Marbella has a reputation around the globe as a beautiful and luxurious destination. Marbella, located just 45 minutes from the Pablo Picasso International Airport of Malaga, is easily accessible. Thousands of tourists visit Marbella annually and stay at one of its many luxury hotels.

The cosmopolitan city also has a mix of wealthy Europeans and international residents. This town is a gem in the Mediterranean because of its green mountains, historical architecture, chic culture and charming beaches.

 

Marbella People

The city is home to many people from all walks of life, including different nationalities and ages. The city is known for being a second home to wealthy northern Europeans who want to live a better lifestyle, but it also has a population of 135,000. Families, young partygoers, part-time residents, and people looking to relax and visit this historical area all make up the visitors. Marbella is a major city on the coast with a well-established business infrastructure. It attracts entrepreneurs and professionals. It might be worth learning some useful sayings in Spanish to converse with the locals.

Streets of Marbella during the day, close to Boutique Hotel in Marbella, Spain

Transport Links Around Marbella

Autovia (CN340) or A7 is a dual carriageway that follows the coast. It’s free of toll. The main road of the region, it runs from the Costa del Sol to Cadiz. This road has many exits that lead into the centre of Marbella.

Public transport is a great way to get around Marbella. The bus service in Marbella, and even the surrounding towns, is regular. Don’t worry if you’re afraid to ride the bus due to your poor Spanish. Marbella can understand basic English and communicate with it.

The Portillo, located on Avenida del Trapiche near La Canada, is the central bus station in Marbella. DAIBUS offers a 6-hour deluxe trip from this station to Madrid. The buses come with a TV, reclinable chairs, a mini-fridge, and radio/CD players for every passenger. A one-way ticket to Madrid costs around EUR24. ALSA buses offer routes to other destinations throughout Spain. A regular bus service runs between Malaga Airport and Marbella Bus Station. It takes 45 minutes and costs EUR4.35.

Taxis from Marbella can be found all over the city. Call them directly at 952 823 5535.

Try a horse-drawn carriage or Trencito – a small, train-like vehicle that allows you to hop on and off.

 

Marbella Seafront

The six-kilometre-long Paseo Maritimo in Marbella follows the beautiful coastline of the city. A two-kilometre stretch of white marble (Avenida del Mar), a famous ‘Ocean Avenue,’ allows visitors and locals to enjoy the view and fresh Mediterranean air. Even in winter, temperatures seldom drop below 15o! Running or cycling on the wide promenade, lined with charming restaurants, bars and kiosks, is possible.

Marbella has two ports: one is dedicated to sports and fishing (Puerto Deportivo), and the other, Puerto Banus, named after Jose Banus, is home to many millionaire boats.

Marbella Puerto Banús beach, the most glamorous beach in costa del sol

The Beach

The coast of Marbella has a variety of fun beach activities for people of all ages and tastes.

Marbella’s beaches, like Benidorm, are less crowded than those in Alicante. You can relax and spread out your beach towel without any problems. Puerto Banus is one of the best beaches in Marbella. Others include El Ancon, Rio Verde and Nagueles Beach. They all have parking, good facilities and plenty of beach bars. Funny Beach is an excellent place for family fun. It’s located just near the Marbella entrance arch (km 184). You will find a sunbathing area, jetskis, banana boats and windsurfing. Trampolines, mini golf, and an arcade with a Mechanical Bull also exist!

Marbella has quaint chiringuitos and world-renowned beach clubs. Marbella offers a variety of options, whether you want to enjoy local fresh fish in a beach club or curl your toes into the sand while sipping a cocktail.

Nikki Beach is located on the grounds of Hotel Don Carlos and hosts the rich and famous. It’s known for its summer parties. Ocean Club is a Puerto Banus beach club with an urban design. It is a popular spot for celebrities and has a large seawater pool. Both have fantastic dining options in addition to their deluxe sunbathing, clubbing and beach facilities.

There are many chiringuitos along the coast, some with more amenities than others. Trocadero Playa in Playa Santa Petronila on Marbella’s Promenade exemplifies a well-established chiringuito. It has parasols, televisions, and a large wooden bar with a delicious menu. For more information on beach clubs and chiringuitos, please refer to our Marbella business directory.

 

Marbella’s History

Marbella has a rich history and was heavily influenced (along with the rest of Spain), by the Moorish occupation that lasted for nearly 800 years. Moors settled mainly in southern Spain, also known as Andalucia. The Moors left behind some of the most breathtaking monuments. Marbella’s old town is home to the castle walls (Murallas del Castillo), and lighthouses (Las Torres Almenaras), strategically placed along the coast near the former Moorish villages. Here are some events that happen across Andalucia to celebrate these historical moments.

A sizeable Roman community thrived in the old town of Marbella (El Casco Antiguo). They were responsible for many historical monuments, including La Muralla and Los Tres Capiteles Jonicos. It is still a mystery to experts how Roman architecture was maintained during Moorish rule.

Famous Events in Andalucia

The Old Town of Marbella

El Barrio Alto, and el Barrio Nuevo are the two main areas of the old town. The ‘Orange Square (La Plaza de los Naranjos) is one of Marbella’s most popular parts, named for the orange trees which grow there. The fountain was constructed in 1604. The original 1572 town hall is located on this square. The beautiful Mudejar-style door is adorned with intricate coats of arms and inscriptions. In the evening, restaurants, bars and boutiques are aplenty in the old town.

The Vaults, the Vega del Mar Basilica, the Villa Romana de Rio Verde, and the Church of the Incarnation are also important Roman landmarks.

 

Shopping

A city as luxurious and cosmopolitan as Marbella would have many shopping opportunities. La Canada, Marbella’s shopping centre, is where you can spend hours shopping and even catch a movie. It is located just off the CN340, at the intersection for Ojen. This shopping centre has over 150 shops and is one of the biggest on the coast.

El Corte Ingles is the most prominent Spanish department store in Puerto Banus. It caters to those who have a more sophisticated and expensive taste. The store has everything, from clothing, cosmetics, music, movies, household and portable electronics, furniture, hardware and books, groceries, gourmet foods, cars, and even travel agencies. It is the best place to shop for foreigners because it offers everything, including a complete online shopping website. El Corte Ingles also owns Hipercor Supercor Opencor and Sfera, whose names are associated with excellent after-sales service.

You can also visit Avenida Ramon y Cajal in the centre of Marbella to find high-end brands like Burberry, Bvlgari and Cartier and Spanish shops. You can also visit the old town to get lost in its maze of beautiful streets and plazas filled with boutiques. Every Monday, from 9 am to 2 pm, there is a weekly local street market at the fair (Las Albarizas). This charming and long-established mercadillo offers handmade jewellery, clothes and food.

shopping in Marbella when staying at one of the marbella hotels

Sports

This Andalucian city’s wealth and prestige encourage healthy living and an active lifestyle. Sports facilities are plentiful, and the weather is excellent, so you can play sports throughout the year. Polideportivo Municipal Paco Santos, the municipal sport centre is located in Marbella’s centre on Avenida Canovas del Castillo. Tennis, swimming, football and badminton are all available for a small fee.

The five-star Puente Roman Hotel, for example, has outstanding sporting facilities. You can go right with a private course, tennis and paddle facilities and world-class matches on a golf course.