Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol has gained quite a reputation for being a party resort. Not a week goes by in summer time when one celebrity or another is pictured partying at one of the many exclusive beach clubs or falling out of nightclubs in the resort. However, there is a different side to this popular holiday destination; the Old Town of Marbella is truly charming and still retains lots of the traditional charm of a typical Spanish village.
The street in the Old Town are narrow and cobbled and they are filled with chic boutiques, little gift shops and tiny cafes with seats outside. There are lots of great restaurants tucked away here as well. This is a great place to wander round and take shelter form the hot midday sun as the streets are shaded and cool. In the evenings the streets come alive with the sound of flamenco and the scent of jasmine in the air; it has a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere.
In the middle of the Old Town lies the Orange Square, known as the ‘Plaza De Los Naranjos.’ This pretty square has been the meeting place of Marbella locals for hundreds of years and the oldest buildings here date back to the 15th Century. Unsurprisingly, the square is filled with Seville orange trees and in spring the smell of orange blossom fills the air. This is a great time to visit and sit in one of the many cafes or restaurants that surround the square to enjoy a lazy lunch. Another great time to visit Orange Square is New Years Eve when tradition says you have to do at least one lap of the square and say hi to as many people as possible before midnight! The tourist office can be found on the square if you would like any more information about any activities on offer in Marbella.
There are lots of historical buildings and sights in the Old Town including the Town Hall which is in the northern corner of Orange Square. This building was built in 1568 and was used as a prison for a time during the 19th century but it has now been restored to its former glory. The magistrates court and the Chapel of Santiago are also are also important buildings that are well worth a visit.
Whether you choose to visit Marbella Old Town in the daytime or in the evening I’m sure you’ll be charmed by its eclectic mix of stunning architecture, beautiful gardens and variety of places to sit and enjoy a meal or a cool drink.