|Like many other coastal cities in Southern Spain Alicante offers great beaches, but this city is far from just a beach holiday destination. Alicante attracts tourists of all ages and tastes as the city has plenty of attractions to visit when you’re not soaking up the sun on the beach!
Castle of Santa Barbara
Mount Benacantil stands almost in the centre of Alicante and it’s home to one of the city’s main landmarks and tourist attractions, the Castle of Santa Barbara. The site of this castle has been in use for thousands of years by many different civilisations, and the current castle has its origins in the 9th century. The castle had many uses over its time and was abandoned for some years until 1963 when it was opened to the public as a tourist attraction. You can reach the castle via an elevator, by car, or if you’re feeling energetic you can walk up.
San Nicolas Cathedral
Alicante’s main church is the cathedral of San Nicolas which dates from when construction began in 1613, and was completed in 1662. The cathedral was actually constructed over the site of an ancient mosque, so this was holy ground prior to San Nicolas being constructed. Compared to some cathedrals, San Nicolas isn’t all that much to look at from the outside and while the inside is somewhat plain it still has an austere beauty.
Basilica of Santa Maria
In contrast is the oldest active church in Alicante, the Basilica of Santa Maria. The Gothic style church was built between the 14th and 16th centuries, and it too was built over the remains of a mosque.
Visitors who want to find out more about the culture and history of Alicante can visit some of the city’s museums. The history can be explored at the Archaeological Museum of Alicante where you can see artefacts dating back thousands of years. There are also several art museums; the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts which is set within the Gravina Palace, and the Asegurada Museum of Contemporary Arts.