Marbella is a city and municipality in southern Spain, belonging to the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is part of the region of the Costa del Sol and is the headquarters of the Association of Municipalities of the region; it is also the head of the judicial district that bears its name.
Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, between Málaga and the Gibraltar Strait, in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. The municipality covers an area of 117 km² crossed by highways on the coast, which are its main entrances.
In 2011 the population of the city was 138,662 inhabitants, making it the second most populous municipality in the province of Málaga and the eighth in Andalusia. It is one of the most important tourist cities of the Costa del Sol and throughout most of the year is an international tourist attraction, due mainly to its climate and tourist infrastructure. The city also has a significant archaeological heritage, many museums and performance spaces, and a cultural calendar with events ranging from reggae concerts to opera performances.
The city is especially popular with tourists from Northern Europe (including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany) and also Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Marbella is particularly noted for the presence of aristocrats, celebrities and wealthy people; it is a major destination for luxury cruise ships and yachts which dock in its harbour.
The area is popular with golfers and boaters, and there are many private estates and luxury hotels in the vicinity, including the Marbella Club Hotel. Marbella hosts a WTAtennis tournament on red clay, the Andalucia Tennis Experience.
Other cities on the coast are accessible by bus from Marbella, including Málaga,Estepona, Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Gibraltar. The area is also served by the A7motorway; the closest airport is