Ultimate Marbella Travel Guide: 39 Things to do
Marbella is a city in the province of Andalusia in Spain. It is part of the popular coastal region of Costa del Sol, which is sought after by sun seekers from different parts of the world.
Things to do in Marbella
Marbella is always a good idea. There is plenty to do, so keep calm and start packing!
Marbella Old Town
1| Orange Square (Plaza de los Naranjos)
Plaza de los Naranjos (commonly known as the Orange Square) in the heart of Old Town, dates back to 1485 when the Christians took it away from the Moors after conquering the city. This square has an intimate setting where people sit outside restaurants, dining and admiring the beauty of the surroundings.
Restaurants, shops and Ermita de Santiago Church are some of the tourist magnets located at the square.
Address: 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
2| Carmen Street
Carmen Street in Old Town Marbella is known for its beautiful white walls plastered with blue flower pots. The intimacy and richness of pure art will give you a pleasant experience and appreciation of little details of the Spanish culture.
Address: Calle Carmen, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
3| Templo de Dios
Templo de Dios (the Capilla de San Juan de Dios) is a sixteenth-century Catholic church in Marbella. The church is located near the Orange Square, it was built by the Catholic Monarchs after they captured Marbella. It is known as “Royal Hospital of Mercy”.
Address: Calle San Juan de Dios, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
4| Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation
The church locally known as Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación (Encarnación Marbella) is both a place of worship in Marbella and a tourist attraction because of it’s beautiful decorations and calm environment.
Address: Plaza de la Iglesia, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
5| Ermita de Santiago
Ermita de Santiago (hermitage of Santiago) is the oldest church in Marbella, built in the 15th century. The church has maintained its traditional look over the years and attracts thousands of tourists; the painting of Jesus on the outside wall is an attraction that draws people’s attention. The church is part of the old town and sits in Plaza de los Naranjos.
Address: Plaza de los Naranjos, s/n, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
6| Alameda Park
Alameda park is a beautiful park in Marbella located so close to the sea line. There is a beautiful water fountain in the park and very colorful and artistic blue chairs that bring the Spanish cultural traditional look and feel. For more information on the park visit this page.
Address: Avda. Ramón y Cajal, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
Other things to do in Old Town Marbella
7| Visit the Town Hall located on the north side of the Orange Square (Plaza de los Naranjos).
8| Visit Correa House in Ancha Street located to the north of Orange Square.
9| Visit Capilla del Santo Sepulcro (Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher).
10| Visit Casa del Corregidor, one of the noble buildings left in the Old Town.
11| Visit Casona de los Cano Saldaña (the home of the Cano Saldaña) which is one of the few houses that stand in their original form.
12| Bazán Hospital Engraving Museum (Hospital Bazán – Museo del Grabado): This museum is a renaissance building with a Gothic touch. It is located at the heart of Old Town Marbella. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday. Check their website for opening hours.
13| The Castle of Marbella: Alcazaba and Muralla is found in downtown Marbella and stands as a trace of Muslim civilization.
14| Puerto Banús Area
Puerto José Banús, commonly known as Puerto Banús is a luxury marina with a beautiful shopping complex selling products from well known designer brands to locally made products that are very authentic and fashionable.
The port was designed and built in the 1970’s by José Banús as a destination for the rich people around the world who came to Marbella in their expensive yachts, looking for a playground.
15| Puerto Banús Beach Clubs
Puerto Banús has beautiful beaches with a few up-class beach clubs such as La Sala and Ocean Club. These beach clubs charge money for you to enter and you may need to book in advance for a seat or table because they are usually full. The nightlife is very active and beach parties are the norm.
Address of the Puerto Banús Area: Calle Puerto Banús Casa J, 29660 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
Best Beaches in Marbella
Best Beaches in Marbella include:
16| La Venus Beach
Playa de Venus beach is located in the Marbella Old Town area. As you walk down from Alameda Park you can see the blue flag Eco-friendly beach from a distance.
Address: La Venus beach , Marbella, Spain
17| Puerto Banús Beach
Puerto Banús Beach is another blue flag Eco-friendly beach that attracts holiday makers seeking luxury from all over the world.
Other well known beaches in Marbella are:
- Playa de Calahonda
- Funny Beach Marbella
- Playa de Cable
- Playa de San Pedro de Alcantára
You will find a list of all beaches in Marbella here.
Other things to do in Marbella City
18| Playing Golf: People love playing golf in Marbella. Here is a list of golf courses in Marbella.
19| Festivals in Marbella: Spanish people are full of life and know how to parade the streets in celebration. A few well known festivals in Marbella include the Cruz de Juanar on May 13, San Bernabé on June 11, Virgen del Carmen on July 16 and of San Pedro de Alcántara on October 19.
20| Flamenco Show: Try to see a Flamenco Show at different places in Marbella, especially in restaurants.
21| Visit Ronda Bridge Square.
22| Visit the Grabado Museum (Museo del Grabado).
23| There is also a Casino Marbella.
24| You can enjoy Park Constitution (Parque de la Cinstitućion).
25| El Angel Botanical Garden (Jardín Botánico el Ángel) is one of the beautiful gardens in Marbella.
26| The Bonsai Museum (Museo Bonsai Marbella) in Marbella is one of the best in Europe with its collection of wild olive trees.
