Living in Alicante Spain: The Definitive Guide

Alicante Spain pictures

So, the time has come and you are thinking about moving to Alicante Spain, correct?

At the end of the article, I will tell you the most important steps about how to move to Alicante Spain, as well as how to contact me at Torrevieja Translation. But I would love you to read this interesting article article first ?

Let me tell you all you need to know about the ‘City of Light.’ Alicante called ‘Lucentum’ by the Romans, ‘Lucentum’ means light.


Before we start… Yours Free

Spain 101 is a free ebook full of unique tips that will save you thousands of Euros when moving to / living in Spain.

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Where is Alicante?

If you are retiring in Spain, Alicante is located in the south-east of Spain. It is also the capital of a province with the same name (Alicante city is the capital of Alicante province).

The coast area of Alicante province is called Costa Blanca.

Alicante shares its northern border with that of Valencia, Murcia to the south (Costa Calida), Albacete to the west with the Mediterranean Sea to the east.

The city itself, located on the coast is found between the towns of Benidorm and Elche. Just around 30 away going south, you can find other well-known towns such as Torrevieja.

The province is mountainous to the north and west, with the south being mostly flat. The Segura River flows eastwards through the province.

Map of Alicante Spain

(Alicante Spain, in between Murcia and Valencia – Google Maps)

Alicante area has been inhabited for over 7000 years.

The first settlers arrived here from central Europe and settled up home around Mount Benacantil, one of the focal points of the city today with the castle of Santa Barbara sitting upon its summit.


General Information about Alicante

The population of Alicante is more than 330,000 with a total in excess of 750,000 for the province of Alicante.

An estimated 18% of the population are foreign residents, particularly from northern Europe. For decades, there has been a big interest from northern Europeans about moving to Spain, particularly to this area.

The most predominant number of overseas residents are from the United Kingdom living here, like hopefully you will be for the easy-going lifestyle and more favourable weather.

Alicante is the second largest city in the Valencia Region. Down south, only 50 minutes away, we will find the city of Murcia.

The city’s international airport at El Altet is one of Spain’s busiest and flights are available to all of the nation’s major cities in addition to several cities across Europe.

Over the years, I have helped many British citizens moving to Spain from UK, as well as from other countries. So, I know firsthand how much people love this area :-)

Beach Alicante Spain

(Beaches of Alicante)

UK citizens have to apply for a visa to live in Spain long-term (more than 90 days), you may want to explore the non-lucrative visa Spain.

If food is your thing then you will be spoilt for choice in Alicante. The city has a diverse range of food from international delicacies to exquisite Spanish cuisine.

From lively Tapas bars to the seafood favourite to be found in Alicante, Paella.


What is the Weather like in Alicante Spain?

You will be pleased to know that Alicante is famed for its year-round mild climate.

It has an annual amount of 2,800 hours of sunshine with an annual average temperature of 19.3C.

There are just 20 days of rain each year and even in the winter the temperature does not fall below 16C.

With long days of fresh air and lots of sun it is an ideal location all year with the best weather from May until October.

A word of warning; the temperature during August is often around 40C, so it is best to avoid being outside during the heat of the day on the hottest days.


What Architecture can be seen in Alicante?

The architecture of Alicante shows the diversity of the city through its historic past, a jumbled mix of styles that began in the medieval period.

Behind the El Barrio buildings along the narrow winding streets of the Santa Cruz district, you will find the most famous treasure:  the castle of Santa Barbara.

This period was replaced by the Gothic style. The façade of the Iglesia de Santa Maria is actually Baroque as the original was destroyed by fire.

The Renaissance period originated in Italy and appeared in Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries, Alicante’s most notable structures of this period are the Escorial and the city’s cathedral, Concatedral de San Nicolas, built between 1616 and 1662.

The Modernist Movement was made famous in Spain by artists such as Antoni Gaudi, in Alicante the House of Witches (Casa de las Brujas), the fountain in the Plaza de Luceros and the headquarters building of the Valencian Autonomous Government are all examples of this style.

Plaza de los Luceros Alicante Spain

(Plaza de los luceros – Alicante, Spain)


How much does it cost to rent or buy property in Alicante?

The prices for renting in Alicante vary from the city centre to those a little further away.

A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs around €500 per month to rent or just €440 outside the city centre.

A three-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost you €760 per month or for the same sized apartment outside the city centre expect to pay around €665 per month.

The cost of buying a property in Alicante varies from €2,575 per square metre in the city centre to €1725 per square metre further out from the city centre.


The 5 most interesting places to visit in Alicante Spain

1. St Ferdinand Castle

The Castillo de San Fernando is located on Tossal Hill and dates from the 19th century. It was built as a defensive barrier against French advances at that time.

The castle was however not needed and was never attacked. The main attraction worth seeing here is the ornate doorway.

View of Alicante Spain

(View from the St Ferdinand Castle, the castle of Saint Barbara at the end)

2. St Mary’s Church

The Iglesia de Santa Maria located on the Plaza de Santa Maria, is also known as the Basilica of Santa Maria and was built from the 14th until the 16th century.

The church is one of Alicante’s major attractions. It is worth your time to see the Baroque façade with an image of the Virgin Mary by the sculptor Juan Bautista Borja.

Other notable items you might want to visit include the main altar that dates from the 18th century and the chapels of Baptism, Communion and Inmaculada.

Basilica Santa Maria Alicante Spain

(St. Mary Church – Basílica de Santa María)

3. Co-Cathedral of St Nicholas Bari

The Concatedral de San Nicolas de Bari is located on the Plaza de Abad Penalya in the Old Town and close to the town hall. It was built in the renaissance and baroque styles during the 17th century.

The major attractions you will not want to miss are its wonderful blue dome and the beautiful garden surrounding the structure.

Cathedral of Alicante Spain

(Aerial view of the cathedral of Alicante Spain, taken from Saint Barbara Castle)

4. Alicante Town Hall

Ayuntamiento, or the town hall is a baroque building located next to the La Explanada Park.

The most fascinating features you will not want to miss here include the plenary room, chapel and long twin towers that measure up to 35 metres.

Within the town hall you can also see a statue by one of Spain’s most famous sculptors ‘Dali.’ An unusual attraction is a device that measures the height above sea level.

Town Hall of Alicante Spain

(Alicante Town hall and Saint Barbara Castle behind)

5. Alicante Parks and Wildlife

There are several parks around the city full of indigenous and foreign plants for you to enjoy. Most of the city parks are old with unique architectural features for you to discover.

In addition to the traditional parks there are theme parks, water parks and wildlife parks with an abundance of animals from each continent.

Canalejas Park is the city’s oldest park and dates from 1886, it was designed by Jose Gonzolez Altus and features sculptures in stone of dogs and lion at the entrance.

There is also a map of Spain carved from stone, beautiful fountains and a play area for children.

Parque Canalejas Alicante Spain

(Canalejas Park – Lion Statue)

Credit image: Marcus Tankus, Diego Delso, Fernando Herrera, Camera O.Sarah MooringBobglennan, Renmus


Yours Free

Spain 101 is a free ebook full of unique tips that will save you thousands of Euros when moving to / living in Spain.

Would you like to get it now?

Please click / tap on the image below:


If you would like to read about other important points for living / moving to Spain, here are other useful articles we wrote: