Marbella in Spain, sights

Marbella sights – 11 interesting places

Marbella in Spain has long ago gained the status of a modern sophisticated resort, where hundreds of thousands of travelers seek annually. Of course, first of all, the place attracts tourists with its azure waters and sandy beaches. But an important role in the resort’s high popularity is also played by its attractions. Among them you will find natural sites, historical monuments and entertainment spots. To understand how rich the city is in interesting locations, it is enough to look at the photos of the attractions of Marbella. Well, we did not limit ourselves to picturesque photos and decided to take a detailed look at the most attractive places of the resort.

View of the port of Marbella

Old quarter

One of the main attractions of Marbella in Spain is considered to be the historical quarter. The old quarter is located in the heart of the resort, close to the waterfront and separated from it only by a highway. The neighborhood is a combination of colorful winding streets and white buildings decorated with lush vegetation and miniature flower pots. There are homes as well as a variety of cafes and souvenir shops. The sidewalks in the area deserve special attention: many of them are elegantly decorated with sea stones or tiled.

Old Quarter

The neighborhood’s historic quarter looks tidy and well-maintained thanks to recent renovations. One side of the streets is bustling with activity, and the other is quieter and less crowded so it’s interesting to wander around and see the different corners with their own unique atmosphere. The local chapels, miniature churches, and museums will make you linger in the area. The main attraction of the Old Quarter is the Orange Square, which you will find on the following pages.

Orange Square

The square gets its name from the orange trees that line its perimeter. For centuries it has been the center of political and commercial life in Marbella in Spain. Today, the small square is a picturesque island filled with cafes and restaurants where tourists sit and relax in the shade of the orange groves. Moreover, the most interesting historical sites of the Old Quarter are concentrated here. Among them it is worth to look at:

Orange Square

  • Santiago Chapel. This is the oldest religious building in Marbella, built in the 15th century. It is a small rectangular building with a rich interior, including icons and statues of saints.
  • Magistrate’s Court. The landmark as well as the chapel is one of the oldest structures in the city. Built in 1552, the courthouse is notable for the arches on the upper tier as well as the facade with Gothic architectural inclusions and Renaissance details.
  • City Hall. The building was erected in 1568, and today all visitors to the square can admire the ancient sundial preserved there.

To make it easier for you to navigate the sights of Marbella’s Old Quarter, we recommend going to the tourist office located in Orange Square. Here you can ask for a map of the area and get all the information you need.

Marbella’s main church

If you’re wondering what to see in and around Marbella, we suggest visiting its main church. Although it was built in 1618, the interior design was completed by Spanish architects in the mid-18th century. The external appearance of the church is quite modest. The only most noteworthy detail of the outer facade is the multicolored panel made of ceramic tiles, which indicates all the nationalities that once lived in Spain in Marbella.

Marbella's main church

The interior decoration of the temple looks much richer than its exterior decoration. The centerpiece of the church is the gilded retablo (Spanish version of the altar), made in Baroque architectural style. Its main figure in its composition is a miniature statue of St. Bernabé – the main protector and patron of Marbella. Every June, the locals hold extravagant celebrations and processions in his honor. Don’t forget to look at the monument of the Saint, located at the entrance of the temple. In addition to the altar, the organ inside is also of interest, but there are no concerts of choral music here.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Saturday you can see the sights from 08:00 to 22:00, and on Sunday from 09:30 to 22:00.
  • Prices to visit: free of charge, donations appreciated.
  • Address: Plaza de la Iglesia, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.
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Quay

The Central Promenade in Marbella in Spain is a spacious promenade which is 7 kilometers long and runs along the coast. It is a great place for leisurely tourist walks surrounded by palm alleys. On one side you can see the beautiful sea scenery and appreciate the local beaches. On the other side you meet a promenade of hotels, cafes, bars, stores, children’s attractions and fairs.

Marbella promenade

The Marbella promenade offers beautiful shots, especially at sunset. Here is one of the main symbols of the city – the white lighthouse. The place is suitable for both morning and evening outings, and will be a great place for cycling and rollerblading. The attraction is especially crowded in the evening, when restaurants and stores fill with tourists. At this time it is quite safe to walk on the promenade: firstly, there is excellent lighting, and secondly, the streets are continuously patrolled by local law enforcement.

Puerto Banús

To get a complete picture of the exquisite resort of Marbella in Spain, it’s definitely worth checking out Puerto Banús Harbor. The popular spot off the coast is literally permeated with the spirit of luxury and pathos. Expensive cars, luxury yachts, wealthy women and men in branded outfits are all bright pieces of the mosaic that form the overall picture of Puerto Banús glamorous life.

