Welcome to our complete city break guide to Marbella with kids! Marbella, located on the stunning Costa Del Sol in Southern Europe, a perfect destination if you are looking for sun, beaches, and ample family-friendly activities.
We will explore the best family-friendly attractions, recommend top places to stay, suggest delicious dining options, provide sample itineraries, and even offer exciting day trips near Marbella.
Me and my 3 year old spent 5 weeks living in Spain and going on weekend trips!
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Top 11 Things to Do in Marbella with Kids and Nearby
Are you looking for exciting activities to enjoy with your family in Marbella? There’s something for everyone, from famous attractions to hidden gems and outdoor adventures.
We have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Marbella with kids, ensuring a memorable and fun-filled experience for the whole family.
1. Explore San Pedro de Alcántara
Just a stone’s throw away from Marbella, you’ll find a slice of authentic Spanish charm in the delightful town of San Pedro de Alcántara.
One thing you can’t miss out on is the Thursday local market, a colourful explosion of sights, sounds, and aromas that is sure to capture the kids’ attention.
Watch their eyes widen as they explore stalls filled to the brim with fresh fruits, handcrafted trinkets, and vibrant clothes. Once you’ve filled your bags and satiated your shopping cravings, why not immerse yourselves further in the family-friendly atmosphere of this beautiful town?
Grab a table at a cosy local café and treat yourselves to some churros and hot chocolate, or let the little ones burn off some energy at one of the many parks dotted around. So, when in Marbella, carve out a day for San Pedro de Alcántara – trust me, it’s an adventure you and your family won’t forget.
2. Visit Parque de Las Medranas
Why not take a day to explore Parque de Las Medranas? It’s a delightful park with all the ingredients for a perfect family outing.
Picture your children running around on the playground, laughter echoing as they climb, slide and swing. And the picnic areas? They’re just waiting for you to lay out a spread of your family’s favourite snacks.
Maybe your older kids will be drawn to the skate park, trying out tricks or just enjoying the freedom of rolling around. It’s not all about the little ones, though. While they’re enjoying their adventures, you can find a moment of calm.
Take in the beautiful surroundings, relax with a good book or simply watch your children play. It’s the ideal spot for kids to be kids and for you to enjoy some well-earned downtime.
3. Enjoy a Day at the Beach
Marbella is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, and spending a day by the sea is a must-do activity. Relax, build sandcastles, and enjoy crystal-clear waters. Don’t forget to bring your beach essentials!
Playa de la Fontanilla
Let’s start with Playa de la Fontanilla, conveniently located near the city center. It’s one of the busiest beaches, offering a lively atmosphere. Nearby restaurants and bars mean you won’t have to wander far for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
Playa de Nagüeles
A little more serene is Playa de Nagüeles, a beautiful stretch of golden sand located on Marbella’s glamorous Golden Mile.
This beach is perfect for a luxurious family beach day, with sun loungers available to rent and a range of upscale restaurants nearby.
Playa de Cabopino
Next up is Playa de Cabopino, a bit further east, known for its picturesque dunes and clear waters. A favourite among locals, it’s less crowded, providing a perfect escape for families looking for more peace and quiet. It’s a great place for kids to safely play in the shallow waters.
Playa de San Pedro de Alcántara
The beach has a long seafront promenade filled with playgrounds and eateries. The sea here is calm and perfect for a refreshing swim.
4. Discover Sea Life
Visit Sea Life, an interactive aquarium in Benalmadena, just a short drive from Marbella. Kids will be delighted to explore the diverse marine life through interactive exhibits and fascinating displays.
5. Explore Alameda Park
Head to Alameda Park, a beautiful green space in the heart of Marbella. This enchanting park, filled with exotic plants, picturesque fountains, and ornate benches, is a serene oasis that provides a refreshing contrast to the vibrant city life just outside its boundaries.
This park offers playgrounds, open areas for picnics, and stunning gardens, perfect for strolls with the family.
If you’re up for a little adventure, you could even try a family treasure hunt! The park is full of delightful hidden nooks and crannies to explore. Just make sure not to miss the stunning tile benches – they make a perfect backdrop for a family photo.
