17 Best Things To Do in Marbella in March [2024]

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17 Best Things To Do in Marbella in March [2024]

Thinking about a getaway to Marbella in March?

You might be curious what are the best things to do in Marbella in March, especially if the weather doesn’t play nice.

Well, you’ve landed in just the right spot!

As someone who’s called the Costa del Sol home since 2020, living right next to Marbella, I’ve got a wealth of insights into the activities available here, even during the cooler spring months.

What is Marbella like in March?

Well, to put it short, it’s less busy and the weather is fairly pleasant.

The first tourist crowds usually arrive ahead of Semana Santa (Easter Celebrations), so most of the month is still relatively peaceful.

If you’re looking for a winter sun destination and a great bargain, March is certainly a great option.

Let’s have a look at what Marbella has to offer in March!

Beautiful restaurants with palm trees in Marbella old town, costa del sol
PS: This article has some affiliate links. They help me make a small commission that supports my site. So thank you if you use them! (disclosure)

DO I NEED TO RENT A CAR IN MARBELLA? No, to explore the city you’re more than good with walking or taking local taxis around the city. For exploring beyond the city limits, I highly recommend renting a car. Check Discover Cars to get the best prices for your car rental. 

17 Top Things To Do in Marbella in March

The hottest event on your calendar in March would be the long-anticipated Semana Santa, the traditional Easter celebration.

So far they have only confirmed dates, with the details of the procession and times to be announced by Marbella town hall closer to the Easter weekend.

On top of the list, you will find local events held in March, followed by more generic activities and things to do.


1. Celebrate Spanish Easter (Semana Santa) | 24 – 31 March

Local church in Marbella old town, Southern Spain
The local churches in old town are some of the center points of the Easter processions.

The Holy Week celebration in Marbella is a significant cultural and religious event for both locals and tourists.

It commemorates the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, reflecting the deep Christian sentiment of Andalusia.

The event features solemn processions by various brotherhoods, notably those from Nueva Andalucía and San Pedro Alcántara, who parade “thrones with images” of historical and artistic value through the streets. These thrones are physically carried by men.

Check the exact location of the procession and starting times at Marbella’s town hall website.


2. Enjoy Acoustic Blues | 1 March

Fernando Neris is a Spanish blues musician based in Belgium, now performing in Marbella in March!

His repertoire, rich in human and emotive narratives, pays tribute to classic Blues legends like Robert Johnson, Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson, and Muddy Waters.

Book your tickets and find out more details here.


3. Attend Festival Bach-Marbella | 10 March

For fans of classical music, you will be delighted to know that there is an ongoing festival with concerts starting in early January and continuing until June.

In March, the festival continues with the performance of Ángel Hortas, the organist of the Catedral de Jerez. To book your tickets and find the details please check here.


4. Enjoy a Drink at Plaza de Los Naranjos

Plaza de los naranjos in marbella old town, southern spain
Fountain next to Plaza de los Naranjos in the old town.

Orange Square, or Plaza de los Naranjos, is a charming and vibrant hub in the heart of Marbella’s old town.

The square is beautifully lined with fragrant orange trees, providing shade to its outdoor dining spaces. It’s adorned with colorful flower beds and surrounded by traditional Andalusian buildings, characterized by their white walls and decorative iron balconies, creating a picturesque setting.

A popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike, Orange Square offers a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops. It’s also home to significant historical sites like the Town Hall and the Chapel of Santiago, adding to its cultural appeal.

Renowned for its lively atmosphere and the enticing scent of oranges, visiting this beautiful location should definitely be on your to-do list for exploring Marbella old town.


5. Take a Walk in Marbella’s Old Town

Church view from a street in the old town of Marbella, Southern Spain
Pretty corners of Marbella old town.

The charming “Casco Antiguo,” or the old town, is renowned for its picturesque, winding streets lined with traditional Andalusian architecture and historic landmarks.

Branching off from the Orange Square are narrow alleyways leading to beautiful churches like the Iglesia de la Encarnación, and shops filled with local crafts and artisan products.

Wandering through the cobblestone paths of Marbella’s Old Town offers a delightful glimpse into the city’s rich historical tapestry and its relaxed Mediterranean ambiance.

If you want to make the most out of your walk, you can book a guided walk with a local expert here, or even a walking tour combined with tapas tasting! (these tours run also in the winter / spring months)

BONUS TIP: To get the most out of the photography opportunities in the old town, visit early in the morning after sunrise when you’ll find all the streets empty and yours to enjoy!


6. Book a Day Trip from Marbella

view of the Mediterranean sea from the skywalk in Gibraltar
Views of the Mediterranean sea from the skywalk in Gibraltar.

