Beach area in the city centre, the best area to stay in Marbella
The charming Old Town of Marbella is steeped in history and is awash with whitewashed houses their delightful flower-filled balconies and narrow streets, which are located in a very safe neighbourhood. The Old Town is partly surrounded by the ruins of an old Arab wall and at the centre of the area is the famous “Orange Square”. This square dates back to the late 15th century and is home to various shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a good amount of historical buildings.
The most dominating spectacle on the square is the Church of Saint Mary, which is one of the most important buildings in the city and has lots of interesting features like the outstanding red stone Baroque-style entrance and the impressive church organ, which is made up of 5000 copper and wooden made pipes. The Town Hall is next door, which was built in 1568 and is home to the original council chambers and has two floors that feature various murals that represent the Catholic King and Queen, Christ’s crucifixion and Marbella’s first coat of arms. The building also has a sun dial, commemorative stone inscriptions and numerous shields.
Another particular place of interest is the Old Governor’s House, which was built in the mid 16th century and is where you can see the original stone façade that has shields and a three arched balcony. The great thing about the Old Town is that wherever you go, you will be greeted with friendly faces, beautiful hanging flowers and lots of fascinating white buildings, which provide superb photos. Other things to see and do include the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings, which is housed in the former residential palace of Mayor Don Alonso de Bazan. The museum promotes some of the best Spanish art from some of the most famous painters in the world like Picasso, Miro, Chillida, Tapies as well as many others.
The city centre is also home to a few parks and gardens with the best being Alameda and is where many people come to meet. The gardens here have a great range of wonderful tropical plants, flowers, fountains and amazing vista as well as being accompanied by popular cafes, bars and restaurants. The Old Town has many shops and stores that sell a variety of products from antiques, souvenirs, clothes, foods and much more. The Old Town is well connected to the rest of the city with buses and taxis serving all neighbourhoods of the city as well as the airport, bus and train station. Just a few minutes from the Old Town is the incredibly popular promenade, which is home to an amazing amount of traditional and modern cafes, buzzing bars and excellent restaurants that offer an extensive range of cuisines.
The beaches here have black sand and do get very busy during the summer months with the most well-known being La Fontanilla followed closely by Venus and El Pinillo. All of the beaches have sun loungers that can be hired as well as numerous water sports like diving, windsurfing, jet skiing, banana boating and others.
For nightlife, the Old Town is blessed with a huge amount of restaurants, bars and some of the best hotels that cater for all budgets. Though if you a fancy a change and a little more sea breeze, then the waterfront is ideal but can be a bit more expensive.
Other neighbourhoods to stay in Marbella
This neighbourhood is found 4kms to the west of the city centre and is known as Costa del Sol’s playground for the rich and famous. Puerto Banus was built by Jose Banus, who was a local property developer and designed the place to be a luxury marina and shopping complex. The area is exceptionally safe to stay inand is easily accessible from Marbella and the airport but do be aware most things here are a lot more expensive than Marbella.
Having said that, there are an unbelievable choice of restaurants that offer outstanding food with influences from all over the globe as well as top quality bars and a brilliant selection of hotels that promise beautiful views of the sea. There are also many golf courses, beaches, shopping malls, water sports, casinos, boat cruises and markets to check out too. Don’t be surprised if you see somebody famous as the area is a major favourite with pop stars, actors and athletes from all over the world.