Moving/Relocating To Marbella: 9 BIGGEST Reasons To Start Your Andalusian Adventure

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The rolling hills of Andalusia and the calming breeze of the Mediterranean make for a beautiful city in Marbella, Spain. That alone is a compelling reason for moving to Marbella, Spain.

Living In Marbella lets you enjoy a very laid-back lifestyle. Though the beaches, shops, restaurants, and other luxury amenities might make you ask if the cost of living in Marbella, Spain is steep, the truth might surprise you!

If you do decide to make a move and start living in Marbella, the pros and cons, cost of living, transportation, and local customs are just some of the things you will need to familiarise yourself with. To help you with the transition, check out this guide on the biggest reasons why you should take the trip now!

1. The Pros Outweigh The Cons When You Relocate To Marbella

Marbella is a beautiful city in Spain’s municipality of Costa del Sol. It is a city with many opportunities to offer. Still, as with many others, a city has pros and cons. Here are some of the things you need to consider and prepare for.


The Oceanic Climate

Marbella has beautiful sunny weather and has one of the best climates in the surrounding area. So sunny that it gets 320 days of sun every year. However, due to an Oceanic climate, the summer months tend to be cooler, and the average temperature stays manageable due to the breeze from the sea.

Family-centred Culture

As a whole, Spain has a very family-centred culture. And it extends to Marbella as well. The locals are known to be very friendly. Maybe this is due to living so close to the beach and having a rather laid-back daily life. In any case, you won’t have any problems getting along with the locals and other expats.

A Lively Expat Community

Marbella is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and expats. Expect to find a lot of fellow expats in Marbella from all over the world.


Tourists Can Make The City Feel Too Crowded

Being a perfect tourist destination does have some cons; in peak tourist seasons, the city and beaches can get crowded. Local estimates say that the population in the city almost triples when tourist season comes in.


As an extension of the overcrowding of tourists, the increased number of people will also cause the streets to fill up. Thankfully tourists don’t stay year-round, so you just have to make adjustments for a few months a year. You can try to take more walks, go grocery shopping in bulk, ride bikes, or any strategy that leads to less time in vehicles.

green trees covered island

Image Credit: Unsplash

2. Marbella Has Beautiful Communities You Can Live In

When relocating, you will need to put a lot of thought into where you want to live and eventually buy property. Each neighbourhood has its personality and perks to offer, so you need to research which neighbourhood best fits your lifestyle and go from there. Here are some of the best ones we recommend:

Los Monteros is great if you want to stay near the city centre. It is highly urbanised with many shops open nearby and is known to be very quiet and safe.

Nueva Andalucia has the widest selection of prices when it comes to accommodation. From a reasonably priced modern apartment up to the luxurious, you can find it here, along with many shopping centres and restaurants, and if you’d like to learn golf, the famous golf valley is nearby.

Sierra Blanca is a gated community that offers a fantastic sea view. This place is a little sought after due to the security and proximity to different amenities. So, if this one is to your liking, you better find an agent who can quickly net you a place!

San Pedro De Alcantara a few kilometres from the city centre, the town of San Pedro De Alcantara. Lined with palm trees and cobbled streets, the working town is a great place to settle down.

The Golden Mile, to its name, is one of the most well-known and exclusive places to live in Marbella. Home to beachfront houses and resort hotels, the Golden Mile is for those who want to live a luxurious life. Sure, it can cost a little extra, but if it’s within your budget. Go for it!

3. As Marbella Faces The Mediterranean Sea, You’ll Be Close To Some Of Spain’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Marbella’s coastline stretches 27 kilometres and is lined with over 24 named beaches. These beaches are deeply tied to Marbella’s identity, culture, and economy. If you spend your time walking along the many beaches, you will see gorgeous marinas, fleets of yachts, and any type of cafe or restaurant you can think of. Clear a few afternoons off and check out some of the best beaches in Marbella:

Playa del Alicate is a narrow but very popular beach. It’s a bit sandy and surrounded by dunes, and the beach is not that long, but it is a popular spot and a great place to spend a fun afternoon with family and friends.

Playa del Cable is a go-to for the younger crowd. Here, you will find people enjoying the sun, playing volleyball or going for a short canoe trip.

Playa de la Fontanilla is closer to the city centre than the others. This walkable beach is for the urban crowd looking for a bit of relaxation.

Cabopino Beach is said to be a hidden gem. Surrounded by dunes, beachgoers can expect a little privacy as they have fun in the sun. For a bit more excitement, water sports are available from nearby establishments.

Playa Real de Zaragoza is highly popular and equally beautiful. This 1,700-metre-long stretch is one of the biggest and most well-known in Marbella and a favourite for tourists and locals alike.

4. The Public Transport In Marbella Is So Affordable And Accessible You Won’t Have Any Problem Going Around

Public transportation in Marbella is run by the company Portillo es la marca de Corporación Española de Transporte, or CTSA for short. The local bus line runs day and night and will take you anywhere you need to go around the city and to your home. Getting around the city will not be a problem, as the routes are designed to ensure that a bus stop is not too far away wherever you are.

On top of this bus system are the Bono Bus tickets. These special cards allow you to use public transport for a much lower price.

As with any other urbanised city, taxis are also available, as well as other ride-sharing apps. However, consider that as it is a tourist destination, prices might be a bit steeper.

