Alicante (Costa Blanca, Spania) – Ce sa faci, Top 9 atractii turistice

Alicante is one of those places where you can find all the elements of a great vacation on the Spanish coast: a colorful city, with good energy, with a mild climate, with beautiful beaches and a positive atmosphere.

It is a suitable tourist destination to be visited all year round: in summer the city turns into a resort by the sea, and in winter you can enjoy the good temperatures to explore the city.

This year, in January, we chose to run away from the cold in Romania and arrived at the sea, in Alicante. It's true, it wasn't beach weather, but with average temperatures of 15 degrees and a friendly sun, we enjoyed the wonderful views that Alicante offers.

I invite you to read in this article how we found Alicante in January, what we visited and what you shouldn't miss if you get here, either in winter or summer.

About Alicante


Alicante is a city in the south-east of Spain, located on the Mediterranean coast, more precisely on the Costa Blanca. It is the capital of the province of Alicante, in the autonomous community of Valencia, and has a population of approximately 350,000 inhabitants.

Alicante is an important tourist center, being a popular destination due to its location by the sea and the warm climate. The city offers a variety of activities and attractions: famous beaches with fine sand, with blue flag, the naval port, historical monuments, parks, restaurants or bars. In addition, Alicante is in a convenient location to explore the entire Costa Blanca and its surroundings.

About Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca is the area located on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in the province of Alicante, with a length of over 200 kilometers. It stretches from the city of Denia in the north to Torrevieja in the south.

The Costa Blanca is especially known for its beaches, having in 2022 a number of 74 blue flag beaches, and among them I list: un numar de 74 de plaje cu steag albastru, iar printre acestea le enumar pe:

  • Playa de San Juan, Alicante
  • Playa del Postiguet, Alicante
  • Playa de Levante, Benidorm
  • Playa de la Fossa, Calpe
  • Playa de los Naufragos, Torrevieja
  • Playa del Cura, Torrevieja
  • Playa de la Glea, Calpe
  • Playa de los Locos, Torrevieja
Playa San Juan, Alicante
Playa San Juan, Alicante

The blue flag assigned to a beach is an European distinction that recognizes the quality of services on a beach, together with environmental protection. This is based on a strict set of rules, such as water cleanliness, first aid and rescue services, waste management, etc.

In addition to the beaches, you can find here different options for spending free time: water sports, excursions, picturesque towns and resorts such as Alicante, Benidorm, Villajoyosa or Calpe.


How to get around in Alicante

In Alicante you can travel very well with public transport, including trams and buses.

A ride in the city costs 1.45 euros. If you travel by bus, you can buy the ticket directly from the driver, and you can pay in cash or by card.

To ride the tram, you must buy your ticket in advance, from the vending machine, or directly from the tram, if there is no vending machine in the station (you buy it from the vending machine, and then it is mandatory to validate it). Keep in mind, if you want to travel by tram in nearby towns, such as towards Benidorm, that the price differs depending on the final destination. Alicante is considered to be zone A, and Benidorm is in zone B, so you will need a travel ticket for zones AB. It costs 2.8 euros, or 2.4 euros if you buy a return ticket. There are 5 tram lines that run in the city and along the beaches, and they are very suitable for tourists.

Also, if you consider that you need more trips in the city, you can buy a card with 10 trips, for 8.7 euros, or 30 for 26.10 euros.

Statia tramvai Luceros, Alicante
Luceros tram station, in the city center

How to get from the airport to Alicante

To get from the airport to the city you can take the C6 bus. It runs at a frequency of 20 minutes, and a ticket costs 3.85 euros and you can buy it directly from the driver (cash or card).

A taxi ride from the airport to Alicante city center costs around 25 euros.

Where to stay in Alicante

Our recommendation is to stay in the central area, to be as close as possible to the places you want to visit, shops, the beach or restaurants.

Our accommodation in Alicante was this: Tomate Rooms. Being off-season, the price per night was 65 euros (for two people).

What to do in Alicante

1. Explanada de Espana

The most representative image of the city of Alicante is definitely the Explanada de Espana, the beautiful paved promenade near the port, which connects Postiguet Beach to the city center. Surrounded by palm trees, along it you will find many terraces and little shops with souvenirs and handmade products.

Explanada de Espana, Alicante
Explanada de Espana

2. Santa Barbara Castle

Another symbol of the city is the Santa Barbara Castle, the image of the castle located on the hill being representative of Alicante. Located at 166 meters above sea level on the Benacantil mountain, the castle is visible from any part of the city, and to reach the castle, be prepared for a climb of almost half an hour.

Castelul Santa Barbara, Alicante

If it is too difficult to go up on foot, you can call a taxi or a shuttle bus from Plaza del Doctor Gómez Ulloa. There is also an elevator with which you can go up from the base of the mountain to the castle, but at the moment it is non-functional for an indefinite period.

Entrance to the castle is free. And the landscapes are beautiful, we were fascinated by the panorama of the city seen from here.

3. Beaches

Alicante is a city by the sea, and the most attractive places for tourists are definitely the beautiful, long beaches with fine, yellow sand. There are 3 blue flag beaches in Alicante: Playa del Postiguet, Playa San Juan and Playa de la Albufereta.

Playa del Postiguet

Playa del Postiguet is located right in the center of the city, which makes it the most visited and accessible beach, but also the most crowded. The turquoise, clean water, the fine sand and the hill with the castle rising creates an wonderful image.