Puerto Banus

The harbor was built in 1970 and quickly transformed into a fashionable neighborhood with expensive boutiques and restaurants. The main attraction of the harbor is the giant marina with 900 berths. In the port is available to rent boats: thus, to rent a small yacht for 4 hours costs 1000 €. However, many tourists visit Puerto Banús not to leave a large sum of money, but to see how others do it.

Avenida del Mar

Among the attractions of Marbella in Spain it is worth highlighting Boulevard Avenida del Mar – a kind of open-air museum dedicated to the works of Salvador Dali. The spacious pedestrian street lined with marble is literally dotted with surrealistic sculptures of the artist made of bronze. Notably, the sculptures on the boulevard are authentic works by Salvador Dali. However, there are no barriers or guards, so visitors are free to explore the sculptures and even touch them with their hands.

Avenida del Mar

Among other things, the Avenida del Mar is not only an ideal place to explore Dali’s work, but also a good place to spend some quality time. There are plenty of benches where you can relax after viewing the museum. The alleys here are decorated with lush verdant flowerbeds and palm trees, as well as gurgling fountains. Cafes and stores are open on both sides along the boulevard. Underneath Avenida del Mar there is an underground parking lot.

Park Alameda.

Marbella in Spain is also famous for its picturesque parks. And one of the most popular modern complexes is called Alameda. The attraction appeared at the end of the 16th century, gradually grew and today has become quite a popular place for recreation. This cozy and well-groomed park is a real salvation for vacationers in the unbearable heat. The complex’s sidewalks are paved with marble, which gives extra coolness.

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Park Alameda

In the center of Alameda, it is curious to see a large fountain decorated with panels with the coats of arms of Andalusian cities. The park benches deserve special attention: some of them are lined with ceramic tiles with atmospheric images of Spain. The park has attractions for children, an ice cream stand and a café where you can have a cup of coffee.

Parc de la Constitución

Constitution Park

What else to see in Marbella in Spain? If you have a free day, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Constitution Park. The complex was built in the 50s. The complex was built in the 50s of the 20th century and originally served as a nursery for seedlings, designed for greening the neighboring cities. Today, on its territory there are rare subtropical plants brought from different countries of the world. Particularly common are Mediterranean cypresses, which have formed an entire alley here.

In recent decades, the park has transformed into a popular place for family recreation. There is a children’s playground and a cozy cafe on its territory. It is a well-groomed, quiet place, where it is nice to hide from the scorching rays of the sun. In summer the park opens its theater season, when various musical performances take place in the local amphitheater, which seats 600 spectators.

The Castle Walls

This one will take you back in time to the Middle Ages, when Moorish civilisation was thriving in Marbella. The castle walls are the only thing left of the once mighty Arab fortress built in the 9th century. The walls were built using hewn stone, the strength of which has enabled them to endure and partially survive to this day.

Castle Walls

Today, the historical site gives Marbella a special charm and fits harmoniously into the cityscape. The Castle Gate is located in the Old Town and can be visited for free. For a detailed overview of all the ruins will take no more than an hour. To look at the fortress walls will be interesting not only to fans of medieval ruins, but also to fans of the history of Spain, as well as any inquisitive tourist.

La Concha Mountain

One of the most picturesque natural sights worth seeing while in Marbella in Spain is Mount La Concha. The majestic mountain massif is clearly visible from many urban points, but the main object of tourist attention in this chain is its peak. Its height above sea level reaches 1215 m. It is at this point that the main observation point on La Concha is located.

In order to get to the top of the mountain, you will have to overcome quite a difficult ascent. The tourist can choose between two paths – north and south. The first one is easier, 11.2 km long in both directions. However the start of this route is in the mountain village of Istan, located 20 km northwest of the center of Marbella.

La Concha Mountain

The southern route starts not far from the historic center of the resort, you do not have to leave the city, but this route is 25 km (calculated both ways). And 18.5 km of them pass exclusively through the mountainous terrain. For unprepared travelers this walk can be a real challenge, so it is important to assess your strength in advance. If you decide to walk that route, make sure you have comfortable shoes and clothes for long ascents and don’t forget water and food. As a result, all your efforts will undoubtedly pay off with an unforgettable experience and mesmerizing panoramas opening from the peak.

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Juanar Lookout

Another interesting landmark lies 8,5 km north of Marbella in the mountains of a small village called Ohen. The place is really worth visiting, because few people know about it. We are talking about the Juanar Lookout, which offers unforgettable mountain and sea views. The location will also delight you with its diverse plant life. And you might even get to see the mountain goats that live there.

