Granada, Spain

General information about Granada

Granada which is on the eastern coast of Andalusia lies at the foot of Sierra Navada mountain range. This town is at a 4 hour distance from Madrid. This town has a population of 243,000 permanent inhabitants. However, the actual number of people staying here is quite high, thanks to the high number of universities. In fact, education brings in approximately 60,000 students every year. Apart from the student population, the number of tourists seen by this town in the year 2017 was 2.4 million.

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As far as the economy is concerned, agriculture and tourism are the two most important industries in Granada. This town is known for its olives. Apart from olives, this region also produces sugar and tobacco closer to the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to the tourism industry, people have also started venturing into handicrafts, and this town is now known for its quality products made by hand which ranges from board games, pottery and guitars to many other products which could be made out of wood.

This history of this town is quite fascinating. In fact, from the time there is historical upkeep, this town has been ruled by Caliphs and Arabic sultans. The Moslem/ Arabic empire once extended all the way upto the northern part of Spain. Moors considered this town as their home for almost 8 centuries. In fact, this was the last town belonging to the Moorish which was later acquired by Christians in the year 1492. In fact, the various Christian groups decided to keep aside their differences to join together and drive the Moor out of Spain. Basically, Moslems and Jews were forced to either convert to Christianity or leave the country by the then monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel. This history is still visible in the entire town and one can easily find famous memorials like Generalife and Alhambra which typically offers the mix of Spanish and Mujahardin architecture.

Where is Granada

The city of Granada is located at an elevation of 689 meters above the sea level. The latitude for this town is 37.19 and longitude is -3.61. This town lies to the south-east of Iberian Peninsula and is located at the foothills of Sierra Nevada range.

Best Things to do in Granada

Granada offers one of the most enthralling histories & cultures in the whole of Spain. This city is full of monuments and attractions and some of the best things to do in Granada are-

granada-alhambra-1Alhambra: One of the most iconic sights of Andalusia, this relic is 800 years old! This relic has been under the Moorish rule from 8th till the 15th century. The complex sits on top of the Darro Valley and offers views of Sierra Nevada. This fort was built especially by Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar, who was the emirate of Granada.

granada-alhambra-2Generalife: This palace with its beautiful gardens served as a summer palace to Alhambra. This palace is full of narrow paths and delicate flowerbeds, with ponds surrounding them. This palace has pleasing archways with whitewashed walls which offers an amazing view to the old neighbourhood of Albaicín.

granada-generalife-1Palacio de Dar al-Horra: Palacio de Dar al-Horra, which directly translates to Home of the honest, was the home of last Moorish king’s mother. This palace is quite elegant in terms of its architecture and is a must visit on a trip to Granada.

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Granada Cathedral: This cathedral lies at the center of Granada. Despite being in the making for 180 years, it is still not entirely finished. The development for this cathedral began in the year 1518 and it is inspired from Renaissance, gothic and Baroque architecture.

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Charles V Palace: This palace was built by Charles V as a tribute to his grandparents Ferdinand & Isabella, who were the chiefs responsible for the downfall of Moors. This Roman styled palace is now converted into a fine arts museum. It houses over 2000 religious sculptures and paintings dating back to the 16th century.

Granada tourist attractions

This city, blessed with the Moorish heritage dating back to 700 years offers the following tourist attractions-

  1. Albaicín: This former Arabic quarter is full of winding cobbled streets, jasmine scented squares and white coloured houses. This place offers some lovely views. This place also has a lively flea market, where one can indulge in shopping

  2. Carmen de los Martires Gardens: These gardens are full of flowerbeds, small ponds and leafy paths which make for a beautiful green setup. And amidst the greens, lies a beautiful tower, which offers the complete view of these scenic gardens.

  3. Sacromonte: This place was the home to the gypsy community, post takeover of Granada by Catholic Monarchs. The houses here are built on slopes between the cactuses and pines and the speciality of these houses is that, no two cave houses are similar, as their dimensions are entirely dependent on the difficulty of the terrain.

  4. Corral delCarbón: This monument which was developed during the Nasrid dynasty was used as a shelter and a warehouse for merchants. This monument was constructed in the year 1200. This place has beautiful double arched gates which lead to a courtyard around which lie the yesteryear’s lodgings which today serve as offices.

  5. Science Park: This modern day attraction has 2 main buildings-macroscopia which offers diverse exhibits related to humans and Foucault’s Pendulum Building which talks about chemistry, physics and mechanics. This second building also has a planetarium.

Shopping in Granada

Granada city has it all, right from traditional artisan shops to the fancier big fashion brands offering trendy boutiques. The following are some of the places where one can shop in Granada

  1. CalleRecogidas&Calle Reyes Católicos: this area is one of the most popular areas for shopping. This place offers everything, from food to modern day high end clothing and boasts of shops like Zara, H&M, Pull and bear, etc.

  2. CalleMesones: This Street offers everything from shoes to clothes, toys to home décor items. And all these items which are available at a budget friendly price.

  3. Centro Comercial Nevada: This mall is one of the most popular ones in Granada. It was constructed around a year back and it boasts of multiple restaurants and shops. Some of the iconic brands like Leroy Merlin, Muerde la Pasta and Primark can be found in this mall.

  4. Calle Elvira: This charming street which was a part of the city of llbira, has Moorish styled shops lined along the street where one can purchase items like decorated lamps and leather backpacks. This place is in fact one of the gems when it comes to shopping in Granada.

Nightlife in Granada

The nightlife in Granada is good since it is a city where students all over the world visit, thanks to its universities. Thanks to this student community, the bars here play music ranging from electro to rock and one will always find the music to his/ her taste. The bars in this city are known for its free tapas. The famous areas when it comes to tapas are Plaza Nueva&Plaza Bib-Rambla. However, here, the drinks are expensive thanks to their location and their lively squares which offer a great view. Besides plaza Nueva isCalle Elvira, which has multiple pubs and bars. There is also a club here which goes by the name Granada 10, which was a movie theatre which got turned into a club. For students, there exists a place called as Calle Pedro Antonio. Here, pubs, bars and clubs offer drinks at half the price to some of the other popular locations, while also offering nuts or pipas to nibble on! The atmosphere in these bars is casual and hence they do not offer table service.

Practical Info

Granada city has a continental climate with hot and dry summers and moderately cold winters. Here, winters exist from Dec to Feb and are quite cold. The average temperature during winters is 7 °C. Summer here lasts from June to August, and summers are usually sunny. The average temperature during summers is 25.5 °C. Here days are quite hot but nights are relatively cool and the temperature goes down to 15 °C.

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