Granada is located in the heart of Andalusia, which is one of the hottest regions of Spain. Granada is famous for the Alhambra which is a beautiful palace built by the Moorish community in 1333. The city isn’t too big which makes is easy to get around and leaves out all the high-rise and ugly buildings often located in the suburbs of big cities. You can access pretty much everything by foot and there are plenty of winding streets to get lost among. I really enjoyed Granada, after going first as a weekend erasmus trip, which of course involved getting drunk and seeing some of the main spots, and again in 2014 with a friend, which also involved drinking but as I couchsurfed this time, and avoiding the main tourist traps, I also got to see more of a local’s side of the city.
There is a very relaxing vibe to the city of Granada, keeping with the true Andalusian style of locals who are known to be laid back, you can feel this as you stroll around. It is also a really cool place to stay as there are plenty of students around with a huge university in the centre and international people living in the city. There are also many different English teaching programs which bring a lot of new, young English speakers into the city to teach Spanish students. Point being – You will not be short of events or people to meet!
You cannot visit Granada without visiting the Alhambra (well you can of course but you’d miss out big time) it is absolutely stunning and the mosaics are incredible! There are many rooms and courtyards to see, and also the gardens are really beautiful, you can see the whole city from up the top of the hill! You probably need a full day’s visit as there is a lot to see and the rooms keep going on and on. This Moorish style also reminds me of Seville, Cordòba and other southern Spanish cities.
Depending whether you want a traditional bar experience in the old town, or a downright huge nightclub where you can dance the night away, you will find it here! I personally really enjoyed this particular Cuban bar, La Casa Cubana y Nancy which wasn’t very traditional but really cheap and amazing Mojitos, a good vibe and a table football to begin your night. Afterwards I recommend you head to Boom Boom Room or Mae West for some dancing and good music!
The old town & markets
Most bars give you a ‘Tapa’ with your drink, which is very kind and how Spain is supposed to be in my opinion. I feel offended if I don’t get a free Tapas. Granada in general is very cheap. Wander around the old town and you will find plenty of lovely bars, in particular I cannot recommend one in particular, however I did have some amazing Pizza, cheap and huge from Bella Napoli.
You will also find a lot of Moroccan and northern influences in many parts of Granada, especially all the markets and stalls selling beautiful garments like scarves, bags, earrings, textiles and more. Don’t be shy to haggle a little bit and have a laugh with the street sellers. Even if you’re not into shopping it can be a nice experience just walking around and feeling the energy of the market stalls, you will find these scattered all over the old town.
My favourite part
In the neighbourhood of Sacramento you will find many beautiful and traditional bars and many of them have their own flamenco shows. I went to one in a cave bar called Maria La Canastera which had a lovely intimate show, there are some even smaller than this one which you can feel even more like part of the performance. Going up the hill is a bit of a walk, but the view of the Alhambra from here is really special, after the show there are plenty of other bars to have drinks and enjoy the night!
This post and the photos are a mixture of two visits, one in 2013 and the other in 2014.
If you want to ask me anything else about visiting Granada, feel free to leave me a comment!