Travel Guide Europe Spain Andalusia Málaga Marbella

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Introduction

Marbella, Andalucia

Marbella, Andalucia

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Marbella is a popular tourist city in the south of Andalusia with around 125,000 inhabitants. Its coastal location and warm Mediterranean climate make it one of the most popular beach destinations in Europe, both in summer and winter, when flocks of pensionados from northern Europe come down here.

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Sights and Activities

Although a modern town, Marbella's origins date back several centuries BC. The main sight of the city is the historical old quarter (Casco Antiguo) with Andalucian and Moorish architecture, flower filled balconies, decoratively painted tiles, narrow streets and the "Orange Square" in the middle of it all. Also, if you're interested in beautiful churches and chapels, Marbella has a lot to offer.

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Weather

The climate type is Mediterranean, unsurprisingly. Marbella's location between the ocean in the south and the Sierra Blanca range in the north gives the city a pleasant microclimate. With about 320 sunshine days a year, it's no surprise that many telecommuters, retirees and other expats (especially from the northern half of Europe) have made Marbella and other destinations on Costa del Sol their second home. December and January have somewhat more rain than the rest of the year, though.

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Getting There

By Plane

Nearby Malaga offers the best air connections. Málaga airport is the best airport to fly into when you are visiting the Costa del Sol. It is located just 5 kilometres southwest of the city centre. In 2010 the new terminal 3, has opened at Málaga airport increasing the capacity of the airport.

To/from the airport

  • Rail: At the airport there is a train station of the cercanias (commuter trains). A ride to the central train station takes about 15 minutes, with trains leaving every half hour. There are also connections to Fuengirola.
  • Bus: Busline 19 has a service between the airport and the busstation. Buses leave in front of the airport, approximately every 35 to 40 minutes. An airport coach goes directly to Marbella.
  • Car: The airport can easily be reached by car from Málaga and other nearby coastal towns. There are many car rental companies and als taxis available at Málaga Airport.

By Train

There is a train service between Fuengirola and Malaga, which due to be extended to run further down the coast to Marbella in the near future.

By Car

The main coast road (N340, now known as the A7) connects the major towns along the whole southern coast and Marbella is approx 30 minutes drive along the N340 from the provincial capital, Malaga. If you are prepared to pay the toll fee (around €4-6 depending upon season) you can take the new AP-7 road which runs parallel to the N340, but with less traffic and higher speed limits means you will reach your destination more quickly.

By Bus

From Malaga Airport, buy a bus ticket from the vendor facing the exit of the arrivals hall. The buses will arrive every hour or two on the road behind the vendor. Without traffic (there really shouldn't be any, since the bus takes the toll road), the ride should take around 40 minutes. Marbella's central bus station is right off the motor way (A-7 / E-15), right off exit 164. There are high quality regular bus services along the length of the coast. Although cheap, the buses can run to their own timetable (!) and are often very busy in summer.

By Boat

Marbella has two yacht harbors.

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Getting Around

By Car

A car is probably an option if you want to go somewhere further out - west, east or inland. If you want to rent a car, all the major car hire firms are represented, but the best value will probably come from local firms. Small car for around €80-90 a week in off season.

By taxi: if travelling any distance agree the fare in advance. Official rates should be displayed inside any licensed taxi. Phone 952 823 835

By Public Transport

The city operates a network of seven local bus lines. Here is information concerning routes, schedules and fares. The Spanish version of the site has an additional route map for each line using Google Maps. Single tickets cost €1.18 when purchased from the driver.

By Foot

Downtown is fairly compact and you can get around by foot fairly easily if you are moderately fit, just remember to drink water regularly if visiting in the summer when daytime temperatures above +30 °C are the rule rather than the exception. Also sidewalks are often very narrow.

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Eat

Streets in the old town around Plaza de los Naranjos are lined with restaurants - if they are not (souvenir) shops they are restaurants. You will therefore have no trouble finding a restaurant and as elsewhere in touristed parts of the world the menus may be available in even ten languages and restaurant staff are very eager to get passers by patronizing their restaurant! Also, your hotel is likely to have one or more restaurants, especially if the hotel is away from downtown.

Even as all major cuisines are represented on the Marbellan restaurant scene, most (also) offer Spanish and Andalusian dishes - especially paella in all thinkable varieties. Also, unlike lesser touristed parts of Spain, restaurants open for dinner already at 18:00, even with some special offers for early diners. Tapas are available all day.

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Sleep

One of the major tourist centers on Costa del Sol, in and around Marbella you have plenty of accommodation to choose among from simple hostels to luxurious resorts.

View our map of accommodation in Marbella or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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Accommodation in Marbella

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Marbella searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Marbella and areas nearby.

Marbella Travel Helpers

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This is version 16. Last edited at 9:13 on Dec 29, 17 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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