What I did and saw:
Alhambra and Generalife-
The iconic Alhambra is a picturesque, historic site that is visible from most places in the city. It frequently sells out, so I would suggest booking in advance. Also, the ticket time refers to the entrance to the Nasri Palace, not the entrance to the park. The park can be accessed both before and after the Nasri Palace, and I would suggest taking advantage of this because there is plenty of room to explore such as the Charles IV Palace (with exhibits inside), the Alcazaba (with some amazing views of the Sierra Nevada and of the city).
Mirador San Nicolas-
The Saint Nicholas lookout offers some excellent nighttime views of Alhambra. Also, while I was there some musicians were playing. It is a great place to hang out and talk with friends.
Patio de los Perfumes-
I am not a cologne or perfume expert, and I don’t even wear cologne most days. However, the Patio de los Perfumes offers a unique experience. They let you make your own personal cologne or perfume for about the cost of a standard cologne or perfume. They give the option of making everything from scratch for a slightly higher price, or selecting from a set of bases and building from there. A trained perfume expert walked me through the process and gave me tips along the way, but she allowed me to pick the scents I wanted to add to my cologne. It was a unique and enjoyable experience.
Holy Week Processions-
In Andalucia Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) is a big production. One of the main events of the week are the processions, which are large parades where many church patrons will wear outfits that are unfortunately similar to KKK outfits in a variety of different colors. Also, some patrons will carry floats depicting religious scenes.
Outsides of the Granada Cathedral and the Plaza de toros de Granada-
I was only able to see the outside of the Granada Cathedral and the Plaza de toros de Granada. However, I would like to get the chance to see the inside of both of them, particularly the Cathedral.
Where I ate and drank:
Although it is slightly outside the city center, El Fermentador is on the way into the city from the main bus station. It is a great place to go for excellent craft beer in Granada.
Al Sur de Granada-
I stopped at Al Sur de Granada on the way to the bus station, and I was very glad I did. They offer a great selection of wine, craft beer, cheese, bread, and produce. It was so good that after having something there I got more to go to take with me on the bus to Seville.
Bodegas Castenada is a great place to try the famous Iberian Bellota (acorn-fed) ham. It is a place where you can get all kinds of pork and other typical spanish tapas.
Ysla is a good place to try Pionons, which are a sweet pastry local to the Granada area. It is small and very sweet, and although it doesn’t top my list of favorite desserts it was definitely worth a try.
Minuit, Noat Coffee, Dulcimena Coffee & Go, and La Finca Coffee-
Each of these coffee shops were recommended to my by the staff at one of my favorite coffee shops in Spain, Mia Coffee in Malaga. Minuit offers espresso based drinks and some great bread. I had a cappuccino and an open faced salmon avocado sandwich while I was there. Noat has some good healthy food options and great coffee. While I was there they were using beans from Right Side Coffee Roasters in Castelldefels. Dulcimena is a tiny place that serves great coffee. I had a Kenyan Chemex while I was there. La Finca is another good place to get coffee that is located right by the Granada Cathedral.
Taberna El Aviso and Taberna La Tana-
Both Taberna El Aviso and Taberna La Tana are located in the Realejo area of Granada. Many people will hop from place to place in the area grabbing a drink and a free tapa. It is a nice way to explore the city while sampling good wine and free food.
La Hermosa Craft Beer Shop-
Located right by the hostel I was staying at, La Hermosa Craft Beer Shop offers some good craft beer close to many of the main sites in Granada. Their selection is not extremely large, but they pair their beers with snacks like chocolate that complement the flavors very well.
Bar Los Diamantes-
There will often be a wait at Bar Los Diamantes, but it is worth a wait. They offer very good free food with any drink, and it is located in close proximity to many of the main sites in the city.
Where I stayed:
White Nest Hostel-
I stayed at White Nest Hostel while in Granada. The staff there were extremely nice and even upgraded my room to one with a better view of Alhambra. I didn’t have breakfast there as it looked pretty basic and cost four euros. It is not an incredibly extravagant place, but it is very well priced, very well located, and I would stay there again.
How I got around:
I arrived in Granada by bus from Malaga, and I left the city by bus to go to Seville. While in Granada I walked to get around, and despite some hills and processions going on I found it to be very walkable.
My favorite thing:
I loved the Bellota ham, making my own cologne was a fun experience, El Fermentador had some great craft beer, and getting free tapas is really nice. However, my favorite thing in Granada was Alhambra. It is beautiful and expansive yet intricate, and definitely worth visiting.
My least favorite thing:
My least favorite parts of my time in Granada were the bus rides in and out of the city from Malaga and to Seville. The hilly terrain makes for windy roads that don’t always go well with my stomach.
For next time:
Next time in Granada I would like to sample more of the free tapas and I would like to go inside the Granada Cathedral.
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