to slide over the back of a seat to get to my row and my dress got hitched up…ooops… Have a great time, Marianne 🙂
That top photo collage sums up Andalucia: Colour
Yes, it really does, doesn’t it? Thanks for the suggestion!
What fun, Spain sure knows how to celebrate!
…and the best is – we expats get to join in too! 🙂 Win-win!
I do prefer the smaller village ferias but I do love the Malaga one – especially the horses and the dresses!
In many ways I agree – but the scale of events in Malaga make it a real “one-off” festival 🙂
I’m not too sure about the fairground rides but I’d love the spectacle and atmosphere 🙂
I’m sure you would, Gilly 🙂
Such a colourful celebration, Marianne. Beautiful dresses for those dancing ladies. What fun! 🙂
I love how they just start dancing, with a crowd of people around them clapping and stomping 🙂
Yes, great fun, Sylvia 🙂
I haven’t been for a few years – so next year it is!
Unless we stay over, we usually go on two separate days – otherwise it’s all a bit too much.
Good fun though, Maggie 🙂
They sure do!
Sounds like Spain knows how to party! Great pics and account of your experience at the Málaga Feria!