The official language is Spanish. However, many regions speak their own language. You will find many people in the resorts and inland towns in Alicante speak valenciano.
Alicante has a large network of banks, most of which have an ATM cash machine. Many shops, restaurants and hotels will accept credit and debit cards. Generally banks are open from 08.00 to 16.30 except in summer when they shut at 14.30. Travellers cheques are also widely accepted.
The Euro is the local currency. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of Spain, although more than €10,000 must be declared at customs. Some shops still show the prices in pesatas too.
Gratuities or tips are generally made in bars and restaurants. Normally 10% to 15% is a good guide for tipping, depending on how pleased you were with the service. Some waiters and waitresses rely heavily on tips to boost their wages.
The good weather in Alicante means you can usually travel light. It is particularly hot in summer so loose, cool clothes are all that is required. In autumn and spring it can be cool out of the sun and so it is a good idea to wear a few layers. You can then strip off a couple of layers if you get too warm.
The emergency number is 112. It is important to note that this number is strictly for emergency calls only. For other matters, you should phone the relevant police department, fire service or ambulance or Red Cross numbers direct.
Dialling a Alicante number from overseas requires you to prefix your number with +34. Mobile coverage is pretty good in and around the main cities and tourist areas. Internet cafes are also widely available. Some towns and cities also have free wi-fi hotspots.
The Spanish Healthcare system will cover visitors for emergency treatment when injured in an accident. However, you’ll need to take out health insurance to cover any extra charges and to cover people who are not entitled to free emergency treatment. Check with your relevant health service before departing.
Every new or substantially renovated building is required by law to have suitable access for people with disabilities. Most hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, cinemas, shopping centres, etc have wheelchair facilities, with guide dogs welcomed.
Noisy mascleta firecrackers on...
Alicante Old Town
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life" - Jack Kerouac