What things to do in Alicante, Spain?
In our today’s article we will tell you what to see in and around Alicante on your own. Alicante is not only beaches and restaurants with delicious food and great wines, but also many interesting places that will make your trip rich and exciting. What attractions are worth visiting in and around Alicante if you come to this wonderful city and want to diversify your vacation? Read on.
What to see in and around Alicante: beaches
There are some beautiful beaches in Alicante and we have an article about them. Here is a brief introduction to each of them.
Playa del Postiguet is the most popular sandy beach in Alicante. It is located in the city center. It has a Blue Flag. It is 660 m long and 40 m wide. Playa de San Juan is a large sandy beach, ideal for water sports. Has a Blue Flag. Length – 2.9 km; width – 80-90 m. Playa de la Albufereta is a small sandy beach in the northwest of Alicante. It has a Blue Flag. Length: 423 m; width: 20 m. Playa de la Almadraba is a secluded sandy-pebbly beach for relaxing and snorkeling. Length – 750 m, width – 6 m. Playa del Saladar- Urbanova is a large sandy beach in the south of Alicante for the whole family. It has a Blue Flag. Length: 1.9 km, width: 54 m. Coves Cabo de la Huerta (Calas del Cabo de la Huerta) is a picturesque rocky beach with a place for nudist holidays.
- Read about the best beaches on the Costa Blanca in our article.
If you want to find a property in Alicante, you can in our directory.
Sightseeing in and around Alicante: Santa Cruz
The legendary Santa Cruz neighborhood is a must-see for those who want to experience the real Alicante. The quarter begins at the foot of Mount Benacantil, climbing its slopes and you can walk through it on your way to the castle. Many steps, narrow streets, mysterious corners, balconies decorated with flowers, brightly painted walls and an amazing bohemian atmosphere – this is the Santa Cruz neighborhood.
It’s home to one of the city’s oldest drinking areas, where you’ll find many small, authentic pubs that feature a diverse crowd ranging in age from 18 to infinity. History and architecture lovers should include San Nicolas Cathedral (concatedral de San Nicolás), one of the main churches of Alicante, in their itinerary.
The best time to visit the Santa Cruz neighborhood is during the Fiesta de las Cruces de Mayo, which takes place in the first days of May. The streets are bursting with colors of all hues and sizes.
The Santa Cruz neighborhood on the map:
Alicante sights and surroundings: Explananda de España
Explanada de España is a pedestrian boulevard in the center of Alicante that runs parallel to the waterfront and is known for its unusual sidewalk with a 3D effect: the sidewalk is laid out in such a way that when you look at it you get the feeling of a three-dimensional pattern. It is a favorite place for walks of locals and tourists. Along the Explanada stretch rows of stalls with souvenirs. There is also a shell-shaped stage where street concerts are held.
Explananda de España on the map:
Attractions in and around Alicante: Port of Alicante
One of the most important places of the city that very often appears on postcards with views of Alicante. The promenade next to the port is very nice to stroll along, admiring the beautiful yachts and enjoying the fresh sea breeze. An interesting and relaxing thing to do is to feed the fish, which live in great numbers in the clear waters near the port. One of the main attractions is the Santísima Trinidad, a replica of the original ship that was one of the main characters in the Battle of Trafalgar (1805).
The port of Alicante on the map:
City Hall (Ayuntamiento de Alicante) sights in and around Alicante
The City Hall of Alicante is located in the baroque palace of the 18th century. On the first rung of the stairs of the building there is a reference point for the height of Spain. This means that the height of geographical objects in Spain is counted from this point. For example, the height of the highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula, the Mulhassen, is 3,479 meters above sea level. This point is taken as zero, although it is actually just over 3 m above sea level.
The building of the City Hall of Alicante is located here:
Sightseeing in and around Alicante: San Nicolas Cathedral
From the outside the Cathedral of San Nicolás de Bari looks very austere, while its interior is very interesting and hides some amazing treasures. One of them is the oldest organ in the Valencian Community, dating back to the 16th century.
The cathedral’s website is here. San Nicolas Cathedral on the map:
Alicante sights and surroundings: Basílica de Santa María
Basílica de Santa María is the oldest religious building in Alicante, dating back to the 14th century. The Gothic façade of the 15th century building is the main attraction, but the interior is just as interesting.
Santa Maria Basilica on the map:
Sights in and around Alicante: Castles
Santa Barbara Castle
The Castillo de Santa Barbara is the main landmark and symbol of Alicante. This majestic fortress, founded in the late 9th century by Muslims, crowns the Benacantil hill. Its walls offer great panoramic views of the sea and the city.
