Alicante Sightseeing and Places to Visit
Alicante historical district, El Barrio, tenders winding streets and is where many points of interest are located. Some of the highlights include:
Ayuntamiento This is Alicante s Town Hall and its point of interest is a prime example of Baroque design and you will descend upon your entrance into El Barrio.
MARQ Mueso Arqueologico Provincial de Alicante Elected European Museum of the Year in 2004, the MARQ is an innovated hi-tech architectonical museum and that will thrill the whole family. Civilizations from prehistory to modern day are covered along with Alicante’s rich past touched upon.
Palacio Gravina Alicante Housed in an 18th Century palace of Count of Lumiares and his family, the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts is home to a phenomenal collection of artwork. The permanent collection features an impressive 500 works by major artists of the 16th through 20th centuries.
Mueso de la Asagurada Alicante This casa dates back to 1685 and has been carefully restored to its former glory. It now houses a collection of 20th century fine arts with the majority loaned by Alicante art collector, Eusebio Sempere. Within the collection you will find MirÃ³, DalÃ, Picasso, Juan Gris and Julio GonzÃ¡lez.
Las Hogueras Museum de Sant Joan Alicante One of the most important festivals in Alicante is the highlight each year in June celebrating St. John. Needless to say, if you can not make it, Alicante has a museum which one can learn all about the festivals history. On display are old posters and advertisements, costumes, photos and videos. It will be almost like attending the festival.
Iglesia de Santa Maria Alicante No town in Spain would be without a church and Alicante has many. The Iglesia de Santa de Maria is one of the prettiest and oldest in El Barrio.
Northwest of the elegant boulevard, towards the heart of the city, you will see the impressive Cathedral de San Nicolas . Around it are the narrow streets of the El Barro , or old quarter, which has most of the economical accommodation and the best of nightlife. Meanwhile, southwest near Calle de Italia , are the central tourist office, post office, and the citys main train and bus stations.
The Castillo de Santa Barbara, is the sole structure puncturing the skyline of Alicante. This fortress is the stuff of fairy tales, with its age old high walls and domed turrets. Seated atop and crowning Monte Benacantil, a rocky promontory flanking the city and its harbour, the Castillo de Santa Bárbara has to be the most conspicuous feature in all of Alicante. The Castillo de Santa Barbara is a stately and ancient fortress towering six
hundred feet on Mount Benacantil, dominating the city’s horizons. From the apex of the castle, visitors can grasp a commanding panoramic view of the bay and city, affording an impressive sight of the beautiful coastline and many kilometres of the beautiful countryside. Here, the views over the city sweep the visitors of their feet.
The Iglesia de Santa María is the oldest church in the town of Alicante, standing below the castle, on the slopes. The cathedral, built in the 13th century, was recently restored in the year 2003 -2004. Notably, the splendour of the church mostly lies in its facade along with the high altar,
which is all entirely Baroque. The church’s interiors are spectacularly Gothic. Behind the cathedral is the Barrio de Santa Cruz, clinging to the hillsides. Forming part of the Villa Vieja (the old quarter), this is a section of the town characterized by lovely neighbourhoods with wrought iron window grilles, banks of flowers, and a view of the entire harbour.
Castillo de San Fernando (Castle of St. Ferdinand) is located on the Tossal hilltop (although completely demolished). In the first place, there is truth to saying that this fortress was never completed, as it was begun just before the French invasion. Sports and leisure activities are held in its spacious platform regularly.
Palacio Gravina (Gravina Palace) presently houses the provincial Archives. The Archives are governed by the provincial Council and more often than not, exhibitions and cultural activities are accommodated in this building.
The Castle of Santa Bárbara
Perched on top of Mount Benacantil, at a height of 166 metres, stands one of Spain’s largest mediaeval fortresses, providing great views of Alicante’s perfect bay. It has three different enclosures from three distinct periods:
The upper enclosure, “La Torreta”, is where visitors will find the keep and the most ancient remains of the fortress, which mostly date from the 14th century.
The mid-level enclosure is home to the most important buildings, which were built in the 16th century. These include:
the Salón Felipe II hall
the Cuerpo de Guardia guardhouse the Patio de Armas parade ground the Baluarte de la Reina bastion.
The lower enclosure dates back to the 18th century and is home to the Revellín del Bon Repós ravelin.
July and August
From monday to sunday: 10.00am to 10.00pm
From monday to sunday: 10.00am to 10.00 pm
October to March
From Monday to Sunday: 10.00am to 8.00pm
April to June
From monday to sunday: 10.00am to 10.00pm
The island’s waters are officially declared a Mediterranean Marine Reserve for their excellent quality and for the biodiversity of their flora and fauna.
