Alicante City Museums

Exploring the wonderful Alicante City museums gives visitors an insight into the history and rich cultural heritage of the city, its past famous residents, archaeology, military history and its important connection with the sea. You don't need to be a history buff to appreciate the Alicante City museums as there really is something for everyone, including the Volvo Ocean Race Museum that will delight sailing and racing enthusiasts and the Belén Museum where the kids will have fun. There are also a selection of interesting and exciting museums within an hour's drive from the city that can be visited as part of a coach tour or self drive day out.

Alicante City Museums
Source: Flickr / TijsB

Alicante City Museums

Museum of Contemporary Art – Incorporating Alicante's oldest civil building, Casa de la Asegurada that was constructed in 1685, the contemporary art museum is a grand affair and houses three permanent collections of around 800 pieces of art. Artist Eusebio Sempere is responsible for two of the collections, various 20th century works by famous artists such as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso generously donated to the museum by Eusebio in 1976, and his own collection of art and sculptures acquired by the city in 1997. The remaining collection is by local artist Juana Francés and comprises graphic works, sketches and paintings. Located in the Plaza de Santa María, the museum offers free entrance and varying opening hours.

MARQ – This is the abbreviation for the Archaeological Museum of Alicante that is located in the Plaza Dr. Gómez Ulla. The contrasting grandeur of the building's exterior and modern interior is a work of art in itself where visitors will find the latest technological equipment. This has been used to provide interactive consoles and audio visual presentations to showcase the museums wonderful galleries and exhibitions devoted to Prehistory, Iberian times, Roman times, the Medieval Age and Modern periods. As far as Alicante City museums go, MARQ is the most involved with community activities, hosting regular outdoor exhibits, city functions, plays, recitals, dinners and wine tasting events. Opening hours vary and prices are reasonable.

Volvo Ocean Race Museum – Located in the Port of Alicante, this fascinating museum is great fun for all the family offering multimedia technology, including videos and games for the young ones to showcase the 42 year history, boats and equipment used during the longest and most gruelling professional sporting event in the world. The city of Alicante was proud to host the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in October 2014 and are honoured to have the privilege again in the upcoming 2017 edition of the race. During the tour of the museum visitors have the chance to view the museum's latest exhibition, ‘Zoom In' that features spectacular aerial views of the race, as well as the opportunity to visit one of the boats that took part in the 2005-06 edition. A favourite addition to the museum for the young ones is ‘The Ride' a thrilling simulator experience of the Volvo Ocean Race. Entrance to the museum is free for workshops and school groups when booking in advance, and a guided tour for individuals costs just 1.50€

Nativity Scene Museum – Another of the Alicante City museums that is fun for kids is the Nativity Scene Museum, also referred to as the Belenes Museum. Opened in 1997, the museum is a delight and boasts a wonderful collection of art and sculptures dedicated to the intricate and often time consuming construction of nativity scenes, not just in Europe but from other continents such as the Americas, Asia and Africa. Located on Calle San Agustín, the museum is open from 10:00 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 20:00 weekdays and 10:00 – 14:00 on Saturdays.

Surrounding Museums

Valencian Toy Museum – Another family friendly museum and well worth the 30 minute drive inland to the town of Ibi, the toy museum opened in 1986 and showcases a total of 450 superb examples of toys and miniatures from around the world. Children and adults alike will be fascinated by the excellent craftsmanship and intricate design that went into toy making in days of old, where many of the parts used to create the toys were painstakingly hand crafted and painted. The museum's collection includes examples of motorcycles, cars, boats, trains, aircraft, figurines, dolls, doll house furniture and all sorts of wild and domestic animals. Opening times are Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 – 13:00 and 16:00 – 19:00, Sunday 11:00 – 14:00 and entry is a very reasonable 2.00€ for adults and 1.50€ for children and senior citizens.

Historical Vehicle Museum – Collectors and ‘petrol heads' will be in their element when visiting this lovely museum that features around 140 motorcycles and a variety of micro cars. Located an hour's drive from Alicante near Spain's most visited mountain village, Guadalest, a visit to this museum should definitely be coupled with a visit to Guadalest and also the nearby Algar Waterfalls where visitors can enjoy an icy swim surrounded by stunning nature. The museum's motorcycles and micro cars are from as early as 1917 and have been lovingly restored to their original glory. The museum offers an on-site shop and restaurant, and opening times are 10:30 – 19:00 in summer and 10:30 – 18:00 in winter.

Doll House Museum – One of several museums located in the stunning mountaintop village of Guadalest, each extraordinary work of art, sculpture and miniature in this ‘young girl's dream' museum is the creation of the exceptionally talented Antonio Marco Martínez. His works really have to be seen to be believed, where the minute detail of the toys and doll houses even include working lamps and some are made from brick, stone and clay, identical to a full scale house. Doll House Museum is open daily from 10:00 except for Christmas and New Year's day. Entry costs 4€ for adults, 3€ for groups and children 12 to 16 years, and 2€ for children under 12.

Santa Barbara Castle

Sitting high above Alicante on the peak of Benacantil Mountain, the impressive Santa Bárbara Castle is one of the city's most famous tourist attractions and offers an insight into the rich history of the area.