13 Fun Things to Do in Marbella On Your Andalusia Adventure

With glamorous beaches, Michelin-starred dining, and historic cobblestone streets, luxury meets leisure in the beautiful coastal town of Marbella. Spain. Beach bums, culture cultures, and party-goers love this little slice of Andalusian heaven where the Mediterranean kisses the sun-soaked shores of the Costa del Sol. From spectacular beaches and world-class golf courses to vibrant nightlife and historic charm, discover the dazzling array of things to do in Marbella, Spain, with this complete guide!

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Old Town

Home to beautiful Renaissance-era whitewashed buildings, bougainvillea-draped balconies, and narrow, cobblestone streets, Marbella’s quaint Old Town is nothing less than magical. Dating back to the 16th century, the Old Town, or ‘Casco Antiguo,’ offers a captivating glimpse into Andalusia’s rich heritage.

At the heart of Old Town, you’ll find Plaza de los Naranjos, a vibrant square with fragrant orange trees, quaint cafés, and the 15th-century Ermita de Santiago church. Beyond its charming allure, it served as a market square during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.

Old Town

Wander through the maze-like lanes and dive into hidden corners, discovering quaint boutiques and family-run tapas bars. You’ll stumble upon Castillo de Marbella, a Moorish fortress that’s been standing since the 9th century. Once part of a formidable Arab fortress, the stones of this fortress hold layers of history.

Climb up its walls for a view that’s almost too beautiful to be real – the Mediterranean stretching out on one side and Marbella’s terracotta rooftops on the other. Sunset paints the sky with hues that make this vista truly unforgettable, so aim for the late afternoon.

INSIDER TIP: Marbella also nurtures a thriving art scene. Seek out the lesser-known art galleries scattered throughout Old Town. They showcase a diverse range of local and international artists, providing an enriching cultural experience.

Muralla Urbana de Marbella

Step into the ancient soul of Marbella as you explore the Muralla Urbana de Marbella (Urban Wall). This historical gem wraps around the Old Town, whispering tales of centuries past. Located in the heart of Marbella, it’s a silent witness to the city’s evolution, preserving a rich tapestry of cultural influences.

Dating back to the 9th century during Moorish rule, the Muralla Urbana served as a protective fortress. Over the centuries, it underwent expansions and modifications, reflecting the diverse influences of the Moors, Christians, and Romans who left their mark on this coastal enclave.

As you walk along the remnants of this ancient wall, marvel at the well-preserved towers and archways. Discover hidden inscriptions and symbols etched into the stones, each telling its own story. The wall’s strategic location was crucial in safeguarding Marbella from coastal invasions.

Glimpse into Marbella’s past, with charming squares and narrow alleys, and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

While exploring the wall’s perimeter, keep an eye out for discreet openings and inconspicuous passages. These secret routes, known to locals, lead to unexpected corners of Old Town, providing a unique perspective on Marbella’s layout.

INSIDER TIP: Visit the wall during the annual local festivities or cultural events. During these times, the ordinarily serene atmosphere comes alive with traditional music, performances, and cultural exhibitions.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación

Discover the timeless beauty of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación. Located on the Plaza Baja de la Despedía in the heart of Marbella’s Old Town, this elegant church exudes a timeless charm.

Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación seamlessly blends Gothic and Renaissance styles, creating an architectural masterpiece. The whitewashed façade and intricate details set the tone for the beautiful interiors.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación

As you step inside, marvel at the ornate altars, delicate sculptures, and the beautiful Mudejar-style ceiling that adds a touch of Moorish influence. The play of light filtering through the stained-glass windows adds an ethereal touch to the atmosphere, creating a serene ambiance.

Don’t miss the centuries-old organ hidden within the church. Though not always operational, its historic presence echoes with melodies that once filled the sacred space.

INSIDER TIP: Attend one of the church’s evening concerts or cultural events. The acoustics provide an unparalleled auditory experience, allowing you to appreciate this historical gem’s visual splendor and harmonic resonance.

Parque de la Alameda

Take a break from the lively rhythms of the city at Parque de la Alameda. This lush oasis, flanked by the iconic Avenida del Mar and the Mediterranean Sea, is the perfect spot for a few hours of relaxation.

Dating back to the 18th century, Parque de la Alameda is beautifully laid out with a classical design. As you meander through the park, you’ll discover traces of Marbella’s history. A century-old amphitheater is a testament to the city’s cultural evolution, and ornate fountains add a touch of grandeur.

Parque de la Alameda

Head to the park’s southwestern corner to listen to a cluster of eucalyptus trees ‘whispering’ in the breeze. Enjoy a peaceful pause at the Fuente de los Doce Caños and look for a small, weathered plaque near the central fountain – a time capsule from the park’s inauguration in the late 18th century. It holds trinkets and mementos from Marbella’s past.

INSIDER TIP: Find the quaint kiosk where locals gather for morning coffee in the park. Enjoy a cup of joe and a chat with the regulars.

