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a narrow street in marbella old town

Marbella Old Town

Also known as Casco Antiguo, Marbella Old Town is a treasure trove of history and culture. You will find everything here, from traditional tapas bars to exquisite restaurants, the old city of Marbella is a paradise for food lovers. You will be walking through a maze of narrow streets with whitewashed buildings, vibrant flowers and hidden plazas. 

The history of Marbella Old Town

The area has a lot of history, with remnants of Moorish and Christian influences visible at every turn. A relaxing stroll through these ancient streets reveals charming boutiques, art galleries and an abundance of dining options. This area captures the history that spans several millennia, offering a glimpse into the past that shaped Marbella.

The Moorish influence

The most transformative chapter in the history of Marbella's Old Town began with the arrival of the Moors in the 8th century. They fortified the city and introduced architectural styles, irrigation systems, and agricultural techniques that was crucial in the transformation over the years. The Moors were responsible for constructing the Alcazaba and the walls that once enclosed the old city. You can still find remnants of that wall today, in the end this period was marked by prosperity and cultural flourishing.

The Christian reconquest and beyond

The reconquest of Marbella by the Christian monarchs in the late 15th century ushered in a new era of architectural and societal changes. The Old Town saw the construction of new buildings in the Andalusian style, with churches replacing mosques and squares becoming the centers of public life. You will find churches all over Marbella Old Town along with statues to acompany them.

A modern resurrection

The 20th century was a renaissance for Marbella's Old Town, transforming from a Mediterranean village into a well-known destination. This period saw the restoration and preservation of the Old Town's historic structures, with a focus on maintaining its unique charm and heritage. 

a busy plaza in marbella old town

Culinary delights in Marbella Old Town

When it comes to dining, the old town of Marbella does not disappoint. The area is filled with restaurants that offer a diverse array of culinary experiences, from traditional Spanish cuisine to international gourmet dishes. These establishments pride themselves on their use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Whether you're seeking a romantic dinner under the stars or a cosy family meal, restaurants in Marbella's old city provide the perfect setting.

A tapas journey through Marbella Old Town

Tapas bars in the area offer a unique opportunity to taste a variety of local dishes in a casual, social setting. From classics like patatas bravas and pimientos de padron to innovative creations that showcase the chef's creativity, the tapas in Marbella Old Town are a culinary adventure. Pair your selections with a glass of local wine or a refreshing sangria for the ultimate Andalusian dining experience. If you would like to experience the best, along with some history, check out our Marbella Tapas Tour.

Great selection of restaurants

Marbella's Old Town, a picturesque labyrinth of cobblestone streets and flower-adorned balconies, is not only a feast for the eyes but also a paradise for food enthusiasts. If you find yourself wandering the enchanting streets of the Casco Antiguo, here are five restaurants that promise an unforgettable dining experience.

1. El Patio De Mariscal
Nestled in a secluded courtyard, adorned with lush greenery and twinkling lights, El Patio De Mariscal is the epitome of romantic dining in Marbella's Old Town. Specializing in traditional Spanish cuisine with a modern twist, the menu features a variety of regional dishes prepared with local ingredients. Highlights include the succulent Iberian pork and the locally sourced seafood dishes. The charming ambiance and the attentive service make it an ideal spot for a special evening.

2. La Taberna del Pintxo
La Taberna del Pintxo brings the lively atmosphere of a Basque pintxo bar to the heart of Marbella. This bustling eatery offers a unique dining concept where small plates of pintxos (small snacks) are served on skewers. It's a perfect spot for those looking to enjoy a casual yet delicious dining experience, accompanied by a selection of fine Spanish wines.

3. Casa del Corregidor
Situated in one of the Old Town's charming plazas, Casa del Corregidor offers a menu that celebrates the best of Mediterranean cuisine. Seafood lovers will love the fresh catches of the day, while meat enthusiasts can savor the perfectly cooked steaks. The restaurant's patio, overlooking the plaza, provides a picturesque setting for dining al fresco.

4. Restaurante Messina
For those in search of a truly exceptional gastronomic experience, Restaurante Messina is a must-visit. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers a menu that is a testament to culinary innovation, blending local ingredients with global techniques. The tasting menus are an adventure in themselves, each course designed to surprise and delight the senses. The intimate setting and personalized service make it an unforgettable dining destination in Marbella.


5. Restaurante La Estancia
Restaurante La Estancia is a gem for those wishing to dive deep into the flavors of Andalusian cuisine. This cozy restaurant serves a selection of traditional tapas and regional dishes, accompanied by an extensive list of Spanish wines and sherries. The ambiance, filled with rustic charm and a warm welcome, makes it a favored spot among locals and visitors alike. 

Shopping in Marbella Old Town

Nestled within the small streets and charming squares of Marbella Old Town, a unique shopping experience awaits. This historic quarter blends the traditional with the contemporary, offering an array of shopping options that cater to every taste. From boutiques and artisanal workshops to contemporary galleries and fashionable outlets, shopping in Marbella's Old Town is nothing short of a delightful adventure.

Boutique havens and artisan workshops

The unique boutiques and original workshops, often family-run, are the keepers of craftsmanship and tradition. Visitors can find handcrafted jewelry, bespoke leather goods, and custom-made clothing that embody the spirit of Andalusia. You can not only find clothing, but also enough souvenirs to remember Marbella Old Town. While the women are shopping, the men can find enough places to sit and relax in Old Town.

Art and souvenirs

For those looking to take a piece of Marbella home, the Old Town's art galleries and souvenir shops offer a lot of choices. Local artists display their works in intimate galleries, capturing the essence of the region. Meanwhile, souvenir shops provide a range of options from quirky kitchen utensils to elegant and handmade ceramics that showcase the best of local produce.

The charisma of antiquities and curiosities

For the collectors and the curious, the Old Town's antique shops and flea markets are a treasure trove of finds. From vintage fashion and antique furniture to rare books and collectibles, these spaces are full of history and stories waiting to be discovered. Each item offers a glimpse into the past, making the hunt for that perfect piece an adventure in itself.

Find more things to do in Marbella

Marbella is a great city with a lot to offer and even more stories to tell. Do you want to learn more about this amazing city? We've got you covered, from great nature spots to amazing shopping centres. Dive into its rich history, vibrant nightlife, and culinary delights that await your discovery.

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