The Perfect Day Trip To Marbella Itinerary

Infused with charm and beauty, impeccable beaches, and a luxurious vibe, Marbella spellbinds millions of tourists every year. There is plenty of fun to have and if you are up for a day trip to Marbella, you will get a good introduction to the city.

In this one-day Marbella itinerary, you will get the opportunity to soak in the best of the city and explore the different areas of central Marbella.

From the bustling Marbella Old Town to the upscale Puerto Banus where you can hang out among the rich and famous, there is something for everyone. I’ve been to Marbella plenty of times, so I’ve made sure to include the best in this itinerary.

Read on to find out what to see in Marbella in one day to get a taste of everything during your short visit.

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Marbella in one day


👉Where to stay in Marbella
👉Weekend break to Marbella
👉Malaga vs Marbella
👉Where to stay on Costa del Sol
👉Best things to do in Costa del Sol

Getting to Marbella

The closest airport to Marbella is Malaga Airport (AGP) which has connections to most of Europe and even destinations beyond.

Getting from Malaga Airport to Marbella is easy by bus, car, or private transfer. The train line stops in Fuengirola, so you would have to transfer to the M220-bus to Marbella and the journey takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on the connection (train 45 minutes and bus 40 minutes,) so I don’t recommend taking the train.

There are direct buses from Malaga to Marbella that take about 1 hour and 10 minutes depending on traffic.

Check bus times and availability here

However, if you have a lot of luggage, you might prefer the commodity of a private transfer that will pick you up at the airport and drive you straight to your hotel in Marbella.

Book a private transfer

Finally, if your day trip to Marbella is part of an Andalucia road trip itinerary, you can easily drive to Marbella from anywhere in Andalucia.

There are plenty of underground parking lots centrally in Marbella, I like to leave my car at Parking PARKIA at Plaza de la Victoria as it is right at the edge of the old town.

Here are approximate driving times from the most popular cities and towns nearby:

  • Malaga: 45 minutes
  • Fuengirola: 30 minutes
  • Estepona: 30 minutes
  • Ronda: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Granada: 2 hours
  • Seville: 2 hours 35 minutes

Rent a car here

Best Time to Visit Marbella

Planning your trip to Marbella also involves picking the right time to visit. In all honesty. Marbella is great all year round, but each season brings different advantages. So at the end of the day, it is up to you to choose the right one for you.

Summer, while busy, brings a lively, festive atmosphere. The city is bustling, and the air has a palpable energy.

However, if you prefer a more relaxed pace, spring and fall offer mild weather with fewer tourists. September, in particular, is my favorite time of the year, offering a beautiful balance between the vibrant summer and the tranquil winter – with fewer crowds.

Winter in Marbella brings its charm to the city. While the rest of Europe is shivering, Marbella enjoys relatively warm temperatures up to 20 degrees Celsius in the daytime. It is an excellent time for sightseeing, hiking in the nearby Sierra de las Nieves, or even a sunny day on the beach.

Each season presents a different facet of Marbella, ensuring a memorable experience, regardless of when you choose to visit.

day in Marbella


Day trip to Marbella itinerary

Stroll through Marbella Old Town

On your day trip to Marbella, an early morning stroll through Marbella Old Town is an experience that will transport you back to the time of Moorish rule in Andalucia.

The Old Town, or “Casco Antiguo,” is a maze of narrow streets, beautifully lined with whitewashed houses adorned with colorful pot plants, giving it a quintessential Andalusian charm.

Calle Carmen is especially famous for its vibrant pot plants, providing a perfect photo spot that captures the essence of your day in Marbella.

one day in Marbella

As you weave through these charming alleyways, you’ll find yourself in the Plaza de Los Naranjos. This square is an oasis of orange trees, steeped in history and surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.

The hustle and bustle set the perfect stage for a delightful morning, filling the air with an intoxicating blend of orange blossom, coffee, and local cuisine.

Whether you grab a bite to eat or a coffee, Plaza de los Naranjos is a wonderful place for people-watching.

You’ll also sit in front of Iglesia Mayor De La Encarnación which is the most famous church in Marbella, so you might want to take a look inside.

It is a splendid example of Baroque and Rococo styles, showcasing ornate detailing and exquisite frescoes.

Throughout the old town, you will also find remnants of the old Moorish city walls. If you want to learn more about the history of Marbella Old Town, I highly recommend taking this private walking tour of the neighborhood.

Book a guided tour of the old town here

a day in Marbella

Alameda Park

Not far from the old town you find Alameda Park. It is a lovely little park with fountains and tiled benches under the canopies of lush, exotic plants and palm trees.

It’s one of my favorite places in Marbella to sit down and rest with an ice cream before continuing to the walking.

The park also serves as a site for numerous local cultural events. Hence, you may encounter a riveting flamenco performance or an engaging local fair during your visit.

Day trip to Marbella

Walk down Avenida del Mar

From Alameda Park, it’s a short a stroll down to Avenida del Mar which is a natural place to pass on your Marbella itinerary.

This pedestrian avenue links Alameda Park with the Promenade and is a marvel in its own right with palm trees giving it that exotic feel.

Its open-air exhibition of Salvador Dali sculptures sets Avenida del Mar apart. These ten bronze sculptures, strewn across the avenue, are worth taking a closer look at.

I always feel like I’m walking through an open-air art exhibition when strolling down this iconic street and it never ceases to amaze me.

From “The Perseus” to “The Victory,” each sculpture is a surreal masterpiece that captures Dali’s fantastical vision. Remember to snap photos with these quirky creations as you walk down the avenue.

Marbella itinerary

Walk along the Promenade

Once you reach the bottom of Avenida del Mar, you reach the ‘Paseo Maritimo’, or Marbella’s Promenade. It’s a sprawling pathway that traces the coastline, bordered by an array of palm trees.

You’ll find boutique shops, chiringuitos, and ice cream parlors along the way where you can stop whenever you feel like it. You might also want to take a stroll down to feel the water.

Marbella’s promenade is long so a break here and there to take in the sea breeze and cool down with a cold drink on a hot day is not the worst thing to do during your trip to Marbella.

trip to Marbella

Spend the Afternoon in Puerto Banus

As the sun dips low, Puerto Banus, Marbella’s luxury marina, is the place to be. This is where you will see all the luxury yachts Marbella is so famous for, but you will also find a whole lot of high-end cars which most people will be thrilled by.

Go window shopping in Puerto Banus is a must with its exclusive stores owned by elite designers like Gucci, Dior & Louis Vuitton.

The Marina is also flanked by stunning beaches and offers a vibrant nightlife besides the luxurious attractions. But if you’re on a budget, I’d recommend holding back on the beers and rather heading back to the old town for drinks.

I also recommend rounding off your Marbella day trip by going on a boat trip in Marbella, I suggest taking this sunset boat tour to take in the serenity of the colorful sky from the sea. There’s no better place to be at sunset (except maybe the top of a mountain – but that might just be me!)

Book your sunset cruise here

what to see in Marbella in one day - Puerto Banus

Reflections on one day in Marbella

As you can tell, there are plenty of fun things to do in Marbella and you will get a good insight in what this wonderful Andalusian city has to offer.

Make sure you pack your camera and take your time walking around and taking in the lovely atmosphere. You will certainly notice the difference between the old town and Puerto Banus.

Depending on your preferences, I am sure you will decide to return to either of the two areas – if not both!

Happy travels!