In August 2018 I managed to escape my work hotel for the weekend and get an AirBnB in Alicante (or Alicant in Valencian). It was one of a few places I still have to tick off on my Spanish bucket list so I was looking forward to seeing as much of the city as I could in the short time I had. You’ll find everywhere I mention on my Google map. Please see the next post for places to eat. This post is about a few of my favourite sights from walking around.
For me, most tours of a new town always start with breakfast at the market. The Mercado Central de Alicante was designed by Enrique Sánchez Sedeño in 1921 in an eclectic style with modernist details.
The Art Deco front entrance is particularly impressive but has a lot of steps so most people seem to use the more understated back door.
Nearby, La Rotonda in Plaza 25 de Mayo will serve you the typical local breakfast of a tostada and a fresh orange juice.
My personal favourite thing to see was the Fuente de Levante (Fountain of the East) in Plaça dels Estels, a modernist fountain made in 1930 by the local sculptor Daniel Bañuls Martínez.
Click on the pics to enlarge them.
Plaça dels Estels has been unofficially renamed Plaça dels Cavalls because of the horses on the fountain.
If you head south down the rambla from you will find the Casa de las Brujas (House of Witches) It was built in 1898 by architect Enrique Sánchez Sedeño who also designed the market. He expanded the building in 1911 to include a Viennese-style tower with Gothic windows and other modernist ornamentations.
A short walk east and you’ll find this old post office in Plaza Gabriel Miró, also with modernist details.
With a lovely cooling fountain in the square opposite.
Three blocks east in Plaza Portal de Elche is cool little Soho Bar under the trees. A nice spot to stop for refreshments during your walk.
A couple of blocks south is the every-busy waterfront rambla Passeig Esplanada d’Espanya which has many impressive buildings such as the iconic Casa Carbonell. Built in 1925, it has Historicist and Modernismo Valenciano influences.
From here you can walk down the Explanada del Puerto where you can see the Marina Deportiva and get a view of Castell de la Santa Bárbara up on the hill. There’s a good spot for Sunday lunch down here (see next post).
I didn’t make it up to the castle but if you want to go up, there’s a lift at 1 Carrer de Jovellanos which will save you a lot of effort.
The cathedral seems very non-descript but the Basilica de Santa Maria in Plaza Santa María has a beautiful doorway that’s worth seeing.
Right next door to the church is the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante (MACA) www.maca-alicante.es which has some interesting exhibits if you like modern art. At least, it makes a good break from the heat.
This area, the Barrio dell Santa Cruz, used to be the Jewish Quarter. With its labryinth of narrow streets, it’s the oldest and for me the most atmospheric neighbourhood in the city. Although if the graffiti is anthing to go by, you need to watch yourself.
From here, the antique stalls in Plaça de l’Ajuntament are worth a wander. The impressive Ajuntament d’Alacant is on one side of the square.
The route back to my AirBnB takes me past the Plaza de Toros in Plaça d’Espanya. The building doesn’t look much from the outside but I do love the design of their posters.
This statue of a matador driving bulls is in the square.
Time for some food! Alicante has some great places to eat…