Marbella is one of the most famous tourist resorts in Europe.
Located on the Costa del Sol in Spain, Marbella enjoys an almost sub-tropical climate and has some of the best infrastructure.
Marbella is only a thirty minute transfer away from the nearest airport which is Malaga International Airport.
Marbella is easily accessible through the public transport service with regular train and bus services.
Are you an expat in Marbella? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.
Marbella is a popular tourist resort especially with visitors from northern-Europe including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany as well as Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait and the United States.
Marbella attracts many rich and famous celebrities notably in the entertainment industry and sporting celebrities to its fair shores, it also attracts aristocrats and royals for breaks, vacations and events.
Marbella is on the tourist map as a port of call on the cruise ship itineraries and is also home to the WTA Tennis Experience Tournament which is played on the red clay. Past champions include Victoria Azarenka, Flavia Pennetta and Jelena Jankovic.
Marbella is also a golfer’s paradise and enthusiasts of the sport can spend days at the Marbella Golf and Country Club, Santa Clara Golf Marbella, Golf Rio Real and Monte Paraiso Golf courses.
Marbella has close to thirty kilometres of coastline and beaches. The best beaches in Marbella to visit are La Fontanilla Beach, El Faro Beach, La Venus Beach, La Venus Beach and La Bajadilla Beach.
Marbella like neighbouring Puerto Banus has its fair share of beach clubs. Worth mentioning are Nikki Beach, Sonora Beach, MC Beach, Heaven Beach, Trocadero Beach and Suite del Mar.
An evening in Marbella can be spent in a bar with live music such as Ana Maria, Champagne Room, Stones Music Bar and the La Notte Piano Bar. Popular Marbella night clubs includes Olivia Valere, Café del Mar and Oh Marbella.
If a spot of gambling is on the itinerary, then the most popular venue favoured by tourists is actually located in Puerto Banus which is the Casino Nuevo Andalucia.
Marbella of course will have some very luxurious five star hotels. The most highly recommended Marbella hotels starting at around €70 a night include La Villa Marbella, Marbella Heights Boutique Hotel, El Oceano Hotel, Marriott Marbella Beach Hotel and the Hotel Claude Marbella.
Marbella has close to seven hundred restaurants. Worth dining out at are the Restaurante Messina, Tempora, Rendez-Vous, Bijou Bar and Bistro, Stuzzikini, Sloanes Bistro, Hermosa, Bistro Paloma, Nermans Restaurant Bistro Bar and the Italian Kitchen.
A vacation to Marbella is surely one to remember or makes for a great day out if staying in resorts such as Fuengirola or Estepona.
What To See and Do
Marbella is recognised as one of the most luxurious and famous tourist resorts in Spain.
It blossomed in the 1950’s and 60’s with the opening of the Marbella Club by the aristocratic Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe of Liechenstein.
Marbella attracted celebrities such as Sophia Loren and royalty such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Luxury hotels such as the Pez Espada were built setting a trend that resulted in many marinas, luxury hotels and golf course developments springing up.
To this day Marbella continues to attract wealthy Spanish and northern Europeans. Today Marbella is a mix of old and new. Marbella retains a delightful old town known as Casco Antiguo which centres around Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square). This area is full of old cobbled streets and plazas with many bars, restaurants and shops many of them designer boutiques with brand names such as Cartier and Bulgari.
In this old town area is the Town Hall which dates from the 16th century and the church of Iglesia de la Encarnacion, which also dates from the 16th century but was later remodeled in a Baroque style.
Malaga is a better place for history and museums but Marbella does have two museums worth mentioning; the Museo del Grabada Espanol Contemporaneo with of engravings by the Picasso, Dali and Miro, while the quirky Museo de Bonsai has a collection of the miniature Japanese trees. This is located in the Parque de la Represa.
For families visiting Marbella consider a trip to the Natura Aventura adventure park in San Pedro de la Alcantara, 7 km outside Marbella. It is suitable for all ages but especially teenagers who will love the rock climbing, kayaking and paintball.
What is special about Marbella?
Marbella has many differences to other tourist resorts on the Costa del Sol. It has beautiful beaches and careful development which attracts rich and famous people including many celebrities who come here to relax and party the summer away on their luxury yachts. It is not full of over-developed high-rise apartment blocks and tacky, cheap restaurants which other towns and cities suffer from. The restaurants, bars and beach clubs in Marbella are trendy and hip.
Marbella has a safe, cosmopolitan atmosphere, crime is low and the weather is good even in winter which is why so many people choose this area to own a second holiday home.
Shopping is an important part of the Marbella scene. There are some lovely boutique-style shops within the Casco Antiguo, while designer labels can be sourced from the main avenue running through the town, Avenida Ramon y Cajal which leads into the Avenida de Ricardo Soriano. On the outskirts of the town is the La Canada commercial centre the largest indoor shopping mall on the Costa del Sol which contains shops, fast-food outlets, a multiplex cinema, healthclub and bowling alley.
Getting to Marbella
Marbella is situated 28 km west of Fuengirola. Marbella bus station is situated next to the bypass, about a mile from the town centre. There is a regular express service from here to Malaga airport which takes about 45 minutes or you can book a transfer here. There are also buses from Marbella to many of the resorts along the Costa del Sol, as well as inland to the popular tourist destination of Ronda. Long distance services to Cadiz, Jerez, Granada and Almeria are also available.
Is Marbella near Benidorm?