Tabarca is the only inhabited island in the Region of Valencia and is located opposite the city of Alicante, 11 nautical miles offshore and near the Santa Pola headland. In fact, it’s more than just an island: it’s a small archipelago that comprises the islets of La Cantera, La Galera and La Nao as well as the Isla de Tabarca itself. It is approximately 1,800 metres long and measures some 400 metres across at its widest point.
In the past, its shores were a refuge for Berber pirates and, in the 18th century, King Carlos III ordered the island to be fortified and a town built, in which to house several families of Genoese fishermen who were being held prisoner in the Tunisian city ofTabarka. The walls surrounding the town have been officially declared a Historical and Artistic Site and an Asset of Cultural Interest.
The Carbonell House
Casa Carbonell stands on La Explanada de España, this is one of the most striking buildings in Alicante. Built by J. Vidal Ramos between 1922 and 1925.
The Town Hall of Alicante
Ayuntamiento de Alicante
This baroque civil building was designed by architect Lorenzo Chápuli and erected on the site of the former town hall in the 18th century. At the foot of the building’s main staircase is the so-called Ground Zero.
The Central Market
This building with its modernist-inspired elements was built under the supervision of J. Vidal Ramos between 1911 and 1912, over the 18th century walls that surrounded Alicante.
The San Nicolás Co-Cathedral
Construction began on the San Nicolás Co-Cathedral in the year 1600, replacing a building that had stood their previously. It is built in the Herrerian renaissance style and is located in the heart of the city.
Museums and Cultural Centres
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante
The Contemporary Art Museum MACA is housed in the city’s oldest surviving civil building. In the baroque style, it dates back to 1685 and is located next to the Santa María basilica. It was originally designed as a cereals warehouse but was also used as a business school before finally becoming a museum.
Volvo Ocean Race Museum / Museo Volvo Ocean Race
The first in the world that offer to visitors a chance to experience the extreme Challenges faced by the elite sailors competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world and a race which has Its headquarters in Alicante.
Provincial Archaelogy Museum MARQ / MARQ. Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante
Awarded Best European Museum of 2004, carries out its activities with the main challenge of being the first archaeological museum of XXI century.
Gravina Fine Arts Museum. MUBAG / Museo de Bellas Artes Gravina. MUBAG
This museum occupies the 18th century Gravina Palace, which once belonged to the Count of Lumiares and housed the Provincial Archives. It exhibits works owned by the Provincial Council of Alicante, with collections comprising works of art created in Alicante from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
Alicante City Museum. MUSA / Museo Musa Alicante
The new Museo de la Ciudad de Alicante (Alicante City Museum) (MUSA), in the fortress of Santa Bárbara, is spread out over five rooms. The ensemble also includes an aljibe, a water tank from the Renaissance period, and a Video room, screening a video about the “Espacio del dolor” (Painful Space) (the dungeons).
Fogueres Festival Museum
If you are interested in festivals and its history, this museum is one of the best exponents of Bonfires of San Juan . A festival wich has been Officially declared to be of International Tourist Interest. Free admission
Alicante’s Water Museum
Know about the influence of the water on the history of Alicante, and discover the different methods of extraction, the new distribution and return technologies of water to the environment.
Las Cigarreras Cultural Center
The popular tobacco factory was established at the beginning of the 19th century and is an outstanding example of the area´s architectural urban heritage. When tobacco production was transferred to the surrounding suburbs, the old factory was taken over by the town council.
The Bullfighting Museum of Alicante. / Museo Taurino de Alicante.
This museum is housed in one of the buildings that form part of the city’s bullring on the square known as Plaza de España.
Lucentum Archaelogical Site
Located just 3 kilometres from the city centre, in the area known as Tossal de Manises, are the major archaeological remains of the Roman city of Lucentum or ancient Alicante, which are an important reference point for the Ibero-Roman period.
University of Alicante Museum. MUA
Devoted to contemporary art, this museum was opened in December 1999 and is located on the campus of the University of Alicante in the nearby town of San Vicente del Raspeig. It is the only museum as such to be housed on a university campus.
La Lonja Exhibition Hall
In this unique building there are numerous exhibitions (painting, sculpture, history, nature, …) and activities.
Nativity Scene Museum
This museum is located in a traditional house typical of the city’s Old Quarter. It is home to a permanent exhibition of nativity scenes in homage to the great nativity scene tradition of Spain and various other countries around the world and its collection includes several international pieces. Free admission.