Marbella: The Luxurious Costa del Sol Retreat that You’ve Been Longing for

Both Spaniards and tourists alike flock from all over to bask in the affluent environment of Marbella on the Costa del Sol.


If you are planning to escape on holiday to the Costa del Sol, you might be interested in a list of places to visit and things to do in Marbella.

Marbella is one of the most-hyped cities in Spain, and for good reason. Situated between Estepona and Fuengirola, Marbella is a cosmopolitan town. It’s also reached international acclaim thanks to the trendy town of Puerto Banús, although it lacks nothing to achieve such merit.

Its climate is temperate and it is protected by the Sierra Blanca mountains, a large natural area. Together with its proximity to the coast, it creates a pleasant climate at any time of the year.

When it comes to accommodation you will find something to suit all your needs. If you are among the rich and famous in Marbella, you will be interested in visiting the Golden Mile with its prestigious coastal villas.

If that’s the case, don’t forget to book a place in Puerto Banús for a luxurious yacht trip. Keep in mind that during the summer it gets quite busy, and you’ll lose count of the Ferraris and Lamborghinis that line the avenues.

Here is what we at Spain Life Exclusive suggest that you get up to in this extravagant city on the Costa del Sol:


Explore its Gorgeous Sunny Beaches

Once you reach the end of Avenida del Mar you’ll come across the endless Paseo Marítimo and Playa de la Venus, one of the busiest and most beautiful places to see in Marbella.

Although Marbella has a staggering total of 23 beaches along its 27 kilometres of coastline, among the closest to the city centre are Nagüelles, located next to the Marbella Club, in the heart of the Golden Mile, and Bounty, perfect for relaxing while listening to chill-out music in one of its beach bars or lying under the shade of a palm tree.

If you’re going with children, we recommend La Bajadilla beach, with calm, shallow waters, which also has all the services and several places to have a drink or a bite to eat.

See the Plaza de los Naranjos

Head up Calle Valdés and you’ll arrive at the Plaza de Los Naranjos, the central point of the old town and one of the most beautiful places to see in Marbella.

Built after the Christian reconquest in 1485, this square is surrounded by white Andalusian-style houses and several historic buildings such as the Casa Consistorial, the Casa del Corregidor and the Ermita de Santiago, the oldest religious temple in the city.

The centre of the square is occupied by a beautiful Renaissance fountain and numerous orange trees that give colour and name to this beautiful square, as well as several terraces where you can have a drink while watching the daily hustle and bustle of tourists.

Don’t Miss the Old Town of Marbella

Getting lost in the narrow streets of the old town, with its Moorish layout and Andalusian architecture, and discovering all its magical corners, is another of the best things to do in Marbella.

Along the route through streets such as Caballeros, Remedios, Estación, Alamo and Soledad, among many others, you will fall in love with its pristine white houses, and the balconies filled with vibrant flowers.

The local craft shops, the typical taverns where you can have a drink and a tapa and the places to try some of the region’s specialities such as El Patio de Mariscal and El Cortijo, two of the most highly recommended restaurants to eat in Marbella.

To learn more about the history of the city and not miss anything interesting we recommend you to book this free tour of Marbella, considered one of the best free tours in Marbella, or this private tour, where you can choose the itinerary.

Old Town of Marbella

Savour the Tapas of the Old Town

After taking in the splendour of the Old Town, make your visit to the old town to explore Marbella’s gastronomy. Tapas, such as calamari and croquettes, are a sure bet, but the variety doesn’t end there. You can accompany them with wine or beer, but Marbella’s sangria is well worth a try.

Some of the most recommended places to enjoy delicious tapas and sangria in Marbella’s old town are the Arco Tapas Bar on Calle Peral, the bar El Estrecho on Calle San Lázaro and the Taberna TierrAranda, also on Calle San Lázaro.

Arco Tapas Bar, Old Town

Splurge at the Cañada Shopping Centre

Known as the Parque Comercial La Cañada, this gigantic retail space is located a five minutes’ drive northeast of Marbella’s old town. It covers an area of approximately 100,000 square metres and is home to more than 300 shops, including a hypermarket and international brands such as Zara, Geox and Hugo Boss, to name but a few.

It also has a wide range of restaurants and leisure facilities. There is also a cinema and children’s playgrounds, making it an ideal alternative for rainy days.

Stretch Your Legs on its Famous Promenade

Marbella’s promenade is an avenue that stretches along the sea for almost seven kilometres between the marina and Puerto Banús. It’s an extremely pleasant place for a stroll, where you will also find shops, bars and restaurants to suit all budgets.

In addition, the palm trees that flank it in some places provide refreshing shade. It is one of the busiest areas of the city, especially in summer, when musicians and street performers liven it up.

It takes about two hours to walk the entire promenade. Along the way, you’ll come across landmarks such as the Marbella lighthouse, and if you approach the Puente Romano hotel you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of Gibraltar and the coast of Africa in the distance.

Marbella’s lighthouse

Where to Stay in Marbella

If you want to get to know the charm of Marbella, there is nothing like the old town. The town has undergone a huge transformation in recent decades, but this part of the town has retained its original charm. In the period of Al-Andalus, the old town was the site of the Medina. For this reason, the structure of narrow, labyrinthine streets full of life, typical of Arab medinas, is still preserved.

Although with the arrival of the Catholic Monarchs the city changed a lot and lost part of its Moorish past, we believe that the old town perfectly combines past and present. It is partially surrounded by the ruins of an ancient Moorish wall.

Inside you can visit some of the most emblematic sites of the town such as the Casa del Corregidor, the Ermita de Santiago or the Town Hall and enjoy the small local shops.

We recommend these hotels when staying in the Old Town:

  • Hotel San Cristóbal
  • B&B Boutique Tribeca
  • La Villa Marbella – Old Town

La Villa Marbella


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