Travel to Alicante: Things to do and to See in one Day
Alicante is a lively and picturesque port city situated on the Costa Blanca of Spain. Its stunning sandy beaches, charming Old Town, and the magnificent Castle of Santa Barbara overlooking the city make it a must-visit destination. It’s a great city to discover on foot, where you can lose yourself in the narrow streets of the city center, breathe in the fresh sea air, and take a stroll along the beautiful promenade.
This one-day itinerary will allow you to explore Alicante’s top attractions with a self-guided walking tour. You can visit the iconic Santa Barbara Castle, explore the historical buildings in the Old Town, and end the day with a relaxing stroll on the beach.
Santa Barbara Castle
To begin your day in Alicante, a visit to the Santa Barbara Castle is a must. The fortress is an unmistakable feature of the city’s skyline, perched on top of Mount Benacantil. It’s an iconic landmark that reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage and history, dating back to the 9th century when the Moors built it as a defense against attacks. Over the years, the castle has undergone various modifications and expansions under different rulers, including the Arabs and Christians. The castle you see today is primarily from the 16th century. You can reach the castle either by taking the elevator from Playa del Postiguet or hiking up the footpath. While the Spanish sun can be challenging, the hike up is worth the effort. Once inside, explore the castle’s towers, ramparts, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, Alicante, and the Serra Grossa mountains.
Opening hours: The castle is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm.
After visiting Santa Barbara Castle, make your way down to El Barrio, the charming and picturesque Old Town of Alicante. Here, you can stroll along narrow, winding streets and admire colourful buildings and pretty plazas. El Barrio is home to many of the city’s most important historical landmarks, including the Central Market, Concatedral de San Nicolás, Santa Maria Basilica, and the City Hall. You’ll have the chance to explore all of these sights on your self-guided walking tour of Alicante. The Old Town is also a great place to stop for a meal, coffee, or to browse local shops and boutiques.
Central Market of Alicante
It is an essential place to visit in the city, with an enormous collection of modernist architecture containing fresh produce from the Valencia orchard and all the flavour and aromas from the Mediterranean. An authentic popular market full of fresh and manufactured products, spread out over two floors of a beautiful building from the beginning of the 20th century located at the end of La Rambla in Alicante.
In this beautiful place can you find such a quantity and range of products, presented in the most diverse and attractive ways. As well as you can enjoy some tapas and wine while shopping fresh vegetables and fruits.
Operating hours are from 7am to 2:30pm on weekdays, 7am to 3pm on Saturdays, and the market is closed on Sundays.
San Nicolás Cathedral
After exploring the Central Market, wander through the charming streets of El Barrio to reach the Concatedral de San Nicolás. Though the Cathedral’s exterior may appear a bit austere, its interior is stunning, showcasing intricate stone carvings and colorful stained glass windows. Don’t miss the chance to enter the chapel and witness its beauty firsthand. Opening hours: 8:30am to 1pm and 6pm to 8:30pm.
Santa Maria Basilica
The Basilica of Santa Maria is the oldest active church in Alicante, Spain. It was built in Valencian Gothic style between the 14th and 16th centuries over the remains of a mosque.
The basilica is composed of a single nave with six side chapels located between the buttresses. In 2007, by request of the city of Alicante to the Holy See, the church was promoted to the rank of basilica.
Opening hours: 10am to 1pm and 6:30pm to 8pm
The City Hall
The final destination in your Old Town exploration is the City Hall.It boasts a magnificent central dome and clock tower, and the facade is embellished with elaborate sculptures.This baroque work of civil architectonics was designed by architect Lorenzo Chápuli and built on the site of the former city hall in the 18th century. Visitors can admire its ornamental elements such as the barley-sugar columns on the facade or its two towers.
Inside there are several remarkable rooms such as the Salón Azul styled from the period of Spain’s Queen Isabel, the Salón de Plenos meeting hall and a chapel in which mass is held. Throughout the various rooms in the building, visitors can admire interesting works by Padilla, Cabrera, Amorós and Alicante’s own Gastón Castelló. Opening hours: 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday; 9am to 2pm Friday; closed on weekends.
Famous Mashroom Street
San Francisco Street, known as “The Mushroom Street”, has become a must for tourists who visit us every day. This street is located just 300 meters away from hotel Alamo, in the traditional center of Alicante. It is known for its decoration with mushrooms as trees, turning the street into a place like something out of a fantasy world.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, the Mushroom Street has also become a hub for social activity, with several bars and restaurants located along its length. These establishments have embraced the street’s quirky character, incorporating it into their own décor and creating a lively atmosphere that draws in visitors from all over.
The Explanada De España
Take a stroll down the Explanada de España, a lively promenade paved with colourful mosaic tiles and lined with palm trees. There are plenty of cafés, bars and dessert places with outdoor seating here, so why not relax with an ice cream, coffee or glass of wine? Next on the itinerary is the seafront, where you’ll leave the Old Town behind and take a leisurely stroll down the Explanada de España. The promenade is lively, adorned with palm trees and colourful mosaic tiles.
The Explanada is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the surroundings. There are many outdoor cafes, bars, and dessert places along the way, so why not take a break with a coffee, ice cream, or glass of wine?
Playa Del Postiguet
A short walk from the Explanada lies the sandy Playa del Postiguet, where the walking tour concludes. One of the most striking features of Playa del Postiguet is its natural beauty. The beach boasts fine golden sand that shimmers under the Alicante sun, and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for a refreshing dip. The beach is clean and well-maintained, a testament to Alicante's commitment to its coastal environment.
Anyone who visits Alicante appreciates the enjoyment of the sea in the very heart of the city. For the locals, being able to go to Postiguet beach at any time of the day is a real luxury. The good weather in the area, virtually during the whole year, encourages a visit. The beach is so loved that it appears in popular songs such as La manta al coll, the lyrics of which refer to this corner as being a popular destination for the people of Alicante.