Marbella is famed for its party scene, so it’ll come as no surprise that there is no shortage of great bars in the city. Whether you’re after a cosy local tapas joint or an all-night dancing session, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. Read on for the top 10 bars in Marbella.
One of the Costa del Sol’s most famous nightspots, Buddha Bar is a partygoer’s heaven. Live performances of every kind – from “exotic dancing” to cabaret – enhance a hedonistic ambience that can be enjoyed until 7AM on weekends. Head there early for dinner – the in-house sushi restaurant is excellent – before the dancing and the cocktails start. Not cheap, but a one-off exerience.
Though located just over the road from the Buddha Bar, Bar Guerola couldn’t be more different from is flashy neighbour. This is a traditional Spanish joint, which is packed with locals every lunchtime and evening. The homemade tapas is superb and, at less than €15 for three courses, the set menu is excellent value. Guerola is also a great place just to relax with a cold beer while admiring the traditional décor.
Andalusians love grazing while they drink, so you’ll be surrounded by locals at La Taberna del Pintxo, a stylish bar that specialises in the Basque version of tapas. Pintxos, as they’re called, take the form of slices of crusty bread topped with anything from peppers and sausages to anchovies and everything in between; and in La Taberna’s buzzing, warm interior you can enjoy them from as little as €1.25 each.
Located just back from the beachfront promenade of Paseo Maritimo, Beckett’s is something of a legend in Marbella. Pull up a plush stool at the bar and order one of the best cocktails you’re likely to taste, period; and surprisingly, they’re actually cheaper than those served in other nearby bars. People also come here for the live music and the extravagantly-good cooking: one recent client said Beckett’s food is “better than sex”.
One of old Marbella’s classics, Bar El Estrecho (“The Narrow”) is aptly named: it’s a cosy tapas joint located on a street in the casco antiguo that’s barely a metre in width. On offer inside – either at the bar or at table in the small dining area – is a broad selection of traditional tapas and local wines. The house speciality is fish, with the deep-fried anchovies (boquerones) or the spicy prawns (gambas al pil pil) particularly recommended.
If you’ve time to spend an evening in Puerto Banús on your trip to Marbella, start off in the Sinatra Bar. This is the marina’s most popular watering hole, and looks straight out onto the gleaming super-yachts for which Banús is famous. Sinatra’s is consistently singled out for the quality of its service and for its lively ambience, hosting as it does a mixed crowd of locals and visitors from all over the globe.
Hidden away in a narrow street in Marbella’s old town, Taberna Casa Curro is a great place to stop for traditional tapas and glass of wine. Particularly tasty are the cured jamons – a must-try on any visit to Andalusia – which can be paired with one of the sweet wines for which Málaga province is famous (try the Moscatel). Although it only opened in 2008, the décor is old-school Spanish, with bullfighting pictures plastering the walls.
For one of the best mojitos in Marbella, head to Barrocco, a bright red cocktail bar just behind the city’s beachfront promenade. From its outside terrace you can enjoy a good view of the busy port, and there’s a kids’ area inside if you’re stopping by as a family. An extensive selection of gins is also available, making this sleek bar the perfect spot for an early-evening G&T while watching the yachts come and go.
It’s got to be done, really. The “Irish” bars in any Spanish city are not only a great place to take the pulse of the local expatriate scene, they’re also hugely popular with Spaniards, who come for the pubby feel and the pints of ale. Marbella’s Claddagh Bar is no exception, and provides a friendly atmosphere in which to enjoy a superb pint of Guinness, shoot pool, or watch live sporting fixtures.
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