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Marbella, Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Marbella, Spain: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Marbella?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Marbella, they said:

"Don't expect to be one of the Ferrari driving glitterati overnight, but work hard and Marbella can be a great place to live. There is an old saying about Marbella - The man who arrives with money will depart with experience, and the man who arrives with experience will stay with Money," remarked another in Marbella.

"Start learning Spanish and applying the tan cream now! Visit for a short time first to confirm that year round sun and limitless leisure opportunites are for you! If you have a family, find the school place(s) first, then the home and the office and work location can come after," explained one expat.

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How do I meet people in Marbella?

If you live in Marbella, newcomers to Marbella would love to hear your answer to this question.


When we asked people living in Marbella about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Marbella is a great place to meet new people with so many cultural activities, sports and clubs to join. The area of Marbella even has it's own social networking website called www.yourmarbella.com where residents and vistors can meet people, find out places to go, clubs to join and much more. There are clubs in the area which meet regularly based around expats, i.e. The American Society and hobbies i.e. Golf Societies," explained one expat.

"The best way to find contacts and all information is to try the web sites www.marbellago.com; www.marbella.com and www.andalucia.org. Also local english language newspaper www.surinenglish.com," said another person in Marbella.

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Will I be able to find a job in Marbella?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Marbella, they reponded:

"The main expat. industries and indeeed the Spanish ones are all based on seasonal and residential tourism. All sectors of Real Estate are huge, plus hotels, restaurants, etc. Many individuals and company owners in N Europe are now operating from homes in the sun, either part or full-time. As a result there are opportunities for most construction, admin. and leisure based skills," explained one expat.

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What is life like in Marbella?

When we asked people living in Marbella what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Marbella has a mix of a thriving city based on the tourist and property industry combined with a large ex pat retired community and wealthy 20/30 somethings driving ferrari's and wearing Cartier," said another expat in Marbella.

"Marbella is the international centre of the Costa del Sol, also called 'The California of Europe' because of its marvellous year round climate and 'Costa del Golf' due to their being a golf course round every corner! Very leisure orientated with the full range you can imagine (plus many more!). However, it still has its Spanish heart and style. The life of the Andalus is well known for its easy acceptance of everything. For them and many expats, life still revolves around the family," remarked another in Marbella.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Marbella accepting of differences?

"Absolutely, all religions and cultures of the world are embraced and represented in probably one of the most diverse communities in Europe," said another expat in Marbella.

"An extremely diverse population in all ways - nationality, religion, culture and economy. Play place of the wealthiest in Europe, but not far off in the country 'pueblos' there is till subsistance style farming. Increasing expat. resident population forms a significant percentage, but has been wholeheartedly accepted by the Spanish. There is little or no sign of antagonism against other nationalities, especially if the effort is made to speak Spanish," added another person living in Marbella.

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What are the schools in Marbella like?

"A good friendly and welcoming school with a cosy yet modern design. Wide range of nationalities of families that give a nice mix to the parental community," remarked another expat living in Marbella with children attending The British School of Marbella.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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