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How to Get to Marbella from Malaga

Whether by bus, as part of a guided tour or by private car, the journey from Malaga to Marbella is simple and short. I show you the best ways to travel.

Andressa García

Andressa García

12 min read

How to Get to Marbella from Malaga

Marbella | ©Hernán Piñera

Marbella is barely an hour away from Malaga by car, so there are many ways you can get to this place. If you are here it is because you already have a plan to go to Marbella and you know that it is one of the best things to see and do in or near Malaga, so let me show you the best options you have.

I will show you the options you have to get there on your own and also hiring a guided tour from Malaga to this neighboring city. The prices, advantages, disadvantages and services included may vary from one option to another.

1. The best way to get there: Full day excursion from Malaga to Marbella

From Malaga to Marbella| ©Fredrik Rubensson
From Malaga to Marbella| ©Fredrik Rubensson

In this full day tour you will depart from Malaga together with your tour guide and the group of people who sign up for the tour. This is one of the best excursions from Malaga, because it also includes transfer by private bus and you will be accompanied by a person who will tell you everything you need to know about the route you are going to undertake.

The tour not only includes a visit to Marbella, but also to the white village called Mijas, one of the best villages in Malaga, and also to Puerto Banus, which is one of the most emblematic and luxurious ports in Spain. Almost at the end of the tour, you will walk along the Golden Mile, a place that many artists choose to spend their summers.

This is one of the best activities to do from Malaga, because it not only offers you many services included in the package price, but also gives you the opportunity to know each of the most interesting places in Marbella and its surroundings. You can even take a bike tour of Marbella once you arrive.

Details of interest

  • Price: A tour like this can be priced at approximately 34 euros per person. Children can have a reduced price in some cases.
  • Duration: It usually lasts between 5 and 12 hours, depending on the amount of time the group spends at each of the tourist attractions in the region.
  • Advantages: You have at your disposal a tour guide who will teach you everything you want to know. They offer a complimentary drink. You do not need to print the ticket, you can take it with you electronically.
  • Disadvantages: It is not a private tour that you can share only with your family and friends. There has to be a minimum number of people doing the tour. It does not include meals or snacks during the tour.

Book a tour to Marbella and Mijas

2. Visit Marbella on a private tour from Malaga

Marbella Beach| ©Damien Ramos
Marbella Beach| ©Damien Ramos

This is my next favorite way to get to Marbella from Malaga, because it is a guided tour but only for your group. This private tour is a half day tour and will take you and your group in a private transport to the city of Marbella as part of one of the top ten things to do in and around Malaga.

On the trip you are going to tour some of the most incredible places in Marbella, and best of all, this tour is about five hours and both you and your group will be accompanied by a tour guide who will answer all the questions you may have about each of the places you will visit.

But besides this, you will have free time to discover the city on your own. The tour guide will give you some options and recommendations for shopping and even dining in the city of Marbella, but you can also do it on your own. Once the tour is over, you will be taken back to your accommodation, along with the rest of your group.

Details of interest

  • Price: It has an approximate cost of 260 euros per group, although this price may vary according to the size of the group.
  • Duration: It usually takes approximately 5 hours to complete the entire tour.
  • Advantages: You will have a tour guide during the whole tour, who will answer all the questions you have to ask. You will have round trip transportation to and from your accommodation in Marbella. It includes the transfer and the private tour only for your group. The vehicle is adapted to the number of people and can go from one person to 8.
  • Disadvantages: Drinks and meals are not included. The weather must be good for the trip to take place.

Book an excursion to Marbella and Mijas

3. Private and luxury transfer from Malaga to Marbella

Streets of Marbella.| ©xiquinhosilva
Streets of Marbella.| ©xiquinhosilva

Going a little bit out of the options of the best Malaga tours and tour packages, one of the best ways to get to Marbella on your own is by renting a private and luxury transportation service. With this option you can hop into a luxury car in Malaga and within an hour you will be in Marbella.

It is an ideal option for couples or for select groups who choose to share with each other instead of sharing with other people. With this private transfer, the chauffeur, whose fee is included in the price, will pick you up at your accommodation and take you directly to Marbella.

One of these private transfers takes you from Malaga Airport to the city of Marbella.

Once in Marbella, the driver will drop you off at the place you have indicated. It usually includes one piece of luggage per person during the trip. It is important to know that this transfer is not a tour package, so it does not include entrance fees to any place, only the transfer from one place to another.

