Marbella's tightly packed old town is chocolate-box perfect, with pristine white houses, narrow, mostly traffic-free streets and geranium-adorned balconies. You can easily spend an enjoyable morning or evening exploring the cafes, restaurants, bars, designer boutiques, and antique and craft shops.
If you want plush digs, you've come to the right place. Marbella amply caters to select groups of Ferrari-driving, Rolex-wearing visitors, but it also has the odd cheap deal, particularly in the old town, if you know where to look.
Marbella has a veritable Milky Way of restaurants that'd take aeons to sample in its entirety. Restaurants in the historic centre tend to be (over) priced for tourists; an exception is narrow Calle San Lázaro near the Plaza de los Naranjos, which is home to several excellent tapas bars generally frequented by locals.
Drinking & Nightlife
For the most spirited bars and nightlife, head to Puerto Banús, 7km west of Marbella. In town, the best area is around the small Puerto Deportivo. There are also some beach clubs open only in summer.
You can shop till your credit card dies of exhaustion in Marbella, especially if you're in the market for designer gear. For more subtle luxuries, hit the narrow streets of the old town.