Welcome to Benidorm, one of the most popular holiday destinations in Spain and the party capital of Costa Blanca. It’s a place in which you will feel like you’re in a completely different country! If someone would place you there and ask where you are, you’d probably say with conviction in your voice “Manhattan or Dubai!”. And… you wouldn’t be far away from the truth, as Benidorm is called “the Manhattan of Spain“. If you’re heading to Benidorm, and the beach and parties aren’t your only points of interest – this post will be perfect for you. Vamos! Let’s discover the best things to do in Benidorm, Spain.
Interesting fact. In the 1950s Benidorm was still a small fishing village. Since then, hundreds of skyscrapers have been built along the coast. Most of them are now used as hotels and apartments with amazing sea views. Among them is one of the tallest residential buildings in Europe, Intempo, with a height of 192 meters!
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Benidorm, Spain FAQ
Benidorm is located in the heart of Costa Blanca in the Province of Alicante in Spain. It lies in close proximity to Alicante, another very popular holiday destination, and other beautiful small towns like Villajoyosa, Calpe, Altea, Finestrat, or Guadalest.
Benidorm is best known for being one of the most popular holiday resorts in Spain with many beautiful sandy beaches, lots of activities to choose from, a charming old town, and a vivid nightlife. But Benidorm is also famous for being totally different from all other places in the country. Just look at hundreds of skyscrapers! They bring Manhattan or Dubai to mind rather than Spain, right?
Yes, Benidorm is definitely worth visiting. If only by the fact that it’s completely different from other towns on Costa Blanca and will bring a breath of fresh air to your travels. But besides the unique look, the city has a lot of attractions to offer for both adults and kids. Beaches, sea and mountain views, fun theme parks, thrilling parties, good restaurants, charming old town… All of that and more are waiting for you in Benidorm.
Hard to say, it all depends on your preferences. Both places are very popular holiday destinations on Costa Blanca, both well known for many tourist attractions and their vivid nightlife with all-night parties. Overall we prefer Benidorm, but we think Alicante’s old town is more interesting. It’s best to visit both cities and form your own opinion.
Oh yes, without a doubt! Benidorm is well known for its vivid nightlife scene and parties lasting up to the early morning hours. It’s also a very popular spot for hen/stag parties, especially for UK folks.
Benidorm is a perfect destination for unforgettable holidays, unwinding weekends, and one-day trips from nearby towns. It’s even a great home base for longer stays to slowly discover Costa Blanca. Without rushing you’ll be able to see the most popular Benidorm attractions in one day. But if you want to get to know and experience the city better, we recommend staying for at least 3 days.
Benidorm has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers (30°C+) and mild winters (around 15°C). If really high temperatures and crowds don’t bother you – visit during the high season from June to August. If you prefer quieter times and lower temperatures choose any month in the lower season. Personally, we think spring and autumn are the best time to go to Benidorm.
Sunbathing on one of the Benidorm beaches is a must while in the city during warm days. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from so everyone will find a perfect beach for himself. Playa de Levante and Playa de Poniente are the two main beaches in Benidorm, divided by the port and the Mediterranean Balcony in the middle.
Levante Beach (es. Platja de Llevant) is the largest beach in Benidorm, right next to the most touristic and partying part of town. It’s about 2km long, filled with many bars, restaurants, cafeterias, and beach clubs. Most of Benidorm’s hotels are located around Playa de Levante.
Poniente Beach (es. Platja de Ponent) is the second-largest beach in Benidorm. It’s definitely less crowded, as it’s located in a quieter part of the city. For this reason, it’s particularly popular with older people. Along it, there’s a good selection of restaurants and cafeterias.
Playa de Finestrat
There are also other, smaller beaches around to explore, such as the beautiful Playa de Finestrat (es. Platja de La Cala de Finestrat). This one is located about 3km from the city center and it’s not as busy as the previous two. From this beach, you can also hike up to the Torre d’Aguiló (which we already mentioned in a post about Villajoyosa) and admire spectacular views over the coastline.
Cala Tio Ximo
Cala Tío Ximo Beach is another Benidorm beach worth mentioning. It’s a small, 60m-long beach, located not far from Playa de Levante. The beach is walled by cliffs, which gives it an interesting vibe. Cala Tio Ximo is a popular place for snorkeling. You can get there on foot, or by car.
Things to do in Benidorm Old Town
There are plenty of things to do in Benidorm Old Town and its surroundings. It’s located between Ponent and Llevant Beach, and it’s the complete opposite of the modern part of the city. There you’ll find small streets filled with cafeterias, restaurants, and boutique hotels. While there, don’t forget to visit Tapas Alley located on Calle Santo Domingo, and try classic Spanish dishes like patatas bravas or gambas al pil pil. Let’s go and take a closer look at all the things to do in Benidorm Old Town.
