Known for its designer outlets, boutiques and luxury department stores, Marbella is also rich in markets that offer a wide variety of products, ambiences and settings – ensuring that there’s a market to suit every taste, from flea markets and organic food markets to hippie festivals and chic affairs. Below is a guide to the main markets that take place in and around Marbella.
The Monday street market at Las Albarizas in Marbella town has an authentic Spanish atmosphere. Situated close to the eastern entrance to the town, it specialises in offering bargains on clothes, plants, flowers, fruit, vegetables, leatherwear, household goods and a variety of snacks. Popular with locals, this Marbella market is not chic but bustles with life in a typically Andalusian way.
Puerto Banús market
During the summer months, the Puerto Banús market held on the large Antonio Banderas square features a nightly market full of exotic snacks, clothes and decorative items. With parking underneath, cafés and bars all around, and the Marina Banus shopping mall and El Corte Inglés department store nearby, this is a fun place to spend a balmy summer evening.
During the festive season, the Puerto Banús market transforms into a Christmas market focused very much at the younger set. Attractions, sweet snacks and even sometimes an ice rink add to the atmosphere produced by brightly sparkling lights to create a true Marbella Christmas experience.
Centro Plaza market, Nueva Andalucía
Perhaps the most popular one in Marbella, this Saturday market held in and around the Centro Plaza commercial centre on the road that leads up from Puerto Banús to Nueva Andalucía is made up of an eclectic mix of bargains, exotic wares and offerings from the elegant boutiques and shops of Centro Plaza itself.
The market is pretty big and very popular, so police are on hand to direct traffic and make sure people park in the appointed areas, but the stroll up among the market stalls is pleasant and rewarded with great views across Marbella when you get to Centro Plaza, which also offers a good choice of lively cafes and eateries.
San Pedro Alcántara market
Held on Thursdays, the San Pedro market is another lively event popular with local inhabitants. It is rich in atmosphere as well as bargains and fresh produce. Besides clothes, leather goods and handbags, fruit, vegetables and knick-knacks it is also a great spot to look out for household items, pots, plants and even books. Set upon San Pedro’s fairground, it offers ample parking.
Benahavis Rastro market
The Benahavis Rastro has got to have the most spectacular setting of all; located amid a stand of eucalyptus trees surrounded by the lovely mountain scenery found at the entrance to the village of Benahavis. It adds a wonderfully ephemeral ambience to what is perhaps the best flea market in the Marbella area.
Here, amid the shade of the trees, you can stroll along stalls selling quality clothes, antiques, art, toys, household accessories, plants and collectors’ memorabilia. Naturally there is also food, inviting you to have a cup of tea and a sweet or savoury snack within eyeshot of the pretty little white-plastered chapel that adds to the charm of this scenic market.
The product of a non-profit organisation that operates a network of organic food markets across the coastal area, the Guadalhorce Ecológico initiative brings the produce and atmosphere of a country market to Marbella and its surroundings. The market visits Málaga City on the second and fourth Fridays of the month, Marbella on the first and third Friday of the month, Mijas on the second Sunday of the month and La Cala de Mijas’ boulevard on the last Sunday of each month.
The produce is sourced directly from organic farmers of the wider region and includes fruit, vegetables, honey, cheese, wine, cider, natural soaps and products such as purple carrots and white grapefruit that can be hard to find elsewhere.
Like most Spanish towns, Marbella has a daily fresh produce market, or Mercado. Here you will find all manner of fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and fish, but also ecological and organic products offered in the Eco-Marbella section. The market is located on Avenida de Mercado in central Marbella and also offers tapas bars in an authentic and lively setting.
With such a great choice of markets and organic food options available, the Marbella area offers a first-class alternative to shops and malls that makes the most of the region’s pleasant outdoor climate.
By Adam Neale | Mini Guides | October 18th, 2018