Marbella is one of the Mediterranean's most representative tourist venues and a top favorite for travellers. What was once a small white village of fishermen is now one of the most cosmopolitan beach resorts on the Costa del Sol in Spain.
The main coast road (N340, now known as the A7) connects the major towns along the whole southern coast and Marbella is approx 30 minutes drive along the N340 from the provincial capital, Malaga. If you are prepared to pay the toll fee (around 4-6 Euros depending upon season) you can take the new AP-7 road which runs parallel to the N340, but with less traffic and higher speed limits means you will reach your destination more quickly.
From Malaga Airport, buy a bus ticket from the vendor facing the exit of the arrivals hall. In July 2011, a one way ticket cost under 5 Euros. The buses will arrive every hour or two on the road behind the vendor. Make sure to be there on time, since the bus leaves exactly on time, or even a minute before... The buses are modern and air conditioned. Make sure to sit on the left side of the bus if you want to see the beautiful coastal view (Although you'll get a much better view sitting on the right in the opposite direction). Without traffic (there really shouldn't be any, since the bus takes the toll road), the ride should take around 40 min.
Marbella's central bus station is right off the motor way (A-7 / E-15), right off exit 164.
There are high quality regular bus services along the length of the Costa. Although cheap, the buses can run to their own timetable (!) and are often very busy in summer.
Taxis are available from Malaga Airport to Marbella outside AGP airport. The cost of the journey is around €68. The disabled can also pre-book a wheelchair accessible taxi or minivan online with Marbella Taxis from €7 per person or with malaga cabbiefor €62.
A transfer with Autosol Private Transfer will cost 66.50 €. Holiday Transfer is even cheaper. It'll rate your transfer 58 €.
If you are traveling in a large group of 5 people or more it's advisable to pre-book a private minibus. The majority of reputable firms allow book now and pay on arrival and will save a considerable amount per person when traveling to Marbella from Malaga Airport. There is a comparison review of the top 10 minibus companies that operate out of Malaga Airport (AGP) with price comparisons, and it reviews the quality of service and professionalism of minibus transfer companies in Costa del Sol transferring passengers from Malaga Airport. Always make sure that the price quoted includes everything so there are no hidden charges or extras when you arrive at Malaga Airport.
The Old Town & Orange Square - although a modern town, Marbella is full of history, its origins date back to 1600 BC so it's fair to say there is a little part of history to be found in every corner of the "old town", with its Moorish castle, and famous "Orange Square". The historical old quarter with the Andalucian/Moorish mix can still be found with its flower filled balconies and narrow streets.
Walk through the Golden Mile - The Golden Mile is a stretch of four miles between Marbella and Puerto Banús, on which are located some of the most luxurious residences in Marbella, such as the Palace of King Fahd, as well as some landmark hotels, among them the Melia Don Pepe, the Hotel Marbella Club and the Puente Romano Hotel.
Golf - If you love golf then Marbella has spectacular golf courses that have been designed by the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Peter Alliss and Clive Clark. There are more than 40 quality courses to be played throughout the Costa del Sol making it a perfect destination for the golf enthusiast. See also: Spain section of main Golf article
Horseracing - about 15 minutes from the centre of Marbella is the Hipodromo Mijas Costa. The recently built all weather racetrack has meetings throughout the year including floodlit night racing on summer weekends. The course also boasts plenty of entertainment including bars, music and restaurants.
Ski - Marbella is the perfect base to visit the famous Spanish Ski resort of Sierra Nevada (1.5 hours away by car)
Parasailing activity (Parasailing activity), Puerto deportivo Marbella (Puerto deportivo Marbella), ☎ +34 682173225, . 12 minutes. The activity will be placed in Marbella (Puerto Deportivo of Marbella) and will be consisting in a 12 minutes flying over the sea, more than 70 meters hight, how big you will feel over there? You will receive your equipment (lifejacket, harness), getting ready and go to our boat. The take off and landing will be to the same boat .55€. edit
Al Dente & Champagne Bar - Urb. Jardines del Puerto, Puerto Banús; tel. +34 952 90 61 81 - Italian restaurant
Babilonia Restaurant - Ctra. de Istan - Km. 0,8 29600 Marbella; tel. +34 952 82 88 61 - Italian & international
Brown's Bar and Bistro - Pino Golf de Don Carlos 18 Elviria, Marbella; tel. +34 952 838 604 - British cuisine
