Very popular spanish proverb says: “Quien no ha visto Granada, no ha visto nada”. It literally means: “Who hasn’t seen Granada, hasn’t seen anything”. Is this really true? Certainly, this Andalusian city will find both its supporters and opponents. For me, Granada is of very special importance, because I was fortunate to live there for a year. Therefore, to me Granada is quintessence of Spain. It is a magical city where cultural influences, rich history and picturesque landscapes blend. A town where in the morning you can ski in the Sierra Nevada and in the afternoon swim in the Mediterranean Sea.
My TOP 5 reasons to go to Granada
ALBAICIN + SACROMONTE
This is a district located on a hill, full of winding alleys. You have to keep on climbing up and down . It’s very easy to get lost here. Albaicin is a very alternative neighborhood of Granada, here you can come across squat people who are looking for freedom. But you will find here also many tapas bars, and alleys full of gypsies playing flamenco. You can also wander to the most beautiful viewpoints in Granada: Mirador de San Nicolas, Mirador de San Cristobal, Mirador de San Miguel Alto. Urban rumors say that it’s dangerous district and it’s easy to fall victim to thieves – so you should keep an eye on valuables!
Did you know that in Granada there are people who live in caves? Sacromonte is a district that is famous for its so called cuevas (caves). Caves can be both very modern – with all the civilization amenities, such as electricity or water, but also very primitive. By going up the hill, where Sacromonte is located, you can have a chance to take a look at such housing. In Sacromonte, as in the Albaicin, you can also see many flamenco performances, and admire the beautiful view of the Alhambra.
The Alhambra is a majestic place that everyone who is visiting Granada should explore. It is complex of palaces and was the last Arab stronghold in Spain. Strolling through the corridors and courtyards, it is impossible not to feel the spirit of the old days. It’s worth to see the Alhambra during both day and night – the aesthetic experience is truly amazing!
MIRADOR DE SAN NICOLAS
It is impossible to describe the feeling that accompanies entering this viewpoint for the very first time. It’s the kind of impression that you are experiencing the most beautiful sight in the world. After a long climb in the heat through winding streets of the Albaicin you think that you’ll never get to this place. And then suddenly you find yourself looking snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, beautiful Alhambra and view of the whole Granada. This is the moment we want to keep just for ourselves and before start taking pictures with the camera, we are trying to remember this moment forever.
CARRERA DEL DARRO + PASEO DE LOS TRISTES
Carrera del Darro is one of the oldest streets that runs along the picturesque Darro River and Albaicin district. It is know for many spectacles, small shops, cafes, restaurants and a unique perspective on the Alhambra – from below.
Paseo de los Tristes, also known as the Promenade of Sorrow, runs parallel to the Darro river. It owes its name to the fact that the funeral processions on the way to the cemetery ran through that part of the city. Today paradoxically it is one of the most vibrant places in Granada. This is definitely a great place for an inspirational afternoon stroll.
RUTA DE TAPAS
Do you know that tapas (eng. appetizers) are for free in Granada? There are only few cities in Spain where you get tapas when you buy a beverage – and Granada was the first of them. I can assure you that this was one of the main arguments for students when they had to face the decidion which city to choose for further education. So-called Ruta de tapas is a very popular activity for native granadinos – they tend to meet in the city centre and then keep on wandering around the bars, tasting appetizers for beer or wine. Spaniards are true connoisseurs of life! If you’re wondering where to find the best tapas bars in Granada or what tapas to choose – stay tuned!