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Day Out Alicante City
Alicante is a city which has it all; a vibrant historic section with the Castle of Santa Barbara as it’s crowning glory, a traditional bull ring, long fine sandy beaches, an impressive marina from where you can take the boat to the Island of Tabarca or across the marina to the Panorama Centre, a great selection of boutiques, department stores and specialist shops, and many fiestas including the famous Hogueras or Bonfires around the end of June.
Santa Barbara Castle is well worth a visit. If you are feeling energetic, you can walk the 166m to the top through the old quarter, take the tourist bus or catch the lift from the street. However, the best way is to drive and park for free! You can explore the well preserved castle ruins at your own pace, taking in the stunning views and the tranquillity of its setting. On a clear day you’ll look out over the marina and beaches to the sea, down onto the cathedral and the old town, you’ll see the bullring and the football stadium for Hercules Alicante as well as the mountains in the distance.
The Tourist Office for information about the museums and other places of interest
- MARQ Provincial Archaeology Museum: displays of archaeology supported by modern audiovisual techniques.
- MUBAG Gravina Fine Arts Museum: works of art created in Alicante from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
- Hogueras Festival Museum: all about the annual celebration bonfires of Hogueras de San Juan.
- Nativity Scene Museum: permanent exhibition of nativity scenes.
- The Bullfighting Museum: beside the bullring, exhibitions all about the bullfighters from Alicante including their ornate costumes (you can go into the actual bullring during the mornings only).
- Alicante Water Museum: located half way up the slopes of Mount Benacantil which is topped by the castle, the museum shows the history of water in the city.
- The MACA Contemporary Art Museum: important collection of 20th century art including works by Chillida, Picasso, Dalí and Miró.
- MUA Museum of Contemporary Art: located at Alicante University displays contemporary art.
- Lucentum Archaeological Site: the major archaeological remains of the Roman city of Lucentum.
- Santa Bárbara Castle: at a height of 166 meters on top of Mount Benacantil, stands one of Spain's largest mediaeval fortresses, providing great views of Alicante.
- Alicante Provincial Council: built in 1928 it houses a major art gallery.
- Town Hall: baroque 18th century building with several remarkable rooms to wander through and the Cota Cero", the reference point from which the altitude of Spain's various cities is measured in metres above sea level.
- The Santa María Basilica: is the oldest church in the city and was built upon the ruins of Alicante's largest mosque.
- The Santa Faz Monastery: built to guard a relic that was brought over from The Vatican in the 15th century which, according to popular tradition, was the fabric with which Veronica dried the bleeding face of Jesus on the Way of the Cross (5km).
- Alicante Theater: opened in 1847 it currently has capacity for an audience of 1027 people.
- Maisonnave Palace: inside the building that dates back to the 16th century is the City Archives and a display of the ruins of a late-Roman necropolis.
- The Central Market: built in 1912 it still houses the daily market Monday-Saturday 07.30-14.30.
- The Santa Cruz Hermitage: located half way up the slopes of Mount Benacantil.
- The Edificio Carbonell Building: is one of the most striking buildings in Alicante, built between 1922 and 1925 from the profits of a textile business.
- The Las Agustinas Convent: this convent was built in the 18th century for Jesuits.
- Explanada de Espana: over 6.6 million tiles of 4x4cm marble were used to create the wave pattern.
Remember that most museums are closed on a Monday and for siesta which is generally 14.00-16.00 in the winter and 14.00-17.00 in the summer.
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