30 things to see and to do in Marbella

To visit Marbella is to enjoy one of the most tourist and charming cities in the entire Malaga province. it is so much more than the image that comes to mind when we hear its name. This city, indisputable capital of the entire Costa del Sol, offers much more than famous people, parties, Puerto Banús and VIP nights. As well as leisure, beaches, sun and luxury yachts, those who truly know it are perfectly aware that there are many more things to see in Marbella, home to a historic centre that preserves its traditionally Andalusian small town charm, small bars beloved of the locals, archaeological artefacts that evoke its Roman origins and Arabic past, and a natural world still to be discovered. The cosmopolitan capital of the Costa del Sol offers endless things to do in Marbella so that you can discover a city with great historical root that offers important artistic attractions that have been evolving in recent years:

 

1. Getting lost in the old town

20 things to see and go to in Marbella - visit the old town

Historical district -Marbella

Walking along Marbella’s historical district is to immerse yourself in the small fishing village it once was. It seems that nothing has changed since then enjoying narrow winding and whitewashed streets, bougainvillea balconies displaying colourful geraniums. The tapas bars contrast with gourmet restaurants and local craft shops mingle with large firms. Do not forget to visit the Etching Museum, it is full of surprises for those art lovers with works by Picasso, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies and Antonio Saura.

The six things you can’t miss in Marbella’s old town

 

2. Eat some churros next to the Plaza de Los Naranjos

Plaza de los Naranjos

The walk through the historical district always ends up in the Plaza de los Naranjos and their particular town hall, an ideal place to to have some juice under the shade of the orange trees that give this square its name. It is worth wandering through its streets and find hidden corners, where we suddenly see monuments like the Church of the Incarnation. Just remember to start off your morning in the best of ways as locals do…what better way to do it then having some traditional churros? The Churrería Ramón has become a must in the city centre.

Churros, the most traditional recipe in Andalucía

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3. Take a picture next to the Castle Walls

Alcazaba Marbella

Alcazaba Marbella

Another must near the historical district are the castle walls dating from the XI and XII centuries, which offer a very picturesque view of Marbella. This is the most important vestige of the Muslim civilization in the city which you can find on the perimeter of the streets Solano, Portada, Arte, Salinas, Trinidad, Carmen, Ortiz del Molinillo and Virgen de los Dolores. We assure you you can take one of the best photographs of your trip from here.

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4. Running along the promenade

Marbella promenade

Marbella is a great destination for sport lovers. At its promenade runners, cyclists, walkers and skaters gather to practise in the area all year.. The weather is good all year round and the relaxing atmosphere the sea provides makes it the best place to keep fit. If you’re ready to test your fitness, you can walk to Puerto Banús or the natural area of Duna de Artola.

Recommended urban routes: the walk from Marbella to Puerto Banus

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5. Discover Dali on the Avenida del Mar

Avenida del Mar Marbella

This is an emblematic place between the centre and the seafront where besides offering good views that lead us to the beach, you can appreciate the sculptures of brilliant artist Salvador Dalí up close along an avenue a very luxurious avenue, with marble floors and ostentatious railings.

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6. Go for tapas in El Cordobés

Ronda Tapas

Needless to say that Marbella has hundreds of tapas bars, but if we want to try an authentic one, cheap and offering good quality food, the place to go is El Cordobes, where marbellís mingle with tourists. Try the place’s potato salad, pickled anchovies, sardines or prawns, always accompanied by a refreshing cold beer. It will be a delicious experience!

Marbella eats: where to enjoy the best tapas

Discover the history of tapas in Spain and their best varieties

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7. Have Cold Fish and paella at the Beach Club Fuerte Marbella

Pescaito Frito Soleo Marbella

You haven’t been to Marbella if you haven’t tried skewed sardines, fried anchovies or a good seafood paella. Beach Club Hotel Fuerte Marbella offers this and more, a typical beach bar but with contemporary spirit, which offers classical Mediterranean menu on the beach.

Where to eat? 20 essential beach bars, restaurants and terraces for this summer in Marbella and Estepona

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8. Take a selfie next to a luxury yacht in Puerto Banús

Puerto Banus, Marbella

It is the symbol of Marbella and has been earned. Puerto Banus is the most glamorous marina in Spain and one of the best known in Europe. It is almost impossible to walk its streets without taking a photograph next to a yacht, a sports car or even some international celebrity. If you want a good souvenir of course this is the perfect place to go shopping at the most important international firms. Do not leave without drinking a mojito in the Astral Cocktail Bar, its pirate ship shape has turned it into a stop you cannot miss.

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9. Dive under the natural luxury of the coast: diving Marbella

20 things to see and go to in Marbella - Diving in Marbella

Diving in Marbella

Luxury is not only applied to shopping or parties; diving is one of the area’s sought after activities. One of the best known companies is Diving Life, which offers dives and courses from the Marbella coast to Gibraltar, where you can observe the flora and fauna that exists under the sea and even sunken ships … Don’t think about it, go for it! In fact Marbella is thought by many experts as one of the 10 best places to do diving in Spain.

