Malaga is an incredible city to visit in Southern Spain, not only because of all the activities it has to offer but its proximity to other beautiful towns and villages like Marbella.
If you’re visiting Malaga for longer than a weekend, it’s worth adding Marbella to your itinerary. Go on a day trip or spend a few days in the town to enjoy the atmosphere, visit the whitewashed Old Town or relax at its golden sand beaches.
Planning a trip from Malaga to Marbella or vice versa is straightforward since both places are connected very well by public transport and roads are in good condition too.
Whether you’re travelling to Malaga Airport and staying in Marbella or planning a day trip to Marbella from Malaga, in this guide, you’ll find exactly how to travel from Malaga to Marbella, the best option and the most economic option too.
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How to get from Malaga to Marbella
|TRANSPORT||DURATION||PRICE (one way)||BEST FOR|
|Car||50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes||€12 (without tolls)||Freedom and exploring|
|Taxi||50 minutes||€65||Convenience and comfort|
|Bus||1 hour and 5 minutes||€7||Budget travel|
How to get from Malaga to Marbella by car
Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes
Total distance: 60.9 km
The quickest way to get from Malaga to Marbella is by car. There are two roads you can take while travelling to Marbella – the one that includes tolls or the scenic road.
If you decide to take the motorway that has tolls, the AP-7, it’ll only take you approximately 45 minutes, considering that there is no traffic. The tolls cost €7,50 during the summer and €4,60 for the rest of the year.
However, if you take the scenic road, the A-7, your journey will be about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Although it’s slower, if you aren’t in a rush, you definitely want to take this route.
This latter option also gives you the opportunity to stop and explore any of the towns or have a meal in some of the big shopping centres along the way before arriving in Marbella.
Where to park in Marbella
If you drive to Marbella for a day trip, you’ll find it useful to know exactly where to park.
Here is a list of parking lots in Marbella you may want to use:
- Parking on Calle Felipe 2 – this car park is located next to Marbella bullring and it’s a free parking, but it’s always worth double-checking the space you’re parking in.
- Parking on Avenida del Mar – this is a paid parking space but it’s very convenient due to its location.
- Parking on Plaza de la Victoria – there is a fee to park in this underground car park, but it’s perfect to visit Marbella’s Old Town in case you can’t find any free nearby parking.
- Parking on Calle Juan Alameda – this is a street parking that is free.
- Benabola parking – located under Plaza Suites Hotel, this car park is very convenient if you’re visiting Puerto Banús. However, it isn’t a cheap parking space like all the parking spots near Puerto Banus.
How to get from Malaga to Marbella by taxi
Time: 50 minutes via AP-7 (road with tolls)
Is it possible to travel from Malaga to Marbella by taxi? Yes, it is an option, but it isn’t ideal for you if you’re on a budget or you rather spend the money on activities and food than transport.
However, taking a taxi to Marbella isn’t a bad idea if you’re travelling with more than 2 people as it’ll be more affordable.
The taxi journey takes around 45 minutes when taxi drivers take the road with tolls, which you’ll have to pay, but it can be longer if they take the regular road.
Depending on this and traffic, your trip from Malaga to Marbella will be cheaper or more expensive.
The approximate price for a taxi from Malaga to Marbella is 68 to 80 euros depending on your dropping point.
How to get from Malaga to Marbella by bus
Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
If you don’t drive or want to rent a car during your time in Malaga or Costa del Sol, taking the bus to Marbella is the next best option.
You can take the bus from Estación de Autobuses de Málaga, Malaga’s bus station, located next to María Zambrano shopping centre and train station, a 20-minute walk from Larios Street.
At the bus station, take the Avanza L-305 bus that goes from Malaga to Marbella. The bus journey is approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes, but this can vary depending on traffic.
There are usually 12 buses a day from Malaga to Marbella and these often run from 05:00 am to 23:00, however, times and services are different on weekends and bank holidays compared to weekdays.
The estimated price of a one-way ticket is 8 euros.
Check out bus prices and times using the box below:
How to get from Malaga to Marbella by train and bus
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Another option to travel from Malaga to Marbella is taking the train and bus. This is the slowest route to get to Marbella.
I wouldn’t recommend this option unless you want to spend some time in Fuengirola before heading to Marbella. The reason behind this is that it’ll take you longer to get to Marbella, and you can never predict if there’s a delay with a train or bus.
However, if you opt for this option, take the C1 train to Fuengirola from María Zambrano train station inside Vialia Shopping Centre.
Once you arrive in Fuengirola, you can take different buses to travel to Marbella (ALSA, Avanza, etc.) all of them can be taken from Fuengirola Terminal.
You’ll arrive at Marbella bus station which is located at the top of the town. From there, you can either take a taxi or walk down if your accommodation is near Marbella’s Old Town.
The estimated price of the one-way train and bus tickets are 7 to 8 euros.
How to get from Malaga Airport to Marbella
If you fly to Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport and your accommodation is in Marbella, you want to consider the different transport options to make the best decision according to your budget and preferences.
|TRANSPORT||DURATION||PRICE (one way)||BEST FOR|
|Car||40 minutes to 1 hour||10€ (without tolls)||Freedom and exploring|
|Taxi||40 minutes||€75||Convenience and comfort|
|Minibus transfer||40 minutes||€102 for 7 people||Convenience and comfort for big groups|
|Bus||45 minutes||8€||Budget travel|
How to get from Malaga Airport to Marbella by car
Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour
The best way to travel from Malaga Airport to Marbella is by car if you’re looking for flexibility.
If you’d like to move around Marbella, visit other nearby towns and villages or go on a day trip to Malaga, renting a car is something you want to think about.
