Marbella is the quintessential Andalusian town with cobbled narrow streets, whitewashed houses, and decorated with plants and flower pots. Here are the best things to do in the most beautiful old town in Andalusia – Marbella Old Town!
In this blog post, you will find all the best things to do and places to visit with descriptions, photos, and locations where they can be found on Google Maps. We spend multiple days in Marbella exploring every corner of this charming town, so let’s dive in!
Read more >>> 17 best Instagram photo spots in Marbella Old Town
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1. Check out the central square – Plaza de los Naranjos!
Plaza de los Naranjos is my favorite place in Marbella Old Town. It is the main square and the historic city center of Marbella that is now filled with restaurants, shops, a fountain, orange trees, flowers, and countless picture-perfect photo spots in Marbella!
The square was created in 1485 to be the central square of a city. It is surrounded by the typical Andalusian whitewashed houses and filled with a garden of orange trees – hence the name of the square – Square of the Orange Trees.
The square features a beautiful Renaissance fountain as well as multiple historic buildings like the 16th century Casa Consistorial which is now the Town Hall building, Casa del Corregidor as well as Ermita de Santiago church.
This tiny church was built in the 15th century after Marbella was captured by the Spanish. It is the oldest church in Marbella Old Town and is beautifully decorated with flower pots and plants along the walls.
Location: Plaza de los Naranjos
2. Take a photo of Marbella letters!
One of the streets that starts at Plaza de los Naranjos is Calle Nueva. It is a beautiful street filled with boutique stores, souvenir shops and is covered by lively plants and flowers. It is a great place for shopping!
The star of the street is the iconic overhanging bush with Marbella letters. It is the best photo spot in Marbella Old Town so make a stop here to snap a picture! It is located just a few meters away from Ermita de Santiago church so you will definitely see it!
Location: Calle Nueva
3. Visit the iconic flower wall on Calle Carmen
This flower spot in Carmen street is one of the most iconic places in Marbella Old Town. Although Calle Carmen is a very short street, it is definitely one of the most beautiful streets in Marbella.
What makes it so special is the charming combination of flower pots on the white wall and the view of the church. There is a stunning white wall covered with blue flower pots and red flowers – the perfect photo spot.
But if you then look in the direction of the yellow tower of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church it makes this spot even more perfect! Don’t leave Marbella without a photo at this flower corner on Calle Carmen!
Location: Calle Carmen
4. Check out Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church!
One of the most iconic landmarks in Marbella Old Town is Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church or Marbella church! This church was built during the 16th and 17th centuries. The most unique thing about it is that it once was a mosque.
Like in many Andalusian cities, the Spanish Reconquista brought changes to the religious structures – Muslim mosques were redesigned or rebuilt as Catholic churches and cathedrals. This yellow-and-white church was one of them!
5. Walk Calle Ancha and take a look at Santo Cristo de Marbella chapel!
Calle Ancha is an iconic street in Marbella Old Town. It is one of the most popular streets for shopping, people-watching, and having lunch at a restaurant with tables on the side of the street. It is also one of the prettiest streets in Marbella!
One of my favorite spots on the street is Santo Cristo de Marbella chapel. It is a small white chapel with a beautiful striking tower located next to a palm-lined square. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the square!
This hermitage church was built in the 15th century in the typical Andalusian style. It features a stone-covered facade and a beautiful square bell tower covered with a glazed ceramic roof and a weathervane on top. Very cute and pretty!
6. Try Spanish tapas in the Old Town restaurants!
One of the bucket list things to do in the most beautiful Old Town in Andalusia is trying local Andalusian tapas. There are plenty of great tapas restaurants in Marbella Old Town but I have two that are my favorites – MIA CAFE – Tapas & Bar and El Boqueron.
Both tapas restaurants are located right next to each other in a small and very pretty square – Plaza Puente Ronda. The square is filled with tasty smells, blooming flower bushes, and cute photo spots.
