When we planned the Spain trip we decided not to book our flights from Majorca to Granada in advance and instead just buy them last-minute in Majorca. We hoped to leave on the Friday but had sticker shock when we saw the prices for the Friday and Saturday flights so we opted for a Thursday flight and left Majorca a couple of days earlier than planned. No regrets though; Granada was enchanting.
We spent the majority of our Spanish honeymoon in this city yet I find it the most difficult city to capture in words. Here is a video Calin and I put together quickly with our photos and some video footage of the city.
Since we arrived in Granada earlier than planned we couldn’t go straight to our AirBnB place so Calin booked us a hotel room in the city centre. I can’t remember the name of the hotel but it wasn’t anything special for me. Calin, however, liked the fact that he could go up to the roof and take shots of the city. Below are a few photos we took. That’s the castle in the distance.
The next day we headed out to find our AirBnB booking on foot with luggage. This was the first time we used AirBnB and we were pleasantly surprised. If you ever want to stay in Granada you should consider this place. Miguel was such a good host and the view of the Alhambra and the Sacromonte neighbourhood was worth every penny and all the walking 😉
Our AirBnB was located in the Sacromonte district which is known for its cave homes and flamenco dancers. Sacromonte could be described as a valley so be prepared for a lot of hills. If you find yourself in the area you should walk up to Sacromonte Abbey – it has some nice views.
The other five barrios in Granada:
- Realejo: This used to be a very important part of the city in the 8th century when the Moors arrived in Granada. It was called Garnata al-Yahud (Granada of the Jews) by the moors. During the time of Moorish rule, it is said that Jews lived peacefully in the city but following the Christian conquest by the Catholic monarchs, the Jews were expelled and the Jewish barrio was destroyed and renamed El Realejo. These days it’s marked by beautiful Andalusian villas and good tapas bars. For an informative read on this part of Granada click here.
- Cartuja: Famous for the Carthusian monastery. The monestary showcases some of the best Spanish Baroque architecture.
- Bib-Rambla is famous for its Alcaiceria – a former Arab silk market but nowadays a bunch of souvenir shops in narrow streets… definitely worth a stroll though. It is also known as the more gastronomical neighbourhood in Granada – lots of great places to eat and drink here.
- Albayzin: This was my favourite barrio by far. I found it to be the most untouched part of Granada. This is where the Arabs lived and it is where many of the artists who were building Alhambra lived. This is a neighbourhood that you have to walk through to understand my love for Granada. If you go, definitely find Placeta de San Nicholas (also known as El Mirrador) for some amazing views of Granada.
- Zaidin: This is the most populated part of Granada and has a large market open every Saturday morning where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other things. We didn’t spend much time here but I read somewhere that this neighbourhood is home to many scientific institutions.
So if I had to pick two things to do in Granada they would be:
- Walk the streets. No street looks similar to another. Get lost in the neighbourhoods. There’s no shortage of beautiful views in Granada’s streets so grab a drink or a meal at one of its many restaurants and enjoy.
- Go see Alhambra. I know it’s touristy but it is that for a very good reason. This place was designed to be heaven on earth and what remains of it is nothing short of that.
Further reading on Granada:
If you’re interested in Granada’s Moorish side, check out this list by The Guardian.
While Granada is home to many monumental landmarks, it also has a lively street art scene. Read about it here if you’re interested.