Granada was our second stop on our trip through Spain after coming through Sevilla and we were already thoroughly impressed and loving the culture and food. As another city in Andalusia the Moorish influence showed strongly and made for more beautiful cityscapes, complemented by the panoramic vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
One thing we were mostly looking forward to was getting out of the heat in Seville! It was getting up to the high 30s during the daytime and the heat made it unbearable to walk around outside so we spent a lot of time having a siesta. Since Granada is at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada it was much cooler and a welcome relief. We were lucky enough to have a nice balcony at our airbnb to relax and take in the fresh mountain air.
The two main things we came for was Alhambra and Generalife, two beautiful moorish palaces that sit atop a tall hill looking out over the town. Make sure to get tickets beforehand so you don’t waste time lining up as it can get quite busy at the ticketbooths, but once you are inside the crowd dissipates.
What is so amazing about these palaces is how nature is blended with the architecture and makes it feel alive. I have been in quite a few European castles where while extravagantly decorated with works of arts and jewels, it felt lifeless and dry. Alhambra was bursting with colour and felt like the most amazing garden built into a palace, rather than being outside.
Once you are done with the palaces it is worth a climb up the hill opposite the palaces so you can get a nice view of the palaces themselves. There are a few nice bars and restaurants in this area called Albayzin where you can get an outside table and have some drinks while the sun goes down, and the sky turns shades of fairy floss pink with striking rays of bright orange.
Going into the night it is time for bar-hopping! Now the tradition in Granada is that for every drink you buy you get one accompanying tapas dish – amazing. So what you would do is buy a beer and get some garlic mushrooms; get another beer and receive some patatas bravas; or, get another wine and get some croquetas. Get the idea?
So thats exactly what we did! Order a drink and see what we get; drink enough drinks and you will get to try everything! All the food is great and tasty, if you didn’t love Spanish cuisine before then Granada will definitely change that.
If you have a little more time here, maybe spend half a day in an Arab Thermal bath to relax your senses and de-stress a little. The pools range in temperature and are also filled with epsom salts which will leave your skin silky smooth. I would definitely like to revisit someday as you cannot beat the value for money of the food around here. It is delicious and simply amazing for what you pay.