If you are lucky enough to visit the Costa del Sol, make sure you visit Marbella and Puerto Banus where you will find a vast range of great places to go.
Places to see in Marbella include:
THE OLD TOWN OF MARBELLA
The old part of Marbella is situated north of the main road at the eastern end of the town, and tourists can stroll up cobbled streets to reach Orange Square (Plaza de los Naranjos). Take your time to explore the Old Town, and enjoy the local bars, the pavement cafés and the authentic Spanish restaurants serving everything from tapas to gourmet food. Lined with orange trees, Orange Square is a great place to people-watch and chill out, far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the main town centre.
MARBELLA SEA FRONT
The Paseo de Maritimo in Marbella runs parallel to the beach, and offers visitors a wide choice of cafés, bars, authentic Spanish restaurants, seafood bars, gift shops, boutiques and much much more. No cars are allowed down the paseo, which is pedestrianised and this scenic part of town is popular with joggers, dog walkers and holidaymakers. If you want to eat good food, this is a great place to dine, with some of the best restaurants situated on the sea front, including Santiago Fish Restaurant and Pasta da Bruno Italiano.
THE DALI STATUES, MARBELLA
If you enjoy the finer things in life, you won´t fail to be impressed by the Salvador Dali sculptures down the Avenida del Mar in central Marbella. The pedestrianised street runs down to the sea from the Parque Alameda, and both sides of the street are flanked by fountains with the statues in the centre. Benches also line the street so there are plenty of places to relax and watch the world go by.
There are plenty of parks to visit in Marbella, but one of our favourites is La Alameda. Situated beside the Marbella Café in the centre of town, the park is full of mature, tropical gardens with an ornate fountain, decorated with Andalucian tiles in the centre. During the annual Marbella feria in June, the park comes alive with open air bars, singing and dancing acts.
FAMILY FUN IN MARBELLA
Funny Beach is a great place to take the kids. Situated just 1km east of Marbella town centre, just off the main A7 road, Funny Beach offers a wide range of rides and leisure activities including cable skiing, go-karting, a pool and an amusement arcade. If you want to stay in the centre of town, take a ride on the tourist train which will drop off and pick up at many of the main tourist resorts. A horse and carriage ride is also a good way to explore the town, and can be picked up from beside the Cafeteria Marbella in the centre of town. If you have a car, take a trip to Selwo Wildlife Park in Estepona (20 minutes by car). This is a fantastic attraction with over 2,000 species of animals, living in a semi-natural environment. You can walk half way around the park and then take a safari-style jeep to see the larger animals.
If you want to enjoy the sunshine and chill out by the sea, there is no better place to visit than Marbella. For around €5 per day you can hire a sun bed and parasol on one of Marbella´s main beaches, and there are plenty of places to eat and drink on the sea front. If you are feeling more adventurous, water sports are offered on most of the beaches from spring to autumn, including water skiing, paragliding, jet skiing and kite surfing. If you want to drive out of town, take a trip to Cabopino Beach (7km east of Marbella) or Golden Beach at Elviria (4km east of Marbella) which are both long, sandy beaches, ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
Puerto Banus is not only the haunt of the rich and famous, but also attracts fun seekers and sun seekers from all over the world. Take a walk around the marina itself and watch the yachts sail in and out of the port, enjoy lunch in one of the fabulous fish restaurants or flash the cash in one of the many designer boutiques. Whether you are visiting with friends, enjoying a romantic weekend or a family holiday, Puerto Banus will keep you entertained. The port really comes to life after dark when the clubs, pubs and music bars keep revellers entertained. Many of the clubs are open until 6am, and later in the summer.
SUPERB RESTAURANTS IN MARBELLA
There are so many excellent restaurants in Marbella, it is difficult to mention just two or three. My personal favourites include: Gambrinus for tapas, Pasta da Bruno for Italian food, situated on the sea front and on the main Ricardo Soriano street, Santiago on the sea front for fish, and the Red Pepper in Puerto Banus for excellent seafood and fresh lobster. If you want somewhere casual to go with the kids, that also serves excellent food, try the Hard Rock Café or Route 66 in Puerto Banus.
WHERE TO SHOP IN MARBELLA AND PUERTO BANUS
If you want to hit the shops in Marbella and Puerto Banus, you can shop till you drop and still not get round all the designer boutiques and stores. El Corte Ingles is well worth a visit in Puerto Banus, plus Marina Mall and the Cristamar Centre. Bag a bargain at Nueva Andalucia Market, which is held every Saturday from 9am to 3pm above Puerto Banus bullring.
HISTORY AND CULTURE IN MARBELLA
The Costa del Sol may not be known for its culture, but visitors can find a host of art galleries, museums and theatres, plus live flamenco shows, exhibitions and shows. Visit the Sammer Gallery in Puerto Banus which is one of Spain´s largest modern art exhibitions.
There is so much to see and do in Marbella and Puerto Banus, you may want to plan your itinerary before you go, saving you time and energy when you arrive. Check out the local Marbella tourist office online or see Marbella events for a full list of upcoming shows and festivals in the town.
(Source : with permission from T. Stormyr)