Juanar Lookout

You can reach the place by car, following the signs in Ohene to the Hotel Refugio de Juanar, near which is the entrance to the mountain tourist area. Then you only have to drive about 2.3 km along the narrow mountain road to the south of the hotel and the breathtaking, bright panoramas will finally open up to you.

Prices on the page are for January 2020.

Conclusion

These are probably the most attractive attractions of Marbella, photos and descriptions of which only prove that this resort of Spain deserves special attention. Our list includes various locations that together give you the opportunity to spend an unforgettable vacation in the city and its surroundings. All of these places can be visited for free at almost any time.

The sights of Marbella described on the page are marked on the map in Russian.

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18 Marbella attractions recommended to visit

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Marbella is a world-famous fashionable resort on the southern Costa del Sol. Among the numerous attractions of Marbella (Spain) everyone will find something to his liking – from beaches and parks to beautiful old buildings and nightlife in world-class institutions. So what to see in Marbella during a vacation in this wonderful resort?

Orange Square

Orange Square

Orange Square. | Photo: wikimedia.

Plaza de los Naranjos or Orange Square is located in the center of the old part of Marbella – all the narrow paved streets of the historic district lead to it. The orange trees, one of the main symbols of Andalusia, are planted everywhere. The square is full of tapas bars and restaurants with sunny terraces where you can relax with a small glass of cold beer.

Address: Orange Square, Naranjos Square, Marbella, Spain.

Fontanilla Beach

Fontanilla Beach

Beach Fontanilla.| Photo: wikimedia.

Playa de la Fontanilla is the main beach within the city limits, which stretches along the southern part of Marbella. It has all the amenities of a popular city beach: rented lounge chairs; showers; water activities; water sports equipment rentals; and, of course, a promenade filled with bars and restaurants that offer menus for every taste, from Indian cuisine to tapas.

Address: Paseo Marítimo, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Bahadilla Beach

Bahadilla Beach

Beach Bajadilla.

Playa de la Bajadilla is located a little east of Fontanilla Beach, in the old fishermen’s quarter of Marbella. This beach is smaller and occupies a curved section of sandy coast. It is wide, shallow, with no waves, so it is always crowded in the summer. Right on Bahadilla Beach are the tables of Puerto Playa, one of the city’s best seafood restaurants.

Address: Restaurante Puerto Playa, Marbella, Spain.

Old Town district.

Old Town

Old Town neighborhood.| Photo: Kamyar Adl / Flickr.

The picturesque old town Casco Antiguo in Marbella is one of the most intimate places in Andalusia. The interweaving of flowery streets, romantic squares and elegant townhouses is as enchanting as the oldest neighborhoods of Granada, Cordoba and Seville. The best way to get lost in the atmosphere of the old city is to get lost in its narrow streets (this will not be too difficult).

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Address: Casco Historico, Plaza de los Naranjos, 3, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Divina Pastora neighborhood.

Divina Pastora

Divina Pastora neighborhood.

Divina Pastora is a lively residential neighborhood in the center of Marbella (east of Represa Park) that is definitely worth a visit. After shopping in the markets of the old town, locals love to chat by the fruit and vegetable stands, or have a coffee in the cheap bars. In the local church, you can view paintings of the different Andalusian provinces.

Address: Calzados Gutiérrez, Calle Peñuelas, 5, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Santo Cristo Square

Santo Cristo Square

Plaza Santo Cristo. | Photo: Maria Victoria Rodriguez / Flickr.

Plaza Santo Cristo is another attractive square in the old town. Here you will find two colorful buildings: a bright yellow bar where Ana Maria’s flamenco shows are held and next to it a smart burgundy building of a former café. A historic site to the left of these buildings is the 15th century Santo Cristo Chapel.

Address: Plaza Santo Cristo, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Miraflores area

Cartijo Mipaflores Museum

Cartijo Mipaflores Museum.| Photo: wikimedia.

Miraflores is a residential area of the city, located north of the historic center of Marbella. It is known for the local friendliness that is evident in everything. There are several museums: the small but interesting Cartijo Mipaflores, which tells the history of olive oil production, and archaeology museums.

Address: Centro Cultural Cortijo De Miraflores, Calle San Pedro de Alcantara, 10, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Salvador Dali Sculptures

One of Salvador Dali's sculptures.

One of the sculptures by Salvador Dali.

Many may be surprised to learn that Marbella has a world-class collection of sculptures by Salvador Dali. Ten bronze works by the famous Catalan surrealist appear along Avenida del Mar, the city’s wide boulevard leading to the promenade.

Address: Esculturas de Dalí, Av. del Mar, Avenida, 16, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings

Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings

Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings. | Photo: wikimedia.

