As stated in happylife.es articles, Alicante, nestled on the Costa Blanca of Spain, is a vibrant port city with a captivating blend of stunning sandy beaches, a charming Old Town, and the commanding presence of the Castle of Santa Barbara, providing an unforgettable destination. Ideal for a leisurely exploration on foot, Alicante invites you to wander through narrow city center streets, inhale the fresh sea breeze, and take a stroll along the enchanting promenade.
This one-day itinerary ensures you discover the top attractions of Alicante with a self-guided walking tour. From the iconic Santa Barbara Castle to the historical wonders of the Old Town, and concluding with a relaxing beachside stroll, this guide covers it all.
Santa Barbara Castle
Embark on your Alicante adventure with a visit to the must-see Santa Barbara Castle. Dominating the city skyline atop Mount Benacantil, this fortress is an iconic landmark reflecting Alicante's rich cultural history. Dating back to the 9th century, when the Moors erected it as a defensive stronghold, the castle has witnessed modifications and expansions under various rulers, including the Arabs and Christians. Primarily from the 16th century, the castle offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, Alicante, and the Serra Grossa mountains. Reach the castle via the elevator from Playa del Postiguet or take the scenic footpath. Despite the Spanish sun, the uphill hike is rewarded with exploration of the castle's towers and ramparts.
Opening hours: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm.
Post Santa Barbara Castle, descend to El Barrio, the captivating Old Town of Alicante. Wandering through narrow, winding streets adorned with colorful buildings and charming plazas, you'll encounter historical landmarks such as the Central Market, Concatedral de San Nicolás, Santa Maria Basilica, and the City Hall. This self-guided walking tour allows you to immerse yourself in Alicante's history while providing opportunities to indulge in meals, coffee, or shop at local boutiques.
Central Market of Alicante
A crucial stop in the city is the Central Market, a splendid example of modernist architecture. Housing fresh produce from the Valencia orchard, the market is a sensory delight filled with flavors and aromas of the Mediterranean. Spread over two floors in a beautiful 20th-century building at the end of La Rambla in Alicante, the market offers diverse and attractive presentations of products. Enjoy tapas and wine while shopping for fresh vegetables and fruits.
Operating hours: Weekdays from 7 am to 2:30 pm, Saturdays from 7 am to 3 pm, closed on Sundays.
San Nicolás Cathedral
Following your exploration of the Central Market, stroll through El Barrio's charming streets to reach the Concatedral de San Nicolás. While the cathedral's exterior may seem austere, its interior is a marvel with intricate stone carvings and vibrant stained glass windows. Don't miss the opportunity to enter the chapel and witness its beauty firsthand.
Opening hours: 8:30 am to 1 pm and 6 pm to 8:30 pm.
Santa Maria Basilica
Built in Valencian Gothic style between the 14th and 16th centuries, the Basilica of Santa Maria stands as the oldest active church in Alicante. Erected over the remains of a mosque, the basilica's single nave and six side chapels showcase its historical significance. Designated as a basilica in 2007, it remains a testament to Alicante's architectural heritage.
Opening hours: 10 am to 1 pm and 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
The City Hall
Concluding your Old Town exploration, visit the City Hall. With a magnificent central dome, clock tower, and adorned facade, this baroque masterpiece was designed by architect Lorenzo Chápuli in the 18th century. Housing remarkable rooms like the Salón Azul and the Salón de Plenos, the City Hall offers insights into Spain's historical periods.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Friday from 9 am to 2 pm, closed on weekends.
Famous Mushroom Street
Known as "The Mushroom Street," San Francisco Street has become a tourist hotspot. Just 300 meters from Hotel Alamo, this street in the traditional center of Alicante is adorned with mushroom decorations, creating a fantasy-like atmosphere. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Mushroom Street is a hub for social activity, featuring bars and restaurants that embrace its quirky character, attracting visitors from far and wide.
The Explanada De España
Take a leisurely stroll down the vibrant Explanada de España, a lively promenade adorned with colorful mosaic tiles and palm trees. Numerous outdoor cafes, bars, and dessert places line the way, providing the perfect opportunity to relax and savor an ice cream, coffee, or glass of wine. Transitioning to the seafront, leave the Old Town behind as you enjoy the lively atmosphere along the Explanada de España.
Playa Del Postiguet
Concluding the walking tour, a short walk from the Explanada leads to Playa del Postiguet. This sandy beach, boasting fine golden sand and crystal-clear waters, is a testament to Alicante's commitment to coastal preservation. Whether for a refreshing dip or a leisurely sun-soaked day, Playa del Postiguet is a beloved destination, celebrated in popular songs for its allure to the people of Alicante.
When visiting Alicante, relish the joy of the sea in the heart of the city. For locals, the accessibility of Postiguet beach throughout the day is a true luxury, making it a popular year-round destination.
* Original drafters