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In my trip to Andalusia, I visited Granada mainly for the Alhambra, but in the course of time, that city won my heart, its chilled pace of life, the nice shops and the best flamenco, brought the capital Seville, in second place.

I traveled in November, a month that there were not many tourists around, since spring is the main tourist season for those who wish to experience Alhambra.

The weather during the day was very good despite some rain showers in the morning, but a spectacular temperature drop was expected at night. My hotel was near the Cathedral and I could reach everything by foot.

The lively city’s center is pulsing with life and the famous tapas bars are full of locals and students until late at night.

The streets of Granada, Spain

The Cathedral of Granada

It is the wine, the music, the smells and everything else that characterizes Granada which
is going to touch your heart

On Saturdays and Sundays, it is almost impossible to walk down the streets with the best-known tapas bars, such as the Calle Navas, which extends from the town hall square (Plaza del Carmen). I followed the rhythm and the locals’ preferences, and I didn’t regret it.

The food is delicious, wherever you decide to eat. Tapas on the bar and the amazing red Spanish wine, or alternatively the local beer “Alhambra”, are always a good idea.The patrons are outgoing people, they speak loudly, smile easily, they avoid high heels, trendy clothes and meaningless social events and prefer going out for lunch with friends and if you speak their language, you will end up hanging out with them till morning.

When the tapas bars close, you should not miss “Entresuelo”, the right place to go dancing till the next morning.

You can walk along the river Darro , and then get lost in the narrow alleys and yards of Albayzin. The district is usually called “Little Morocco”, and this is justified since it is full of teterias , where you can find tea with exotic flavors, spices, shishas and delicious Arabic sweets. The closer you get, the deeper you go into the past. In Mirador San Nicolas a vivid red sunset is waiting for you, the best way to finish your day. The image of friends, couples and street sellers offer memories that will last a lifetime.

Arabs will confirm this statement, since the myth says that they were crying as they were leaving the city. And I’ll say with good reason.

Carmen de los Martires in Granada – a Haven of Tranquillity and Peace

la casa del arte flamenco, an experience to remember!

A stroll in the garden

Interior of a Moroccan style teteria in the Albayzin quarter, Granada

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Don’t miss

Hidden in the alleys around the grand cathedral of Granada, you can discover Alcaiceria, the picturesque market of Granada. There you can buy spices, exotic fruits, jamon, tea and all sorts of souvenirs.

I’ve visited several tapas bars, but the one I mostly liked was Bodegas Castaneda, located at the beginning of the Gran Via Street, always full of people due to the nice atmosphere and mood between the patrons and the tasty food, of course. Legs of ham hanging from the wall compose its decoration, good vermouth and passion are also characteristic!

I was so lucky to have seen during my first night in the city the best flamenco in la casa del arte flamenco, an experience to remember!  The theater was not very big, and since I was sitting in the front row I had the opportunity to enjoy the dancers’ face expressions and the magic of this unique, passionate dance. Those performances that followed, didn’t replace that first feeling.

Enjoy a glass of wine and some jamón at the bar

great outdoors in Granada city

Granada is one of the last bastions of the highly civilised practice of serving a
free tapas with every drink

The decorative walls inside the Palace are incredible

The Court of the Lions, an example of Islamic Moorish architecture ,Alhambra

Court of the Myrtles, Nasrid Palace

The Gardens at Generalife

ALHAMPRA

It means red, and this is the color that dominates, when you first see the magnificent palace, located on the top of the hill.You can walk up the long steep hill Cuesta de Gomerez, passing through the pines or you can choose a more direct route by using local buses or taxis.

This Islamic adornment to the city consists of three main parts: the ALCAZABA, the GENARALIFE and the CASA REAL, the palace, which I believe is the most beautiful. The castle of the Moors, who had conquered the region years ago, is declared a UNESCO world heritage site and you can spend a whole afternoon in order to discover it.

The walls are covered by the amazing arabesque tiles, while the rooms are decorated with impressive mosaics and patterns which come from the Quran.You can see gardens and fountains, which the Moors used to love, all over the city. The scent of oranges and oleanders and those windows with gorgeous vista of the city and the white houses in Albaicin, are also characteristic. The view is amazing from the battlements, which have been used by the armed forces of Ferdinand in the late 15th century, when he laid siege to Granada and thus took hold of the last bastion of Islamic rule.

In spring the trees are lush green, the gardens are blooming and the Sierra Nevada is always covered by snow. With over 6000 visitors per day, an advance booking is recommended.

Alhambra is truly the jewel in the crown of Granada’s Moorish past

the Alhambra's best viewpoint

A view of the Albaicín from the Alhambra

The Albaicín is filled with history and charm

Best view

Find time to explore the towers of the original citadel ,the most important of which -The Torre de la Vela -takes you via a winding staircase to the Alhambra’s best viewpoint

Granada is located next to the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalusia in the south of Spain. It is about 70km from the coast.

I drove to Granada by renting a car from Malaga and I can say that Spain has a great road network, but this is a good idea only on condition that your hotel provides parking facilities, since cars are forbidden on the narrow streets of the city.

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