Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by gregor
When you think of Spain, chances are you think of tapas, flamenco, and beautiful architecture. And when you think of popular cities in Spain, you likely think about Barcelona or Madrid. But the country has so much more to offer!
Case in point: Marbella, Spain.
This beautiful city on the Costa del Sol is a must-visit for anyone looking for a sunny vacation spot. It’s home to stunning beaches, delicious food, and plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Not only is it a great place to relax, but it’s also a great place to explore – whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or a nature enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Marbella.
Still not convinced? Read on for my list of 25 things to do in Marbella, Spain. I guarantee you’ll be adding this wonderful Spanish city to your travel bucket list in no time!
Marbella is a beautiful city located on the southern coast of Spain in the Andalusia region, approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Malaga and 257 kilometers southeast of Seville. The city is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its Mediterranean climate, stunning beaches, and abundance of luxury hotels and resorts. It’s a unique tourist destination and one of the most-visited Spanish cities, seeing upwards of 800,000 tourists every year who travel from all over the globe to enjoy its sunny weather and Mediterranean atmosphere.
Marbella is divided into two parts – the old town (Casco Antiguo) and the new town (Nueva Andalucia).
The old town is the more traditional Spanish part of Marbella, characterized by its white-washed buildings, red tile roofs, and winding streets. Here is where you’ll find most of the city’s historical landmarks and feel the authentic Spanish atmosphere.
The new town is the more modern part of Marbella, with luxury hotels, high-end shops, and posh restaurants. Here you’ll find most of the city’s upscale shopping and fine-dining options, as well as Marbella’s famous Golden Mile – a stretch of coastline that’s home to some of the city’s most popular beaches.
No matter which part of Marbella you’re staying in, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do to keep you occupied during your visit.
Foto: Puerto Banus
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Frequently Asked Questions about Marbella, Spain
Where is Marbella Spain?
Marbella is located on the southern coast of Spain in the Andalusia region. It is about 60 kilometers southwest of the city of Malaga and 78 kilometers east of the city of Gibraltar.
What is the weather like in Marbella?
The climate in Marbella is Mediterranean, which means it has mild winters and warm summers. The average temperature in the winter is around 17 degrees Celsius and in the summer it is around 27 degrees Celsius.
What is the currency in Marbella?
The currency in Marbella is the Euro.
What language do they speak in Marbella?
The official language in Marbella is Spanish, but English is also widely spoken.
How to get to Marbella Spain?
The best way to get to Marbella is by flying into the Malaga Airport and then taking a bus, taxi, or rental car to Marbella in just under one hour. You can also take a train from Malaga to Marbella, but it takes about twice as long.
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What is Marbella Spain known for?
Marbella is famous for its stunning beaches, luxury hotels and resorts, and lively nightlife. It is also a popular destination for golfers, as there are many world-class golf courses in the area.
What are the best things to do in Marbella?
There are endless things to do in Marbella, but some of the most popular activities include sunbathing on the beach, exploring the Old Town, shopping at the La Cañada Shopping Centre, and dancing the night away at one of the many nightclubs.
Is Marbella Spain worth visiting?
Absolutely! Marbella is a beautiful city with something for everyone. Whether you want to relax on the beach, play golf, or party all night long, you can find it in Marbella.
Which is nicer Malaga or Marbella?
Both Malaga and Marbella are great cities in the Andalusia region of Spain. They are both known for their beautiful beaches, luxury hotels and resorts, and lively nightlife. However, Marbella is slightly more popular than Malaga because it has a wider range of things to do and see.
Is Marbella similar to Ibiza?
Marbella and Ibiza are both popular tourist destinations in Spain, and they are both known for their clear water, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife. However, Marbella is a city while Ibiza is an island. Additionally, the weather in Marbella is milder than the weather in Ibiza and the clubbing scene in Marbella is not as wild as the clubbing scene in Ibiza.
