Old Town Alicante#3 in Best Things To Do in Alicante
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- 4.0Food Scene
Although many visitors head straight to the beaches when they arrive in Alicante, you would be remiss to skip out on a stroll through the city's Old Town. Old Town Alicante's boundaries are roughly drawn by 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. The Barrio de Santa Cruz is a must-see for its colorful buildings, quaint shops and outdoor restaurants. It's not a large area, but the pedestrian-only streets are filled with enough antique charm and lively chatter that you may want to stay for a while. The two most well-known streets are Calle San Rafael and Calle San Antonio. You should also stop at Mirador de Santa Cruz – the highest point in the barrio – to soak in the sunset.
On your wander around Old Town, you'll also happen upon the city's town hall – which you can enter to marvel at its Baroque architecture and its famous Blue Room – as well as many cathedrals, including the San Nicolás Co-Cathedral, which was constructed in the 1600s. The Old Town is also home to a convent and a handful of museums, including the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, which focuses on traditional art and sculptures by artists from the local area. Visitors also enjoy the Museu de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada, which showcases modern art that juxtaposes its location in the city's oldest building.
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#1 San Juan Beach
You'll find this stretch of shoreline just about 6 miles northeast of Alicante city. Playa de San Juan is known as one of Spain's best beaches; in fact, many recent travelers said it offers a better beach experience than Postiguet. The beach offers designated area for sports like volleyball and football. There's also a skateboarding area if you want to show off some tricks or just watch others. Not to mention, there are plenty of places to rent water sports equipment for surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and jet skiing. The beach also stretches about 2 miles, so you'll surely be able to carve out your own little space in the sand. It's accessible by tram or bus. Visitors recommend taking the L4 tram line to the Londres stop or the L3 tram line to El Campello; if you're on a bus, Costa Blanca, Costa Blanca-Milan and Plaza Coruña are all bus stops close to the beach.
Just behind the beach are restaurants, nightlife venues and even an 18-hole golf course. On a sunny day – most days – the strip is filled with people strolling. A bike path behind the beach makes it easily accessible; there is also a tram line that connects the beach with the city center and Dénia – a nearby coastal town. Public parking spaces and beachside hotels abound in this area as well. Access to the beach is free.
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