Travelzoo's guide to... Benidorm

17 Jun 2024

An hour down the coast from Alicante is the seaside resort of Benidorm. It's been long associated with bargain-loving Brits and rowdy stag parties, but it turns out there's a lot more to this Costa Blanca gem than just the usual stereotypes. Plus, with its mild climate all year round, and no off season, it's always a good time to go. Here's our guide to making the most of a trip there.

Where's best to stay?

Benidorm can be divided into two distinct beaches and associating neighbourhoods, separated in the middle by the Old Town. On the east side is Levante beach, where things are more geared towards the Brits. This is where you'll find the cabaret bars of the Calle Gerona, and further inland, the Benidorm Palace theatre. Fans of the hit ITV series 'Benidorm' will recognise a lot of the filming locations, including the swimming pool at the Solana hotel, which in real life is called the Sol Pelicanos Ocas.

On the west side is Poniente beach, which is more popular with Spanish holidaymakers. Here, you'll find more authentic Spanish restaurants and the Las Rejas golf course. The Poniente side is where you'll generally find better deals on hotels, and it's still only a short taxi ride away from the nightlife of Levante if you want the best of both worlds.

When's best to go?

Because Benidorm is sheltered by the Puig Campana mountains, it maintains a relatively mild climate all year round. Even in December, you can still expect sunshine, and average temperatures are around 17°C. There's also never an off season in Benidorm—no matter what time of year you visit, there'll always be an atmosphere. If you want to get a good deal, but still want to guarantee some sunshine, then travel between April-May or September-October to avoid the peak summer crowds (and prices), but still get that lovely sunbathing weather. 

November is when Benidorm really comes alive for its annual Fiestas Mayores Patronales. The fiestas date back to 1740, in honour of the Virgen del Sufragio and San Jaime, Benidorm's patron saints. The festivities begin on the second Sunday in November and carry on until the following Wednesday. Celebrations include a flower offering at the church, a comedy parade, and a float parade, all ending in a spectacular firework display. 

A taste of Spain

Whilst Benidorm may be associated with full English breakfasts and fish and chips (and you can certainly get them here if you'd like), the town does still retain a lot of authentic Spanish eateries. The Old Town is a great place to start—the street that runs from Plaza de la Constitutio and along the Calle Santa Domingo is colloquially referred to by locals as Tapas Alley. The entire street is made up of quaint tapas bars serving a real variety of bites, including pinchos (dishes that typically come from northern Spain and are served on a toothpick) and montaditos (from southern Spain, and served on slices of bread). Tapas is generally quite an informal affair, so expect to eat them stood up at a bar in busy times.

Other places we'd recommend are Meson La Salsa in Poniente, which serves traditional recipes like paella and grilled squid in a cosy setting. On the Levante side, you can peruse Benidorm's Indoor Market, selling fresh produce, snacks, baked goods, and of course, tapas (and lots of souvenirs).

Nearby excursions

Benidorm is also in easy reach of some lovely day trip destinations around the Costa Blanca. Closest to the town is the Benidorm Cross, or La Cruz, which sits around 438 metres above sea level at the top of the Sierra Gelada Natural Park. The hike to the top is well worth the panoramic views over Benidorm and the Mediterranean Sea. It's about an hour's walk uphill from the Levante side of town, so make sure you bring some water and wear comfortable shoes.

An hour inland from Benidorm is the mountain village of Guadalest, with its electric blue reservoir. The village itself dates back over 1,000 years, and is home to a 12th-century prison, a castle, several museums, and a warren of cobbled alleys to explore. You can book a private transfer or tour, or you can take the local number 16 bus there for about €3.75 each way. There's only one bus there and one bus back every day though, so if you do go for this option, make sure you don't miss it!

Just twenty minutes up the coast is the town of Altea. This offers a more relaxed vibe compared to Benidorm, with whitewashed alleys adorned with pretty flowers. The walk up to the Old Town reveals a stunning horizon at every turn, framed by the cobbled streets. Altea can also be reached by local bus for about £2 each way. 


Benidorm's infamous nightlife scene isn't just about nightclubs and karaoke. Hundreds of musical acts perform up and down the Calle Gerona and the surrounding streets, where most of the cabaret bars are located. Expect both original and tribute acts performing a variety of genres, from rock'n'roll and pop to reggae, soul, and country and western. The Old Town also plays host to a variety of gay bars, with live singers, DJs, and drag performers. 

For up to date showtimes, check the boards outside the bars to see which acts are on. You don't need to buy tickets in advance for shows—the acts make money from a slight increase in drinks prices during shows, so you're free to bar hop wherever the night takes you. 

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