The castle is open to the public daily from 10:00 to 20:00 between October 1st and March 31st, from 10:00 to 22:00 in April, May, June and September, from 10:00 to 23:45 in July and August. Entrance to the castle is free, but if you want to go up to the castle in the elevator, you have to pay € 2.7. The elevator runs daily from 10:00 to 20:00 and is located here.
Santa Barbara Castle is located here:
History and architecture lovers will definitely be interested in the castles and fortresses located in Alicante. But that is not all. In the province of Alicante you will find a lot of beautiful charming castles. We have dedicated an article to them.
What to see in and around Alicante: parks
Monte Tossal Park
Monte Tossal Park is located on the slope of the mountain of the same name, near the fortress Castillo de San Fernando. It is a theme park for the whole family, which children will love. There is a roller and skate park, a climbing wall, a play area, mini golf and much more.
Monte Tossal Park on the map:
Park Palmeral in Alicante
Parque El Palmeral de Alicante is a beautiful palm park located next to the sea. An ideal place for walks with the whole family.
Palmeral Alicante on the map:
Park in Panteón del Quijano
The park, located in Plaza de Santa Teresa, is dedicated to the governor of Alicante, Trino González de Quijano, who helped the poor people of the city during the cholera epidemic.
Park Panteón del Quijano on the map:
Parque La Ereta
This park is located at the foot of the Santa Barbara Fortress. It has a great restaurant – one of the best in town – Restaurante La Ereta, where you can dine while enjoying the wonderful views.
Parque La Ereta on the map:
Parque Lo Morant.
A big park in the north of Alicante, which is called the “green lungs” of the city. It is perfect for quiet walks and relaxing in nature, as well as for sports.
Parque de Lo Morant on the map:
Located in the heart of Alicante, Park Canalejas is probably known to everyone who knows the city. The ficus trees in the park are an impressive size. The park was named after Jose Canalejas, a politician from Alicante, whose monument is placed next to the park.
Parque de Canalejas on the map:
Read more about the most interesting parks in the city and province of Alicante, including Benidorm amusement parks, water parks and safaris in our article.
Things to see and do in Alicante: Museums
The MACA Museum of Modern Art (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MACA) is located in the oldest civil structure of Alicante (1685), on the square next to the Santa Maria church. It displays a rich collection of twentieth century art, most of which was donated by the artist Eusebio Sempere. Here you can see works by Picasso, Dali, Miró and other famous authors. Admission to the museum is free.
The website of the museum here. Museum of Modern Art MACA on the map:
Gravina MUBAG Museum of Fine Arts
This interesting museum is housed in the 18th century palace Palacio del Conde de Lumiares (or Palacio Gravina), next to the City Hall (Ayuntamiento). It displays a collection of works by 19th century Alicante artists. Admission is free.
The website of the museum is here. Museum Gravina MUBAG on the map:
MARQ Archaeological Museum
The MARQ Archaeological Museum (Museo Arqueológico de Alicante MARQ) is a long way from the center, but if you have enough time, be sure to visit it, especially if you are traveling with children. Several unique collections of artifacts are on display here. In addition, the museum is equipped with modern audio-visual systems to tell the story in an interesting and visual way.
Website of the museum here. MARQ Museum on the map:
Museum of Yachting
An unusual museum dedicated to regattas and yachting, the Museo The Ocean Race, is located near the port of Alicante. It is an interactive museum that will tell you about the life of yachtsmen, around-the-world regattas, etc. The only disadvantage is that you need to know Spanish or English, otherwise visiting the museum will be almost pointless.
The site of the museum is here. Museum of yachting on the map:
MUSA Museum of Alicante
The Museo de la Ciudad de Alicante MUSA is located in Santa Barbara Castle. It is spread over five halls. The museum will tell you the history of Alicante from ancient times to the present day. Entrance is free.
More information about the museum here. MUSA Museum of Alicante on the map:
What to see in and around Alicante
Tabarca is an amazing small island about 10 km from the coast. The island has a rich history. It is also one of the best places for diving and snorkeling: the sea bottom here is a nature reserve. Read more about Tabarka island in our article.
- Distance from Alicante: 66 km.
Fonts de l’Algar is a wonderful place in Alicante with unique waterfalls and a large green area for walking. In summer you can swim in the waterfalls: the water is quite cold, but in the summer heat it is an additional plus.
Algar Falls on the map:
- Distance from Alicante: 23 km.
The Cuevas del Canelobre is the highest cave in Spain. It is also the largest cave in the country that is open to the public. It is an amazing place with an abundance of bizarre forms created by nature itself.
