25 Best Things to Do in Marbella For Your Next Vacation

Marbella is one of the most popular coastal cities in Andalucia, and not without a reason. Boasting luxury and history, fashion and nature, you will not get bored.

Defining the best things to do in Marbella, Spain can vary a lot from person to person, I know. That’s why I’ve listed up what to do in Marbella for every type of traveler.

Whether you like to window shop for luxury items, or you prefer swiping your card to bring them home or you like to sip drinks on a luxury yacht over getting hands-on paddling a kayak, Marbella has what you’re looking for.

Spectacular beaches are flanked by majestic mountains offering the active ones a wealth of hiking trails leading to sweeping views of the coastline.

There is nothing not to like, no matter if you travel to Marbella in winter or you prefer the hustle and bustle of August in Marbella. It’s easily one of the best places to stay in Costa del Sol.

Now, let’s get into what to do in Marbella, Spain.

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best things to do in Marbella

Best things to do in Marbella

Stroll through Marbella Old Town

Among the best things to do in Marbella is stroll through its historic Old Town. Its winding, narrow streets are lined with beautiful whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant flowers.

This is a Marbella must-visit with its beautiful architecture and streets lined with artisanal shops, quaint cafes, and art galleries.

Whether you visit Marbella on a day trip or you stay for longer, a stroll through the vibrant old town is a must. This is also one of the best areas to stay in Marbella, especially if it is your first visit.

Take a guided walking tour of the old town, which I highly recommend for anyone interested in learning more about its history. But it is also a great activity for solo travelers looking to meet other travelers.


best things to do Marbella

Sip drinks on a yacht

No trip to Marbella is complete without heading out on a boat trip whether it’s a high-energy party boat or a romantic sunset cruise.

I’m not much into parties anymore, but I really enjoy the day cruises that include snorkeling, swimming, and just soaking in the sun on deck with a drink in hand.

If you ever wondered if Malaga or Marbella was the best destination for you and a luxury yacht cruise sounds like the perfect way to spend the day, you have your answer.

This is a fabulous way to experience Marbella’s luxury vibes first-hand – because we all know the reputation Marbella has among the rich and famous.

A boat tour is by far a Marbella must-do for anyone looking to experience the city’s lavish lifestyle and create epic vacation memories.

There are plenty of Marbella boat trips to choose from, depending on whether you want to go on a private sailing trip or prefer a small group tour to meet other travelers.


Go dolphin watching

When it comes to epic Marbella activities, dolphin watching stands high on the list. There is nothing more magical than seeing wildlife in their habitat and personally, I can’t get enough of seeing these wonderful creatures playing around the boat.

If you haven’t seen dolphins in the wild yet, this is a must-do experience!

I recommend going on a small group tour to get the most out of potential dolphin sightings so you don’t risk getting crowded up and pushed back in the boat without the opportunity to see them properly or take pictures.


Get wet in Guadalmina River

The best time to go to Marbella for river hiking is in summer. Guadalmina River offers one of my favorite river hikes on the coast with deep water holes, cliff jumping, natural water slides, and narrow ravines to swim through.

You must be a strong swimmer to get through it, but I can guarantee one of the best experiences and top things to do in Costa del Sol. Among the best activities to do in Marbella, why not go on a canyoning tour of the river?

This is action-filled and fun with the safety of a local guide to one of the most bewildering natural places to go in Marbella.


activities Marbella

Have an ice cream in Alameda Park

When you need a break from sightseeing in Marbella, head to the charming Alameda Park and treat yourself to a scoop of ice cream.

With its rich variety of exotic plants and captivating fountains, this park presents a refreshing retreat from the bustling city vibes.

I especially love the unique, tiled benches in the park, perfect for sitting down if you need to rest your legs. But the park is also great for a stroll!

Alameda Park is one of the best Marbella places to visit when you need a rest and breathe in nature amidst the city.

Marbella things to do

Walk along the promenade

Go for a leisurely stroll along the bustling promenade of Marbella to take in the beautiful coastline. There are restaurants and bars where you can stop for a bite to eat or a drink along the way.

Unique boutique shops are lined up offering some of the best Marbella shopping whether you’re looking for new summer clothes or you’re after presents for those back home.

At sunset, it’s the perfect time to sit down with a cold drink and embrace the moment. On late summer nights, you can walk down to the beach and listen to the waves’ healing sounds.

Hike to La Concha

If you’re craving adventure after exploring Marbella’s things to do in the cityI highly recommend hiking La Concha peak.

As the highest peak in Marbella, it offers panoramic views of the city, Gibraltar, and on a clear day, the Moroccan coastline. If you’re in Andalucia during winter, this is an epic hike!

The challenging yet rewarding hike is a treat for nature lovers and offers fantastic photo opportunities. It’s a Marbella must-do for anyone seeking a blend of nature and adventure.

It is a good one-day hike that might just challenge your vertigo in a couple of places, so if you get easily dizzy, I would reconsider it. A good alternative hike is the shorter Cruz de Juanar with just as pretty views.

