Malaga Weather in December: Insider Travel Tips

Malaga Weather in December: Insider Travel Tips

What’s the weather in Malaga in December? What is the average temperature?

Is it a good place to spend Christmas and the New Year?

I’m sure you have many questions before booking your trip, and this post will answer them all.

I’ve lived near Malaga since 2020 and have seen it in all weather conditions and seasons.

Here is a little recap of what to expect weather-wise and travel-wise in December!

What’s the Weather for Malaga in December?

December marks the beginning of the winter and the slowdown of tourist activity in the city.

Most visitors who come to Malaga in December are local Spanish people coming for a weekend break or wanting to see the Christmas lights at Calle Larios.

Temperatures in December range between 9C (48F) and 17C (64F), making it one of the warmest places in Europe. If you’re looking for a winter sun destination, you’re spot on by selecting Malaga!

During the day, as you’re strolling in the sun, it’s very pleasant and warm, but the mornings and evenings are pretty cold, so you need to pack for both types of weather.

While there is also some rain around, it’s usually scattered throughout the month, and extended periods of rainy days are still not very common.

Weather changes greatly in December, so checking a 10-day forecast will not be very accurate.

Keep that in mind when booking your trip and have some rainy day activities prepared if it comes to the worst – I have suggested some in this article below.

Malaga old town
restaurant in Malaga old town, Spain

Is December a Good Month to Visit Malaga?

That depends! 

It’s the perfect winter sun destination, with very mild pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine. 

Low tourism activity also means you can visit all the monuments without long queues and many people around.

There is a chance of bad weather visiting the coastline while you’re staying in Malaga, but it’s rarely a case of extended rainy periods and the showers pass quickly.

If you want a really hot destination and be able to swim in the sea, then perhaps Malaga is not the place for you.

If you’re traveling with kids, Malaga is very family-friendly and you will find good things to do even in rainy weather – I suggested some further down in the article.

Overview: Weather in Malaga in December

  • average temperatures: 13C (55F)
  • average low temperatures: 9C (48F)
  • average high temperatures: 17C (64F)
  • rainy days: 7 days
  • sunshine hours: 5 hours
  • sea temperature: 17C (63F)

Average Temperatures in Malaga in December

The temperatures in Malaga in December are in the range of 9C (48F) and 17C (64F), with an average of 13C (55F). 

Earlier in the month tends to be a bit warmer, with less rainy and cloudy days, and as you approach the end of December, the temperatures start to drop.

Along the coastline, the weather also changes quickly, so the long-term weather forecast is rarely accurate, especially at predicting rainy days.

If you’re concerned about what to wear and pack for your trip, I have added some recommendations further down in the article. You will generally be fine with autumn and winter clothing, but no need to wrap up in warm winter jackets with hats and gloves.

You will see the locals dressed as they live in the middle of Artics, but for those coming from Europe, the temperatures are enjoyable, and some might even say pretty warm! 

One thing that can make you feel pretty cold very quickly is the wind – in the winter months, strong winds often visit the city and can result in fast drops in temperature. Keep that in mind if you’re planning a stroll around the coastline or even a boat trip.

Malaga old town
Malaga Cathedral

How Hot is Malaga in December

Malaga is undoubtedly not hot in December, but it’s pleasant and warm, especially if you compare it with other destinations in Europe.

In December, it’s one of the warmest places in Southern Europe and also one that has the best travel connections.

The average temperatures in December are between 9C (48F) and 17C (64F), but mornings and evenings are pretty cold, so don’t get carried away with your summer wardrobe as you pack for the trip.

Rainy Days in Malaga in December

December is not the most rainy day of the year, but you can expect to encounter some rain on your trip.

Luckily, the rain by the coastline is usually a quick shower that passes through the town, leaving you to enjoy the sunshine for the rest of the day.

Cloudy Days in Malaga in December

Malaga is a destination with over 300 sunny days per year, so even in December, you can expect plenty of sunshine around.

Cloudy days are more common compared to previous months, but they are not the case of entirely overcast grey skies all day.

Usually, the cloudy day forecast would mean some white clouds scattered around with the sun peaking from behind them occasionally.

Sea Temperatures in Malaga in December

If you want to swim in the sea in December, you can certainly do so, but it will be too cold for most people. The average seawater temperature is around 17C (63F). 

Note: keep an eye on the jellyfish warning flags on the beaches. They tend to be an issue in the middle and end of the winter but can show up also earlier. 

Calle Larios in Malaga

Planning Your Trip to Malaga in December

In this section, I have added some additional info that will help you plan your trip to Malaga in December.

What to Pack for Malaga in December

Now the vital question: what should you pack, and on the other hand – leave behind?

The weather forecast and the above comments can leave you a little puzzled as to what to pack with you, so here are my tips.

  • Waterproof jacket or light winter jacket
  • Cardigans and layers
  • Good closed shoes
  • Swimsuit (whether for beach or pool)
  • Slippers if staying in an apartment (for cold stone floors)
  • Umbrella

Things To Do in Malaga in December

December is a great month to explore Malaga and some of the more popular tourist attractions, as now you don’t have to worry about crowds or queues.

