The further south one goes in Spain, the more the atmosphere becomes almost un-European. Granada is a good example of that and may just be one of Spain's most worthwhile cities to visit.
Located in Andalusia on the right spot on the diamond shaped axis of Seville - Cordoba - Malaga, it is most famous for the Prince of Persia-esque Alhambra, a spectacular Moorish fortress (the Alcazaba) slash palace (Palacios Nazaries) slash garden (the Generalife) slash medina. This is where the Nasrid sultans, the last Moorish rulers of Spain, governed the country and UNESCO has described it as an "exceptional testimony to Muslim Spain of the 16th century". The grounds of the Alhambra are vast, so expect to spend the better half of an afternoon there. Besides getting up close to the Alhambra, to fully appreciate it you need to get a view from afar as well. Most reckon there is no better spot to do so than the Mirador de San Nicolas.
The funny thing about having attractions like the Alhambra in your city is that it tends to crowd out attention to some of the other sights a place has to offer. In the case of Granada, it really pays to look a little further. For example towards the Albayzín, home to the just mentioned Mirador and old Arab quarters. There you will find a labyrinth of narrow alleys lined with whitewashed facades, nowadays becoming an increasingly trendy neighbourhood.
Or the gypsy neighbourhood of Sacromonte, the Cathedral, the souvenir shops of Alcaiceria, or, or, or... I think you get the idea: it is good pickings for tourists here. And once you realise that the way of eating tapas here is old school - one free with every drink you buy - you will realise you might just have visited the most interesting city in all of Spain. The Sierra Nevada and cities like Seville, Cordoba and Malaga are nearby too. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Granada here.
- Granada is a city in Spain's region of Andalucia. It has a population of 237,929, is situated at an altitude of 2293ft and the best airport to fly into is GRX (Granada, Granada)
- The main spoken language here is Spanish, and the average English skill is intermediate
- Note Granada is not a good point of entry for trips to Spain as it is not well internationally connected. Instead try entering through for instance Sevilla
- The currency used in Spain is the Euro (EUR)
Other cities in the region (Andalucia, Spain)
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More Granada travel resources
Loads of resources out there on Granada. To start with, check out this concise piece from Conde Nast on what to see in the city. Or else head over to the Lonely Planet or the Granada Wikitravel page. Meanwhile, UNESCO goes into deep, deep detail about the Alhambra, while Love Granada keeps it short and sweet with a list of sights. Finally, Nomadic Matt and Adventurous Kate were here, as was The Independent and Liz.
Granada Attractions (Foursquare)
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