Alicante is mostly known for its public beaches, but the city also offers world-famous museums, distinctive regional cuisine, indoor activities and cultural experiences. If you’re a history buff, you’ll enjoy the many museums and art galleries dotting this culturally rich city. Exhibits range from archaeology to fine arts and local festivals. You can also go on a guided tour in some of the museums during rainy days.

    When night falls in Alicante, locals gather at bars and restaurants to eat and socialise. You can enjoy gourmet food in restaurants helmed by acclaimed chefs or snack on tapas for a few euros. Day or night, there’s no lack of activities to keep yourself occupied – even on overcast days. Here’s a list of things to do for a wonderful holiday in Alicante when it rains.


    Archaeological Museum of Alicante

    Check out medieval artefacts from the region

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) houses 5 separate galleries dedicated to prehistory, Iberian culture, Roman culture and the Middle Ages. It even contains items dating back 100,000 years ago. Marrying both modern and traditional techniques in exhibiting the artefacts, you’ll come across projection effects, holograms, and recreations of Roman daily life and archaeological investigations in the galleries.

    There are interactive media displays that give you a glimpse into the lives of the Alicante region’s past inhabitants. The museum is closed on Mondays, so visit any other day of the week – and maybe avoid the weekend crowd – for a better journey through local history.

    Location: Placa Dr. Gómez Ulla, 03013 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +34 965 149 000


    photo by Concepcion AMAT ORTA… (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Gothic Church of Santa María

    Visit the oldest church in Alicante

    • History
    • Photo

    A few streets away from Postiguet Beach, the Gothic Church of Santa Maria is the oldest active church in Alicante. It was built in Valencian Gothic style between the 14th and 16th centuries on the site of an Arab mosque dating back to the Moorish period.

    Its facade is covered in Baroque sculptures by famous Spanish sculptor, Juan Bautista Borja. A figure of the Virgin Mary stands at the main entrance. Inside the church, you’ll see an 18th century Rococo style main altar decorated in gold. Several pieces of artwork are displayed in the church, including a stone statue of Santa Maria that dates back to the 15th century.

    Location: Plaza Sta. María, 1, 03001 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 1 pm and from 6 pm to 7.30 pm

    Phone: +34 965 21 60 26


    photo by Diego Delso (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Mercado Central

    Fill your tummy and shopping bags at the central market

    Mercado Central is where locals and tourists shop for groceries and sample a variety of Spanish dishes. Situated in Avenida de Alfonso X el Sabio, this 2-storey central market houses more than 200 stalls selling meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, pastries and products from the region.

    Since the market first opened in 1911, most of the stalls are owned by local families who’ve been running the stalls for generations. As the workweek clashes with the opening hours of the market, most locals shop here on the weekends – some friendly customers can even recommend the best stalls and bargains. If you want to avoid long queues, you should go on a weekday. 

    Location: Av. Alfonso El Sabio, 10, 03002 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Monday–Friday from 7 am to 2.30 pm, Saturday from 7 am to 3 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +34 965 14 08 41


    photo by Zeisterre (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Galactica Jump Trampoline Park

    Jump on giant trampolines in this indoor amusement centre

    • Families

    With 2 floors of jumping areas, Galactic Jump Trampoline Park offers gymnastics and acrobatic facilities for kids and adults. You can spend an afternoon here jumping to your heart’s content. The jumping areas are monitored by staff throughout the day to ensure your safety. There’s also a cafeteria and a terrace where you can have some food and drinks. The crowd here picks up in the afternoon on weekends, so come during the week or before 1pm on weekends if you can.

    Location: Av. Zodiaco, 3, 03006 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +34 966 10 90 32


    Teatro Principal de Alicante

    Musical and theatrical performances in Alicante’s most important theatre

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • History

    Teatro Principal de Alicante is the main theatre in Alicante. Opened in 1847, the neoclassical building is situated on Ruperto Chapi Square. A popular sightseeing spot in the city, this cosy theatre has events scheduled throughout the year, 

    You can watch concerts by local bands, dance performances, musicals, and attend cultural festivals here. Check out the calendar of events on Teatro Principal de Alicante's official website before you go, as opening hours vary according to the starting time of shows.