Marbella is a great base for discovering beautiful locations in Southern Spain.

You have the option to either rent a car and drive on your own, or book a tour from a local travel company.

I don’t recommend relying on local transport too much. There are no trains available, and the bus connections are pretty limited for a day trip.

For car rentals, Discover Cars is a great option. They compare prices from various local companies to get you the best deals, saving you time and effort. 

If you prefer public transport, you can check my detailed transport guides for a day trip to Ronda, day trip to Gibraltar and even visiting the Alhambra in Granada.

From the tours with local tour companies, I would recommend booking the most popular option: a day trip to Gibraltar with a tour of the Nature Reserve.

Another exciting option is visiting the African continent on a day trip to Morocco, or visiting the beautiful village of Ronda. Alhambra in Granada is also available as a day trip from Marbella.

All the local tours mentioned above come with free cancellation up to 24 hours before the trip, giving you plenty of flexibility if you change your mind or the weather turns bad.


7. Spent Time at the Beach

Beachside of Marbella, Spain
Evenings at the beach in March.

Even though March isn’t ideal for swimming, sunny days by the sea in Marbella can still be incredibly enjoyable.

Marbella boasts some of the finest beaches, and it would be a missed opportunity not to experience them during the cooler months.

Keep in mind that many beach facilities, like sunbed rentals, are typically not operational in winter months, and they start the season closer to the end of March or the start of April.


8. Enjoy a Walk on Paseo Maritimo (Coastal Promenade)

The coastal promenade in puerto Banus, marbella
Sunset on the coastal promenade in Marbella.

Stretching along the Mediterranean coast from the heart of Marbella to Puerto Banus, the coastal promenade is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors with the best views.

Locals love to run here in the morning, you will see older couples walking their dogs and families taking kids for a stroll. Closer to the center of the city you will find also cute cafes and restaurants, and more polished and luxurious options the closer you get to Puerto Banus.

BONUS TIP: You can walk on the coastal promenade from Marbella Marina (Puerto Deportivo) all the way to Puerto Banus! I’ve done this walk a couple of times, and while it’s exhausting on foot, you can rent a bike or book a bike tour (available also in March), and do the trip much faster. On foot, it takes about 40 – 45 minutes. 


9. Stroll Through Avenida del Mar

Avenida del Mar with Dali sculptures in Marbella
Avenida del Mar with Dali sculptures.

Right next to Alameda Park, you will find this attractive pedestrian promenade which connects the old town with the coastline area.

Adorned with palm trees, it offers a tranquil stroll in a beautiful setting, with an impressive outdoor exhibition of Salvador Dalí’s sculptures, adding a touch of artistic elegance to the scenic route.

More than just a visual delight, this path exemplifies Marbella’s commitment to integrating art into its public spaces.


10. Visit the Flash District of Puerto Banús

Luxury cars parked in Puerto Banus in Marbella
Luxury cars parked in Puerto Banus in Marbella

Puerto Banús is renowned for its opulence and luxury marina where megayachts casually park while their owners indulge in a bit of retail therapy in the local luxury boutiques.

You will see Lamborghinis and Ferraris gliding through the streets, and some of the most expensive brands in the world flashing their logos in the local boutiques.

Beyond its reputation for luxury shopping and lively nightlife, Puerto Banús also offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and some of the coolest beach clubs on the coastline.


11. Stroll Through Alameda Park

Fountain at the center of Alameda Park near Marbella old town, Costa del Sol, Southern Spain
Fountain at the center of Alameda Park near Marbella old town.

Situated near the historic old town, Alameda Park is celebrated for its lush green spaces and tranquil ambiance.

This beautifully kept park offers a serene respite from the hustle and bustle of the city where you can relax amidst a diverse array of plants. In the middle of the park, you will find a beautiful fountain, and the park connects the old town to the Avenida del Mar.


12. Explore Iglesia de la Encarnación Church

Iglesia de la Encarnación Church in marbella, spain
The pretty square next to the church is lined with orange trees.

Located in the heart of Marbella’s old town, this beautiful church is renowned for its striking baroque architecture, with origins in the 16th century and major restorations in the 18th century.

Inside you will find a beautiful organ, said to be one of the finest in the whole Spain, and stunning artwork displayed all around.

If you need a rainy day activity, this pretty church offers a hideaway from the rain and a beautiful place to discover away from the crowds.


13. Retail Therapy at La Cañada

Are you in the mood for a shopping spree?

La Canada Mall offers a full shopping experience with more than 150 shops, including a mix of global brands and local stores, alongside cafes, eateries, and fun activities such as a movie theater and bowling. 

Perfect as a rainy day activity or your emergency plan if you have missed something from your packing list.


