18 best sights of Marbella – description and photos

18 Sights in Marbella recommended to visit

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Marbella is a world-famous fashionable resort on the southern coast of the Costa del Sol. Among the numerous attractions of Marbella (Spain) there is something for everyone to enjoy – from beaches and parks to beautiful old buildings and nightlife in world-class facilities. So what to see in Marbella during your vacation in this wonderful resort?

Orange Square

Orange Square

Orange Square | Photo: wikimedia.

Plaza de los Naranjos or Orange Square is located in the center of the old part of Marbella – all the narrow paved streets of the historic district lead to it. The orange trees, one of the main symbols of Andalusia, are planted everywhere. The square is full of tapas bars and restaurants with sunny terraces where you can relax with a small glass of cold beer.

Address: Orange Square, Naranjos Square, Marbella, Spain.

Fontanilla Beach

Fontanilla Beach

Beach Fontanilla.| Photo: wikimedia.

Playa de la Fontanilla is the main beach within the city limits, which stretches along the southern part of Marbella. It has all the amenities of a popular city beach: rented lounge chairs; showers; water activities; water sports equipment rentals; and, of course, a promenade filled with bars and restaurants that offer menus for every taste, from Indian cuisine to tapas.

Address: Paseo Marítimo, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Bahadilla Beach

Bahadilla Beach

Beach Bajadilla.

Playa de la Bajadilla is located a little east of Fontanilla beach, in the old fishermen’s quarter of Marbella. This beach is smaller and occupies a curved section of sandy coast. It is wide, shallow, with no waves, so it is always crowded in the summer. Right on Bahadilla Beach are the tables of Puerto Playa, one of the city’s best seafood restaurants.

Address: Restaurante Puerto Playa, Marbella, Spain.

Old Town district.

Old Town

Old Town neighborhood.| Photo: Kamyar Adl / Flickr.

The picturesque old town Casco Antiguo in Marbella is one of the most intimate places in Andalusia. The interweaving of flowery streets, romantic squares and elegant townhouses is as enchanting as the oldest neighborhoods of Granada, Cordoba and Seville. The best way to get lost in the atmosphere of the old city is to get lost in its narrow streets (this will not be too difficult).

Address: Casco Historico, Plaza de los Naranjos, 3, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Divina Pastora neighborhood.

Divina Pastora

Divina Pastora neighborhood.

Divina Pastora is a lively residential neighborhood in the center of Marbella (east of Represa Park) that is definitely worth a visit. After shopping in the markets of the old town, locals love to chat by the fruit and vegetable stands, or have a coffee in the cheap bars. In the local church, you can view paintings of the different Andalusian provinces.

Address: Calzados Gutiérrez, Calle Peñuelas, 5, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Santo Cristo Square

Santo Cristo Square

Plaza de Santo Cristo. | Photo: Maria Victoria Rodriguez / Flickr.

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Plaza Santo Cristo is another attractive square in the old city. Here you will find two colorful buildings: the bright yellow bar where Ana Maria flamenco shows take place, and next to it, the burgundy building of the former café. A historic site to the left of these buildings is the 15th century Santo Cristo Chapel.

Address: Plaza Santo Cristo, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Miraflores district.

Cartijo Mipaflores Museum

Cartijo Mipaflores Museum | Photo: wikimedia.

Miraflores is a residential area of the city, located north of the historic center of Marbella. It is known for its local friendliness, which is evident in everything. There are several museums: the small but interesting Cartijo Mipaflores, which tells the history of olive oil production, and archaeology museums.

Address: Centro Cultural Cortijo De Miraflores, Calle San Pedro de Alcantara, 10, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Salvador Dali Sculptures

One of Salvador Dali's sculptures.

One of the sculptures by Salvador Dali.

Many may be surprised to learn that Marbella has a world-class collection of sculptures by Salvador Dali. Ten bronze works by the famous Catalan surrealist are presented along Avenida del Mar, the city’s wide boulevard leading to the promenade.

Address: Esculturas de Dalí, Av. del Mar, Avenida, 16, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings

Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings

Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings. | Photo: wikimedia.

The Museo del Grabado Español Contemporaneo is the only museum of its kind in Spain. It is housed in a graceful 16th-century structure that once served as a hospital. Through the exhibits in the museum’s permanent collection, the entire history of Spanish prints and graphics can be traced. The galleries also feature works by famous artists, including Dali and Miró.

Address: Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, Calle Hospital Bazán, s/n, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Puerto Banús Marina

Puerto Banús Marina

Puerto Banús marina.

Puerto Banús is a fashionable marina located eight kilometers west of Marbella. Today it is one of the most famous places on the Costa del Sol, which can be briefly described in three words: yachts, Ferraris and boutiques. Visit it to find out if the marina really deserves its fame.

