Granada: A magical place in southern Spain
You should definitely not miss this awesome city when visiting the country! It is one of my favourite places so far. The city is rather small and has a really cosy atmosphere. We passed it on our road trip last year and stayed 3 nights instead of 2.
The old town, also called Albacin, is constituted from typical white stone buildings all the way up to the top of a hill. It is real labyrinth and if you don’t want to get lost you should bring a map (but of course getting lost is part of the adventure;)) In the north of Albacin you can still see some parts of the city wall, constructed in the 11th century. There are also a lot of churches and a mosque from the 11th century which you can visit.
The newer part of the town is nice too! You can go shopping, enjoying some Tapas and freshly made smoothies which are delicious! There are also some clubs and bars to go out, but remember that in Spain no party starts before 2 or 3am. Locals normally go to sleep, wake up and then go to the club;) Afterwards, they have some “breakfast” which often consists in eating a giant Kebab;)
Granada is famous for the Alhambra. It’s a fortress from the islamic-arabic time in Spain. Inside is a collection of palaces, gardens and fountains. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life so far! You just feel like you enter another world. Everything is built in an Arabic style, the buildings are decorated with tonnes of piece. In the 13th and 14th century it was the residence of the Muslim kings of the Nasriden dynasty, but the original remains dates even longer back in time. Plan a whole day to spend here, you won’t regret it! You can either book tickets in advance or ask locals for the “hidden” entrance. It is also an official entrance where you have to pay, but there is no hour-long waiting line:)
Sacromonte is located near the district Albacin. There is a big hill you can climb to watch an amazing sunset!!On the way up you pass the place where the “cuevos”, Granadas gipsies, live in caves. Yes, they literally live in caves, but most of them have electricity, Tv, beds and so on.. Most of them are refugees from Africa and don’t speak English, however, some of them speak French. Don’t be afraid: It is totally safe to walk there, we (two girls) even went there after the sunset and ended up, playing drums with them. They play drums from the hill sometimes and you can hear them all over the valley of Granada (even the staff at the hostel was jealous when we told them we could play with them;) ). If you are nice with the gipsies, they might even invite you to have a look at their cave and cook you some of the best coffee in the world! Sometimes the people who have nothing are the nicest and friendliest souls you meet…
If you have an extra day, take a hike in the national park of Sierra Nevada. The mountain landscapes are fantastic, you can cross high hanging bridges and have a swim in the ice cold mountain water (which is really nice when it’s about 40 degrees hot). During summer you should probably avoid the noon sun as some parts of the hikes are without any shadows and the sun can be brutally hot!