Welcome to Alicante, one of Spain’s most beautiful cities and a major European tourist destination throughout the year. It is the jewel of the Costa Blanca coastline, and there is plenty to do and see.
Once you have arrived and settled into your holiday accommodation, make a point of exploring this exciting city.
Here are some top locations you should include on your visit…
Castillo de Santa Barbara
Climb up to the 10th century fortress that is at the heart of Alicante’s rich history. Built around the ninth century, the castle is immaculately preserved and, in fact, easily accessible by lift all the way to the top of Mount Benacantil for those who don’t fancy walking. As to be expected, there are imposing views all around from the rooftop ramparts.
Once you have arrived at the castle, expect to spend a few hours here – it’s the perfect destination for a day trip. Take a tour of the preserved interior rooms where you will find artefacts and information aplenty. There is a café and a market in the courtyard for handmade souvenir purchases.
Don’t forget to visit the City of Alicante Museum (MUSA), which is located inside the castle and has 10 exhibition halls showcasing the history of the castle and the city.
Museums and Art
In addition to MUSA, Alicante is home to several other noteworthy museums including…
The MARQ Provincial Archaeological Museum offers an award-winning journey that takes Alicante from the Roman era to more recent times. Take a look at the local geography and nature behind the landscape that surrounds Alicante, with the help of artefacts, audio visual displays and interactive exhibitions.
For art enthusiasts, the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA) has a wonderful collection of 20th century art, situated in a Baroque townhouse that is the oldest civic building in Alicante’s Old Town. Among the 800-plus pieces of art in three collections are works by Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Juana Frances, as well as collection founder and local artist Eusebio Sempere.
The Gravina Museum of Fine Arts (MUBAG) is a more traditional art museum that focuses on paintings and sculptures of Alicante created between the 16th and 19th centuries by local artists including Antonio Gisbert, Francisco Salzillo and Joaquin Agrasot.
To explore the area in style, take the Alicante Tram along the coastal path for a spectacular view of the Costa Blanca coastline. Alight at the picturesque town of Altea and admire the Islamic-influenced architecture of winding streets and whitewashed buildings, or spend a day at the vast San Juan sandy beach, just two stops from the city centre.
Parque el Palmeral
Alicante’s most beautiful park is just outside the city centre and easily accessible using the C6 airport bus or by train. Escape the urban bustle and experience an abundance of botanical wildlife, numerous palm trees and the odd waterfall.
There are toilets and a snack bar, but you are allowed to bring your own picnic and are encouraged to spend the whole day there.
Playa del Postiguet
For a day at the beach, Postiguet is hard to beat. Idyllic white sand and clear blue water stretches ahead, the length of the city, so no wonder it’s the main attraction for many tourists during the high season. For a quieter time, walk along the promenade away from the city centre and find a relaxing beach bar where you can sip a cocktail under palm trees and soak up the sun.
Back towards the city centre, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying the restaurants and tapas bars after sundown.
La Explanada de España
Alicante’s main promenade, La Explanada de España, is made from 6.6 million red, cream and black tiles and is a wonderful sight to behold. It was created by architect José Guardiola Pico in 1867 with a pattern to suggest the rolling waves of the Mediterranean, and is flanked by palm trees lining the walkway.
There are market stalls selling jewellery, leatherware, rugs and other items, as well as a selection of cafés and bars where you can stop for coffee, churros or a savoury snack.
Barrio de Santa Cruz
The Old Town is the historical heart of Alicante. With its winding cobblestoned streets and flower-adorned Spanish apartments, it is one of the most attractive spots for spending a few pleasant hours, especially if you are looking for Spanish old world charm.
In the evening, Barrio de Santa Cruz comes alive with cocktail bars, tapas establishments and restaurants, ideal for socialising with friends until the early hours.
Alicante’s marina is home to a fleet of truly spectacular yachts that are a stunning sight on a moonlit night. The marina is also a hub for the city’s nightlife, with an excellent variety of clubs to cater for all tastes.
For further information about what to do and see in Alicante, contact the tourist information office.