What To See In Alicante
By: John Downes
Alicante is located on the sun blessed Costa Blanca, on the eastern coast of Spain. The city and region attracts thousands of visitors each year – not only is it blessed with some fantastic beaches and great weather it has some terrific tourist attractions that you will always remember should you visit them.
Check out our guide to the best tourism sights to visit in Alicante…
Santa Barbara Castle
This perfect vantage point is located on Benacantil Mountain, and towers high above Alicante City. You could say that the Castle is the premier icon of Alicante. Erected during Moor rule in the 10th century, there is so much to see in and around the fortified structure. The views from the Lookout Point are superb and well worth experiencing for wonderful evening vistas of the city.
The Castle has all that you would expect from a structure of this type, with old style cannons, basement dungeons, the typical moat, a small church and remains of a palace. All around the walls of the buildings you will get opportunities to take those special holiday snaps. If you get weary of traipsing the steps and steep pathways you can relax with a coffee at the two café areas set in a wonderful shade of green pine trees.
Another fortified structure that is worth seeing is the Huerta de Alicante Towers – originally built to defend the city from robbers and pirates.
Explanada de España Promenade
This marble stone promenade is reckoned by many to be one of the most aesthetic in Spain. Palm trees line the promendade, and it makes a wonderful spot to watch the world go by, and also catch some of the concert performances that take place here throughout the summer months.
There are also some charming market stalls along the promenade here, and you can pick up a bargain whilst checking out the local handcrafts and wares!
Paseo de Gadea holds an art market every evening and is well worth discovering. The Conde de Vallellano is close to the Explanada de España and you can relax along this promenade with a delicious coffee and snack combination, and marvel at the ‘Icarus Returns' statue that appears to float in the water!
Alicante Marina and El Puerto Complex
Why not check out the luxurious Alicante Marina and El Puerto area? The El Puerto houses some chic bars and upmarket restaurants. The café bars are a good spot to relax outside on the terraces. You might catch a glimpse of the rich and famous here! You will get a great culinary experience at one of the many sea food eateries.
The Panoramis Centre is located to the harbour side of the Marina and you take a ferry to get there. The modern eateries, stylish shops and drinking bars offers are well worth checking out. You will be afforded great views of the Santa Barbara structural relics from here, plus in the harbour the many expensive yachts. Perch yourself on a bench and let the world pass you by!
Alicante Religous Architecture
The prominent church in Alicante is The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Bari which dates from the 17th century. It is constructed in the style of typical Valencian architecture, with a wonderful blue dome. You could also check out the Santa Maria Basilica, built at the location of a former mosque where you will marvel at the superb Gothic styles. These are located in the area called La Ramblas.
Iglesia de Santa Maria (St Mary's Church) is built in the Gothic style and was begun in the 14th century. The art is well worth checking out in this church. The 16th century white marble font is from Michaelangelo's style
There are plenty of museums that you can discover when rambling around the streets of Alicante!
The Archaelogical Museum is one of the best of its kind in Europe. It features wonderful work by the Spanish Art Masters, Picasso, Dalí and Sempére. The Alicante University Museum is housed in a modern building in the University of Alicante and has wonderful art exhibitions. If you are interested in the Roman heritage of Alicante, make sure to visit the Lucentum Archaelogical Museum, which is located on Mount Tossal. The Roman ruin of Alcudia still has more excavations taking place and there will be more discoveries found there in the coming years.
Lucentum/Alcudia was a thriving city in the first century of Christianity, and the origin of Alicante City. Here you can see the remains of streets, baths, pottery and the houses of the inhabitants. La Casa de La Asegurada was built in the late 17th century and is the oldest civil building in Alicante. It now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Other Architectural Sights to Exlore
At La Ramblas, you will come across the Alicante Town Hall (La Ayuntamiento), instantly recogniseable by its twin towers. There is a wonderful statue of Dali to see here. After the Catedral de San Nicolás de Bari you will come across the Santa Cruz area. The Chapel of Santa Cruz was built at the end of the 18th century and every Easter makes up a large part of the religious celebrations.
Along Teatro Street you will come across the Teatro Prinipal, the main theatre of Alicante. Built in the neo-classical style, and has a a wonderful interior. This is the cultural centre of the city , and you can enjoy ballet, operatic and theatre performances.
If you are interested in shopping around for a bargain check out La Mercado Central, with meat being sold on one floor and fish on the other, and also features a daily flower market. The market is quite busy so make sure to get there early!
If you check out the street called Calderon de la Barca you will come across the esteemed Plaza de Toros which was constructed in 1849 and is one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, and very much in use today! There is a museum dedicated to the art of bullfighting here.
The main beach in Alicante City is Playa del Postiguet. Other ones to check out are: Playa Del Coco, Playa de la Albufereta, Playa de la Almadraba and Playa de San Juan.
If you fancy some authentic shopping experiences, then check out the The Rambla de Méndez Núñez which is traditional shopping area of the city. The Maisonnave area features the larger department stores and name shops. Avenida Gran Via and Plaza Mar 2 are two shopping centres to be aware of. The Panoramis Complex is open 24 hours and offers everything from shopping to bars, restaurants and a 13 screen cinema.
The main festivals of Alicante take place during the summer – St John's Bonfire Festival in June and the Alicante Summer Festival which takes place from end July to the end of August.
Hope you enjoyed our guide what to see in Alicante.The best way to see Alicante is to secure a great value car hire . For the best choice in discount car hire, visit our Car Hire Alicante Airport page.
About the Author
John writes for Novacarhire.com - an independent car hire reservation website where you can book low cost car hire at over 5,000 locations worldwide.
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