Where to stay in Marbella for first time: 4 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Marbella as a first-time visitor can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Marbella for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Marbella for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Marbella and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Marbella is a popular tourist destination on the Costa del Sol, southern coast of Spain. It is known for its beautiful beaches, upscale resorts, golf courses, and vibrant nightlife. 

Marbella is renowned for its Mediterranean beaches, such as Playa de la Fontanilla, Cabopino Beach, and Playa de Nagüeles. These beaches are great places to enjoy the sun, sea, and a range of water activities.

The Old Town is a charming area characterized by narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, and historic architecture. Plaza de los Naranjos is a central square surrounded by cafes, shops, and restaurants.

The city has a diverse range of restaurants catering to different tastes. The local cuisine reflects Andalusian flavors, with an emphasis on seafood, tapas, and traditional Spanish dishes. 

Is Marbella safe to visit?

Marbella, like most of Spain, is generally safe to visit. But,  like in any popular tourist destination, it is essential to be cautious of pickpockets and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or touristy spots. 

You should also stick to well-lit areas when walking at night. Avoid poorly lit areas, especially if you’re alone. Marbella has a sunny climate, so protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen, wearing a hat, and staying hydrated.

Where to stay in Marbella for the first time?

The best and safest areas to stay in Marbella for first-timers and tourists are Marbella City Centre, Golden Mile, Puerto Banus, and San Pedro Alcántara. These areas have a wide range of accommodations and amenities for all budgets and needs.

Marbella City Centre, which includes the old town, is a popular area for first-timers to book their accommodations. This area offers easy access to cultural attractions, charming squares, and beautiful; beaches.

Golden Mile is a prestigious area known for luxury resorts, upscale villas, and beautiful beaches. It’s close to both Marbella and Puerto Banus, offering a more exclusive atmosphere.

Puerto Banus is famous for its upscale marina, high-end shops, and vibrant nightlife. Plenty of restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. San Pedro offers a more relaxed and authentic Spanish atmosphere. It is less crowded than Puerto Banus.

During my trip to Marbella, I stayed at Hotel Central Boutique. It was a great 2-star cozy hotel in the center of the old town close to the central bus stop, beach, restaurants, and cafes. My room was clean and comfortable. Great base to explore the city.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Marbella for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Marbella first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Marbella first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Marbella, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Marbella have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Safe areas to stay in Marbella for first-timers and tourists

1. Marbella City Centre

Marbella City Centre is one of the best areas to stay in Marbella for the first time. This is the heart of the city, making its great base to explore the old town with its narrow cobblestone streets, charming square, and historic sites.

You’ll also have numerous beaches nearby including Playa de Venus, Playa de la Bajadilla, and Playa del Cable. These beaches have lots of chairs and parasols for rent, you can go swimming, sunbathing, enjoy watersports, or just watch the beautiful sunset while listening to the calming waves.

The city center offers a mix of boutique shops, designer stores, and local markets. The Avenida Ricardo Soriano is a popular shopping street in the city. There are also numerous restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, allowing you to explore the local gastronomy.

Best places to stay in Marbella City Centre for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): El Fuerte Marbella, 5-star beachfront hotel, located in the city center of Marbella, a few minutes walk to the old town. You can have a nice walk down the promenade where you can find a range of bars and restaurants. The hotel has 3 swimming pools, a paid airport shuttle, and excellent breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Amàre Beach Hotel Marbella, 4-star adult-only hotel in a great location, right on the beachfront, a short walk to the old town. It has a beautiful outdoor pool, beach club, gym, spa, rooftop bar, wonderful breakfast, and paid airport transfers. 

Mid-range ($$): Linda Boutique Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in the heart of the old town, a short walk from Plaza de los Naranjo, Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion, Teatro Ciudad, and Bus Station. They have a nice rooftop terrace, nicely decorated compact rooms. You can find lots of nearby restaurants, bars and shops. Great base for a short trip to Marbella.

Budget ($): Ona Marbella Inn, popular 3-star hotel located in the city center of Marbella, close to everything, a few mins from the old town, the beach, and the local bus stations. You can find a large supermarket around the corner.  Breakfast is delicious with a good selection of items. 


2. Golden Mile

Golden Mile is a 4km coastal line between Marbella city center and Puerto Banus. This area is home to numerous luxury 5-star hotels, exclusive restaurants and shops. It is a great base for relaxing holiday while still having easy access to both old town and Puerto Banus.

There are numerous beautiful beaches in the Golden Mile including Playa de Nagüeles, Playa Casablanca, Playa de la Fontanilla, and Playa Río Verde hip sandy beach.

Best places to stay in Marbella Golden Mile for tourists:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Don Pepe Gran Meliá, 5-star beautiful seafront hotel located 15 mins walk from Marbella Old Town, easy access to Playa de la Fontanilla Beach. It has 3 outdoor pools, an excellent buffet breakfast with a good choice of food. You can choose rooms that have ocean views, garden views, or mountains views.

Luxury ($$$): Alanda Marbella Hotel, 5-star hotel located on the Marbella’s Golden Mile, a short drive from the old town and Monteparaiso Golf Course. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and 3 restaurants. Close to Playa de Nagüeles Beach.

Luxury ($$$): Marbella Club Hotel · Golf Resort & Spa, 5-star beachfront hotel, situated between Marbella and Puerto Banús, has a private beach area, beautiful garden, a kids club, and 5 restaurants. It also offers shuttle service to Marbella Club Golf Resort.

Luxury ($$$): Puente Romano Beach Resort, 5-star luxurious residential area with a private beach, located on the famous Golden Mile between Marbella and Puerto Banus. Easy access to all the restaurants, shopping centers and nightlife.


3. Puerto Banus

Puerto Banus is an excellent base for those seeking a lively, upscale, and glamorous atmosphere. This area is renowned for its luxurious marina, filled with yachts and surrounded by high-end shops and restaurants

The area boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with trendy bars, clubs, and beach clubs, making it ideal for those who enjoy entertainment after dark.

Best places to stay in Marbella in Puerto Banus:

Mid-range ($$): Occidental Puerto Banús, 4-star hotel located in the center of Puerto Banus, within walking distance to El Cort Ingles and the marina. It has 2 swimming pools, 4 restaurants, family rooms, and delicious breakfast. Rooms are spacious with a lovely bathroom and well-equipped kitchenette.

Mid-range ($$): Hard Rock Hotel Marbella – Puerto Banús, 4-star hotel located close to Nueva Andalucía Beach, Puerto Banús Beach and Cortijo Blanco Beach. It has a 24-hour front desk, airport shuttle, and 2 swimming pools. Easy to walk everywhere .

Mid-range ($$): Villa Marina, 4-star accommodation situated in Puerto Banus, 10 mins walk from the beach. Great base for a big family or a group of friends. Each accommodation has a private garden with an outdoor pool, barbecue facilities. It has free parking, which is a bonus for those who drive.


4. San Pedro de Alcántara

San Pedro de Alcántara, just west of Puerto Banus, offers a more relaxed and authentic experience compared to the bustling atmosphere of Marbella City Centre, Golden Mile, or Puerto Banus.

San Pedro de Alcántara has a rich history, with evidence of human settlement dating back to the Roman era.  The central part of town features a pedestrianized area with shops, restaurants, and cafes. The Boulevard is a popular spot for strolling and enjoying outdoor activities.

Best places to stay in Marbella in San Pedro for visitors:


In conclusion, Marbella City Centre, Puerto Banus, Golden Mile, and San Pedro Alcántara are the best places to stay in Marbella for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe locations to book your accommodations and explore the city.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Spain in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Marbella. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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