Top 12: What to do in Marbella

Marbella stands out as a premier destination along the Costa de Sol, drawing both international and domestic tourists alike. With its 27 kilometers of pristine beaches, bathed in a delightful climate year-round, and boasting a diverse array of gastronomic, cultural, and recreational offerings, Marbella captivates visitors with its unique charm. Notably, it prides itself on being among the pioneers in Spain to achieve recognition for the safety of its public spaces.

If you are looking for a slice of paradise, Marbella and its neighbour Puerto Banús will captivate you with sun-kissed beaches. Nestled on Spain’s Costa del Sol, Marbella boasts a vibrant blend of Mediterranean charm and cosmopolitan flair. If you’re fortunate enough to call this vibrant region home, or if you’re a visitor seeking an authentic experience, there’s a wealth of activities to explore beyond the beaten path. From chic boutiques to world-class dining, this coastal gem offers a lifestyle second to none. Marbella has the highest concentration of golf courses in Spain; enveloping mountains that invite communion with nature; and the renowned luxury marina and leisure hub, Puerto Banus, revered nationally and internationally.

Diverse and secure, Marbella beckons travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys. As you plan your visit, we offer some insights to ensure your experience surpasses expectations. With our curated selection of rental properties, discover your perfect retreat and indulge in the myriad delights of Marbella! 

marbella old town
Old Town

Marbella's Old Town stands as a timeless treasure, where history whispers through cobbled streets and vibrant plazas, captivating visitors with its charming blend of Andalusian allure and rich cultural heritage.

jay-wennington-N_Y88TWmGwA-unsplash (1)
Gastronomic Experience

Marbella boasts an impressive array of restaurants, the town stands as a culinary haven, hosting some of the world's most esteemed Michelin-starred restaurants.

La concha
Hiking

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the breathtaking hiking trails of Marbella, where nature enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and rugged beauty of the region.

buggy marbella
Experiences

Embark on a journey through the vibrant tapestry of Marbella's experiences, where every corner holds a story waiting to be explored.

vista-del-paseo-maritimo-de-marbella-malaga-foto-expedia
Paseo Marítimo

The Paseo Marítimo of Marbella, where the golden sands meet the azure Mediterranean, inviting you to stroll along its palm-lined promenade and indulge in the essence of coastal luxury.

flamenco (1)
Traditions and Festivals

From lively summer months to year-round festivities, the city pulsates with joy, drawing visitors into its adorned streets, alive with flamenco rhythms, spirited dances, and savory tapas, embodying Marbella's festive allure.

puerto-banus-marina-marbella
Sailing

Set sail on a mesmerizing adventure in Marbella, where azure waters beckon and dolphins dance alongside your vessel, promising an unforgettable experience of sailing and dolphin watching. Puerto Banús is a must-visit destination for those seeking luxury, entertainment and a taste of the good life on the Costa del Sol.

kevin-laminto-4xbUFduTEY0-unsplash (1)
Art

Steeped in elegance and imbued with a vibrant cultural tapestry, Marbella's art scene will immerse you in the charm of an artistic expression where rich cultural heritage meets contemporary style in every brushstroke and sculpture.

5f15d938312df-barraka-beach-sl-8
Beach Day

Explore Marbella's stunning beaches, perfect for relaxation, family fun, and water sports.

los-naranjos-golf-club
Golf


Marbella stands as a premier haven for golf aficionados, boasting a prestigious array of courses that make it a golfer's paradise.

nightclub the suite
Nightlife

From renowned clubs to trendy rooftop bars, the city pulsates with energy, especially during the summer season. Dive into a world where international DJs and celebrities converge, making every night an unforgettable experience.

kike-salazar-n-pP7bxP8MqxM-unsplash (1)
Beach Clubs

The sun-kissed shores of Marbella's beach clubs beckon with their opulent amenities and unparalleled coastal charm.