Address: Puerto banús muelle de honor – torre de control, marbella, málaga es 29660 29660 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Park Alameda.

Alameda Park

Parque Alameda.| Photo: wikimedia.

Parque de Alameda is a romantic, tropical-like park located in the center of the modern part of the city, just behind the Paseo Maritimo (Paseo Maritimo) promenade.

Its main avenue is adorned with benches lined with wonderful ceramic tiles, and the centerpiece of the park is a large beautiful 17th century fountain. There is an organic produce market on the first Saturday of every month.

Address: Parque de la Alameda, Avda. Ramón y Cajal, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

National Park of Nagueles.

Nagueles National Park

Nagüeles National Park.

Nagüeles is a national country park located in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca, just five kilometers north of Marbella. Guests are provided with a spacious recreation area equipped with several barbecue grills and picnic tables; as well as a play and exercise area for dogs.

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Address: Parque Nagüeles, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Parque de la Constitución

Park Constitution

Parque Constitución.

The Parque de la Constitución is the largest public park in the center of Marbella. It is a nice place to relax on its shady paths, sheltering from the hot sun in spring and summer. It is during these seasons that concerts take place in the park’s auditorium. The outdoor terrace of the cafe is an ideal place to sit quietly and order an ice cream or a cold drink.

Address: Constitution Park, Av. Arias Maldonado 14, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Castle Walls

Fortress walls

Fortress Walls.

In the center of the city the only monuments of the centuries-old history of Marbella are the dilapidated walls and watchtowers of the fortress. These ruins, near the west side of the Represa Park, once protected a 9th century fort. The fortress walls and towers were built in the 10th and 11th centuries, during Moorish rule.

Address: Castle Walls, Calle Portada, 7, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Marbella Market

Marbella Market

Marbella market.

Do you want to feel the atmosphere of the local street life? Then go to the central food market of the city – Mercado de Marbella. Here you can find everything: cheese and wine; fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat; smoked ham; and bundles of dried peppers. And, of course, there are groups of locals everywhere, talking loudly and gesticulating vigorously as they shop.

Address: Hnos Haro, Av. Mercado, 1D, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Bonsai Museum

Bonsai Museum

Bonsai Museum.

Marbella is the only major city in Andalusia that has a museum dedicated to miniature trees. In the halls of the Museo del Bonsai, located in the central part of the Represa Park, you can admire amazing examples of bonsai trees. It is also the oldest collection of wild olive trees in Europe.

Address: Bonsai Museum, Parque Arroyo de la Represa, Avda. del Doctor Maiz Viñal, 29600 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Church of Santa Maria Encarnación

Santa Maria Encarnación Church

Church of Santa Maria Encarnacion. | Photo: elCandidato Comunicación / Flickr.

One of the most striking historical landmarks of Marbella is this majestic church with Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements. It was built in the middle of the 18th century. The city was only liberated from the Moorish rule at the end of the fifteenth century, which is much later than almost all of Spain.

The former mosque was immediately consecrated and became a Christian place of worship several centuries before the structure was completed. Some of the architecture of the building was remodeled for Christian use. For example, the church tower was once a minaret. The plan of the interior space was changed to a basilica layout with three aisles and added a luxurious 18th century rococo decoration.

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Address: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, Plaza de la Iglesia, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

La Concha mountain

La Concha hilltop

The top of the mountain La Concha.

A great idea for travelers is to climb the mountain outside the city in the season with milder weather conditions. Mount La Concha is part of the Sierra Blanca coastal range and is over 1,200 meters above sea level. The mountain peak, devoid of vegetation, can be seen from anywhere in Marbella.

As you approach the summit, you see a very different picture – steep valley slopes covered with tall pines and oaks. Following the signs, you’ll soon find yourself in the middle of a landscape of scrub vegetation. From the top of the mountain, you will have an unforgettable panoramic view that stretches far beyond Marbella and into the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The hike to La Concha Peak takes about four hours.

Marbella

Marbella (Spain) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Marbella with descriptions, guides and maps.

Marbella city, Spain

Marbella – a city in the south of Spain in the autonomy of Andalusia. Once a small village of fishermen is now considered the resort capital of the province of Malaga and the entire Costa del Sol. Marbella is a cozy and trendy city, offering the highest class recreation: chic clubs, restaurants and golf courses, beautiful beaches and numerous stores. In addition, the historic center has a typical Andalusian charm: whitewashed houses with metal balconies and flowers, paved streets with orange trees.

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Geography and climate

Marbella occupies a narrow segment of the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain which is about 40 km long. The terrain is formed by the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. The north of Marbella is protected by the Cordillera Penibietica. The climate is Mediterranean subtropical. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The average annual temperature is about 18 degrees.

Sierra Blanca Mountains

The mountains of the Sierra Blanca.