Mediterranean Balcony & Placa del Castell
Mediterranean Balcony (es. Balcó de la Mediterrània) without a doubt is one of the most beautiful places in Benidorm Old Town. It’s a snow-white viewing platform between Playa de Levante and Playa de Poniente. The mix of blue sea and white facade gives a truly captivating effect. The Mediterranean Balcony offers spectacular views of the bay and the town’s skyline. Believe us, this place should be your no. 1 on your list of things to do in Benidorm.
To get to the Mediterranean Balcony you have to walk through the Placa del Castell, a place where Benidorm Castle once stood. Currently, it’s a place filled with musicians and various sellers.
Parque de La Aiguera
Located near the old city center, Parque de La Aigüera is called the lung of the city, or the green oasis in the heart of the city. To be honest we have no idea why. To us, it doesn’t look at all like a park which we would describe as the “lungs of the city”. Although it’s still a nice place to take a walk, have a picnic, sit and relax with a book or exercise. Here you’ll also find a Roman-style auditorium and bullring (unfortunately closed).
Tossal de la Cala
Tossal de la Cala is a very spectacular viewpoint located on a big rock, between Playa de Poniente and Playa de Finestrat. It offers spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea, Benidorm city, and Puig Campana mountain. We recommend going there to watch a sunset, or sunrise if you’re an early bird. Definitely one of the best things to do in Benidorm.
Benidorm Island is a small piece of land “drifting” on the sea, which just can’t be missed from any of Benidorm’s beaches. Visiting an island can be a great option for a one-day trip from Benidorm Old Town. To get there you need to take a boat from a port. When you arrive you can explore Benidorm Island Trail – it takes only around 10-15 minutes to reach the top. From the viewpoint, you can admire spectacular views over the coastline. Bring food for a picnic, a bathing suit, snorkel gear, and enjoy your day away from a bustling city.
There’s an interesting legend behind Benidorm Island. We wrote about it in a Puig Campana post – check it out.
The Cross of Benidorm
Another great thing to do in Benidorm is to visit the Cross of Benidorm (es. La Creu de Benidorm). It’s located on a hill above the city, on the edge of the Sierra Helada Natural Park. On the top, you’ll find a huge metal cross, and great views – you can look over the entire Benidorm, sandy beaches, mountains and sea. You can stretch your legs and get there by foot, or by car (but only part of the route, because the rest has recently been closed for unauthorized vehicles by the city authorities).
History Of The Cross
There is an interesting story about the cross. The original cross, a wooden one, was carried to the top in 1961 as a protest at the newly permitted bikinis on Benidorm’s beaches. You know, in the 1950s wearing a bikini was considered shocking, and back then Benidorm was just beginning to transform from a little fishing village to the tourist paradise it is today.
Women, supposedly mostly shameless foreigners, started wearing bikinis and one particular bishop wasn’t happy at all about that fact. He threatened to put a sign in front of the city with the words “El Infierno” (meaning hell), informing that *naughty* mayor (who agreed to all of this, because he thought it was good for city development and tourism) and the townspeople would go to Hell for allowing to wear “robes of sin”.
He didn’t do it in the end, but about two years later, people carried a huge wooden cross from the Church of San Jaime to a high point, so it could overlook the sinful city. This gesture by some of the locals was intended to show that they were still religious, as opposed to the sinful tourists who showed too much body in public. Today you can see a large metal cross, which was erected in 1975 and was made of fragments of old railway tracks.
Other things to do in Benidorm, Spain
Sierra Helada Natural Park
If you are up for a walk in nature, Sierra Helada Natural Park is a perfect place to do that, so don’t forget to add it to your list of things to do in Benidorm. From the entrance, up to the lighthouse, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes. High cliffs, mountains, and Mediterranean Sea views, coastline – it’s all here. The path is very easy and well maintained so almost everyone will be able to enjoy this route.
Benidorm is famous for its extensive nightlife. Especially in the Levante Beach area where there are many clubs and cocktail bars to choose from. In the high season people party up to the early morning hours. If you like going out in the evening and the nightlife is your jam, Benidorm will be a great place for you.
Another option for nightlife lovers is Benidorm Palace as it offers a fantastic show (supposedly, because we haven’t seen it) full of colors, dancing, and singing. The show takes place every weekend. You can purchase tickets only for a show, or with dinner options. You can read more about the show and ticket prices on benidormpalace.com website.
