Marbella

Marbella is clearly the administrative, business, cultural and tourist centre of the Costa del Sol.

Downtown

It is advisable to park your car in the Avenida del Mar car park. Walk through the Parque de la Alameda, cross the busy main road and you will find yourself in the pedestrian zone. Here, the narrow streets are lined with elegant shops and restaurants trying to tempt us, but we’re unabashedly eager to find Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella’s emblematic main square.

(In the background is the Ayuntamiento (Mayor’s Office), from which more than one incumbent mayor has been removed by police investigating corruption cases in recent decades. An example: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marisol_Yag%C3%BCe )

The next two pictures show the traces of the Christmas – New Year preparations.

During your walk through the city centre, you should also visit the Plaza de la Iglesia, where the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la

Encarnación is located in.

During your walk through the city centre, you should also visit the Plaza de la Iglesia, where the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la

Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo
From the Plaza de la Iglesia, walk 300 metres (4 minutes) along Calle Misericordia to the museum, which I recommend especially for the obsessive engraving enthusiast and/or the time-pressed.

The museum opened its doors in 1992 and its Renaissance-style medieval building used to house the Basan Hospital. (The museum’s address is Calle Hospital Bazán s/n.) About 100 engravings are exhibited at a time, out of the 4,000 in the collection. The following picture shows what I found to be the most interesting works in the museum:

Yes, those in the middle are from Miro. Below is a closer look at one of the works.:

Finally, a really nice Goya engraving on the left.

After visiting the museum, start walking back towards the Alameda.

On the way, you should also stop at the charming Plaza de la Victoria on the west side of the city centre.

Alameda, Avenida del Mar, Paseo Maritimo
To continue your visit to Marbella, we recommend you visit the Parque de la Alameda. This lush park, full of subtropical plants, is a favourite place to cool off and relax for tourists and locals alike. In the middle of it stands the Fuente Virgen del Rocio, a famous shrine and traditional pilgrimage site. I have already written about El Rocio in detail in a separate blog (Huelva County). The beautiful fountain will hopefully make you want to travel further afield.

The park often hosts cultural events, such as Sunday dances. (The picture was taken before the Covid, of course.)

Across the park is Avenida del Mar, which leads down to the Mediterranean coast. The beautiful promenade is decorated with numerous sculptures by Dali.

On the left, a characteristic section of the Paseo Maritimo, several kilometres long.

From the mouth of the Avenida del Mar, it is basically a right turn towards Puerto Banús.

Soon you will see the Marbella lighthouse.

And next to it is one of my favourite local sculptures: the water girl:

Just a few steps from the lighthouse is the Parque de la Constitución, where music and gastronomic festivals are often held, such as the Irish and the Bavarians.

Puente Romano, Museo Ralli
When we reach Parque de la Constitución on our coastal walk, we can choose to walk along the newly constructed promenade along the beach for another 5.1 kilometres to Puerto Banús and the Museo Ralli, or we can return to our car and take the easy way back.

If you choose to walk, you will also pass one of Marbella’s most famous and elegant hotels, the Puente Romano, named after a Roman stone bridge.

The buffet lunch at the almost beachfront Sea Griill here is recommended, but not cheap.

A Ralli Múzeum – valószínűleg Marbella legjelentősebb kulturális létesítménye – 2000-ben nyitotta meg kapuit és a kortárs latin-amerikai képzőművészet egyik legfontosabb európai központja.

“Marbella’s Ralli Museum is located at the very heart of Costa del Sol, on the beautiful avenue that joins Marbella and Puerto Banus. Opened in 2000, it contains one of the most important Latin American art collections in Europe.

The museum is devoted to the dissemination of contemporary Latin American and European art. Highlights of its collection are the works of artists like Wilfredo Lam (Cuba), César López Claro (Argentina), Leopoldo Torres Agüero (Argentina), Antonio Seguí (Argentina), Roberto Matta (Chile), Herman Braun-Vega (Perú), Mario Aguirre (Mexico), Víctor Quiroga (Argentina), Marc Chagall (Russia), Joan Miró (Spain), Salvador Dalí (Spain) and Giorgio de Chirico (Italy).

Andres

Monreal:

Playroom (1992.)

Dali: Space Elephant

Dali: Unicornio

Jorge Origueira:

Noticias Frescas (1984.)

It is also worth mentioning that the museum is run by the Harry Recanati Foundation. There are similar museums in several countries, including Caesarea, Israel.

King Abdul Aziz Mosque

From the Puente Romano, it’s worth a short detour (9 minutes on foot, 3 minutes by car) to the nearby mosque (King Abdul Aziz Mosque, on the corner of Calle Nuestra Señora de Gracia). The mosque was financed by the Saudi Arabian government and was built in 1981 in Andalusian-inspired modern Arabic style, designed by Juan Mora of Cordoba.

Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdul-Rahman Al Saud, or Ibn Saud as he is often called (15 January 1876 – 9 November 1953), was the founder and first king of Saudi Arabia. After his father was ousted from the head of the Najd Emirate, Abdul-Aziz gradually conquered the central regions of Arabia and, with British support, proclaimed himself (…) King of Saudi Arabia. During his reign, vast oil fields were discovered in the country near the Persian Gulf.

The mosque belongs to the Wahhabi branch of Islam, which it would be difficult to accuse of excessive liberalism.

I searched for information on the accessibility of the mosque, but could not find any. But there is a need.

Municipal Stadium

I recommend this place not only for football lovers, but only for football matches. The local team, Marbella Fútbol Club, is currently playing in Segunda División “B”, which would be the equivalent of NB-III in our country. The owners used to be Russian, since 2018 they are Chinese. The attendance for a local match is close to the total attendance of a Hungarian NB-I round. The quality of the matches, however, is likely to exceed that of the domestic NB-I. All matches are played in a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere, a real family event where it is safe to take young children. At the break, everyone eats a home sandwich wrapped in tinfoil, and even if the home team loses, there is no tragedy.

Some restaurants
Da Bruno Sul Mare
Located at the corner of Parque de la Constitución, this restaurant is part of the Da Bruno chain and offers first class Italian cuisine. The service, however, sometimes leaves something to be desired. Since Mr Da Bruno’s wife likes opera, they often organise opera evenings, which I personally recommend avoiding. It’s a nice place, but we prefer the “dump” in Cabopino.

La Cuisine
Located at the end of Calle Peral, at Plaza Puente Ronda, this Hungarian-inspired restaurant has a cosy terrace and quality cuisine. It can be reached from Plaza de los Naranjos via the alley next to the Ayuntamiento, but it is easier to walk along Calle Peral. Good value for money.

(Warning, Google Maps has several restaurants with similar names, but only this one is the “real thing”!)

Cortes Café
Opposite La Cuisine is a high-quality and sophisticated restaurant where pizza and tapas “dominate”. It is in “personal union” with La Cuisine. Pictured above is a selection of six tapas for under €10.

The picture shows one of the charming streets next to the two restaurants above. After lunch, it’s worth taking a stroll around the area.

Marisqueria La Pesquera
This charmingly rustic and famous fish restaurant is located in Plaza de la Victoria. I recommend avoiding the adjacent car park with a car larger than a Fiat 500.

Bounty Beach
This “chiringuito” is located at the town gate at the eastern end of Marbella, on the beach, and is also of Hungarian interest. (Parking is available about 300 metres away, next to the petrol station.)

The typical chiringuitos, or small restaurants, along the coast offer the freshest seafood dishes. The chiringuito originally meant a boat in which fishermen would build a fire, roast the small fish on skewers and sell them. It is still a typical dish in this region: sardine skewers roasted on charcoal coals, freshly sprinkled with coarse salt, are very popular.”

It must be said in advance that Bounty Beach is far from the most elegant beach in Marbella and perhaps the term “seedy” would be a bit of an understatement. However, this cannot be said of the restaurant, which is cosy, the food is of a quality to match the place and the staff, mostly Hungarian, are extremely friendly.

On 23 June 2019, we celebrated the night of San Juan (St. Ivan in Hungarian) with a huge beach party, bonfire and fireworks.

It is a recommended place on warm summer days and you can combine the food and cocktails with a nice sea bath.

A special mention goes to the high quality of the establishment’s Facebook page.

As a fanatic seafood fan, I had dinner in this place once during our stays here in the last 10 years.

My family and I, we are fanatic seafood lovers. We are here two or three times per year, and always visiting California Bar at Marbella. This is the symbol of trustworthiness for us. The same menu, the same good quality, fresh carabineros, langostinos tigre etc. And the same prices in the last 8 years!”

(The address of the restaurant is Calle Malaga 2. Google Maps does not show the ideal walking route. It is easiest to walk along the main road and turn the corner. Moreover, the restaurant is about 50 metres further than the map shows.)

Golden Wok
I recently discovered this Asian all you can eat restaurant, which is exclusive in its category. Located on the Golden Mile, 600 metres east of the Marbella Club Hotel. They have a huge selection of fish and a variety of crabs. The duck was also delicious. Highly recommended. It is hard to imagine better value for money. Parking is not easy in the area.

Continuing from Ojén to Fuengirola.

Telki, 6 January 2022.

Imre Réthy