Alicante: Off the Beaten Path in Spain

Alicante's Castillo de Santa Bárbara

The Mediterranean Sea from Alicante’s Castillo de Santa Bárbara.

As many (most?) of you know, I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain in 2011.

I’m doing some travel writing for Lucerna Media, and my first assignment was a budget travelogue about my favorite Costa Blanca city. (Which was ideal, since I was definitely on a budget when I lived there.)

Alicante isn’t the most well-known city in Spain, but it has much more to offer than you might think — that is, if you know where to look.

Check out my travelogue to discover my favorite sights, restaurants, and bars in Alicante.

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The Concise Spain Survival Guide

Guide to living in Spain, Spain Survival Guide
Spain Lesson 1:

Even though you purchased them, you cannot take glass water bottles with you.  Everyone will get mad.

That’s right, folks. Not only do you have to pay €2-3 for your bottle of water, but you have to give the bottle back. This is precisely why I always order wine.

Spain Lesson 2:

Cheap restaurants like 100 Montaditos, Lizarrán, and La Sureña are the poor man’s (or woman’s) friend. Want to drink a huge mug of tinto de verano for €1.50? (Or €1 on Wednesdays/Sundays?) 100 Montaditos is your place. Want to get 5 bottles of beer for €3? Go to La Sureña.

You can even get Chipotle-style burritos at Tierra Burrito Bar (pictured below; metros Alonso Martínez and Guzmán el Bueno) for a reasonable €6.

I like to eat, so I really like this about Madrid.

Spain Lesson 3:

All fruit you wish to purchase must be weighed by the Official Fruit-Weigher. They don’t always have scales at the cash registers, so the fruit-buying process looks like this:

  • Step 1: Put on the plastic gloves that are provided for you. (You’ll know to do this because there are 30 million “POR FAVOR, USAD LAS GUANTES” signs everywhere.)
  • Step 2: Pick out the fruit/vegetables you want and put them in separate bags.
  • Step 3: Bring all fruit/vegetables to the Official Fruit-Weigher. He’ll weigh them and put a barcode sticker on each bag.
  • Step 4: Walk away with your produce.
  • Step 5: Congratulate yourself because you know how to do yet another Spain thing.

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¡Hola España!

I made it! We had a surprisingly comfortable Iberia flight over from Chicago (read: free wine) and a long, productive day yesterday. Apartment-hunting is forcing me to get back into the swing of Spanish — phone conversations included — and I’ve successfully navigated the metro a few times. The weather was gorgeous today, too, so overall it feels wonderful to be back in Spain.

More details and photos to come! Hasta luego!