Marbella what to do

Have a coffee at Plaza de Los Naranjos

Plaza de Los Naranjos, located in the heart of Marbella’s Old Town, is a perfect spot for coffee and people-watching. Historical buildings surround the plaza, including the Town Hall and the Chapel of Santiago, making it one of Marbella’s must-see places.

The square is full of iconic orange trees (thus its name!) and while the oranges color up the winter days, I particularly love the orange blossom season. The sweet scent of the orange blossom is hard to compete with!

There are several bars and restaurants on the square with many outdoor tables, but in the high season, you might have to wait for a table.

Marbella things to see

Step inside Iglesia de La Encarnacion

Among the top Marbella attractions, the Church of the Incarnation, or Iglesia de La Encarnacion, stands out.

The 17th-century church is located on Placa de Los Naranjos and is quite humble on the outside as so many other old Spanish churches.

It’s still worth entering to see the great altar and mesmerizingly ornate organ. It’s a blend of Baroque and Rococo design elements.

things to do in Marbella

Window shop in Puerto Banus

One of the top things to do in Marbella is to window-shop in the posh Puerto Banus area. This luxurious Marina is not just about impressive yachts and glamorous nightlife; it’s also home to some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses.

Lined with high-end brands like Versace, Gucci, Valentino, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, and I could go on for a long time, you’re guaranteed to find your favorite brands.

Whether you decide to purchase a special souvenir or it’s way beyond your budget, it’s a fun place to walk around and one of the best things to do in Marbella.

Party at Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach is a synonym for extravagant beach parties and is undoubtedly among the fun things to do in Marbella.

This famed beach club is renowned for its lively parties, top-notch DJs, and beachfront setting, attracting a cosmopolitan crowd.

Dance the night away to the tunes of international music while enjoying exotic cocktails and gourmet cuisine. Partying at Nikki Beach is a Marbella must-do for party lovers!

Admire the art in Avenida del Mar

Avenida del Mar is a pedestrian walkway connecting Alameda Park and the promenade, yet it’s a Marbella must-visit for art enthusiasts. This open-air gallery features ten sculptures by the famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali.

Each sculpture, a testament to Dali’s artistic genius, is worth exploring up close. I must admit, I didn’t know they were statues by Dali for probably the first 50 times I walked there. But now that I do, the walkway has taken on new meaning and I’ve taken the time to actually look at the statues and there are some pretty quirky ones there.

places to go Marbella

Do a sunrise hike to Cruz de Juanar

For an unusual activity in Marbella, consider a sunrise hike to Cruz de Juanar. This is by far one of my favorite sunrise hikes in Andalucia (if you don’t know, I have an entire blog focusing only on hiking in Andalucia so it’s no secret I’m a passionate hiker!) and is well worth the strenuous climb.

Start your journey before dawn and make your way up as the first light of day illuminates the surroundings.

The rising sun gradually bathes Marbella and the Mediterranean Sea in golden hues. The impressive 360 views will mesmerize you as blue and grey layers of mountains contrast with the pink sky.

This is undoubtedly one of Marbella’s best things to do for anyone looking for tranquility and magic. Trust me, I’m not a morning person, but this is a sunrise hike I will get up for time after time.

Marbella spain things to do - Cruz de Juanar

Have dinner at the Marina

The Marina holds its place as one of the best places in Marbella for a culinary adventure. Delight in an open-air dining experience at one of the numerous high-end restaurants.

Whether traditional Spanish tapas or fresh food, there’s something for every taste bud. The picturesque view of the harbor and the lively ambiance at the Marina are perfect at sunset.

Relax on the beaches

Marbella is famed for its beautiful beaches, and taking time to unwind on these sandy stretches is among the best things to do in Marbella.

Soak up the sun in popular spots like Playa de la Venus or Playa de la Fontanilla, which are among the best beaches in Marbella, or seek more secluded spots for a quieter retreat.

Most of Marbella’s beaches are equipped with all necessary amenities like showers, toilets, sunbeds, and parasols, though some only have a working lifeguard in the summer months.

Marbella what to see

Go shopping

Retail therapy is one of the Marbella activities that should be noticed. Head to La Cañada shopping center, a retail heaven boasting high-street fashion brands, designer boutiques, and homeware stores.

For a more local shopping experience, explore the boutique shops in the city center and Old Town, offering everything from handmade crafts to traditional Spanish products.

Shopping is also one of the top things to do in Marbella for fashion lovers looking for high-end brands with Puerto Banus offering all the best luxurious brands.

Stroll around Represa Park

A serene place to visit in Marbella is Represa Park. With its abundant greenery, peaceful lakes, and meticulously curated gardens, it offers a fantastic break from the relentless urban bustle.

Enjoy the thrill of spotting local bird species or meander through the various pathways taking in the greenery around you.

Play a round of golf

One of the popular activities in Marbella is golfing. Affectionately referred to as the ‘Costa del Golf’, Marbella proudly parades an impressive number of top-tier golf courses, each presenting its own unique tests and stunning vistas.

