Marbella LivingMoving to Marbella

The Expat Guide to Marbella

Moving to Marbella,

Welcome to the sunny shores of Marbella, a picturesque coastal city on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. If you’re considering a move to Marbella, whether for retirement or a fresh start, this guide is here to provide you with essential tips and insights. From education options to lifestyle and recreation, healthcare and services, and property and housing, Marbella has everything you need to build a new life in this vibrant Mediterranean city.

  • Moving to Marbella offers a sunny and vibrant lifestyle.
  • Marbella is a popular destination for expats looking for a new experience.
  • The city provides excellent education options, healthcare facilities, and recreational activities.
  • Marbella offers diverse property options, from opulent villas to stylish apartments.
  • Despite its luxury reputation, Marbella is still an affordable place to live compared to other major European cities.

Education and Schools

Marbella is home to a range of reputable international schools that offer world-class education in a multicultural environment. The city has excellent British curriculum private schools, such as the British International School of Marbella, which provide contemporary British international education. Marbella also offers various primary and secondary education options, both public and private, with a focus on providing quality education to students.

Whether you’re looking for an international school in Marbella that follows the British curriculum or seeking diverse education opportunities, Marbella has a wide range of options to cater to your child’s educational needs.

International Schools in Marbella

  • The British International School of Marbella
  • Aloha College
  • Swans International School

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

These international schools in Marbella offer a well-rounded education, combining academic excellence with a focus on creativity, critical thinking, and personal development. They provide a supportive learning environment where students from different cultural backgrounds come together to foster global understanding and collaboration.

British Curriculum Schools in Marbella

  • The British School of Marbella
  • Swans School International
  • Laude San Pedro International College

These British curriculum schools in Marbella follow the UK National Curriculum, offering a familiar learning experience for British expats or those seeking a British-style education. The schools maintain high academic standards, preparing students for university and future success.

Education is a key priority in Marbella, and the city is committed to providing quality education opportunities for all students. Whether you choose an international school or explore the public education system, you can be confident that your child will receive a well-rounded education in Marbella.

Lifestyle and Recreation

Marbella is a town that offers a remarkable lifestyle with a wide range of recreational activities to suit all tastes. Whether you are drawn to its charming streets or its luxurious resorts, Marbella has something for everyone.

  • Explore the enchanting Marbella town with its cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and picturesque Plaza de los Naranjos.
  • Indulge your passion for golfing in Marbella, which boasts numerous private golf courses offering breathtaking views of the sparkling sea.
  • Experience the epitome of luxury by staying in one of Marbella’s renowned resort hotels, where you can indulge in world-class amenities and breathtaking views.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Puerto Banus, known for its upscale boutiques, designer stores, and lively nightlife.

Marbella’s lifestyle and recreation options truly cater to everyone’s desires, whether you prefer the quaint charm of the town, the thrill of a golfing experience, or the luxurious amenities of the resort hotels. The nearby Puerto Banus provides a glamorous setting for shopping, dining, and enjoying a vibrant nightlife.

So, whether you seek cultural exploration, outdoor adventures, or indulgent relaxation, Marbella offers an unparalleled lifestyle that combines old-world charm with modern sophistication.

Healthcare and Services

When it comes to healthcare in Marbella, you can be assured of a comprehensive system that prioritizes your well-being. The Costa del Sol Hospital stands as a renowned healthcare institution in the region, offering state-of-the-art facilities and a team of highly qualified professionals.

Equipped with modern technology, the Costa del Sol Hospital provides a wide range of medical services, ensuring that the residents of Marbella and its surrounding areas have access to the highest standards of healthcare. Whether you require routine check-ups, specialized treatments, or emergency care, the hospital is well-prepared to meet your needs.

Marbella’s commitment to patient safety and satisfaction is evident in its adherence to international healthcare standards. The medical professionals in the city are dedicated to providing exceptional care, giving you peace of mind as you consider making Marbella your new home.

Marbella offers a range of medical facilities to cater to the diverse healthcare needs of its residents. Whether you require primary care, specialist consultations, or advanced medical procedures, the city has a network of clinics and hospitals dedicated to providing quality healthcare services.

From preventive measures to diagnostic treatments, Marbella’s healthcare system focuses on ensuring the well-being of its community. With a reputation for excellence in healthcare, Marbella is equipped to handle various medical situations, giving you the confidence you need as you settle into your new life.