Read more about the caves of Canelobre here. Caverns of Canelobre on a map:
What to see in and around Alicante: interesting cities
- Distance from Alicante: 45 km.
Benidorm is the main entertainment center of the Costa Blanca. Read more about Benidorm in our articles:
Get the best properties in Benidorm in our catalog.
- Distance from Alicante: 64 km.
Calpe is one of the most picturesque cities of Costa Blanca. Its main attraction is the Ifach rock which juts out in the sea. Read our article about Calpe:
Find a property in Calpe in our catalog.
- Distance from Alicante: 90 km.
Denia is a beautiful resort town, recognized as the gastronomic capital of the Costa Blanca. Read about Denia in our article.
Find a property in Denia in our catalog.
- Distance from Alicante: about 60 km.
Altea is the bohemian capital of the Costa Blanca. It is a picturesque city, on the old narrow streets of which it is very pleasant and interesting to walk. Near Altea there is a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church – the Church of the Archangel Michael. Read our article about Altea.
You can find properties in Altea in our directory.
- Distance from Alicante: 86 km.
Javea is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, recognized by the UN as the best place in the world to live because of its excellent climate and ecology. Read our article about Javea.
Find properties to buy in Javea in our real estate catalog.
- Distance from Alicante: about 82 km.
The beautiful resort town of Moraira is a wonderful place to live and relax on the Costa Blanca and has a large selection of luxury real estate. Read more about Moraira in our article.
Find a property in Moraira in our catalog.
- Distance from Alicante: about 60 km.
This area, which belongs to Orihuela Costa, is designed for those who are fond of golf, both at the professional and amateur level. Read about Villamartin in our article.
- Distance from Alicante: 36 km.
The ancient town of Villajoyosa is known primarily for the Valor chocolate factory and the chocolate museum. What else interesting can be found in Villajoyosa? Read in our article.
You can find properties in Villajoyos in our catalog.
Arenales del Sol
- Distance from Alicante: about 13 km.
A beautiful resort town, known for its magnificent sandy beach. An ideal place to live and relax near the sea. Read about Arenales del Sol here.
Find properties in Arenales del Sol in our catalog.
Pilar de la Horadada
- Distance from Alicante: 80 km.
It is a city with a rich history and beautiful beaches. Read more about Pilar de la Horadada in our article.
Find properties in Pilar de la Horadada in our catalog.
Guardamar del Segura
- Distance from Alicante: about 42 km.
Wonderful resort town with beautiful beaches and a unique eucalyptus park. Read our article about Guardamar del Segura.
You can find properties in Guardamar del Segura in our catalog.
- Distance from Alicante: about 63 km.
One of the most beautiful mountain towns in Spain, which earned the title of “City of Museums”. Look for details in our article.
We hope that our article will help you compose the most complete and interesting route to the sights of Alicante and the surrounding area. If you decide to buy property in Alicante, or any other city in Alicante, you can read our catalog. You can also always ask our real estate experts any question you might have about real estate in Alicante.
17 best attractions of Alicante not to be missed
Today we will talk about the city of Alicante, Spain. The sights of this resort town are hardly known to a wide range of travelers, and for good reason – there is a lot to see! Alicante is the capital of the Costa Blanca resort region in eastern Spain. Its name comes from the endless strip of white sandy beaches, which this part of the country is so famous for.
The town has everything you need for a relaxing and fun seaside holiday, and there are a number of historical sites too, including a medieval fortress and a classic Mediterranean old town with whitewashed houses and cobbled streets. You’ll visit museums and churches in the morning, take a swim in the crystal clear waters in the afternoon, or snooze under an umbrella on the beach. Alicante’s modern streetcar network makes it easy to get from one end of the city to the other.
Santa Barbara Castle
Santa Barbara Fortress | Photo: wikimedia
When you come to Alicante, you just can’t ignore its rich historical past, because the city was built at the base of the magnificent 9th century Santa Barbara Castle. This fortification has been involved in military action more than once and is impeccably preserved.
You can take a high-speed elevator up to the top of the mountain, and for the adventurous, there is a winding trail that leads to the entrance. It’s best to take the whole day to see Santa Barbara, as there is so much to see and do.
Climb up to the rooftop observation deck, which offers a breathtaking view of the city, and explore the ancient rooms of the castle, which contain curious artifacts. There is a market in the courtyard selling trinkets and handmade souvenirs. You can take a break from antiquity in one of the many cafes.
Address: Castell de la Santa Bàrbara, 03002 Alacant, Spain.
Boulevard Esplanade | Photo: wikimedia.
Alicante’s marble-lined promenade is easy to navigate as it begins in the old town and stretches along the beach area and port. In most Spanish cities, family walks along the beach are an integral part of life, so be sure to take a stroll along the Esplanade to experience the values of the Spanish way of life.
