Marbella Old Town

Address: Casco Historico, Marbella, 29600, Spain

- Free


Nestled among modern Marbella is the town's beautifully-preserved ancient heart.

The Old Town, on the eastern edge of the town centre, is where it all started for Marbella back in the 1500s. I love aimlessly wandering around the labyrinth of immaculately-kept, narrow, flint-cobbled streets, white-washed buildings, and orange tree-lined plazas. The area throngs with people eager to get a snapshot of ‘traditional Spain’, without having to leave the jet-set capital of the Costa del Sol. The roads were made for horses, not cars, so your best option is to walk around to discover gems such as the grand 16th-century Andalusian Town Hall, with its balconies bursting with geraniums and ancient oak doors, and the Santiago Chapel, which was Marbella’s first church.

Today, the Old Town has a variety of galleries, gift shops, and craft and clothes boutiques. Most of the restaurants are located around Orange Square or Plaza de Los Naranjos.

Value for money

Price advice

It's free to wander around the medieval streets, but eating and drinking in the main square is expensive.

Expert tips

There are daily processions during Holy Week (Semana Santa) and Easter, where the streets are filled with thousands of robe-wearing, solemn worshippers carrying huge, swaying effigies of saints through the incensed-filled streets.

It’s almost impossible to drive around the Old Town, and you’ll need a permit, so I leave the car in the public car park on the other side of the Alameda Park and walk for five minutes.

Restaurants in Orange Square are buzzy and full of both locals and holidaymakers – but due to their exceptional location, they come at a price. I’d recommend having a drink in one of the bars or cafés to soak up the atmosphere and then eating elsewhere, perhaps in a tapas bar located one or two streets back. Even a large orange juice can cost six euros in Plaza de los Narajanos.

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Celebrity spotting
  • People watching
  • Sightseeing
  • History
  • Design and architecture