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Monday, June 17, 2024

11 Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain – Hand Luggage Only


Nestled on the coastline, south-west of Malaga, Marbella is an incredible place to visit whilst on a trip to Spain. Not only is the coastline stunning, but there are heaps of the best things to do in Marbella dotted all across the city. It’s incredible. 

Now, you can easily visit Marbella whilst driving between the best places in the south of Spain and stay for a few days. That being said, you can also have Marbella as your main destination. On my last visit, I stayed for around a week and rented a car to explore some of the wider area, too. 

So, to help you get the most out of your time visiting Marbella, I’m sharing my top places you don’t want to miss. Have the best time visiting Spain. 

1.) Sailing the Marbella coastline

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Boat Tour

One of the things that makes Marbella so special is the incredible coastline that’s totally pristine to explore. 

Before arriving in Marbella, make sure to book this dolphin-watching and sailing trip from the harbour itself. You’ll spend around 2 to 3 hours navigating the Spanish coastline and you might even spot the northern tip of Africa or Gibraltar in the distance. 

Just be sure to book this tour before arriving in Marbella. Tickets sell out fast and you don’t want to miss it during your trip. 

Read more: Best things to do in Gibraltar

2.) Puerto Banus beach

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Puerto Banus in Marbella

Just shy of Marbella Harbour, Puerto Banus beach is really easy after having lunch in the harbour area itself. Not only is it convenient to visit, but it’s actually really lovely too. 

Once here, make sure to hire one of the sun loungers and stop by Aurora Beach Banús for cocktails and sangria. Best of all, the waters surrounding Puerto Banus Beach are nice and calm. However, always take extra care if you’re visiting with children. 

Read more: Best places in the south of Spain to visit

3.) La Alameda Park

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain La Alameda Park

Not too far from Venus Beach, Alameda Park is so easy to visit and totally lovely to visit if you’re looking for a more chilled day. 

Dating back to the 18th century,  Alameda Park features a main promenade where you can stroll or even head across for a little picnic. Yes, it might not be the largest park to visit; but totally lovely nonetheless.

Afterwards, head into the Old Town of Marbella and visit Taberna La Niña del Pisto. Their tapas and Salmorejo (similar to gazpacho) from the area are so good.

4.) Marbella Old Town

In lots of ways, the Old Town of Marbella is one of my favourite places in the city to explore. Best visited by foot, make sure to stroll the alleys, small coves and main streets that are filled with charming bars and taverns. 

Once here, be sure to stroll around Plaza de los Naranjos which dates back to the 1400s. Afterwards, head on over to the Museum of Grabado Español. Here, you can explore modern art from local and national artists in Spain. Visits take around 30 minutes and are well worth it. 

Afterwards, be sure to visit the Church of Encarnación. Entry is totally free and well worth visiting for the centuries-old artefacts inside. 

Read more: Best things to do in Malaga

5.) Ralli Museum

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Puerto Banus

If you are a fan of contemporary Latin American artists and their work then you are going to love the Ralli Museum. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Marbella if you love art history.

You see, the Ralli Museum features artwork and exhibits from Latino-American and European artists. Visits take around 25 minutes and it’s so easy to explore if you’re already at Río Verde Beach. 

6.) Hike La Concha

Looking for a more active trip to Marbella? Then make sure to hike La Concha that’s one of the tallest mountains near Marbella. It’s one of the best things to do in Marbella, especially if you’re an active hiker and have good experience.

You see, the hike will take a full day (10 to 12 hours) to fully complete and can be tough at times. This, combined with the summer sun, makes it only suitable for experienced hikers.  

Now, one of the best routes leaves from Istan, and I’m linking to the trail we’ve used, just in case you want to experience it. 

As always, wear sensible shoes, inform others where you’re going (and your route), take a minimum of 3l of water each and plenty of snacks and SPF. 

Read more: Best places in the south of Spain to visit

7.) Nagüeles Beach

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Puente Romano

Situated on the banks of Marbella, visiting Nagüeles Beach is one of the best things to do in Marbella if you’re something of a beach bum. It’s a lovely, and relaxing spot to spend some time in the city. Plus, it’s within easy reach of the local tavernas and restaurants.

Feeling peckish? Head to Lobito de Mar Marbella. Here, you can try some of the local seafood (their smoked sardines are incredible) and the cocktails are just as good. 

8.) Plaza de los Naranjos

Briefly touched upon when I spoke about the Old Town of Marbella, Plaza de los Naranjos is one spot you shouldn’t miss. It’s one of the best things to do in Marbella if you’re looking to explore the city’s incredible history. 

Dating back to 1485, Plaza de los Naranjos is filled with tavernas and restaurants that make this a perfect place for an evening in the city. 

Now, what I would say is that although the restaurants are okay (and in a beautiful setting), they’re not necessarily the best restaurants in Marbella. So, my advice would be to go here for a few drinks before dinner and stroll over to some of the other yummy spots in the Old Town itself. 

For a tasty dinner, head over to The Farm Restaurant which has flamenco dancing and their lamb chops are so tasty. 

Read more: Best places in the south of Spain to visit

9.) Puerto Banus

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Puerto Banus Harbour

To the southwest of Marbella’s Old Town, Puerto Banús is a gorgeous harbour area that’s one of the region’s most affluent bays. 

Now, prices can be quite high around Puerto Banús, but it’s well worth visiting for dinner and drinks in the evening. That being said, if you want to avoid the inflated prices, head to the Old Town of Marbella instead. 

Read more: Best places in the south of Spain to visit

10.) Avenida del Mar

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Avenue de Mar

Just shy of Venus Beach, Avenida del Mar is one of the best things to do in Marbella whilst strolling to Alameda Park from the shoreline itself. 

Along the route, you’ll find sculptures and collections by Salvador Dali that line the route. Now, Avenida del Mar isn’t a destination in itself, but so easy to see when strolling around Marbella. 

Read more: Best places in the south of Spain to visit

11.) Cabopino

Best Things To Do In Marbella, Spain Coastal path Cabopino

Looking for somewhere a little quieter? Then take a taxi or drive over to Cabopino. It’s one of the best things to do in Marbella if love a good coastal walk. 

You see, you’ll find boardwalks, gorgeous sand dunes and Ladrones Tower set off the shore. We loved visiting and it was such a nice and calm area. It’s so much more chilled than the city itself. 

Though, remember to take lots of snacks, drinks and plenty of SPF. 

Read more: Best things to do in Malaga

10 Very Best Things To Do In Malaga


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