Marbella: the Highlights

Why Visit Marbella For Your Weekend Away

Marbella is the star of the Spanish coastline, a place of true luxury, attracting the rich and famous from around the world. It’s a favourite of party-goers, renowned for its incredible pool parties, glamorous beach clubs and exciting nightlife.

If you don’t want to miss out on the biggest parties, be sure to visit between May and September and soak up the sun because, unsurprisingly, the weather in the south of Spain can get hot. Many of the clubs, bars and restaurants close for winter, so you won’t get the full Marbella experience.

Marbella doesn’t have its own airport, so you’ll have to take a 3-hour flight from the UK to Malaga, which is about a 40 minutes’ drive. Once there, it won’t take you long to get into the party mood, with such a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Explore the City

Glamourous Banus

Dress to impress, and head to Puerto Banus where the nightlife is at. Glitz and glamour are a must here, with fast cars and luxury yachts in the flashiest Marina along the coast.

Authentic Old Town

Explore Marbella Town’s winding cobbled streets for local shops and tapas restaurants that give a taste of authentic Spain. At its centre is Orange Square, with gardens, tropical plants and orange trees.

Catamaran Cruise

Take a break from non-stop partying, or take the party with you on a catamaran cruise. Relax as you enjoy the beautiful sights of Marbella. You may have to travel to get there, but once you’re onboard the opportunity to take a dip in the sea and take some stunning photos is well worth it.

Champagne Party

Every year the Ocean Club hosts one of the most talked about parties in Marbella. Just one of these parties sees 3000 party-goers spray over 6000 bottles of Champagne for an afternoon of ultimate luxury and hedonism.

Beach Clubs

The party doesn’t stop during the day, with pools, beach beds, music and all the cocktails you can drink. La Sala By The Sea is Thai themed with Thai Spa Days available. Ocean Club is the original classic beach club with a saltwater swimming pool. Funky Buddha Beach Club and Bora Bora are also popular choices.

Nightlife Hotspots

When the sun goes down, there’s plenty of exciting and vibrant clubs in Marbella. It's all about flashing your cash, and booking a table does just that. With a minimum table spend, it can get quite costly, but the bigger your group, the better value for money.

Aqwa Mist

With its signature waterfall feature, Aqwa Mist is a celebrity hotspot located beneath La Sala. It hosts a variety of music from house to chart toppers, with different nights bringing something new. Amazing artists come from all around the world to set the stage, including Chris Brown, Craig David, NEYO, Jason Derulo, Tinie Tempah & TYGA.

Pangea

Climb the staircase at Puerto Banus Tower to enter Pangea, a club with amazing views and one of Marbella’s most luxurious venues. Its rooftop terrace is the perfect place to party, with music from international DJs.

Tibu

With stunning decor and ambience, Tibu is a popular pick for many. With an open-air terrace, it’s perfect for those summer nights where it’s too hot to stay inside. There’s always something happening with a great lineup of events.

Backline Bars

Rival to the front line, this party strip is home to some of the best bars in Puerto Banus. Bijoux is a cocktail bar with a huge open terrace, Linekers is a sports bar by day and club by night and News Cafe has breathtaking views of the port.

Eat Like a Local

Marbella is home to plenty of cosmopolitan restaurants, bistros and tapas bars - there’s something for all tastes, and that means no one will go home hungry. You’ll find fish and seafood dishes on most menus - be sure to try the local fried fish.

La Sala

Simplicity is key at this restaurant, and so is high quality. Renowned as one of the busiest restaurants in Costa del Sol, it’s a popular destination for those looking for a delicious meal. Enjoy live music 7 days a week as you eat from a variety of different cuisines.

Beach Club Dining

A lot of the popular beach clubs have restaurants, so you never have to stray too far from the pool. If you want Thai food, La Sala By The Sea is a great option, or for a legendary burger try Ocean Club’s Amaï.

The Orange Tree

If you fancy a change of pace, this restaurant is located in Marbella Town, on the east side of Orange Square. It’s renowned for its seasonally changing menu and friendly hospitality. Locally sourced produce and home-made bread mean the food is always fresh and high quality.

Places to Stay

When finding somewhere to stay, Puerto Banus is the obvious choice to be close to the nightlife, but due to its popularity, hotels are limited and more expensive. They’re likely to have a minimum stay of 7 nights, which doesn’t suit everyone. Instead, Marbella Town has plenty of great affordable options, perfect for shorter stays. It’s just 15 minutes from Marbella Town to Puerto Banus, which will cost you about 20 euros for 4 people.

The Highlights

Marbella’s a Magnet For Wealth and Glamour

Marbella at a glance:

  • Marbella has 27km of coast divided into 24 different beaches
  • Just 56km from Malaga Airport
  • This is Andalusia, arguably Spain’s loveliest and most historic region
  • Marbella lies against the backdrop of the dramatic Sierra Blanca where you’ll find some of Spain’s prettiest Pueblo Blanca (white villages)
  • Puerto Banus in Marbella is one of the most exclusive yacht marinas in Europe

Things Not To Miss:

Playa Nueva Andalusia

Apart from the Marina, it’s this string of gorgeous, white beaches that score Puerto Banus top marks in the celebrity glamour stakes. Go for champagne beach bars, luxurious sun loungers, miles of flawless sand and plenty of opportunities to see and be seen.