6. Walk to Puerto Banus
Considered one of Marbella’s most iconic sights, Puerto Banus is more than just a marina – it’s a spectacle of opulence and luxury. As you take a leisurely stroll down the vibrant waterfront promenade, you’ll see a dazzling array of luxury yachts bobbing in the harbour, each more impressive than the last. It’s not uncommon to spot a celebrity or two enjoying the Mediterranean sun on these floating villas.
But it’s not just about the boats. Puerto Banus is also a shopping paradise, renowned for its plethora of designer boutiques. Think of big names like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. While they might be a bit pricey for everyday shopping, these high-end boutiques make for some incredible window shopping.
It’s not all luxury and glamour, though. Puerto Banus is also very family-friendly. Kids will love the street performers that often entertain crowds along the waterfront, and the whole family will enjoy checking out the impressive cars that often drive by – think Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Rolls Royces.
There’s also a wealth of dining options available. Whether you want a quick ice cream to cool down, a casual beachfront cafe, or a fine dining restaurant for a special meal, Puerto Banus has it all.
7. Experience Horse Riding
Embark on a horse riding adventure in the stunning countryside surrounding Marbella. Several equestrian centres offer guided horseback tours suitable for all levels, allowing you to explore nature and enjoy a unique experience together.
8. Discover Water Parks
Read more about theme parks in Spain!
9. Try Out the Beachside Bars
Marbella boasts a variety of beachside bars or chiringuitos perfect for families. Enjoy a delicious meal while soaking up the sun and taking in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a unique concept I love doing with my daughter in Spain. The bars and seating are on the beach itself so when the kids have finished eating, they can play next to the table in the sand. It’s a much more relaxing environment, and they normally serve lovely cocktails and Spanish cuisine!
Below is a map of the beach bars in Marbella and nearby. Not all of these are right on the sand but they are still great places to visit!
10. Tour the city with a bike
Cycling around the city is a fantastic way to enjoy quality time together while discovering its hidden gems and famous landmarks. Marbella offers a variety of family-friendly bike routes suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Pedal along the beautiful coastal promenade, soak in the panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and explore the charming Old Town. Rent bikes from reputable local providers, such as Marbella Bikes, and embark on an adventure filled with laughter and joy.
It’s an excellent opportunity for family fun and creating unforgettable memories.
If you have younger kids, you can get a child seat put on your bike for the tour below:
11. Explore the Old Town
Marbella’s Old Town is a maze of narrow, winding streets filled with traditional Andalusian charm. Let the kids lead the way as you explore the various shops, cafes, and plazas, including the famous Orange Square.
How to Get to Marbella, Costa Del Sol
Getting to Marbella, Costa Del Sol, is convenient and accessible through various transport options. Here are the best ways to reach the city:
- Private transfer
Flying to Marbella
You can fly to Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP), the closest airport to Marbella. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi, bus, or train to Marbella.
If you’re interested in flying to Marbella, click the following link to explore flight options: Fly to Marbella.
Trains to Marbella
Another option is to take a train to Marbella. However, it’s important to note that Marbella has no train station. The nearest train station is in Fuengirola, and from there, you can take a bus or taxi to Marbella.
By visiting this link, you can access information about train schedules, routes, and ticket bookings for travelling to Marbella by train.
Coaches and Buses to Marbella
There are regular bus services from various cities in Spain, including Málaga and Marbella. You can check the schedules and book tickets to ensure a smooth journey.
If you’re considering travelling to Marbella by coach or bus, click the following link to explore your options: Coaches and Buses to Marbella.
Driving to Marbella
Driving in Marbella is generally convenient, with well-maintained roads and clear signage. However, being aware of local traffic regulations and parking rules is essential. Marbella can be busy during peak tourist seasons, so plan your routes accordingly and consider traffic conditions.
When hiring a car, check the rental terms, including insurance coverage, fuel policy, and any additional fees. Booking your car in advance is recommended to ensure availability and get the best rates.
You can click on the following link to explore car rental options and hire a car for your journey: Car Rental for Marbella.
Consider cost, travel time, and personal preferences when choosing the best way to get to Marbella. Enjoy your journey and the beautiful landmarks in Spain along the way!
Ferries to Marbella
You can explore various options to make your journey enjoyable when reaching Marbella by ferry. For information on ferry services to Marbella, you can visit the following link: Ferries to Marbella.
Please note that ferry availability and routes may vary, so checking the provided information and booking your tickets in advance is advisable to secure your desired travel dates.
