City Blog Alicante

Alicante is a beautiful city with a mix of daily life in the autonomous region of Valencia mixed with tourism. Alicante is still too often seen by tourism as a gateway to the seaside resorts on the Costa Blanca, while it can be such a nice final destination. In this blog we will give you some insights about the city, environment, activities, public transport, housing, and healthcare. We will provide you some links which give you even more information on the topics we are about to share with you.

Did you know:

  • The Valencian name for Alicante is Alacant.
  • Alicante is the starting point for the Volvo Ocean Race, the most important sailing competition in the world.
  • A hotspot of Alicante is the Explanada de España. It is lined with 400 palm trees and paved with no less than 6.600.000 marble tiles.
  • In Alicante, on average It produces 115.000 tons of rice annually.

City overview 

Alicante is a city in the Spanish autonomous region Valencia, and the capital city of the province Alicante. It is the second biggest city of the region Valencia, with more than 330.000 citizens. And it is located in Costa Blanca. Since the opening of the railway line to Madrid in 1858 increased the port of Alicante to the port of exports of goods produced in central Spain.

The history of Alicante goes back to 230 before Christus, when the city was called ‘Akra Leuke’, which means “White Headland”, founded by Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barkas. After that, the city became a port of the Roman Empire and in 711 the Moors occupied the city. They gave the city the name Alicante. From the 8th to the 13th century, the city was in the hands of the Moors. They build on the Benacantil, a 166 meter high hill that dominates the city, a fortress to protect the city from attackers. After the conquest of Spain, it grew into the castle ‘Castillo de Sante Bárbara’.
In 1298 the city was handed over to the Kingdom of Valencia.

Alicante, Spain, Mountain, Seaside

Environment

If you are going to visit Alicante, there is a good chance that you will have to deal with sunny and often warm weather. Alicante has a steppe climate with warm summer months and occasional peaks to the top. Of course, it is colder in winter than in summer and the sun is also less visible. But the winter months are pleasant to bike, walk outside and sit on the terrace. But there are periods when it rains from time to time. 

From the beginning of June till the end of September the maximum temperatures are continuously about 25 degrees Celsius. In the evening it often stays warm for a long time. The temperature in July and August often remains above 20 degrees until well into the night, only to reach the lowest point near sunrise (often between 18 till 20 degrees). In the months June, July and August are almost guaranteed to exceed 300 hours of sunny weather per month. 

In an average year there is about 250 to 300 milimeters of precipitation in Alicante. Rain falls in Alicante mainly in the period from September until May. They are usually not really large amounts.

Activities

Alicante has so much to offer! Like the beach of San Juan, the city has a historical heritage called San Nicolás Co-Cathedral, as well as many natural wonders such as the Tabarca Island Marine Reserve. Alicante is a relaxed city, you can walk the boulevard, chill on the beach or if you like shopping for hours. The city center and the Old Quarter are neighbourhoods where you will find the most tourist sights and cultural sights.

The following list is a short summary of a few things we recommend.

  • Visit Parc El Palmeral
  • Barrio de Santa Cruz, the old town
  • Castillo de Santa Bárbara
    Pirate Island, Isla de Tabarca
  • Boulevard Explanada de España
  • Eat tapas as lunch in the pubs around the Central Market.
  • Visit the Gravina museum of Fine Arts
Alicante, Spain, Explanada

Public transport

You can easily discover the city on foot. Even the beach is a stone’s throw from the Old Quarter. Walking is a good opportunity to discover the city, but public transport is also generally good. There is a network of trams and city buses. City buses of the bus company TAM (Transporte Alicante Metropolitano) run through the city. There are also five tram lines in Alicante.

A single bus ticket costs €1,45, which you can buy at the bus. Please note, bus drivers give change up to €10. If you think you are going to use the bus a couple of times, it could be a good idea to buy a rechargeable card named Móbilis. You can buy a rechargeable card at the TAM-office, located at Calle Díaz More 6 (near the Central Market) and at Muelle de Poniente (close to the Port, in the Central Bus Station of Alicante). A rechargeable card costs €2,- or €4,- when you personalise it with a picture. You can put money on it depending on how many rides you want to make. A single ticket cost €1,45, but with a 10-ride Móbilis card it cost €8,70, or a 30-ride Móbilis card for €26,10. These cards can also be used for the tram.

An alternative for the Móbilis card is the Alicante Tourist Card. This card is available in three variants and can also be used for the tram:

  • A 24-hour card for €13,-
  • A 48-hours card for €16,-
  • A 72-hours card for €18,-

You can buy these cards at kiosks and Estancos (Spanish for tobacconists). There is also an app that keeps you informed about the buses with information and notifications, called ‘Alicante Bus’.

The tram lines are being expanded further and further. There is a beautiful coastal route and there is a tram that brings you from the center of Alicante to Benidorm in 70 minutes. The metropolitan area also includes nearby cities such as San Juan, San Vicente del Raspeig and Campello. In the center there are three metro stations:

  • Luceros, at plaza de los Luceros
  • Mercado, near to the Central Market, at the corner of Avenida Alfonso X El Sabio and Rambla Méndez Núñez
  • MARQ-Castillo, between the MARQ-museo and Castillo de Santa Bárbara, at plaza del Doctor Mas Magro
Alicante, plano, metro

Housing

Rental prices in Alicante are very divergent. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center between €475 and €700 per month. Outside the city center a one-bedroom apartment is between €375 and €600 per month.

