My mom and my third stop on our Spanish city tour last January was Granada, in the region of Andalucia in Southern Spain. (“Granada” is Spanish for pomegranate in case you’re ever on Jeopardy). We were surprised by how much we loved Granada and wished we’d allocated our time differently so we could have spent more than two nights there – and it remains one of my favorite cities in Spain! [You can read my mom’s guest post about Granada here.]
the basics. Granada is a tourist attraction mostly due to the Alhambra – a vestige of the Islamic presence in Spain prior to the Spanish Inquisition in 1492 when Jews and Muslims were forced to convert to Catholicism or leave the country – but the city is charming in its own right with the gorgeous Sierra Nevada mountain range serving as a back drop, the myriad tapas joints studding the city, and the North African influence in the Alcayzín area. Granada is charming and enchanting.
the logistics. Coming from Madrid was a cinch. My mom and I hopped on an ALSA bus from the Estación del Sur and arrived in Granada less than 5 hours later (and that includes a mandatory rest stop). The tickets were cheap – and while not luxurious, it’s an easy and efficient way to travel.
the lodging. We stayed at unique place very close to the Alhambra called Hotel Zaguan. It had lots of character – our room was two stories and we had to climb up a spiral staircase to get to the room itself. I’d recommend this place, though, the value is pretty good even if it is a little bit quirky!
- the alhambra. We spent a few hours at The Alhambra and took in the stunning views and appreciated the Moorish architecture. It was awesome to be at one of the most visited sights in Europe – and it was definitely worth the visit. We walked through the Generalife, Alcazaba, and the Nasrid Palaces.
- mirador de san nicolas. This vantage point was impossible to find using our various maps, but luckily we stumbled upon it before sunset. We hung out and took photos, and watched a raid or two from the policia on the locals selling jewelry and other trinkets. After the cops were there for 30-40 minutes, people were re-selling their wares within minutes. It was a unique and fascinating spectacle, and the views were great too.