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Free Things To Do in Alicante

If you have extra time, Castillo de Santa Barbara is worthwhile.

#1

#1 in Alicante

Free
You'll find this piece of shoreline just about 6 miles north of Alicante. Playa del San Juan is accessible by bus or tram, and it's known as one of Spain's best beaches, in fact, many travelers say it offers a better beach experience than you'll find at Postiguet. It's also pretty long (a little more than 4 miles), so you'll surely be able to carve out your own little space in the sand. And just behind the beach are restaurants, nightlife venues and even an 18-hole golf course.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
San Juan Beach
You'll find this piece of shoreline just about 6 miles north of Alicante. Playa del San Juan is accessible by bus or tram, and it's known as one of Spain's best beaches, in fact, many travelers say it offers a better beach experience than you'll find at Postiguet. It's also pretty long (a little more than 4 miles), so you'll surely be able to carve out your own little space in the sand. And just behind the beach are restaurants, nightlife venues and even an 18-hole golf course.
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#2

#2 in Alicante

Free
Old Town Alicante's boundaries are roughly drawn by the streets Rambla de Méndez Núnez and Explanada de España, and Mount Benacantil, which is topped by the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. Ideal for meandering, Old Town's narrow streets will also give you a true feel for this city. On your wander, you'll probably happen on the city's town hall, cathedral, a convent and a handful of museums, including the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts and the Museu de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada. Frommer's recommends checking out the Barrio de Santa Cruz, which is "a colorful section with wrought-iron window grilles, flowers, and a view of the entire harbor."
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Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Old Town Alicante
Old Town Alicante's boundaries are roughly drawn by the streets Rambla de Méndez Núnez and Explanada de España, and Mount Benacantil, which is topped by the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. Ideal for meandering, Old Town's narrow streets will also give you a true feel for this city. On your wander, you'll probably happen on the city's town hall, cathedral, a convent and a handful of museums, including the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts and the Museu de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada. Frommer's recommends checking out the Barrio de Santa Cruz, which is "a colorful section with wrought-iron window grilles, flowers, and a view of the entire harbor."
... more

#3

#3 in Alicante

Free
Carthaginians built the first incarnation of this fortress in 400 B.C.; Romans and Arabs later used the fort and added to it — drawbridges, battery, hospitals, dungeons, and more. Today, the complex is solely used for tourism. Admission is free, but you'll face a small fee if you want to take the elevator up to the castle from the Avenue de Juan Bautista Lafora. If you'd rather walk to the top (and burn off a few paella calories), you can head east from Plaza del Carmen.
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Castles/Palaces Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Castillo de Santa Barbara
Carthaginians built the first incarnation of this fortress in 400 B.C.; Romans and Arabs later used the fort and added to it — drawbridges, battery, hospitals, dungeons, and more. Today, the complex is solely used for tourism. Admission is free, but you'll face a small fee if you want to take the elevator up to the castle from the Avenue de Juan Bautista Lafora. If you'd rather walk to the top (and burn off a few paella calories), you can head east from Plaza del Carmen.
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#4

#4 in Alicante

Free
The ideal place to people watch, the trademark Explanada de España is a marble-laden promenade, constructed from 6.5 million mosaic tiles. Lined by benches and several rows of palm trees, the walk is hemmed in by the shore on one side and several blocks of restaurants and nightclubs on the other.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Explanada de España
The ideal place to people watch, the trademark Explanada de España is a marble-laden promenade, constructed from 6.5 million mosaic tiles. Lined by benches and several rows of palm trees, the walk is hemmed in by the shore on one side and several blocks of restaurants and nightclubs on the other.
... more

#5

#5 in Alicante

Free
Las Hogueras de San Juan (the Bonfires of Saint John) is an annual event that takes place around June 24. Similar to Valencia's Las Fallas event, Alicante's version includes a huge parade with elaborate ninots (effigies), street parties, fireworks, a market, a beauty queen, flower offerings and a lot of drinking. And although most of the effigies are fed to the massive bonfire's flames, the best ones are saved and preserved in Alicante's free Museo de Fogueres. If you're traveling to Alicante between the dates of June 19 and 24, keep in mind that the city will be overrun with festivalgoers. For more information, visit this website
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Festivals Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Las Hogueras de San Juan
Las Hogueras de San Juan (the Bonfires of Saint John) is an annual event that takes place around June 24. Similar to Valencia's Las Fallas event, Alicante's version includes a huge parade with elaborate ninots (effigies), street parties, fireworks, a market, a beauty queen, flower offerings and a lot of drinking. And although most of the effigies are fed to the massive bonfire's flames, the best ones are saved and preserved in Alicante's free Museo de Fogueres. If you're traveling to Alicante between the dates of June 19 and 24, keep in mind that the city will be overrun with festivalgoers. For more information, visit this website
... more

#6

#6 in Alicante

Free
The Palmeral de Elche (or Palm Grove of Elche) has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its grove of more than 11,000 palm trees — the largest in all of Europe. It also has roots that are "traditionally attributed to the Phoenicians and Carthaginians in the 1st millennium BC," according to UNESCO.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Palm Groves of Elche
The Palmeral de Elche (or Palm Grove of Elche) has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its grove of more than 11,000 palm trees — the largest in all of Europe. It also has roots that are "traditionally attributed to the Phoenicians and Carthaginians in the 1st millennium BC," according to UNESCO.
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#9

#9 in Alicante

Free
This museum is a little ironic: Modern art by the likes of Calder, Dalí and Picasso is housed in the city's oldest building. But the Museo de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada (or the 20th Century Art Collection) has nearly 200 works displayed in the 17th-century baroque building. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museo de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada
This museum is a little ironic: Modern art by the likes of Calder, Dalí and Picasso is housed in the city's oldest building. But the Museo de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada (or the 20th Century Art Collection) has nearly 200 works displayed in the 17th-century baroque building. 
... more

#10

#10 in Alicante

Free
If you don't want to travel too far from the city center, Postiguet Beach is the place to go. Backed by a promenade (aka a "boardwalk") and a line of palms, it's also very crowded. However, this local beach doesn't get points for being super picturesque or even that clean. "This is not exactly the beach I was dreaming of. Very crowded, loud, full of seniors ... very dirty, rubbish in the water," said one TripAdvisor user.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Postiguet Beach
If you don't want to travel too far from the city center, Postiguet Beach is the place to go. Backed by a promenade (aka a "boardwalk") and a line of palms, it's also very crowded. However, this local beach doesn't get points for being super picturesque or even that clean. "This is not exactly the beach I was dreaming of. Very crowded, loud, full of seniors ... very dirty, rubbish in the water," said one TripAdvisor user.
... more
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