If you are a real foodie or just like to try different food then you should consider joining a guided food tour in Marbella! Taste numerous less common Andalusian tapas and other foods and drinks and get to know the real taste of Marbella!
7. Go shopping in the iconic boutique shops!
Marbella Old Town surprised me with many beautiful boutique shops and high-quality souvenir shops! If I had more time, I would spend half a day shopping here for cute stuff!
Do you know those cheap-looking touristy street shops where you can find almost everything you need in questionable quality and it costs very little money? No, this is not Marbella! Shops here are fancy-looking, inviting, cute artisan shops!
The best way to find them is by ‘getting lost’ in the Old Town – these shops are everywhere! But do check out Calle Nueva, Calle Gloria, and Calle Ancha to start with! And definitely check out the area around Plaza de los Naranjos!
8. Get lost in the jungle-like streets of Marbella Old Town
Marbella being the most beautiful Old Town in Andalusia, has numerous beautiful streets including those where walking felt like being in the jungle (at least a little bit!)!
Locals love decorating everything with an abundance of plants and flowers so here are the most beautiful jungle-like streets in Marbella! You can also check out the most beautiful streets in Marbella here!
Calle Lobatas is one of the biggest and longest streets in Marbella Old Town. You can see how the locals are living, check out the numerous plants and flower pots, and other decorations that make this one of the most beautiful streets in Marbella.
Location: Calle Lobatas
Callejón del Santo Cristo
Callejón del Santo Cristo is a secret little street hiding behind the Santo Cristo de Marbella chapel and not many people ever find this little hidden gem. For such a small street with so many green plants, it definitely felt like walking through the jungle!
Location: Callejón del Santo Cristo
Calle Ortiz de Molinillo
There is a beautiful corner in Marbella Old Town that is filled with super attractive flower pots and red flowers – Calle Ortiz de Molinillo.
It is definitely amongst the most beautiful streets in Marbella but often gets overlooked by the nearby Calle Carmen. It is super charming!
Location: Calle Ortiz de Molinillo
Calle Montenebros is a hidden gem in Marbella Old Town. There is no reason to walk this tiny narrow street other than just exploring the Old Town. So very few people stumble on this street full of lush green plants and flowers. Definitely stop by!
Location: Calle Montenebros
Calle Caballeros is a narrow and pretty long street in the heart of Marbella Old Town. What makes it extra unique is the arch-shaped pathway stretching across the street.
Besides the charming white archway, the street is filled with flowers and plants which make it picture-perfect and attractive, so stop by! This was one of my favorite streets in Marbella!
Location: Calle Caballeros
9. Explore the city jungle at Parque de la Alameda!
Parque de la Alameda is a jungle-like park right next to Marbella Old Town filled with flowers, lush green trees and plants, colorful tile benches, a glorious 18th-century fountain, and narrow walking paths hidden in the shade of the massive trees.
It is the perfect place to go to sit down and relax in the shade as well as to get away from the buzz of the Old Town. besides, there are some really pretty photo spots around the park. My favorite ones were the colorful tile benches. So charming!
Location: Parque de la Alameda
10. Check out Esculturas de Dalí on Avenida del Mar!
There is a wide pedestrian avenue – Avenida del Mar – connecting the jungle-like park Parque de la Alameda and the beach. Avenida del Mar is a busy place full of street artists and vendors, but it also hosts numerous Salvador Dalí sculptures.
It feels like an open-air exhibition – each statue is more interesting than the other. And the best part is that you can visit everything for free. Don’t miss this unique place! And take some unusual photos next to the works made by the famous Spanish artist!
Location: Esculturas de Dalí
11. Enjoy Marbella beachside promenade and beaches!
Marbella beachside promenade is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places that you have to visit during your trip! Even better – it is lined with picture-perfect tall palm trees and plants. Seaside is always one of my favorite spots wherever I travel!
There are plenty of places to sit down and relax and enjoy the good weather! Apart from sandy bays and beaches, there are a couple of cool spots to enjoy like the Statue of Venus – a beautiful statue and a fountain built on a pier stretching into the sea.
