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Marbella Guide

Famous Faces

Grab your cameras and your autograph books, because Marbella is well known to be a playground of the rich and the famous. In the past, you stood a chance of running in to film icons like Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Lawrence Olivier. Even now, Hollywood royalty like Antonio Bandaras and Melanie Griffith have homes in Marbella. We’re not saying you’re guaranteed to end up partying with the A list crowd, but you’re more likely to find them living la vida loca here than at home in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Cilla Black, Lord Alan Sugar, and Max Clifford (a celebrity publicist) are all amongst the other celebs known to have homes there currently, and Sean Connery used to have a house in the area. Many more jet across every year for the party scene, though- in the past, everyone from Karen Brady (the Apprentice) to Kym Marsh (Coronation Street) have stopped by, including:

  • Callum Best
  • Little Mix
  • Frankie Stanford (from the Saturdays)
  • Eva Longeria
  • Jamie Oliver
  • John Terry, Ashley Cole, and Rio Ferdinand
  • Jack Whitehall
  • David Guetta
  • Professor Green
  • Tinie Tempah

And, of course, the entire cast of TOWIE, Hollyoaks, Geordie Shore and Made in Chelsea. We’ll let you decide whether that’s an incentive to visit or not.


Where the celebrities go, the fashion follows – and when a city has as many rich and beautiful residents as Marbella does, it’s only natural that it has some of the most exclusive, high end designer stores to match. Pretty much every designer you can name has a shop in Marbella, generally around the Puerto Banus area. From Armani to Zenga, there is:

  • Agent Provocateur
  • Armani
  • Chloe
  • Dolce and Gabbana
  • Hermes
  • Gucci
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Missoni
  • Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Tom Ford
  • Versace
  • Zenga

If you’d rather stick to shops where you could conceivably afford anything, El Corte Ingles is a huge department store that’s more or less Spain’s equivalent of Debenhams, or Marina Banus is a mall containing familiar labels like Zara, H&M, Massimo Dutti and Claires. Elsewhere, you’ll also find labels like Karen Millen and Mango, making it a shoppers paradise for every budget.


Sandy beaches that stretch for miles, warm blue sea… nope, we just can’t see the allure of Marbella. There are dozens of beaches to chose from, but a good start is Bounty Beach. Popular with the young and cool, Bounty Beach is near the centre of Marbella, and is one of the trendier, busier beaches in the city. Expect chilled out music, tapas and Paella, some good beach side bars and a party or two at the weekend. There are five other main beaches at the heart of Marbella; La Fontanilla, La Venus, Le Bajadilla, El Cable, and El Faro, all of which will have toilets, showers, sunbeds, restaurants, bars, and a few water activities. Whichever beach you choose, though, all you need is a towel and a sunbed (or possibly a bucket and spade) to have a fantastic weekend in Marbella.


If you’d like to do a little sightseeing on your holiday to Marbella, and see a little more of the city than the beaches and bars (and B-list celebs), check out Old Town. It’s beautifully Spanish and typically Andalucian, and as steeped in history as you’d expect from an area called Old Town. You’ll find churches, mosques, and plenty of little shops and restaurants around here.

Elsewhere in Marbella, you’ll find museums, galleries, and ruins, amongst a whole host of other tourist cultural sites. Try the Bonsai Museum or the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engravings for some original and beautiful collections of art, and the Roman Villa and Roman Baths or the Marbella Mosque for some incredible historical sites.

Speaking Spanish

Most people you meet in Marbella will speak English, but just in case you do need to haggle down a shopkeeper or pull a Spanish Señor, we’ve found a few phrases to get you started:

In the bar:
This gentleman will pay for everything - Esta mujer pagará por todo
It’s on me - Yo invito
What would you like to drink? - ¿Qué quieres tomar? 
A bottle of wine - Una botella de vino
Is there a good bar around here? - ¿Hay algún buen bar cerca de aquí? 
Let’s go to a club - Vamos al disco
I would like a shot of tequila, please - Quisiera un shot de tequila, por favour
Lots of ice cubes - Un montón de cubitos de hielo
You are very handsome - Eres muy guapo

In the shops:
Great! How much is it? - ¡Fantástico ¿Cuál es el precio?
Do you have something cheaper? - Hay algo más barato?
I’d like to pay in cash. - Me gustaría pagar en efectivo.
I’d like to pay by card. - Me gustaría pagar con tarjeta de crédito.

FCO travel advice

Travel Safety & Information

For information on staying safe and healthy while travelling abroad as well as local laws and latest government advice on destinations visit the FCO Travel Aware website.

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