Thinking of visiting Alicante with kids? Located on Spain’s sun-drenched Costa Blanca, Alicante is bursting with life, culture, and activities perfect for families. The city offers an exciting blend of history and beaches.
I visited Alicante for 4 nights before our Mediterranean cruise this summer. Me and my 4-year-old daughter had previously spent a month in Barcelona during the winter, and we love the Balearic islands, so Alicante seemed like the perfect choice.
With direct flights from our local airport Newquay, we could bypass the rail strikes and head straight to Spain, then go on an easy journey to Barcelona to embark on our cruise.
I’ll take you through the best things to do in Alicante with kids, the best places to stay and even where to eat and day trips from Alicante with kids.
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Is Alicante Family Friendly?
Absolutely, Alicante is a family-friendly destination. Here’s why:
Alicante boasts numerous clean and safe beaches, perfect for families. Playa del Postiguet is the city’s main beach, with golden sands and calm waters. Lifeguards are present during peak seasons, ensuring safety.
Many beaches also have play areas for children, making them ideal spots for the whole family. I partly chose Alicante due to it being a good Spanish city break destination that also has a beach.
With young kids, it’s often hard to go sightseeing all day so a half day along with a trip to the beach is often the best option.
The Santa Barbara castle is a highlight for families. Kids love exploring the ancient fortress, and everyone can appreciate the panoramic views of the city.
There’s also the Museo de Hogueras, a museum dedicated to Alicante’s famous Bonfires of Saint John festival.
There’s plenty to do with kids, from boat trips from the marina to the nearby Tabarca Island, to enjoying a day at the Alicante Miniature Railroad Club where they can see model trains in action as well as many other Alicante museums.
Parks and Open Spaces
The Canalejas Park is one of Alicante’s oldest parks and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, a music stand, and a children’s play area. It’s a lovely place for families to take a stroll. There are also many other playgrounds and green spaces throughout the city like the one in the picture above.
Most hotels and accommodations in Alicante are equipped with family rooms and often provide amenities for children. Some even have pools, play areas and the Melia also has a kids club.
When is the Best Time to Visit Alicante?
Consider visiting during May or September. While the summer months from June to August pull in tourists with the allure of the sun, the transitional months offer a balmy climate without the usual bustle. And although winter is mild, it’s from December to February that you can expect a slight chill in the air.
We visited Alicante in late July, but it got too hot at points to be sightseeing. I’ve visited other areas in Spain at these times of year and it’s been perfect.
How to Get to Alicante
Nestled along the southeastern coast of Spain, reaching Alicante is both convenient and easy.
Airports and Arriving by Plane
Alicante-Elche Airport is the gateway to the city. It serves a number of European cities and is very busy during the summerr due to Alicante being the gateway to Benidorm! If you’re flying internationally, you may have to fly into Barcelona then get a connecting flight or train to Alicante.
Travelling to Alicante by Train
Trains weaving through Spain’s scenic landscapes, operated by Renfe, connect Alicante with cities like Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona. After visiting Alicante we spent almost 5 hours travelling to Barcelona and it was a hastle free experience.
Driving to Alicante with Kids
Driving along Spain’s coast is a sensory treat. As you approach Alicante, the roads promise well-signposted routes, ensuring a seamless journey. Many hire car companies operate in Alicante offering a great way to see the Alicante province and further afield.
Coaches to Alicante
Most of the coaches to Alicante are run by ALSA bus. We enjoyed an easy and affordable journey on a day trip to Benidorm. Tickets can be bought online or in the machines at stations up to 10 minutes before departure.
Coaches also run to major cities like Valencia, Murcia and Barcelona but can often take longer than travelling by train.
Where to Stay in Alicante with Kids
Meliá Alicante – Luxury
📍 LOCATION: Right on the beach -at the end Plaza de España | ✅ Book it!
Meliá Alicante has got a super spot between the beach and the city’s marina. It’s been around for about 50 years, so they know their stuff.
The rooms? They’re modern and have great views, either of the sea or the cool Santa Bárbara Castle up on the hill. There is a large pool as well as amazing restauraunts. There’s also a special club for the kids age 6+. Best part? You’re super close to all the cool spots in town.
AC Hotel by Marriott Alicante – Mid-Range
📍 LOCATION: Near Alicante Bus Station | ✅Book It
The AC Hotel by Marriott in Alicante is in a handy location. The rooms are fresh, and modern, and even have some local artwork.
Families? You’ll get plenty of space. The rooftop pool’s a hit – you can see across the whole city from up there. We stayed here, and we totally loved it.
Oh, and you won’t want to miss the food; it’s a tasty mix of local and international dishes. The pool also has a rooftop bar serving delicious tapas and cocktails. It did have more of an adult vibe but there were other children staying.
Breakfast was also delicious. There is a large spread of everything you could want as well as amazing coffee.