Marbella's Old Town

If you are in Marbella, exploring the Old Town is the first must-do experience. Lose yourself in its narrow streets, soak up its rich history, and immerse yourself in its authentic charm. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture vulture, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Marbella’s Old Town offers something for everyone. For a more guided experience, a walking tour through Marbella’s charming Old Town reveals its rich history and vibrant culture.

Source: TripAdvisor

Unveiling History's Secrets

Stepping into Marbella’s Old Town is like entering a time capsule that transports you back centuries. Cobblestone streets wind their way through whitewashed buildings adorned with colorful flower pots, offering a glimpse into the town’s rich Moorish heritage.

Dating back to the 15th century, the Old Town, also known as Casco Antiguo, is a labyrinth of narrow alleys and charming squares. Its layout is a testament to the town’s Moorish past, with the famous Orange Square (Plaza de los Naranjos) serving as its heart.

Exploring Architectural Marvels

Every corner of Marbella’s Old Town is steeped in architectural wonders waiting to be discovered. The Plaza de los Naranjos, surrounded by historic buildings like the Town Hall and the Old Governor’s House, exudes a captivating ambiance, especially when the orange trees are in bloom.

Wandering further, you’ll encounter hidden gems such as the 16th-century Ermita de Santiago, a quaint chapel with a rich history, and the majestic Church of the Encarnación, a striking example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

Marbella's Culinary Paradise

You’ve never been in a real culinary paradise until you get to know Marbella, a city that tantalizes the taste buds of visitors from around the globe. With a rich tapestry of flavors influenced by both Spanish tradition and international innovation, dining in Marbella is a journey of culinary discovery. Marbella’s gastronomic scene is as diverse and sophisticated as its clientele, making it a top destination for food lovers. Here are five must-visit restaurants that stand out based on rave reviews:

Nomad Restaurant & Lounge

This venue is celebrated not just for its exceptional food but also for its vibrant atmosphere and live entertainment, making it a holistic dining experience.

Sea Grill at Puente Romano Beach Resort

Renowned for its fresh seafood and Mediterranean dishes, this restaurant offers a sensory journey with views over the Mediterranean.

La Sala

Known for its dynamic ambiance and variety of international dishes, La Sala is a hotspot for both locals and celebrities.

The Harbour Bar & Restaurant

Ideal for seafood lovers, this restaurant offers fresh catches prepared with exquisite culinary techniques, right at Marbella’s luxurious marina.

While these restaurants are standout options, Marbella also boasts a wide array of other dining establishments worth visiting. From the traditional Argentinian flavors at Buenos Aires Steak House and Mediterranean experiences at GWine, which serve up some of the best wines, to the innovative dishes at KAVA, a Michelin-rated venue known for its Spanish cuisine. Each offers a unique taste of Marbella that complements the luxurious and lively ambiance of the city.

Marbella’s rich culinary landscape is expansive, with many more restaurants offering unforgettable meals. Whether you seek a fine dining environment, a casual seaside eatery, or a lively bistro with live music, Marbella’s gastronomic offerings ensure that every meal is a memorable part of your stay.

Discover the Thrills of Marbella's Waters

Marbella offers more than just pristine beaches and luxury lifestyle; it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts and sailing aficionados. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for your next adventure, or a family planning an extended stay, Marbella’s aquatic offerings promise memorable experiences for everyone.

Set Sail from Puerto Banús

Start your adventure at the famed Puerto Banús, not only known for its high-end boutiques and restaurants but also as the launching point for some of Marbella’s most sought-after sailing experiences. Charter a yacht for a day, or even a week, to explore the serene Mediterranean waters. Sailing lessons are also available for those wanting to master the waves.

For something truly unique, embark on a dolphin watching tour, where you can witness these playful creatures in their natural habitat. Exclusive fishing excursions are also available, offering a chance to catch a glimpse of the rich biodiversity that the Mediterranean Sea holds.

Dive into Diverse Water Sports

Marbella’s perfect weather nearly every day of the year makes it an ideal spot for a variety of water sports. Get your adrenaline pumping with jet skiing or wakeboarding. For a more relaxed pace, paddle boarding and kayaking are excellent ways to take in the coastal sights at your own speed. Surfing and kite surfing attract the more adventurous, with local schools ready to teach the uninitiated or help experts hone their skills.

