When most people plan a trip to mainland Spain, Alicante is rarely at the top of their list. Instead places like Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga garner the most attention. In reality though, Alicante is the perfect escape for those who crave beautiful beaches and the Spanish culture, without dealing with an overwhelming amount of tourists. Granted, Alicante does not have quite as much to offer as the bigger cities, but there is still plenty to see and do;
1. Santa Barbara Castle
Towering above Alicante, the walk up this castle may seem awfully intimidating, but I can promise that it is well worth it. It is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe and is completely free to walk up. Once at the top you are treated to 360° views of the ocean, mountains and city below. Within the castle grounds you can also see the remains of cannons, a palace, dungeons and the ruins of what was once a small church.
2. La Explanada de España
Down by the marina you will find a beautifully boulevard tiled with red, black and cream to represent the waves of the nearby ocean. It is like nothing I have ever seen before and a real sight to behold. Along the boulevard you will find nice outside cafes as well as rows of market stalls and talented artists selling their work. Adding to the beauty of the La Explanada de España, the boulevard is also lined with palm trees. These trees provide relief from the summer sun as well as give the entire city a tropical feel.
3. El Coscorrón
Considered the best mojito bar in Alicante, El Coscorrón is a must visit. What makes this pub extra appealing is the fact that the walls, roof and stairs are covered head to toe in graffiti. Travellers from all over the world have left their mark and you can spend hours reading all their messages, and if you wish to add to the collection, the friendly barman is all too happy to oblige.
4. La Havana
Whether it be informal salsa dancing lessons or a beer pong tournament, there is always something happening in La Havana. As one of the most popular bars in the city, it is the perfect place to interact with both the locals and other tourists. The drinks are also reasonably priced and the music usually consists of songs pulled from the American top 40, to make you feel right at home.
The most obvious place to visit in Alicante is probably the beach. With its sandy white shores and clear blue ocean, it really is a slice of paradise. There are even sun loungers set up, making it the perfect place to relax and take in the sunshine.