You might think that you know what kind of place Marbella is – after all, the very name has long been synonymous with sun-seeking, hedonism, and Spanish coastal glamour.
But is it possible that you’re underestimating the sheer depth and breadth of all the sights, sounds, and activities that make up Marbella? We think that’s more than possible – so, you might wish to partake in some of the below fun things when you do pay a visit to this famously sun-drenched, picturesque, and charming part of the Costa del Sol.
Observing historical buildings around the ‘Orange Square’
The locals know it better as Plaza de los Naranjos, and while it is exceedingly pretty in its own right, this public square in the old town also makes great sense as a starting point for glancing around at the surrounding historic architecture.
Don’t miss the nearby Casa Consistorial de Marbella, a 16th-century building that now houses the city’s town hall.
Checking out the art
Whenever you think of Marbella, there’s a good chance that the words “art capital” don’t immediately come to mind.
But the city does serve up definite stimulations for culture vultures, particularly admirers of Surrealist art; on the central Avenida del Mar, for example, can be seen no fewer than 10 weird and wonderful bronze sculptures by the incomparable 20th-century Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí.
Taking snaps of Calle Carmen
OK, we can hardly sell this one as a “hidden gem” – this street is one of the most photographed in Marbella’s old town – but if you’ve come to the city principally to soak up the sun, sand, and nightlife, you might not realise it offers no shortage of pueblos blancos charm, too.
By pueblos blancos, we are – of course – referring to the “white villages” that southern Spain is very much known for, but which you might have presumed would be located some way away from Marbella. You’ll find Calle Carmen, with its unmistakable blue painted flower pots on the whitewashed walls, just around the corner from the aforementioned Orange Square.
Seeking out the medieval town walls
If you’re thinking to yourself, “how did I not know Marbella has medieval town walls?”, there’s a potentially good reason for that; very little of those old city walls remain.
So, why have we included them in the rundown? We’re including them in part because fascinating fragments do linger, and partly because they’re the next logical thing to check out once you’ve done that snapping on Calle Carmen.
A long set of steps survives, dating back to the 10th century, when the city was ruled by the Moors. It was these steps that ran along the city walls, and there are other surviving indicators of the old fortification to be found around the old town.
Walking the dunes
Yes, you read that correctly; Marbella also just happens to be home to one of the Costa del Sol’s best-preserved dune areas. You will find it at Marbella’s far eastern end, near Cabopino, with wooden walkways taking you via the sandy beach through the dunes. It’s a particularly enchanting place to be when the sun sets.
There you go – five reminders that Marbella is a captivating place that transcends the stereotypes. Whatever your reasons for visiting this area of Andalucia, it’s worth bearing in mind that here at Simply Shuttles, we offer excellent-value Málaga Airport transfers to Marbella that could help make your time here feel even more convenient, easeful, and fun.