25 Things to Do in Marbella, Spain
Explore Old Town Marbella
No trip to Marbella is complete without exploring Old Town Marbella. Old Town Marbella, also known as the Casco Antiguo, is the more traditional Spanish part of Marbella, characterized by its white-washed buildings, red tile roofs, and winding streets.
Here is where you’ll get to see the more traditional side of the city and get a more authentic view of Marbella. The Old Town was once the Old Medina of Marbella, and the Arabic-inspired architecture and narrow pedestrian walkways are still evident today. Old Town Marbella is where you’ll find most of the city’s historical landmarks as well as a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Some of the best things to see in Old Town Marbella include the Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square), the town hall, and the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion (Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation).
Take a stroll through Alameda Park
Alameda Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Marbella. The park is filled with palm trees, flowers, and sculptures – is like a little piece of the jungle in the middle of the city! It’s a great place to take a stroll, have a picnic, or just relax in the sun and escape the hustle and bustle of the city a bit.
Andalusian-tiled benches line the pathways of Alameda Park and make for a great place to take a seat, people-watch, and soak up some of Marbella’s Spanish charm. A stunning water fountain is the centerpiece of Alameda Park and is a popular spot for photos. If you’re visiting Marbella with kids, they’ll love the playground located in Alameda Park. The park also has a pond where you can feed the ducks.
Alameda Park is open daily from 9:00am to 10:00pm daily. It also holds a number of events and festivals throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedule before you go.
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Eat your way around Marbella on a food tour
If you’re anything like me, food is one of the main reasons you travel! And Marbella definitely doesn’t disappoint in the food department. From fresh seafood to traditional Spanish dishes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Marbella.
One of the best ways to experience the city’s food scene is on a food tour. You’ll get to try a variety of dishes as you eat your way through Marbella’s Old Town and learn about the city’s food culture from your knowledgeable guide. Some of the highlights of a Marbella food tour include tasting traditional Spanish gazpacho, sampling fresh seafood at the market, and indulging in some delicious churros for dessert.
If you’re interested in going on a food tour, I would recommend booking with Marbella Food Tours. They offer a variety of different tours, all of which come with rave reviews.
Tour the Iglesia de la Encarnación
The Iglesia de la Encarnación is one of the most important landmarks in Marbella and a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The church was built in the 16th century on the site of a mosque that had been destroyed during the Reconquista.
The exterior of the church is impressive, with its large Neo-Baroque façade and two bell towers. The interior of the church is just as beautiful, with its ornate altar, stained glass windows, and carved wooden ceiling.
The Iglesia de la Encarnación is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 10pm and 9:30am to 10pm on Sundays. Admission is free, but you’ll need to dress modestly (no shorts or tank tops) to enter the church.
Spend the day golfing
Marbella, Spain is a golfer’s paradise, with over 20 golf courses to choose from. If you’re looking to tee off while you’re in town, there are plenty of options to choose from – whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer.
Golf courses in Marbella typically open at 7:30am and close around dusk. Prices vary depending on the course, but you can expect to pay anywhere from €50 to €100 for a round of golf.
Enjoy some fine dining
Marbella is home to some of the best restaurants in Spain, so if you’re looking for a truly luxurious dining experience, you won’t be disappointed.
One of the most popular places to eat in Marbella is El Lago Restaurant, which is located in the Hotel Los Monteros. The restaurant has an outdoor terrace with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and serves a mix of Spanish and international cuisine.
If you’re in the mood for seafood, another great option is Los Mellizos, which is located right on the marina. The restaurant has an extensive seafood menu, as well as a few meat and vegetarian options.
No matter what food you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find it in Marbella.
Sunbathe on the beach
Marbella is home to some of the best beaches in Spain! Whether you’re looking for a place to relax on the sand, paddleboard, or surf, you’ll find the perfect spot in Marbella.
Rio Verde Beach is by far the most popular beach, and is a great spot for surfing, as it has great waves for beginners and experienced surfers alike. Some other popular beaches in Marbella include Nueva Andalucìa Beach, Puerto Banús Beach, and El Alcón Beach.