Beaches of Marbella

Marbella is one of the best destinations for beach holidays in Spain. The province offers almost 30 km of sandy beaches, many of which are marked by the blue flag. The beach Fontanilla is located within walking distance of the historic center. It is about 1 km long and has a beautiful promenade with restaurants and stores.

Marbella Beach

Beach in Marbella

Other popular beaches are Real de Zaragoza and de Alicante. The beaches Guadalmina, Linda Vista and San Pedro Alcántara are located near Puerto Banús. They are several kilometers long, have a blue flag and are great for families. Many excellent beaches can be found in the seaside towns of the province. The best of them are marked on the map below.

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Marbella's best beaches

The best beaches in Marbella

Information for tourists

  1. The population is 141.2 thousand people.
  2. Area – 116.8 square kilometers.
  3. Language – Spanish.
  4. Currency – euros.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.

Streets of Marbella

Streets of Marbella

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Marbella is April-June and September-October. If you don’t mind the heat, July and August would also be a good option.

Marbella Bay

Marbella bay

History

Some researchers attribute the founding of Marbella to the Phoenicians. But what is certain is that there was a Roman settlement here during Antiquity. During the Middle Ages, after the raids of the Normans, the Muslims built a small castle and several defense towers. The old town was surrounded by gardens, which consisted mainly of mulberry and fig trees.

In 1485 Marbella comes under the rule of the Kingdom of Castile without bloodshed. In 1644 they begin to grow sugar cane here. In the early 19th century some of the first Spanish blast furnaces were built here. The heavy industry produced more than half of the country’s iron. By the mid-20th century Marbella has become one of the most popular resorts in Spain.

Streets of the Historic Center

The streets of the historic center

How to get there

The nearest airport is located in Málaga. It is served by most European carriers. An alternative is Gibraltar Airport, but it is about two hours away. From Malaga airport to Marbella you can take a bus that leaves every hour. The travel time is about 40 minutes. We recommend getting on the left side of the bus on the way to Marbella for a great view of the coast. Or on the right if you are moving in the opposite direction. The central bus station is right at the exit to the A-7 freeway. There are regular buses along the coast.

Shopping

Marbella has great shopping to offer with several large shopping complexes, hypermarkets, specialty food stores and boutiques. Quite a few stores can be found in the historic center around Avenida Ricardo Sorriano.

In Marbella you can find a huge number of cafes and restaurants with both traditional and Eastern, European and even Latin American cuisine. It is necessary to try dishes from fish and seafood, local gazpacho, paella, tapas and much more. The province is also famous for its dessert wines.

Restaurants in Marbella

Restaurants in Marbella

The city is known for its luxurious nightlife. The most exclusive and stylish spots are located in Puerto Banus and on the Golden Mile.

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Attractions

The old town is located at the foot of the hills and foothills of the Sierra Blanca on the shore of a pretty bay. The historic center of Marbella has a typical Andalusian charm with a touch of Moorish past which is conveyed through the neatly whitewashed facades of the houses, decorated with flowers and orange trees which can be found on every corner.

Old Town

In the old town

The heart of the old town is Los Naranjos Square. In the center of the square is a small orange orchard and many restaurants under its crown. There are several interesting sights on the square. The first of them is the town hall. It was built in the 16th century and is an excellent example of the Spanish style.

Los Naranjos Square

Los Naranjos square

Another attraction of Los Naranjos Square is the Ermita de Santiago Church. This small church is the oldest in Marbella and is notable for its modern sculpture of St. James the Apostle.

Another interesting square is the Plaza de Altamirano. It is located in a quiet corner of the old town and fully conveys its atmosphere. This beautiful cobblestone square is filled with palm trees, old-fashioned street lamps and quaint old buildings.

Encarnación Church

Encarnación Church

The Encarnación Church is Marbella’s most important religious building. The church was built in the 16th century by Catholic monks on the site of a Muslim mosque. The distinctive feature of the façade is the main door, which is elegantly carved in ochre stone in rococo style.

Moorish Heritage

Fragments of Moorish heritage

Nearby is the charming Mudejar chapel of the Capilla de San Juan. Nearby stands one of the two towers that were part of an old 9th century Arab fortress. Evidence of the Roman origin of the city are the numerous archaeological sites that can be found in the area, among them: the Paleochristian Basilica of Vega del Mar, the Roman baths in Guadalmina or the Villa Rio Verde.

Santo Cristo

Santo Cristo

Santo Cristo is a historic church built by Franciscan monks in the 16th century. The facade of the church has stone details and an octagonal roof of beautiful ceramic tiles.

Puerto Banús

Puerto Banus

Puerto Banús is the most famous and trendy marina in Marbella, located about 10 kilometers from the old town. The marina is considered the best in Spain. Stylish restaurants and expensive boutiques overlook the promenade. The restaurants have outdoor terraces for a perfect seaside atmosphere.

Excursions of interest

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