20 Best Things to Do in Marbella, Spain

Marbella, Spain
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At the southern end of the mystical European country of Spain, you'll find the picturesque city of Marbella.

To paint you a clearer picture, Marbella is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and is located in the foothills of Sierra Blanca.

This lovely city, known as Costa del Sol's tourist capital, looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.

Marbella has a population of roughly 141,463, making it the second-largest city in the entire province of Malaga.

The city boasts fine temperatures, endless beaches combined, and classic European architecture, making this city an ideal place to visit all year long.

With its color-coordinated neighborhoods and cobbled paths, flowering streets, grand chapels and castles, clean beaches, hiking, snorkeling, sailing, dolphin watching, surfing, climbing activities, and mountainous views, the Spanish city sure is an ideal and yet out-of-the-box travel destination.

These are the best things to do in Marbella, Spain:

Let the Old Town of Marbella Enchant You

Old Town at Plaza De los Naranjos
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The finest shades of Europe await your presence at the Old Town at Plaza de los Naranjos.

The Old Town comprises a number of Marbella's attractions, so multiple trips are recommended to experience it fully.

It begins from alleys permanently decorated with cobblestoned paths, which give it a fairy tale feel.

The entire area boasts color-coordinated architecture with white commercial structures, and occasionally there are breakages with otherworldly mustard yellow or magenta buildings.

A narrow street at Old Town Marbella
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In the Old Town, narrow winding paths lead to huge open-air dining areas.

Make an evening trip to the marketing areas for an unforgettable night with your loved ones in the presence of lamp-lit streets and live music humming from all corners.

The quintessential windows or verandas pouring with bougainvillea are a must to add to the royal ambiance.

The Old Town has orange trees everywhere, old churches, endless bars, cafes, and a unique Spanish atmosphere.

Night scene at Old Town Marbella's square
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Experience the Blue Magic of Puerto Banús

Scenic view of Puerto Banus Marina beach
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Quintessential seaside magic waits for you at the luxurious Puerto Banús.

There is a harbor that is sure to blow your mind once you lay your eyes on the finest yachts and cruise ships.

Take all the rides you want in these luxurious transport systems.

Alternatively, you can simply find your spot among hoops, swings, beach rests, and chairs, and relax with your favorite drink.

Boats on the water of Puerto Banús
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The beach is always a favorite among tourists, as you can head there to take a nice dip or go for water sports.

The area is filled with restaurants and cafes to satiate your hunger after a long day at the beach.

The port has a vivid range of shops where travelers from all over the world can get their hands on the most authentic Spanish garments, showpieces, and other memorabilia.

Shops along Puerto Banús harbour
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Have a Picture-Perfect Time at Cabopino Beach

Boardwalk of Cabopino Beach
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After an activity-filled tour of the Old Town or spending a day amid the buzz of the ports, harbors, and markets, the picture-perfect Cabopino Beach is the perfect spot for a relaxing break.

There are no markets, apartments, or hotels nearby, which gives this area a more naturalistic edge.

The vast beach boasts soft sandy dunes and vividly colored flora, including shrubs and other beachside plantations.

Rocky shore of Cabopino Beach
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There are boardwalks that offer beautiful views of the area, and the beach is maintained regularly, with almost zero littering.

Locals recommend visiting Cabopino Beach during the sunset hours, so you can gaze at the horizon and quietly witness the falling peach and magenta shades of the sun.

Sights of Gibraltar and Morocco can be seen from this spot, and the ruins give the area a mystic appearance.

People walking along Cabopino Beach
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Spot Salvador Dalí's Sculptures along the Famous Avenida Del Mar

Sculptures at Avenida Del Mar
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The Avenida del Mar connects Malaga Beach to the Old Town through Alameda Park.

This place is a unique combination that can only be seen at Marbella.

The area is a passageway great for a good walk around the city.

It is decorated with shops that sell all kinds of goods and give off a very bohemian or rather Spanish ethnic vibe.

The grounds of Avenida Del Mar
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Browse through their selection of paintings, decor, and several other souvenir items, and purchase something to commemorate your trip to Marbella.

The Avenida del Mar's most remarkable feature, however, is the presence of world-renowned artist Salvador Dalí's priceless sculptures, many of which you'll spot along the passageway.

These pieces stand gracefully in between the fountains, and the entire setup gives an art world feel.

Freedom of expression sculpture at Avenida Del Mar
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Walk through the Lavish Paseo Maritimo

Buildings at Paseo Maritimo in Marbella
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Cottagecore aesthetic meets lavish beachside arrangements at Marbella's Paseo Maritimo.

Here, you'll see palm trees, boulevard-like streets, shore beds, tents by the sea, and endless restaurants and cafes.

