Visiting Marbella on a budget
A few top tips from locals to help you enjoy a Marbella Experience without breaking the bankMarbella is renowned for its glamorous beach clubs, mega mansions and luxurious lifestyle, where champagne is splashed at you as opposed to being consumed, but there is a lot more to be found here in Marbella if your budget is being watched carefully, from spectacular natural parks to markets and glorious beaches with a guaranteed 320 days of sunshine a year. Plus, it's only a short flight from the UK and other parts of Europe, which means it's perfect for a short getaway.
Here are a few top tips for enjoying a Marbella holiday experience on a budget
1. Use the Airport Shuttle BusThe cheapest way to get to Marbella from Malaga airport is by bus. The cost varies from 6,15 – 8,20 Euros depending on the time of day and between seven and twelve buses run daily - the journey only takes 45 minutes and brings you straight to Marbella bus station from which you can easily get a taxi to your accommodation, or another bus. To get to Puerto Banús for example you just need to jump on the L1 bus.
2. Use Public transportStaying on the bus theme, getting around is also extremely easy, there are buses that connect Marbella with Puerto Banus for just 1,18 Euros per person but also you could walk the 7km distance along the seafront promenade and enjoy the views on your way if you want to travel between Marbella and Puerto Banus.
If you are not too worried about a long list of facilities then many of the Marbella Hostals are brilliantly located and a snip of the price of a hotel. Simply use the search option on our website to look for "Hostal" or use our booking engine link to find the right venue. The only thing to bear in mind is the location if you are in fact planning to go into Puerto Banús of a night as you don't want to save on accommodation but then blow the budget with taxis. If you want to be central to the port the best option is either the PYR or the Benabola, both of which offer rooms with up to 5 persons.
3. Try a Hostal instead of a hotel
4.Tapas and Menu del DíasYou don't have to spend a lot to enjoy a foodie experience in Marbella, although it may seem that way. The Old Town is a charming spot to grab something to eat on the cheap with a couple of tapas setting you back just 4€ in some places and most Spanish venues will also offer what we call a Menu del Día from Monday to Friday which consists of a 3 course meal plus a drink and can often be found in the region of 10€ per person in total! Wandering along Marbella sea front you will find venues such as Más que Tapas or La Taberna del Pinxtos that have amazing value tapas and drinks all day long.
If you are staying in Puerto Banús we particularly love the Menu del Día that is served in the Benabola Café and also at the Club Real de Padel. Also if you are a larger group simply make an enquiry asking for a group set menu and you will often find that a restaurant will offer you a bit of a deal.
5. Yachting at a fraction of the priceIf you've dreamed of going out on a boat trip but the price tag of chartering one yourself is just too much to consider then take the Fly Blue Ferry between Marbella and Puerto Banús with a bar on board and enjoy a Sea experience for a lot less. It is also one of the quickest ways in summer to get between the centre of Marbella and the Puerto Banús marina as the roads are often jam packed with cars and traffic!
6. Free parks for familiesIf you are here with a family then going to theme parks can all get a bit expensive when essentially all the kids want to do is play in the sunshine! There is a multitude of municipal parks in the Marbella area but our favourites are in the San Pedro Boulevard area (runs down the middle of the high street area) and also the play park on the sand and above the Puerto Deportivo in Marbella. Both FREE to use and hours of fun.
7. Low-cost activitiesNo visit to Marbella is complete without a stroll along our Paseo Maritimo or Promenade as most tourists would call it. You can walk, scoot, bicycle, run or segway your way along (in between ice cream and drinks stops)....all of which are low-cost or free activities and with options to rent equipment in various spots along the way.
There is also plenty of sight-seeing to be done that is easily enjoyed without a purse! Orange Square in Marbella Old Town, the Parque de la Alameda, and the marinas can all be enjoyed without spending a penny.
8. Make your own Beach PartyTake your own party to the beach; yes, our beach clubs are legendary however creating your own beach party is the trick to working it on a budget! Locals won´t be seen splashing the cash on 250€ bottles of champagne we will be packing a picnic with some bottles from the supermarket, a few fresh baguettes, crisps and fruit in some Tupperware and heading to one of the nice sandy spots on the East of Marbella or anywhere really in between the beach clubs and restaurants. With some beach towels and a wireless Bluetooth speaker in hand creating your own beach party is the secret to Marbella Beach parties on a budget!
If you are planning to come to Marbella on a budget and need some help about pitfalls to avoid or to understand the real costs of visiting some of the more luxurious locations (we have heard too many stories of people going home totally broke having not understood just how much some venues charge) then get in touch for some local expert advice!