 

10. Sunbathe in the most natural way at Duna de Artola – Cabopino

20 things to see and go to in Marbella - Cabopino beach

Cabopino

There are beaches for all tastes, but certainly there are two that you cannot miss. La Playa de la Venus is one of the most popular and well known to show off your beautiful body, but if instead you’re looking for privacy and nature your place is the natural area Duna de Artola. Here we find the beach of Cabopino, witness to what Costa del Sol was like in its purest form, with pristine dunes that plunge into the sea, a frequent place for nudists. We also recommend visiting the Cabopino Marina.

Enjoy the best beaches on the Costa del Sol for your holiday

Marbella beaches, a paradise for beach lovers in the Costa del Sol

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11. Enjoy the contrast between the mountain and the sea from El Juanar

20 things to see and go to in Marbella - El Juanar Mountain

El Juanar Mountain

As we said before, Marbella will only remind you of the sea, but that’s because you have not visited El Juanar. This place, shared with the nearby town of Ojén, is a perfect place for nature lovers to practice hiking, observing nature and especially enjoying the view from the top of La Concha (1.215m), where you can see the whole coast, a landscape you will never forget. Find out about the night tours that are organised when there is a full moon, simply amazing!

Take advantage of the good weather: 20 hiking trails to explore in autumn

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12. Bicycle routes

Rutas en bicicleta

Marbella offers bike trails to practice on your own, as happens in the promenade, but also other trails guided by professionals. The company Marbella Bike Tours offers a three-hour tour along the city centre, the beach and fishing area.

Enjoy Marbella and its surroundings on a bicycle with these seven cycling routes

 

13. Boat Trip

Viaje en Barco Marbella

Boat Trip Marbella

Relax being rocked by the waves is a pleasure, and from Marbella you can take boat tours or even rent your own. One of the most popular routes takes you to Puerto Banús, a new perspective to view the city. You can contact the Marbella Yacht Charters, among others.

 

14. Play golf on the best courses in the world

golf Marbella

Marbella has some of the best golf courses in the world. As almost all of you know, all the area in Costa del Sol is also known as the Costa del Golf. Exclusive services and good weather all year round makes this destination ideal for any sport.

Golf: the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol

 

15. Sit down to read in the green areas of the city

20 things to see and go to in Marbella - Green areas

Green areas in Marbella.

The Alameda and Constitution natural parks are the lungs of Marbella, where the city gets oxygen and breathes the tranquillity of their flowery aromas. A rich mix of species among fountains, walkways and benches to enjoy the shade and cool, here time stops when you relax reading a book.

 

16. Have fun in La Polaca

20 things to see and go to in Marbella - La Polaca

La Polaca, Marbella.

La Polaca is one of the most famous bars and restaurants in Marbella. Everyone knows it for its pleasant cuisine, good price, nice terrace, a somewhat unusual décor, but especially for its atmosphere, so it is definitely a good place to meet people. We are not talking about a club; this is the perfect place to enjoy tapas, cañas or a gin and tonic, always enjoying very authentic music to start the night in the best way possible.

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17. Discover the other Andalucian cuisine at Dani García restaurant

restaurante Dani García

Dani García has created niche among the best restaurants in Spain with its Michelin stars. Its cuisine reinvents traditional Andalucian and Mediterranean diet with the most disconcerting forefront. Rather than reading about it, it is better if you try it yourself!

Discover the best restaurants on the Costa del Sol and their local products

Savour the nine Michelin star restaurants in Andalucia and enjoy fine cuisine

Eat healthy and enjoy ten of the best vegetarian restaurants in the Costa del Sol

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18. Clubbing: dancing all night at Olivia Valere

La Suite Marbella

This may be what you have heard most about Marbella, together with Puerto Banús: clubbing and parties. It is a cliché, but true; the city boasts the best clubs in Costa del Sol and one of the classics is the Olivia Valere, with its sophisticated atmosphere, different environments and chic décor.

Clubbing in Marbella: 20 clubs and hot spots you cannot miss

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19. Strategic point for excursions

Alhambra Granada

Alhambra Granada

Due to its strategic location, Marbella is within walking distance of some of the most popular villages and places of Andalucia, so it becomes a suitable ‘base camp’ for renting a car and enjoying the Rock of Gibraltar, the burrotaxis of Mijas, the Tajo de Ronda, Casares charm, the ‘smurf’ village of Juzcar or Duna de Bolonia in Tarifa.

Ronda day trip | Málaga day trip | Granada day trip

 

20. Rooftop Bar Belvue, Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel

Belvue rooftop bar

Belvue rooftop bar

No matter how you live your holidays and whatever you do during the day, there is no place like this one in Marbella to enjoy a 360-degree view over the city. The rooftop bar Belvue Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel has become ideal to experiment a unique view to the sea, where sunsets are unforgettable. On clear days you can see the African coast and the Rock of Gibraltar.