Where to Stay in Marbella with Kids: Best Family Hotels
When finding the perfect place to stay in Marbella with all the family, you’ll be delighted to discover a range of family-friendly hotels that cater to your every need. The city offers several particularly well-suited areas for families, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay.
The areas of Puerto Banus and Elviria are popular choices, known for their family-oriented amenities, beautiful beaches, and proximity to attractions. Puerto Banus offers a vibrant atmosphere with its marina, upscale shopping, and various entertainment options for kids and adults.
Elviria provides a more relaxed and peaceful setting, with excellent beach access and family-friendly resorts. Whether you prefer a luxury hotel, a self-catering apartment, or a cosy beachfront accommodation, Marbella has something for every family.
Molo Luxury Suites Puerto Banus
Luxury Suites Puerto Banus provides a range of family-friendly facilities to enhance your stay. There is a swimming pool where you can relax and have fun with your kids and a sun terrace offering beautiful views.
The hotel’s location in Puerto Banus means you’ll have easy access to the marina, where you can explore the luxury yachts, enjoy waterfront dining, and discover various entertainment options suitable for all ages.
The Beach is also within walking distance, allowing you to spend quality time with your family in the sun and sand.
BlueBay Banús is a fantastic budget-friendly hotel option for families visiting Marbella. Located in the prestigious area of Puerto Banus, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations at affordable prices.
The hotel offers a range of family-friendly amenities and facilities to make your stay enjoyable. There are outdoor swimming pools where you and your kids can take a refreshing dip and have fun under the sun. The hotel also has a playground where children can play and burn off some energy.
Alanda Marbella HotelA
Alanda Marbella offers a comfortable and enjoyable stay for both adults and children. The hotel provides a range of family-friendly facilities and activities to keep everyone entertained and close to the city centre.
A large outdoor swimming pool lets you and your kids dip and relax. The hotel also has a children’s pool where younger guests can safely splash around. The hotel provides a Kids Club where children can engage in supervised activities and keep kids entertained.
The hotel’s location in the heart of the Costa del Sol provides easy access to the Beach and other nearby attractions suitable for families.
Where to Eat in Marbella with Kids
Marbella is a city that offers a diverse culinary scene, making it an excellent destination for families with kids who want to explore different flavours and cuisines. While Marbella is known for its Mediterranean cuisine, it also boasts a wide range of international dining options. From traditional Spanish tapas to international delights, you’ll find something to please everyone’s taste buds.
For a quick and casual bite, you can head to one of the many snack bars in the city. These snack bars offer a variety of tasty treats, including traditional Spanish tapas, sandwiches, and snacks that are perfect for a quick refuel during your family adventures.
Things to Do Near Marbella for the Whole Family
Marbella offers many family-friendly activities within the city and serves as a great base for exploring the surrounding areas. From nearby towns to breathtaking attractions, there are several fantastic day trips that the whole family can enjoy. Let’s dive into three top recommendations for day trips near Marbella.
Aqualand Waterpark, Torremolinos
Located in the neighbouring town of Torremolinos, Aqualand is a thrilling waterpark that guarantees a fun-filled day for the entire family. With a wide range of water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and splash zones, there’s something for all ages.
Children can enjoy the dedicated kids’ area, while adrenaline seekers can brave the high-speed slides. The park also offers sun loungers, restaurants, and picnic areas, ensuring a comfortable and convenient experience. To get to Aqualand, you can drive or take a direct bus from Marbella to Torremolinos.
Located in the nearby town of Fuengirola, Bioparc is a fantastic zoo that aims to recreate the natural habitats of its animal residents. With a focus on conservation and education, this zoo provides an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Explore the different themed areas, including Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, and Southeast Asia, and observe various animals up close, including lemurs, gorillas, tigers, and more. To reach Bioparc Fuengirola, drive or take a direct train or bus from Marbella.
Caminito del Rey
For families seeking a thrilling adventure surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, a day trip to Caminito del Rey is necessary. This famous hiking trail is known for its stunning views, narrow walkways, and dramatic cliffs.
The path takes you through the stunning Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge, offering a unique perspective of the natural landscape. The trail is safe and accessible, making it suitable for families with older children.
To reach Caminito del Rey from Marbella, drive or take a bus to Ardales, where the trail starts.
Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Marbella:
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.