Details of interest

  • Price: You can pay for this service approximately 68 euros per person.
  • Duration: The transfer from Malaga to Marbella under this modality has an approximate duration of 1 hour.
  • Advantages: You will be accompanied by a driver who will take you directly to the place you want to get to. It is a private service for you and your group. One piece of luggage per person is included. Child seats are available upon request.
  • Disadvantages: It does not include entrance fees to any tourist site, food and beverages.

Book an excursion to Marbella and Mijas

4. From Malaga to Marbella by private car

On the way to Marbella| ©Kris Lucius
On the way to Marbella| ©Kris Lucius

This is an excellent way to get from Malaga to Marbella, because you can do it with the freedom and time you want. Whether you have your own car or you need to rent one to make the trip, making the trip this way is ideal for people who want privacy and ease of movement.

Traveling by private car can take between 40 minutes and an hour. The time it takes will depend on the route you choose, whether you prefer the longer route without tolls or the shorter route with tolls.

One of the differences between one and the other is that the route with tolls shortens you by 20 minutes but you have to pay around 7 euros.

On how to park in Marbella, this will depend on the season of the year. If you go in high season, it is likely that you will have difficulties to find a parking space. That's why I recommend you to make this trip early in the morning, to find a parking space in the parking lots in Marbella.

Details of interest

  • Price: The price range for renting a car in Malaga can go from 10 to 70 euros per day, depending on the number of people using it.
  • Duration: It will take you approximately one hour to get from Malaga to Marbella.
  • Advantages: You will go only with your group, without having to share the experience with anyone else. You will have no problems to move from one place to another in Malaga or Marbella. You can leave at the time you want and arrive at the time you want to your accommodation.
  • Disadvantages: Sometimes it is difficult to find a place to park your car.

5. Going from Malaga to Marbella by cab

Cab in Marbella| ©Danny Foster
Cab in Marbella| ©Danny Foster

I would say that this is one of the most expensive options to travel from Malaga to Marbella. To make this journey by cab, you will have to pay a fare depending on several factors: the distance traveled, the time you want to make the trip and also the size of the car.

A cab fare in Malaga can range between 60 and 90 euros, according to the characteristics that I explained previously.

But it is undoubtedly an advantageous option because it allows you to take care only of being in the place where you are going to take the cab, and then explain to the driver where you want to go. The driver takes care of these expenses because they are included in the price of the service.

Interesting details

  • Price: Between 60 and 90 euros per transfer, price that can change according to the amount of luggage and people, as well as according to the distance.
  • Duration: You can take approximately 1 hour to get from Malaga to Marbella.
  • Advantages: You will not have to worry about tolls or municipal taxes. The driver will take you wherever you want to go and will pick you up wherever you need. You save the energy drain of driving on your own.
  • Disadvantages: The cab fulfills one transfer from one point to another, and if you want another transfer, you have to pay more. The price varies according to the area, the amount of luggage and the number of people in the cab.

6. Carpooling from Malaga to Marbella

Marbella| ©hophnung
Marbella| ©hophnung

This is a popular option for young people or those traveling with friends. It involves paying for a place in a private car, to get from one place to another. This is an advantage because you can pay considerably less money to complete the same journey.

During this ride you will meet new people, and the best thing about traveling this way is that you save a lot of money. One of the biggest disadvantages of traveling this way is that you will have less freedom during the trip and you will probably have to travel light in order to choose this option.

In Malaga there are two options for carpooling. One of them is to travel in a car that you are then going to hand over to another person who is renting the same car, just when you arrive at your destination. And the other option is to offer the seats that are free in the car you rented, or to be one of the people who rents these seats to travel for a lower price.

Interesting details

  • Price: The rental of the place inside the car can cost around 15 euros, although there are companies that ask for a symbolic payment of just 1 euro.
  • Duration: From Malaga to Marbella the duration is about 1 hour.
  • Advantages: You save a lot of money compared to renting a private car or going by cab. You meet new friends on the way. If you are the one who rents the car you can share the costs of gasoline and taxes.
  • Disadvantages: It is only a transfer from one place to another, and then you will have to transfer on your own. You lose certain freedoms during the trip, such as not being able to decide whether or not to make stops and when to make them. You cannot take excess luggage with you.

7. From Malaga to Marbella by bus

Bus in Marbella| ©Jorge Castro Ruso
Bus in Marbella| ©Jorge Castro Ruso

This is the most common option to travel from Malaga to Marbella. The bus route is completed in just over an hour and the place where you have to pick up the vehicle is right next to the train station in Malaga. This bus route is one of the best options if you are traveling with little luggage.