Puerto Banús

Rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the swanky Puerto Banús. Epitomizing the glamorous side of Marbella, this high-end marina flaunts luxury yachts, designer boutiques, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Located just southwest of Marbella’s city center, Puerto Banús boasts a spectacular backdrop against the majestic Sierra Blanca mountains.

Stroll along the marina, gazing at sleek yachts and posh boutiques like Versace and Dior. Sip a coffee or a cocktail at one of the chic waterfront cafés, and watch for celebs. As night falls, the harbor transforms into a nightlife hub, with trendy bars and clubs hosting the crème de la crème of Marbella’s social scene.

Puerto Banús

While the main street is alive with bustling clubs, head towards the side alleys for hidden gems. Intimate bars and exclusive lounges cater to those seeking a more refined nightlife experience away from the main thoroughfare.

Visit on a Sunday morning for a different side of Puerto Banús. The street market that emerges offers a more laid-back experience, with local artisans showcasing handmade crafts and unique souvenirs.

INSIDER TIP: While the marina is famous for attracting celebrities, the trick is to spot them at the upscale beach clubs during late afternoons. Relax on a beachside lounger and share the view with A-listers enjoying the Mediterranean sun.

Avenida del Mar

Enjoying a stroll along the elegant Avenida del Mar is a must! Weaving through the center of the city, this beautiful pedestrian-friendly boulevard is a celebration of art, nature, and the timeless allure of Marbella.

Stretching from the Old Town to the upscale marina, Avenida del Mar is paved with marble from nearby quarries and lined with lush gardens, ornate fountains, and stylish benches. With the azure Mediterranean as a backdrop, the avenue epitomizes Marbella’s coastal lifestyle.

Avenida del Mar

Beneath the cobblestones of Avenida del Mar lies an intriguing secret – remnants of Marbella’s Roman and Moorish history. Subtle archaeological elements embedded in the walkway connect you with the city’s ancient roots.

Avenida del Mar proudly showcases an extraordinary collection of ten bronze sculptures by the legendary surrealist Salvador Dalí. These mesmerizing sculptures, collectively titled ‘Dalí’s Dance of Time,’ are an artistic homage to the world-renowned artist. Each piece narrates a story, a visual symphony that resonates with the surrounding beauty.

INSIDER TIP: While Avenida del Mar is a delight during the day, it transforms into a magical realm at night. The sculptures are softly illuminated, casting intriguing shadows and creating a surreal atmosphere. A moonlit stroll unveils a different, more intimate side of Salvador Dalí’s masterpieces.

Dunas de Artola o Cabopino

Venture along the coast to the beautiful Dunas de Artola o Cabopino to connect with nature. This natural sanctuary, just east of Marbella, is celebrated for its pristine sandy dunes and rich biodiversity.

The undulating dunes shaped by the coastal winds create a mesmerizing scene, showcasing the raw beauty of nature, and an array of flora and fauna add a touch of wilderness to the coastal setting. Rare plant species and migratory birds find refuge here, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Dunas de Artola o Cabopino is a paradise for birdwatchers. During migration seasons, various bird species temporarily inhabit the area. With binoculars in hand, you might spot some rare avian visitors.

Dunas de Artola o Cabopino

Beyond the dunes lies a beautiful beach with golden sands that stretch along the coastline. Enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean and relax over a drink at one of the chiringuitos (beach bars) that line the shore.

For a unique experience, consider exploring Cabopino after dark. Away from city lights, the beach becomes an ideal spot for stargazing. Bring a blanket, lay back on the dunes, and immerse yourself in a celestial spectacle.

INSIDER TIP: A nudist-friendly section is tucked away towards the eastern end of Cabopino, providing a more secluded and liberating experience if you want an au naturel beach encounter.

Museo Ralli Marbella

Explore the fascinating world of contemporary Latin American and European art at the Museo Ralli Marbella. Part of the international Ralli Museum network, this distinctive cultural haven is the sole Ralli institution in Europe.

Founded by Harry Recanati, a passionate art collector, the Museo Ralli Marbella features Latin American art and offers a unique cultural experience.

The Museo Ralli Marbella occupies a distinctive whitewashed building that echoes the region’s architectural charm. The museum houses a curated selection of sculptures, paintings, and installations, showcasing the diversity and creativity of renowned artists. With a focus on surrealism and magical realism, the museum takes visitors on a visual journey through the vibrant narratives of Latin American artists.

Don’t be shy to engage with the interactive exhibits; some pieces encourage visitor participation, offering a dynamic and immersive journey through the world of contemporary art. It’s a chance to observe and actively connect with the creative energy that defines Museo Ralli Marbella.

INSIDER TIP: Discover a secluded garden adorned with hidden sculptures behind the museum. Enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation away from the bustling crowds.

Parque de la Constitución

Dance under the stars at an outdoor concert in the historic Parque de la Constitución. A short walk from the iconic Old Town, the lushly landscaped park is home to an ancient amphitheater that hosts concerts, art exhibitions, and local gatherings.

