If you happen to have read my previous article about Alicante, you should know that I was expecting much more from the city. However, I would be lying if I said there weren’t any happy moments. Knowing some secret spots you would definitely have a great time. I have good news for you! Best things to do in Alicante are free of charge. Here is the list of top free activities in Alicante I enjoyed the most:
Free activities in Alicante. Nr 1 – Visiting Santa Barbara Castle
Santa Barbara castle, without a doubt, is a major landmark of Alicante. It dominates the skyline and can be seen from almost any open area or rooftop in the city.
The admission is free, and the summit can be reached by taking a trek up one of the alternative paths, with El Erata Park being by far the most picturesque one. Keep in mind, however, that the walk up is quite long and it can be sweltering during the summer, so take plenty of water with you. Alternatively, you might opt for an elevator ride, located on the opposite side of the beachfront.
Although technically not free, it is quite cheap, fast and very convenient. If you choose to climb, on the top there is a bar, where you can have a well-deserved cold drink. The sights of the city and the Mediterranean Sea from the Santa Barbara castle are breath-taking. It’s a fantastic experience to sit on castle walls and enjoy the scenery, stretching for miles around.
Castle has a few historical information signs around, but not too many. It also houses interesting little exhibitions, related to the history of Alicante. Personally, I most enjoyed the collection of old black-and-white photos.
Free activities in Alicante. Nr 2 – Racing in Volvo ocean race museum
Among things to do in Alicante, visiting Volvo ocean race museum is one of the best. The place is hidden from tourist crowds in the depth of the Alicante Harbour, behind the Meliá hotel and the casino. It is absolutely free.
Volvo Ocean Race Museum is an exceptional place, dedicated to the most robust and longest regatta race. World unique, this museum offers a great space to learn more about marine world, conquering the ocean, and the great seafaring heroes. What I love most about Volvo ocean race museum is how informative and interactive it is.
There are stands to read engaging trivia, screens to watch videos, interactive marine equipment replicas, a life-sized regatta yacht cabin, and even a virtual racing boat simulator for two to four people (I didn’t do that well though :)). Toward the end of the visit, I watched a short movie on marine life in the small theatre room. I’ve learned a lot and felt inspired by stories of the modern sailors. Overall, the museum conveys the atmosphere of the race very well.
I came along for 10-15 minutes but spent more than an hour there. Having no real interest in sailing, I was amazed how enjoyable the visit was.
People working in the museum are amiable and helpful. A great example of a modern museum!
Free activities in Alicante. Nr 3 – Enjoying beach time
One of the best free activities in Alicante is having fun on the beach. There are two main beaches in Alicante – Postiguet and San Juan. Both are very lovely – clean and well looked after. Postiguet has an ideal location – right in the city center and is very easily reachable by foot. The shore shelves gently so you can walk out into the sea without the fear to end up in deep water.
Even though I came at the end of September, the weather was great most of the time; water temperature was perfect as well. It was great to relax and take some sunbaths on the hot sand. Will miss that.
Free activities in Alicante. Nr 4 – Admiring night views in Castillo de San Fernando
Fortunately or not, you won’t be able to find Castillo de San Fernando in most of the city guides. Abandoned, forgotten by both locals and tourists, it is nevertheless one of the most prominent spots in Alicante. I should admit that upon first look the castle doesn’t look so inviting. However, from there you can see a whole different image of the city.
The views from the top of the castle are stunning, especially at night. Castillo de San Fernando provides an excellent panorama of the town and the famous Santa Barbara castle. I loved the feeling of being surrounded by nature, listening to night songs and enjoying the views of a sleeping city.
Free activities in Alicante. Nr 5 – Challenging my mind in Modern Art Museum (MACA)
I came across this museum, located in the middle of the old quarter of Alicante, by accident. Museum looks vast from the outside, and strangely calming from inside. The staff is welcoming, and will gladly provide some information about permanent and temporarily exhibitions. On the four floors of the building, you can find a collection of Spanish Contemporary Art. There are some nice pieces, however overall my visit was slightly underwhelming.
As it turns out, the museum is advertised as the place to admire works of Picasso, Bacon, Miro, and Dali. But to be fair – you should not expect to see any world-class masterpieces. The only work of Picasso I managed to find was an unknown sketch; moreover, wasn’t able to find a single Dali painting either. Even so, I still recommend visiting the museum for some of the lesser known artists and challenge your mind a bit before spending the rest of the holidays on the beach.
Have a great time and enjoy free activities in Alicante!