The promenade offers stunning views of the coast, and after dark in the summer, this brightly lit road offers a salubrious, fresh sea breeze.
Address: Explanada de España, Alicante, Spain.
El Palmeral Park
El Palmeral Park | Photo: Roger Toledo. / Flickr.
With its lush vegetation, waterfalls and lots of palm trees, El Palmeral Park is a little piece of Eden located very close to the city center. Once here, you will immediately come across a small waterfall, a nice manicured garden or a bridge next to the waterfall.
The park has restrooms and a small kiosk where you can buy food and drinks, but we advise you to take your picnic food with you as it is expensive here. This is a nice place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy discovering the local flora.
Address: Parque el Palmeral, Avinguda d’Elx, 109, 03008 Alacant, Spain.
Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art.
This magnificent museum, housed in the 17th century Casa de la Acegurada, displays a superb collection of 20th century Spanish art, including works by Dali, Miró, Chillida, Sempere, Tapies and Picasso.
The exhibit is constantly changing, as the entire collection is too impressive. It is based on an artwork donated to the city by the famous abstractionist Eusebio Sempere (born in Alicante), who has a section dedicated to his work.
Address: Museu d’Art Contemporani Maca, Plaza Sta. María, 3, 03002 Alicante (Alacant), Alicante, Spain.
Archeological Museum of Alicante.
Archeological Museum of Alicante. | Photo: wikimedia.
This museum houses an impressive collection of ceramics and artifacts of ancient Iberian art. Everything here is decorated in a very modern style, and there are interactive screens for the convenience of visitors. There are also regular temporary exhibitions.
Address: Museu Arqueològic d’Alacant MARQ, Placa Dr. Gómez Ulla, S/N, 03013 Alacant, Spain.
Saint Nicholas Cathedral
Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Alacant.
In the center of the city not far from the town hall there is Saint Nicholas Cathedral of XVII century built and named in honor of the patron saint of Alicante – Saint Nicholas. Although the cathedral looks rather plain, its imposing interior will definitely leave a strong impression on you.
The sumptuous gilded altar and the magnificent Chapel of Holy Communion deserve special attention. This unique historical monument is an example of the Herrera style, the architectural school of Spain of the 16th and 17th centuries. Herrera buildings are notable for their severe façades and clear geometric lines.
Address: Concatedral d’Alacant Sant Nicolau de Bari, Plaza del Abad Penalva, Alicante, Spain.
Casco Antiguo District
Casco Antiguo district.
This old part of Alicante, a bit like a village, is located near the center of the city. Casco Antiguo stretches along the hillside below the castle, and in order to get around it completely you have to overcome its steep streets and stairs hidden between high whitewashed walls.
Locals take pride in their homes by decorating balconies and thresholds with fresh flowers and painting door shutters blue and green. If you need a break, you can always stop in one of the many cafes and restaurants in this part of town.
Address: Barri Vell – Santa Creu, Alicante, Spain.
Marina The Marina.
Alicante boasts a picturesque and spacious marina with huge breakwaters. There are always a lot of yachts and private boats, and the local yacht club is buzzing day and night. The harbor is very popular with tourists, so there are all sorts of cafes and restaurants nearby, where you can have a quiet coffee while admiring the sea horizon.
The waterfront is an ideal place for daytime strolls under the bright sun. At night it gets even busier. Go here for a romantic dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants, which have a gorgeous view of the marina.
Address: Marina Deportiva del Puerto, Muelle 8 Zona de Levante, s/n, 03001 Alicante, Spain.
Santa Maria Church
Santa Maria’s Church. | Photo: wikimedia.
The Basilica of Santa Maria, located in the historic Santa Cruz neighborhood, is the oldest church in Alicante. It was built by Catholic monarchs in the 13th century on the site of a former mosque. Originally it had a Gothic appearance, but then in the XVIII century it was rebuilt in Baroque style.
The main exterior facade has a sculpture of the Virgin Mary by Juan Bautista Borja. Inside, look out for the Rococo main altar and the exquisite chapels.
Address: Esglesia de Santa Maria d’Alacant, Plaza Santa María, Alicante, Spain.
Archeological Museum of Lucentum
The Archaeological Museum of Lucentum. | Photo: wikimedia.
Ruins of the Roman city of Lucentum, considered the predecessor of Alicante, are located about 3 kilometers east of the city center in Tossal de Manises. During the excavations, archaeologists found many samples of earthenware.
You can see the outlines of ancient streets and the ruins of baths, a forum, a large house with a columned courtyard and other ancient Roman dwellings.