Beaches in Marbella Spain are typically open from sunrise to sunset. If you’re planning on spending a day at the beach, I would recommend packing your own food and drinks, as there are usually limited options available.
Spending some time soaking up the sun on the beach is definitely one of the Marbella activities that you won’t want to miss!
Take a walking tour
One of the best ways to see a new city (and get some exercise at the same time!) is to take a walking tour.
Marbella offers a variety of different walking tours, all of which are led by knowledgeable guides who can tell you all about the city’s history and culture.
On a walking tour of Marbella, you’ll have the chance to see some of Marbella’s most popular sights, including the Plaza de Los Naranjos, the Iglesia de la Encarnación, and the Old Town. You’ll also learn about the city’s Moorish past and its importance as a tourist destination. Your local guide will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Marbella.
Walking tours typically last for 2-3 hours and cost around €20 per person.
Hike up to the peak of La Concha
For adventurers visiting Marbella, hiking to the peak of La Concha – the highest mountain in the area – is a must. The 13.5km hike itself is challenging, but the views from the top are more than worth it.
The hike to the peak of La Concha takes about 3-4 hours, and I would recommend starting early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day. Along the way, you may encounter wildlife like deer, rabbits, wild goats, and sometimes even snakes!
Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of Marbella and the surrounding area. On a clear day, if you look hard enough, you can even see Morocco from across the Mediterranean!
Go wine and tapas tasting in Old Town
If you visit Spain and don’t eat tapas and drink wine… did you really go to Spain?
Tapas are a staple in Spanish cuisine – they’re small plates of food that are typically served with drinks, and Marbella has no shortage of great tapas restaurants.
One of the best ways to taste all the tapas Marbella has to offer is on a tasting tour! You’ll have the chance to try a variety of different dishes, as well as learn about the history and culture of tapas. And of course, you’ll also get to drink some delicious Spanish wine.
What could be better than that?
This 3-hour Spanish wine and tapas tasting tour costs €175 per person and includes a guided tour of Marbella’s Old Town, as well as wine and tapas tastings at 2 different locations. Not only do you get a sightseeing tour of the city, but you’ll get the chance to sample homemade olive oil and local Spanish wines, as you learn more about Marbella’s historic food scene from your private tour guide.
A tasting tour of the city is the perfect way to spend an afternoon and a fun Marbella activity!
See the city by bike
If you’d like to see the city from a different perspective, why not take a bike tour?
Marbella is a great city for biking, as it has a variety of different trails that wind through the city and offer stunning views. Learn about traditional Spanish culture, admire the city’s architecture, and stroll through its gorgeous parks as you ride under the Andalusian sun.
On a bike tour, you’ll have the chance to see Marbella’s Old Town, as well as some of its more modern areas. You’ll also get to ride along the beach, which is a great way to cool off on a hot day! Bike tours typically last for 2-3 hours and cost around €30 per person.
Practice stand-up paddle boarding
Marbella is a great place for enjoying water sports, and one of the best ways to cool off on a hot day is by stand-up paddle boarding. Stand-up paddle boarding is a great workout, and it’s also a lot of fun!
If you’re new to stand-up paddle boarding, don’t worry – there are plenty of places in Marbella where you can rent a board and take a lesson. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be able to explore Marbella’s coastline at your own pace.
Renting a stand-up paddle board for a day costs around €30. You can also opt for a standup paddle boarding tour, which typically lasts for 2-3 hours and includes the cost of equipment, a small lesson, and an experienced guide.
Cool off on a hot day and get a workout in at the same time – it’s a win-win!
There’s even a sunset stand-up paddle boarding tour available, so you can watch the sunset over Marbella as you paddle. (Highly recommended!)
Play chess at Plaza del Mar
Chess is a popular game in Spain, and you can find people playing it all over the country. Marbella is no exception!
If you’re looking for a place to relax and people-watch, Plaza del Mar is the perfect spot. This picturesque square is located in Old Town and is one of the most popular places in the city to play chess. Grab a seat at one of the outdoor cafes and watch the world go by as you enjoy a refreshing drink.