Explore Underwater Wonders

The clear waters of the Mediterranean are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. Discover a world of vibrant marine life and hidden underwater landscapes available just off the coast. Dive shops offer everything from beginner courses to guided dives at shipwrecks and natural reefs.

Family-Friendly Activities

Marbella is a fantastic destination for families, offering safe and accessible water activities. Try banana boat rides, or rent pedal boats for a fun and leisurely way to enjoy the sea. The calm waters make these activities safe for children, providing endless fun and the opportunity to create lasting memories.

While the summer months are the peak time for water activities, Marbella’s mild climate means that you can enjoy most of these activities year-round. The less crowded spring and autumn months offer a more relaxed atmosphere, with the same sunny skies and inviting waters.

Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent property in Marbella, or simply plan a vacation filled with unique experiences, Marbella’s rich array of water activities ensures there’s always something new to explore. With every splash and every sail, this vibrant city promises to keep you coming back for more.

Experiences

Marbella offers an enchanting mix of activities that cater to both vacationers and long-term residents, ensuring there’s always something to discover. 

Buggy Adventure

Dive into adventure with a thrilling buggy tour through the rugged landscapes around Marbella, providing an exhilarating way to explore the natural beauty of the area. You can book now your Buggy tour here.

Butterfly Watching

Not far from Marbella, in Benalmádena, the Mariposario de Benálmadena (the most beautiful butterfly watching park) offers a magical escape among thousands of exotic butterflies in a tropical environment, perfect for families and nature enthusiasts. 

Bioparc Visit

The Bioparc Fuengirola presents a unique zoo experience, focusing on tropical forests’ conservation and biodiversity, which is highly praised by visitors for its immersive design.

Marine Discovery

Lastly, don’t miss the Sea Life Aquarium in Benalmádena, where you can get up close with marine life and learn about conservation efforts. This balanced blend of recreational and educational activities ensures that whether you’re planning a short visit or looking to settle down, Marbella has something special for you.

Paseo Marítimo

Marbella’s Paseo Marítimo is one of the most enchanting promenades along the Spanish Costa del Sol, offering both residents and visitors a delightful blend of leisure and scenic beauty. Spanning about 6 km, this picturesque boardwalk stretches from Puerto Banús to the charming old town of Marbella, making it a perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating jog against the backdrop of the Mediterranean.

The Paseo is renowned for its accessibility and family-friendly atmosphere. Ample parking and well-maintained paths make it a hassle-free experience for everyone, including those with mobility issues. Along the way, you’re treated to stunning views of the sea, lined with palm trees and dotted with beaches, outdoor cafes, and restaurants. These spots are ideal for savoring local Andalusian dishes or international cuisine while soaking in the vibrant local culture and breathtaking seaside vistas.

For those interested in shopping or seeking unique souvenirs, the Paseo Marítimo offers a variety of shops selling local handicrafts. The area is also peppered with gardens where one can relax and enjoy a moment of peace away from the bustling city life.

The Paseo Marítimo is not just a daytime destination. In the evenings, it transforms into a lively social hub with live music and bustling nightspots, providing entertainment for all tastes and ages. Whether you’re interested in long-term residence or just visiting, the Paseo Marítimo offers a glimpse into Marbella’s luxurious lifestyle and natural beauty, making it a must-visit location on the Costa del Sol.

Traditions and Fairs

Marbella, a city known for its vibrant lifestyle and rich cultural tapestry, offers a variety of traditions, festivals, and fairs that reflect its deep-rooted heritage and contemporary zest. Whether you’re considering long-term rentals or a vacation home, immersing yourself in the local culture through these events can greatly enhance your experience.

One of the most iconic celebrations in Marbella is the San Bernabé Fair, held in early June. This fair honors the city’s patron saint, San Bernabé, and features a week filled with traditional Andalusian festivities, including dance, music, and the setup of colorful casetas (temporary festive booths). It’s a perfect blend of cultural heritage and modern entertainment, ideal for all ages.