Alicante has so many beautiful neighbourhoods to live in. For you we will highlight the best neighbourhoods in Alicante.

  • Casco Antiguo is near the beautiful beach Postiguet with a lot of historical sites. It is a lively area with lots of bars, restaurants and shops.
  • Ensanche Diputacíon is a gorgeous seaside neighbourhood that connects to the old town. This is where El Postiguet Beach and the pam-lined promenade Explanada de España are located.
  • Vistahermosa is a privileged environment, close to the sea with green areas. It is an extensive, safe and perfect neighbourhood to live all year round. This area has many shops, hypermarkets and gyms. A lot of more to make your day to day more comfortable.
  • District of Ensanche-Deputation is in the heart of the city, it has everything that you need. Shops, schools and fantastic places to walk or ride a bike. Ans the Marina is located in the same neighbourhood.
Alicante, Spain, Houses, Town

To prepare you for finding a home, we will give you some tips.

  • Think carefully about where you want to live. You may get in love with the old centre, but it can get noisy in the evening due the volume of tourists.
  • Start early with preparing all the paperwork you need before you will live in Alicante. For example a NIE-number (foreigner’s identity number), Social Security number and documents for opening a bank account.
  • Be careful with estate agents. The industry is not tightly regulated in Spain, almost anyone can open an estate agency and start selling property without any real training. There are numerous ways you can check the reputation of an estate agency such as:
    • Check to see they belong to a regulatory body known as the API (Agents de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria).
    • Look for social media comments and Google reviews.
    • If possible, speak to anyone who has used the agency’s services.
    • Visit the apartment before you make an agreement and pay the bills.
  • Hire a translator if you do not have a strong command of the Spanish languages.

Healthcare

Spain’s healthcare system is regarded as one of the best in Europe. Furthermore, EU individuals with a European Health Insurance Card can use it for free (EHIC).

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a free health insurance card that entitles you to emergency medical care while travelling in one of the EEG nations (Europe, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) or Switzerland if you are a resident of the EU. You are covered for emergency medical care with the EHIC. However, it does not cover private or non-urgent medical care, nor does it cover dentists or free care if the treatment is the only reason for your visit. Remember that some treatments that are free in your home country may not be free in Spain. The EHIC does not cover the costs in this scenario. For further information on the EHIC, please refer to the SchengenVisaInfo.com website.

If you have an emergency, you can call the number 112 or 061

There are two different healthcare providers in Spain. The Spanish government’s health-care system, known as Seguridad Social, as well as a large number of private insurers. Spain’s social security system is known as Seguridad Social. Not only does this apply to healthcare, but also to elderly care, unemployment, and poverty. You may check who qualifies for the Seguridad Social in the table below.

  • If you are an employee in Spain, then your employer will pay a contribution to the Seguridad Social for you.
  • If you are an employer, then you must take care of your payment by yourself.
  • If you have a pension, then you pay the premium via the healthcare insurance contribution to the Health Insurance Board.

You will receive a paper to register with the local Centro de Salud after successfully registering with the Seguridad Social. You must first register before selecting a doctor. When registering, you are frequently given the option of selecting a doctor. Ask which doctor speaks English or another language you are familiar with.

There are several private insurers to select from in Spain. It’s important to understand that previous complaints are almost always removed from insurance, and that not everyone is accepted. When applying for private insurance, you must always fill out a medical history form. Following that, you will be evaluated to see if you are eligible for admission. The benefit of private insurance is that you can nearly always see a doctor who speaks English. Depending on your insurance company, you may or may not be able to choose where you receive treatment. 

Some words to get you started

Spanish is the national language while Valencian is a regional co-official language. That means it is a language that is only official in the region of origin, so Valencia. In Alicante they speak Valencian. Valencian comes from the Catalan language.

There is a difference between Valencian and Spanish. For example, the pronunciation is different. Valencian sounds a bit softer and flatter than the Spanish pronunciation. Valencian also has far fewer final vowels than Spanish. These are the a’s and o’s that are so well known in Spanish vocabulary. In general, words that look similar tend to be slightly shorter in Valencian, with both vowels and consonants dropped. The ‘o’ and ‘e’ often have an ‘open’ pronunciation in Valencian.

To help you a little bit with the Spanish and Valecian language, we created a little list with the most common words. There are some letters that are pronounced differently in Spanish than we you might use to:

  • H = is not pronounced
  • J = G
  • Ll = j
  • Ñ = nj
  • V = B

English

Valencian

Spanish

What is your name?

¿Com et dius?

¿Cómo te llamas?

My name is

Em dic

Me llamo

How are you doing?

¿Com estàs?

¿Como estas?

I am fine!

¡Tot va bé!

¡Estoy bien!

Where do you live?

¿On vius? 

¿Dónde vive?

I live in

Jo visc a

Vivo en

Good morning

Bon dia

Buenos días

Good evening

Bona nit

Buenas noches

Thank you!

Gràcies

Gracias

Please

Per favor

Por favor

You’re welcome

De res

De nada

 

Writer of this blog

Demi Hendriks

Recruit4.work has developed very rapidly since its foundation in 2016 into an established recruitment and selection agency.

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