The promenade also comprises a range of high-end brand shops, local art shops, restaurants serving lip-smacking food, and paths where you can walk, bike, or run.

With all these luring features, it should come as no surprise that this area can be easily called the city's center spot.

There are gardens and seating areas where you can enjoy the shores or views of the African waters.

To make it even more fun, there are video game arcades for all.

Shop and Enjoy the Views at Marina Banús

Shops along Marina Banús
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Located on Calle Ramón Areces, Marina Banús is one of the liveliest spots to enjoy the essence of Marbella.

The shopping mall is like a huge zonal area that has everything from luxury Spanish and international brands to inexpensive local shops, fountains and gorgeous architecture and artistic gardens, and an endless array of restaurants serving mouth-watering dishes.

If you're a big fan of Spanish cuisine, do not miss out on the open-air cafes that offer authentic Spanish food.

Feel free to shop to your heart's content because the things sold here can be unbelievably cheap!

Let the Stunning La Concha Steal Your Heart

Scenic view of La Concha Mountains
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If you're spending a lot of time in Marbella amidst blue waters and sandy shores, why not take a trip to the mountains for a change of scenery?

Marbella has a platter of varied landform features to boost its tourism.

The La Concha Mountains are a set of lush green ranges standing on Marbella.

Trail sign at La Concha mountain
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There are loads of activities to do here for people of all ages.

Hiking, however, is the most loved activity here.

Make sure you carry enough fluids with you as you hike to La Concha's peak.

Once you reach the top, you'll be greeted by some of the most scenic views of Marbella.

Surrounded Yourself with Lush Greenery at Alameda Park

Trees and plants at Alameda Park
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What is a trip to Spain without a visit to a gorgeous park filled with lush greenery?

Alameda Park gives you that and a little more.

A ceramic bench at Alameda Park
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With endless variants of plants and flowering gardens, historic magnanimous fountains, colorful marbled passageways and cycling paths, and heritage benches built with utmost beauty and intricacy, the park has become one of the most prestigious places for people to spend dates or quality time with their families.

What's more, there are a number of quaint historic sculptures that add to the park's elegance.

Night lights of a kids carousel at Alameda Park
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Shop for Local Goods at the Weekly Puerto Banús Street Market

Clothes vendor at Puerto Banus Street Market
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In the Nueva Andalucía area lies the shimmering street market of Puerto Banús, buzzing with the liveliness of travelers and youngsters from many parts of the world.

This flea market is a favorite spot of photographers, as one of the streets is decorated with a canopy of colorful umbrellas, bringing a sense of artistic surrealism to the place.

Hat vendor at Puerto Banús Street Market
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Textiles, art pieces, plants, handicrafts, souvenirs, fruits, veggies, bags, jewelry, shoes, authentic Spanish garments and cuisine—you name it, and it is here.

Located within walking distance of the harbor and a hilly platform, this market also gives the most pleasant views.

Visit the Calming Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación

Entrance of Iglesia Mayor De La Encarnacion
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The hype of the city finds a scenic peace at the Old Catholic Church of Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación.

Around the Plaza de la Iglesia area, this church is more than hundreds of years old.

Covering a surprisingly vast space, the church features pillars made of sandstone and gives off royal vibes.

Once you enter, prepare to be amazed by the endless sculptures standing tall in the church's every nook and corner.

The hall is enormous, with intricate gold work and an overwhelmingly calming presence.

This medieval 16th-century church promises a very rewarding visit.

See the Royal Murallas del Castillo

Motorcycles parked outside Murallas Del Castillo
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The true charm of Spain and Europe remains missing until you get the ultimate folklore experience.

To satiate that thirst, head to Marbella's Murallas del Castillo.

As you reach the castle dating back to medieval times, you'll feel as though time travel might just be real.

The walls of Murallas del Castillo
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The vast beige and ocher castle was built with old sandstones and is filled with detailed historical information about all the royalty that lived here.

The descending garden is another treat to see.

There are essential castle features like a watchtower, passageways, and courtyards.

Believe it or not, the castle is over a thousand years old, having been built in the 10th century!

A tree near the walls of Murallas del Castillo
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Go Sailing or Dolphin-Watching

Sailing at Marbella
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The sea is easily one of the best features of this gorgeous city.

This being said, to miss out on enjoying the sea while in Marbella would surely be a loss.

Loads of activities and adventures are available for the tourists at the bay.

Cruising at Marbella
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Taking the water transport to enjoy a ride at sea is very common.

Activities like sailing through the waters or going on dolphin-watching trips are more things to enjoy here.

You can take your pick from many tour packages, starting from an hour-long boat trip to a day filled with fun activities like sailing, dolphin-watching, and an evening cruise party.

Hike the Scenic Mountains of Marbella

Hiking in Guadalmina
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Blessed with a number of natural formations, Marbella is home to some of the best beaches and the finest mountain ranges in Spain.

