Well known through a TV program of the same name, Benidorm is a beach resort famed for its beaches and nightlife. The town, located in Spain’s Costa Blanca has grown from a long forgotten sleepy fishing village to a popular year-round holiday resort. With a skyline that the tourist board optimistically tell you is reminiscent of New York, Benidorm boasts kilometres of fine, clean sandy beaches, safe swimming waters, endless hotels and entertainment options. We found ourselves there and compiled these top things to do in Benidorm, with a bonus of including great day trips from Benidorm too.
What's in This Article?
- What to See – Benidorm Attractions
- Best Things to do In Benidorm Old Town
- Best Things to Do in Benidorm – Sightseeing
- Head to the Benidorm Beaches
- Visit Benidorm Island
- Walk Along the Promenade or Take the Tourist Train – Benidorm Train Vision
- See Benidorm from Above! Tandem Paragliding in Benidorm
- Visit La Cruz de Benidorm
- Take a Cooking Class in Benidorm
- Explore Benidorm’s Parks
- Benidorm Flea Market – El Cisne Rastro
- Rent a Mobility Scooter, Ebike or Segway
- Seek out Benidorm the TV Show
- Benidorm Nightlife
- Places to Visit Near Benidorm
- Hotels in Benidorm – Accommodation
- Cheap Flights to Benidorm
- What to Read While You’re in Benidorm
- Souvenirs to buy in Benidorm
- Finally, from Benidorm
There are so many things to so in Benidorm and around that you won’t be stuck wonering what to do in Benidorm, more likely how you will fit it all in! We’ve organised this article into Benidorm Attractions, Benidorm sightseeing and things to do near Benidorm. Enjoy!
What to See – Benidorm Attractions
Theres a lot to see and do in Benidorm. Check out the top rated Benidorm Attractions and plan your stay in Benidorm now!.
Visit the Benidorm Theme Parks – Terra Mitica & Terra Natura
Against a backdrop of ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt Terra Mitica has theme park rides that will exhilarate and terrify you (possibly). There are also shows to watch and specific rides for children. This is one of the top Benidorm things to do! Terra Natura houses more than 1,500 animals with exhibitions, shows and lots more! Book your tickets online now!.
Splash out on at the Benidorm Water Parks
The Aqua Natura water park covers a huge area, some 40,000 square metres with a wave pool, water chutes, a lighthouse breaker, SPA (for hydrotherapy), sundeck and the children’s pool area. Be sure of your spot and book your ticket to Aqua Natura now!
Even bigger than Aqua Natura, (by more than 3 times!) you’ll find a huge number of water slides at Aqualandia, including one that has a 22-metre vertical drop. Yep. That’s Vertigo.
Get Locked In – and Escape at the Lockdown Escape Room
The Lockdown Escape room is consistently rated as one of the best things to do in Benidorm. You’ll have to escape from zombies, enter a 1960’s spy thriller to get to the moon or escape from the Orphanage movie. It’s a great activity for all ages, but you’ll have to work together to get out of Lockdown. It’s rated on TripAdvisor as one of the top attractions in Benidorm! Check out some ace reviews and book you and the family in for Lockdown!
Best Things to do In Benidorm Old Town
Head to Benidorm Old Town for a little traditional Spain. Here you’ll find narrow alleyways and cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and traditional Tapas bars. You’ll find shops with huge whole Serrano hams, great coffee shops and the oldest bar in Benidorm. This part of the city really is one of the nicest places to visit in Benidorm.
The Old Town is located between the beaches of Levante and Poniente. This area is known as the Cerro Canfali headlands and is the location of the original fishing village that was Benidorm.
Photograph the Balcon del Mediterraneo
This is a great spot at the end of Benidorm Old Town. The Placa del Castell is the area that you pass through to get to the famous Balcon del Mediterraneo and possibly even more fabulous views. You’ll usually find at least one musician to serenade you and convince you to buy his CD. It marks the spot where the old Castle stood. It was originally built to defend the Spanish against Algerian pirates in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
The cannons are symbols of the events that took place during the war of Independence against Napoleon’s French army. In 1812 the French attempted to seize the town, but the British fleet bombed the tower and did away with the French.
Located just past the Plaza del Castell is the Balcon del Mediterraneo. Walk down the steps to the small balcony on an outcrop of rocks, you’ll be able to see the Benidorm Island, and both Levante Beach and Poniente Beach as well as a birds-eye view of the marina and a distant view of the Cruz de Benidorm.