14. Michelin Stars Restaurants

wine at a local restaurant in Marbella
Sample wine and local cuisine in some of the finest restaurants in Marbella.

Marbella is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, celebrated for their blend of traditional Spanish flavors with contemporary culinary techniques. These dining establishments prioritize fresh, locally sourced ingredients and serve dishes with a creative twist.

Each of these esteemed restaurants in Marbella brings its own unique flair. Some focus on innovative interpretations of Mediterranean cuisine, while others skillfully combine international tastes with regional cooking styles.

The ambiance in these restaurants varies widely, ranging from intimate and cozy to modern and sophisticated, catering to diverse preferences. Acknowledged by the Michelin Guide for their exceptional quality, service, and inventive approach, these dining venues are must-visit spots for food enthusiasts in Marbella.

A notable highlight is the two-star Michelin restaurant Skina, known for its intimate setting and remarkable culinary experience. Situated close to the outskirts of the old town, Skina features a three-course tasting menu starting at 229 euros, providing a distinctive gastronomic journey.


15. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings

The Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings, located in the historic Bazán Hospital building, stands as an important cultural hub. The architecture of this facility harmoniously combines traditional Spanish elements with the sophistication of a contemporary art gallery.

Dedicated to modern Spanish graphic art, the museum showcases an impressive array of works from renowned artists like Picasso, Miró, and Dalí.

The exhibits primarily focus on engravings, offering visitors a unique insight into this specific art form.

In addition to displaying works by established artists, the museum also promotes emerging talents in the field of contemporary engraving.


16. Taste Local Tapas at the Best Restaurants

tapas tasting at casa blanca in Marbella, Spain
Tapas tasting at casa blanca in Marbella, Spain

Don’t worry if Michelin-star dining is out of your price range. You can still enjoy a wonderful array of traditional Andalusian dishes and tapas that won’t break the bank.

I have a few personal favorites: Taverna Casa Blanca near Alameda Park for an assortment of tapas, The Farm Restaurant in the Old Town for an authentic eating experience, and Manuka along Paseo Maritimo for healthy and vegan options.

Of course there are many more to choose from, but these are the ones in central Marbella that I keep returning to.

BONUS TIP: What should you eat while in Marbella? The traditional Andalusian dishes like patatas bravas (fried potatoes), pil pil (prawns), espeto de sardinas (sardine skewers), Iberian ham, oxtail stew and Salmojero (cold soup like gazpacho). 


17. Roman Villa

Discovered in the 1960s, the Villa Romana de Rio Verde is a remarkable example of ancient Roman architecture.

Originating from the 1st to 2nd century AD, this villa showcases the luxurious lifestyle of the Roman era. It is particularly famed for its well-preserved mosaic floors, regarded as among the finest in Spain.

These mosaics, adorned with mythological subjects and geometric patterns, offer an insight into the artistic skill and storytelling techniques of the Romans.

Conveniently housed under a covered structure, this historic site makes for an excellent activity on rainy days.


Map View: Best Things To Do in Marbella in March

Here is my big map of things to do in Marbella – it includes a comprehensive list beyond the places just mentioned in this guide.

What NOT To Do in Marbella in March

La Concha mountain in Marbella, Spain
La Concha mountain in Marbella, Spain

While it’s a great idea to have tips for what to do, mentioning the things you should avoid doing is equally important.

Here are just a few.

1. Careful with Hiking

While March might appear ideal for hiking adventures, caution is key in planning.

The weather in March is notoriously unpredictable, and there’s a risk of getting caught in a sudden storm without adequate shelter. If you’re planning to do the hike to La Concha, the most famous mountain in the region, you should be careful with your planning and only go if the weather is excellent.

I’m only saying this because I’ve seen this recommended in many guides, and it can be pretty dangerous to climb there if the conditions are not perfect.

2. Boat Trips

Several tour operators offer boat excursions in March, including options like a sunset cruise or a sailing adventure with dolphin watching.

However, be aware that the sea can be quite rough during the winter and spring months. If you’re prone to seasickness, it might be best to skip these trips completely.

If you don’t mind the waves and are happy to venture out to the sea, the two trips I mentioned earlier run in winter and spring, and offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before the trip, in case you change your mind.

These boat tours typically depart from either the Puerto Deportivo de Marbella (the main port) or the port in Puerto Banus.

3. ‘Authentic’ Paella

On the main streets, you’ll often find Paella advertised in faded restaurant photos.  I tend to steer clear of these places. 

Originally from Valencia, Paella varies regionally, but the authentic Paella experience is hard to find in Marbella. Typically, it’s just expensive rice with some meat or seafood on top.

