Tours of the complex take place daily at 11am and 12.30pm from beside the second floor lift; €3.
The tourist office (5) (00 34 965 200 000; alicanteturismo.com; 9am- 8pm weekdays, 10am- 8pm Saturday, 10am-2pm Sunday) is at Rambla Méndez Núñez 14.
Check in Dominating the harbour is the sprawling Meliá (6) at Plaza del Puerto 3 (00 34 965 205 000; melia.com).
There's never a bad time to visit, but it's now that Alicante starts to shine, with balmy temperatures nudging 24C.
Visit around 20 June and you'll witness one of Spain's most exuberant festivals: the Fogueres de Sant Joan (hogueras.org).
An aperitif With outdoor tables, the harbourside Soho Mar (20) at Muelle de Levante 1 (00 34 965 204 411; sohoalicante.com) is the hippest bar in town.
Sip a glass of local chardonnay (€3.50) while the setting sun basks the boats in a soft amber glow to the sounds of chill-out music.Dining with the locals Hollywood stars have been won over by the rustic dishes – oxtail ragout and pork stew with lentils – at Piripi (21) on Avenida de Oscar Esplá 30 (00 34 965 227 940). If it's full, try sister restaurant Nou Manolín (22) at Calle Villegas 3 (00 34 965 200 368; noumanolin.com).For a more formal experience try Alderbarán (23) at Muelle de Poniente 1 (00 34 965 123 130; It stops at the bus station (1) on Calle Portugal, the train station (2) on Avenida Salamanca and Plaza Puerta del Mar (3). Rising to the east is Mount Benacantil, a 166m peak of white limestone that forms an impressive backdrop to Playa del Postiguet, a popular beach in the heart of the city.To the west is the harbour and the parallel Explanada de España (4), a promenade of mosaic cobbles, palms and century-old fig trees.Chef Roberto Jimemet specialises in paella-style dishes such as rice with cuttlefish and artichoke (€12). Sunday morning: go to church Alicante's original place of worship is named after its patron saint.