Marbella’s laid out on Spain’s south-side, in the Costa Del Sol. This city’s easy on the eye, sandwiched between the Sierra Blanca Mountains and 27 kilometres of caramel beaches, and it’s more about fiestas than siestas. For a perfectly balanced holiday, stay in sleepy San Pedro de Alcantara, which is a speedy 15-minute taxi ride from the centre of Marbella. Want to know where’s best to go for neon-lit night out? Check out our guide to Marbella’s nightlife.
Glitz, glamour and the Golden Mile
Marbella is renowned for its party rep and blinged-up boudoirs, so it’s the perfect excuse to get your glad-rags on and head for the Golden Mile, a hive of watering holes ideal for celeb-spotting.
Shimmy and shake at La Sala by the Sea, which often hosts crowd-pleasing DJs and big acts like Craig David. There’s even a food and drink selection that you can enjoy from the comfort of your VIP chaise longue – you’ll be in party paradise all night long.
For a laid-back vibe, breeze on over to the Monkey Club. The classic cocktail is reinvented here and the food menu is also pretty tempting. The desserts are perfectly assembled sculptures and the starters look too good to eat. Do we need to tempt you any more?
Shisha, champers and sunshine
Marbella’s upbeat atmosphere doesn’t just start when the sun goes down. If you’re looking for a sophisticated crowd with a taste for champagne, and an appetite to party from day to night, check out Nikki Beach Marbella. Located on one of Marbella’s pearly-white beaches, it’s a glamorous affair. The pool deck is speckled with white VIP beds, which you can hire for the day, and the open-air restaurant is the ideal setting for al fresco dining with an insta-ready view. And there’s a terrace, where cocktail sipping at sunset can be ticked off your list.
Or, if you fancy something a little more extravagant, head to Ocean Club. This classic beach club offers 9,000 square metres of modern – and undeniably chic – luxury. Its huge saltwater pool is framed with super-comfy beds where you can lounge with your friends. The dazzling deck is a regular host to some major DJs that create a fun and chilled vibe by day, then team up with dancers and entertainers to bring the place to life at night.
Bop along the marina
Head to Puerto Banus for the marina and gawp at the rows of dazzling white yachts. Stroll along the waterfront and take in the view, where the urge to take a pano pic is undeniable. #nofilterneeded
Sip cocktails and nibble tapas from a height and look out across Marbella’s pink-tinged marina from the Sky Lounge at sunset or, take your pick from the endless stream of restaurants that line up along the street.
Flat shoes and cobbled streets
For a more authentic Marbella, grab a taxi boat and zip on over to Casco Antiguo – the old town – which is encased within an ancient Arabic wall. Inside lies a treasure trove of balcony-clad whitewashed buildings, weaving and winding narrow streets and quaint boutiques and bistros serving up traditional Spanish cuisine.
Or, if life gives you lemons, visit the Orange Square. Known to the locals as Plaza de los Naranjos, this square is a floral feast, particularly at spring time when the trees are bursting with blossoms. True to its name, this plaza is framed by orange trees, adding a burst of colour to the courtyard. Say ‘hi’ to the statue of King Juan Carlos or, wander round historic sites such as the Magistrate´s House and the Santiago Chapel.