Though, if you’re having a lazy afternoon, going for a walk or cycling is another excellent idea to get around and get to know the city.

city with high rise buildings during night time

Image Credit: Unsplash

5. The Cost Of Living In Marbella Will Surprise You

Despite being a host to many tourists and expats, living expenses in Marbella are not that high. Marbella uses the currency Euro (€), so when you migrate, be sure you have already changed to the local currency.

Recent estimates say that 2,650 EUR (2685 USD) is the average monthly cost of a family of four, while a single person will net around 730 EUR (740 USD). Though this only covers monthly expenses and does not include rent.

Rental prices can vary greatly depending on which neighbourhood you stay in, how close you are to the city centre and your home type. Apartments for singles will range from 500 to 900 EUR (506 to 912 USD), while a three-bedroom great for families will fetch about 900 to 1,800 EUR (912 to 1824 USD).

6. There are A Lot Of Job Opportunities For Expats

Due to the high volume of tourists, the service sector takes the lead in Marbella’s number one employer industry. 60% of available jobs are from the service sector, specifically hospitality. Education is also a big employer in Marbella as teaching English will have a lot of potential customers in tourists and expats alike. However, this might be a bit seasonal.

Some commission-based jobs are also very popular such as sales and real estate. Local publications and online news boards regularly post job opportunities, so always be on the lookout. When you land a job, clarify other benefits such as health insurance so you won’t have to pay for private health insurance out of pocket.

7. The Food In Marbella Will Take You On A Gastronomic Journey

As a seaside city, many of the flavours of Marbella cuisine will have their roots in the bounty provided by the Mediterranean sea. But over the years, the city has created a unique flavour profile that you should not miss. Here are a few meals you should try as soon as you land.

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from blended vegetables.

Ajoblanco is another cold soup that contains almonds, garlic, and milk.

Borrachuelos which are fried aniseed rolls

Paella is a Spanish staple made from chicken, rabbit, seafood, and rice flavoured with saffron.

Espetos are grilled sardines which is a long-standing tradition in Spain.

brown wooden dock on sea under blue sky during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

8. There’s Adventure To Be Had In Many Of Marbella’s Go-To Spots

Aside from the beautiful beaches, Marbella also has several attractions you shouldn’t miss as there are many stunning national parks near the city centre. This is also an excellent way to practice getting around the city by using public transportation and having friendly chats with the locals.

Here are a few spots you should definitely take the time to visit.

Marbella Seafront Promenade is an almost 12-kilometre path that runs along the beach of Marbella, where you can find many bars, restaurants, shops, cafes, and all the amenities you can think of.

Plaza de Los Naranjos is a time capsule of a town that shows the origins of what this city used to look like. The Marbella old town is a must-visit to appreciate this city’s history fully.

Paseo de La Alameda is an 18th-century park.

Bonsai Museum is part of the Arroyo de las Represas Park; the Bonsai Museum houses plants that date back 300 years.

Avenida del Mar is a popular pathway that is lined by statues of the famous artist Salvador Dalí

The Casa Consistorial De Marbella, or the Marbella Town Hall, is a historic building built in the 1500s, which today holds the city’s town hall.

9. Moving to Marbella Will Be Really Easy If You Create A Moving Checklist And Engage With A Professional Moving Company

A moving checklist is a crucial tool that will save you a lot of headaches, especially if you are relocating overseas. Try to organise all you need into categories and methodically check each item. Some essential items to include in the checklist are:

  • Important documents (Passport, Visa, Employment Contracts)
  • Boxes of packing and luggage
  • Things you intend to sell or donate before the trip
  • The local currency in cash
  • Emergency contacts

You can modify the checklist on how it fits your trip and your needs. You can break up categories to be more detailed, especially if there are a lot of you and there’s a lot of baggage to keep track of.

It will also be very beneficial for you to engage with a professional moving company like Sanelo. Sanelo makes moving internationally easy by removing the burden of carrying your belongings. During your trip, you’ll be at ease knowing that you’ll be enrolled on shipment protection. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.

Conclusion On Moving To Marbella

With its seaside charm and fresh sea breeze, a move to Marbella is nothing short of a great idea. There are so many things that Marbella has to offer. You only need to take to the streets and find them.

Try all the new flavours, visit the sights, join the local festivals and celebrations, and be part of local expat communities. Take it all in, enjoy your new life, and you will be calling Marbella home in no time.

If you’d like to learn more about other equally beautiful cities in Spain, check out these articles on moving to Valencia, Granada, and Barcelona.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To Marbella

Is Marbella An Expensive Place To Live In?

Marbella is quite affordable, and the cost of living is lower compared to many major cities in European countries, such as Paris, London, and Zurich, especially considering that it is a major tourist destination.

How Do You Permanently Stay In Marbella?

To be a full-time resident in Marbella, Spain, you must continuously live there for at least 5 years. If you meet that, you can start your application for a permanent residency. There are, however, many different considerations, such as if you come from an EU or non-EU country.

Why Is Marbella So Popular To Tourists?

Marbella offers a luxurious feel surrounded by pristine beaches, an agreeable climate, and an economy geared towards service and hospitality. It has become a favourite destination in southern Spain for tourists and expats alike.

Is Marbella A Safe City To Relocate To?

Marbella is very safe. There are hardly any reports of petty or violent crimes. As long as you are careful and are always aware of your surroundings, you will enjoy your time in Marbella.


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