Two days in Alicante give you enough time to see what the city has to offer and with a little bit of planning involved, you can see everything you would like too while also sitting down for a long breakfast, enjoying a glass of wine for lunch and having a great time during dinner. Basically, what I’m trying to say is - Alicante is the perfect destination for some slow travel days. Let’s see what you shouldn’t miss during your holiday here.
Castell de la Santa Bàrbara
Our first stop after breakfast was the castle. Castell de la Santa Bárbara looks over the city since the 9th century (but even artefacts from the Bronze Age were found here) and when you look up from your breakfast on almost any terrace in any street, you can see it above the city.
It’s definitely possible to take an elevator up to the castle from Postiguet beach but it’s a good hike if you have the time and energy to get moving. It takes about 40 minutes to get up there, the walk will reward you with many beautiful sights of the city and you’ll definitely have your workout for the day done.
The entry is free and you can explore all the hidden corners, rooms of all sizes and view from the walls for as long as you like. I’d suggest you have a look at the exhibition of photos that have captured life in Alicante during the last century or so. When you need a break, there are benches under the trees and a small café in the courtyard.
Barrio de Santa Cruz
We came across this beautifully colourful quarter when we were walking back from the castle. The streets are narrow, winding around houses and it’s amazingly calm and quiet. It’s the oldest part of Alicante so have your camera ready for all the colours but be respectful to the people who live here and don’t want to be disturbed. We only met a few locals in the streets and it’s only right that tourists don’t make noise here because it’s not a tourist attraction. Don’t miss it, you’ll find the atmosphere totally different from the rest of the city.
Basilica de Santa Maria
You can’t miss this oldest church in Alicante when you’re going up or down from the castle. Stop by to see the beautiful interior (every day between 11 am and noon and 6:30 pm- 8 pm) and if you want to rest for a minute or two, the square in front of the basilica is pretty charming. Order a coffee and enjoy it here away from the crowds.
Contemporary Art Museum
If you have a spare hour or two, head to the Contemporary Art Museum. Not only you will be inspired by modern Spanish artists but the building itself is an architectural gem. It’s the oldest secular building in town and after reconstruction, the interiors are very simple and modern. The collection consists of over 800 pieces but since there is only space for a third of them, the exhibitions are rotated year around. Which means if we ever come back, we will for sure visit the museum to see a different part of the collection.
La Explanada de España
The promenade that connects the city beach with many restaurants and shops has been here since the 1950s. For sure the first thing that will catch your attention is the original pavement that creates an optical illusion and looks like you’re walking on waves. It’s the perfect place to look for souvenirs, coffee and enjoy the sun on one of the benches.
Ayuntamiento de Alicante
The city hall is probably not the most obvious choice for sightseeing but it houses a true treasure, a golden sculpture by Salvador Dalí. You can see it anytime the hall is opened, just be aware that during the weekend, all the other parts of the city hall are closed for weddings. During the week you can walk around a bit more.
The two-storey market, where half of the city meets (not only) on weekends, is a very popular form of shopping in Spain, and in search of good jamón and cheese, we set out to explore the offers of as many stalls as possible. We also ended up buying extraordinary olive oil (in a small bottle to fit the 100 ml hand luggage limit) and turrón, the typical sweet bar that you can find anywhere and everywhere in Alicante and surrounding cities.
And the last stop of our trip, the harbour. We headed there for the sunset and enjoyed a glass of wine overlooking the boats and the rays of sunshine reflecting on the sea surface.
When the sun sets, it’s time to start thinking about where to have a delicious dinner. You want some tips? Head over to the guide featuring where to eat but also all the important practical bits.
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