Day Out Alicante City
Alicante is a city which has something for everyone. There is a beautiful historic section with the Castle of Santa Barbara as it’s crowning glory, a traditional bull ring, a wonderful long sandy beach, a impressive marina from where you can take a boat trip, a great selection of boutiques, department stores and specialist shops, and many fiestas like the famous Hogueras de San Juan around the end of June.
Santa Barbara Castle is well worth a visit. Take the tourist bus, catch the lift from the street or if you are feeling energetic walk up the path! However, the best way is to drive and park for free. Once at the top, you can explore the well preserved castle ruins, taking in the stunning views and the tranquillity of its setting. On a clear day you’ll look out over the marina and beaches to the sea, down onto the cathedral and the old town, to the bullring and the football stadium for Hercules Alicante as well as the mountains in the distance.
Places of Interest in Alicante
- Tourist Office: more information about the museums, churches and monuments, a summary of which is after the Ideas of things to do in Alicante section.
- Tourist Bus: hop on hop off tourist bus with commentary in 6 languages.
- Boat Trips: selection of trips out to sea, to Tabarca Island or a little shuttle service to the other side of the marina.
- Beaches: Postiguet beach is long and sandy.
- Marina: chic and sophisticated, lined with cafes and restaurants.
- St. Barbara Castle: is open everyday and offers some stunning views of the city.
- Shops: many boutique style shops as well as the usual collection of well known high street names including two massive El Corte Ingles department stores.
- Alicante Hercules Football Stadium: watch Alicante’s football team play their home matches.
Ideas of things to do in Alicante
- To get to know the city in one day we suggest parking at the marina car park (charged for length of stay) and following our Alicante city walking route around the city. You'll discover the old quarter, the Nativity and Hogueres Museum (both free) and the tourist office. If you want to make a small deviation you can also visit the bull ring (free). Then enjoy a leisurely lunch at the marina overlooking the many impressive yachts.
- Park at the marina (charged for length of stay) and start your day with a tour of Alicante on the Tourist Bus. Your ticket is valid all day and you can hop on and off where you like. Stay on for a complete circuit then decide where you want to go back to and explore some more.
- Pack a picnic and drive up to the Santa Barbara castle, it is free to visit and park. There are some tables and benches which offer stunning views out over the Mediterranean sea. Take the lift down to street level and walk beside the marina or along the Explanada de Espana with its wavy tiles and permanent market stalls. Then catch the lift back up to the castle and your car.
- Watch one of Alicantes Hercules home games. The Spanish are very passionate about their football, like all of the European nations, so enjoy the atmosphere at the ground and then spend some time in the city.
The Tourist Office for information about the museums and other places of interest
Remember that most museums are closed on a Monday and for siesta which is generally 14.00-16.00 in the winter and 14.00-17.00 in the summer.
- MARQ Provincial Archaeology Museum: displays of archaeology supported by modern audiovisual techniques.
- MUBAG Gravina Fine Arts Museum: works of art created in Alicante from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
- Hogueras Festival Museum: all about the annual celebration bonfires of Hogueras de San Juan.
- Nativity Scene Museum: permanent exhibition of nativity scenes.
- The Bullfighting Museum: beside the bullring, exhibitions all about the bullfighters from Alicante including their ornate costumes (you can go into the actual bullring during the mornings only).
- Alicante Water Museum: located half way up the slopes of Mount Benacantil which is topped by the castle, the museum shows the history of water in the city.
- The MACA Contemporary Art Museum: important collection of 20th century art including works by Chillida, Picasso, Dalí and Miró.
- MUA Museum of Contemporary Art: located at Alicante University displays contemporary art.
- Lucentum Archaeological Site: the major archaeological remains of the Roman city of Lucentum.
- Santa Bárbara Castle: at a height of 166 meters on top of Mount Benacantil, stands one of Spain's largest mediaeval fortresses, providing great views of Alicante.
- Alicante Provincial Council: built in 1928 it houses a major art gallery.
- Town Hall: baroque 18th century building with several remarkable rooms to wander through and the Cota Cero", the reference point from which the altitude of Spain's various cities is measured in metres above sea level.
- The Santa María Basilica: is the oldest church in the city and was built upon the ruins of Alicante's largest mosque.
- The Santa Faz Monastery: built to guard a relic that was brought over from The Vatican in the 15th century which, according to popular tradition, was the fabric with which Veronica dried the bleeding face of Jesus on the Way of the Cross (5km).
- Alicante Theater: opened in 1847 it currently has capacity for an audience of 1027 people.
- Maisonnave Palace: inside the building that dates back to the 16th century is the City Archives and a display of the ruins of a late-Roman necropolis.
- The Central Market: built in 1912 it still houses the daily market Monday-Saturday 07.30-14.30.
- The Santa Cruz Hermitage: located half way up the slopes of Mount Benacantil.
- The Edificio Carbonell Building: is one of the most striking buildings in Alicante, built between 1922 and 1925 from the profits of a textile business.
- The Las Agustinas Convent: this convent was built in the 18th century for Jesuits.
- Explanada de Espana: over 6.6 million tiles of 4x4cm marble were used to create the wave pattern.