Another significant event is the Noche de San Juan, celebrated on June 23rd, marking the summer solstice with bonfires, fireworks, and beach parties. This event, rooted in pagan traditions, symbolizes the cleansing of the spirit and is a magical night that lights up the entire city.

For those interested in religious and spiritual events, the Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions during Easter are profoundly moving. Numerous brotherhoods parade through the streets with beautifully decorated tronos (floats), in a display of religious fervor and community spirit.

Additionally, the Virgen del Carmen Festival on July 16th is a heartfelt homage to the patron saint of fishermen. Celebrated with maritime processions and festive gatherings, it beautifully showcases Marbella’s connection to the sea.

For arts and alternative culture enthusiasts, the Arte Sano Festival held on the last weekend of July in San Pedro Alcantara offers a platform for diverse artistic expressions, including music, dance, and visual arts.

Marbella also celebrates many local neighborhood fairs such as the Verbena Trapiche Norte and the San Pedro Alcantara Fair in October, which are less touristy and provide a more intimate glimpse into the local way of life.

You can also experience an unforgettable night of flamenco at The Farm Restaurant in Marbella! Dive into the lively spirit of Spanish culture with two distinct flamenco events: Flamenco Fusion on Tuesdays and Sundays, and Traditional Flamenco on Thursdays. Both shows begin right at 7:30 PM all year round.

These events not only celebrate the rich cultural fabric of Marbella but also offer wonderful opportunities for both short-term visitors and long-term residents to engage with the community, enjoy the festive atmosphere, and experience the traditional and contemporary arts that the city has to offer.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy a vibrant fair, a spiritual procession, or an artistic gathering, Marbella’s calendar is bustling with activities that cater to all interests and ages throughout the year.

Explore the Natural Beauty of Marbella

Marbella isn’t just about its sun-drenched beaches and vibrant nightlife; it’s also a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled between the sparkling Mediterranean and the towering Sierra Blanca mountains, Marbella offers some of the most scenic hiking trails in the region. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking to stretch your legs in nature, there’s a trail for you.

La Concha: Marbella's Majestic Mountain Hike

La Concha, the most iconic peak in the Sierra Blanca range, offers one of the most challenging yet rewarding hikes in Marbella. Starting from the Refugio de Juanar, this hike stretches over 11 kilometers (round trip) and ascends approximately 1,215 meters. The path, marked by sharp inclines and rocky terrain, is recommended for experienced hikers. From the summit, the panoramic views encompass Marbella’s coastline, the vast Mediterranean, and on exceptionally clear days, the distant shores of Morocco.

Juanar Cross Trail: A Family Adventure

Ideal for families and casual walkers, the Juanar Cross Trail is about 5 kilometers long and offers a gentler climb. It takes you through a lush forested area rich in local flora such as pine, chestnut, and olive trees, making it a great spot for nature lovers and bird watchers. The trail culminates at the Mirador del Corzo, a viewpoint where you can enjoy stunning vistas of Marbella and its surroundings. Benches and picnic spots along the way provide perfect spots for a restful break.

El Pozuelo Trail: A Hidden Gem

El Pozuelo Trail, lesser-known yet equally enchanting, starts near the village of Ojén and meanders through the serene Andalusian countryside. This trail is approximately 3 kilometers long and features a mix of moderate ascents and descents. Along the path, hikers can admire olive groves, almond trees, and traditional cortijos (farmhouses), giving a glimpse into the rural lifestyle of the area. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to escape the more touristy spots and enjoy a quiet hike.

Guided Hiking Tours

For those new to the trails or looking to deepen their knowledge of the local ecosystem, guided hikes are available. Local experts can provide valuable insights into the area’s flora, fauna, and history. These tours cater to various fitness levels and interests, making hiking accessible to all.

