A Guide to Granada

by Jules on December 6, 2013

The city of Granada is one of the largest cities in the region of Andalucia, in Spain. This city is known for its many cultural and historical attractions.

Visit the Alhambra and the Generalife

The city’s symbol and one of its most famous attractions is the Alhambra. Next to it visitors will find the Generalife, which used to be linked to the Alhambra. The Alhambra used to be a fortress during the Nasrid dynasty. Its many rooms and gardens are known for their gilded decorations, and the many courtyards that can be found in this complex have fountains and tiled floors. The architects who built the palatial complex developed a water system that brought water from the fountains to the gardens without disrupting the architectural style of the buildings.

There are many patios. The Patio de los Arroyanes is an inner courtyard decorated with fountains. The Court of the Lions is a large patio decorated with golden columns. In the center of the patio there is a large marble fountain decorated with eight golden sculptures of lions. Next to this court is the Hall of Two Sisters. The Two Sisters are two identical marble slabs placed on the floor. This hall is decorated with murals of rulers.

The Alcazaba is a fortified military area located on the grounds of the monumental complex. There are several palaces.  The Generalife is located on the Cerro del Sol, a cliff near the Alhambra. There are several gardens in the Generalife. Each garden is decorated with plants and water fountains. A typical tour around the complex includes a visit to the Alcazaba fortress, a guided tour around the Charles V Palace and the Nasrid Palaces, and a walk around the Generalife and its gardens. Visitors can visit the Arab Baths.

Tour the Albayzín district

The Albayzín district is one of the city’s most popular areas. Built in a traditional Andalusian style, this district has narrow cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. Most of the city’s most famous tapas bars are located in this area, near many affordable hotels and hostels, and there are several flamenco show bars in the nearby gypsy Sacramonte district.

Tapas are appetizers that are usually served with each drink ordered. Granada is famous for its tapas, which are larger than in the rest of the country. Some of the most typical tapas are large green aceitunas olives and pimientos de padrón, a type of spicy peppers. Visitors will be able to join the locals on a tapas tour around the city center. A tapa is served with each beer ordered and are very filling. After visiting several of these bars visitors can party until dawn.

Enjoy the views towards the Alhambra

The Mirador de San Nicolás is a large observation deck located on a hill in this district. This place is known for its sunsets and its views towards the Alhambra. The Paseo de los Tristes is another place known for its views towards the Alhambra and there are many famous tapas bars in this area.

Walk around the city center

There are many other attractions in this city. Walking around the city center visitors will find the city’s Cathedral, which was built on the site of an ancient mosque. The Monastery of the Cartuja is another main landmark. The monastery is located farther away from the city center and is known for its Baroque architecture.

Walking along the Carrera del Darro, one of the city’s main streets, visitors will find the historical Bañuelo Arab baths. There are several hammams in the city where visitors will be able to enjoy steam baths. In the Realejo area, the ancient Jewish Quarter, visitors will be able to see many carmenes, the traditional white houses. In this area there are several palaces, including the Palace of the Counts of Gabia and the Palace of the Casa de los Tiros, located near the ancient San Cecilio church.

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