Things to do in Alicante, Spain

Last summer my family and I spent our vacation in Alicante in Spain. At first glance, the city seemed quite monotone, but when you stroll around for a bit you discover quite a few beautiful places.

In this blog post, I collected all of these gems for you.

View from the castle
View from the castle

#1 Visit Castillo de Santa Bárbara

There are quite a few mountains and castles in the area of Alicante, one of the most popular is the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, which is located in the city centre.

You can either walk for about 15 minutes or use an elevator to get up to the castle. Up there you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city and the sea. On various levels, you can find an old chapel and some findings from the time the castle was still inhabited.

Furthermore, there is a copy of the iron Thron from the famous TV-series “Game of Thrones” (Which I sadly didn’t see).

Somewhere on Tabarca

#2 Explore “Tabarca”

Tabarca is a small island about 20km away from Alicante. The former pirate island is nowadays mainly maintained by tourism. A lot of tourists are driven to and from the island daily.

Nevertheless, the island is not as crowded as you may believe. Most of the people stick to the island and the old city. Once you’ve seen these parts, you can start to explore the less crowded parts of the islands.

There you’ll see beautiful landscapes, some old buildings and quite a lot of seagulls. Tabarca is definitely worth a visit. Its versatility was impressive.

I would highly recommend taking some diving goggles with you, as the island is especially famous for its biodiversity and the clear blue water.

Streets in Alicante
Alicante’s centre

#3 Explore the city centre

This recommendation isn’t really innovative, but I want to write a little something about the inner city of Alicante.

Located around the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, the city centre has a beautiful medieval look. Things to look for are the famous Basilica de Santa Maria, a lot of Mediterranean houses with small balconies and some Spanish restaurants. Furthermore, archaeology and art fans may find some intriguing museums.

Alicante's harbour viewed from above
Alicante’s harbour

#4 Go for a walk around the harbour

The Explanada de Espana, which is located along the harbour is one of Alicante’s most famous streets. What is unique about this street is the mosaic which is typical for the Explanada de Espana.

Along the promenade, you’ll see some stands with souvenirs, clothing or typical snacks, and there are a lot of restaurants next to it. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend visiting a restaurant next to the Esplanade, since these are more expensive and main tourist destinations.

Alicante's food market from outside.
Alicante’s market

#5 Visit the market

In a massive building close to the castle you can find the Mercado Central. The market is very impressive from the outside as well as inside. The facade itself isn’t really characteristic, so without seeing it before, one may mistake it for a train station or other similar building.

Indoors you can find a lot of Spanish products like spices and the locally famous Jamón Ibérico. If you want to purchase some souvenirs, I would recommend buying some local sweets.

Just make sure to inform yourself about the opening hours beforehand, since the market isn’t always open.

a city viewed from above
Altea

#6 Explore some towns close to Alicante

In the province of Alicante, you can find various small towns and villages. My favourite of them would be Altea.

There are also a lot of other locations close to the city like CalpBenidormDenia or Villa Joyosa ( the one in the picture above). All of them are reachable by the TRAM, which goes along the Costa Blanca and offers spectacular views of the landscape.

A day trip to one of those places is definitely a must when in Alicante.

a beach during sunrise with the silhouette of a woman
Playa de San Juan during sunrise

#7 Visit the sea

Since wandering through the city can be quite exhausting sometimes all you need is a little time out. And what could possibly be a more relaxing place to just sit down and relax than the beach?

In Alicante, you can find various beaches. A few around the city centre like Playa de Postiguet. Furthermore, there is Playa de la Albufereta, which is also centrally located, but close to a freeway and next to some housing complexes.

And my favourite Playa de San Juan. This one extends from Alicante to El Campello and is mainly visited by locals. There are also some gems along the beach so it’s a really nice place to walk around and explore.

Thanks for reading! If you have any further questions feel free to ask them in the comments or share your favourite places in Alicante with me!

Furthermore, we decided to stop in Barcelona on our way home, so if you feel like it, too make sure to check out this post on: things to do in Barcelona!

Carrie
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