You’ve arrived in the sun-dappled Costa del Sol region where Marbella’s historic Old Town weaves its charming, white-washed alleyways with a bevy of modern beach clubs, top-notch golf courses, a glamorous marina with equally glamorous yachts, buzzy designer boutiques, and — of course — iconic tapas bars.
With so much to do, how should you spend a weekend in this beautiful Mediterranean gem? Lucky for you, we’ve put together a few of the best things to do in Marbella.
Historic Old Town, Art, and Tapas
Commence your stay with a peaceful stroll around the narrow, winding streets of Old Town, stopping to admire the colorful carnations, roses, geraniums, and bougainvilleas snaking up the walls and balconies. Founded in 1485, the Plaza de los Naranjos (also known as the Orange Square) is renowned for its famed orange trees and being surrounded by traditional Andalusian homes and a 10th-century Moorish fortress. (What?)
Nearby, art lovers can visit the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings, a former Renaissance-era palace with a collection of lithographs and engravings from coveted Spanish artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jean Miro.
For contemporary local wares such as glazed pastel serving bowls and mugs, drop by the chic Ana Ortiz Ceramic Atelier. And later, soak in the vibes of the Spanish guitar alongside rotating live performances at The Farm – where dancing is also highly encouraged.
For a hearty seafood feast, the legendary Bar Altamirano feeds its hungry patrons a sprawl of cod croquettes and cooked-to-order grilled whole fish. Looking for more traditional grub? The cozy-meets-rustic Taberna La Niña del Pisto doles out tapas plates including lightly-fried prawns and anchovies in olive oil, and you can wash it all down with a sherry-forward Amontillado wine.
Yachts, Greenery, and Beaches Galore
Spend a day – or two, maybe ten – swimming and sunbathing in the Mediterranean Sea at Playa del Cable, Playa de la Fontanilla, and, of course, Nikki Beach. Looking for a water adventure? Enlist in jet skiing, paddleboarding, or parasailing — you’ll find several rental services and tour operators on each beach.
Afterwards, stroll the glitzy grounds of Puerto Banus, a landscape dotted with luxury yachts, designer boutiques, and upscale eateries. Alternatively, Alameda Park is a welcome respite for native Andalusian greenery, handsome marble walkways, sculptures, and the tranquil Virgen del Rocio fountain.
Also make sure to check out the Ralli Museum, which displays a strong collection of contemporary Latin American and Spanish artists, including Cuban-born Wifredo Lam and Argentinian Cesar Lopez Claro.
Take a Day Trip to Ronda
Just about an hour from Marbella, Ronda is a picturesque town famed for its dramatic cliffside and historic Spanish bullring, the Plaza de Toros.
Start at Puente Nuevo, a bridge that spans the Tajo Gorge (with stellar views to boot) and then stroll the main square of Old Town. You can also visit local wineries including Bodega Garcia Hidalgo and Bodega F. Schatz, famed for their Spanish wines including Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Chardonnay. Sí, por favor.
Stay tuned for Kimpton Los Monteros Marbella in 2025.