In our opinion, Alicante is one of the most underrated cities in Spain. Located in the region of Costa Blanca, in southeastern Spain, Alicante is an excellent option to spend your summer holiday. In our trip to Alicante we were impressed by the big number of tourist attractions, but also, by the beautiful beaches that we have found in the city and also in the surrounding area.
If you’re planning to visit Alicante in the next days, months or even years, we made a short guide of the best things to do in Alicante. As a tip, we recommend you to visit the city in september. We went there in 2018, between 14 to 21 september. The weather in that period is perfect, not too warm or too cold, and you can still go to the beach to get tanned. Also, in september you will definitely avoid the overcrowding of the city that usually happens during the summer days.
Here are the best things to do in Alicante:
1. Castillo de Santa Barbara
When you are going to visit Alicante, Castillo de Santa Barbara should be on the top of your tourist attractions list. The castle was built in the 9th century and for strategic reasons is located on the highest point of the city, on Mount Benacantil. Once you reached the castle, not only that you will be able to enjoy this imposing construction, but you can also admire the beautiful scenery of the city.
We recommend you to visit Castillo de Santa Barbara right at the sunset, as the landscape will be more amazing. For options to get there, you can use an elevator that is located next to the Postiguet beach. You can also climb the mountain on foot, which is not that hard as it looks. And the last option is by car, the access road being very good.
2. Port of Alicante
In our trip to Alicante, after we got off the castle we went straight to the port. We walked in the area around the harbor for about one hour. The port is well maintained and is used for both commercial and passenger traffic. As you walk in that area you will have a great view on the boats that are parked there or that are entering the port area.
In any day you decide to visit the port, the atmosphere is very chill, with people walking around and enjoying the wonderful landscapes to the sea.
3. Explanada de España
At just a few meters distance from the port you will find Explanada de España, a maritime promenade. This promenade runs parallel to the port and it gets busy during the evening. You can find there many touristic shops and some simple terraces where you can enjoy a coffee or a beer.
The promenade is surrounded by lots of palm trees and their shadows makes it easier for you to visit it even during the hot summer days. Here you can find a mixture of locals and tourists. Citizens of Alicante love to take a walk there especially in the weekends so you will definitely feel there a very powerful spanish vibe.
4. The old quarter of Alicante
The city’s old town is a place where you can wander for hours. The quarter is full of old iberian style houses and also has some several larger constructions. Make sure when you’re walking through the old city that you won’t miss the Town Hall, Casa Carbonell, Cathedral St. Nicholas, Labradores street and the whole district of Santa Cruz.
Alicante may be famous for its beaches and resorts, but if you will get there you shouldn’t miss this old quarter.
5. Eat tapas at D’Tablas
On our trip to Alicante we ate some traditional food like paella, sea food and arroces. But what impressed us the most was a little tapas place called D’Tablas. The tapas here are very cheap and we paid around 12 euros for 12 types of tapas. You can also order a “caña”, which is a small glass of beer, that costs just 60 cents.
In this place you will definitely feel like a local. During the evening it gets really busy in there and you will find people eating their tapas outside of the bar. The tapas are served on some small pieces of wood and the waiters will come to you with a tray from where you can choose any kind of tapas you want. We assure you that these tapas are very delicious.
6. The beaches
We recommend you to visit two main beaches: Playa del Postiguet and Playa de San Juan. Playa del Postiguet is located right at the foot of Castillo de Santa Barbara. Due to its central location, this beach is the most popular in Alicante and during the summer days is full of tourists and locals. Playa del Postiguet lies on a surface of about 900 meters and it’s much more smaller than Playa de San Juan.
Playa de San Juan is pretty far away from the city center, but you can go there by bus or by tram. This beach is 3km long and is not that overcrowded as the Postiguet Beach. You will find there lots of bars and restaurants and you can also enjoy some sports activities.
7. Parque El Palmeral
If you’re in love with the palm trees you should definitely go to Parque El Palmeral. This park is located outside the city, but there’s no problem as you can get there by bus. When we got there, the park was pretty empty so we could enjoy a lot of peace and quiet.
Visiting the park is a great way to get out of the crowded city because you can really feel the nature when you walk around it. The views in there are incredible so you can get some great shots with your camera.
8. Bars and clubs
Alicante is also well known for its night life. Especially during weekends, the city is still alive until 4 to 5 am. Lots of young people visit Alicante just for the clubs and bars. You can find there different kind of nationalities and you can get to know a lot of locals.
The top rated bars on tripadvisor are Canibal Lounge Pub, Augustin Pub Alicante and Gatsby Cocktail. But don’t look only for those three. If you got lucky, you can also find there even some open air parties.
Foto: Facebook / Pub Texaco
9. Visit other cities on Costa Blanca
One of the best things in Costa Blanca is the transportation. The authorities have built a tram line that connects Alicante to small cities like Villajoyosa, Benidorm or Calpe. We’ve only visited Villajoyosa, which is a joyful small town with colorful houses and great beaches.
But don’t stop on Villajoyosa. Try to take the opportunity and also visit Benidorm and Calpe. Benidorm is the “Manhattan of Spain”, with very big and modern buildings that make you feel like you’re in New York. Calpe also has its own charm and you can have a great time there even if you’re going for just a few hours.
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