The best rooftop bars of Andalucía: enjoy an outstanding gastronomy

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21. Discover Marbella’s rich biodiversity on its urban trails

Senda Urbana Biodiversidad Marbella

We invite you to take a pleasant stroll along the trail running through Marbellas urban centre, and to discover the local area’s abundant and diverse flora and fauna. This route, approximately 5 kilometres long, features self-guiding signs that provide information in different languages.

The recommended starting point is Paseo de la Alameda, where you can view a range of different plant species that decorate the street, and learn a bit about their history. Its centuries-old araucarias, its plane trees for shade and its Judas trees are just a few of many species.

The route takes in over 20 spaces in the city. These spaces include: Avenida del Mar, with its sago palms; Plaza de la Constitución, populated with Canary Island pines, fig trees, Mediterranean cypresses and birds like the robin and the common firecrest; La Fontanilla beach, inhabited by numerous different types of sea birds; and Arroyo Guadalpín, where birds like the Bonelli’s eagle and plants such as ferns can be seen.

Discover and enjoy the rich biodiversity found in the streets, squares, parks and other places of interest in Marbellas municipal district.

Marbella biodiversity urban trails

10 parks and natural attractions in Marbella for relaxing and chilling out

 

22. Discover San Pedro de Alcántara

San Pedro Alcantara

San Pedro de Alcántara is a district in Marbella where you can enjoy a wide range of activities, such as golf, shopping (either on calle Marqués del Duero or at the Thursday market at the fair enclosure), enjoy its beaches, a relaxing stroll along its promenade or the most Andalusian of traditions: go tapa hopping.

There are many things to see and do in San Pedro, so if you visit Marbella, get away for the day and you won’t regret it.

Discover every corner of San Pedro de Alcántara

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23. Go shopping

If you like shopping, Marbella is the perfect place. The city has been transformed over time into one of the chicest shopping epicentres. Long gone are the days when if you wanted the latest fashions you had to go to Paris or Rome, since the most fashion-forward designers have landed in the heart of the Costa del Sol and opened the most select establishments.

20 essential fashion shops you must visit in Marbella

 

24. Visit Ojen

Ojen

Ojen

Marbella is separated from Ojén by around 6 miles, so, if you visit this city, you must go to this pretty town of the Las Nieves mountains.

Visiting Ojén is the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle, since it is a small haven peace and quiet. Steep, narrow streets, fountains, small squares… visiting this locality is a real pleasure.

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25. Gorge-walking in el Guadalmina

Canyoning in El Guadalmina is the ideal way to start gorge-walking, since it is a natural enclosure surrounded by mountains of unrivalled beauty. If you decide to do this activity, we can assure you that you will have the best time ever, since it is not very difficult to do and there is a wide variety of jumps, slides and amazing natural pools.

15 adventure sports you cannot miss in Málaga

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26.ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE

Among the many alternatives offered by Marbella, we recommend you enjoy its sunrise, a haven of peace and quiet in this bustling cosmopolitan city.

 

27. SEE AN ELEPHANT ON THE BEACH

Ver un elefante en la playa

Its seems impossible, but it’s not. Only in Marbella can you see an elephant on the beach, but there’s no need to be scared since it’s an elephant-shaped shower. This lovely initiative attracts a crowd of visitors to take a souvenir selfie.

 

28. TRY A DELICIOUS SERRANO JAM SANDWICH

Bocadillo jamon

One of the most enjoyable activities you can do in the capital of the Costa del Sol is to eat a delicious ham sandwich. There are a multitude of places where you can enjoy this gastronomic delicacy.

Learn about different types of ham. 100% acorn-fed iberico ham is the best

 

29. ENJOY A MORAGA ON THE BEACH

A moragais one of the most attractive and fun activities you can do. It is a night party on the beach where you can try the best seasonal fish and meats. If you remain unconvinced about this activity, just remember that between mouthfuls you can swim in the light of the moon. What more do you want!

Espetos. the sardine ones are a Málaga cuisine classic

 

30. CELEBRATE VIRGIN OF CARMEN DAY

The Virgen of Carmen is one of the most traditional festivals on the entire Costa del Sol and, as you would expect Marbella goes all out with this tradition. It is worth seeing the maritime parade that starts at the Fishing Port and heads in the direction of Puerto Banús before returning to the Marina. Quite a show!

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Fuerte Marbella

Hotel Fuerte Marbella

If you decide to come to Marbella do not hesitate in staying in Fuerte Hoteles. Fuerte Marbella is a symbol for the city with more than 50 years experience at your service. The hotel has 263 rooms, all soundproofed and equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, wireless Internet access and private bathroom with free amenities and hair-dryer, among other services. It is also surrounded by gardens, with superb sea views and 2 outdoor pools.

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Central. Fuerte Group Hotels
Avda. Puerta del Mar 15,
29602 Marbella. Málaga.

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