Attractions in Marbella
Spain’s pearl on the Costa del Sol not only has beautiful beaches to be proud of. In and around Marbella, there are plenty of sights and interesting cultural attractions that are worth visiting when you have had enough of the beaches and the scorching sun. Here are some of the sights that you just must not miss when you are in southern Spain.
The old charming part of the city of Marbella is called Casua Antigua and is packed with cozy alleys and market stalls that lead out to small squares everywhere. The largest place in this small district is called Plaza de los Naranjos and here is also the city hall. It was built in 1568 and the famous stone carving is a memory from the reconquest in 1485. In the old town of Marbella you can engage in genuine shopping, have a coffee in one of the cozy cafes or just stroll around and look at the architecture.
Why not go on the Japanese route when you are in Marbella? If you like greenery and vegetation, you should go to the Bonsai Museum, which has trees from all corners of the world, but mainly Japan. The museum has many small miniature trees that have been grown in the same way as in Japan, but which have instead become smaller versions of real trees. Their most famous tree, however, is the 300-year-old olive tree that stands between some rocks retrieved from the El Torcal de Antequera National Park.
Puerto Banus – the port
The marina in Marbella is an attraction in itself with its fantastic billionaire yachts and rich celebrities covered in bling-bling. If you do not have a salary that can pay for a giant luxury yacht like these, it is enough to walk around with an ice cream in hand and just look at the floating houses that glisten in the sunshine. Keep in mind, however, that the prices for e.g. a coffee or a glass of juice is sky high, as you take advantage of the fact that the nice people are here. From the harbor you can also continue along the famous promenade Paseo Maritimo which is full of tapas restaurants, shops and bars.
Marbella is surrounded by mountains and there are many small hidden villages with rich culture and history. Ronda is one of them. It is built across a ravine leading down to the river Tajo. Here you can both experience fine architecture, distinguished palaces and stumble across a number of old bridges that make Ronda the charming village it is. You can take a dip in the river when you are still nearby. Ronda is considered to be the bull Ferdinand’s home, so why not sit under a cork oak and smell the wonderful flowers and enjoy a picnic at the same time?
Fahd is the old Saudi king and he bought a holiday palace in Marbella. He also had a beautiful white mosque built, which has become one of the city’s hallmarks. In addition to being a place of worship for the area’s Muslims, the mosque has also become a tourist attraction and the building is very stately with its white walls and typical Arab architecture and the fact is that it looks like a copy of the White House in Washington. The summer residence, which still belongs to the royal family, is called Al Riyad and is often visited by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.