This list of the best places to see in Marbella will help you prepare for a visit to one of the most famous cities in Andalusia, making the most of your time.
Located in the province of Malaga, the capital of the emblematic Costa del Sol goes beyond the image of luxury, parties, and yachts. It offers its visitors a beautiful historic center full of narrow streets to get lost and charming corners in addition to a variety of beaches, perfect for relaxing.
The history of this former fishing village began in the late ’50s when it started to grow and became a summer residence for many famous and wealthy people worldwide. It all happened thanks to its fantastic climate all year round (more than 300 days of sunshine) and its excellent leisure offer.
Although you can visit all the city’s points of interest in the morning, we recommend spending a whole day to enjoy its idyllic beaches and visit the luxurious Puerto Banús.
- Avenida del Mar
One of the best things to do in Marbella is to arrive early in the morning and leave the car in the subway parking of the Avenida del Mar to start the visit from this point.
This short avenue connects the Alameda Park with the Paseo Marítimo enchants by the ten bronze sculptures designed by the great artist Salvador Dalí, making it a small open-air museum.
- Beaches of Marbella
Once you reach the end of the Avenida del Mar, you will find the endless promenade and the Playa de la Venus, one of the busiest and most beautiful places to see in Marbella.
Although Marbella has 23 beaches along its 27 kilometers of coastline, the closest to the city’s center include the Nagüelles, located next to the Marbella Club. Precisely, it is in the middle of the golden mile and Bounty, perfect for relaxing listening to chill-out music in one of its beach bars or lying under the shade of a palm tree.
If you go with children, we recommend the beach of La Bajadilla, with calm and shallow waters, which also has all the services and several places to have a drink or eat.
- Alameda Park
After taking a refreshing dip and taking a picture of the famous lighthouse of the Paseo Marítimo, you can go to Alameda Park, another of the must-see places to visit in Marbella.
This park, located at the old town entrance, is dominated by a large circular fountain surrounded by beautiful Andalusian tile benches and various trees that provide shade and tranquility to locals and tourists.
- Plaza de los Naranjos, one of the must-see places in Marbella
Going up Calle Valdes from the Alameda, you will reach the Plaza de Los Naranjos, the nerve center of the old town and one of the most beautiful places to see in Marbella.
Constructed in 1485 during the Christian reconquest, this area lies in the heart of the city’s oldest religious temple, surrounded by white residences and historical buildings in the Andalusian style, including the town hall, the Corregidor House, and the Santiago Hermitage.
The center of the square is occupied by a beautiful Renaissance fountain and numerous orange trees that give color and name to this beautiful square, as well as several terraces where you can have a drink while watching the daily hustle and bustle of tourists.
- Old Town of Marbella
Getting lost in the old town’s narrow streets, with its Moorish layout and Andalusian architecture, and discovering all its magical corners, is another of the best things to do in Marbella.
During the route through streets like Caballeros, Remedios, Estación, Alamo, and Soledad, among many others, you will fall in love with its pristine white houses, the balconies full of flowers and some bougainvillea, and the local craft stores. There are typical taverns where you can have a drink accompanied by a tapa and the places where you can try some regional specialties, such as El Patio de Mariscal and El Cortijo, two of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Marbella.
- Wide Street
Another of our favorite places to see in Marbella is the Calle Ancha that ends in the beautiful Plaza de Santo Cristo presided over by the Ermita del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz.
This stately street of the nineteenth century, which linked the historic center with the northern area, is characterized by its noble houses with large balconies and coats of arms carved on their facades and balconies full of flowers.
Once you get to the Plaza de Santo Cristo, you will see a hermitage of the fifteenth century, a beautiful fountain in the center, and possibly the best flamenco tablao in town, the house of Ana Maria Los Chatos.
- Walls of Marbella
From the Plaza del Santo Cristo, you can go down Calle Ancha again and cross the narrow Calle Principe until you reach the area of Calle Arte y Salinas. Here, you can find the Walls of the old Alcazaba, another of Marbella’s most exciting places to visit.
Built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, during the reign of Abdurrahman III, the ruins of this castle are the most critical vestige of Muslim civilization that remains in the city and impresses with its imposing walls and defensive towers.
At the end of Salinas Street is the fascinating Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engraving, located in a beautiful Renaissance building of the sixteenth century and with more than 4,000 works.
- Church of Santa María de la Encarnación
After visiting the Museum of Engraving, you can walk along Calle Viento until you reach the church of Santa María de la Encarnación, another of the most beautiful places to visit in Marbella.
Built in the early seventeenth century, this temple stands out for a facade with a magnificent red stone semblance, rococo style, and a tower over 50 meters high. Inside, it houses the superb Sol Mayor Organ and a baroque altarpiece.
Leaving the church, you can take a stroll through the narrow streets around it, such as Soledad, Alderete, Caridad, and Misericordia streets, ending at the Chapel of San Juan de Dios. After capturing the city, this charming temple was part of the old Royal Hospital, built by the Catholic Monarchs.
- Visit Puerto Banús, one of the best things to do in Marbella
Another of the best things to do in Marbella is to go by car or bus to Puerto Banus, located 6 kilometers from the center and one of the most exclusive areas of Europe.
In this glamorous marina with a certain resemblance to Saint Tropez, you will see luxurious yachts of several meters in length, high-end cars, exclusive boutiques, and lively nightclubs.
In addition to the walk along the harbor to the Mirador del Muelle de Honor, you can take a swim at the beach of Puerto Banus and approach the lighthouse, from where you will have excellent views of the peak of La Concha.
- Excursions from Marbella
Once you have completed the list of must-see places in Marbella, you can make an excursion to some of the closer wonders. Among the most recommended by travelers are:
- Artola Dunes: Located 15 kilometers from the center, this mobile dune system is home to a beautiful unspoiled beach and the Torre Ladrones of Roman origin.
- Colores Castle: It is a fairytale castle located in Benalmadena, built to pay homage to Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of America.
- Tangier: This northern Moroccan city enchants with its fantastic Medina and the architecture of the Kasbah. You can book an excursion by boat and with a guide in Spanish here.
- Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas: Two of the most beautiful villages in Andalucia that you can visit in one day by booking this excursion.
- Malaga: Completing this list of places to see in Malaga, you will get to know one of the cities with the best quality of life in Spain.