Beyond the Trails

After a day of hiking, consider visiting the nearby village of Ojén, where you can indulge in traditional Andalusian dishes such as ‘rabo de toro’ (oxtail stew) and ‘gazpacho’. Another not-to-be-missed destination is Istán Lake, just a short drive from Marbella. This tranquil reservoir, surrounded by nature, is ideal for activities like kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing by the water’s edge.

Exploring Art in Marbella: Museums and Street Sculptures

In Marbella, a blend of contemporary art and historic treasures creates a cultural landscape as diverse as its visitors. Here are some highlights to enrich your experience, whether you’re planning a short visit or considering longer-term stays in this vibrant city.

Ralli Museum is a standout with its free entry and a rich collection of contemporary Latin American and European art. It’s a cultural gem that showcases the works of Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí among others. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is located at Urb. Coral Beach on the N-340 road.

For a taste of modern art, Es.Arte Gallery in San Pedro de Alcántara offers a dynamic collection that includes works available for purchase. This gallery is not just a viewing space but an interactive hub where local artists, curators, and art lovers converge.

Libertad Couso Gallery, founded by Libertad Couso who brings over 35 years of experience in teaching painting and sculpture, specializes in contemporary art. The gallery provides a nurturing space for art enthusiasts to learn and appreciate new artworks.

Art lovers should also not miss Art Wanson Gallery, located within the luxurious Marbella Club hotel. The gallery features an impressive selection of works by historical giants like Picasso and Cézanne, alongside modern pieces across various media including sculpture and ceramics.

Beyond the walls of galleries, Marbella offers an open-air art experience with Avenida del Mar. This avenue is adorned with ten sculptures by Salvador Dalí, offering a picturesque walk that connects the historical Alameda Park to the vibrant beachside.

Each of these locations provides a unique insight into the rich tapestry of Marbella’s art scene, appealing to tourists, potential long-term renters, and real estate buyers alike. Whether your interest lies in avant-garde movements, learning about art, or simply enjoying beautiful sculptures by the sea, Marbella’s cultural offerings are sure to enhance your experience in this sunny Spanish haven.

Golf Paradise

With its plethora of top-tier golf clubs, Marbella offers a blend of scenic beauty and challenging courses that cater to both novices and seasoned golfers alike.

One of the most celebrated courses is the Marbella Golf & Country Club, known for its rolling hills and strategic layout designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones. The course not only challenges your golfing skills but also provides panoramic views that make every game memorable.

For those seeking a course with historical prestige, the Real Club de Golf Las Brisas is a must-visit. Established in 1968, it ranks among the top golf courses in Europe, renowned for its meticulous design that winds through luxurious vegetation and water features.

Aloha Golf Club, another highlight, is famed not only for its beautiful course designed by Javier Arana but also for its vibrant atmosphere and top-class facilities. This club has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, offering golfers the chance to walk in the footsteps of professionals.

Los Naranjos Golf Club, a creation of Robert Trent Jones, offers a diverse golfing experience with its meticulously designed 18 holes that promise both fun and challenge. Its reputation is bolstered by excellent club facilities and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Each of these clubs not only offers exceptional golfing experiences but also amenities such as pro shops, restaurants, and in some cases, additional leisure facilities, making them perfect for a day out or an extended visit. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Marbella, these golf clubs represent just a slice of what makes this region a fantastic destination for those who love the game.

Nightlife

Marbella’s nightlife offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from swanky rooftop bars to vibrant nightclubs, ensuring there’s something for everyone – whether you’re a local, a long-term renter, or a tourist.

For those who enjoy a luxurious ambiance with a view, the Pangea is a must-visit. Located in Puerto Banús, this upscale club offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean and is known for its lively atmosphere and top-tier DJs. It’s a hotspot for the international jet set looking to party till dawn. Meanwhile, Astral Cocktail Bar provides a laid-back vibe right on the marina, perfect for enjoying a cocktail while soaking up the sunset views.

For a unique experience, Mamzel at Finca Besaya blends dining with entertainment, offering a dinner show featuring aerial dancers. This combination of Basque-Andalusian fusion cuisine and performance art is perfect for those looking to enjoy more than just a meal out.

