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City guides

Alicante city guide

Alicante coast line

Make Alicante the right way!

Alicante is located on the Costa Blanca of Spain, just south of Valencia. The eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain is home to some of the countries best beaches and vacation destinations and Alicante stands out among them. 

Alicante has plenty of great things to see and do, not to mention tons of excellent food to be enjoyed. Check out our city guide and discover all the must-see-and-do activities in the city to make the most out of your visit.

Alicante city guide - Table of Contents

Practical information to plan your visit to Alicante

5 top reasons to visit Alicante

Castillo de Santa Barbara

The Castle of Santa Barbara looks like something straight out of a movie. The city of Alicante was originally built around the amazing castle of Santa Barbara. The fortress sits strategically high up on a hill, overlooking the city.

The castle was built back in the 9th century and has seen many battles and survived them all pretty much intact. Nowadays accessing the castle is quick and easy using the elevator at the base of the steep hill. You can still use the original winding path that takes if you are up for a bit of a workout. 

The interior is pristinly preserved as well and features a small museum of sorts. The rooms are used as displays for original artifacts, artwork, and furnishings from historic Alicante. You will also find a gift shop and a Café if you need a bite to eat. 

Playa del Postiguet

Postiguet beach is the best beach you will find near the city center of Alicante. The large swathe of golden sand stretches the length of the city and spills over into the neighboring town of San Juan

As urban as Postiguet beach is, it feels quiet and secluded and much further away from the city than it actually is. During the summer months, the beach can get crowded but you can always find less congested areas if you are willing to take a stroll up or down the beach. The Promenade is filled with all sorts of little places where you can enjoy a drink or some beach side tapas. 

The Historic city center and the Explanada de España

The historic city center of Alicante is known locally as “El Barrio” and, aside from Postiguet beach, this is the main highlight of the city. 

El Barrio is interconnected by narrow, winding cobbled streets and is brimming with “old Spain” charm. You will find all sorts of shops and at night the neighborhood comes alive when the local bars and restaurants open their doors and begin serving the best tapas and rations you will find in the city. 

There are other nightlife options in the city, but “El Barrio” definitely is the most authentic version. Most places stay open late into the night and offer free tapas with each drink (a very typically Spanish thing to do), but you can also find more elegant options if you prefer a quiet, romantic dinner for two. 

In the historic city center, you will also find the emblematic Explanada de España. This is the city’s main promenade, that can easily be found thanks to its multicolored tiling. The walkway features over 6 million red black and cream-colored tiles and was built back in 1867, the brainchild of architect Jose Guardiola Pico.

Here you will find an open-air market with stalls showcasing handmade trinkets, jewelry, purses, rugs, and much much more. There is also a wide selection of bars and cafés lining the boulevard which are a perfect place to enjoy a snack as you stroll down the promenade. 

Tabarca

The island of Tabarca is the perfect day trip if you are staying in Alicante. Just off the coast, you will find this small, beautiful, and untouched island. 

Tabarca is home to a picturesque “white village”, typical of southern Spain. The town is quaint and features a beautiful historical old church, the perfect place for a romantic little getaway. 

Getting there is super easy as well. Boats run daily from Alicante harbor for just €18. The boat trip is an experience on its own, as the waters that you will sail across are a protected marine reserve, with crystal clear water, teeming with all sorts of underwater flora and fauna. 

As a heads-up, there are very few dining options on the island and they can get pricey. The best option is to pack a pick-nick that you can enjoy on the beach. 

Barrio de Santa Cruz

Located outside Alicante’s city center, on a hillside, this charming little neighborhood feels secluded and far away from the hustle and bustle. It is also somewhat of a hidden gem, which contributes to the feeling of being miles and miles away from Alicante. 

The buildings are white, old and adorned with blooming flowers, the streets are narrow and winding, and there are no shortage of little bars and coffee shops where you can have a bite to eat in a more traditional setting.

Best time to visit Alicante

The best time to visit Alicante depends on what you want to experience. The city explodes with life during the summer months with al sorts of festivals and celebrations. It is when the city is the most crowded as vacationers flock to thes very popular tourist destination. 

During the winter months the weather wont allow you to enjoy the beach, one of the cities main features.  

April, May and June are probably your best bet if you want to have good weather and you want to enjoy the city peacefully.

Weather in Alicante

Alicante enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot summers, great weather in spring and autumn, and very mild winters.

Best things to do Near Alicante

benidorm
Cities

Benidorm City Guide

Benidorm is a popular beach town in Alicante, a province of the Community of Valencia. This laid back beach town is a popular party destination and is home to some of the best beaches on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

Bornfire during the San Juan Festival in alicate, Spain
blog

San Juan fiestas in Alicante, Spain

The San Juan Fiestas in Alicante, or Bonfires of San Juan, are a celebration of pagan origin that is repeated in many towns in Spain and similarly in other cities around the world for the arrival of the summer solstice. They can go on from the 21st to 23rd of June, the shortest night of the year. In the fires, the evil is destroyed and the freshly picked harvests are celebrated.

La Tomatina Festival in Buñol
Fiestas

The amazing La Tomatina Festival in Buñol

The tomato fight (la Tomatina festival) is celebrated each year on the last Wednesday of August in Buñol – one of Valencia’s municipalities. The tomato fight goes from 11 to 12 in the morning.
The history of the tomato festival starts in 1945 where a group of young kids waited for the beginning of a local celebration near a vegetable stand and began throwing them until the police put a stop to the battle.

Video of Alicante - The city in a nutshell

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