Against the backdrop of the gorgeous Sierra Blanca Mountains, this trendy town is on a picturesque stretch of the Costa del Sol. Locals and tourists alike enjoy strolling along the palm tree-lined promenades, and the area’s exclusive beach clubs and golf courses attract affluent visitors.
The Old Town (Casco Antiguo) and its beaches are the most visited areas. But if you want to go off the sand, there are plenty of plazas, old buildings, museums, and shops to visit in Marbella.
Whitewashed homes, cobblestone lanes, and leafy trees characterize historic Marbella, a charming ancient Moorish town. The colorful bougainvillea cascades from the ironwork balconies of several of the older buildings.
Top 11 attractions in Marbella
Find out what to do and see in this coastal town with our handy guide to Marbella’s greatest attractions and activities.
- Puerto Banús
- Paseo de La Alameda
- Plaza de los Naranjos
- Avenida del Mar
- Murallas del Castillo
- Beaches of Marbella
- Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo
- Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz
- Marbella Old Town
- Shopping in Marbella
- Nightlife in Marbella
Puerto Bans, located about 10 kilometers from the Old Town, is Marbella’s chic harbor where the A-list flocks to socialize and be seen. The beachfront is lined with trendy cafes and chic shops. Strangely enough, there are also street sellers peddling low-quality imitations. This beachfront is, without a doubt, one of the best tourist attractions in Marbella.
Outdoor terraces provide diners with a taste of the seashore at these eateries. You can have dinner while watching luxurious boats move up and down in the harbor.
One of the greatest yacht marinas in Spain, Puerto Bans has hundreds of slots for yachts and other vessels. In addition to being a departure point for several sailing voyages and other activities, the marina also rents out boats.
While high-end boutiques line the coastline, a less affluent neighborhood filled with kebab stalls and other bargain shops is barely 50 meters away.
Paseo de La Alameda
A tranquil public park in the heart of the Old Town, the Paseo de La Alameda connects to the beachfront promenade through the Paseo Maritimo. After getting lost in the maze of alleys of the Old City, this is a welcome change of pace and one of Marbella’s top attractions.
The park’s central promenade is paved in marble and has ornamental seats and fountains, such as the Fuente Virgen del Rocio, constructed in 1762.
The park was the first urban park in the city and included botanical gardens. Cold beverages, snacks, newspapers, and magazines are sold in a small kiosk in the park’s southern section.
Plaza de los Naranjos
The Plaza de los Naranjos is a popular gathering spot in Marbella’s historic district, Casco Antiguo. The area is surrounded by shops and restaurants, many of which have patios shaded by trees making it one of Marbella’s top tourist attractions.
Marbella’s vibrant downtown revolves around this picturesque plaza. In the spring, the Plaza de los Naranjos soaks in the sweet scent of orange blossoms. The grove of orange trees in the square’s center provides much-needed summertime shade.
This area is home to two of Marbella’s oldest landmarks: the town hall (Casa Consistorial, constructed in 1572) and the oldest parish church (Ermita de Santiago, erected in 1609). The modern sculpture of Saint James the Apostle in an otherwise unremarkable whitewashed cathedral is worth seeing in this area.
Avenida del Mar
The Avenida del Mar is a picturesque pedestrian walkway connecting the Paseo Maritimo and Parque Alameda and is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and one of Marbella’s best tourist attractions. Imaginative bronze figures by Salvador Dal are on display here permanently; the showcase includes ten statues by Dal and two by Eduardo Soriano.
The location of the pedestrian avenue was historically a gathering place for the city’s elite to parade their elaborately adorned carriages. The area, which was transformed into a contemporary promenade in the 1990s, continues to attract a large number of people. The city’s central business district and its beaches are easily accessible via a big parking lot beneath Avenida del Mar.
Murallas del Castillo
An ancient Moorish citadel (fortified castle and city) is represented today by the Murallas del Castillo. The last remnant of the Muslim culture in Marbella is these massive crenelated walls with two towers. The walls were built during the Moorish Caliphate era (the 10th and 11th centuries). They were repaired at the beginning of 1735 and have looked fine until now.
Even if there is nothing to see inside the walls, you should still go check it out, as it is one of Marbella’s best attractions. The massive size of the walls provides a glimpse of the ancient citadel’s splendor.
Leaving Marbella’s Old Town, you could come upon the city’s Moorish castle and fortifications. The Marbella Castle, originally built in the 10th century, is on the outskirts of the city proper.
If you want to see a piece of Arabic architecture, this is the best one left in Marbella. There were once ten towers, but now only two stand. The south and east walls preserve the best parts of the castle.
Beaches of Marbella
Marbella is, without a shadow of a doubt, a beach lover’s dream, and its many beaches are an important part of Marbella’s attractions. Enjoying the beautiful Marbella beaches should be at the top of the list, but we only put it there at number 15. Our duty is to suggest activities for you to enjoy away from the beach while in Marbella. But We promise you, the beaches are where you’ll want to spend most of your time!
