Marbella vs Puerto Banus

Both Marbella and Puerto Banus are a popular meeting place for the rich and famous and boast some of the most exclusive areas in Spain.

Once an old fishing port, Puerto Banus is a large marina southwest of Marbella filled with upmarket bars and restaurants, a high concentration of super-yachts and luxury cars.

Marbella boasts an equally impressive showcase of trendy hangouts and for those in search of something a little more authentic, the Old Town is rife with cafes serving up churros along its historical streets.

So what are the differences between Puerto Banus and Marbella?

The beaches

Puerto Banus

The high-end town of Puerto Banus is home to three beaches, each offering a different vibe.

To the west of the marina, Playa Nueva Andalucia is made up of several man-made bays and dotted with glamourous venues like the glitzy La Sala Beach Club.

Just to the east of the main town, Playa Puerto Banus is a favourite with families boasting calm and shallow water, showers, lifeguards on duty throughout the summer and plenty of lunch options come feeding time.

Finally, accessed via a quaint wooden bridge on the edge of Puerto Banus sits Playa Rio Verde. Take a cultural break from the midday sun and explore the nearby remains of an ancient Roman villa, or relax outside one of the many exclusive beachside restaurants.


Located three kilometres from Marbella, Playa del Cable is one of the hippest beaches in Costa del Sol where resident DJs play the latest chillout tunes while you relax on the white sand.

A 15-minute drive east of Marbella town centre will land you at the world-famous Nikki Beach, one of the Costa del Sol’s most exclusive beach clubs and home to the rich and famous. Adorned with palm trees, luxury king-size sunloungers and international DJs providing the entertainment.

The nightlife

Puerto Banus

From swanky night clubs to chic lounge bars, the most exclusive and stylish venues can be found in Puerto Banus and along Marbella’s Golden Mile, which is home to many super-rich celebrities including Lord Alan Sugar and members of the Saudi Royal family.

In Puerto Banus, enjoy elaborate cocktails at the Astral Cocktail Bar, a unique venue constructed entirely from wood.

Grab a seat at the bar and watch the experienced bar staff whip up spectacular works of art in the open kitchen-style bar. Then, head down to the main square where you’ll find Tibu Banus, one of the hottest clubs in the area.


The centre of Marbella is also teeming with glitzy offerings including La Suite Nightclub, another favourite with visiting celebs. Sip on lavish cocktails in the bar until the sun comes up or simply dance the night away.

Marbella nightlife is legendary for a reason, and there’s only one way to find out why!