Are you planning a trip to the Costa Blanca and wondering if a visit to Benidorm should be included in your itinerary? Or are you visiting for a weekend in Benidorm or during your summer holidays and want to know what are the best things to do in Benidorm? Then this post is for you.
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General information about Benidorm
Benidorm, located on the southeastern coast of Spain, has been the main tourist destination on the Costa Blanca for many years. This does not come as a big surprise as it has so many things to offer for any type of visitor. Benidorm boasts it has sunshine nearly the whole year round thanks to its own micro climate. The Benidorm region is protected by the surrounding mountains which keeps the clouds and the rain at a distance, for the most part.
With two blue flag beaches with fine golden sand, crystal blue water, tons of accommodation for all budgets, plenty of fun activities, lots of shopping possibilities and great Spanish food, Benidorm simply has something for every type of visitor. Benidorm used to be frequented mostly by the senior northern Europeans but nowadays you see students, young people, families with young children as well as elderly citizens from all over the world all enjoying everything Benidorm and the Costa Blanca has to offer.
What I personally like about the city is that even though there are so many things to see and do in Benidorm and so much to offer for everyone, it is still possible to find quiet and relaxing places. Admittedly, many attractions in Benidorm will be more crowed during peak season but that is the case in most seaside resorts.
It is impossible to list all the Benidorm attractions and things to do, so I have compiled the main activities in Benidorm that are worth doing or visiting when you are there for a limited amount of time. So keep reading if you would like to know what to do in Benidorm.
Best things to do in Benidorm Spain
Visit the beaches in Benidorm
There is no visit to Benidorm without visiting the various beaches. With 3 major beaches and a few smaller ones, Benidorm is home to kilometres of long golden sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Important to know is that all 3 main beaches in Benidorm have been awarded the Blue Flag. Benidorm definitely has some of the best beaches to visit of the Costa Blanca area.
Levante Beach or Playa Levante
The 2 km long Levante beach is the most popular and most visited beach in Benidorm. The fine golden sand along the mediterranean sea is very inviting for a bit, or a lot of sunbathing during your holiday. To make it more comfortable there are plenty of beach chairs and sunshades for rent for 5 Euro each per day. During peak season, especially in the summer months this beach gets very crowded.
The sea is pleasant to swim in, but you will have to walk a bit out to get to the deeper parts, just be aware of the many rocks when going in the water. Playa de Levante is also the place to be for the various water-sports that are offered in Benidorm and which I will come back to further on in this post. All in all, Playa de Levante is a nice and clean blue flag beach with crystal clear water but with quite some rocks to pay attention to. However, there are marked sections in between the rocky areas with lifeguards.
Poniente Beach or Playa Poniente
Playa Poniente is a 3 km long beach, on the western side of Benidorm which starts at the Parc Elche by the historic centre of Benidorm. The Poniente beach is much less touristy and more frequently visited by Spanish tourists. Also here there are possibilities to rent beach loungers and sunshades for the day. Since there are far less bars and restaurants on the promenade compared to the Levante beach, it is much quieter here to spend a day at the beach.
Cala Mal Pas beach
Cala Mal Pas beach is 120 metres in length, the 2 main beaches in Benidorm being a few kilometres long each. It’s a small cove located between the Benidorm Old Town and the Poniente beach. It’s a nice place for swimming since there are no rocks in the water. What we liked there was the shade provided by the rocks at the one side of the beach area in the late afternoon. You may also see lots of small fish swimming around you while wading in the water.
Go Shopping in Benidorm
Benidorm is a heaven for the shopping lover. The possibilities to go shopping in Benidorm seem endless. And with hundreds of shops all over town, there is no real way to avoid it. It seems that in Benidorm alone there are around 1600 shops. Bear in mind that most of the gift and souvenir shops sell roughly the same items at the same price.
The shops on the beachfront promenade are mainly souvenir shops and things you need for the beach. Around the Old Town in Benidorm you can find a wider range of shops from boutiques to popular brands and leather items. Also on the Levante side of Benidorm, the main shopping area is on the Avenida del Mediterraneo. A visit to La Marina shopping centre (locally called ‘Centro Comercial La Marina’) in Finestrat is a great idea to do in Benidorm when raining. La Marina has a wide range of shops and restaurants, as well as a movie complex, a bowling alley and some attractions for children.
If you are in the mood for shopping in a larger city, there is always the option to visit Alicante, located about 40 kilometres from Benidorm and with lots of great shopping facilities.
Markets in Benidorm
A few days a week there are some great markets to visit in Benidorm. A nice street market to go to is on the Mercadillo Pueblo, on the Levante side, which takes place every Wednesday and Sunday morning. It’s a pretty big market which can get very crowded, especially on Sundays. But most people tend to sleep longer, because of hangovers, so go early and you can visit the stalls with much fewer people around. You can find some good deals on the market if you are ready to go through piles of clothes. What they do is to unpack all the new clothes and throw them on a pile (it seems like people love to buy more when having to search for their preferred items). You can find nice items for as low as a few Euros.
Walk along the Benidorm promenade
One of the top things to do in Benidorm that I really love is to walk along the beach promenade. A long line of shops, bars and restaurants are dotted along the promenade of both main beaches, but especially the promenade of the Playa de Levante. The promenade is paved with lots of benches to sit and rest. It’s great to walk but also perfectly suited for strollers and mobility scooters.
Visit the Plaça del Castell
Located between the two parts of the city in the Benidorm Old Town, the Plaza del Castell with the Balcón del Mediterráneo is one of the most iconic landmarks of Benidorm. It’s also one of the nicest things to see in Benidorm. It’s a little bit of a climb to get up there, but once at the top of the headland you’ll get treated to some great views. The Plaça del Castell is the place where the old Benidorm castle used to be for hundreds of years until it was destroyed beginning of the 19th century. The whitewashed balustrades with the blue tiles and the checkered floor are really beautiful to see which makes it a great place to chill, enjoy the views, listen to a street musician, have a drink or just relax away from the hustle and bustle of town.