Address: Lucentum Ruinas Romanas, 03016 Alacant, Spain.
City Hall. | Photo: wikimedia.
City Hall building is located just behind the park Explanada de Espana near the Plaza Puerta del Mar. The majestic Baroque building is characterized by a beautiful Churrigueresque façade and two imposing towers 35 meters high.
By the stairs leading up to the building you will find a topographic marker, the zero marker used in Spain to measure height above sea level. Once inside, be sure to enter the incredibly beautiful Blue Room (Salón Azul). It is also home to a number of curious paintings by the legendary Dali.
Address: Ajuntament d’Alacant, Plaça de l’Ajuntament, 1, 03002 Alacant, Spain.
Postiguet Beach. | Photo: wikimedia.
Beach Postiguet, which is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in Alicante. It is truly huge and stretches along the entire city all the way to neighboring San Juan. Just a few hours spent on the stunning white sand, washed by clear blue waters, will allow you to forget about the hustle and bustle of the city.
At the height of the summer season, Alicante attracts thousands of tourists and many fly here because of Postiguet Beach, so it is always crowded. However, do not despair, because you can go sunbathing in less popular and famous areas where there are no crowds.
Walk along the promenade away from the city center toward the opposite end of the beach to enjoy a more relaxed experience. There are beach bars here where you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the sea. At sunset, it makes sense to stroll along the promenade and pop into one of the many beach restaurants for some local food.
The address is Platja del Postiguet, Carrer de Jovellanos, Alicante, Spain.
Gabriel Miró Square
Gabriel Miró Square.
This charming and romantic park with its giant green trees symbolizes the locals’ tribute to the famous writer Gabriel Miró. A magnificent fountain with classical statues adorns the center of the square, and a bust of Gabriel Miró himself can be found at one end of the square.
Around the edges of the square are magnificent Art Nouveau buildings and other monumental buildings. You can go here for a walk to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city (the square is very close to the center). Visitors can relax on the terrace or take a leisurely stroll around the centuries-old trees in the park.
Address: Plaza Gabriel Miró, 03001 Alicante, Spain.
The Volvo Ocean Race Museum
Volvo Ocean Race Museum | Photo: Jose Luis RDS / Flickr.
The museum is dedicated to the rich history of the famous Volvo Ocean Race. It shows visitors photos and videos of past races and offers the opportunity to take a ride on a 3d simulator to experience the incredible spirit of the race. Here you can see one of the yachts taking part in the race: how about jumping on board and spending 10 months here on the high seas?
Address: Museo Volvo Ocean Race, Muelle Levante, 10, 03001 Alicante, Spain.
Central Market | Photo: wikimedia.
If you like to cook for yourself, there’s no reason not to go to this large indoor market on Alfonso el Sabio Avenue. Spain’s central markets are more like temples of food, and Alicante is no exception. Here you’ll find plenty of fish and meat stalls and you’ll find true culinary inspiration along the way!
The seafood stands are a particular pride of the market: their stalls are almost always full of fresh crabs, lobsters, squid and other delicious seafood. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also in abundance, along with local delicacies like tourrona and the sweet dessert wine, Mistela.
Address: Mercat Central d’Alacant, Avenida Alfonso El Sabio, Alicante, Spain.
New Tabarca Island
New Tabarca Island | Photo: santapolero / Flickr.
Not far from the coast of Alicante is an amazing island called Tabarca. Here is a picturesque little town with white houses and an old church. It is very easy to get to the island, because boats leave from the port of Alicante daily.
The boat trip itself will give you a lot of positive experiences, because the waters around Tabarca are considered a Mediterranean marine reserve for their outstanding beauty, amazing flora and fauna. There is a restaurant and store on the island, but we recommend that you take your picnic essentials with you, as they can be pricey in the summer season.
There’s a beach here and a small coastal path you can walk along, finding the perfect spot for a picnic in the bright Spanish sun. Be sure to bring sunscreen, as there’s nowhere to hide from its rays!
Address: Nova Tabarca, Spain.
Elche Palm Forest
Palm forest of Elche. | Photo: wikimedia.
About 20 minutes west of Alicante is the city of Elche where you will find the largest palm forest in Europe which was planted by the first Muslims who settled here in the early Middle Ages. There are more than 200,000 trees, most of which are of the phoenix dactylifera species.
Interestingly, these trees have never been on the territory of Spain – they appeared here only with the arrival of the Moors. The forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the best way to experience it is to walk the Ruta del Palmeral, a circular hiking trail that begins and ends at the San Placido Garden.
Address: El Palmeral, Passeig de l’Estació, s/n, 03202 Elx, Alacant, Spain.