Built in the 1950s, Parque de la Constitución is one of the oldest parks in Marbella. The park stands on the grounds of a former convent. The remnants of the convent’s architecture are subtly integrated into the park’s landscape. Local musicians occasionally serenade the surroundings, enhancing the ambiance with melodic tunes.

Meander along shady paths bordered by blooming flora, discovering shaded alcoves and picturesque bridges along the way. Don’t miss the charming pond, a hidden oasis within the park where you can find a peaceful respite. Surrounded by benches and shaded areas, this spot is perfect for a quiet escape, reading a book, or simply enjoying the sounds of nature.

INSIDER TIP: Venture off the main paths to discover hidden sculptures throughout the park. Often overlooked by hurried visitors, these art installations add an unexpected touch of creativity.

Costa Water Park

Beat the Spanish heat and head to Costa Water Park for a day of wet ‘n wild fun. Floating just off Playa Fontanilla along the coast, this inflatable water park turns the Mediterranean Sea into an exhilarating obstacle course!

Expect a vibrant collection of slides, trampolines, and challenges, all floating atop the crystal-clear waters. Costa Water Park is suitable for all ages and skill levels, so it’s perfect for a family adventure. From adrenaline junkies conquering the towering slides to families enjoying a leisurely splash, there’s something for everyone.

Costa Water Park offers a variety of fun activities and events, from live music events on floating stages to night sessions illuminated by vibrant underwater lights. Connect mind, body, and sea in one-of-a-kind floating yoga sessions.

INSIDER TIP: Grab your snorkel gear and explore the underwater wonders around Costa Water Park. Beneath the floating platforms, a vibrant ecosystem teems with marine life. It’s a snorkeler’s paradise, providing an unexpected touch of underwater exploration amid the excitement.

La Cañada Shopping Center

Enjoy some retail therapy with a Mediterranean twist at La Cañada Shopping Center. Chic sophistication meets coastal charm at this high-end shopping center with a backdrop of the Sierra Blanca mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.

Just minutes from the city center, you’ll find a vibrant blend of fashion, dining, and entertainment at La Cañada Shopping Center. The center caters to every taste and style, from high-end international brands to local boutiques. Fashion, home décor, electronics – you name it, La Cañada has it. Stroll through its open-air promenades and discover a mix of Spanish elegance and contemporary flair.

RELATED: Where to Stay in Marbella

La Cañada often hosts cultural events, art exhibitions, and live performances, and a dedicated family area entertains the little ones. If you’re exploring with your furry friend, certain stores and cafés within the complex welcome well-behaved pets.

INSIDER TIP: La Cañada Shopping Center offers a VIP shopping experience with exclusive access to special events, discounts, and personalized services. Enquire at the customer service desk about the VIP program, allowing you to indulge in a more tailored and luxurious shopping escapade.

Besaya Beach

For the ultimate Café Del Mar-style beach bar with spectacular views and beautiful people, head to Besaya Beach on Playa de la Fontanilla. Just steps from the sand, this seaside restaurant & bar promises a unique experience beyond the sun, sea, and sumptuous cuisine.

As the sun dips over the horizon, Besaya Beach transforms into a magical setting with soft lighting and the rhythmic melody of waves. With its chic, contemporary design, the restaurant seamlessly merges with the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Besaya Beach is a culinary haven. The chefs infuse traditional Andalusian dishes with innovative twists, creating a menu featuring fresh seafood, delectable paellas, and creative cocktails. Savor the catch of the day prepared with a Mediterranean flair.

This laid-back spot is a popular haunt for celebrities seeking a low-key escape. Don’t be surprised if you share the beach with a famous face or two.

INSIDER TIP: For an unforgettable experience, visit Besaya Beach in the late afternoon. The sunset casts a warm glow over the beach, turning the dining setting into a romantic haven. Book a table by the water’s edge for the best views.


If you’ve got a little extra time to kill while visiting Marbella, pop into Júzcar. A mere hour’s drive away, this small village is one of the prettiest villages in Andalusia, famous for its picturesque sky blue-coloured buildings.


Surprisingly enough, this little town, now famous for its bright colors, wasn’t always so flashy. Less than a decade ago, Júzcar was little more than a typical dime-a-dozen whitewashed Andalusian village. It wasn’t until the town hosted the worldwide premiere of the Smurf movie that all of its white buildings got a fresh coat of Smurf blue paint.

Tourism quickly exploded. Capitalizing on its 15 minutes of fame, the local authorities decided to keep the blue and add Smurf-inspired street art throughout the town. Truthfully, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Júzcar, but it’s a great place to kill an hour or two and brighten up your Instagram.

Mia Russell

Mia Russell is a freelance writer based in South Africa with a passion for travel. She’s travelled to 35 countries and counting, and when she is not in the water swimming, freediving, or snorkeling in beautiful places around the world, she is writing about her experiences. Before becoming a freelance travel writer, Mia worked as Chief Copy Editor for Glamor magazine and Managing Editor for One Small Seed Magazine. She's a regular contributor to travel websites like Go City, Bookmundi, The Maldives Expert, and Heritage Safaris.

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