Visit The Church of San Jaime and Santa Ana
This traditional church is at the top of Benidorm Old Town. It’s easy to spot with whitewashed walls and blue-tiled domes. Inside you’ll find stained glass, paintings and an ornate ceiling. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of Benidorm. The church celebrates the major holidays of Benidorm in November, honouring St James and also staging reenactments of the discovery of the Virgin in 1740. The small wooden sculpture of the Virgin was, as legend has it, discovered on a boat drifting on the sea. Now she has her own small chapel.
Eat your way along Tapas Alley
The Calle Santo Domingo, also known as Tapas Alley, is literally that. An entire street where you’ll find the best Tapas bars in Benidorm. Don’t stick to one though, have one or two tapas in each and move on. Enjoy bite-sized dishes and a small beer or two.
Why not learn more about the food and wine of Spain with a Winery Tasting and Tapas Cooking Class? > Here are the options!
Shop till you drop at the Old Town Market
The Benidorm Old Town mark on Wednesdays and Sundays is a good bet for leather, shoes and carvings. You’ll probably get a better price here on souvenirs than the indoor market.
Yes There Are Museums in Benidorm
The Maritime Culture Centre
This small museum, which is free to enter contains model ships and other marine-based exhibits to remember Benidorm’s fishing and maritime past. It’s next to the harbour on the Paseo de Colon.
The House Museum (Casa Museo de Benidorm)
The house museum is the primary art gallery in Benidorm. House in a 19th-century house, entrance is free and you’ll find contemporary art and sculptures here.
Best Things to Do in Benidorm – Sightseeing
Head to the Benidorm Beaches
The two main beaches in Benidorm are Levante and Poniente. The whole of Benidorm Bay faces to the south onto the Mediterranean Sea, with just Benidorm Island (Isla de los Periodistas) enhancing the view. The mountains behind the town protect it and the bay from the winds. The sea here is warm and clear, the sand is fine and clean. In total there are around 4 miles of beaches in Benidorm.
At the eastern end of Benidorm Bay is the busy Levante Beach. It covers the area from Rincon de Loix to the Castle Rocks at the end of the Old Town. You’ll not only find sun loungers and water sports here but also endless cafes and restaurants. This is not the place to come for peace and quiet. This is party central.
It’s also the place to go if you’re looking for water sports including water skiing, diving and parasailing.
Mal Pas Beach
Located between Levante and Poniente, this beach sits in a tiny cove, just 120 metres long.
Much quieters than Levante beach this is more popular with the locals and families. It’s around 6 kilometres long, again with plenty of sunloungers and bars on the promenade. The beach stretches from the harbour in the east to the rocks of the Paseo Tamarindos. The beach here has a network of boardwalks, enabling wheelchair and mobility scooter users to access the beach more easily.
Playa Cala Ti Ximo Beach
Back at the east end of the bay, beyond the wáter ski cable is Playa Cala Ti Ximo. The beach is small without facilities, its secluded at the foot of the Sierra Helada National Park. The beach is a combination of sand, rocks and pebbles. It’s popular with divers.
If you’re planning your visit to Benidorm now, you might find our guide to 20 expert trip planning tips useful.
Visit Benidorm Island
Visible from all the beaches is Benidorm Island (Isla de los Periodistas). It’s a great spot for a day trip. You can take a submarine trip from the harbour around the island, land on the Island and walk to the top for a view back to the mainland, or just swim and sunbathe with a picnic. You can also take a small boat (golondrina) visit from the harbour too.
The island is the emblem of Benidorm, with local legend calling it the block of rock missing from the nearby Mount Puig Campana. The Benidorm myth has a ravine being gashed with a sword, causing a lump of rock to end up in the sea – hence the island.
Walk Along the Promenade or Take the Tourist Train – Benidorm Train Vision
The promenade that skirts the town and traverses the length of both beaches is wide, well paved and easy to walk. If your mobility is impaired then there are plenty of mobility scooter rental opportunities here. On a morning you’re likely to find exercise classes on the sands.
Running every day of the year, Benidorm Train vision begins its routes at 10 am, with runs every 45 minutes. There are two routes, which both cost €5.50 (€4 for seniors in the winter months) the Poniente Route and the Levante Route. Each route takes around an hour and stops can be found on the Ave Mediterraneo. The two routes can be combined at various times throughout the day.
See Benidorm from Above! Tandem Paragliding in Benidorm
Have fun and get some great overhead shots with a fantastic tandem paraglide over the city and coast! Book your flight now!
