Marbella City Guide
Welcome to the glitziest and glamorous city and beach resort this side of the pond. Marbella, situated on the sandy shores of the Mediterranean sea, is perched between Malaga and Gibraltar in Spain’s picturesque province Andalucia. This city is a mecca for beach bums, party animals and the world’s elite holiday makers.
What was once a small fisherman’s village has over the years transformed into one of the most sought after international tourist destinations and cosmopolitan cities on the Costa del Sol. People come from near and far to bask in the sun and to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Home to over 130,000, Marbella is the second largest city in the province.
Things to Do
Labeled the Miami of Europe, Marbella has it all. Dream property mansions, homes to the rich and famous, prestigious nightclubs, Michelin star restaurants, luxury yachts, designer stores, 15 world star golf courses, and 27 km of sandy beaches set against the Sierra Blanca mountains. A holiday in Marbella is what dreams are made of.
Before you decide to spend day in and day out on the beach, travel back in time with a trip to the Old Town. The area retains a lot of the city’s old charm with narrow, cobbled streets and ancient buildings. Attractions include the castle walls of which the remains can be viewed from outside, plus a historic fountain and chapel dated back to the 1400s. You could easily spend a day relaxing at the Plaza de los Naranjos. There are clusters of outdoor restaurants and cafes on the Orange Square, perfect for sipping sangrias in the afternoon surrounded by orange trees. Stay till nightfall and the square livens up with Flamenco performances and musicians serenading you with Spanish guitar, for money of course.
Just southwest of Marbella itself is Puerto Banus, home to expensive shopping malls, boutiques, bars and nightclubs. Although it has a reputation as a playground for international celebrities, with luxury nightclubs and bars, Puerto Banus is also a haven for the average party animal catered for by cheaper bars. Everybody has a good time at Puerto Banus!
Nikki Beach is the number one daytime VIP party beach. While there might be high-class parties in full swing on the beach, the sea is open for all to swim. To sample some of the best beaches Marbella has to offer then head to the east of town. You’ll be welcomed by yellow sand and a shallow sea with many restaurants and chiringuitos around to sample the local cuisine .
Marbella may be a party destination, but there are still plenty attractions for families to enjoy. The city has amusement and water parks featuring banana boats and go-karts of the beach front. Fun for all thrill seekers! Looking to escape the party and beach? Take a day trip to Africa! Head over to Morocco via Gibraltar and visit Tangier, taking in the local sights and enjoy a traditional meal with a guided tour of the old city.
While Marbella is a city that never stops partying, it is also a city you’ll never go hungry in. Marbella is spoiled with some of the best chefs in the world and several Michelin star restaurants to top it off. While there are many lavish restaurants in the city, you need not break the bank balance to enjoy a good Mediterranean meal. Chiringuitos on the beach and other eateries throughout the city are ready to serve everything from tapas, battered sardines (fritura) and Gazpacho. Food heaven!
When to Go
While there is a plethora of activities that reel in 5 millions visitors to the city each year, perhaps the best attraction Marbella boasts is its weather. The city truly is sun-kissed as it’s blessed with 300 days of sunshine each year. Temperatures are hottest during July and August, which is also when beaches are the most crowded.
In a city where Rolls Royce’s and Lamborghinis are among some of the local rides in town, the taxis are no surprise, expensive! While hailing a taxi or jumping in one at a rank might be great for short distances, it’s worth noting that come Saturday and evening time the rates increase. Buses for this matter are a much cheaper option. When all else fails, walk! The city is pretty compact, especially around the Old Town and the Promenade, which were both made for walking.
Whatever your itinerary is for your trip, be sure to plan in some much needed shut-eye, or else you’ll be needing a holiday after your holiday! Peruse our listings to find the perfect place to stay on the dreamy Costa del Sol and let the good times begin!