You also have the option of taking a bus to Marbella from Malaga Airport.

Depending on the destination from where you travel to Marbella, the bus ticket will cost you a little more or a little less. If you are going from the city of Malaga, the cost of the ticket can cost 7 euros approximately.

If you travel from the airport you can pay a little less, around 6,5 euros, and the duration is the same from both points. In case you want a premium service, where you have access to wifi and other amenities during the trip, the cost of the transfer can amount to about 8.5 euros per person.

Details of interest

  • Price: It can cost between €6.5 and €8.5, depending on the place of departure and the type of trip you choose, whether single or premium.
  • Duration: By bus the journey can take about an hour.
  • Advantages: It is an economical service and with the necessary amenities to travel. It offers a complete trip from the city of Malaga to Marbella. You can have wifi service on board for a slightly higher price.
  • Disadvantages: You can not carry too much luggage. You don't have a direct transfer to and from your accommodation.

Other means of transport

Marbella| ©Konrad Hädener
Marbella| ©Konrad Hädener

The methods of transportation from Malaga to Marbella are the ones I have described above. For example, although the train is a good way of transportation from many places in Spain, it is not the case from Malaga to Marbella, because precisely the closest train station to Marbella is the Maria Zambrano located in Malaga.

So to travel by train from any other place in Spain to Marbella, you have to stay at this station located in Malaga and from there, take the bus to Marbella. On the other hand, in case you would like to go by ferry, there is no marina that connects Malaga with Marbella, the only option in this case is to travel in some of the boat trips in Malaga, or catamaran or sailboat tours along the Costa del Sol.

A route that you can do if you have the physical conditions and you really want to have a different experience, is the bike route. This ride is ideal if you want to enjoy a good tour to get to know all the nature that you will find along the way. The route to do it is the Paseo Marítimo Rey de España.

Traveling by bike from Malaga to Marbella can take approximately three and a half to four hours. This is definitely one of the best bike routes you can do, however, you have to take into account the physical condition to venture on this route of just over 63 kilometers.

Book an excursion to Marbella and Mijas

Comparison of route options from Malaga to Marbella

  • Full day excursion
  • Price: Around 34 euros.
  • Duration: Between 5 and 12 hours.
  • Major advantage: Guided tour with transfer from the hotel and back.
  • Biggest disadvantage: Shared tour with other people. Fixed time.
  • Half day private tour
  • Price: Around 260 euros per group.
  • Duration: Approximately 5 hours.
  • Major advantage: It is a tour only for your travel group.
  • Biggest disadvantage: No meals or drinks are included.
  • Private and luxury transfer
  • Price: Approximately 65 euros per person
  • Duration: The transfer is approximately one hour.
  • Major advantage: Only for you and your group.
  • Major disadvantage: The price includes only one piece of luggage per person.
  • Private car
  • Price: Renting a car can cost between 10 and 70 euros per day.
  • Duration: It will take you approximately one hour to get there.
  • Biggest advantage: You can move to the places you want on your own.
  • Biggest disadvantage: Taxes are not included.
  • Cab
  • Price: The price of a cab can vary between 60 and 90 euros per person.
  • Duration: The trip can take approximately one hour.
  • Main advantage: They take you from your accommodation to wherever you want to go.
  • Biggest disadvantage: The price changes depending on the number of people.
  • Shared car
  • Price: Approximately 15 euros per person.
  • Duration: About one hour trip.
  • Biggest advantage: You spend less money on transportation.
  • Biggest disadvantage: You can carry light luggage.
  • Bus
  • Price: From 6,50 euros per person.
  • Duration: Approximately one hour trip.
  • Biggest advantage: You save enough money on the trip.
  • Biggest disadvantage: You must travel with light luggage.

Tips for the journey between Malaga and Marbella

Marbella| ©Konrad Hädener
Marbella| ©Konrad Hädener
  • Regardless of the way you choose to visit Marbella, the main thing is that you make all transport reservations in advance before you go on your trip, especially in high season, because a trip to Marbella is one of the best things to do in Malaga in summer.
  • Choose the type of transportation according to the amount of people and luggage you are taking with you.
  • If you want to include this destination as part of the best things to do in Malaga with kids, try to bring enough snacks for the road, especially if you travel by bus.