If you’re feeling competitive, you can even challenge one of the locals to a game!
Do some shopping at La Cañada
No trip to Marbella would be complete without doing some shopping! La Cañada Shopping Centre is one of the best places in the city to find designer brands, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes.
This indoor shopping center is located just outside of Marbella, and it’s easy to reach by bus or car. With over 150 stores, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for – whether you’re looking for a new outfit, souvenirs, or just some snacks!
Have a picnic at Turtle Lake
Turtle Lake is a beautiful spot for a picnic, and it’s also a great place to see some of Marbella’s wildlife. This lake is actually not even a lake, but more of a reservoir. The 40-meter-long dam was built in 1890 to supply water to the city and has been there ever since. This small but picturesque reservoir is hidden away not far from the city center and is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a place to relax and escape the fast pace of Marbella.
Turtle Lake is home to a variety of different animals, including turtles, ducks, and fish. It’s the perfect place to relax and take in Marbella’s natural beauty. You can bring your own food or drinks to Turtle Lake, or you can buy something from one of the nearby cafes.
Just be sure to clean up after yourself, so the animals can continue to enjoy their home!
Take a day trip to Puerto Banùs
Puerto Banùs is a nearby town that’s known for its luxurious lifestyle and beautiful marina. This is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to do some shopping or people-watching.
There are plenty of high-end shops and restaurants in Puerto Banùs, as well as a number of bars and clubs if you’re looking to go out for a night on the town. This city is known for its sailing facilities, so if you’re looking for a place to rent a boat or go on a sailing trip, Puerto Banùs is the perfect spot.
Puerto Banùs is located just outside of Marbella and is easy to reach by bus or car, so it makes for a great day trip from Marbella. You can also take a ferry from Marbella to Puerto Banùs, which is a great option if you’re looking to enjoy the scenic coastline.
You may want to dress up if you visit here – this town is known for its glitz and glamour!
VIDEO: Puerto Banùs Most Luxurious Marina, Crazy Yachts, and SuperCars
Celebrate “Virgin del Carmen” day
July 16th is a national holiday in Spain known as “Virgin del Carmen” day. This holiday celebrates the Virgin Mary, and there are plenty of festivities to enjoy in Marbella on this day. This festival takes place every year in honor of the patron saint of fisherman and the sea.
The main event takes place in the evening when a procession of boats makes its way through the harbor. The boats are decorated with flowers and flags, and each one carries a statue of the Virgin Mary. This is definitely a sight to see, and it’s a great way to experience Marbella’s maritime history.
After the procession, there’s usually a fireworks display and a playing of the Spanish national anthem, and the party continues into the night. If you’re in Marbella on July 16th, be sure to check out the Virgin del Carmen festivities!
Admire the architecture at the Marbella Castle
Located in the old quarter of the city, the Marbella Castle is a must-see for any architecture lover. This Moorish castle was built in the 9th century, and it’s one of the best-preserved examples of Moorish architecture in Spain. The castle is located on a hilltop overlooking the city, so you can enjoy stunning views of Marbella while you’re here.
The Marbella Castle is open to the public, and you can explore the grounds and the inside of the castle. There’s also a small museum on-site, which is definitely worth a visit. This Marbella attraction is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in Spanish history and architecture.
If you’re interested in learning more about Marbella’s history, the Marbella Castle is a great place to start!
Shop for souvenirs at Marbella’s markets
Marbella is home to a number of different markets, where you can find everything from souvenirs to fresh produce. If you’re looking for a souvenir to take home with you, be sure to check out the Mercado Mercadillo, or the Marbella flea market. This market is open every Monday from 8am to 3pm, and it’s the perfect place to find unique gifts and souvenirs.
You can also find fresh fruits and vegetables at the Marbella farmers market, which is open every Saturday from 8am to 2pm. This market is a great place to stock up on fresh produce for your next meal.
