Situated in the southernmost region of soulful Spain is Granada. Dramatically set in the Sierra Nevada mountain foothills, the city is one of the popular tourist destinations in Spain and for good reason.
The setting in the middle of four rivers with the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains as backdrop is a sight to behold. When winter comes, the snowy mountain peaks boasts a majestic view while also serving as a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.
While Granada is primarily a Catholic town, it was once under Muslim rulers for eight centuries. Knowing about this captivating period in the region’s history not only provides a glimpse of the past but also explains the distinctive, harmonious mix of these two cultures and traditions featured in Granada.
Granada, globally known for its Moorish heritage, has an impressive display of Moorish architecture and art. Among the most well known is the romantic and historic fortress known as the Alhambra Palace where the Nazari Dynasty, last Spanish Muslim Kingdom rulers, once lived. The complex of palaces, set at the foot of the country’s highest mountain peaks, features dreamy sights of gardens, fountains, plains, and an overview of the entire city.
If you travel to the east of Alhambra, you will come across Palacio de Generalife. The former summer palace and residence of emirs in the 13th and 14th centuries is now home to glorious gardens and well-laid grounds perfect for a leisurely stroll.
A visit to the residential district of Albaycín with its narrow meandering cobbled streets and alleys. Here, you can observe traditional Andalusian architecture harmoniously blending with Moorish architecture. Many have described the charming district as an outdoor museum.
All over Granada, there are many monuments and landmarks that are well worth visiting. Catedral de Granada, a Roman Catholic Church that spans 65 meters wide and stands 115 meters, is hard to miss. The Renaissance Cathedral boasts stunning architecture and history that makes it a must-see when you are in Granada.
Here are just a number of tips you should keep in mind:
If you are flying from across the world to Spain, it pays to book in advance. There are plenty of last minute travel deals that can be tempting but don’t bank on this if you are taking a transatlantic flight. Your best bet on getting the best price is booking well in advance especially if you’re choosing a budget airline.
There are many places to stay in and around Granada for every budget. But if you are travelling alone or as a couple, an option you can explore to save up on accommodation is couch surfing or booking through Airbnb. There are plenty of locals who open up their homes to tourists for a price way lower than hotels would charge. Another perk of staying with a local host could is gaining insights about the city and getting tips that are not usually published online. You could also connect with other vacationers like you.
Do you prefer some privacy? Youth hostels are an option. You get your own private room for a small price. While these places are not equipped with anything luxurious, many offer free breakfast and WiFi. Since you will most likely be out and about all day, this
Prefer to stay at hotels? Booking early could save you a bit of cash especially if you’re planning to go during peak season. Booking in advance for a festival and other popular events also mean that you have more options. The closer you are to the actual event date, the more likely it is that your first few accommodation choices will be fully booked.
Tapas are a vital part of the Spanish life. When in Granada, do not miss out on enjoying free tapas when you order a round of alcoholic drinks from casual dining restaurants. The free small plate can range from a few olives and breadsticks to hamburgers to generous servings of paella. Now, this is something you can find in many areas of Spain but Granada is one of the best places you can enjoy free tapas.
Granada is oozing with cultural and historical spots that are best explored on foot. There are quite a number of free walking tours in Granada that will let you explore the most important landmarks in the city. Through the capable local guides who have intimate knowledge about the city, you can learn significant stories on the sites you will be visiting. Tips or donations are accepted at the end of these entertaining and educational walking tours.
The Spanish usually eat a small breakfast and have a heavy, hearty lunch. A pastry and cup of coffee will be less than 2€. Meanwhile, a three-course menu of the day or ‘menu del dia’ can cost you around €6 to €15. Now you will have a lot of dining options in Granada. A good rule of thumb in choosing where to eat is to make sure the restaurant has patrons. Give it plus points if the people eating there are locals. If you come across an empty restaurant, it is best for you to walk away. Take note that eating out during evenings is considerably more expensive. So keep your belly filled during lunch to avoid splurging during dinner.
CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Be it a quick city break or a long vacation, we have you covered! Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start.
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Charles is a world traveler having lived in 44 states and 11 countries and traveled to dozens more. He and his wife spend time between London, Ireland, Canada, and the Philippines.