Fiestas Mayores Patronales de Benidorm
Las Fiestas Mayores Patronales is an annual festival that celebrates Benidorm patron saints: Virgen del Sufragio and San Jaime Apostle. The fiesta lasts for six days and always begins on the second weekend of November. If you will be in Benidorm at this time it’s worth taking a look at this yet another nightlife experience. Especially on the last day when a colorful parade takes place which ends up with fireworks.
Benidorm is also famous for its amusement parks. Everyone will find something exciting for themselves. Here is what you can choose from:
How to get to Benidorm, Spain?
Benidorm is located about 25km from Calpe, 10km from Altea, 45km from Alicante, and 500km from Barcelona. The city is well situated along the Mediterranean coast, linked by the AP7 highway. Traveling by car, or bus from another coastal city is the most convenient way to get to the city. There’s also a tram connection from Alicante.
Where to park in Benidorm?
There are many paid parking lots around. If you want to leave your car somewhere for free, look outside the yellow area on Google Maps. We can recommend leaving a car on Calle Jaén, a street near Levante Beach. In 2021 we never had a problem parking there.
Airports near Benidorm
The closest airport to Benidorm is located in Alicante (55 km away). The next ones are located in Valencia and Murcia, about 150km away. All airports offer bus/tram connections with Benidorm. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Benidorm by bus
You can also quite easily get to Benidorm by bus. For example, the journey from Alicante will take about 1h (€2-11), 1h45min from Valencia (€9-30) and only 20min from Villajoyosa (€2-4). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Benidorm by tram
From some places like Alicante or Villajoyosa, you can also get to Benidorm by tram. For example, the trip from Alicante will take about 1h10min (€2-4) and 15min from Villajoyosa (€1-2). Visit lamarinaalta.com website and check the Alicante Metropolitan Tram Map.
To Benidorm by taxi
You can also get to Benidorm by taxi. It will be the most expensive choice, but also the fastest one. For example, a trip from Alicante Airport will cost about €90-120, from Calpe €28-35, and from Villajoyosa €15-19. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
Things to do in Benidorm, Spain – Summing up
Uf, that’s a lot! But now you are armed with a guide to great things to do in Benidorm, Spain. If you’re looking for a great place for typical holidays with great beaches, weather, food, nightlife, and a lot of attractions – Benidorm will be a perfect choice for you. One thing is sure: you’ll definitely not be bored in this little Manhattan of Spain. We hope you’ll like it and will spend unforgettable moments in Benidorm. Enjoy and after be sure to let us know how you liked it.
Our opinion about Benidorm
We lived in Benidorm for 8 weeks (October & November) during our first season of digital nomad life. During that time we were able to notice how the city was slowly going to sleep, emptying from huge crowds of holidaymakers. However, even in November it was quite busy, especially during weekends, filled with many Brits. It definitely looks like Benidorm is a great place to party all year round and the nightlife never ends! We can’t even imagine what it looks like in the months like July or August. To be frank, Benidorm itself didn’t really steal our hearts, but overall we found our stay there very pleasant. We also think it’s an excellent starting point for discovering Costa Blanca.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Benidorm?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Benidorm:
Where to sleep in Benidorm?
Hotel Bilbaino is a budget-friendly hotel located just a few steps away from the Levante Beach in Benidorm. The hotel features air-conditioned rooms with balconies offering sea views, as well as an on-site restaurant serving traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
Aparthotel BCL Levante Beach
Aparthotel BCL Levante Beach is a budget-friendly accommodation option located just a short walk from Levante Beach in Benidorm. The apartments are spacious, clean, and comfortable, with a kitchenette, living area, and balcony, making them a great choice for families or groups.
Melia Benidorm is a modern hotel situated in the heart of Benidorm, Spain, just a few minutes' walk from Levante Beach. With its excellent facilities including multiple swimming pools, spa, and fitness center, it's an ideal place for both leisure and business travelers.
Aparthotel Ola Blanca
Aparthotel Ola Blanca is a modern and stylish accommodation option in Benidorm, Spain. Featuring a range of amenities including a swimming pool, gym, and rooftop terrace, it is an ideal choice for those looking for comfort and convenience during their stay.
Ambassador Playa II
Ambassador Playa II is a modern hotel located in the heart of Benidorm, just a few steps away from the Levante Beach. It offers comfortable rooms and a wide range of amenities including a rooftop pool, a gym, and a buffet restaurant.
The Sonrisa Apartments in Benidorm are modern and spacious apartments that offer guests a comfortable stay in a prime location, just a short walk from the beach and a variety of local attractions. The apartments are equipped with all necessary amenities and feature a rooftop pool and terrace with stunning views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com