If you’re looking for a more upscale shopping experience, be sure to check out El Corte Inglés, which is a large department store located in the city center. El Corte Inglés is the perfect place to find designer clothes, cosmetics, and housewares.
Go Scuba diving off the coast of Spain
If you think the Marbella scenery is beautiful from the shore, just wait until you see it from underneath the water! Scuba diving is a popular activity in Marbella, and there are plenty of diving schools and scuba diving tours located around the city.
Whether you’re a certified diver or you’ve never been diving before, you can find a scuba diving trip to suit your needs. There are also a number of scuba diving sites located around Marbella, so you can explore the underwater world at your own pace.
If you’re looking for an adventure, scuba diving is definitely a great option!
Taste local treats like churros and fried fish
Marbella is home to a number of delicious local dishes, so be sure to try some while you’re in town. One of the most popular local snacks is churros, which are fried dough sticks that are often served with chocolate dipping sauce.
You can find churros at many different cafes and restaurants around Marbella. Another popular local dish is fried fish, which is usually served with a side of potatoes. Seafood lovers in Marbella will definitely be in for a treat!
If you’re looking for a more traditional meal, be sure to try paella, which is a rice dish that’s typically made with chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
Enjoy sunset drinks at Rooftop Bar Belvue
What better way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing than enjoying a tasty cocktail at a rooftop bar overlooking the Marbella skyline? Rooftop Bar Belvue is one of the best places in town to watch the sunset while enjoying a drink.
This bar is located on the top floor of a hotel, and it offers stunning views of the city. The menu features a wide selection of cocktails, as well as a few small plates if you’re looking for something to eat.
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend an evening in Marbella, Rooftop Bar Belvue is definitely the place to be.
Admire art at the Ralli museum
The Ralli Museum is a great place to go if you’re interested in seeing some of the best artwork in Marbella. This museum is home to a large collection of art from all over the world, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Works from artists like Salvador Dali and Marc Chagall are on display, so you’re sure to find something to admire.
Even if you’re not an art lover, the Ralli Museum is still a great place to visit. The museum is located in a beautiful building, and it’s surrounded by gardens. The Marbella location is just one of many Ralli museums located around the world, so be sure to check out the others if you have the chance.
If you need a break from sightseeing in Marbella, the Ralli Museum is definitely a great option. The museum is open to the public free of charge.
Take a day tour to the Andalusian villages Ronda and Sete
Andalusia is a beautiful region in southern Spain, and it’s home to a number of charming villages. Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas are two of the most popular villages in the area, and they make for a great day trip from Marbella.
Ronda is known for its stunning views, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re wanting to see some of the smaller villages surrounding Marbella. The village is home to a number of historical buildings, including an old bridge that spans a deep gorge.
Setenil de las Bodegas is another charming Andalusian village, and it’s known for its houses that are built into the rocks. The village is located in a beautiful setting, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you have the chance.
There are a number of tour companies that offer day trips to Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas, so be sure to do some research before you go.
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Attend a traditional Andalusian Horse and Flamenco Show
Nothing says Spanish vacation like attending a traditional Andalusian horse and Flamenco show! This is a great activity to do in Marbella, and it’s a great way to learn about the local culture.
The Andalusian horses are known for their beauty, and they make for a stunning sight. The Flamenco dancers are also incredibly talented, and they always put on a great show. This traditional equestrian ballet has been taking place for over 30 years and is a great way to get an authentic taste of Spanish culture.
So if you’re looking for a fun and unique activity to do in Marbella, be sure to check out a traditional Andalusian horse and Flamenco show. This is definitely an experience that you won’t want to miss while you’re in town!
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Marbella is an amazing vacation destination, and there are plenty of things to do in the city. From admiring art at the Ralli Museum to attending a traditional Andalusian horse and Flamenco show, there’s no shortage of things to do in Marbella and there really is something for everyone to enjoy here.
So be sure to add these Marbella activities to your list when you’re planning your next trip to Spain’s Costa del Sol!
Please read our 3 Days in Marbella Itinerary:
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