Welcome to Marbella, one of the most popular holiday destinations on Costa del Sol in Spain. The city is quite famous for its vivid nightlife scene, with many nightclubs and bars. But you don’t to need worry if you’re not into parties – fortunately, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in Marbella. Beautiful sand beaches, enchanting old town, quiet parks, golf courses, luxury shopping, delicious food, art galleries, and museums – everyone will find something for themselves. Vamos, let’s discover 10 best things to do and see in Marbella.
An interesting fact before we start. Do you know that “Marbella” means “Beautiful Sea”? It’s a combination of two words: mar – sea and bella – beautiful.
10 best things to do and see in Marbella, Spain
Marbella Old Town
Marbella Old Town (Casco Antiguo) is the most charming part of the city, where you can clearly feel a typical Andalusian vibe. Whitewashed houses decorated with colorful flowers in vivid pots, cobblestone streets, orange trees adorning the streets and squares… Marbella Old Town is a perfect place to get lost in cozy streets and admire every inch of it. In our opinion, it’s best to visit Old Town in the early mornings when the city just starts waking up.
Many of the Old Town streets lead to Plaza de Los Naranjos, a lively square with restaurants and bars.
Plaza de los Naranjos
Plaza de los Naranjos is a square that was built after the Christian conquest of the city from the Moors in 1485. Since then this beautiful square has become the heart of Marbella, a center of urban life, where locals and tourists socialize and relax in many coffee places and restaurants. There are two historic landmarks located on the Plaza de los Naranjos: 16th century Ermita de Santiago (oldest parish church in Marbella), and Casa Consistorial, built in 1568 in the Renaissance style (currently Marbella Town Hall). In the center of the plaza, there is a Renaissance fountain surrounded by orange trees, which were planted in 1941, and from which the square takes its name. Without a doubt, Plaza de los Naranjos is among the best things to see in Marbella so don’t miss it.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación (eng. Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation) is one of the main Marbella historic landmarks. The church was built in the 16th and 17th centuries, on the site of the former Mosque. Currently, it’s the most important church in Marbella. The church is open to the public daily, free of charge.
Murallas del Castillo
Murallas del Castillo (eng. Ruins of a Moorish Castle) are the last remains of the old Moorish Castle, which was built in the 11th century. It was built with materials from earlier Roman constructions. Nowadays there’s nothing really to see within the walls, but it’s definitely worth taking a look at. Ruins can be seen from the square with Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación.
Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz
Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz (eng. Ermita del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz) is a historic church in the Old Town, located near the ruins of a castle. The chapel was built in the 15th century and expanded in the 18th century. The interior is a simple space with a single nave and typical Andalusian-style decor.
Parque de la Alameda
Just a few steps from the old town you can find a beautiful 18th-century Parque de la Alameda (eng. Alameda Park). There is plenty of lush vegetation which makes it a great place to escape from a buzzing city to relax. In the center of Alameda Park is an impressive fountain from 1762, Fuente Virgen del Rocio. There are also some unique benches made with azulejos ( painted ceramic tileworks).
Avenida del Mar
Leaving the Old Town and Alameda Park behind, going towards the beaches, you’ll find Avenida del Mar. This is a short, marble-paved boulevard decorated with some meticulously-trimmed bushes, palm trees, and an open-air art gallery. It features 10 bronze sculptures designed by Salvador Dali and 2 additional sculptures created by Eduardo Soriano.
Marbella’s sandy beaches are one of the best along the entire Spanish coast. There are more than 20 beaches to choose from – there will be something for younger people, older people, whole families, more party-oriented, and those who prefer more privacy. Playa Venus & Playa de la Fontanilla are two closest beaches to Marbella Old Town but other nice choices are Playa Puerto Banús, Playa de Cabopino or Playa de Nagüeles.
Mezquita del Rey Abdul Aziz al Saud
Mezquita del Rey Abdul Aziz al Saud (eng. King Abdul Aziz Mosque) is an Islamic place of worship located about a 10-minute drive from the Marbella center. Prince Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered the construction of the mosque in 1981. It’s one of the first mosques built since the Christian Reconquest of Spain in the 15th century. King Abdul Aziz Mosque is a splendid example of contemporary Andalusian architecture inspired by the Moorish heritage. Add Mezquita del Rey Abdul Aziz al Saud to your list of best things to do and see in Marbella, you won’t regret it.
Other things to do and see in Marbella, Spain
Puerto Banús is an exclusive sailing and leisure port located in Nueva Andalucía, right next to Marbella. It was built in 1970 and currently is considered one of the best yacht marinas in Spain. Puerto Banús contains high-end shopping malls, stylish restaurants, and bars.
If you’re into golf, you might find yourself in a golfing paradise because Marbella offers dozens of golf courses for all ages and levels. Some of the best golf courses in Marbella include Los Naranjos Golf Club, Marbella Golf And Country Club, Aloha Golf Club, and Real Club De Golf Guadalmina.
How to get to Marbella, Spain?
Where to park in Marbella, Spain?
Marbella offers many paid parking lots in the city, but if you want to save some money you can try to find a free place on the streets near Teatro Ciudad de Marbella, like Calle Rodrigo de Triana.
Reach Marbella by bus
All right, you’ve made it to the end. Thanks for hanging around here! We hope that you’ve found something for yourself in this list of 10 best things to do and see in Marbella, Spain. Go and see it for yourself while visiting Marbella, you won’t regret it. See you next time!
Where to eat in Marbella?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Marbella:
Where to sleep in Marbella?
Marbella - Map of places
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