Wine and Tapas Bike Tours

A non-strenuous way to try two of Marbella’s specialities, fantastic tapas and wonderful wine, and you get to explore the town centre at your own pace too.

Feria San Bernabé

Not to be confused with a Fiesta, Feria are usually week long celebrations, amazingly colourful, exotic and authentic experiences – even in shiny Marbella. Feria San Bernabé is centred around San Bernabé’s Day on 11 June.

Best bars in Marbella:

The Champagne Room- Sleek, decadent and very popular with Marbella ‘society’, The Champagne Room recreates the atmosphere of an exclusive 60s cocktail lounge but it stays open late and lets you dance.www.marbellaclub.com/champagneroom/

Linekers- A Puerto Banus stag night legend, Linekers is also the only licensed bookmaker in town and keeps long, long hours. Sports on TV, guest DJs and permanent party atmosphere are standard or you can book out the fabulous VIP area and have your own party.www.linekersgroup.com/linekers-bar.php

Claddagh Irish Bar- The only Irish bar in Marbella, so naturally it’s the best. Great atmosphere, loved by resident ex-pats for the regular live-music, sports on the telly and the free-flowing Guinness.www.thecladdaghirishbar.com

Sinatras- This iconic bar has been about in Puerto Banus since 1977. The name might be a throwback but the bar isn’t. Always busy and right on the marina so a favourite pre-club bar for the Puerto Banus ‘set’ to see and be seen.https://www.lovebanus.com/puerto-banus/bars/sinatras/

Astral Cocktail Bar- You can’t miss Astral, it’s the only bar on Puerto Banus Marina built like a pirate ship – oh, yes. Speciality of the decks are delicious fruit-based cocktails and the best place to drink them is in the garden leading down to the beach.http://www.astralmarbella.es/en/

Guey- Tropical gardens, fabulous views and lux atmosphere, Guey Skybar in Marbella is fantastic for food but even better just to chill out on the terrace under the clear night sky and try a few interesting cocktails or dip into the bar’s vintage wine and champagne cellar.https://www.gueymarbella.es/

Best clubs in Marbella:

Sala Beach- For an authentic Puerto Banus luxury beach club experience, Sala Beach works every which way. Relax by the pool, snack on fusion food and order cocktails from your lounger or go VIP for the rockpool jacuzzi, champagne bar and exotic spa treatments.www.salabeach.com

Nikki Beach- Beach club, restaurant and nightclub, Nikki Beach is one of the most exclusive and expensive clubs in Marbella. But if you like luxurious loungers, lush tropical gardens, exotic cocktails served by the pool and relaxed night-time clubbing then this is the perfect treat.www.nikkibeach.com/marbella/

Ocean Club Marbella- One of Europe’s largest beach clubs and a unique club concept, Ocean is a Marbella must – at least once. With designer shopping, a luxury spa, four bars, a vast swimming pool and an even bigger club, Ocean does everything and just about everyone loves it – there’s even a chill-out zone.www.oceanclub.es

Seven- One of the busiest nightclubs in Puerto Banus and right on the legendary ‘second line’, Seven brilliantly mixes up chic and exclusive with amazing sounds, guest DJs and a fantastic, friendly atmosphere.www.sevenpuertobanus.es

Best Time To Visit:

Obviously high summer is the best time to visit Marbella. It’s the South of Spain and the weather is hot and sunny, of course. Downside is, crowded beaches and less room at the bar but if you’re hitting the resort to party plenty, summer’s definitely the time to go. Spring’s cooler weather-wise and the beautiful beaches are quieter, but the atmosphere (especially in Puerto Banus) isn’t as lively so if you’re visiting in spring that’s the time to explore the mountains and the adorable Andalusian villages.

Best View Of The City:

If you need an excuse to visit the Old Town apart from its sheer charm, climb up into the bell tower of the Santa Maria de la Encarnacion for beautiful, clear panoramic views of the coast and mountains. The church itself is lovely too.

Getting About:

Considering there’s a stunning promenade stretching from Marbella to Puerto Banus (known as ‘The Golden Mile’) and plenty of other long, beautiful avenues to explore, it goes without saying that walking is the best way to get about. But, the local bus services are excellent, go almost everywhere and if you buy a rechargeable Travelcard they’re good value. Taxis are expensive and charge extra on Saturday.

Staying Safe:

This is one of the most exclusive places to live in Spain, so it’s not a surprise to find it’s well-policed and good security is a priority. But don’t be too lulled. Pick-pocketing and bag snatching still happen so be careful, especially on public transport and crowded places.

Useful Phrases:

Nice to Meet You= mucho gusto
What’s your name?= cómo se llama usted?
I’m Sorry= lo siento
How Much Does It Cost?= cuánto cuesto?
Cheers!= salud!