Bucket List: What are the Top Tourist Attractions in Alicante, Spain?
Located on the picturesque shores of Costa Blanca, Alicante is famous for its stunning beaches and bars and is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. It is also an ideal city break hotspot for many tourists looking to escape the bustle of city life. Alicante has something for virtually everyone as long all you want is to have a good time. Today we will help you with the hand-picked 15 best things to do in this Valencian Community city.
A short boat rides off the coast of Alicante, you will find this pristine island known for its stunning small town punctuated by whitewashed buildings and an ancient cathedral. Tabarca is a must-visit if you find yourself in Alicante.
The boats run daily from the port to the island for €18, return for adults, and €15 for kids. The voyage is breathtaking since the island’s waters have been listed under the Mediterranean Marine Reserve due to their beauty and plenty of marine life.
The island has many tourist amenities such as shops and fine restaurants, but you can pack a picnic if you like. A sweeping sandy beach and a coastal path leading to various picnic spots.
Just like any Spanish vacation, you should pack sunscreen!
Explanada de Espana
The Promenade Explanada or Paseo de la Explanada is a striking pedestrianized street in Alicante and runs from the Old Town parallel to the quay. The road is packed with tall palm trees and paved with beautiful marble tiles, creating a magnificent variety of wave patterns.
The street is also a great place to buy some souvenirs and enjoy some tasty Spanish treats. There is also an outdoor market where you can buy traditional products and crafts.
Moreover, there are many entertainment options along the street, including live performances, cultural events, and festivals.
A trip to this Spanish seaside town is not complete without trying the Alicante Tram. The ride is spectacular, as the tracks pass through the coastal path and up through the hills and several isolated small villages and towns.
Along the way, look out for San Juan, and Altea stops. The former is known for its endless dune and clear blue water, while the latter is located further down the route and away from the city center but is also a must-visit as it is a small beautiful Spanish town with a lot to offer. If you packed your camera, Altea contains plenty of photo ops.
Playa del Postiguet
You can just call it the Postiguet beach. It is considered the most beautiful beach in Alicante. The beach is expansive and stretches miles and miles before stopping at the bordering San Juan.
Playa del Postiguet is where you can truly satisfy your beach cravings. A few hours on these idyllic white dunes is enough to quench your beach longings for many months.
This beach is usually crowded with international and local visitors during summer, making it the most visited spot in Alicante during this season. But that shouldn’t put you down, this beach, as we have mentioned, is vast, and you will find areas with fewer crowds.
There are also plenty of beachfront tapas restaurants.
Castillo de Santa Barbara
While Alicante doesn’t strike as a historic destination, its past is hidden in Castillo de Santa Barbara. The entire city was built at the foot of the 9th-century Santa Barbara Castle. The castle, though exceptionally preserved, has a history of battles and wars.
It can be reached via an elevator, or if you feel adventurous, a winding trail is available to take you to the top.
It may seem like a mere castle, but there is plenty to see here to take up your entire day! Head to the top for a spectacular city vista or explore preserved rooms and learn a few things about the city.
Alicante also has delicious ice creams with different colors and flavors. While there are plenty of parlors where you can try a few cones, we recommend Heladeria Borgonesse. Among the flavors you can find here: are Ferrero Rocher, stracciatella, and passion fruit.
This place is ideal, especially for backpackers traveling on a budget. The ice cream parlor is located adjacent to the main esplanade and a few meters from the beach.
Parque el Palmeral
If you want to get out of the city, Parquet el Palmeral is an excellent option. Packed with unique botanical wildlife, tall palm trees, and cascades, this park is like the Garden of Eden of Alicante. To reach it, take a train or C6 airport bus.
Calling this park beautiful is a massive understatement.
Though there is no place to buy sunscreen, it has toilets and food and drink shops, so make sure you always carry yours throughout this trip.
Just as you would expect of any coastal city, Alicante also has a marina, which is spectacular. Alicante’s Marina has plenty of yachts for rent and even sleep in. at night, the city lights illuminate the waters, making for a breathtaking and dreamy stroll along the water’s edge.
There is also SoHo Bar in Marina, which serves lovely cocktails and tasty coffee.
Barrio de Santa Cruz
The city’s old town might be the most underrated spot in Alicante. Barrio de Santa Cruz is situated on the hillside, which disconnects it from the busy city. Its windy paths give you that antiquated vibe and the crumbling buildings with whitewashed walls provide perfect photo ops.