Playa San Juan

Playa San Juan is my favorite beach: a 6 kilometer long beach, wide, airy and quiet. The location is a little further from the center, but you can get here easily with trams 1, 3, 4 or 5.

Playa San Juan

4. Center - El Barrio de Santa Cruz

Alicante city center is very chic, with the architecture typical of Spanish cities. Get lost in the city streets, admire the buildings, rest with a coffee on a terrace or stop at one of the many shops you will find on your way.

Churches - Santa Maria Basilica, San Nicolas Co-Cathedral

In the center you will find two representative churches for Alicante, which stand out for their Gothic architecture and which you should not miss: the Basilica of Santa Maria, the oldest in the city, and the Co-Cathedral of San Nicolas. Both have free entry.

Basilica Santa Maria
Basilica Santa Maria
San Nicolas Co-Cathedral
San Nicolas Co-Cathedral

El Carrer dels Bolets (Carrer de Las Setas)

Carrer de Las Setas, or the mushroom street, as I like to call it, is a pedestrian street in the city center famous for its statuettes in the shape of mushrooms or forest insects. It's a very cheerful street, which will surely make you feel good when you pass by.

Museums – Archaeological Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art

Some museums you can visit are MARQ - the Archaeological Museum or MACA - the Museum of Contemporary Art.

A ticket to the Archaeological Museum costs 2 euros, while entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art is free. Both museums are closed on Mondays.

Mercado Central

As in other cities in Spain, Alicante also has a Mercado Central, the typical Spanish market where you will find different specific food products, such as fruit, ham or fish. The market is open from Monday to Saturday, between 7am and 2pm.

5. The port

The port of Alicante is one of Spain's commercial ports, but also a cruise center. A walk through the port will give you the opportunity to admire all the elegant boats here, but also the beautiful buildings on the city esplanade.

Port Alicante

6. Benidorm

Benidorm is the most famous resort on the Costa Blanca, being also called the "Manhattan of Spain", due to the skyscrapers you can find in this city.

Playa de Levante, Benidorm

How do you get from Alicante to Benidorm

You can get to Benidorm very easily with tram 1 from Alicante. The journey takes one hour, and the ticket costs 2.8 euros (or 2.4, if you buy a return ticket for 4.8 euros).

What to do in Benidorm

Benidorm has 2 long and beautiful beaches: Playa de Poniente in the west and Playa de Levante in the east. Along these beaches you will find tall buildings, representative of Benidorm, beautifully placed.

Playa de Poniente

Playa de Poniente, Benidorm

Playa de Levante

Playa de Levante, Benidorm
Playa de Levante, Benidorm - view from Balcón del Mediterráneo

As a panoramic point, don't miss the Balcón del Mediterráneo. Being located between the two beaches, from here you can see Benidorm in all its splendor.

The resort is very lively and populated, with many activities: the beach, water sports, terraces, night clubs. Even in January, when we visited, Benidorm was full of tourists, and the terraces by the sea were fully occupied.

7. El Palmeral Park

El Palmeral Park is a natural park in Alicante, full of palm trees, as the name suggests. It is an oasis of greenery, a place where you can relax by walking quietly among the alleys with palm trees. Entrance to the park is free and you can get here from the center by bus 1.

Parcul El Palmeral

8. Costa Blanca

Besides Benidorm, you can explore the beautiful beaches of the Costa Blanca, or the picturesque towns, such as Villajoyosa. You can choose to travel by tram or rent a car, for more flexibility.

9. Tabarca Island

If you want to enjoy a boat ride, you can choose such a trip from the port to the island of Tabarca. Tabarca Island is a small island located 1 km from the coast, a marine reserve where visitors can explore the surroundings and admire the Mediterranean Sea in all its splendor.

You can also book such a trip here: Alicante: 6-Hour Catamaran Cruise to Tabarca Island.

What to eat in Alicante

Alicante, like the rest of Spain, is the place where you can find various tasty dishes, both from local and international cuisine. Specific to Spain, don't miss the famous Paella, tapas or Sangria.

On the seafront and in the center you will find many stylish terraces and restaurants, among which I can recommend In Bocca Al Lupa or Vagabond. Prices are similar to those in the rest of the country.

Where to shop in Alicante

If you arrive in Alicante and want a shopping session, Av. Maisonnave is the street you have to reach. You can find many famous shops here, and the most important shopping center is El Corte Ingles, very popular in Spain. This is a very large store, located on several floors, with a multitude of branded products, including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein or Michael Kors.

El Corte Ingles

Alicante in winter

Although the main tourist activity in Alicante and on Costa Blanca takes place during the summer, when tourists come to enjoy the beaches and the beautiful sea, Alicante is not at all a destination to be avoided during the winter.

In the middle of January, we caught only sunny days and temperatures of 15 degrees. The city is airy, and it seems that a walk through the streets or a dose of sun on the beach is even better for you, when you are not bothered by the agglomeration and the multitude of people.

To all sea and sun lovers, we recommend Alicante in winter for a visit, but also for rest, it is a wonderful destination where you can escape from the cold, frost and gloomy days in your home country.

I leave you some pictures below, to express what we felt when we visited this wonderful place.

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Playa de Poniente, Benidorm
Castelul Santa Barbara, Alicante