The Museo del Grabado Español Contemporaneo is the only museum of its kind in Spain. It is housed in a graceful 16th-century structure that once served as a hospital. Through the exhibits in the museum’s permanent collection, the entire history of Spanish prints and graphics can be traced. The galleries also feature works by famous artists, including Dali and Miró.

Address: Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, Calle Hospital Bazán, s/n, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Puerto Banús Marina

Puerto Banús Marina

Puerto Banús marina.

Puerto Banús is a fashionable marina located eight kilometers west of Marbella. Today it is one of the most famous places on the Costa del Sol, which can be briefly described in three words: yachts, Ferraris and boutiques. Visit it to find out if the marina really deserves its fame.

Address: Puerto banús muelle de honor – torre de control, marbella, málaga es 29660 29660 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Park Alameda.

Park Alameda

Parque Alameda.| Photo: wikimedia.

Parque de Alameda is a romantic, tropical-like park located in the center of the modern part of the city, just behind the Paseo Maritimo (Paseo Maritimo) promenade.

Its main avenue is adorned with benches lined with wonderful ceramic tiles, and the centerpiece of the park is a large beautiful 17th century fountain. There is an organic produce market on the first Saturday of every month.

Address: Parque de la Alameda, Avda. Ramón y Cajal, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

National Park of Nagueles.

Nagueles National Park

Nagüeles National Park.

Nagüeles is a national country park located in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca, just five kilometers north of Marbella. Guests are provided with a spacious recreation area equipped with several barbecue grills and picnic tables; as well as a play and exercise area for dogs.

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Address: Parque Nagüeles, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Parque de la Constitución

Park Constitution

Parque de la Constitución.

Parque de la Constitución is the largest city park in the center of Marbella. On its shady paths it is pleasant to relax, sheltering from the hot sun in spring and summer. During these seasons, concerts are held in the park’s auditorium. The outdoor terrace of the cafe is an ideal place to sit quietly and order an ice cream or a cold drink.

Address: Constitution Park, Av. Arias Maldonado 14, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Castle Walls

Fortress walls

Fortress Walls.

In the center of the city, the only monuments to Marbella’s centuries-old history are the dilapidated walls and watchtowers of the fortress. These ruins, located near the west side of Represa Park, once protected a 9th century fort. The fortress walls and towers were built in the 10th and 11th centuries, during Moorish rule.

Address: Castle Walls, Calle Portada, 7, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Marbella Market

Marbella Market

Marbella market.

Do you want to feel the atmosphere of the local street life? Then go to the central food market of the city – Mercado de Marbella. Here you can find everything: cheese and wine; fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat; smoked ham; and bundles of dried peppers. And, of course, there are groups of locals everywhere, talking loudly and gesticulating vigorously as they shop.

Address: Hnos Haro, Av. Mercado, 1D, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Bonsai Museum

Bonsai Museum

Bonsai Museum.

Marbella is the only major city in Andalusia that has a museum dedicated to miniature trees. In the halls of the Museo del Bonsai, located in the central part of the Represa Park, you can admire amazing examples of bonsai trees. It is also the oldest collection of wild olive trees in Europe.

Address: Bonsai Museum, Parque Arroyo de la Represa, Avda. del Doctor Maiz Viñal, 29600 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

Church of Santa Maria Encarnación

Santa Maria Encarnación Church

Church of St. Mary Encarnacion. | Photo: elCandidato Comunicación / Flickr.

One of the most striking historical landmarks of Marbella is this majestic church with Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements. It was built in the middle of the 18th century. The city was only liberated from the Moorish rule at the end of the fifteenth century, which is much later than almost all of Spain.

The former mosque was immediately consecrated and became a Christian place of worship several centuries before the structure was completed. Some of the architecture of the building was remodeled for Christian use. For example, the church tower was once a minaret. The plan of the interior space was changed to a basilica layout with three aisles and added luxurious 18th century rococo decorations.

Address: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, Plaza de la Iglesia, 29601 Marbella, Málaga, Spain.

La Concha mountain

La Concha Mountain Top

The top of the mountain La Concha.

A great idea for travelers is to climb the mountain outside the city in the season with milder weather conditions. Mount La Concha is part of the Sierra Blanca coastal range and is over 1,200 meters above sea level. The mountain peak, devoid of vegetation, can be seen from anywhere in Marbella.

As you get closer to the summit, you will see a very different picture – steep valley slopes covered with tall pines and oaks. Following the signs, you will soon find yourself in the middle of a landscape of scrubby vegetation. From the top of the mountain, you will have an unforgettable panoramic view that stretches far beyond Marbella and into the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The hike to La Concha Peak takes about four hours.

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