I think the best reasons for coming down to Fuengirola from the north of Europe are:
Beautiful location, huge open views
Excellent weather almost all year. Living outdoors most of the time.
A large variety of fresh seafood available.
A huge selection of restaurants. Some of them excellent.
Quick access to spectacular routes and sceneries in the countryside
The proximity of Málaga; its museums, monuments etc.
Fuengirola center is flat ground and the town hall has made it very friendly for disabled persons to get around.
A very invabike-friendly city.
For us downtown Fuengirola is just for taking care of business, shopping and eating out. And walking a lot. Besides its beautiful location by the Bahia de Fuengirola, there's nothing architecturally spectacular in the city.
The recent alcaldesas and town hall have done an enormous facelift everywhere around the city. New buildings, streets and parks are very nice, but the ugly houses from the 1960 - 70's are still around. So the general outlook in the Fuengirola center is incoherent and ugly at points. Many more buildings should be upgraded or taken down and the laws which regulate the appearance of houses should be better overseen.
The Rastro or Mercadillo of Saturdays on the Feria Ground (Recinto Ferial ) deserves a special mention.
On best business saturdays the more than 300 stalls cover the whole feria ground which is about half a kilometer long. Open from 9 a.m. to about 2 p.m., except on festivities. Openings are not displayed anywhere so one just just has to walk up and find out.
It is a goldmine for a street photographer like me.
The Fuengirola Feria (Feria del Rosario) in October is the most spectacular of them all. Horses, carriages and Caballeros in traditional outfits.
Feria del Rosario is also about flowers ...
.. and beauty. And about dressing up for admiration.