Property and Housing

When it comes to property and housing in Marbella, you have a diverse range of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious villa with breathtaking sea views or a stylish apartment in the heart of the city, Marbella has something to suit every taste and budget.

Property prices in Marbella can vary depending on factors such as location, amenities, and property type. The city offers a wide range of options, ensuring there is something for everyone. If you’re looking for an elegant and sought-after residential area, Nueva Andalucia is the place to be. This area is known for its exceptional golf courses and elegant properties, offering a luxurious lifestyle.

“Marbella’s gated communities provide a secure and luxurious living environment for those seeking an exclusive lifestyle,” says John Anderson, a local real estate agent.

For those who prefer the convenience and modernity of apartment living, Marbella has a wide selection of stylish apartments in prime locations. Whether you want to be in the city centre or closer to the beach, you’ll find an apartment that suits your needs.

Choosing a property in Marbella means enjoying the best of both worlds, with access to beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and all the amenities you need for a comfortable lifestyle.

apartment living in Marbella

Benefits of Property in Marbella:

  • Luxurious villas and stylish apartments to suit every taste
  • Varied property prices to cater to diverse budgets
  • Nueva Andalucia offers exceptional golf courses and elegant properties
  • Gated communities provide a secure and luxurious living environment
  • Apartment living offers convenience and modernity

With its wide array of property options and desirable locations, Marbella is a fantastic place to find your dream home in the sun.

Living in Marbella

Marbella, with its small-town charm and captivating allure, offers a close-knit community atmosphere where both locals and newcomers can embrace the vibrant lifestyle of this popular holiday destination. The city presents an ideal balance between tranquility and urban living, making it a sought-after place to call home.

Marbella East: Serene Beaches and Natural Beauty

For those seeking a serene lifestyle, Marbella East is the perfect choice. This area is renowned for its tranquil beaches and breathtaking natural beauty. You can bask in the sun, walk along pristine shorelines, and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings. Marbella East truly epitomizes the Mediterranean way of life.

Marbella City Centre: The Best of Both Worlds

If you prefer the bustling energy of city life combined with easy access to beautiful beaches and parks, living in Marbella City Centre offers the best of both worlds. Here, you can explore the vibrant streets, indulge in world-class dining and shopping experiences, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife that Marbella is famous for. With its blend of modernity and traditional charm, Marbella City Centre caters to diverse interests and lifestyles.

Whether you choose to reside in Marbella East or the City Centre, you’ll discover a warm and inviting community that embraces both the local and expatriate cultures. Marbella’s small-town charm remains intact, creating an atmosphere where you can truly feel at home.

Language and Culture

Embracing the local culture and language is essential when moving to Marbella. Spanish is the official language in Spain, and learning some basic phrases and expressions can enhance cultural immersion and connections with the local community. Marbella offers language schools and classes for various proficiency levels, providing opportunities for expats to learn or improve their Spanish language skills.

Speaking Spanish in Marbella allows you to communicate effectively with locals, making everyday interactions smoother and more enjoyable. Whether you’re ordering food at a local restaurant, shopping at the vibrant markets, or simply greeting your neighbors, knowing the language demonstrates respect and opens doors to authentic experiences.

Learning Spanish in Marbella is not only practical but also enriching. It allows you to delve deeper into the local culture, connect with people on a more personal level, and gain a better understanding of the traditions and customs that make Marbella unique.

“Learning a new language is like becoming a part of a new world. It helps you bridge the gap between different cultures and opens doors to amazing experiences.”

Marbella boasts a variety of language schools where you can enhance your Spanish language skills. Whether you’re a beginner looking to build a strong foundation or an advanced learner seeking fluency, these schools offer tailored programs to meet your specific needs.

Benefits of Language Schools in Marbella

  • Experienced and qualified teachers who provide professional guidance and support
  • Interactive and immersive learning environment to enhance language acquisition
  • Opportunities to practice speaking Spanish through conversations, role-plays, and cultural activities
  • Access to comprehensive language resources, including textbooks, online materials, and multimedia resources
  • Flexible course options to accommodate different schedules and learning preferences
  • Small class sizes that allow for individual attention and personalized feedback
  • Engaging cultural programs and excursions to deepen understanding of Spanish traditions and heritage

Whether you’re planning a short-term stay or a long-term commitment, enrolling in a language school in Marbella can significantly enhance your experience in this vibrant coastal city. Take the leap and explore the beauty of the Spanish language, gaining not only linguistic skills but also a deeper appreciation for the rich culture that surrounds you.

