by Lee Gutcher
Granada is, with Seville, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Spain, not just Andalucia. The primary reason is for the truly extraordinary monument of the Moorish Alhambra; this emotive, sensual palace-fortress is set against the magnificent backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. It is under no circumstances to be missed.
Whilst the Alhambra alone justifies a visit to Granada, the city is an attraction in it's own right. It is one among the most picturesque of the Andalucian cities, has an atmospheric gypsy quarter - the Albaicin.
See Granada home page.
Arriving & AccommodationBoth the train and bus stations are some distance form the city centre. From the bus station bus number 3 will take you to the centre, likewise bus number 11 from the train station. A convenient stopping place is the Gran Via (the main street) or the Plaza Nueva. The city centre itself is very compact and everything is within walking distance. However you might prefer to avoid the uphill walks to the Alhambra and Albaicin by using the frequent red buses (No 32 and 31 respectively).
There are numerous hostels on the long Gran Via street, especially around the Cathedral. And there are other options from the Plaza Nueva up towards the Alhambra.
- The Alhambra
- Mirador de San Nicolas - (This is where you can take that picture postcard photograph of the Alhambra with the snow-capped mountains in the background)
- Albaicin - This Moorish quarter has character in parts, but watch out for the overtly touristy sections. Take the Carrera del Darros from the Plaza Nueva up towards Albaicin with the river alongside and the Alhambra as a backdrop, this walk is worth giving the bus a miss.
- Capilla Real and Cathedral - The Renaissance Cathedral is not among the better ones of Andalucia. The adjoining Capilla Real is of more interest. Here rest the tombs of Fernando and Isabel.
- Arab Baths: (Free with EU passport) Half way up the Carrera Del Darro these well preserved 11th Century baths are well worth a quick look.
- Archaeological Museum: (Free with EU passport) Further up the Carrero Del Darro this Archaeological museum is one of the best in Andalucia. The Roman section is a highlight, but unsurprisingly the Moorish section has pride of place.