27| Ralli Museum (Museo Ralli) is located in Marbella as you go towards Puerto Banús. It has contemporary art that is Latin American and European.
28| Miraflores Museum was built in 1704 as a sugar cane mill by D. Tomás Francisco Domínguez.
29| Visit the Church of Santo Cristo de la Veracruz built in the 16th century.
30| Visit the Gardens and Bridge of the Dam in Marbella. The bridge is known as the Bridge of the Sacred Heart.
31| Visit the Bonsai Museum of Marbella if you are looking to be educated about the culture of Marbella.
32| Plaza del Altamirano is a square that is near Encarnación Church.
Day Trips from Marbella
33| From Marbella to Gibraltar
A day trip from Marbella / Costa del Sol to the British territory of Gilbratar is a must. People mainly go to Gilbratar for a duty free shopping spree. Also, in Gilbratar you might get lucky and see dolphins playing in the water. It costs about $49 for a ticket that includes transportation and the tour.
34| From Marbella to Ronda
Ronda is a region surround by mountains in Andalusia that is full of Spanish culture and traditions. One of the main attractions in Ronda is Tajo gorge that presents dramatic views of the valley. An individual ticket for coach ride and the tour of Ronda costs $47. Click here for more information.
35| From Marbella to Seville
Seville is known for it’s beautiful architecture that is fusioned with Spanish and Arabic cultures. A day trip to Selville from Marbella costs $69 which includes the tour and transportation to and from Marbella.
36| From Marbella to Cordoba
Visit this former capital of Moorish Spain and experience its traditions for a day. A day trip ticket to Córdoba costs $69, and it includes transportation and a tour. For more information click here.
All other types of accommodation in Marbella are here.
Airports: There are two airports that service Marbella City. Málaga Costa Del Sol Airport is the closest one, it is about 45 km away. Gibraltar International Airport is a bit further away; it is 80 km away. For more information on both airports, click here.
Transportation from Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport: Avanza Bus transports people from Málaga Airport to Marbella Bus Station. The journey takes about 45 minutes. You can also take a taxi or hire a rental car from the airport.
Other means of transportation: If you are arriving in Marbella by sea, road or train, visit this page for more information.
Getting around Marbella: There are local buses that run regularly throughout Marbella. Taxis are also a reliable means of transportation and the charges are reasonable.
Shopping in Marbella
37| Old Town Marbella Shops
I love the small boutiques found in the little streets of the Old Town because the clothes, shoes and accessories sold there are made from authentic Spanish textiles.
38| Shopping Centers / Malls
- El Capricho: This shopping center is just 2.5 km from the Old Town Marbella.
- La Cañada: This shopping center is 2.6 km from Old Town Marbella.
- Centro Plaza: This shopping center is 8 km from Old Town Marbella.
- El Corte Inglés Shopping Center: This shopping center is in Puerto Barnes and 8km from Marbella Center.
- Marina Banús: This shopping center is also in Puerto Barnes and 8km from Marbella Old Town Center.
- Designer Shops in Puerto Barnes: If you are looking to rub shoulders with elite holiday makers from around the world, visit Puerto Barnes designer shops.
For more shopping centers in Marbella click here.
39| Market Shopping
You can also find authentic Spanish products at the weekly markets in Marbella.
What to wear in Marbella
Marbella is a sunny city and the water is nice and warm; July and August are the warmest months. People in the streets, including tourists and holidaymakers are mostly dressed really well and fashionable.
Here are links to the clothing items above: off the shoulder swimsuit | pink beach cover up playsuit | Aviator sunglasses | crossbody bag | high waisted denim shorts | pink going out dress | white denim dress | brown sandals | pink velvet going out shoes | white embroidered top |
Traditional Food to Eat
Pescaito frito: (fried fish) is an Andalusian staple food that is loved in Marbella and other Andalusian coastal cities.
Plato alpujarreno: For breakfast try this equivalent of traditional English breakfast. It has a combination of eggs, jamón, spicy chorizo, morcilla (something like black pudding) and other ingredients.
Salmorejo: If you love soups, you would want to try this thick Andalusian soup made from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, chopped eggs and ham.
Paella: Paella is a rice dish that comes with a choice of chicken, seafood and other choices. This dish originates from Valencia but it has been adopted all across Spain.
Restaurants Serving Traditional Food
- Restaurants serving Andalusian traditional food include El Lago Restaurant.
- Here are restaurants in Marbella serving traditional Spanish Food.
- Tapas can be found in these bars and restaurants. Tapas are Spanish appetizers and snacks that can be served cold or hot.
- Ambrosia Market Food Stalls: This market has gourmet food that you can enjoy at its different food stalls. Ambrosia Market is located in the luxurious neighborhood of Puerto Banús. You will find traditional Spanish food; other food stalls have cuisines from other countries such as Italy, India and Thailand.
Other Useful Information
Here is a list of nightclubs and bars in Marbella.
Temperature/ Weather in Marbella
Currency / Money
Euro is used in Marbella.
Spain has 220 volts & 50 Hertz power. United States power is at 110-120 volts and 60 Hertz; you need a step down to connect to your plug before charging your gadgets. Type F plugs are used in Spain, make sure you buy an adapter for this type of plug.
Spain is a predominately Catholic.
Maps: Download the map of Marbella.