If you passionately want to unravel the geographical assets of this city, go for the hiking packages that come complete with a tour guide and a group of fellow hikers.

Hiking trails sign on one of Marbella's mountain
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Apart from hiking at the La Concha Mountains, there are loads of options for everyone, from young adults to professional hikers and senior ones.

Select your package and go to places like Estepona, Guadalmina, Ronda, and more.

A hiking path at Guadalmina
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Spend a Relaxing Beach Day at Playa de la Fontanilla

The waters of Playa De La Fontanilla
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Playa de la Fontanilla is the central beach of Marbella.

You can do loads of things here.

Get sunbeds for reasonable prices and lay by the blue waters.

Take your pick of the wide range of available cafes and savor a delicious meal.

People enjoying the sun at Playa de la Fontanilla
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You also have the choice to bring your barbecue equipment and cook by the beach!

The area is filled with adorable-looking Chiringuitos or small bars, so grab whatever drink you please,  join in the open parties, and dance along to the music.

You can also play ball games with your loved ones and enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach.

Enjoy Yourself at Playa de Rio Real

The beach of Playa de Rio Real
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Playa de Rio Real is one of the many gorgeous beaches that can be found in Marbella.

It's part of the long coastline known as the Playa de Los Monteros.

If you're touring the area, then this is a destination you won't want to miss.

Take a swim in the water and have fun with your family and friends.

Splashing around in the sea will surely wash all your worries away.

As the sun sets, you can take a long walk along the beach with your loved one and bask in the beauty all around you.

Wander through the Gardens of Cortijo Miraflores

Ruins at Cortijo Miraflores
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Cortijo Miraflores, which can be found at Calle San Pedro de Alcantara, is a magnificent example of Marbella architecture in the 18th century.

It was built in 1706 and functioned well into the 19th century.

Entrance of Centro Cultural Cortijo Miraflores
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Afterward, it went on to serve as a sugar factory and mill for hundreds of years.

Today, Cortijo Miraflores is a cultural center that you'll surely enjoy visiting.

There are two garden areas that show off the area's natural heritage and environmental wealth, with specimens that were planted as early as the 17th century.

Trees beside Centro Cultural Cortijo Miraflores
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Rest and Relax at Parque de la Constitución

Beautiful flowers at Parque de la Constitución
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You'll find Parque de la Constitución just a few minutes away from the city center and a short walk from the beach.

It was built in the 1950s and once served as a garden for a private residence.

The park is an excellent destination if you're looking for some peace and tranquility.

An observatory at Parque de la Constitución
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This place is one of the most visited parks in the city because of the quiet atmosphere it gives.

There's also an amphitheater in the area, and if you're lucky, you may even catch a play or a concert being performed on stage while you're there.

Pigeons on the grounds of Parque de la Constitución
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Head to Torre Ladrones and Learn Its History

Boardwalk leading to Torre Ladrones
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On Cabopino Beach, you'll find Torre Ladrones, also known as Thieves' Tower.

It's the tallest tower along the Malaga coast and was built during the Arab domination of the Spanish peninsula.

After standing for so many years, this tower certainly has a lot of stories to tell and secrets to hide.

Gorgeous blue sky over Torre Ladrones
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It's witnessed the rise and fall of kingdoms and countries and many other major historical events.

Visiting any place like this can really make a person consider their own place in history, so why not give it a try?

You may even discover things you never dared imagine.

Go Swimming at La Venus Beach

Beach chairs and umbrellas at La Venus Beach
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You'll find La Venus Beach in the urban heart of Marbella, making it easily accessible to travelers looking to visit.

Its long expanse of gorgeous sand and shining blue waters is enough to attract any tourist, and the many amenities and services you'll find in the area are just a bonus.

Feel free to take a dip in the sea, sunbathe, or build sandcastles at the water's edge.

Spend a relaxing day at this beach, and you may even have the time of your life here.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Cinematic Viña & Bodega Remsamen

As Spain is the wine capital of Europe, it is only fair that some of the finest and most picturesque wineries are located here.

One such winery would be Viña & Bodega Remsamen, a winery and vineyard in Monda, less than 30 minutes away from Marbella.

It's often referred to as a cinematic winery because of the films that have been shot here.

Moreover, the location is nothing short of picture-perfect, with endless green valleys sitting against the backdrop of the beautiful mountains.

The owners will take you on a personalized tour and share their knowledge of the winemaking process.

The variants of wine are vivid and standard, owing to their finesse.

Final Thoughts

Marbella is a dream vacation spot for many, and if you get the chance to go there, you'll want to make the most of it.

Explore its beaches and marvel at its culture.

After all, it's not every day you get to visit a place so unique and bursting with life and culture.