Is Marbella a Good Place to Live?

Marbella offers many advantages as a place to live. Firstly, the sunny weather is a major draw, with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine year-round. This Mediterranean climate allows for outdoor activities and a relaxed lifestyle. Additionally, Marbella boasts a vibrant expat community, making it easy to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world. The city is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and the opportunity to build new friendships and networks.

Another advantage of living in Marbella is the availability of good international schools. These schools provide high-quality education and a diverse learning environment for expat children. With British curriculum schools and other international options, parents can feel confident that their children will receive a top-notch education while living in Marbella.

However, it’s important to consider the disadvantages of living in Marbella as well. One of the main drawbacks is the higher cost of living compared to other coastal towns in the region. Housing prices, groceries, and other daily expenses can be relatively higher in Marbella. It’s essential to budget accordingly and factor in these increased costs when considering a move to the city.

On the flip side, slower bureaucratic processes can be frustrating for some residents. This is particularly evident when dealing with administrative tasks such as obtaining permits or navigating through official procedures. It’s important to have patience and persistence when handling such matters in Marbella.

Despite the drawbacks, Marbella remains a fantastic place to call home. Its unique combination of a sunny climate, diverse expat community, and excellent international schools make it an attractive destination for retirees, young people, and families alike. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, making Marbella a popular choice for those seeking a new experience and a high-quality Mediterranean lifestyle.

The Advantages of Living in Marbella:

  • Sunny weather with a Mediterranean climate
  • Vibrant expat community
  • Good international schools

The Disadvantages of Living in Marbella:

  • Higher cost of living compared to other coastal towns
  • Slower bureaucratic processes

The Benefits of Living in Marbella

Living in Marbella has numerous advantages that make it an attractive destination for expats. From its easy accessibility to the pleasant weather and vibrant nightlife, Marbella offers a wide range of benefits for residents.

1. Accessibility

Marbella’s convenient location near Malaga airport ensures easy accessibility for both domestic and international travelers. This means that friends and family can visit you easily and you can explore other destinations with ease.

2. Pleasant Weather

Marbella boasts a delightful Mediterranean climate with mild winters and abundant sunshine throughout the year. The temperate climate allows residents to enjoy outdoor activities and the beautiful beaches all year round.

3. Lively Nightlife

Marbella offers a vibrant and exciting nightlife scene, catering to a wide range of tastes. From trendy nightclubs to laid-back beach bars, there is something for everyone to enjoy after the sun goes down.

“Marbella’s nightlife is like no other. You can dance the night away or enjoy a relaxed evening at a beachfront bar with your friends.”

In addition to these key benefits, Marbella’s close proximity to other coastal towns and picturesque villages allows residents to explore the natural beauty of the region. Whether it’s a day trip to the charming town of Ronda or a visit to the stunning landscapes of Sierra de las Nieves, there are endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Marbella also offers a diverse range of amenities to cater to the needs of its residents. From top-tier international schools to state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, the city ensures that expats have access to high-quality services. This makes it an ideal destination for families and those seeking a comfortable and convenient lifestyle.

“Living in Marbella means having access to world-class amenities, ensuring that you and your family have everything you need for a comfortable and fulfilling life.”

With its accessibility, pleasant weather, buzzing nightlife, and array of amenities, Marbella truly offers a fantastic quality of life for its residents. It’s no wonder that so many expats choose to call this vibrant coastal city their home.

Moving to Marbella

The Cons of Living in Marbella

Despite its many advantages, living in Marbella has some disadvantages. It’s important to consider these aspects before making the decision to relocate.

1. Summertime Crowds in Marbella

Marbella is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summertime. The beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and pleasant weather attract a large number of visitors. As a result, the town can become crowded, leading to traffic congestion and difficulty finding parking spaces. It’s important to be prepared for the hustle and bustle that comes with the high tourist season.

2. Cost of Living in Marbella

Marbella is known for its luxurious lifestyle and upscale amenities. However, this comes at a price. The cost of living in Marbella is generally higher compared to other towns in the region. From accommodation to dining out, you can expect to pay more for the convenience and quality of life that Marbella offers. It’s important to consider your budget and financial circumstances before settling in Marbella.