Whether you swing clubs like a seasoned pro or an enthusiastic novice, teeing off on one of these remarkable greens is a popular activity in Marbella.

fun things to do in Marbella

Hike El Caminito del Rey

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, going on a day trip to hike El Caminito del Rey is one of the must-do things in Marbella.

This narrow path, suspended high above the breathtaking Gaitanes Gorge, offers stunning views and an adrenaline-pumping experience.

However, if you’ve got severe vertigo, you might think twice before taking on this adventure – I struggled the first time I went, but have been fine the last few times as my vertigo is getting better in general.

Navigate the walkway, and absorb the majestic views of the surrounding landscape, the narrow gorge, and the birds diving into the deepness of the ravine.

This was once considered the most dangerous hike in the world, but after rebuilding it in 2015, it is safe to hike, making this a Marbella must-do.

I highly recommend going on a guided tour from Marbella unless you drive. Then you can book tickets here. Note that you must book tickets in advance and attend at the allocated time slot, otherwise, you will not be able to walk El Caminito del Rey.


Marbella must do - Caminito del Rey

Go back in time at the Roman Villa

Among the historical places to see in Marbella is the 1st-century Roman Villa. It was once part of the Roman city, of Cilniana.

What impressed me the most were the incredible mosaic floors. Most of them are unique as they depict regular things like shoes, plates of food, and different kitchen utensils, which are not commonly seen among mosaics from that era.

Any history buff will find this to be one of the most interesting things to do in Marbella Spain. If you’re interested in the Roman heritage of Andalucia, you might find it interesting to visit the Baleo Claudia remains at Bolonia Beach in Tarifa and the old fish salting station in Fuengirola.

Kayak along the coast

As a coastal city, Marbella offers plenty of fun-filled aquatic adventures, and kayaking is one of them. For water sports enthusiasts and those looking for activities in Marbella that combine exersice with natural beauty, paddling a kayak along the beautiful Marbella coastline is hard to beat.

Admire the picturesque views of sun-soaked beaches, luxury villas peering from the lush coastal greenery, and the azure Mediterranean waters.

This isn’t just a relaxing way to explore the coastline, but it also serves as a splendid physical activity that is fun for the entire family making it one of the top fun things to do in Marbella.

You can either rent a kayak directly on the beach or opt for the safety of a kayak tour with a professional guide.


top things to do in Marbella

Take a day trip to Gibraltar

If your Marbella itinerary has room for a day trip, make it to Gibraltar. This British territory, just a short drive from Marbella, is an intriguing blend of British and Spanish cultures set against the backdrop of the iconic Rock of Gibraltar.

Climb the Rock for panoramic views, meet the famous Barbary apes, stroll through the quaint town, and discover the fascinating history woven into the fabric of this unique place.

A day trip to Gibraltar from Marbella adds an international flavor to your vacation and promises an enriching cultural experience.

Going to Gibraltar, you are about to embark on one of the most epic day trips from Marbella!

If you prefer the commodity of an organized adventure, there are both private tours to Gibraltar perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together, and budget-friendly group tours which are great for solo travelers that you can take.

Either way, don’t forget your passport!


Marbella tourist attractions - Gibraltar

Visit the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings

Among the best things to do in Marbella for art enthusiasts is to visit the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings.

Housed in the charming old Bazán Hospital building, this art museum is a treasure trove of engravings and graphic art.

Inside, you’ll find an impressive array of artworks by eminent artists such as Picasso, Miró, and Dalí.

Go snorkeling

Dive into an underwater adventure by snorkeling in the clear Mediterranean waters off Marbella’s coast. This is one of the fun things to do in Marbella that takes you into a different world, teeming with a diverse marine ecosystem.

Watch colorful fish dart among the coral reefs, discover intriguing marine creatures, and marvel at the serene beauty beneath the water’s surface.

Several companies offer guided snorkeling tours, ensuring a safe and enjoyable underwater exploration experience for anyone looking for a fun summer activity in Marbella.

activities in Marbella

Stroll around Puerto Banus Marina

Wrapping up our list of the best things to do in Marbella is a stroll around the vibrant Puerto Banus Marina.

This place is synonymous with luxury, showcasing opulent yachts, high-end shops, and a glamorous nightlife that sparkles under the stars.

As you amble along the Marina, you’ll be in the perfect spot for people-watching and admiring luxury cars parked casually along the dock.

If you would like to explore Puerto Banu’s nightlife with a local, there are fun pub crawls you can join.


things to see in Marbella - Puerto Banus


As you can tell, there are plenty of Marbella attractions and things to do. Marbella Spain is a hot spot for the rich and famous traveling to Spain, but is also a fantastic destination for us normal people. In fact, it’s one of my top choices for where to stay near Malaga.

With this guide to the best places to visit in Marbella and top things to do, I am sure you will enjoy your vacation. There is something for everyone, so what are you waiting for?

Happy travels!