People visiting Alicante for the first time should be prepared for some linguistic and cultural peculiarities in Alicante; the Spanish here shows strong influences of Aragonese, Mozarabic and especially Catalan, the last being a protected and widely spoken language in the Valencia region. Some other specialties of the region that visitors should try are local wines and a dessert specialty called turrones (Catalan: torrons) made from honey and almond nougat. Be aware, though, that dinner is usually eaten very late (nine or ten), and that nightclubs and other evening entertainment follows a similar schedule.

As a city that mainly sells itself on its Costa Blanca (White Coast), a trip to the seaside is a must for tourists. There are plenty of beaches in or near the city, including San Juan, Postiguet and Albufuerta, all of which have been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Union for excellence. There is also a nudist beach called El Cabo de las Huertas, and a small community off the Valencian coast called Tabaraca Island, which not only has a serene beach but has also been named a Historic-Artistic Monument and a Cultural Asset. There are also winter resorts and sports facilities in Alicante for year-round enjoyment.

Try to be in town during May or June, as several lively festivals happen at this time. The most important is the Bonfires of St. John, which takes place around the summer solstice.