If you don’t have time to go to the beach and sunbathe, I recommend buying an ice cream and sitting down on one of the benches lined along the palm trees and enjoying a perfect vacation-mode moment by the Mediterranean Sea!
12. Get some shade at Parque de la Constitución!
There is another cool spot right next to the Marbella Promenade and the Statue of Venus. If you walk back inside the town, you will find a beautiful garden park – Parque de la Constitución or the Park of the Constitution.
Parque de la Constitución is a very large and peaceful garden where you can get away from everyone and everything. There are relaxing benches to sit on and also a beautiful amphitheater to check out.
When we went, the amphitheater was closed, but it looked cool from the outside as well. This is the best spot to go to get some shade during the day, to relax, have a picnic or to take some unusual photos! It is super green and lush!
Location: Parque de la Constitución
13. Admire the old city defensive walls and Castillo de Marbella!
Marbella may be a modern town but there are some places of history in Marbella that will remind you of how old this town actually is. One such place is the Castle of Marbella and the old city defensive walls or what is left of them!
The Castle of Marbella and the old walls of Marbella date back to the 10th century when it was built by the Moorish forces. The fortification was built around the old Arab medina what is now the old part of Marbella.
The old walls contained at least 20 defensive towers to protect the medina from possible attacks from the sea. We couldn’t enter the castle because it was being renovated, but walking around it was impressive.
Location: Old urban wall of Marbella
14. Embark on an adventure!
To make your Marbella trip more fun, it is a great choice to go on an adventure! And Marbella is the perfect place for that because of its location – close to the sea, the mountains and other cool places!
Located right next to the Mediterranean Sea, it offers amazing water activities like stand-up paddle boarding at sunset or kayaking along the coast of Marbella, or even sailing and dolphin watching with snacks and drinks!
If you are more drawn to the inland, then Marbella features some amazing mountains right by the town where you can go on an e-mountain bike explorer tour or unleash your adventurous side on a canyoning tour in a beautiful canyon in Guadalmina!
In case you aren’t afraid of a steep hike and you like amazing views then maybe a hike up to the top of Concha – the highest mountain in the proximity of Marbella – is just the right choice for you! The hike will take half a day!
15. Take a day trip to famous landmarks in Andalusia!
Marbella is the perfect place for a day trip to explore some of Andalusia’s most famous places and landmarks. Once you finish exploring the Old Town, it is a great idea to take a day trip somewhere nearby!
Some of the best day trips from Marbella:
- Guided day trip to the famous Caminito del Rey hike
- Travel to the world-famous Alhambra in Granada
- Spend a day in Córdoba and visit the impressive Mezquita
- Visit the iconic Ronda town and cave village Setenil de las Bodegas
- Take a bus to visit the iconic Gibraltar
After visiting all of the above places in Andalusia, I can tell you that Andalusia is so much more than just pretty houses and beaches! I can’t recommend you enough to go on a day trip and discover more this magical region has to offer!
From the world-famous Alhambra palaces to the secret cave village Setenil de las Bodegas where people still live, literally, under the rocks in caves, it would be a shame to leave Andalusia without exploring as much as you can! I hope you get to do that!
More Andalusia travel inspiration!
- Malaga bucket list: 11 best things to do in Malaga, Spain
- Nerja Bucket List: 9 best things to do in Nerja, Spain (in 1 day)
- 15 best Instagram spots for the most amazing photos in Frigiliana
- 13 ultimate bucket list things to do in Ronda, Spain (+map!)
- 15 Instagram spots for the best photos in Setenil de las Bodegas
- 13 hidden gems and unique spots you should see in Malaga, Spain
Although Marbella has become quite famous and modern, the authentic part of the town – Marbella Old Town – is still the same typical Andalusian Southern dream you dream about when imagining your vacation!
If you can paint a picture of a charming town with white houses, winding streets, and flower bushes then that’s Marbella. I hope you enjoy your time in Marbella as much as we did! And I hope this blog post gave you some extra inspiration for your trip!