Visit La Cruz de Benidorm
The best views of Benidorm are to be seen from the famous Benidorm cross. You’ll either need to walk up here or take a taxi. The Tourist Train doesn’t run all the way to the cross anymore, the route goes just below it.
The cross was placed here in 1961 in a religious mission to redeem the city for her sins. It became such a Benidorm tourist attraction that when the original wooden cross blew away in 1975 it was replaced.
The hike up is exposed (so don’t do it during the heat of the day), how long it takes depends on how fit you are and, yes, it is uphill all the way. Some folks estimate it takes 45 minutes at a good, steady pace.
You can also take a taxi to the cross. Taxis in Benidorm are metered, so the cost will depend on the traffic, but should cost around €5-6 from the Levante Beach area. You’ll have to walk the final 150 metres or so over uneven ground with steps.
Take a Cooking Class in Benidorm
Take either a tapas or traditional Spanish cooking class. You get to visit the Benidorm market and stores and shop with the chefs. Learn to cook Paella and more, then enjoy your food with a glass of wine. Courses last for 3-4 hours and the cost varies depending on how many people you have. Book your traditional Spanish Cooking Class now!
Explore Benidorm’s Parks
Take a wander in the parks of Benidorm.
Between the old town and the new, this park houses two amphitheatres which are used for shows and cultural events.
Parque de Elche
At the end of Poniente Beach, Elche has palm trees and fountains, street vendors will also entertain the kids with puppet shows and the like.
Benidorm Flea Market – El Cisne Rastro
The Benidorm Flea Market is like a car boot sale without the cars. It’s busiest on a Sunday but it also opens on a Thursday and Friday. It’s easy to get to – the number 10 bus stops right outside, or if you’re driving head for Benisol Camping. If you’re looking for a bargain, you’ll need to be there not long after it opens at 0730-0800, but the crowds start to arrive around 1100.
You’ll find a mix of people selling here (Spanish and European expats) and the same mix of people visiting to buy antiques, electrics, clothing and the usual car boot paraphernalia.
If all that shopping gets too much for you there are two bars set up here, so you can get a drink. Go on Thursdays and when you buy a Paella, you’ll get a drink for free. Take advantage of the free entertainment on Sundays, when you’ll be serenaded by a local favourite, Pablo Bloom.
Rent a Mobility Scooter, Ebike or Segway
Benidorm attracts older visitors to enjoy the winter sunshine and has adapted many facilities to deal with an increased number of visitors with mobility issues. It’s possible to hire mobility scooters for 3 days or the duration of your stay. We particularly liked the two-seater versions. You can get around Benidorm with ease on a Segway tour and have fun on ebikes too!
Seek out Benidorm the TV Show
If you’re a fan of the now 10-year-old Benidorm TV show you can head to some of the sights seen in the show. The Morgan’s Tavern is a popular venue and the Hotel Sol Pelicanos is where the show is based.
You won’t want for bars and clubs to head to. You’ll easily find the all sorts of bars, from the Rose and Crown, the Tiki Beach and the numerous Irish Bars. You can dance and drink throughout the night. Our favourite for a quiet (cheap) drink is the Cheap and Cheerful Bar. Cheers!
Sailaway with Dinner on a Sailing Yacht
Combine a day sail and night cruise on a stunning yacht with onboard BBQ in nearby Altea. It’s an unforgettable experience > Check availability now.
Enjoy Cabaret at the Benidorm Palace
Probably the most famous cabaret on the Costa Blanca you’ll find flamenco dancers, gymnasts, trapeze artist and lots and lots of sequins. There are also singers, comedians and magicians, a laser show and dancing.
Go to the Benidorm Circus
The circus is open year round on a Saturday with a show at 1800. There are no animals involved in this circus, but plenty of acrobats, clowns and trapeze artists.
Enjoy the Many Benidorm Musical Tribute Acts
Check out a few of the many musical tribute acts that make Benidorm their home. Favourites include the Beatles Show, Adele, Elvis. Check out the Beatles Show at the Marina Hotel.
Places to Visit Near Benidorm
There are several options to head out of Benidorm for day trips, here’s a selection of our favourites. Be sure to organise a rental car before you head out and make the most of your time!
Go to Guadalest
This fabulous little mountain village can be accessed by private tour or public bus. It’s an hour away from Benidorm, houses picturesque views, more museums than you can shake a stick at, historic buildings and a plethora of cafes and restaurants. Read our article here on how to get to make a Guadalest day trip and make the most of your time there. You can also book your trip to Guadalest now!