    Location: Plaza Ruperto Chapí, 03001 Alicante, Spain

    Phone: +34 965 20 31 00


    photo by chisloup (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Gravina Museum of Fine Arts

    Appreciate the work of important Spanish artists

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Gravina Museum of Fine Arts (MUBAG) occupies the 17th- and 18th-century Palacio del Conde de Lumiares in Alicante’s Old Quarter. It exhibits more than 500 pieces of art from the Middle Ages to 1920. This museum displays the work of important artists like Rodrigo de Osona, Salzillo and Vicente Lopez, who are known for their oil paintings and sculptures.

    You can catch musical concerts in MUBAG's onsite auditorium. Entrance to the museum is free, but take note of the seasonal opening hours so you can make the most of your visit.

    Location: Calle de Gravina, 13, 03002, Alicante, Spain

    Open: Winter: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm (until 2 pm on Sundays). Summer: Tuesday–Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm (until 3 pm on Sundays)

    Phone: +34 965 146 780


    photo by Joanbanjo (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Museo de Hogueras

    See an exhibition of Alicante’s biggest festival

    • History
    • Photo

    The Museo de Hogueras is located in the Casa de la Festa building where streets of Teniente Alvarez Soto and Rambla de Mendez Nunez meet. It’s dedicated to Alicante’s most famous festival, the Hogueras de San Juan or Saint John's Bonfires.

    During the festival, colourful paper-mache effigies are created and then lit to create bonfires. In this museum, you can learn about the history of the festival, starting from 1928 to the present. You can see the intricate craftsmanship of the effigies and costumes from up close. If you’re visiting Alicante at the end of June, you’ll stand a chance of attending the festival and seeing the spectacle yourself.

    Location: Rambla de Méndez Núñez, 29, 03002 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Summer: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm (until 2 pm on Sundays). Winter: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm (until 2 pm on Sundays)

    Phone: +34 965 146 828


    Nou Manolin

    Dine at a celebrity haunt in Alicante

    Get a taste of local delicacies at Nou Manolin, a 2-storey restaurant and tapas bar that opened in 1971. As a coastal city, Alicante’s cuisine heavily features seafood, but locals love their meat and vegetables too. The restaurant serves regional dishes like freshly caught red prawns and paella with rabbit and snails. Vegetarians can find mushroom appetisers and vegetable paella on the menu. 

    Acclaimed chefs like Ferran Adrià and Joël Robuchon are known to frequent the restaurant when they visit Alicante, so you know the food is good. Book in advance as Nou Manolin is hugely popular. You can join the long queue to get a seat at the bar if you turn up without a reservation.

    Location: Calle Villegas, 3, 03001 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Daily from 1 pm to 4 pm and from 8.15 pm to midnight

    Phone: +34 965 61 64 25


    El Rebujito Taperia

    Big portions at reasonable prices

    El Rebujito Taperia is a small tavern on Alicante’s Calle San Francisco that’s known for dishing out large and delicious plates of tapas. You can take shelter from the rain and watch the world go by, though it tends to get packed during peak meal times. 

    An order of alcohol comes with a complimentary serving of olives or nuts. Must-tries include the fried artichokes, patata (crispy fried potatoes), berengenas gratinadas (grilled aubergine in bechamel and tomato sauce with cheese), and grilled sardines with olive oil and parsley. 

    Location: Calle San Francisco, 13, 03001 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Daily from 3 pm to midnight

    Phone: +34 722 69 26 67


    Tablao Flamenco San Jose 10

    A quintessential Spanish cultural experience

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Group

    Tablao Flamenco San Jose 10 puts on Flamenco shows accompanied by guitarists playing lively music. Located in the city centre of Alicante, this intimate venue attracts those looking to feel the soul of Spanish culture. Flamenco singers and dancers take to the tiny stage to perform the work of art based on southern Spanish folkloric music traditions.

    To secure a reservation, you can buy a ticket online or call the venue to check on performance schedules as they can be irregular. The venue also offers special shows for group bookings, with added options of drinks and dinner.

    Location: Calle San José, 10, 03002 Alicante, Spain

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 9.30 pm to 10.30 pm, Sunday from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +34 605 05 23 11

    Cindy Tan | Contributing Writer

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