Whether you're in town for a day or for a few months, no visit to Alicante is complete without stopping in to see the hill-top castle that has kept watch over the city and its port for centuries. The imposing Santa Bárbara Castle (Castillo de Santa Bárbara) is sprawled across the top of the rocky Mount Benacantil, which towers over the city and juts out into the sea; the strategic position of the castle is crystal clear.
The Santa Bárbara Castle has it all: protective walls, look-out posts, cannons, keeps, chapel ruins and dungeons, not to mention panoramic views ideal for keeping tabs on any incoming armies or pirates. Nowadays those very same panoramic views are more of a leisure attraction than a defensive advantage, so be sure to enjoy the unparalleled birds-eye vistas of the city, the port and the sea!
Furthermore, the historic castle has taken on a new role in recent years as one of the Alicante's top cultural hot spots. In addition to the centuries of history under its belt, it's also home to the city's famed Capa Collection of 20th-century sculpture and welcomes all sorts of temporary exhibitions, which focus primarily on the arts- photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media, etc. If you're in town during the summer months, you can head up to the castle on Friday and Saturday nights for concerts beneath the stars.