Ibis Alicante – Budget
📍 LOCATION: Between Alicante Airport and the city centre
If you’re looking for something wallet-friendly but still comfy for the family, Ibis Alicante is a top pick. Close to the airport and with views over the sea, it’s super convenient.
The rooms are neat, simple, and have everything you need. They also offer a breakfast buffet to start your day right. Alicante is a short bus ride away or a quick drive. I had this hotel booked before rebooking the Marriott when I had saved more. We would have been happy here.
Top 12 Things to Do in Alicante with Kids
9. Hop On Hop Off Bus
An effortless way to explore Alicante’s landmarks, the Hop On Hop Off Bus caters especially to tourists. With flexible schedules and routes, it’s an ideal mode of transport for families looking to get a comprehensive overview of the city.
The best stop to get on is outside the Melia Alicante. Do not wait at the bus station stop because you’ll be waiting a while!
1. Santa Bárbara Castle
Perched atop Mount Benacantil, Santa Bárbara Castle offers breathtaking panoramic views of Alicante’s coastline. Rich in history and architecture, this fortress provides a glimpse into the region’s past.
Children will enjoy exploring the castle grounds, making it both an educational and fun experience.
2. Postiguet Beach
Located right at the city’s doorstep, Postiguet Beach boasts soft golden sands and clear waters. It’s a perfect spot for families to relax, build sandcastles, and swim.
The adjoining promenade offers a range of cafes and eateries for refreshments. This is the beach that the Melia is located on. There’s also a great children’s playground and many of the city’s best bars and cafes overlook the beach.
3. Alicante Marina
The vibrant Alicante Marina is bustling with activity. From luxury yachts to a plethora of dining options, the marina area provides a relaxed environment suitable for a family evening out.
Several boat tours originate here, offering views of Alicante from the water. This is also where you get the boat to Tabarca island and trips to Benidorm by boat go from here too.
4. Explanada de España
A quintessential part of Alicante, the Explanada de España is a tree-lined promenade known for its iconic wave-patterned tiles. Often, you’ll find street musicians and artisan stalls, making it a delightful place for a leisurely stroll.
5. El Palmeral Park
This verdant park is a tranquil spot complete with waterfalls, lakes, and an array of palm trees. Families can enjoy paddle boating on the lake or simply relax amidst nature.
6. Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art
Showcasing an impressive collection of 20th-century art, this museum is housed in a renovated historic building. The interactive exhibits engage visitors, and even young patrons will find elements of interest.
7. MARQ – Archaeological Museum
A fascinating journey through time, the MARQ introduces visitors to various ancient civilizations. Interactive and innovative displays ensure that children remain engaged while learning about Alicante’s archaeological heritage.
8. San Juan Beach
Stretching over 7km, San Juan Beach is one of Alicante’s crown jewels. A short tram ride from the city center, it’s popular among both locals and tourists for its vast expanse of fine golden sand and azure waters.
The beach is especially family-friendly, offering numerous facilities like sunbeds, umbrellas, playgrounds, and beach volleyball courts.
The promenade behind the beach boasts a range of cafes, restaurants, and ice cream parlors, ensuring families have all the amenities they need for a full day of seaside fun.
10. Alicante Central Market
A hub of local activity, the market is brimming with fresh produce, meats, and regional specialties. It’s an immersion into the local culture and a great place to pick up some regional delicacies. We had a quick walk here and it was well-worth a visit.
11. Canelobre Caves
While just outside the city, these mesmerizing caves are worth the short trip. The stunning stalactites and stalagmites formations provide a unique experience reminiscent of a subterranean wonderland.
12. Turron Museum
Dedicated to the local delicacy of turron, a type of nougat, this museum details its history and production. Visitors have the chance to taste this sweet treat, gaining an appreciation for Alicante’s culinary heritage.
Getting Around Alicante
Hop on Hop off Bus: Alicante’s hop on hop off bus service is an ideal choice if you want to explore the main attractions at their own pace. With multiple stops covering the city’s highlights, this bus service provides a flexible itinerary coupled with informative onboard commentary.
Public Bus: The public bus system covers extensive routes across the city.
Taxis in Alicante: For those looking for direct and convenient travel, taxis in Alicante are easily available. They offer a more private means of transport and can be hailed from designated taxi stands or booked via phone apps. We got a taxi from the Marriott to the train station, and it was just 5 euro.
Trams: Alicante’s tram network offers a delightful way to experience the city. The routes provide scenic views of both the urban centers and the coastal periphery. It’s especially recommended for those who want a blend of transportation and sightseeing.
Walking in Alicante: Given the city’s compact nature and beautiful promenades, walking can be both an enjoyable and practical way to get around. Whether strolling down the Passeig Esplanada d’Espanya or exploring narrow historic alleys, Alicante is very pedestrian-friendly.
Spending the Day in Alicante from a Cruise Ship: 1 Day in Alicante Itinerary
When Alicante’s picturesque port becomes your stopover, even a day is enough to get a taste of this Mediterranean jewel. Here’s a guide to make the best out of your short stay:
Morning: 1 Day in Alicante
Hop on the Hop Off Bus Tour: As you disembark from the cruise ship, a great way to begin your Alicante adventure is by hopping onto the city’s Hop On Hop Off Bus.
These double-decker buses offer a comprehensive tour of the city’s major attractions, complete with informative audio guides. It provides a perfect overview and helps you pick your favourite spots to explore in detail later.
Lunch on Passeig Esplanada d’Espanya
Post your morning tour, get off at the Marina and head to the iconic Passeig Esplanada d’Espanya. This palm-lined boulevard is brimming with restaurants and cafes, offering a gamut of culinary delights. Relish the local dishes while enjoying the sea’s mesmerizing views.
Afternoon: 1 Day in Alicante
Option 1: Soak up the Sun at Postiguet Beach: If you’re in the mood for relaxation, the golden sands of Postiguet Beach beckon. Located conveniently close to the cruise port, you can spend your hours here sunbathing or taking a refreshing swim in the azure waters of the Mediterranean.
Option 2: Dive into History at Castillo de Santa Bárbara: For the history enthusiasts, the ancient fortress of Castillo de Santa Bárbara awaits. Either take the elevator or embrace the climb, and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Alicante and insights into the city’s rich past. Wander through its ancient walls and discover tales of yore.
Day Trips from Alicante
Alicante, while captivating, is but a gateway to the broader wonders of the Costa Blanca:
A popular resort town, Benidorm offers a combination of beautiful beaches, promenades, and a lively atmosphere. Its modern skyline juxtaposed with old town charm provides an interesting blend for exploration.
How to Get There: It’s approximately a 40-minute drive or you can opt for the tram, which takes about an hour from Alicante. We got the ALSA bus which took just under 1 hour.
A gem on the Costa Blanca, Altea is famed for its historic old town, which sits perched on a hilltop offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Cobbled streets lined with whitewashed buildings lead to the iconic blue-domed church, providing an atmospheric backdrop for leisurely strolls. The town also boasts a picturesque seafront and art-rich ambiance.
How to Get There: Altea is roughly a 50-minute drive from Alicante. Alternatively, take a tram for a scenic route that lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes.
The tranquillity of Tabarca Island stands in pleasant contrast to the mainland’s hustle and bustle. Declared a marine reserve, the island offers pristine beaches, perfect for diving or snorkelling, coupled with a rich history reflected in its architecture and museums.
How to Get There: Regular ferries are available from Alicante’s port, with the journey to Tabarca taking around an hour.
Rio Safari Elche
Situated a short distance from Alicante, the Rio Safari Elche is a sanctuary diverse animal species. Wander through dedicated zones, each echoing habitats from around the world, and see giraffes, lions, and more in thoughtfully designed enclosures.
Beyond the animals, water zones offer respite from the sun, and designated play areas are outlined for recreation.
How to Get There: Take a bus headed to Elche. Upon reaching Elche’s main bus terminal, a local bus route or a brief taxi ride will bring visitors to the park’s entrance. From Alicante, a straightforward drive of approximately 25-30 minutes leads to Rio Safari Elche. Parking facilities are comprehensive and conveniently located.
Pola Park, Santa Pola
Pola Park in Santa Pola, just a short drive from Alicante, is a haven of entertainment spread across 24,000 square meters.
Established in 1996, Pola Park boasts well-maintained gardens, over 20 diverse activities ranging from bouncy castles and mini-golf to thrilling rides and a panoramic 60m high tower.
How to Get There: There are regular buses from Alicante to nearby the park. Driving or a taxi will take 20-30 minutes.
Aqua Natura, Benidorm
Aqua Natura in Benidorm is a water park that’s perfect for everyone! Ready for a rush? Try the big slides. Ever dreamt of being a mermaid or a triton? Here, you can put on a special tail fin and swim just like one. And if you’re looking for something truly special, you can even snorkel with sea lions.
For thrill-seekers, there’s the La Cresta slide where you’ll feel like you’re floating in air. If you prefer waves, head over to the wave pool. And for the little ones? They’ll have a blast in the fun water playground.
How to Get There: Frequent bus services run between Alicante and Benidorm. Upon arriving in Benidorm, local buses or taxis can whisk you to Aqua Natura within minutes. A 45-minute drive from Alicante via the AP-7 will land you at Aqua Natura’s gates. Parking is ample, ensuring a hassle-free experience for those arriving by car.
Alicante with Kids: Final Words
After spending 4 days in Alicante, we could have stayed longer. It’s such a good starting point for day trips that you could stay a few weeks. Accommodation choice is crucial when travelling with kids as it can make or break the trip.
Make sure you book any tickets in advance, too, especially if you want to visit Tabarca. Happy travels in Alicante with kids!
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.