Alicante, Ground zero for spanish sea level

Did you know that Alicante is home to the benchmark for all Spain’s measurements of altitude above sea level?

La Cota Cero

Visitors to the Baroque Palace that is the Alicante City Council building will find a plaque on the first step of the staircase that signals a geographical ground zero: Cota Cero, which marks the exact ‘sea level’ then used to define altitude above sea level.

Recently renovated and expanded, this plaque is one of the more unusual must-see sights of Alicante and makes for a great photo opportunity.

In the 19th century, scientists discovered that the difference between high tide and low tide was smaller along the Alicante coastline, and they chose the first step of the Alicante City Council staircase – with the nomenclature NP1 – as the spot to mark official sea level for the entire country.

The Baroque Palace is a great experience and well worth a visit. Next to Cota Cero, alongside the staircase leading up to the city council offices, there is even a sculpture by Salvador Dalí.

Opening Hours

From October to June

  • Monday to Friday: from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm
  • Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: closed

From July to September

  • Monday to Friday: 9.00h to 13.00h
  • Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: closed


Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 1
03002 ALICANTE (Spain)

Phone:+34 965 14 91 00