El Argentino - Centro comercial elviria; tel. +34 951 310 087 - charcoal grill
El Oceano - CN 340 Km 199, Miraflores; tel. +34 952 587 550 - international
La Meridiana - 0.1 km N, Cno. la Cruz, S/N, 29600 Marbella; tel. +34 952 776 190 - international
Trader Vic's - Urbanización La Alcazaba, Puerto Banús; tel. +34 952 816 100 - international
La Taberna del Pinxto, Avenida Miguel Cano 7 (One block from Playa de Venus). Basque style tapas.Set lunch 9 euros, tapas 1,50. edit
Le Papillon Restaurant & Beach Club, /Cuesta S/N Urb Marbesa CN340 KM 193 Marbella, ☎ +34 952 834 113, . from 11AM until late. Situated on the at Marbesa. Menu which includes a selection of fresh fish and shellfish and some meat dishes. The seafood paella is popular. Sunlounger and umbrella rental service and a kids play area. (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)From €12. edit
Robertos Ristorante Italiano, C/Cuesta S/N Urb Marbesa CN340 KM, ☎ +34 952 839 190, . 9AM until late. Offers a variety of home made Pizzas and pasta dishes as well as some more traditional Italian cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and does take aways. Flamenco show and a buffet night on a weekly basis.From €10. edit
Pravda, Ed. Levante Loc. 4-5, 29660, Puerto Banús (front row of the Port, opposite Jimmy Choo and Dolce & Gabbana), ☎ +34 952 907 103, . 8PM-midnight. During the summer months the marina facing terrace for dining is open.€50. edit
Paco Jimenez Restaurant, Plaza de los Naranjos Nº11 - Marbella (above the art gallery), ☎ 627625952. tues-sund: 7pm to 10 pm / thursdays to sundays also from 12 noon to 4pm. As soon as you enter this restaurant you can fell the passion and creativity in the paintings of the walls and the plates delicatelly and beautifully decorated. Its Mediterranean, Spanish and International food will surprise and satisfy you. The exclusive space with only 20 covers, the kindly attention, the experienced chef and the nice environment makes this a unique restaurant.edit
Most late night action takes place in Puerto Banús, or in one of the clubs along the 7 km road there.
El Catalonia, Puerto Deportivo Marbella Local 4 MARBELLA - MÁLAGA (In the Marbella port.), ☎ +34 625 54 85 97, . Opens 1700. Relaxed, water front dining and drinking spot. Serve fresh, local food for dinner. Host private events. Spanish/English/French spoken.edit
Dreamers - Ctra.N-340, Km.175. Rio Verde 29660 Nueva Andalucia; tel. +34 952 812 080
La Notte -0.1 km N - Cno. la Cruz, S/N, 29600 Marbella; tel. +34 952 777 625
Nikki Beach - Playa Hotel Don Carlos Carretera de Cadiz 29600 KM. 192 ; tel. +34 952 836 239
Olivia Valere - upscale restaurant, bar and disco; Ctra. de Istan - Km.0,8 29600 Marbella; tel. +34 952 82 88 61
Le, C/Cuesta S/N Urb Marbesa CN340 KM 193 Marbella, ☎ +34 952 834 113 (email@example.com), . 11AM until late. Situated on the at Marbesa. Menu which includes a selection of fresh fish and shellfish and some meat dishes. The seafood paella is popular. Sunlounger and umbrella rental service and a kids play area.From 12€. edit
Pravda, Ed. Levante Loc. 4-5, 29660 Puerto Banús (Front row of the Port, opposite Jimmy Choo and Dolce & Gabbana), ☎ +34 952 907 103, . 19:00 - 02:00. A wide variety of fine wine, Champagne and cocktails can be enjoyed either at the stylish bar or in the late evening sun on the back terrace. Located on the harbor-side in the middle of the port it makes a great location for, 'Sun-Downer' cocktails or for post dinner drinks.€10. edit
Paco Jimenez Restaurant, Plaza de los Naranjos Nº11 (on the corner above the art gallery), ☎ +34 627625952. tuesday-sundays: 7pm to 10pm/thrusday to sundays:12 noon to 10 pm. As soon as you enter this restaurant you will feel the passion and creativity in the paintings of the walls and the plates delicately and beautifully decorated. Its Mediterranean, Spanish and International food will surprise and satisfy you. The exclusive space with only 20 covers, kindly attention, experienced chef and nice environment makes this a unique restaurant.35 to 45 euros. edit
El Toro Residential Apartments, Av. Asturias S/N Urb Marbesa CN 340 km 193 - 29604 Marbella, ☎ +34 952 839 190, . checkin: From 9.00AM; checkout: 12.00 PM. The beach, multiple facilities and the proximity to Marbella, has made el Toro Residential Apartments a favourite family holiday destination. El Toro is at the heart of the Costa del Sol, being near to Marbella, numerous golf courses, and the pretty port of Cabopino with its fine restaurants and popular sandy beach. There are good local transport facilities and multiple facilities are nearby. It is not essential to have a car. Beach restaurants/bars are in abundance.From 375€ per week. edit
Alanda Club Marbella (Alanda Club Marbella), Elviria, Ctra Cádiz Km 192, Marbella, 29604, ☎ +34 952 768 150, . Hotel and resort offering a range of 1,2 and 3 bed self catering apartments. The resort is close to beaches and golf and is suitable for couples, families and golfers.From 80€.. edit