  • Visit the highlights of Malaga – Gibralfaro Castle and the Alcazaba
  • Visit the Malaga Cathedral
  • Visit the Christmas markets
  • See the Christmas Lights in Calle Larios
  • Stroll through the trendy district of Soho to admire the street art or take a street art tour
  • Book a walking tour through Malaga’s old town
  • Get familiar with the local cuisine and book a tapas tour
  • Take a stroll through Muelle Uno
  • Book a bike tour in Malaga, if the weather permits
  • Visit the Roman Amphitheater of Malaga
  • Visit the famous Picasso Museum of Malaga and his birthplace as Plaza Merced

Things To Do in Malaga in December with Kids

  • See the Christmas lights in Malaga’s Calle Larios
  • Visit the Christmas markets
  • Visit the Museum of Cars & Fashion in Malaga
  • Visit the LEGO exhibition at the outskirts of Malaga
  • Have a breakfast of churros with hot chocolate (a must do!)
  • Visit one of the playgrounds on the beach
  • Take a trip by train to Bioparc in Fuengirola

Things To Do in Malaga in December when it Rains

  • Visit Picasso’s birth places in Plaza de Merced
  • Visit Picasso Museum
  • Visit the local Bullfighting Museum
  • Visit the Carmen Thyssen Museum
  • Visit the Wine Museum of Malaga
  • Visit the Museum of Cars & Fashion
  • Visit Center Pompidou to admire modern art
  • Visit one of the local bodegas and taste the local wine
  • Enjoy some retail therapy at the local mall

Festivals & Events in Malaga in December 2023

What is happening in Malaga in December?

  • Christmas in Malaga – various events and activities are planned for the whole month of December.
  • Malaga Christmas Lights Show – from 24th November until 6th January at Calle Larios, it takes place three times a day, at 6.30pm, 8pm and 10pm.
  • Nativity Scenes – these are distributed across Malaga and there are as many as 60 of them! The local tourist office has maps showing locations of all of them.
  • Malaga Christmas Markets – located at Paseo de Parque and near Centre Pompidou ahead of the Christmas season.
  • Drone Lights Show – dates and details not confirmed yet.
Weather for Malaga in October:

Best Day Trips from Malaga in December

If you want to explore beyond Malaga and see some of the gems of Southern Spain, you can do so in two ways.

You either use a local travel company for this day trip (very convenient and affordable), or plan your own day trip with a rental car or public transport.

You will find plenty of options for each scenario below.

Best Day Tours from Malaga in December

These are organised by a local travel company and include pick up in Malaga, free cancellation up to 24 hours before the trip, and also tickets to the monuments with a local guide.

Day Tour from Malaga to Granada (includes Alhambra Tour)

Day Tour from Malaga to Gibraltar (Free time or book a guided tour visit)

Day Tour from Malaga to Seville (Royal Alcazar included)

Day Tour from Malaga to Cordoba (visit of the Mosque Cathedral included)

Day Tour from Malaga to Caminito del Rey (most popular natural attraction in Southern Spain)

Day Tour from Malaga to Tangier, Morocco (if you want something a little more exotic)

Best Day Trips from Malaga in December

Plan your own trip by reading my articles here:

Day Trip from Malaga to Granada (Alhambra tips included)

Day Trip from Malaga to Seville (Royal Alcazar tips included)

Day Trip from Malaga to Cordoba (Mosque tips included)

Day Trip from Malaga to Gibraltar

Day Trip from Malaga to Nerja

December in Malaga: Frequent Questions

Is Malaga warm in December?

Malaga is relatively warm in December, at least compared to other destinations in Europe. The average temperatures in December can reach as high as 17C (64F), and in the sun it feels pretty warm and pleasant.

December also marks the beginning of the rainy season, so you will encounter some bad weather if you’re planning your trip to Malaga.

Is December a good time to visit Malaga?

December can be a good time to visit Malaga, especially if you want to escape the crowds and find affordable flights and accommodation prices.

There is also still plenty of sunshine around, and with some rainy days this month, there is only a small chance that the weather will ruin your stay in Malaga.

Can you swim at sea in December in Malaga?

Yes, you can swim in the sea in Malaga in December, but the water is pretty cold. The sea water temperature in December is on average around 17C (63F).

Does it rain in Malaga in December?

Yes, it does rain in Malaga in December. You can expect to see at least six to ten rainy days in the month, depending on the year.

Even with the rainy days in the forecast, it’s usually not an extended period of rain that would last all day. Most of the rain clears up in just a few hours and you might enjoy a nice sunny weather for the rest of the day.

Is it sunny in Malaga in December?

Yes, Malaga is sunny, even in December. With over 300 sunny days per year, it’s one of the sunniest destinations in Europe.

December signals the arrival of winter, and with that also increased chance of rain and cloudy weather. But even with that in mind, there is still plenty of sunshine around.

What is Malaga like at Christmas?

Malaga is a fun place to visit during the Christmas period, as there are so many festive activities, nativity scenes and program to keep you entertained for days!

The biggest draw for the crowds is the light show at Calle Larios, held three times a day from 24th November until the 6th of January.

Does Malaga have a beach?

Yes, Malaga has plenty of beaches where you can enjoy some time in the sun.

Is Malaga a walkable city?

Yes, Malaga is a very walkable city, especially if you stick to the area of the old town. To visit the other districts of Malaga, like Soho, you can easily get a short taxi ride from anywhere in the old town.

Is Malaga sunny in winter?

Yes, Malaga is still very sunny even in the winter. With over 300 sunny days per year, it’s one of the sunniest places in Europe in the winter.

What is the coldest month in Malaga?

The coldest months of the year in Malaga are January and February.

Is Malaga open during Christmas?

Yes, Malaga is open during Christmas and everything runs as normal. The only exception is the 24th December and the bank holidays when shops and businesses close.

Explore More in Malaga

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13 Best Walking Tours in Malaga: Local Expert Tips

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Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

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