The area has several cafés serving delicious coffee, tapas, and paella. Barrio de Santa Cru is the best spot for lunch and escaping the bustling Alicante.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante
This museum is located in Plaza de Santa Maria, across from the Basilica of Santa Maria, and features excellent contemporary art pieces.
It was recently opened in 2001 and houses a permanent collection from the 20th century, two prominent local artists, Mediterranean art, and a gallery space for works on loan and traveling exhibits.
The 20th-century collection includes 175 pieces by notable artists such as Julio Gonzalez, Salvador Dali, and Juan Gris.
Check-in at the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art if you are an art buff.
Mercado Central de Alicante
The Central Market of Alicante is another essential landmark you must visit during your city trip. The market was finished in 1912 and features a fascinating mix of styles, including some Art Nouveaux on its façade.
The market is lively, and you will find all types of vendors selling a wide range of goods. This is where Alicante gets most of its fresh food.
The first floor is devoted to household products, meat stalls, and dairy, while the second floor is entirely for fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish.
Most local restaurants and food establishments source their ingredients from this market. Even without buying anything, The Central Market of Alicante is still an ideal place to stroll around. The place is open from Monday to Saturday from 7 am to the afternoon.
Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)
Located just behind Explanada de Espana is the city’s Town Hall. This striking Baroque building features a stunning Churrigueresue façade and two tall towers standing some 35 meters.
The staircase that leads up the building entrance is a tool used by the Spanish to measure the height relative to sea level.
If you find yourself inside the building (open to the public), check out the Blue Room (Salon Azul), which is dazzling.
Concatedral San Nicolas de Bari
You will find this 17th-century cathedral Concatedral San Nicolas de Bari, a few meters from the town hall. It was built in the 1600s on the site where a mosque stood as a dedication to the city’s patron saint. In 1959, it was designated as a cathedral by the Catholic Church.
The church’s exterior doesn’t really excite me, but the interior is so impressive. For instance, you will find a cloister and retablos in the church’s interior.
Museo Arqueologico Provincial de Alicante (MARQ)
For archeologists, this superb museum will take you on a trip through 100,000 years ago. Most of the pieces here are prehistoric – the classical era of antiquity with Roman, Greek, and Iberian relics.
The medieval display contains a collection of over 300 objects.
Most importantly, you get to see the reenactment of Roman daily life.
Palm Groves of Elche
The Palm Groves of Elche is one of Spain’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites. The site has over 11,000 palm trees, the largest in Europe. A visit to this site also offers an ideal break from the city and is a perfect one-day gateway.
The site is Huerta del Cura of Elche, a garden with the largest palm tree diversity in Europe and a nice place to take a cool walk under the shade.
Experience an Afternoon Catamaran Sunset Cruise
Treat yourself to a special sunset cruise on board a comfortable catamaran. This two-hour activity is perfect for couples, friends, or families. The tour starts with a 30-minute sale along Alicante’s Bay while sampling some homemade tapas with hand-crafted cocktails onboard.
Our Top Hotel Picks for Alicante
Hotel Hospes Amérigo – A 16th-century former convent turned into an upscale hotel; the hotel features high ceilings and abstract silk paintings. The contemporary rooms offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. The hotel also has indoor and outdoor pools, a health club, and a spa on the rooftop. The hotel is an 8-minute walk from Playa del Postiguet and 2 km from Castell de la Santa Bàrbara.
Casa Alberola Alicante, Curio Collection by Hilton – In a neoclassical building near the Port of Alicante on the Mediterranean Sea, this chic hotel is a 12-minute walk from Alacant Terminal train station 3 km from the hilltop Santa Bárbara Castle, which dates from the 9th century. Tourist attractions like Postiguet Beach are just 15 minutes away by foot.
Meliá Alicante – With Overlooking view of Playa del Postiguet Beach, this 5-star hotel is a 14-minute walk from the Mercado tram stop and 2.2 km from the 9th-century Santa Bárbara Castle.
Searching for the best Alicante hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Alicante hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
Alicante Travel and Tour Packages
To help you plan out your visit to Alicante, we listed places to visit and things to do in this city. We also listed some of the best Alicante travel and tour packages, excellent flight deals, and accommodation.
Tripadvisor has a list of the best Alicante vacation packages. You may check out Airbnb listings in Alicante for cheap but high-quality accommodation.