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If you’re travelling to the Spanish city of Marbella from outside of mainland Spain then it’s highly likely you’ll fly into Malaga Airport.
The best way to travel the 51km from Malaga Airport to Marbella is in a taxi or Uber since it’s direct. The journey takes around 45 minutes and roughly costs between €70 and €90. However, if you’re on a budget or travelling solo you may want to consider a shuttle bus instead.
Sadly, there is no public bus or train between Malaga Airport and Marbella at this time. However, the Avanza shuttle bus runs multiple times a day and costs between €6.15 and €8.50 per person depending on the service you choose, so there’s certainly still budget-friendly transport options available.
⏱️ Time: 45 mins
💵 Cost: €70 – €90
💻 Reserve Taxi: Hoppa
The quickest and easiest way to get from Malaga Airport to Marbella is by taxi since a taxi is able to pick you up just outside of the airport terminal and drop you off right outside your accommodation in the city.
Marbella is situated 51km west of Malaga and the AP-7 highway connects the two locations meaning that the journey should only take around 45 minutes depending on traffic.
There are three ways you can get a taxi from Malaga Airport;
- From the taxi rank
- Using Uber
- Using Bolt
The taxi rank at Malaga Airport is located outside of the arrivals terminal and is clearly signposted both inside and outside of the building.
With a traditional taxi, you’ll be paying for the journey based on a pre-set metered rate, therefore the driver will not be able to provide you with the exact cost of the journey in advance.
Although an estimate based on my first-hand experience, is between €70 and €90 one-way depending on the time of day you travel (travelling at night for example is more expensive) and the size of vehicle you require.
Alternatively, you can use the ride-sharing service Uber which has a dedicated pick-up point just outside the arrivals terminal which is once again heavily sign-posted both inside and outside of the building.
Bolt, an Uber competitor is also available in Malaga. However, unlike in other countries where both services operate I found that the availability and price on both platforms was incredibly similar. Therefore I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to download and set-up the Bolt mobile application if you already have Uber available.
The pricing model of Uber differs from that of a traditional taxi in that the price is dynamic based on the demand for the service in the area at that time. However, in contrast, you can see the exact cost of the journey in advance for the type of vehicle that you require.
If you are planning on using Uber to travel from Malaga Airport to Marbella then I highly suggest downloading the Uber application and creating a profile in advance so that all you need to do once you collect your luggage is select your ride vehicle.
The price difference between Uber and a traditional taxi should be no more than €5. Therefore when choosing between an Uber and a traditional taxi, it’s really about which service is most convenient for you.
⏱️ Time: 45 mins
💵 Cost: €30 per day (hire car only)
💻 Book Hire Car: Discover Cars
If you’re looking to explore the Costa Del Sol during your trip to Marbella then it may be a good idea to hire a car since it will provide you with a lot of flexibility and likely work out to be a cost-effective transport method over the long term.
If you decide that renting a car is right for you then I recommend picking the car up from Malaga Airport and then driving it to your accommodation in Marbella.
Best Place To Rent A Car In Malaga
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The best way to rent a car in the Costa Del Sol region is to book online since you’re able to compare the different car hire companies and cars available to find the right option for your needs.
Once you’ve booked your hire car you’ll want to go and check in with the company and pick up the keys to your vehicle from the car hire desk at the airport upon your arrival.
All of the car hire companies operating from Malaga Airport are located on the lower level of the terminal, meaning you’ll need to take an elevator from the baggage claims area down to level -1 (again this is well sign posted inside the terminal).
If you plan to return your hire car at the airport then be sure to leave with enough time to arrive at Malaga Airport to complete any rental car paperwork, check-in, drop off any bags and go through security.
The cost of hiring a car from Malaga Airport varies significantly depending on the company and the type of vehicle you select.
However, the cost of the vehicle isn’t the only thing you want to consider, you’ll also want to think about petrol / gas and the cost of parking, especially at your accommodation (luxury hotels in the region have been known to charge up to €35 a night for parking).
Subsequently, if you don’t plan to explore more of the Costa Del Sol region during your trip to Marbella then it’s likely a hire car is an unnecessary expense and instead, I’d recommend taking a taxi from the airport to the city instead.
Private Airport Transfer
⏱️ Time: 50 mins
💵 Cost: €6.15 – €8.50
💻 Reserve Transfer: Hoppa
While there is no public bus between Malaga Airport and Marbella there are a number of shuttle buses available between the two locations.
If you have booked to stay in Marbella as part of a holiday package with the likes of Tui and Jet2 then it’s likely your shuttle bus from the airport direct to your hotel will be included as part of your package.
In that case, you’ll want to check the booking documents you have received to see if you have been provided with any transfer information. If you are unsure I recommend speaking directly to a travel agent from the company either in person where applicable or over the phone.
Alternatively, if you haven’t booked a package holiday but would still like to take a bus from Malaga Airport to Marbella then you’ll want to take the Avanza shuttle.
This shuttle runs several times a day and takes between 40 minutes and 55 minutes depending on whether you take the normal or express service. The normal service has a number of stops between the airport and Marbella, whereas the express service goes direct to the Marbella bus station (Marbella Estación Autobuses).
Tickets for the Avanza shuttle can be purchased online (my personal preference) or from the kiosks that are outside of the arrival hall at Malaga Airport (depending on the time / day the queues here have been known to be very long!)
If you opt to purchase your Avanza shuttle bus ticket online then I recommend waiting until your flight lands and you’ve passed through immigration and collected your luggage as each ticket is allocated to a specific bus time and therefore booking in advance could mean you miss your allocated bus and subsequently have to purchase a new ticket.
If you’ve opted for the Avanza shuttle to Marbella then you’re final destination will be the Marbella bus station (Marbella Estación Autobuses) from which you’ll either need to walk or take a taxi to your accommodation.
Alternatively, if you have a bus transfer as part of your package holiday then you’ll be dropped off directly outside your accommodation in Marbella – although you may have to stop at several different hotels for other guests first.