The city center of Marbella is composed of 44 narrow streets, a main square and 4 smaller squares. The streets were named after people, particularly conquerors (such as Buitrago and Mendoza) and famous locals (such as Alderete). Some streets were also named after people or things pertaining to the faith – Remedios, Trinidad ("trinity"), Cruz (“cross”), Virgen de los Dolores, Caridad (“charity”), Gloria (“glory”). Still others were named after simple references made by the locals – Panaderia (Bakery), Viento (wind), Los Caballeros (Knight Street) and Pasaje (Walkway).
At the city center, you can find some of Marbella’s tourist attractions – the famous Marbella boardwalk – the Paseo Maritimo, which is sprawled along 6 kilometers of coastline and provides a spectacular view of the coast. The white balustrade stretches across the entire boardwalk, which is lined with palm trees, shops and outdoor cafes. It is quite enjoyable to take a leisurely walk along the Paseo Maritimo – since the weather is usually pleasant the whole year round. If you are not the type to go for long walks, you can also opt to go on skates or on a bicycle. The sidewalk cafes are great for having an excellent cup of coffee while watching the rest go by. Then there is the Plaza de Toros, the bullring where you can go watch a bullfight. This seats around 10,000 people.
The Avenida Ricardo Soriano is the city’s main street. This street is obviously named after the entrepreneur Ricardo Soriano. Soriano is mainly responsible for almost single handedly promoting private investment and tourism in Marbella. He originally hailed from Salamanca but during the 40s and 50s, he was given the title of Marbella “adopted son.” Avenida Ricardo Soriano is lined with top-rate shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
The old Bazan Hospital now holds precious works of art by Miro, Picasso and other Spanish artists. The building harks back to the 16th century and still has its original tower with its whitewashed walls and roof tiles. The museum also has a library where you can find virtually anything about the last two centuries of Spanish Graphic Art. The Municipal Exposition Gallery is also located in centra Marbella. This gallery holds many art exhibits featuring paintings and sculptures of local artists.
The City Center is also home of Marbella’s pride and joy – the Parque de la Alameda, which holds a rich and lush collection of tropical plants. The Alameda park is fascinating and its air is oftentimes filled with the scent of its flowers. It is halfway between the Paseo Maritimo and the Old Town. This park is full of romance and this is where you can find many lovers walking hand in hand under the shade of the ancient trees. From this park, you can hire you very own horse and carriage to take you on a grand tour of the rest of Marbella.
Another park located in the City Center is the Parque Arroyo de la Represa, which is also where the Bonsai Museum can be found. The park is spacious and airy – it even has athletic tracks and two full-size football pitches. It is good for relaxing, its calm and green ambiance soothing to one’s soul. The park has numerous little streams that feed into one artificial yet beautiful lake.
All in all, the City Center is a gem that has quite a number of facets that waits to be uncovered. Here, your journey of discovery is really one fascinating trip!