Enjoy the panoramic views from the Balcón del Mediterráneo
To get to the Balcón del Mediterráneo you’ll have to walk through the Placa del Castell and walk down the stairs at the far end. From the balcony you have the best panoramic views of both the Playa Levante and the Playa Poniente. Just make some time to take some of the best photos of Benidorm and to enjoy the wonderful views.
Take a stroll through the Benidorm Old Town
The Benidorm Old Town is the heart of the whole city. The historic old town is a maze of narrow streets filled with shops, restaurants and bars. You can discover quirky squares, cobbled streets and traditional Spanish restaurants. Especially in the evening, the old town becomes a vibrant place to be. If you want to try traditional Spanish tapas, the historic centre is the place to be.
All in all, some of the fun things to do in Benidorm Old Town are shopping, eat a meal in a typical Spanish restaurant or tapas bar and go to the viewpoint at the Placa del Castell.
Visit Parc Elche
Another nice place to visit is the Parc Elche which is located next to the old town at the beginning of the Poniente beach. The palm trees provide nice shade on the hot summer days and there is a small fountain with benches. It’s a lovely little park that quite often during the weekends has a market with handmade crafts and regional foods. The scents that emanates from the different food stalls of the various herbs, spices or roasted almonds really smell just divine.
Enjoy a night of entertainment in the Benidorm Palace
A Benidorm visit is not complete without a night of entertainment in the famous Benidorm Palace. Established in 1977, the Benidorm Palace offers unforgettable entertainment, spectacular cabaret shows, dazzling costumes and talented performers, ensuring a great night out when on vacation in Benidorm.
It is an elegant setting for an evening out as they also offer a dining experience to complement the entertainment. The restaurant caters both Spanish and international cuisine. Tickets can and should best be purchased in advance, either for the show itself here or including the catering here.
Get a taste of the best Spanish food
Benidorm receives a lot of tourists from all over Europe and beyond who are spoiled with plenty of choices that cater to all tastes, so don’t worry if you are not really into Spanish food or cannot resist some familiar dishes from your home country. I have never seen so many fish and chips restaurants outside of the UK. But for the Spanish food lovers, there are of course lots of nice restaurants and tapas bars to discover.
One of the better places to taste Spanish tapas is on a little square at the beginning of the Avenida Rufaza in the old town. There are several small bars that offer a drink with a selection of tapas for a very small price. You can opt to buy a drink with a tapa which you select at the counter or get a bottle of wine (or cava / cider) for a small price and it includes 6 tapas.
Visit the Cruz de Benidorm
One of the best things to do in Benidorm that provide the most amazing views of the whole city of Benidorm is a visit to the Cruz de Benidorm. To get to the Benidorm Cross you can either hike up or take a taxi. It’s a longish hike which should not be underestimated on a hot day since there is no shade on the way. Make sure to take enough water and sunscreen. From the Levante beach follow the road up until you see the sign ‘todos direcciones’ and further the sign with ‘The Cross’. Count on about 1 hour to an hour and a half for the walk up. Another good way to get to the cross is renting an E-bike (see below).
Have fun doing water sports
If you are in search of getting your adrenaline going, there is a wide variety of water sports to choose from. Most are located at the Rincon de Loix of the Levante beach but you can find the various booking offices on both beaches. You can rent a jet-ski, enjoy a parasailing ride, get a thrilling ride on the flyfish or a banana boat or take a jet ski tour with an instructor. There is also the worlds largest cable ski area in the sea. Built in 1966, it takes you water skiing, or wake boarding without a boat, in which case it’s not really wake boarding anymore, but still a whole lot of fun with various jumps and higher speeds for the more advanced.
You will find it all in Benidorm.
Best way to explore Benidorm and around
Walking is a great way to explore the city of Benidorm, that is, if you are staying for more than a few days and you love lots of walking. The city is widely stretched along the Mediterranean sea. But there are various other ways to explore the whole city:
- You can rent a Segway, which is a fun way to explore the city at its best.
- Or join in on a Segway guided tour to experience the best of Benidorm.
- Another great way to get around Benidorm and the surrounding area is to rent an E-bike. The advantage of getting around with an E-bike is that it will be so much easier to climb some of the hills surrounding the city or to cycle to the nearby villages or markets.
- If you would like to visit Benidorm slowly and at your own pace there is always the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. This bus is very different to most other places in the world that offer the hop-on hop-off principe. In Benidorm you get to explore the city with an old San Fransisco style traditional bus.
Go on an adrenaline ride in Terra Mítica Benidorm
Terra Mítica is a big theme park on the outskirts of Benidorm. Opened in 2000, Terra Mítica is divided into various themed areas all representing various areas and civilisations. With a wide range of fun and adrenaline packed rides and great shows, Terra Mítica is a nice day out for the whole family. More information about opening times and entrance fees can be found on their website.
Discover wildlife in Mundomar Benidorm
With over 30 animal species present in the park, a visit to Mundomar is a great activity to do in Benidorm when you love animals. They offer various shows with animals as well as animal interactions. For more information about the park and their opening times and rates, you can visit their website.
Water fun in Aqualandia Benidorm
During the summer months, a visit to Aqualandia is a great idea. The waterpark is right next door to Mundomar and shares the same parking area. Aqualandia was the first waterpark built in Spain and is one of the larger ones in Europe. The main attractions of the park are thrilling water slides, various pools and rapids. More information about the park here.
So, have you visited Spain yet? Are you looking for one of the best value for money destinations in the country? Then Benidorm is the place for you!