Alicante, capital of the Spanish Costa Blanca region, is popular in both summer and winter. It has a definite African feel, with women in caftans and peddlers selling carvings from Senegal populating the waterfront.


The Museu Colecció Art del Segle XX in Plaza de Santa María is the city's oldest building, although it contains a variety of interesting modern art pieces.

For spectacular views of the city and sea, visit the stately Castell de Santa Bárbara. To view Spain from a different perspective, take a wander through Europe’s largest palm forest, which is only 22km outside of the city.

Alicante's warm climate with roughly 320 sunny days per year makes beach-life feasible nearly all year round, and there is a great variety of beaches to choose from. San Juan, the largest beach in Alicante at 7km, is a short distance from the capital and is lined with villas, hotels, and restaurants. El Postiguet, located almost within the city itself, at the foot of the Benacantil mountain next to the port, is another popular beach. For a more secluded beach try La Albufereta, an intimate, residential stretch of sand, protected by the headland of the Serra Grossa.


If all you want to do is shop, head for the city's largest department store, El Corte Inglés, on Av. Maison Nave.Or stroll along the waterfront and barter for african carvings and other goods.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Nightlife usually centres along the length of the Muelle del Puerto - a stretch of pavement which is also known as the Explanada d'Espanya. There are at least 20 bar and clubs in this area, opening late into the night. Three of the most popular are Bar Potato, Casa Yum-Yum and Mesón del Puerto. If you are visiting in the summer, ask about the Trensnochador (‘night owl’). It’s a train that runs at night, connecting all the club centres and nightspots from Alicante up to Altea, enabling you to experience the best of the Costa Blanca night scene in one go.

La Dársena, established in the 1960’s, is a waterfront restaurant that is famous for offering a staggering 148 different paellas. Everything you thought couldn’t go into paella goes into the different versions here, including cauliflower, chicken liver, and lamb kidney. You can also order all the more conventional paellas as well, such as traditional shellfish. Appetizers include fritura de la Bahía, a crisp fish fry of local fish (similar to red mullet) and boquerón (fresh anchovies). You can also order a velvety smooth crab soup flavored with Armagnac or a refreshing tuna and fresh spinach tart.

La Dársena also has a popular bar, making it a worthwhile place to visit even if you don’t want to eat.

Tourist Information


Alicante is served by its own airport, simply called Alicante Airport, which is located 7 miles (11km) south of the city.

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