3. Slow Service in Marbella

One aspect that may require adjustment for newcomers is the Spanish pace of life. Marbella is no exception, and you may encounter slower service in shops, restaurants, and other establishments. This relaxed attitude towards time and efficiency can sometimes be frustrating if you’re accustomed to a faster pace. Be prepared to adapt to a more laid-back lifestyle and embrace the Spanish concept of “mañana.”

Despite these challenges, Marbella’s charm, beautiful surroundings, and vibrant expat community continue to attract people from all walks of life. By being aware of the cons and making the necessary adjustments, you can fully enjoy the unique lifestyle and opportunities that Marbella has to offer.

Is Marbella An Expensive Place to Live?

Marbella has earned its reputation as a luxury and high-end destination. However, living in this vibrant city is not necessarily out of reach for those considering a move. While property prices may be higher compared to smaller towns, Marbella remains more affordable than many big European cities.

The cost of living, which includes restaurant and drink prices, may be higher than the regional average, but it is still relatively reasonable compared to other major cities. Affordability ultimately depends on individual circumstances and previous living situations, but Marbella offers options to suit different budgets and lifestyles.

Living in Marbella offers a taste of luxury without breaking the bank. The property prices may seem high, but the overall cost of living is still manageable, especially when considering the city’s desirable lifestyle and amenities.

Don’t be deterred by Marbella’s reputation for opulence. With careful consideration and planning, you can find affordability in this captivating coastal city.

Where Are the Best Places to Live in Marbella?

Marbella offers a wealth of attractive areas to live, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Whether you’re looking for exclusivity, tranquility, or accessibility, there is a place in Marbella that caters to your preferences and priorities.

One of the most prestigious areas in Marbella is the renowned Golden Mile. Located between Marbella and Puerto Banus, this stretch of coastline offers luxurious beachfront villas and apartments, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

If you’re seeking the utmost privacy and security, gated communities like La Zagaleta and Sierra Blanca are excellent options. These exclusive enclaves boast magnificent properties with extensive grounds and outstanding amenities, providing a secluded and upscale living experience.

Nueva Andalucia, often referred to as the “Golf Valley,” is a popular choice for golf enthusiasts. With several world-class golf courses, this area offers a peaceful and scenic environment, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning mountain vistas.

For a more laid-back and authentic Spanish experience, San Pedro De Alcantara is a charming town located just west of Marbella. It offers a mix of traditional Andalusian architecture, quaint streets, and beautiful beaches, all within easy reach of Marbella’s bustling city center.

Living in Marbella provides a range of fantastic opportunities, from the opulence of the Golden Mile to the tranquility of Nueva Andalucia and the charm of San Pedro De Alcantara. The choice ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and what you value most in a place to call home.

So whether you’re drawn to the glamour of the Golden Mile, the privacy of gated communities, or the relaxed atmosphere of more traditional areas, Marbella offers a multitude of best places to live that cater to diverse lifestyles and preferences.

Investing in a property in one of Marbella’s finest areas ensures a high standard of living and opens up a world of opportunities to enjoy the beauty and excitement this vibrant coastal city has to offer.

What Amenities Are There in Marbella?

Marbella offers a wealth of amenities to meet the needs of its residents. Whether you are moving to Marbella with your family or on your own, the city provides a range of services and facilities to ensure a comfortable and convenient lifestyle.

International Schools

If you have children, you’ll be pleased to know that Marbella has excellent international schools that offer various curricula. These schools provide a high standard of education and a multicultural environment for students from around the world. From British curriculum schools to schools with an international focus, there are options to suit every child’s educational needs.

Healthcare Facilities

Your well-being is important, and Marbella has you covered with quality healthcare facilities. The Costa del Sol Hospital is a prominent healthcare institution that offers comprehensive medical care. Equipped with modern technology and staffed by highly qualified professionals, the hospital ensures that residents have access to top-notch healthcare services.

Shopping Delights

If shopping is your passion, Marbella won’t disappoint. The city offers a mix of international and local shops, so you can find everything from high-end brands to unique local products. For a truly luxurious shopping experience, head to Puerto Banus, where you’ll find opulent boutiques and designer stores.

“Marbella is not only a beautiful coastal city but also a place where you can find everything you need, from quality education to excellent healthcare and amazing shopping opportunities.”