Visit the Valor Chocolate Factory
The oldest chocolate factory in Spain is just a few kilometres south of Benidorm. Valor Chocolate has been making chocolate since 1881 and you can visit the factory, which is housed in a 19th-century country estate. >> Book your trip to the Valor Chocolate Factory now. The factory runs free 45 minutes tours throughout the day, they run at 10.00, 11.00, 16.00, 17.00, or 18.00 (it’s closed from 12.00 until 16.00). Try and visit during the week as weekends tend to be busier.
Check Out the Algar Botanical Gardens
The keen gardener can head to Algar. The botanical gardens were started by a plumber with a love of cacti. There are now more than 500 species of cacti and other plants here, grouped into specific areas. Check out the glorious waterfalls close by. >> Find out more here.
Get in a Game of Golf
The keen golfer has two options within in easy reach of Benidorm. Las Rejas is a 9-hole par 3 pitch and putt course close to Poniente Beach. You’ll find lots of families here. The more serious Villaitana resort has two 18-hole courses that were designed by Jack Nicklaus and his family. There’s a par 72 course for the more serious golfer and a shorter par 62 course too. There are 15 golf courses on the Costa Blanca if that’s not enough for you.
Head to the Sierra Helada Natural Park
The coastline further along from Levante beach houses the Sierra Helada Natural Park. Here you’ll find limestone rocks, cliffs and pine trees. There’s a paved road that you can walk up, and challenging walks to the highest point of the park which is 300 metres above sea level.
Hotels in Benidorm – Accommodation
There’s a host of places to stay in Benidorm and accommodation tends to be grouped into three types. The all-inclusive resort, hotels that provide breakfast and dinner options and the self-catering apartment.
All-Inclusive Benidorm Resorts
Benidorm has a variety of all-inclusive hotels to stay in throughout the year. The top 5 all-inclusive hotels in Benidorm are:
- The Villa Del Mar: Upscale, stylish boutique hotel with a spa and rooftop sun deck.
- The Marconfort Essence: (previously called the Flamingo Beach) Adult only, recently renovated with all buffet dining.
- Sol Pelicanos: Family friendly, famous for hosting the Benidorm TV show and the swim up bar.
- Melia Benidorm: Contemporary rooms, indoor and outdoor pool with pleasant grounds.
- The Grand Bali – slightly out of the main area, but upmarket.
Top Benidorm Hotels
You won’t want for hotels either. Top 5 hotels in Benidorm are:
- The Villa Venezia – Boutique and Classy.
- The Don Pancho – Fabulous balconies with great sea views.
- Riviera Beachotel – Adult only, contemporary.
- Hotel RH Corona Del Mar – classic, great views, fab balconies
- Villa Del Mar – an amazing rooftop terrace with unparalleled views
Benidorm Self Catering Apartments
If self-catering is more your style, then we’d suggest heading towards the Old Town
- Apartamentos La Rosita – Great location, amazing reviews
- Casa Candelaria – Comfortable, clean, very contemporary and sleek.
- Apartamentos Queens by Mc – Clean, modern, quiet, 4 minutes to the beach.
- Apartamentos La Palmas – Great Central Location, well equipped.
- Apartamentos Ribera – clean, airy, close to the beach.
Cheap Flights to Benidorm
You can pick up a cheap flight to Benidorm with most airlines – Easyjet, Ryanair and Jet2 fly from the UK. Jet2 include a hold bag in your fare.
It’s an easy 2.5-hour flight into Alicante airport. Alicante is about an hour from Benidorm, but shared shuttles may take as long as 2.5 hours. Save yourself the unintended city tour by booking a private shuttle.
What to Read While You’re in Benidorm
If you’re looking for some holiday reading, then why not see our suggestions – and chill out while you’re on the beach or by the pool.
If you’re going further afield, then pop a guidebook in your bag for the Costa Brava.
Souvenirs to buy in Benidorm
Depending on your budget there’s a huge variety of items you can bring back as a souvenir. If I had room in my suitcase I’d take back a full Serrano Ham. For me alone of course! Ceramics from the local area make great gifts, as do leather goods.
Finally, from Benidorm
We didn’t expect to end up here, but we did enjoy our visit and exploration of this the most popular resort in Spain. There’s a lot to do here, its great for a break at any time throughout the year and you certainly won’t be bored!