4. Souvenirs Sold by Illegal Vendors

If you’re coming to any destination on Costa del Sol, it’s almost impossible to avoid the constant pestering of illegal street vendors (manteros), selling counterfeit designer goods, including shoes, souvenirs, bags, scarves, and belts.

Local authorities seem to have given up on the issue, and in addition to taking away business and income from legitimate local businesses, the profits they generate have been linked to organized crime.

5. Tourist Restaurants

Contrary to what some might think, the presence of an English menu in a restaurant doesn’t always indicate it’s a tourist trap. It’s pretty obvious that if a restaurant wants to attract new customers, they need to adapt and offer menu in other languages.

Tourist traps are harder to spot because you often find locals also eating in these establishments, especially in chiringuitos (those beachside restaurants).

In Marbella, the food quality is generally higher compared to other destinations on Costa del Sol, so you’re less likely to encounter a very bad service or food.

For me, the clear takeaway of a bad quality restaurant is if they don’t specialize in anything in particular, and have a menu with 100 items ranging from Mexican, Italian, and Spanish cuisine, all in one establishment.

Travel Tips: Visiting Marbella in March 2024

Church in marbella old town, spain
Pretty flower pots are on display everywhere in the old town of Marbella.

Transport From Malaga Airport

The closest airport for Marbella is Malaga Costa del Sol Airport, and the journey from the airport takes about 40 – 50 minutes, depending on the traffic (distance of 50 km).

To save time and hassle, I recommend booking your transport online in advance. I use a service called Get Transfer – they are great for long-distance trips, airport pick-ups and even business travel.

Add your trip details here, and they will offer quotes from local transport companies, so you can always find the best deal for your airport transport.

If you’re traveling with kids, you can also book extras like car seats, so you don’t have to drag one with you. They will also ask for your flight details, so if your flight is delayed they will wait for you free of charge.

Renting a Car in Marbella

Should you rent a car in Marbella?

Well, you don’t need to if you’re only planning to explore the city.

But to get more out of your trip, I recommend hiring a car as that will allow you to explore some of the most beautiful destinations within 1 – 2 hour drive.

To get the best deal on your car rental, you should use Discover Cars – it’s a price comparison platform that will source car hire prices from local companies, saving you a lot of time, and offering the best deals in a matter of minutes.

Enter your trip details on their website, and you can choose from the quotes available based on your preferences. They also offer pick-ups from Malaga Airport.

Where to Stay in Marbella in March

Now that you know how to get to Marbella and where to rent your car, the last question remains where you should stay?

If you prefer quiet and more peaceful surroundings, with boutique and budget hotel options, then Marbella old town is a great choice.

Other than that, there is a variety of hotels in different price categories scattered around the coastline, offering stunning sea views and access to the beach. The closer you get to Puerto Banus, the more you will pay, as some of the most exclusive resorts are in this part of the town.

BEST LUXURY HOTELS: Amare Beach Hotel (Adults Only), La Fonda Heritage Hotel (gorgeous place in the old town), Puente Romano Beach Resort (close to Puerto Banus, favourite of celebrities)

BEST MID RANGE HOTELS: Eurostar Oasis Hotel (4 star), Linda Boutique Hotel (in old town), Ona Alanda Club (at the famous Nikki Beach)

BEST BUDGET HOTELS: Hotel Avenida 31Hotel Central Boutique and Puerta de Aduares – these are all 2 star hotels.

What to Wear in Marbella in March

In March, the weather is still a little unpredictable, so you need to pack lots of layers with long sleeves, but be also prepared that you will be quite warm in the sun.

The mornings and evenings are still pretty cold, so you shouldn’t leave your jacket behind, and umbrella, sun protection and waterproof shoes are a must too!

Key Takeaways

Marbella offers a range of different activities and things to do in March, whether the weather plays in your favour or not. Exploring the old town is wonderful in almost any weather, and if you want to learn more about the city and its culinary journey, there are great value walking tours available.

Marbella is also a great base for discovering other destinations in Southern Spain, and you shouldn’t miss out on visiting places like Gibraltar or Ronda.

No matter which activities you pick, I’m confident you will have a wonderful trip to Marbella in March.

Thank you for reading!

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Southern Spain Travel Tips

Find Best Hotels

Find Hotels

I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.

Find Car Rental

Find Car Rental

To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award-winning price comparison site for car rentals.

Book Your Tour

Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.

Book Local Transport

To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.

Find Cheap Flights

Get the best flight deals when you book early via Skyscanner.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links - if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Hi, I'm Lucia

The founder and writer of Viva La Vita, a blog about traveling in Spain.

On these pages, you will find many practical tips and recommendations from someone who lives in Spain and travels around Spain often.

Filled with my images and unique local perspective, I hope these pages will offer you plenty of inspiration, insights & ideas to plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

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