Definitely not because they are not remotely close. Benidorm is far away on Spain’s Costa Blanca coast which is a distance of 570 km and a drive time of 5 hours and 33 minutes. If you want more bars and nightclubs try Benalmadena, Fuengirola or Torremolinos instead.
Real Estate Agents
Whether you’re looking for a place to rent or to stay at permanently, you can take advantage of the services from the real estate agents in Marbella who are more than willing to help you in finding your ideal residence.
You can contact Panorama (www.panorama.es, Tel. +34 952 774 266 and +34 952 863 750), Diana Morales Properties (www.dmproperties.com, Tel. +34 952 765 138) and El Chorrito Rural Real Estate (elchorrito.es, Tel. +34 658 356 696).
Read a great interview we did with El Chorrito Rural Real Estate further down the page where they give some really informative information about Marbella and its property market.
Tourist Information Offices>
Marbella Tourist Office Address:
Plaza de los Naranjos s/n, 29600 Marbella (Malaga)
Telephone Number: +34 952 823 550
Email Address: email@example.com
Are you an expat in Marbella? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.
Moving to Marbella
If you are thinking of moving to Marbella, then you must read our interview with El Chorrito Rural Real Estate below:
El Chorrito, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Marbella compared to other Costa del Sol towns?
There are loads of advantages of living in Marbella, among them we can find the perfect weather most of the months in a year, peacefulness, security, multiculturalism, leisure, gastronomy, luxury, golf courses, beaches, great public transport connections, etc.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
Bearing in mind the multicultural atmosphere can be found in Marbella, every type of people is accepted and valued.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
The percentages of citizens in Marbella (2015) are the following:
– 30.4 percent are foreigners
– 27.88 percent are from Marbella
– 18.05 percent are from Málaga
– 13.45 percent are from Andalusia
– 10.21 percent are from the rest of Spain
In conclusion, the total percentage of Spanish citizens in Marbella is 69.59 percent.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
In Marbella, there are many things anyone can do, things such as going to a restaurant or bar –as there are loads of them –, taking a boat ride, going to the beach, playing golf or going shopping to La Cañada –the largest and more luxurious shopping mall–.
Another option might be visiting interesting areas such as Marbella Este, Los Monterios, Marbella Centro (casco antigüo), Milla de Oro, Puerto Banús or Nueva Andalucía.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
We have in Marbella a little world of bars and restaurants, for every type of people and of varying prices. We can name some of the most popular: Marbella Club, Marisquería Santiago, La Lonja, La Barca, La Pesquera, Ocen Club, Nikki Beach, La Venencia, El Trocadero.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Marbella, like every “big town” has all the facilities a person needs to live fully. We can find public and private health clinics, hospitals, aesthetic clinics –many people travel there to be operated, as they are well known–, luxury shops in Puerto Banús, La Cañada Shopping Center, El Corte Inglés, etc.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Monda and Guaro are highly recommended villages to visit, as they are close to Marbella and they have a lot of things to do in there. Some are Ojén, El Juanar, Estepona, Calahonda, Mijas, among others. In addition, it is important to highlight the fact that Marbella is really close to La Sierra de las Nieves, so it can be interesting to give the option of doing inland tourism.
What are the nearest internationals schools and how good are they?
Colegio Ecos, Las Chapas, Les Roches, The British School of Marbella, Swans International School Marbella, among others.
Is crime an issue for expats?
It is not, Marbella is a really secure city for every citizen.
Coming onto buying property – what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, down or staying the same?
At this point in time, prices are going up again.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
There are some remaining cheap repossessions/properties, the fact is that, on the one hand market opportunities is getting smaller; on the other hand, Marbella is a very fascinating place to live that it is really difficult to find cheap properties or to find prices going down.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
Urbanisation Tiro de Pichón, Urbanisation Lorea Playa, Urbanisation Las Mimosas, Urbanisation Villa Marina, Urbanisation El Gamonal, Urbanisation San Javier, Urbanisation Ancón Sierra, Urbanisation El Vicario, Urbanisation Santa Petronilla, Urbanisation La Carolina, Urbanisation Cascada de Camojan, Urbanisation La Capellanía, Urbanisation Jardines Colgantes, Urbanisation Lomas Marbella, Urbanisation El Real Panorama, Urbanisation Lindasol, Urbanisation Los Monteros, Urbanisation Bahía Real, Urbanisation Las Brisas, Urbanisation Vistamar, Urbanisation Bosquemar, Urbanisation Los Pinos, Urbanisation Loma de Las Palmas, Urbanisation Belle Epoque, Urbanisation Cerrado de Elviria, Urbanisation Marbella Playa, Urbanisation Real de Zaragoza, Urbanisation Pinos Verdes, Urbanisation Artola Alta, Urbanisation Cabopino, Urbanisation Village de Santa María.
How much are typical property prices in Marbella for apartments, villas etc?
The average price per square meter for Marbella is 3,490 euros. The average price for properties in Marbella is 886,449 euros based on 1,354 properties.
For high standing considered properties, the price has to be a minimum 700,000 euros.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Marbella or surrounding area?
If someone is looking for a property to live in Marbella, the best option is to contact real estates professionals. The reason is that they can mistakenly find properties that are not regularized, due to problems with the city council.
El Chorrito, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact El Chorrito, you can find their details below.
You can also go to our main Coín page where we have another fantastic interview with El Chorrito.
Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.
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Main author and owner of SpainMadeSimple.com which was started in 2004 when I first moved to Spain.
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