DDG Spa Retreat (DDG Spa Retreat), La Albarrada, Finca Pavusena, Casa Daria s/n, Casares, 29690, Malaga, ☎ +34 659-168-217, . Luxury spa retreat set in 4 hectares of sub tropical gardens and located in Casares close to Marbella.edit
Grand villa in Marbella, San Pedro de Alcántara, . Fantastic villa beach side with a grat garden in a private urbanization. Exterior jacuzzi and swimming pool. Parking.edit
Hostal Plaza (Hostal Plaza San Pedro), C/. Juan Ramon Jimenez, 21 29670, San Pedro De Alcantara, ☎ 952782033, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Hostal Plaza San Pedro is a family run business owned and run by Gary, Karen, Richard and Michael Wynn. We offer a home from home for backpackers and holiday makers alike in a beautiful typical Spanish town on the Costa Del Sol. 15-30pppn. (3.485684,4.988334)edit
Hotel Claude Marbella (****), Calle San Francisco 5 (29605 Marbella), ☎ +34 952 900 840, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: mid day. Hotel Claude is a unique, privately owned, luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Marbella's enchanting old town. Located within a 17th-century mansion townhouse, this former artist's club, has been meticulously restored to a 7 bedroom luxury retreat with its restaurant, lounges, inner patios and sun terraces. Awarded "Best Small Hotel in Europe" by the CNBC in 2009 and "One of the Best Hotels in the World" - awarded by Conde Nast Traveller Spain.from €150. edit
Hotel Fuerte Marbella, Calle El Fuerte s/n. 29602 Marbella, Malaga, Spain., ☎ +34 952 86 15 00, . edit
Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel, Avda. Severo Ochoa 8 29603 Marbella, Malaga, Spain., ☎ +34 95 276 84 00, . edit Hotel located on the Marbella seafront and just two minutes away from the Old town. Ideal for adult only holydays.
Alanda Hotel and Spa (*****) Boulevard Principe Alfonso Von Hohenlohe, S/N,Marbella Tel: +34 952 89 96 00. (There are another two NH hotels in Marbella  if this one is full).
Club Playa Real, C/Cuesta S/N urb Marbesa CN 340 km 193 - 29604 Marbella, ☎ +34 952 839 190, . checkin: 09.00AM; checkout: 12.00PM. From 50€. edit
Marbella Beach Resort, C/Cuesta S/N urb Marbesa CN 340 km 193 - 29604 Marbella, ☎ +34 952 839 190, . checkin: From 9.00 AM; checkout: From 12.00PM. One, two and three bedroom air conditioned self catering apartments with terraces providing views to the beach and the sea. Satellite tv and internet connection.From 737€ per week. edit
NH Alanda, Boulevar Ppe. Alfonso Von Hohenlohe. s/n. 29600 Marbella, ☎ +34 952 899 600, . Perfect location – A short walk from many seaside destinations. The hotel contains 199 rooms, a spa, a gym and an outdoor pool. The perfect family location. Rooms from 78.84€. edit
Gran Hotel Guadalpin Marbella Spa (*****) Principe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, cn40 Km.179, Tel. +34 952 243 242.
The Beach House (hostel) Urb El ChaparralCN. 340 km 203 Marbella Telephone : +34 952 49 45 40 Fax : +34 952 49 45 40.
Hotel Shanti-Som Llanos de Purla, KM22 A355, Monda Marbella Malaga Spain Tel. +34 952 86 44 55.
Hotel Pyr (***) Avenida Rotary Internacional s/n, Puerto Banus 29660, Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain. Tel.: + 34 95 281 73 53.
Hotel Claude Marbella, C/ San Francisco 5, Marbella, ☎ +34 952 900 840 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Directly in the heart of Marbella`s Old Town, set inside a substantial 17th-Century-Townhouse. Only seven luxurious and individually designed rooms. Exclusive roof terrace with panoramic views.edit
Marbella Club Hotel (*****) CN340, Km 180,Marbella Tel. +34 952 822 211.
Oasis Collections, ☎ +1.631.731.1677 (email@example.com), . A portfolio of handpicked homes and apartments that include concierge service and full guest support. Recently awarded Top Villa Provider by Condé Nast Traveler.edit
Finca Sagitario, Carretera de Istan, 10.5 Kilometro, 29611 Istan, Malaga, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The luxury villa for your dream vacation in Marbella! Finca Sagitario is situated in close proximity to La Zagaleta, one of the most prestigious residential areas of Marbella. The signature villa is composed of a main house, 2 guesthouses, swimming pools, gardens and even a reserved space for heliport. Fully-prepared and well-equipped, Finca Sagitario is the ideal destination for luxurious leisure and relax with utmost privacy. It is both for temporary rental and permanent purchase.edit
Gibraltar - visit the historical British Colony, climb the famous rock and see the mischievous Barbary Apes. NB You will need your passport as the Spanish Guardia operate a full border control.
Puerto Banús - is the famous yacht marina, lined with popular bars and restaurants, and a veritable posers' paradise. Plenty of late night bars and the odd celebrity are to be found here, but don't forget your wallet, it's not cheap! Some 7 km along the beach.