It’ll give you the freedom to travel where you want when you want, and if you love driving, driving through Costa del Sol is easy and scenic. However, it can be the most expensive option.
You have two options to go from Malaga Airport to Marbella – taking the AP-7 (road with tolls) which is 51 kilometres or the A-7 which is 62 kilometres.
The AP-7 only takes 35-40 minutes from the airport, so it’s a quick journey, whereas the A-7 takes 1 hour.
How to get from Malaga Airport to Marbella by taxi
Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour
Taking a taxi to Marbella is a convenient option, but not the cheapest, especially when you’re travelling solo, as a couple or with a friend.
If you decide to take a taxi, exit the airport through the arrivals doors where you’ll find a café and next to it, you’ll immediately see the taxi area.
The taxi journey takes between 40 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic, and it costs approximately 70 euros.
The taxi driver will take the A-7 that goes through the coast – through Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Mijas. It’s a beautiful drive!
How to get from Malaga Airport to Marbella by minibus transfer
Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour
Travelling to Marbella with a group of friends or a big family? It may be a good idea to consider a minibus transfer.
They’re stress-free because once you book the minibus transfer online, you don’t need to worry about anything. You just turn up at the agreed meeting point and you’ll be taken straight away to your hotel.
There are many companies that offer minibus transfers, and all of them have a minimum of passengers, but let’s say you want to book a minibus for 7 people, the cost will be around 102 euros, which isn’t bad when you split the costs.
How to get from Malaga Airport to Marbella by bus
Time: 45 minutes
Another way to travel from Malaga Airport to Marbella is by bus. The bus is simple to take and will take you just a bit longer (around 45 minutes.)
To take the bus, exit the airport and head to the bus stops which are just a few minutes walk from the door and close to a café.
The Avanza bus to Marbella often runs every 30 minutes or an hour. The bus leaves you at the Marbella bus station.
The good thing about taking the bus from Malaga Airport is that is very quick and the cheapest option if you’re travelling on a budget.
Top activities to do in Marbella
Wondering what to do in Marbella? Well, Marbella isn’t only about luxury shopping, yachts, and parties.
Although these things are associated with Marbella, the town has other things to offer, and different parts of the town give you a different feeling.
For example, visiting Puerto Banus is very different from visiting Marbella Old Town and San Pedro.
These are some of the activities to do in Marbella that you want to add to your list:
1) Exploring the Old Town
Walking in the Old Town is a unique experience -whitewashed buildings, orange trees, tapas bars and beautiful monuments.
It’s the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a meal or coffee, wander around its pebbled streets, window shop and take photos of the streets and monuments.
If you want a more authentic experience in Marbella, you must visit this area.
2) Going to Puerto Banus
One of the most well-known places in Marbella is its port. Here you can find boutique shops that sell luxurious items, restaurants with a view, impressive yachts, and Ferraris.
There is always a buzzing atmosphere, and if you want to treat yourself or others to food or a special gift, this is a great place.
3) Spending the day at the beach
There is no visit to Costa del Sol without going to the beach. Fortunately, Marbella has many good beaches for all types of travellers and most of them offer great beach amenities and water sports.
Some of the best beaches in Marbella are Venus Beach (located in Marbella city centre), Nagüeles Beach and Cabopino Beach.
If you want to explore other beaches outside Marbella, Estepona, located 30 minutes drive from Marbella, is another Costa del Sol town that is known for its awarded beaches.
4) Experiencing Marbella’s nightlife and parties
Whether you’re a night owl and love nightlife or you love live music while sipping cocktails by the pool, Marbella is home to very-well known beach clubs like Nikki Beach Marbella.
In addition to all the beach clubs you can find in Marbella, if you visit the town during summer, you can also enjoy many events and concerts.
The most popular event is The Starlite Festival which takes place during the months of July and August. Many famous singers from around the world come to this event.
5) Playing golf
Do you love golf? Then you’re in luck because Marbella has incredible golf facilities and courses for beginners to advanced levels.
Some well-known golf courses in Marbella include Los Naranjos Golf Club, La Quinta Golf and Río Real Golf & Hotel.
6) Going on a day trip
Nevertheless, Marbella is in a great location to explore other cities and towns or start a road trip around Andalucia too.
To wrap up, getting from Malaga to Marbella is easy, and If you’re travelling from Marbella to Malaga, follow the same indications as above.
The journey is quite straightforward, but you need to know that these roads are extremely busy during the summer (especially in August), so it’s important to consider this if making any plans.
If you’re travelling to Malaga or Marbella in summer, avoid driving or taking public transport at peak hours (between 7 am and 9 am and 2 pm and 3 pm on weekdays) and Sundays as this is the day in which many locals don’t work and tend to travel to a further beach to spend the day with family or friends.
If you have any questions about visiting Malaga or Marbella, you can always reach me via email or Instagram. I’m happy to help!
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Frequently asked questions about travelling to Marbella
What is the distance from Malaga to Marbella?
The distance from Malaga to Marbella is 60.9 km which is about 45 minute drive. Nevertheless, it may take you longer to arrive in Marbella if there is traffic.
What’s the most scenic route to Marbella?
The A-7, “carretera vieja”, is the most scenic route to Marbella. As you drive through this road, you’ll see other Costa del Sol towns like Benalmadena, Mijas and Fuengirola, and amazing views of the coast.
What are the best hotels in Marbella?
Depending on the area of Marbella you want to explore more, you want to check out Linda Boutique Hotel and The Pearl luxury B&B.
Linda Boutique Hotel is perfect for you if you want to be right in the town centre, however, if you want a more tranquil and private area, The Pearl Luxury B&B is for you.
This latter hotel is also ideal for couples who look for a romantic getaway while staying close to the town and beach.
Things to do before visiting Marbella