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.
Malaga Airport (Aeropuerto Pablo Ruiz Picasso) is serviced by most European carriers otherwise fly in to Gibraltar, although this entails a 1.5 hour drive.
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.
There is a train service between Fuengirola and Malaga, which due to be extended to run further down the coast to Marbella in the near future.
Taxis are available from Malaga Airport to Marbella outside AGP airport. The cost of the journey is around €68.
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. Always make sure that the price quoted includes everything so there are no hidden charges or extras when you arrive at Malaga Airport.
- Hire Car - all the major car hire firms are represented, but the best value will probably come from local firms. Small car for around 80-90 euros a week in off season.
- Taxis If travelling any distance agree the fare in advance. Official rates should be displayed inside any licensed taxi. Phone 952 823 835
- 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
- Don Quijote  Spanish school in Marbella is a great school where you can take 4-6 hours of courses a day. All courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish.
- El Corte Inglés - Ramon Areces 29660 Puerto Banús Tel. +34 952 90 99 90
- Marina Banús - C/ Ramon Areces, Centro, (opposite El Corte Inglés). Puerto Banús
- La Cañada is a Shopping mall with about 150 shops with many European name brands. Located right off exit 185.
- New Yorker - Ramon Areces, s/n Centro Comercial Marina Banús 29660 Puerto Banús
- Versace - 29660 Puerto Banús Tel. +34 952 81 02 96
- Casta & Puro - Avda. de la Ribera Complejo Gran Marbella 29660 Puerto Banús Tel. +34 677 29 50 57
- Che Olé - C/ Valdés 3. 29601 Marbella Tel. +34 952 85 77 33
- Unique Beauty - C/Nuestra Señora de Gracia 10 Marbella, Spain 29600011. Tel. +34 952 82 77 57
- 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:[email protected]) 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
- Amàre Beach, Paseo Alfonso Cañas Nogueras, 29603 Marbella, Málaga (On Marbella Promenade opposite Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel), ☎ +34 952 76 84 15, . 11.00 till 19.00. Amàre Beach has a restaurant that offers various flavors from international cuisine, with a Mediterranean touch, as well as a sun deck with free loungers for the comfort and relaxation that you need. (36.5083519,-4.8811428000000205) 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 protected]), . 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
- Casita Llandre, Estepona, ☎ +34652583062, . Cheap, quiet, self catering Casita near Estepona. €40. 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
- Pensión Aduar, Calle Aduar 7, Old Town, ☎ +34 952 773 578 ([email protected]), . Probably the cheapest beds in Old Town. Also has triples and quads, Single 15 euros, double 25. edit
- The Hostal, Calle Isaac Peral, old town. Shared bathrooms, roof terrace, no breakfast. Bar with pool table. Single 20 euros. 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 Townhouse  (hostel) C/Alderete 7 Plaza Tetuán, Marbella Telephone : +34 952 90 17 91 Fax : +34 952 90 17 91.
- 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 ([email protected]), . 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 protected]), . 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, ([email protected]), . 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.