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The Costa del Sol’s glamorous side

A glitzy gem on the Costa del Sol, Marbella holidays offer a chance to enjoy the high life. With its designer boutiques on land and luxury yachts on the water, holidaymakers can enjoy top beaches and the royal treatment at the same time. The pampering experiences on offer in Marbella make it a popular spot for celebrities, and its luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants have the star power to match. It’s not all high-end shopping, though – the area’s gorgeous beaches and public promenade are enjoyed by all.

For those on a budget, holidays in Marbella can offer great souvenirs and tasty food, especially if you head into the old town. Whether you plan to book the full superstar experience or just enjoy soaking up the glitz and glam, holidays to Marbella make for a spectacular Mediterranean getaway that feels like it was pulled straight from a movie.

Explore our map of Marbella

Your Marbella questions, answered

While Marbella has its fair share of Costa del Sol’s beautiful beaches, its celebrity visitors and luxurious facilities are what truly landed it on the map.
Holidays to Marbella will bring you to a very family-friendly resort where the hotels are mostly close to the beach. You'll find pools with water slides and organised children's activity programmes. You can choose from a huge range of beaches lining the gulf and you have the Sierra Blanca mountains at your back. You can explore historic Andalusian towns and villages like Ronda, or take a day out at the Aquamijas water park near Fuengirola. You'll have water slides, a wave pool and a children's play area, plus the Wild River and Kamikaze rides for adults and older children.
There are plenty of sparkling shores to choose from, but El Faro is a favourite. Known for its unpolluted waters, the beach is only a short stroll from the centre.
Marbella was settled by the Romans. You can take guided tours of its vaulted baths and a 2,000-year-old villa. The city was also under Arabic occupation for centuries. In the historic old quarter, you can see the partly restored 10th-century walls of an Arab castle, the Murallas del Castillo. You'll also see a ruined fourth-century basilica and an impressive 17th-century church, plus many old buildings dating back three and four centuries. These include a 1504 stone fountain put up by the first Christian mayor near Orange Square, the heart of Marbella's Old Town.
Marbella's constant sunshine and microclimate equals hot summers and mild winters, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Enjoy sun, sea and sports all year round.
Marbella is known the world over for its nightlife, with glitzy nightclubs where you might even bump into a famous face. With world-class DJs and high-octane dance music that'll take you through to sunrise, there are clubs galore to choose from. You can also find cocktail lounges and laid-back bars, Irish pubs and gastro pubs. You can go for live music bars or late-night bars, beach bars or sports bars, or even try your luck at one of the three casinos. This being Spain, you'll also find tapas bars and restaurants open late.
You can drive it in about 50 minutes on a good toll road. If you're not in a hurry, you can take the scenic route, either inland through the mountains or along the coast. This will add some time to your journey, not to mention traffic, but you'll have much better scenery. You might also take the bus, which will take you an hour and 10 minutes, going directly to Malaga bus station. You have a choice of two operators that run every half hour.
While there are lots of high-rise hotels along the shore, the downtown district is your spot if you want good food and late nights. If you're after laid-back culture, you might choose a quieter location in the old town. You'll be close to the city's major historic sights and you can explore the old narrow streets for traditional shops. You'll have lovely beaches and watersports in suburban areas like San Pedro. For all-inclusive luxury, stay in Puerto Banus with its upscale shops and restaurants.
You'll love the shopping opportunities in Marbella, from the high-end designer brands around Puerto Banus to the traditional open-air shops in the old town. Here you can find small boutiques and local crafts such as ceramics and lace, as well as newer stores selling fashions. From 5.00pm to 10.00pm you can also visit a medieval market. You'll find various street markets around the city, usually only open in the morning. You'll also see several big new shopping centres, with a convenient mix of fashion items, cosmetics and gifts, alongside household goods and technology.