Combining a beach holiday on the Costa Blanca with a unique city trip – all this is possible in the port city of Alicante without having to leave the city. Blogger Tobias shows you the most beautiful sights in Alicante.

Holiday on the Costa Blanca? I associate that with beautiful stretches of coast directly on the Mediterranean Sea in south-eastern Spain. The port city of Alicante, with a good 330,000 inhabitants, offers not only beaches and guaranteed sunshine, but also a unique old town with many cafés and fantastic vantage points over the city. In the following I will show you what makes Alicante so unique for a holiday in Spain.

Take a walk through the old town

Personally, I really like the mix of beach holiday and city trip. Alicante is neither a small nor a big city, so you can easily explore it on foot. The old town in particular, with its narrow streets and beautiful buildings, offers a special flair that goes well with good weather and has a new surprise in store on every street corner. Here you will find many opportunities to enjoy the city feeling on the Mediterranean under palm trees in small parks or adjacent cafés.

A yellow older house with balconies and wooden doors in Alicante.
Whether yellow, pink or blue – the houses in the streets of Alicante have beautiful colors and make the city colorful.

My tip: take your time when you stroll through the old town of Alicante. Because surprises are hidden everywhere. From small parks to great buildings to churches such as the Basílica de Santa María and museums such as the MACA contemporary art museum , you will find something everywhere. You can feast on delicious pizzas in a great atmosphere in the Burro Canaglia and you can spend the night in the old town in the pretty Hotel Boutique Palacete S.XVII .

Colorful houses in a narrow streets of Alicante.

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Entrance of a church with a black door and a figure of Mary in the old town of Alicante.
In the old town of Alicante there are highlights to discover on every corner, such as this small church.

Discover the beautiful parks in Alicante

Everywhere in the old town of Alicante you will find small oases. Parks that invite you to linger and accommodate a lot of greenery. I really liked the “Portal de Elche” park right in the center of Alicante. Surrounded by many old buildings and various shopping opportunities, you can enjoy the midday sun under the palm trees.

My tip :   There are many parks and gardens in Alicante. A short break in the shade should definitely be in there. In combination with a café con leche or an aperitif, the café Soho Parc in the Portal de Elche is ideal. 

A fountain in the middle of the old town of Alicante between many trees and palm trees.
In this park, in the middle of the old town of Alicante, you can relax wonderfully.
A big tree in the park of Alicante old town.
In the middle of the old town of Alicante there is also a lot of greenery to discover.

Photograph the mushroom trees on Mushroom Street

One of the most popular photo opportunities is in the center of Alicante. Calle de Las Setas is also known as Mushroom Street . Surrounded by shops, the pedestrian street was beautified in 2013 by artist Sergio Martinez. The street was painted yellow, toadstool houses and towering mushrooms were erected. Much to the benefit of the many shop owners who have since seen an increase in visitor numbers. And Alicante is richer by a great photo spot.

My tip : Mushroom Street is very busy throughout the day. If you want to take a picture without many people, then you should come here in the early hours of the morning. 

The Mushroom Street in Alicante with mushroom figures.
Mushroom Street is one of Alicante’s most popular photo opportunities.

Off to the beach – Alicante combines city and beach

Enough of the city? Then it’s off to the beach – and it’s very close to the city. Alicante’s most popular beach and landmark is Playa del Postiguet . This beach is within walking distance from the center. Due to its exposed location, Playa del Postiguet is usually very busy, so I would recommend visiting other beaches.

There are also great beaches to the east of Alicante. The sea is generally very calm here on the Costa Blanca and is ideal for swimming. The beaches Playa de la Albufereta or Playa de la Almadraba are really nice and quiet . The Playa de la Almadraba beach is a bit out of the way, but you not only have a great view of the Mediterranean Sea, but also of Alicante itself. And in the evening you can make yourself comfortable on the terrace of the Villa Bandida restaurant and the enjoy excellent Spanish dishes.

My tip : If you visit Playa de la Almadraba in the early morning, you can enjoy the peace and quiet while the temperatures are still pleasant and soak up the unique atmosphere in the center of Alicante.

Blue sea in the foreground of Playa de la Almadraba in Alicante.
View of Alicante from Playa de la Almadraba.

Visit the Castillo de Santa Barbara

A short walk away and a few meters higher is the Castillo de Santa Barbara . This castle is considered one of the largest castles in Spain and is perched on a 166 meter high hill. You can already see the castle from the beach and the harbour. Santa Barbara Castle has a long history. Remains from the Bronze Age and traces of the Romans could be found here. With an entrance fee of less than 3 euros, a visit to the castle complex is also quite cheap. Personally, I was won over by the fantastic view of Alicante from this hill. So far up and the city at your feet.

View of Alicante from the Castillo de Santa Barbara.
So many houses of different heights – the view of Alicante from the Castillo de Santa Barbara.

Stroll along the Explanada de España

The Explanada de España is one of the most beautiful sights in Alicante. The approximately 500 meter long promenade separates the city from the sea and is paved with more than 6 million mosaic stones in the colors red, white and blue. Surrounded by the many shady palm trees, a walk is a must here. The regularly held hippie markets and the open-air auditorium La Concha with alternating concerts make a visit worthwhile.

The Explanada de Espana made of tesserae between palm trees in Alicante.
The Explanada de Espana – here you can stroll wonderfully under the palm trees.

Excursion to Santa Maria Magdalena in Novelda

If you are in Alicante, you should definitely take a trip to Novelda . Novelda is located in the north of Alicante and can be reached by rental car in about 20 minutes. In Novelda you will find the pilgrimage church of Santa Maria Magdalena, the so-called small Sagrada Familia, which can be admired in Barcelona. On the main facade there are 25 meter high side towers, which you can see from afar because the church is on a hill. A very impressive and interesting church.

The Sanctuary of Santa Maria Magdalena in Novelda, Alicante surrounded by mountains.
Simply breathtaking – the pilgrimage church of Santa Maria Magdalena in Novelda.

Practical tips for your trip to Alicante

  • What’s the best way to get from A to B? A rental car is ideal for exploring the area around Alicante. In Elche, for example, you will find a fantastic palm park. In Alicante itself, you can easily get from A to B on foot. If you want to use public transport, you can find out more   about bus and tram connections on the Alicante Tourist Office website.
  • When is the best time to visit Alicante? Alicante on the Costa Blanca has more than 300 days of sunshine and is therefore suitable for a city trip at any time of the year.
  • What is Alicante known for? Alicante is known for its so-called Mushroom Street, a street full of mushrooms that has become a real tourist attraction. But the beautiful old town, which is only a good 5-minute walk from the beach, with its many parks and the combination of culture and direct proximity to the beach, also has its charm. Alicante offers the ideal combination of city trip and beach holiday.
  • Can you swim in Alicante? From March you have a pleasant 20 degrees when bathing in Alicante. In the summer months it can be warmer here. Many beaches are located just outside the city gates. Playa del Postiguet and San Juan Beach are among the best known and most popular beaches in Alicante.
  • Where is the most beautiful place in Alicante? In Alicante, the old town and the Explanada de Espana are two impressive and photogenic places. Near Playa de la Almadraba is   one of the best cafés in town with brunch .


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