Things to do in Granada, Spain

Things to do in Granada: Alhambra and Generalife

Alhambra, originally constructed as a small fortress in the 9th century was initially largely ignored by the Moorish rulers.  This changed in the 13th century when the ruling Emir of Granada decided to rebuild the castle to suit his tastes.  After the conquest of Spain by the Catholic rulers, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella made this their home.  One of the most famous events to take place in the Alhambra was the order, issued by King Ferdinand to Christopher Columbus;  “Seek out a new path to India.”

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The tickets to Alahambra sell out very quickly and often days in advance.  To guarantee admission, purchase the tickets online a few weeks prior to your visit. The tickets are timed and you can only enter during your prearranged period. Alhambra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain – so plan accordingly.

Generalife is a summer garden adjacent to the Alhambra. Originally build in the 1300s, today much of Generalife is a reconstruction. A lot of the original artwork was covered up in the early 19th century, unlike in the Alhambra where most original art has been preserved. However, the gardens are still a peaceful place to visit and most really enjoy the experience. When you purchase tickets to the Alhambra you can also purchase tickets to the Generalife. Entry is limited here as well,  so usually if the tickets are sold out to the Alhambra they will also be sold out to the Generalife.

Things to do in Granada: Mirador San Miguel Alto

Alhambra is huge, so it’s helpful to gain a bit of perspective for the best landscape views of the castle. Many visitors go to Mirador De San Nicholas, but I found the crowds here overwhelming. Tourist buses arrive in San Nicholas as well – which leads for jockeying over a spot to take a picture of a selfie.

A good alternative is the Mirador San Miguel Alto. Here, you’ll find a small church on top of a hill and spectacular views of Alhambra in all its glory. Because you’ll share the space with only a few other people the San Miguel is the ideal place to view the sunset. Don’t forget – you can find all the places I recommend are on my Vero profile.  To access them, check under “your collections” after you follow me (@ traveltipster).

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Things to do in Granada: The Alabacin

My second favorite old town in Andalusia is the Alabacin. The large Moorish district is a Unesco heritage site. You’ll probably get lost wandering the narrow, crooked streets – but that’s part of the fun. As the city is built on a hill. walking the Alabacin can be a bit of a workout. You’ll often find musicians playing in the arches that connect the narrow streets – and the music carries for miles accompanying you on your walk through the Alabacin.

Things To Eat in Granada:

During the time of the inquisition, it was crucial to prove you were Christian.  Therefore, a lot of traditional foods of Grenada contain pork.  A very popular dish resembles a traditional American breakfast – and this tapas is perfect for the first meal of the day.  The Plato Alpujarreno contains eggs, potatoes, ham, blood sausage, sweet peppers, and chorizo.  

The most typical summer dish, on the other hand, does not contain any pork as it originated in Morroco.  The Remojon Granaino is a salad of oranges, olives, hard-boiled eggs and codfish.  Although it sounds odd it’s delicious and refreshing.  

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Places to Eat in Granada: “Ibericos and Alhambra,” and “Alvaro Arriaga”

Although Andalusia is famous for tapas, the best-known meal in Ibericos restaurant is a sandwich. The generously sized meal for only 5 euros draws budget and luxury travelers alike – no less for the warm atmosphere and the friendly owner then the food. As a reminder, I post all the places I recommend on Vero.  To find them, follow me (@traveltipster) and check under your collections tab in “places.”

About 10 minute cab ride away from old town, the Alvaro Arriaga is situated above the city and offers some of the best views – along with some of the best food in Granada.  Best time to eat is during sunset, try to make the reservation at least a few weeks in advance.  

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Places to Stay in Granada:

Stay inside the Alhambra – at the Parador De Grenada hotel.  Your hotel grounds are a UNESCO heritage site, the service is impeccable as are the views – this is by far the best hotel in Granada.   

How to get to Granada:  

You can access Granada by trains from Seville and Madrid, bus and car.  Driving and parking in the old town are problematic, so ask your hotel for recommendations for a parking lot.  Be sure to check out the complete article for more things to do in Andalusia, Spain.  

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