The Alhambra is without doubt what most people come here for and you’d be forgiven if that was all that you saw whilst visiting this city, however you’d miss the half of it if that what was on your agenda. Granada provides lots more for the visitor who wants to stay a while and get to know a little more. Places like the Albaicin neighbourhood, right in front of the Alhambra is the best place to get photos, the ancient arab baths, the Banuelo is another hotspot and last but not least, the street market in Alcaiceria will give you a feel of all that has been and gone.
With so many Arabic tendencies, you start to get a feel of where you are but it would not be complete without the Christian uprising taking hold of its surroundings and these elements are all around, just start with the cathedral, an architectural masterpiece. And from there the list goes on and on, with museums such as the Museo de Bellas Artes with important collections from the likes of Alonso Cano and Machuca to the Museum of the Alhambra both of which can be found inside the the Palace of Carlos 5th. The Monasterio de la Cartuja and the Casa de los Tiros are also significant Christian buildings in the city.
Granada with its modern day infrastructure, excellent nightlife, its outstanding gastronomic offering, its modern attitude and its amazing history has made it one of the most visited places in Spain. So much so in fact that the Alhambra in 2006 was the most visited monument in the whole country. With so much on offer there is little left to do but enjoy.
La Alhambra y El Generalife: A world heritage site this is the jewel in the crown of the Arabic world, architecturally speaking. This majestic structure, is an example of the talents of the art of needlework with its’ rich decoration and incredible detailing is a testament to the kings and nobles who have gone before. This is the most visited monument in the whole of Spain and on the wish list of many, as a “must see before I die”.
La Catedral: Built by Diego de Siloe this is the structure that depicts the resurgence of Spain. With it’s five halls and still incomplete tower designed by Alonso Cano, the Granada Cathedral is the city’s most important Christian structure.
El Albayzín: This area built in the traditional style for the arab population who lived here, the Albaycin is a reminder of the cities past, with tight streets and alleys in runs all the way to the River Darro. Today the underground streams, 28 of them, that fed the housing with potable water many of which are today still in use.
La Cartuja: Notably one of the more “Spanish” structures in the city, the Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion was built by the monks in the 19th century who were later banished from the city. The inside of the monastry is decorated with intense religious depictions.
Sierra Nevada: Heaven for all winter sport fanatics and fitting for a levels of skiers, with slopes ranging for beginners right up to the most expert. And if you leave the skis or the Snowboards behind there still the nightlife and some great hotels to enjoy.
La Alcacería: Today this small marketplace with it’s usual collection of souvenirs shops and places to by some of the more unusual ceramic ware has a more interesting past that what can be found today. The original much bigger market, was destroyed by fire in the 19th century. Its’ name derives from the latin meaning the “House of Ceasar” a name which the arabs gave to show there appreciation to Emperor Justini who gave them permission to sell silk.
Barrio de Sacromonte: Famous for flamenco and it’s caves. The origins of this strange place are not quite clear however it is known that it has been inhabited by are range of different races and cultures ranging from nomadic gypsies to the exiled Jewish community even Muslims themselves, some of this colourful history can be seen painted on the cave walls. The principal monument in the are is the Abadia built in the 16th century.
Parque de las Ciencias: This is one of the most important science museums in the south of Europe and the first of it’s kind in Andalucia. Completely interactive, here you can discover how a tornado develops, learn how to use a gyroscope, look into a professional telescope to study the stars or one of the many hundreds of various activities on offer. Something for the whole family.
Sitting on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Granada is a city, which in this day and age is hard to come by especially in the hot climes of southern Spain. Said to be a city for poets and warriors you’ll find centuries of history hidden in every corner. So, if you want to bask in the sun or do a little skiing then this is the destination for you.
Sitting between the River Darra and the River Genil the most dominant feature of the city the Alhambra, the majestic mosque towering over the city, immediately gives you an idea of what is in store.
Tapas in small squares or tight alleyways, a stroll through the city’s old town or the Carrera del Darro or buy flowers on the Bib Ramble is just a glimpse of day to day life and what would be expected of anyone visiting this beautiful city.
This city beholds for the visitor not just a rich and artistic cultural background but it is backed up by the warmth and friendliness of its people and their lives on its streets.