I visited Marbella at the end of last month and was lucky enough to celebrate turning 26 in the sunshine there.

Marbella is a lovely coastal resort town in southern Spain, around 45 minutes drive from Malaga airport. It is known as a rather glamorous holiday destination and has dozens of upmarket hotels, as well as some stylish and still budget friendly spots too.

It was a destination that really surprised me, as I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to particularly love it. I was kind of expecting a shallow, superficial holiday resort with little history or Spanish culture.

I’m delighted that I couldn’t have been more wrong and instead of finding a city with no depth I found somewhere with plenty of gorgeous old buildings, a great atmosphere, plenty of Spanish tapas bars filled with locals and much more.

1. Explore the old town

Marbella has an absolutely charming old town centre that is so much fun to explore. It’s full of adorable whitewashed streets, pretty little boutique shops, small plazas and cafes with outdoor seating where you can grab a drink and watch the world go by.

The old town of Marbella was one of my absolute favourite things about the area and Thomas and I spent hours walking through the little streets, taking photographs, drinking and chatting in cafes and just generally soaking up the sunshine and the relaxed atmosphere that is prevalent there.

2. Walk or cycle to Puerto Banús


Puerto Banús is another town around 7 kilometres from Marbella along the coastline. There’s a lovely coastal promenade that everyone walks, jogs or cycles along between the two places enjoying the sea breeze and the views along the way.

Thomas and I hired bicycles during our trip and enjoyed a leisurely cycle from Marbella to Puerto Banús, dodging in and out of the other cyclists, people walking their dogs and those just out to enjoy the sunshine.

3. Eat! 

Marbella has some absolutely fantastic restaurants dotted throughout the city and as my parents have visited Marbella several times they gave us some fantastic recommendations of places they love for us to enjoy during our trip.

I’ll be putting together a full post on where is best to eat in Marbella in the next few weeks so stay tuned for that! We didn’t have a bad meal the entire time we were there so I have quite a few recommendations to share with you all.

4. Stroll through Alameda Park


Alameda Park lies at the heart of the city centre, nestled between the old town and the beach. It’s a beautiful park filled with plenty of plants, trees and some cute wildlife.

I imagine it would be a great place to visit in the height of summer when temperatures are soaring. You could relax in the shade of some of the trees and plants there and enjoy some cool air away from the scorching sunshine.

There are also some adorably colourful benches dotted throughout the park that are the perfect place to sit for a while enjoying the peace and quiet that’s so rare to find at the heart of a city like Marbella.

5. Enjoy the beach

Marbella is blessed with miles upon miles of lovely sandy beach and there are plenty of spots for tourists to enjoy.

There are loads of different spots along the beach where you can hire a sun lounger and an umbrella for the day for a reasonable charge, or you can simply place your towel on the sand and chill out. The sand is kept incredibly clean and the water is wonderfully clear and inviting.

If you’re not a fan of lying on the beach in the sunshine then why not take a walk along the beach or get involved in some water sports instead? During my trip there were plenty of people doing stand up paddle boarding (SUP for short), speeding around on jet skis and hiring small boats for a day out on the water.

Have you been to Marbella? Do you know any fun things to do there?