Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chronicles from Andalusia | My 5 Must Go Places in Granada

Nestled between the mountains, Granada irradiates the kind of magic that places with a special history cast over the ones who visit them. Moorish from the 8th century to the final decade of the 15th century, Granada was for long a reputed international cultural center, where artists, merchants, scholars, and scientists make the city flourish in all sorts of ways. Under the Catholic Kings rule, the city grows and after a decline períod over the 19th century, Granada is seeing some of its former glories reborn. The care a visitor can see in many historical buildings and all the atmosphere of this small city is an invitation to return once again. I surely will!


Standing on the top of the hill, there is such grace and pure beauty in this complex of palaces and fortresses that is difficult to stop staring at it or living it after your visit. The luxurious gardens, the magnificence of the artwork that embellishes most of the places, the ages of history held in each stone are unforgettable. Make sure you book your visit to the Nasrin Palaces ahead (you can do it online), as the number of people visiting the palaces is restricted.


The Generalife was the "country house" of the Nasrid kings, where they could enjoy all its tranquility, far from the court and its intrigues. Generalife (Yannat al Arif) stands for Garden of Paradise, and indeed its gardens, patios, and parks are quite magical. The breathtaking views you can grasp from its balconies, the pure, iced water running down the hill, and the fresh and colorful gardens make it my favorite part of the visit.


On the hill facing Alhambra, you find the neighborhood of the Albaicín, where the Moorish past is still quite visible. Walking during the day you can find the layers of history enclosed on the streets and buildings and, at night, the Albaicín bustles with activity, with stores, restaurants, and tea rooms that remind you of Morocco and bring you back to its Moorish days.


After a walk on the Albaicín, keep walking up the hill to the Mirador de San Nicolás. This high point of the city, standing in front of the Alhambra, is the perfect viewpoint to enjoy the view of the palaces at sunset. As the sun declines behind the city, the palace's walls change their colors and reflect the golden light in a perfect spectacle. The square is always full of people and there is a good chance of finding some musicians playing there.


A long time ago, the gypsies lived in caves on the hill of Sacromonte. The caves (Cuevas) are fresh in the Summer and able to keep the heat inside during the cold Winter. The neighborhood is gorgeous with its whitewashed walls facing the street, frequently decorated with colorful elements. You can visit some of the caves in a local museum and, at night, can go to Sacromonte for a Flamenco show, as this part of Granada has been traditionally the place for flamenco artists and bohemians.


  1. Oh, I just love a place with so much history. The architecture reminds me so much of my grandparents' hometown. They're both deceased now, and I miss them dearly. I spent so much of my childhood there. I've always wanted to visit Granada. This just reignited my yearning to go see it in person!

  2. Your photos are just spectacular! Got my wanderlust in full swing :)

  3. This city seems to have the best of old world European charm. The castle, the adobe buildings and surrounding nature all make for a picture-perfect setting.

  4. I love places with history. I would definitely enjoy seeing the Moorish architecture.

  5. The medieval architecture is incredible, history on every corner in this city.


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