7 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Granada, Spain WanderGoGo

Besides the friends who I have since persuaded to visit, not many people have been to, heard of, or considered visiting this Andalusian City in Southern Spain. Part of me loves that this city is still less of a tourist destination — it contributes to its charm — but I also can’t help but boast about how amazing Granada is to anyone who asks. And I also try my best to convince people that if they’re going to Spain and not seeing Granada, they’re seriously missing out. What makes this city so great? Let me tell you.

This is such a big deal, that I actually wrote an entire article dedicated to just this aspect of Granada’s culture. While every restaurant, café, and bar in Spain used to serve a small dish of food with each drink, this tradition has slowly faded and is what makes big cities like Barcelona or Madrid more expensive.

But in Granada, the tapas tradition lives on.

Some places give a small dish, some give large dishes to share amongst your table. Some places let you choose, and some give you the chef’s specialty for the day. No matter what you get, it’s always delicious and always free! Drinks in Granada are cheap too, so you can get a whole meal for 10 euros or less if you order two or three drinks.

But in Granada, most businesses still close for at least part of the afternoon. Spanish tradition also includes a big lunch around 2 pm, rather than a big dinner like in many Western countries, so the siesta is a great way to sleep off that food coma. When you visit the city, there are enough restaurants open to eat your lunch, but then you can take the siesta time to just walk around and explore, or do as the Spanish do and sleep it off. The practice of the siesta gives the city a much more relaxed vibe and, as a tourist makes your vacation less about consumerism and more about experiencing the city.

Beyond the markets, you can get lost in the winding, narrow streets and feel like you’ve traveled back in time to when the Moors built the area. It’s quiet, charming, and the views are absolutely incredible. When you get towards the top, it opens up into the Mirador San Nicolas — a plaza that overlooks the Alhambra, the city, and the breathtaking snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The sunset here is unbeatable, and a well-deserved reward after wandering up through the hills of the Albaicín.

If wandering the Albaicín feels like you’ve stepped back in time, entering the Sacramonte feels like you traveled to another planet. In the hills beyond the edge of the modern city lies a Roma community (you may know these people better as gypsies, but this word has gained a negative connotation) that has been there since the 15 th century.

Here, people still live in caves and the sound of flamenco floats through the air. During the day, you can hike up the paths, around the caves, and through the cacti and sheep. At night you can see an authentic flamenco show in a cave-turned-theater. There’s even a museum — Museo Cuevas del Sacramonte — dedicated to relaying the history and culture of the people and the area. It’s a fascinating place, and one of the only Roma communities left in Spain that hasn’t integrated into modern Spanish life.

If you like street art, street musicians, crafts, architecture — any type of art, really — this city is the place to go. The Roma and Arab influence, combined with the relaxed Andalusian vibes and the slowness of siesta culture, leave Granada with a very hippie-Bohemian feel that you can see and feel on every corner. Talented musicians play all sorts of instruments in the plazas and winding alleys, and flamenco shows can be seen throughout the city.

The Realejo neighborhood is full of amazing street art painted on the walls of almost every building. The markets are flooded with handmaid jewelry, clothing, and other crafts made by talented local artists. The city in itself even feels like a work of art with the amazing architecture of the Alhambra and surrounding neighborhoods. So whatever type of art you enjoy, Granada’s got plenty of it to go around.

Of course, no trip to Granada would be complete without a visit to its most famous attraction, the Alhambra. The Moors invaded Spain from the 8 th century onwards, establishing strongholds in the major areas of the country. Although there was a fort on the site since the 9 th century, it was in the mid-13 th century that the Muslim emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmer commissioned the building of the royal palace. The complex was expanded upon and used by other rulers of the Nasrid dynasty, and eventually by the Catholics, after the Reconquista.

The classic Islamic architecture of the Alhambra is simply some of the most stunning I’ve ever seen. High archways open up into cavernous rooms and large windows look out onto the city. Intricate geometric carvings, colorful tiles, and hand-painted Arabic scripture line the walls and ceilings. Beyond the wall of the main palace lie the Generalife, an area of stunning and sprawling gardens that were once home to the leisure and summer palaces of the Muslim rulers. You could spend an entire day getting lost in this amazing work of art and piece of history — I know I did.

For the spontaneous adventurer, you can bushwhack your way up from the edge of the Daro River, ending up on top of the hills where you can explore various paths or have a picnic. For a longer hike on a set route, take a bus out to the village of Beas de Granada and trek the 16km back to the city, taking in amazing views of snowy peaks the whole way.

Travelon Laundry Soap Sheets : On long trips, being able to wash your clothes in the sink — especially things like socks and underwear — can really save you time and space in your luggage. These are great because they dissolve into laundry soap when placed in water, but don’t take up room in your liquids bag if you’re only using a carry-on!

Activated Charcoal Capsules : If you’re prone to stomach problems, or going somewhere with a lot of street food and potential for food poisoning, these tablets are a must-have item. Activated charcoal helps to get rid of toxins in your body and can help you recover faster from even the worst sickness (including a hangover!) so you can get back to enjoying your trip.