You will probably be surprised to know that the most famous city on the Costa del Sol has another life, far from the luxury cars and grandiose mansions, hidden in its old town. Today, from Yellow Car, we make a stop in the city where we were born: Marbella.
With more than 3,000 years of history, it has been a mining, agricultural and, since the 40s of the last century and after the collapse of its economy caused by the Civil War, a tourist destination. Its first settlements date back to the Palaeolithic period and the Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and Christians have all left their mark. It was in the 9th century, with the construction of the Alcazaba Castle, that the historic centre began to take shape around it, with narrow streets and large courtyards. Its land is bathed by the Mediterranean Sea and its inhabitants enjoy almost 3,000 hours of sunlight a year, a figure unequalled in almost the whole of Spain.
In the second most populated city in the province of Malaga, with almost 150,000 inhabitants, we can discover an old town dressed by its beautiful narrow streets flanked by white walls with balconies full of flowers, as well as some essential sites such as:
- The Church of Santa María de la Encarnación.
- The Hospitalillo or Chapel of San Juan de Dios
- The Plaza de los Naranjos
- The Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engraving
- The Constitution Park
Where to eat in the old town of Marbella
The Mediterranean diet, so healthy and rich in all kinds of food, is well known. If you visit Marbella, you cannot fail to enjoy the gastronomy of Malaga, where fried fish, prawns in pil pil sauce, cooked with garlic and chilli, sardine skewers, roasted with smoky fire, or gazpacho, a cold tomato soup, reign supreme. To eat, we recommend the following restaurants in the old town:
- El Salón Marbella, traditional gastronomy based on tapas or raciones (Calle Virgen del Pilar, 6).
- El Cortijo, a wide variety of dishes specialising in local rice dishes (behind the Plaza de los Naranjos).
- El Patio de Mariscal, specialising in fish and meats (Calle Virgen de los Dolores, 3)
- Da Bruno Sul Mare, specialising in Italian food (Paseo Marítimo Edificio Skol).
Don’t forget to visit the small taverns and local taverns where the typical tapas of the municipality are washed down with the well-known local wines. And remember, if you visit the city in summer, it is advisable to book in advance to ensure you get a table.
Where to sleep in the old town of Marbella
In a city full of tourists, hotels and accommodation are endless. The choice will depend on your budget and the time of year, so we propose a list adapted to all budgets, all located in the old town:
- Hostal Paco Marbella
- Hostal Boutique Princesa
- San Cristóbal Hotel
- Casa Valdés
- B&B Boutique Tribeca
- The Old Town Apartmentç
- Linda Boutique Hotel
- La Villa Marbella – Old Town
- Total Marbella Suites, Bella Marbella
- Holiday Home Marbella old town
- La Morada más Hermosa
- El Gallo Apartments
- Castle Marbella
- Hotel Santo Cristo La Ciudadela Marbella
Where to park in Marbella Old Town
Parking in the old town of Marbella is no easy task. There are not many parking areas on the street, except for the blue zone, which you must not forget is a paid parking zone. That’s why we recommend you make use of the public car parks which, although not cheap, will save you time and hassle. Here are some suggestions:
- Avenida del Mar car park
- Hotel Fuerte car park
- Àmare car park
- Plaza de la Victoria car park
- Municipal Market Car Park
- Parquesol Building Car Park
The car: The best way to get to this historic city
Without a doubt, the best way to get around Marbella and the surrounding towns is by car, which will allow you to reach every corner of the Costa del Sol without the need for queues and timetables. What are you waiting for to enjoy the history of Marbella?