is a city and municipality in southern Spain, belonging to the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is part of the region of the Costa del Sol and is the headquarters of the Association of Municipalities of the region; it is also the head of the judicial district that bears its name.
Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, between Málaga and the Gibraltar Strait, in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. The municipality covers an area of 117 km² crossed by highways on the coast, which are its main entrances.
In 2012 the population of the city was 140,473 inhabitants, making it the second most populous municipality in the province of Málaga and the eighth in Andalusia. It is one of the most important tourist cities of the Costa del Sol and throughout most of the year is an international tourist attraction, due mainly to its climate and tourist infrastructure. The city also has a significant archaeological heritage, many museums and performance spaces, and a cultural calendar with events ranging from reggae concerts to opera performances.
The city is especially popular with tourists from Northern Europe (including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany) and also Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Marbella is particularly noted for the presence of aristocrats, celebrities and wealthy people; it is a major destination for luxury cruise ships and yachts which dock in its harbour.
The area is popular with golfers and boaters, and there are many private estates and luxury hotels in the vicinity, including the Marbella Club Hotel. Marbella hosts a WTA tennis tournament on red clay, the Andalucia Tennis Experience.
Other cities on the coast are accessible by bus from Marbella, including Málaga, Estepona, Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Gibraltar. The area is also served by the A7 motorway; the closest airport is Málaga-Costa Del Sol.
Fun in the sun & surf
Marbella simply woudn’t be Marbella without one thing: the beach! Grab a towel and some sunscreen and claim your patch of sand anywhere along the endless kilometers of golden beaches. Soak up the sun, take a swim, or partake in any of the range of watersports and aquatic activities available.
Enjoy a bit of Asia
Certainly one of Marbella’s more peculiar offerings, the Museo del Bonsai (Bonsai Museum) makes for a surprisingly enjoyable visit… plus, it’s free! The museum features one of the Europe’s largest collections of these tiny, meticulously groomed trees. Adding to the distinctly Asian feel are lily ponds, streams, weeping willows and rock plantings.
Hit the links
Grab your clubs and drive, chip and putt your way through a few sunny hours. With nearly 50 pristine golf courses located within a 45-minute drive, Marbella is truly a golfer’s paradise!
Bask in luxury… even if from afar!
From designer stores like Gucci and Armani to jaw-dropping celebrity homes, massive yachts and swanky restaurants, luxury is the name of the game in Marbella. For a real feel for the glitz and glamor, check out the famous “Golden Mile” linking Marbella with ritzy Puerto Banus, so-named in part for the stretch of golden sand and in part for the seafront mansions – vacation properties of the rich and famous – worth more than most of us folks can even dream about!
Take a seaside stroll
Marbella has a famous seaside promenade – the “Paseo Marítimo” – that hugs 6 kilometers of the city’s spectacular coastline. With beautiful sea views and dotted with shops, palm trees and outdoor cafés, this Marbella favorite is an unbeatable spot for people-watching, strolling and enjoying coastal life.