Is Marbella a Good Place to Live? Answer from a Local Expert

Is Marbella a Good Place to Live? Answer from a Local Expert

Marbella is blessed with over 320 sunny days per year, famous for its golden beaches and as a luxurious retreat for the rich and famous.

Yet, beyond its glamorous facade lies a community vibrant with culture, history, and a quality of life that appeals to more than just the affluent.

So if you’re wondering if Marbella is a good place to live, this article has all the answers you need!

How do I know?

Unlike many other people commenting on the topic, I actually live right next to Marbella so I’m pretty familiar with what life on Costa del Sol is like. More than that, I have friends who spent many years living there so I have first-hand insights into life on this glamorous stretch of the coast.

Is Marbella a Good Place to Live?

Short answer? It depends.

For most people, Marbella makes an excellent choice of a place to live, for the reasons I will examine below. But it’s certainly not for everyone.

If you’re looking for a place on a tight budget, or to buy a home in Spain, Marbella will be most likely out of your price range.

It’s one of the most expensive destinations in Southern Spain, and if you’re moving with kids, you will also have to pay a premium for private schools.

Living in Marbella: The Pros and Cons

I will cover how well is Marbella suited for different scenarios, but first let’s examine all the reasons why it might or may not be a good permanent base for you.

4 Reasons Why Marbella is a Good Place to Live

old town of Marbella in winter, Southern Spain
The pretty squares of Marbella old town in winter, with abundant sunshine and warm temperatures.

1. The Climate is Amazing

Firstly, Marbella boasts an exceptional climate, with over 320 sunny days a year, mild winters, and warm summers cooled by a gentle sea breeze.

This perfect weather pattern not only makes outdoor living a daily pleasure but also contributes significantly to a healthy lifestyle.

You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities year-round, including golfing on some of Europe’s finest courses, sailing in the azure waters of the Mediterranean, and hiking in the nearby Sierra Blanca mountains.

Keep in mind that Marbella is not the only city on Costa del Sol that enjoys this sort of climate, you can get the same benefits by moving to any other town or city around the coastline.

2. High Standard of Living

Marbella offers a high standard of living, with access to excellent healthcare facilities, both public and private, international schools providing quality education, and a wide range of shopping options from local markets to high-end boutiques.

The city is well connected to the rest of Southern Spain with a network of highways, both free and toll roads. The only downside is the public transport in Marbella which is limited to buses as Marbella doesn’t have a train station.

3. Modern & Authentic Andalusian

Culturally, Marbella is a treasure trove. The Old Town, with its narrow cobbled streets, historic buildings, and the enchanting Orange Square, is a hub of traditional Andalusian life.

Throughout the year, Marbella hosts numerous cultural events, festivals, and exhibitions, reflecting the rich heritage and diversity of its community.

Marbella offers the perfect blend of modern city with features of a traditional Andalusian white village.

4. International Community

Marbella’s international community is one of its most appealing aspects. People from all over the world have made Marbella their home, creating a cosmopolitan atmosphere that is welcoming and inclusive.

This melting pot of cultures not only enriches the social fabric of the city but also means that new residents are likely to find a community with shared languages and cultural touchstones, making the transition to life in Marbella smoother.

3 Reasons Why You Might Want to Avoid Marbella

marbella costa del sol southern spain 75
The old town is full of pretty streets like these, with cafes and restaurants scattered around the corners.

Living in Marbella does come with considerations.

First, the cost of living can be high, particularly in real estate, as demand from both expats and locals drives prices up. Marbella is known to have some of the most expensive real estate in the whole of Southern Spain and finding something decent on a tight budget is pretty much impossible.

Second, the high cost of living also translates to overall higher prices throughout the city – restaurants are more expensive compared to other places, and you might find mostly high-end shops around the city. The city is built to attract luxury tourism, and you will feel the difference in your wallet right away.

Third, and this is something nobody really talks about – Marbella gets very crowded in the summer. If you’re planning a walk around the old town or the coastal area, it’s nearly impossible to do that because they are so many people. The streets of the old town get so congested that you have to wait for people to pass before you can walk through the narrow streets.

While this might not be an issue if you’re there only for a week, imagine dealing with this the whole summer.

Despite these factors, many find the trade-offs worth it.

The safety of the city, combined with its beauty, climate, and quality of life, makes it an attractive place to live for families, retirees, and professionals alike.

Moreover, Spain’s residency programs for investors and retirees can provide a pathway for non-EU citizens to enjoy the benefits of living in this Mediterranean paradise.

Frequent Questions

Is Marbella a Good Place to Live for Young Adults?

Yes, I think Marbella is an excellent choice for young adults. It’s known for its vibrant nightlife, and if you can afford the lifestyle I think you will absolutely love to live in Marbella!

Is Marbella a Good Place to Live for Families?

I don’t consider Marbella to be very family-friendly, I think it’s more for young people. Having said that, there are plenty of private schools in and around Marbella if you’re considering moving there with your kids.

Is Marbella a Good Place to Live for Retired People?

Depending on your preferences, you might find other destinations on Costa del Sol to enjoy your retirement. I don’t think many retired people are choosing Marbella as their base, for a number of reasons we already discussed earlier.

To put it simply, you might get annoyed by the crowds and the party scene in the summer, and other places like Benalmadena or Nerja might offer better value for money when it comes to property purchases.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Marbella offers more than just a picturesque holiday destination.

Its blend of natural beauty, cultural depth, and high-quality amenities make it a compelling choice for those seeking a new place to call home.

Whether drawn by the promise of sunny days, the allure of a multicultural community, or the charm of Andalusian culture, Marbella stands out as not just a good, but a great place to live.

LOVE it? SAVE it for Later!

If you would love to see more from Marbella, please check out my dedicated board on Pinterest here, where you can find more inspiration for exploring this little gem on Costa del Sol. You can also follow my Pinterest profile here.

pinterest image showing the Golden mile coastal promenade in marbella in Costa del Sol in Southern Spain, with the headline - is marbella a good place to live
pinterest image showing a small square with a fountain in the old town of marbella in Costa del Sol in Southern Spain, with the headline - is marbella a good place to live

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Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

Make yourself at home and find the best places to explore in Andalusia and beyond.

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