Seven of Marbella’s beaches have been honored with the blue flag, a global symbol of excellence in tourism and environmental sustainability. Marbella, Spain, boasts some of Europe’s finest beaches, making it an ideal destination for beachgoers.
There are several beach clubs, beachside restaurants, and cabanas along the shoreline. Many of them are close enough to walk to each other. There are beaches both to the east and west of the city center, so your preference may depend on which side of town you’re staying on.
Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo
This world-famous art museum is another must-see in Marbella’s historic district. Bazán Hospital, a beautiful Renaissance Gothic-Mudéjar edifice constructed in the 16th century and designated as a historic landmark, now houses the museum. Entry is free.
The Spanish Contemporary Engravings Museum is the only museum in Spain that collects and displays modern engravings and other forms of Spanish graphic art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Over four thousand works of art are housed in the museum’s collection. Goya, Picasso, Miró, and Dal are just a number of the artists whose works are on display permanently.
The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibits that are put on in conjunction with other prominent institutions in Spain. Make sure you’ll visit this museum as it is one of Marbella’s top tourist attractions.
Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz
The Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz is a Franciscan church that dates back to the 16th century and can be found in the heart of Old Town next to the Murallas del Castillo. The outside of the church is made of stone, and it has a pointed roof covered in glazed ceramic tiles. The interior is simple, with just one main aisle decorated in an Andalusian style.
You may have the Marbella landmark, the Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz, all to yourself because it is a little off the beaten path.
Due to its age and the antiquity of its old town, Marbella is replete with antique churches. The Iglesia del Santo Cristo de la Veracruz is a church worth visiting in Marbella and one of Marbella’s best attractions.
This little church was originally built in the 15th century and later extended in the 18th. It’s a beautiful church that underwent extensive renovations in 1992. If you’re in Barrio Alto, you should definitely stop by.
Marbella Old Town
The whitewashed houses that line the quaint cobblestone pathways of Marbella Old Town provide a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll. Find a bar for a beverage and a boutique selling outfits in the Andalusian style.
Here you may kick back and soak in the Spanish atmosphere while people-watching. Many of the restaurants in the historic district provide outside seating where you may enjoy tapas while taking in the atmosphere of Spain.
Marbella’s Old Town was established in the 15th century and is a terrific place to experience authentic Andalusian culture. This area is surely one of Marbella’s top tourist attractions.
Colorful flowers adorn whitewashed mansions and old structures, making excellent picturesque photo ops. There are several rooftop bars, unique shops, and old structures to explore. You may easily spend a day here wandering the maze of alleys.
This highly-rated walking tour begins with the Roco fountain in Almeda Park and continues down the coast to the Dali statue, the Seaport, and the Marina Promenade. You’ll want to head inside the Old Town to check out the churches and historical landmarks, as well as the Town Hall and Mayor’s House.
Shopping in Marbella
Marbella is a shopper’s dream, with several high-end boutiques and affordable stores along the streets. Puerto Banus is renowned as one of Marbella’s premier shopping areas, home to high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Prada, and many more.
The old town of Marbella, with its picturesque cobblestone alleys and tiny stores, is another excellent shopping location in the city. You may shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade goods, and fashionable stores in this area.
La Canada Shopping Centre is a must-see for individuals in search of more reasonably priced retail selections. High-street clothing, household goods, gadgets, and more can be found at this massive retail center.
Visit one of Marbella’s weekly markets, such as the Puerto Banus or San Pedro markets, to get a taste of local life and pick up some fresh vegetables or unique souvenirs.
As a whole, Marbella is a fantastic place to go on a shopping vacation since it has stores catering to a wide variety of shoppers’ preferences and price ranges, and shopping in the city is one of Marbella’s top attractions.
Nightlife in Marbella
Visitors from all over the world flock to Marbella’s bustling nightlife scene after the sun goes down, as it is one of its top tourist attractions. Marbella is well-known for its dynamic nightlife and glitzy environment, and the city’s many thrilling places make it possible to dance the night away.
Puerto Banus, a posh port dotted with high-end eateries and nightclubs, is a Marbella landmark. The presence of famous people and influential people only adds to the exclusivity of this hotspot.
The Casco Antiguo, the historic core of Marbella, is home to a lively nightlife scene. Its small alleys, picturesque plazas, and busy tapas bars create a more genuine and traditional environment.
Marbella boasts a thriving music scene, perfect for concertgoers. Live performances by local and international performers may be seen in venues like La Sala by the Sea, where a wide variety of musical styles, from pop and rock all the way to jazz and flamenco, are offered.
Marbella is known for its high-end beach clubs, where you may dance all night after spending the day basking in the sun and water.
Marbella, in Southern Spain, is the most affluent and attractive destination on the Costa del Sol. This stunning city on the Mediterranean Sea is a must-see because of its lengthy promenades that run along its sandy beaches, beach bars, and attractive old town.
We hope this article gives you a perspective of this stunning coastal city and its many attractions. Make sure to check our social media accounts for more photos and videos.