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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.


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.


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.


Attracting such an affluent crowd, Marbella and Puerto Banus are both overflowing with cosmopolitan restaurants, from sophisticated bistros to cosy tapas bars. To avoid disappointment, reserve a table in advance at your preferred restaurant to avoid disappointment.

In Puerto Banus, La Sala is the place to be seen, offering a fantastic menu full of international favourites. With nine indoor and outdoor dining areas to choose from, relax on the front deck and watch the world go by or head out back and enjoy views of La Concha as you tuck into exquisite cuisine.

For a bit of romance, head to the old quarters of Marbella and enjoy a delicious meal at The Orange Tree located on the east side of Orange Square. With seasonal menus produced using fresh and local ingredients, expect a wonderful mixture of home-made dishes catering for all appetites.


Marbella has become one of the best shopping areas in Spain and is packed with a fantastic mix of designer, high street and budget stores.

As the playground of the rich and famous, the shopping scene in Puerto Banus is embellished with designer boutiques including Dior, Versace and Louis Vuitton along the Paseo Maritimo. For those looking to splash slightly less cash, Spain's largest department store El Corte Ingles is right on your doorstep too.

Along Avenida Ricardo Soriano in the centre of Marbella you'll find more high-end stores and a great selection of high street favourites from Zara to Mango along neighbouring streets.

The charming cobbled streets of the Old Town are the perfect spot to pick up a few souvenirs to take home and offer some great photo opportunities.

If you really can't decide, visit both! They're only a 15-minute drive away from each other after all.

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