Granada is not too big and not too small, it’s not too hot and not too cold. Everything about Granada is just right.
When I was 18 years old I visited Granada and the Alhambra for one day and fell in love. My 3rd year at University I applied to study abroad in Granada and spent 6 months there living with a Spanish family, walking past a cathedral on my way to class and eating free tapas with every glass of Vino Tino.
10 years after I lived in Granada I returned to visit my old home and found little had changed. The Sierra Nevada still has skiing into March and the Alhambra is still beautiful and well maintained. If anything things in Granada had cleaned up a bit. The Albazine is safe and there are tea shops and more “Moracian” feel to tourist shopping, like spices around the Cathedral and there is road work around the perimeter of town.
Getting there and away
The easiest, cheapest and fastest way to Granada is by Bus from Madrid (3 hours) or Malaga (1.5 hour). Direct buses leave every hour.
There are trains but they only come once or twice a day and will make more stops than a direct bus.
Where to stay
There are hundreds of places to stay in Granada, unless you are going for Semana Santa (the week before Easter) there will be loads of options.
- Stay near Plaza Nueva and around the Cathedral, you will be close to food drink and shopping.
- Don’t go too far into the Albizine or Sacramonte, while the room may have lovely views it is a long hike back UP to your room.
- We stayed at Apartmento El Almez it was just a few blocks into the Albazine about 4 blocks from Plaza Nueva. It offered a great roof top view but was on the edge of “too far” it’s also hard for taxis to get to places in Albazine so we had to walk up with luggage.
- If you are only in town to see the Alhambra there are several hotel options including a lovely Parador on the hill around the Alhambra. you wont be near the rest of town but you will be first into the Alhambra.
Where to eat
- Breakfast – Chocolate con Curros and/or Pan y Tomate – toasted baguette covered in fresh tomato pure – try Cafe Futbol local favorite.
- Lunch – Between 1 and 4 during siesta everything else will close so you need to be at a place with food and relax – around cathedral are a lot of options especially in summer outdoor seating.
- Dinner – EAT TAPAS – go to as many places as you can to eat little plate that are FREE with your purchase of wine or beer. Calle Nueva and around around Plaza Nueva and Cathedral also take a cab to Plaza Del Toros for a completely local tapas location.
What to do
Alhambra – you can buy tickets from kesko in Plaza Nueva and from Granada tourism book store also near Plaza Nueva. Buy tickets one day in advance for best entry times.
Hammam Arab Baths – relaxing, beautiful and great for a rainy day. discounts for students and residents.
Albazine and Sarcamonte – spend an afternoon wandering narrow streets and admiring the Alhambra.
Alpuharas – day trip on a CLEAR DAY for white villages on green mountain hill sides with spectacular views.