Marbella is a Town as well as an area which starts just after Funny Beach and ends near San Pedro. It´s 60km from the airport and takes around 40 minutes or so by car. When talking about Marbella or booking hotels or apartments, make sure you know exactly whereabouts it is in Marbella by checking it on Google Maps. If you’re still unsure of the location, join us on our Facebook Group, The Costa Del Sol Travel Forum. We know people who thought they were staying in Marbella and ended up in Calahonda, so please do your homework before booking anything.
Hiring a car is the best solution if travelling with your family. A return journey from Malaga Airport to Marbella by taxi probably won´t be far off the price of hiring a car for a week. You can get a quote below. Tips! Don´t go for the smallest car because you don’t want to have any luggage on show and make sure there´s aircon! We know there are people who don’t like driving abroad, but with Google Maps and all these other apps for directions, it really couldn’t be easier. Here’s some driving tips which might help. At peak periods we highly recommend taking the toll road as the N340 gets extremely busy. If hiring a car ask about parking at your hotel or apartment before booking.
The train only runs as far as Fuengirola. Read more about Malaga Airport train here. You could take the train to Fuengirola and then a bus to Marbella, but it´s probably better to take the direct bus to Marbella as mentioned below.
There is a direct bus from Malaga Airport to Marbella Bus Station. So you would then need to take a bus, taxi or have someone pick you up to take you to your final destination. The Bus Station is one exit after La Cañada, has a cafe, lockers and a place to charge your phones. Do watch your bags in this area. You can see the timetable and prices for the direct Malaga to Marbella bus here.
As you leave the arrivals hall you will see the taxi rank over to the right. It´s around 60km, takes around 40 minutes and prices could be anything from around 68€ – 80€, maybe more. Prices will vary depending on number of passengers, luggage, day of the week and time of day. You can see rough Malaga Airport Taxi prices here. There are meters in the taxis now so make sure they are on. Another piece of advice is not to start unpacking in the taxi, especially at night. We receive many emails from people losing items and sadly never getting them back.
Private transfers are great as it´s all booked and paid for in advance. We recommend Shuttle Direct. The driver will meet you in the arrivals hall and take you directly to your accommodation in Marbella. You can also book child seats if you need. Click here for all info on Malaga Airport Private Transfers or get a quote for a airport private transfer here.
If you´re travelling alone at night this is a great option as the buses and trains stop around midnight. By booking a shared transfer it´s all paid for upfront. It won´t be the quickest route though as you will be dropping people off along the way. They will drop you at the nearest hotel to where you are staying so you may need to arrange someone to pick you up or take a taxi. There will be a designated area where you’re to meet the driver. Read more about Malaga Shared Transfers or get a Private Transfer quote here selecting “Shared Transfer”. Shared transfers are not always available.
As we have mentioned above, Marbella is a Town as well as an area, so before booking a hotel or apartment, be sure you book the right area. If you want to be right in the Old Town, make sure it´s right in the Old Town (Casco Antiguo). Whilst there are no trains in Marbella there’s a pretty good bus system, taxis and also Uber if you’re not hiring a car.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Marbella, there is a huge choice of hotels, hostels or apartments. Booking.com is a great website to use. Remember to check exactly where the accommodation is on Google Maps because sometimes the word “Marbella” might be used and you end up being in San Pedro or Calahonda. If you would like some suggestions on places to stay come and chat with us on our Facebook Group, The Costa Del Sol Travel Forum.
There are buses that run all along the Coast and then each area has its own local bus lines. You can find all the Local Marbella Buses, lines, routes and timetables here Marbella Buses. Other bus companies are Avanza Portillo and Alsa which both run along the coast and inland. If you need to call a taxi the official company is Taxisol 0034 952 774488. You just call the number, tell them where you are and they generally say 5 minutes. Uber is also here so make sure you download the app.
The big market in Marbella is on Monday mornings and located in the Albarizas area of Marbella. It´s a great market with a huge variety of stalls selling everything from clothes to fruit and veg. If you’re going in the summer arrive early as it gets really hot. Make sure you have a hat, suncream and water on you. The market normally opens around 9am until 2pm. As with all markets, watch your bags and pockets. Click here to read more about all the Costa Del Sol Markets and maps of where they are.
The main street in Marbella, Ricardo Soriano is full of all the fantastic high street and designer shops including Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear. If you´re looking for a shopping centre with everything under one roof, then you must visit La Cañada, a huge shopping centre with all the usual shops including Marks & Spencer, Hollister, Apple and many more. It´s open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm and has free parking. There´s a cinema there too and a huge choice of restaurants. One of our favourites is Lizarran upstairs for tapas and I suggest you wait for the hot food to come around, it´s delicious!
There are hundreds of restaurants in Marbella, way too many to mention. All around the Old Town you will find fabulous little tapas places. Food is pretty cheap and it´s all about sticking it all in the middle and sharing. One of our favourites is La Paca. For meat lovers you must go to Patagonica. If you want any more suggestions, come and join us in The Costa Del Sol Travel Forum.
All along the Marbella seafront are Beach Bars and Chiringuitos. Most of them rent sunbeds for anything between 6 and 10€. Some of our favourites include Cabaña, Trocadero (great if you have young kids), Petite Trocodero & La Milla. If you’re looking for something particular come and ask the members in the Costa Del Sol Travel Forum.
Marbella Town is really busy and parking can be a bit of nightmare. There is pay and display which is pretty cheap and numerous underground car parks which you might prefer in the summer months. Peak periods expect to queue, especially if you’re trying to park under the main square by Cafeteria Marbella. It might be worth taking a taxi (if you can get one) rather than paying for parking.
Marbella Town is great both during the day and in the evenings. The Old Town is absolutely buzzing in the summer in the narrow streets pack with people standing around eating tapas. If you want more music and dancing then head down to port area where you will find lots of bars and clubs. Remember Spain is late so clubs don’t really get busy until around 1am /2 am.
If you’re travelling with kids there’s lots of activities along the Coast to keep them occupied if the swimming pool or beach isn’t enough. Have a look through Costa Del Sol Kids Activities & Theme Park.
Come and chat with us and the members of our Facebook Group, The Costa Del Sol Travel Forum.