5 FREE Things to Do in Alicante

1. Take a stroll along the Explanada de Alicante

The Explanada Promenade, an iconic boulevard in Alicante, stands as a charming corner that captivates locals and visitors alike. This seaside promenade along the Mediterranean is a coastal gem, known for its undulating and colorful floor composed of six million tiles that mimic the waves of the sea.

Surrounded by palm trees and decorative tile benches, the Explanada Promenade is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful sunset stroll or simply relax in the shade of the palms. Street artists and musicians add a vibrant touch to this setting, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere.

This iconic promenade also hosts numerous restaurants and cafes where you can savor delicious local cuisine while enjoying the sea breeze. From here, you can contemplate stunning views of Santa Barbara Castle, which majestically stands atop a hill.

The Explanada Promenade is not just a transit area but a symbol of Alicante’s social life. Whether enjoying ice cream in the summer or strolling during the mild winter evenings, this promenade becomes the pulsating heart of the city, where history and modernity meet with the gentle whisper of the sea.

2. Visit Santa Barbara Castle

The imposing Santa Barbara Castle, standing majestically atop Mount Benacantil, is the historical guardian of Alicante and a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This centuries-old fortress offers not only a journey through time but also breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.

With roots dating back to the Middle Ages, Santa Barbara Castle has witnessed numerous events over the centuries. Its impressive architecture combines elements from different eras, from Muslim domination to Christian renovations.

Visitors can explore its ancient walls, towers, and passageways, immersing themselves in the military history of the region. Additionally, the castle hosts exhibitions and cultural events that highlight its significance in Alicante’s heritage.

Ascending Santa Barbara Castle is more than a tourist visit; it’s an experience that provides a unique perspective of the city. The panoramic terraces allow you to admire the coast, the harbor, and the urban bustle from on high, creating a stunning backdrop for unforgettable photographs.

In summary, Santa Barbara Castle not only represents Alicante’s historical strength but also serves as an iconic viewpoint connecting the past with the present, offering visitors a window into the city’s fascinating legacy.

TIP: Admission is free, but only if accessed on foot (a nice walk, though very beautiful). You can use the elevator for €2.70 or take a bus for €1.45. For more information, visit their website here.

3. Visit El Palmeral Park

El Palmeral Park, a green oasis in the heart of Alicante, is a charming place that invites relaxation and connection with nature. This extensive park, known for its numerous palm trees and landscaped areas, offers residents and visitors a tranquil escape from urban bustle.

Wide walking paths and shaded corners make El Palmeral perfect for strolling, picnicking, or simply enjoying a day outdoors. The towering palm trees create a tropical landscape in the midst of the city, providing a unique experience for those seeking a break from daily routine.

The park also features play areas for children, making it a family-friendly destination. While the little ones have fun on the swings, adults can relax on benches scattered throughout the park, enjoying the gentle murmur of fountains and the singing of birds.

The artificial lake adds a serene touch to the park, creating an idyllic atmosphere. Walking along the water or simply sitting to contemplate the reflections of the palm trees on the lake’s surface is a peaceful and rejuvenating experience.

In summary, El Palmeral de Alicante is not just a park; it’s a natural refuge that offers a perfect balance between serenity and fun. This green oasis is a testament to the city’s natural richness, inviting everyone to enjoy the beauty of outdoor life.

NOTE: Unfortunately, pets are not allowed.

4. Make a stop at The Ocean Race Museum

The Ocean Race Museum in Alicante is a fascinating window into the world of ocean sailing, located in the heart of the city. This museum, dedicated to the prestigious round-the-world regatta, offers an immersive experience that combines history, technology, and the unique thrill of high-sea competition.

From its beginnings to the present day, the museum narrates the exciting story of The Ocean Race, highlighting the feats of sailors and the evolution of boats over the years. Interactive exhibitions allow visitors to explore the challenges faced on the oceans and learn about the brave teams participating in this unique competition.

State-of-the-art technology, such as navigation simulators (if you want to use them, you’ll need to reserve and check the schedules), gives visitors the opportunity to experience the adrenaline of sailing in tumultuous waters and feel the intensity of the regatta. Additionally, the museum showcases innovations in sustainability and environmental awareness that characterize The Ocean Race, promoting responsibility towards the oceans and the environment.

The museum not only celebrates the competition but also emphasizes the special connection Alicante has with The Ocean Race, being the starting port for several editions of the regatta. The modern architecture of the museum, located in the Alicante marina, integrates seamlessly with the maritime environment. And since you’re here, you can walk along the marina promenade and have spectacular views of the sea.

In summary, The Ocean Race Museum is a must-visit for sea and adventure enthusiasts, offering a unique perspective on ocean sailing and the thrilling history behind this prestigious regatta.

TIP: Although it is free, they offer guided tours for €3. If you want to take one, you must book 48 hours in advance. You can find all the information on their website here.

5. Take a walk through the Santa Cruz Neighborhood

The picturesque Santa Cruz Neighborhood in Alicante is a charming labyrinth of cobblestone alleys and colorful houses that encapsulate the authentic essence of the city. This historic corner, located at the foot of Santa Barbara Castle, offers visitors a unique experience of tradition and authenticity.

Walking through the narrow streets of Santa Cruz is like immersing oneself in a Mediterranean fairy tale. The vibrant facades and flowers adorning the windows create a charming atmosphere. This neighborhood is famous for its celebrations during Holy Week, where processions fill the streets with devotion and color.

Cozy squares and small courtyards are ideal places to relax and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings. Additionally, workshops by local artisans offer visitors the opportunity to discover and appreciate traditional craftsmanship.

Santa Cruz is also home to the Ermita de Santa Cruz, a small church that adds a spiritual touch to this charming neighborhood. From its cobbled streets, visitors can ascend to Santa Barbara Castle, enjoying spectacular views as they explore this unique labyrinth.

In summary, the Santa Cruz Neighborhood is not just a tourist destination but a window to the authenticity and history of Alicante. Every corner tells a story, making it a special place where the past and present intertwine charmingly.