Alicante Old Town is full of cobbled streets, which are intriguing to explore. Worth visiting are the Santa Barbara Castle, the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts and the ground-breaking archaeological museum. Postiguet Beach is family-friendly, while younger visitors will appreciate Alicante's lively nightlife. For a relaxing day out, Tabarca Island is a short boat trip away, where you can explore its tiny walled town and the surrounding nature reserves.
Alicante is pleasant all year with mild winters, but the summer months do get extremely hot. Hotels will be pricier during July and August peak months. The Bonfires of St John is an important annual celebration, starting on the 20th June. Enormous papier-mâché effigies are burned during the night of the 24th-25th June, marking the official start of summer. This is followed by a week of fireworks on the beach. The Moros y Cristianos, or Moors and Christians Festival, is on the 21st-24th April, when 12th century Reconquest battles are noisily re-enacted.
Expect the airport to be busy as it is the gateway to Benidorm, Torrevieja and other Costa Blanca resorts, as well as Alicante. To escape the crowds on beaches, head slightly away from the town to quieter coastal areas. Wherever you are, enjoy some delicious Paella for lunch, as Valencia is the birthplace of this dish. You will find the cost of living in Alicante about 30% lower than London, with restaurants even being up to 45% cheaper. Spain follows Central European Summer Time or CET in winter.
Travel from the airport to the city by shuttle bus, which takes 20 minutes, departs three times an hour and costs about 3.80€. Local buses run from the airport and to other towns along the coast, like Torrevieja, Murcia and Benidorm. Taxis from the airport cost around 25€.
Explore central Alicante by foot, but if you do need public transport you will find a good bus and tram network covering both the city and coastline. Single Zone 1 tickets are about 1.35€, but to save money buy a rechargeable card for approximately 2€ and spend about 7.60€ on a ten journey top-up. Taxis are cheaper than London, but can be slower than public transport.
You will find budget hotels from 40€ per person per night and shared hostel rooms can start from as little as 15€ per person per night.