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Guide to Granada

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Guide to Granada Spain. It Rains in Spain Guide

Introduction to Granada

“Dale limosna, mujer, que no hay en la vida nada como la pena de ser ciego en Granada.”
“Give him an offering, my lady, for there is not greater tragedy than that of the blind man in Granada.”

So goes the famous quote, allegedly said to a woman passing a beggar in the street in Granada. The beauty and truth of the phrase encapsulates everything about this majestic city, what was once the final bastion of Islam in Spain, leaving behind a true wonder of the world – La Alhambra. Although other Muslim strongholds fell two centuries before, Granada held out until 1492 as an independent Muslim kingdom, ruled from by Boabdil, the controversial leader who instigated the rapid loss of the territory due to his aggressive in-fighting with other Muslim factions.

Sitting with the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is a compact city, pleasant and worth a few days of your time. What makes it utterly unmissable however, on a trip to Andalucia is the Alhambra – the fortified Muslim palace and outbuildings dating back to the Islamic occupation of the city. This monumental compound, of astonishing beauty and elegance is one of the highlights of Europe, never mind Spain, but you must book ahead.

Granada offers the visitor a dizzying variety of attractions, from it’s fun-filled streets (this is a large student city) to it’s reputation as a Flamenco hotspot, Granada offers both history and modernity. Opposite the Alhambra is the Albaycín – the old Muslim quarter of the city, and with its steep banks, winding streets and sharp turns, an air of the past still lingers here.

Granada is the capital of the province of the same name and the wider region holds a number of attractions. From the mystical Alpujarras mountains, to the Sierra Nevada and down to the Costa Tropical centred on Salobreña, a visitor to this province can ski in the morning, have lunch in the city, then sit on the beach in the afternoon. Not a bad claim to fame.

Granada City Guide…Don’t Miss

  1. La Alhambra – Book early, take a guidebook to explain the myriad of attractions and marvel at the more than one thousand years of history, made great by the Nasrids.
  2. Hit the old town for a night out in the packed bars, nibbling tapas and hoping to chance upon some local flamenco.
  3. Stroll around the Albaycín, exploring the old Muslim quarter opposite the Alhambra and stop at the Arab tea house Abaco Te for a journey in time with a tea and sweet local pastry, 1400AD style. Afterwards head up to the Mirador San Nicolás for a spectacular view of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada.
  4. Visit the Cathedral and Royal Chapel – resting place of the famous Catholic kings Fernando and Isabel.
  5. Take your time to explore the province, visit the majestic Alpujarras mountains, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Costa Tropical for the beach and the amazing cave dwellings at Guadix.

What to Eat and Drink in Granada

We know how tough it can be in a bar or restaurant when you’re visiting a foreign country. Here’s our guide of what local specialities to look for on the menu in Granada.

  1. Habas con Jamon – Bean stew with Ham, the ham is usually a particular type, from Trevélez, in Granada, noted for being more delicate and smooth than regular Jamon.
  2. Tortilla de Sacromonte – Spanish Tortilla served with…brains. Wait! It’s tasty.
  3. Olla de San Antón – A hearty stew of beans, rice, black pudding and pork
  4. Lanjarón mineral water – it is one of Spain’s most popular bottled waters and is sourced in the mountains near Granada.

Where to Stay in Granada

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Reader’s Tips

This section is specifically designed for our readers to share their top tips with other would-be travellers. If you visited a particularly wonderful restaurant, or stayed in a fantastic hotel, or even ate a tremendous local dish, please let us know here! Any tip whatsoever will be greatly appreciated by our Spain loving community of travellers.

Recommended Further Reading – Granada

Read about daily life in Granada on this wonderful blog – Piccavey

An Englishman, Josh, writes about his life in Granada – Spain for Pleasure


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You may also be interested in: Introducing Andalucia, Guide to Seville, Guide to Cordoba, Guide to Cadiz, Guide to Malaga.