Read this article – Moving to Marbella… an expat guide – to find out more about moving to this lovely spot in Spain, on the Costa del Sol.
This is part of our series of guides about the villages, towns, cities, provinces and regions of Spain. It will reveal a copious amount of information on Marbella. Also we’ll let you in on a few hidden gems of the town, which you should definitely go and visit.
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Where is Marbella?
Marbella is located in the province of Malaga, in the Andalucia region of Spain, along the world-famous Costa Del Sol.
Click on the Photo above to open up a google map guide to pinpoint Marbella.
How can I get there?
By air, there is the option to go to Malaga Airport, or Gibraltar International Airport, both less than an hour away from Marbella.
Most airports within the UK offer affordable, direct flights to Malaga, and you can get there in less than three hours.
By car, you can drive onto a ferry in Portsmouth or Plymouth and arrive in Bilbao. From there it’s a 10 hour drive to Marbella.
If you are relocating to Spain and require a removal to Marbella from the UK, then please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we specialise in removals from the UK to Spain.
Why choose Marbella?
If you’re looking to experience pristine white beaches, vivid culture and opulence, Marbella is the place for you.
It’s a truly irresistible town, permeated by Roman and Moorish history and with a rich array of cultures.
Opposites attract here, as the six different districts are a rich melting pot of ethnologies, where Spanish heritage, tradition, and folklore mix with luxurious living which gives an alluring buen estar.
In Marbella, you can experience sumptuous delights from prestigious boutiques, and enjoy haute cuisine in Michelin star restaurants. For example, Dani Garcia’s Calima where elegant and complex foods are served up in a secluded, subtropical garden.
The Eastern sector of Marbella stretches from Rio Real to Puerto de Cabopino. This area is less urbanized and has pristine white beaches, an enchanting marina, and a number of traditional Spanish bars and cafés.
Marbella Old Town has a unique, rustic and colourful charm, its ambience is truly special. This is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in the distinctive Andalusian character.
From Ricardo Soriano to the entrance of Puerto Banús, you’ll discover The Golden Mile. You’ll find that luxury abounds here, with many upscale boutiques, and exorbitant nightclubs, like the well known Olivia Valere.
Famous families and European aristocracy built their summer homes here, and it’s not hard to see why.
The Saudi Arabian Royal Family have even built a palace here, an exact replica of the White House.
It’s even rumoured that Salvador Dali would eat out all along the Golden Mile. Eating and drinking with his friends, when it came to paying, Dali would sketch a beautiful drawing on the back of his cheque. He knew full well that the owners of these restaurants would never cash them in!
The Nueva Andalucia district is known as Valle del Golf and is a haven for the golfing enthusiast.
The sector of San Pedro de Alcantara has a small town charm. However, it’s one of the areas of Marbella which has seen the greatest growth and changes in the past six decades.
Guadalmina, the final area of Marbella, is another haven for golfers and is dotted with amazing Roman architecture.
Marbella has been shaped by centuries of rich history, and countless cultures have left their mark all across this marvellous municipality.
Muslims, Romans, Christians, and modernity, have all played their part in making Marbella the place it is today. Marbella began to transform itself on 1960 into one of the top five-star tourist destinations in the whole of Europe.
Marbella showcases an incredible mix of architecture. It has a combination of Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic and Moorish styles.
In the colourful Old Town quarter, the whitewashed houses sparkle in the sun. This highlights the charming Plaza de los Naranjos, This Orange Square has three historic buildings around it, the Town Hall, the Church of St. Mary and the Governor’s House.
Intrepid expats can also discover the authentic and beautiful Roman bridge, the Marbella Puente, near the elegant Roberto Hotel. There’s also the awe-inspiring architecture of the Las Bóvedas Roman baths to discover. There are the old castle walls and also a 16th-century church, Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnación. Don’t miss the Alcazaba or the ruins of a Moorish castle. the Bull Ring, or the Mezquita del Rey Abdul Aziz Saud Mosque.
Culture and Lifestyle
No-one is deemed ‘a foreigner’ in Marbella, for expats and locals alike, as it’s one of the most cosmopolitan and cultured places in Europe.
There are many wonderful art and history museums to visit, such as the Museo Del Grabado, the engraving museum.
There’s the absolutely stunning Avenue del Mar to walk down, which has many wonderful Dali Statues. There are cinemas to attend and moving musical concerts to hear. Nature can be enjoyed at the Paseo del Alameda, an elegant 18th-century park.
In May expats can witness the exciting Cruz de Juanar, and in June celebrate the Patron Saint, San Bernabé. In July, the dramatic and vibrant tradition of the Virgen del Carmen procession takes place. In October, you can enjoy the San Pedro de Alcántara festival, renowned for its colour and folklore.
Cost of Living and Quality of Life
The cost of living in the province of Malaga is 13.6 percent lower than it is in Spain’s capital, Madrid, so your money will stretch a lot further in Marbella.
Well, it’s not strictly true, as that actually depends where you live! A three bedroom apartment in the most sought-after places of Marbella, along the Golden Mile can cost you around €1500 per month.
In the more quieter areas of Marbella though, like the Eastern sector, or Old Town, you can get a lovely one or two-bed apartment for less than €500 per month.
If you’re looking for a gastronomic delight, a three-course meal will set you back about €30 per person. But again, this is dependant on where you decide to eat. You can easily have a restaurant bill of over €200 in the most expensive parts of Marbella. But if you’re just grabbing a lunchtime bite to eat, check out The Menu of the Day at cafes dotted around The Old Town You’re bound to get something tasty for less than €5.
Local buses operate in Marbella on a route from La Cañada Shopping Center, to El Ángel, via the Hipercor in Puerto Banús. A monthly card is also available for unlimited travel on the Servicio de Transporte Urbano de Marbella buses.
Marbella experiences hot summers and it’s possible to sunbathe almost every day from June until September with little or no rain. Daily highs can reach 35 C, and nights can go to 15 degrees.
Things to see, and things to do
In Marbella you can bathe on pristine white beaches, play golf, go sailing, shop ’til you drop. If you’re an adventurous person who loves nature, you should definitely take a Monte Aventura Andalucia Ecotour through the Andalucian countryside. This tour has been given the Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor.
There’s also the Lagoland Mountain Lake Center, a brilliant place to spend the day pushing yourself to the limit.
Or you could see how the other half live and go spotting supercars down near the marina.
Food and Drink
The traditional food of Marbella is Andalucian. You’ll find traditonal dishes here like Salmorejo (tomato soup usually served with a boiled egg and ham), and Pringa (a slow-cooked stew)
Being a coastal town, fish and seafood is essential. However, at every corner of Marbella you’ll find some amazing restaurants to eat at. There are even traditional Spanish tapas at El Estrecho, which opened back in 1954. For a recent list of the greatest restaurants in Marbella today, check out The Culture Trip’s restaurant reviews.
Other useful information
T: +34 952 768 760
We really hope our handy guide Moving to Marbella an expat guide has been helpful. Either you’ve learned something new about this wonderful place, or it’s helped you make your decision and you’re thinking of moving there. If that’s the case, please don’t hesitate to contact us now. For a quote go here removals from the UK to Marbella
Main Title Photo – Chris Goldberg
Marbella Old Town – Nick Kenrick
Plaza de los Naranjos, – Photosylvia
Marbella Puente – Falk Lademann
Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion – SantlMB.Photos
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