Alicante, the second-largest city in the Valencia Province in Spain, is a major tourist attraction. There is no end to sightseeing on your vacation in this region. More than six million tourists each year find the Costa Blanca, where Alicante is located, a perfect spot for a vacation. Most of them fly into Alicante airport and enjoy staying right in the city, and then taking excursions in the surrounding area.
Right in Alicante, you can visit many museums and historic buildings in the Old City. If you are interested in seeing and learning more about Spanish history and culture, this is the place for you. You could easily spend a number of days just touring around the town, so be sure to schedule a few days just to visit this interesting city.
For example, you should make sure you visit the Nativity Scene Museum, on San Augustin Street. There are hundreds of nativity scenes on display. They come from all over the world and anyone interested in all things related to Christmas will absolutely love this museum, and the museum is even free. It is no wonder it is one of the most popular attractions, all year long.
The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas de Bari is a stunning cathedral. In addition to its beautiful blue dome which is a landmark visible from all over the city, there is a dramatic black marble sculpture of Saint Nicholas at the church entrance. This cathedral is home to the Bishop of the Province of Valencia.
Don’t miss the Castle of St. Barbara, one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe. Built by the Moors in the ninth century, its imposing tower has a dominant view over the city. This castle is a treasure trove of ancient history, ranging from artifacts of the Bronze Age to Spanish sculptures from many centuries.
Once you have satisfied your cultural and historic bent, you may want to loosen up with some nightlife, and Alicante will not disappoint. The Barrio of Santa Cruz also called the Old Quarter, is the place to visit for nightlife. Although this quarter is still medieval in feeling, there are lots of bars and pubs for modern partying. You have to make it a point to spend at least one evening in the Old Quarter.
Even though there are so many cultural and historical things to do in Alicante, for many people, the real draw is the beaches. The entire Costa Blanca has Spain’s longest Summer season. Sun and the beaches are an attraction from spring to fall and you can find no better place to bask in the sun. A beautiful promenade, lined with palm trees lies alongside the beach area, and you can enjoy a drink or a bite along with your beautiful view.
The city has a great many shops, both large and small to satisfy your shopping urge. Visit the harbor and the old city, as well as El Corte Ingles, a large department store. For handmade items, visit the crafts stands down by the waterfront. There is also a large shopping mall in Alicante, called the Panoramis. It is near the harbor and though it is a typical mall similar to those in America, you may be tempted to shop there for necessary items. And American malls sure don’t have a water view like this!
While you are in this area, pass by the Real Club de Regatas (Royal Regatta Club). The Spanish Royal family visits this club, so you may be able to spot some royals while you are there.