Clubs like Mirage are known for their vibrant dance floors and stylish crowds. Mirage offers a variety of themed nights from R&B to house music, ensuring a fresh experience every time you visit.

For those interested in the fusion of fashion and nightlife, the Martini Bar by Dolce & Gabbana offers a glamorous experience where classic cocktails meet modern flair, all while you enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean.

Each of these venues contributes to the vibrant, diverse scene that makes Marbella a sought-after destination for nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a night of dancing, a calm evening by the sea, or a chic dining experience, Marbella has it all. Perfect for locals looking to unwind, renters seeking to soak in the local culture, or tourists making the most of their holiday.

Discover Marbella's Pristine Beaches: Your Gateway to Sun, Sand, and Scenic Splendor

Marbella’s beaches, famed for their golden sands and vibrant beach culture, offer something for everyone, whether you’re a long-term resident, a potential real estate buyer, or a holidaymaker. Here’s a short guide to some of the top beaches in Marbella that highlight their unique appeal and the variety of experiences they offer.

Playa de Puerto Banús is right next to the luxurious Puerto Banús marina, known for its laid-back yet opulent vibe. This beach is ideal for those who enjoy a day of sunbathing followed by high-end shopping and dining. The beach is well-equipped with facilities and is conveniently located for those staying nearby.

Playa de la Venus offers a family-friendly atmosphere and is awarded the Blue Flag for its clean and safe waters. Situated near Marbella’s old town, it’s perfect for a quick escape to the sea without straying too far from city amenities.

For a quieter experience, Playa Río Verde presents a tranquil setting away from the busier hotspots. This beach is less known and provides a peaceful retreat with beautiful, calm waters, making it an excellent spot for relaxation or a leisurely swim.

Playa de Alicate is another gem, perfect for those looking to enjoy both natural scenery and local eateries. This beach is somewhat more secluded, offering a balance between relaxation and vibrant beach life with its array of beach bars and restaurants (MarbsLifestyle.com).

Each of these beaches not only enhances the allure of Marbella as a prime location for real estate investment but also enriches the living experience for long-term residents and the holiday experience for tourists. Whether you’re looking to unwind, engage in water sports, or simply soak up the Mediterranean sun, Marbella’s beaches provide a picturesque backdrop to a diverse range of activities and lifestyles.

Beach Clubs

Marbella’s coastline is sprinkled with enticing beach clubs, each offering a unique blend of sun, sea, and service. Whether you’re a potential real estate buyer, a long-term renter, or just visiting, these spots are quintessential for soaking up the local lifestyle.

Siroko Beach is ideal for families or anyone looking to relax with the sound of live DJ sets paired with a saxophone by the sea. The club provides a comfortable beach experience with sun loungers available for rent, and an on-site restaurant serves up delicious meals right on Playa Real de Zaragoza.

For a touch of affordable luxury, Bono Beach Club in Costabella offers a laid-back vibe with its recently renovated wooden sunbeds and palapa-style umbrellas. It’s an excellent spot for enjoying the Mediterranean ambiance without breaking the bank, as sunbeds start at €30 including a towel and a bottle of water.

If exclusivity is what you’re after, La Cabane offers a serene beach club experience with a large, beautiful pool and luxurious sun loungers, making it perfect for a quieter, more sophisticated day by the sea. Located at the Los Monteros hotel, this club elevates the beach experience with a touch of glamour and tranquility.

Luuma Beach, situated on El Rosario Beach, is a gem for those who prefer a chill atmosphere. The club is known for its proximity to the water and offers a menu that includes a variety of tasty dishes and drinks, perfect for long beach days.

Each of these clubs encapsulates a different aspect of Marbella’s beach life, whether you’re looking for family fun, peaceful relaxation, or a bit of affordable luxury. For real estate seekers and long-term renters, these spots highlight the vibrant lifestyle and scenic beauty that could be right at your doorstep.

Looking for Properties?

check this out

La Duquesa

Casita Altavista in La Duquesa

La Heredia | Marbella

The Perfect Family Home | La Heredia | Ref. #39