Marbella has so many sights and activities. You just have to know where to look.
Marbella is famous for its beaches - Playa de la Venus, El Cable, Puente Romano are some of the beaches that you should definitely explore.
A side note on beaches is that several of them are nudist friendly. If you are not comfortable, you’d want to double check before heading out. Of the beaches, Playa Fontanilla and Nagüeles beach do not attract naturalists as they are billed as kid-friendly beaches.
The Old Quarter in Marbella is lovely with cobbled streets and a nice atmosphere with plenty of places to eat, drink and relax.
Marbella beach clubs
Puerto Banús is the area near Marbella that offers the most luxurious options in terms of a partying atmosphere with beach clubs like Sala Beach or Levante Beach club.
Marbella Club Hotel and Nikki Beach are popular beach clubs outside Puerto Banús and in the central part of Marbella. For a less crowded atmosphere, there is Bora Bora (in the San Pedro de Alcántara area) with the same party atmosphere as the ones in Puerto Banú but much less crowded.
Puerto Banus is really for the beach during the day and parties during the night. Puerto Banus comes alive only at night. At night, the best places to go out are Funky Buddha and Seven, but there are many other cocktail bars, discos, and clubs that you can check out.
Puerto Banús is also good for shopping as the high street has many fashionable shops, many of them kind of expensive and high-end, but still a good place to look around at least.
Once you are tired of partying and shopping, you can also take Segway tours of the surrounding areas or take boat rides (or even rent a boat). There is a spa place, a cinema, and many discos and bars.
Make sure to try some tapas and local cuisine in Marbella. Though Marbella is not a culinary destination, you can get good food if you know where to go. This place lists some of the best restaurants in Marbella
Parque de la Constitucion
If you’re a theater buff, the Black Box theater in Marbella can be a good choice. They offer plays in both Spanish and English, so, you don’t have to worry about being fluent (though picking up on a little Spanish before your trip is recommended). You’ll probably be able to catch a few classics here, as well.
Lastly, there is the Starlite Festival. You’re going to find music, fashion shows, art exhibitions, movie premieres, and a charity gala. The actual festival is hosted a little north of Marbella in an open-air amphitheater with huge walls. Just keep in mind this festival is only held mid-July to the end of August.
There are some nice parks too like Alameda Park and Constitution Park, with interesting sculptures and gardens. That would be the extent of things to see in Marbella mainly.
If you have a week in Marbella, you must try to go on excursions to places around Marbella.
My first recommendation would be to go one day to Ronda, one of the most famous villages of Andalucia, with a great Roman bridge and great cliffs. There you can eat very buna typical Andalusian food.
If you cannot make it to Ronda, you must go to Nerja.Nerja is famous for its beaches and the Caves of Nerja. If you do stop by Nerja, be sure to try the paella in Ayo (a local restaurant).
Options near Marbella include Estepona which is similar to Marbella but not so famous and "Rio Verde" where you can go hiking along the river. It is shorter than the Nerja river, but there are more jumps for children.
If none of the above day trip options excite you, go to Gibraltar. At Gibraltar, climb the peak, and take the mandatory selfie with the famous monkeys of Gibraltar.