Check this guide for local’s tips for the best travel connections and the best way to get from Málaga to Marbella!
Both Málaga and Marbella and wonderful sunny destinations on Costa del Sol, in the Spanish autonomous region of Andalusia. If you’re looking for a detailed transport guide, this article tells you everything you need for travelling between Málaga and Marbella.
Distance from Malaga to Marbella
The distance from Malaga to Marbella is approximately 60 km.
Your Travel Options: How to Get from Malaga to Marbella
What is the fastest way to get from Malaga to Marbella?
The fastest way to get from Malaga to Marbella is definitely by car. The cities are connected via a fast highway that will get you to your destination in just under an hour.
Keep in mind there are two highways connecting the cities – the AP-7 is a slightly faster and less busy option, but it has tolls to pay. The other option, only slower by about 10 minutes, is the A-7 with no tolls and goes along the same route.
What is the cheapest way to get from Malaga to Marbella?
If you’re looking to save money, you would probably skip renting a car.
The cheapest travel option is taking a bus straight from Malaga to Marbella, the line Avanza L-307 takes you there in just 45 minutes. See below for bus connection details.
Can I get from Malaga to Marbella without renting a car?
Definitely! You can take a bus as mentioned above or get a taxi.
Malaga to Marbella by Train
Do you want to travel by train?
Getting to Marbella by train is a little tricky because the train line ends in Fuengirola, about halfway on your journey to Marbella.
If you want to use a train, you will have to get off in Fuengirola and change for a bus connection to Marbella. Take the train from Maria Zambrano station in Malaga and get off at Fuengirola main station. From there its only a short walk to the bus terminal in Fuengirola.
Train stations in Malaga
There are two train stations in Malaga – Malaga centro and Malaga Maria Zambrano.
The Fuengirola train stops at both of these. You can get the tickets at the renfe machines at each station, return tickets to Fuengirola cost under 10 euros.
The train also stops at the airport, so if you’re flying it, its very easy to get on the train – simply follow the signs at the airport for the train connection.
How to get to the train station
If you’re coming from the airport, as I mentioned the train stops at the airport, and it’s only a short walk from the arrivals terminal.
Malaga to Marbella by Bus
There is a direct bus connection between Malaga and Marbella with frequent buses going roughly every 30-60 minutes.
The one-way bus tickets start from 6.50 euros and can be purchased on the Avanza website – on this website you will also see the up to date bus schedules for the different travel options, with ticket prices displayed for each. You can also buy the tickets at the booths at the station or from the bus driver. The ticket you buy online is just a PDF with a QR code that the bus driver scans on departure.
The journey times are between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on which bus you take.
Malaga Bus Station
All buses leave from the main terminal next to Maria Zambrano station (you can walk across the road from the station to get there, they’re almost connected).
The station has limited facilities, no restaurants or shops, so if you want to buy something ahead of the trip, you should do so at the train station next to it.
The train station has a selection of restaurants (most opening after 1pm) and big Mercadona supermarket. There is also a kiosk wit books, newspapers and a few souvenir shops.
Marbella Bus Station
The main bus station in Marbella is North of the town centre, a somewhat inconvenient location for most people.
Check the bus itinerary for the stops closest to your accommodation, most buses stop on the main road closer to the centre before they head north to the station.
The bus station in Marbella has almost non-existing facilities and no shops, only a few vending machines. It is also a fairly remote location with no other facilities like restaurants or shops located close by.
Getting back to Malaga
To get back to Malaga from Marbella, you can simply wait at the same stop (opposite side of the road) where you got off, or head to the main bus station.
If you didn’t buy a return ticket, you can get one off the ticket office at the station, or from the bus driver.
Malaga to Marbella by Car
The journey from Malaga to Marbella by car takes between 50 minutes to 60 minutes, depending on which highway you take.
The AP-7 is slightly faster (by only about 10 minutes) and less busy, but it’s a toll road. The tolls cost 7.50 euros during the summer, and 4.60 euros for the rest of the year.
The other option is to take the busier A7, which has a lot more cars but it’s only 10 minutes longer and doesn’t cost anything extra. This road is also used by buses which stop on the highway frequently, so beware of that and keep your distance.
Where to park in Marbella?
Parking in Marbella is no fun task, especially in the summer.
The old town and Puerto Banus are some of the hardest places to find a parking spot if you just want to leave your car somewhere on the street.
Even though there are public car parks, they tend to be quite expensive. Here are some options:
Parking Indigo at Avenida del Mar – this is one of the biggest and most central car parks in the city, it’s right behind Alameda Park. Car access is from Av. Macintosh or C. El Fuerte.
Parking Fuerte – very close to the beach and central area, plus a bonus point – it also has a charging station for electric cars. Access also from Calle El Fuerte.
Plaza de la Victoria Car Park – great location if you’re visiting the old town and don’t want to walk too far. Access from calle Huerta Chica.
Municipal Market car park – also located next to the old town, with access through Avenida del Mercado.
El Molino – this is a 24-hour public parking option with surveillance cameras with a great location in the centre.
Benabola Car Park – this car park in Puerto Banus is located under the Plaza Suites Hotel. As with everything in Puerto Banus, it’s quite expensive, but in a convenient location. Access through Avenida José Banús.
Saba Car Park – also located in the centre of Puerto Banus, it offers charging stations for electric cars too.
El Calvario – if you want an economical parking option for Marbella, this is your best bet. The only issue is that it’s not open at weekends, and during weekdays it closes at 4.30pm.
Getting back to Malaga
Returning to Malaga you have the same options as described above.
Malaga to Marbella by Taxi or Uber
If you want a hassle-free trip, getting a taxi is also a great option.
Both Malaga and Marbella have a good network of taxi services, and Uber also operates in both cities. For cross-city trips I found standard taxis to be cheaper than Uber.
How much is a taxi from Malaga to Marbella?
A taxi from the train station in Malaga (Maria Zambrano) for up to 4 people costs around 60 euros, so if you’re dividing that between other passengers, it’s not a bad price. It will also get you directly to your accommodation, saving you the need to book another taxi once you get to Marbella.
The journey takes under an hour, depending on your drop off point.
Where to book a taxi to Marbella and back
You can either book your taxi ahead of time online, or simply take one of the taxis available at the taxi rank. There are always plenty of taxi options available at the train stations or at the airport.
How to Get From Malaga Airport to Marbella
The best options to get from Malaga airport to Marbella are with a car, taxi or bus.
Malaga Airport to Marbella by Car
If you’re renting a car, you can pick it up directly at the airport and then head to Marbella via the AP-7 (tolls payable – see above) or via the A7. The journey will take just under an hour, depending on your final destination.
Malaga Airport to Marbella by taxi
To get to Marbella by taxi, you can simply take any taxi waiting at the taxi rank at the arrivals. The journey is the same as with the car and takes about 1 hour (60km).
How much is the taxi from Malaga airport to Marbella?
For up to 4 people, you can expect to pay around 60 euros for the trip, depending on your drop off point.
Malaga Airport to Marbella by a bus
There is a frequent bus connection between Malaga airport and Marbella stations. Check the Avanza booking system for the detailed timetable of buses leaving from the airport stop (not all buses stop at the airport).
From the arrivals, follow the signs for the bus station to get to your bus stop. The journey should take between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on the connection you take.