With its range of amenities, Marbella provides a comfortable and convenient lifestyle for residents. Whether you’re seeking quality education, reliable healthcare, or an enjoyable shopping experience, Marbella has it all.


Moving to Marbella provides an opportunity for a vibrant and sunny lifestyle, offering a wide range of amenities and attractions for people of all ages. With its diverse expat community, top-notch international schools, and breathtaking natural beauty, Marbella is an enticing destination for those seeking a fresh experience. While living in Marbella has its advantages and disadvantages, the overall consensus is that it is an exceptional place to call home, providing something for everyone.

Marbella’s allure lies in its captivating blend of small-town charm and modern appeal. From the cobblestone streets and lively squares of Marbella town to the upscale boutiques and vibrant nightlife of Puerto Banus, the city offers a diverse range of experiences. Golf enthusiasts can indulge in the private courses with stunning sea views, while the resort hotels provide luxurious relaxation. Marbella’s commitment to healthcare is evident in the high-quality medical facilities, such as the renowned Costa del Sol Hospital, ensuring the well-being of its residents.

The real estate market in Marbella caters to a variety of preferences and budgets, from opulent sea-view villas to modern apartments in gated communities. Areas like the exclusive Golden Mile, La Zagaleta, Sierra Blanca, Nueva Andalucia, and San Pedro De Alcantara are highly sought-after for their accessibility, tranquility, and diverse property options.

In conclusion, Marbella offers an idyllic lifestyle with its sunshine, attractions, and amenities. While every individual’s experience may vary, Marbella stands as an exceptional destination to call home, with its vibrant expat community, outstanding international schools, and abundant opportunities for personal and professional growth. Moving to Marbella opens up a world of possibilities, where you can seize the sunny Mediterranean lifestyle and create lasting memories in this remarkable city.


What education options are available in Marbella?

Marbella offers a range of reputable international schools, including the British International School of Marbella, which provides contemporary British international education. There are also various primary and secondary education options, both public and private, with a focus on quality education.

What lifestyle and recreation options does Marbella offer?

Marbella offers a blend of old-world charm and modern allure, with attractions such as Plaza de los Naranjos and vibrant squares. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy private golf courses with stunning views, and the nearby Puerto Banus offers upscale boutiques and a lively nightlife.

What healthcare facilities are available in Marbella?

Marbella has the Costa del Sol Hospital, a prominent healthcare institution equipped with modern technology and staffed by highly qualified professionals. It offers a range of medical services and adheres to international healthcare standards.

What property options are available in Marbella?

Marbella offers a wide range of property options, from opulent villas overlooking the sea to stylish apartments in the city center. Prices vary based on location, amenities, and property type, catering to diverse budgets. Nueva Andalucia is a sought-after residential area, and gated communities provide security and luxury.

What is it like living in Marbella?

Marbella retains its small-town charm while offering a close-knit community atmosphere. There are tranquil beaches in Marbella East and the bustling lifestyle of the city center. Marbella provides a diverse range of experiences for residents.

Is it important to learn the local language and culture when moving to Marbella?

Yes, embracing the local culture and language is essential when moving to Marbella. Spanish is the official language in Spain, and learning basic phrases and expressions can enhance cultural immersion and connections with the local community.

What are the advantages of living in Marbella?

Marbella offers many advantages, including sunny weather, a vibrant expat community, and good international schools. The city is easily accessible from Malaga airport, and there are a variety of amenities and attractions to enjoy.

Are there any disadvantages to living in Marbella?

Some disadvantages include higher costs compared to other coastal towns and slower bureaucratic processes. During the peak tourist season, Marbella can get crowded, and the Spanish pace of life may require adjustment for those accustomed to a faster pace.

Is Marbella an expensive place to live?

Marbella can be more expensive than smaller towns, but it is still more affordable than many big European cities. While the cost of living and property prices may be higher, they are reasonable compared to other major cities.

Where are the best places to live in Marbella?

The best places to live in Marbella include the exclusive Golden Mile, private gated communities like La Zagaleta and Sierra Blanca, Nueva Andalucia, and San Pedro De Alcantara. The choice depends on individual preferences and priorities.

What amenities are available in Marbella?

Marbella offers a range of amenities, including excellent international schools, quality healthcare facilities like Costa del Sol Hospital, and a variety of shopping options, from international to local shops and luxurious boutiques in Puerto Banus.