Granada Spain has caught my attention only recently, even though I lived almost ten years in Europe. Yes, I have heard of Granada before when I was young, but I had no idea where exactly the city was located and therefore it was not in my bucket list of places to see in Europe. After watching the famous Korean show ‘The Memories of Alhambra”, my eyes opened about the majestic Granada. Granada Spain is one of the settings of this Korean show, which focuses on testing a virtual reality game that turned out to have a critical glitch in the system – meaning that dying in the game results in real death. My curiosity to discover further Granada Spain led me and my family to travel here and experience its grandeur. My first thought after this visit – “How come I missed this place in my bucket lists”! Granada is underrated compared to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. A traveller who visits Europe should not miss the beauty of this city, which was on the height of its grandeur during the 16th century.
Granada Spain is a city in the South of Spain (and Europe), in addition to Cordoba, Malaga, and Seville. The city has Moorish influence and used to be one of the central powers of Islam in the medieval period. Since Granada used to be a previous Islamic kingdom, you’ll find many architectures that resemble Islamic designs that can be found in the Middle East Asia. However, although Islamic in name, the city housed a large Jewish community which reigned hand in hand with the Islamic occupants leading to a unique, diverse and rich cultural heritage. This city has been ruled my many caliphs, Arabic sultans, and dynasties. It only became part of the Catholic Spain when Isabel and Ferdinand successfully invaded this city in 1492. Many Jews and Moslems were either forced to be converted to Christianity or to leave the city.
How to enjoy the grandeur of Granada Spain in one day?
Granada Spain is comparable to other famous cities in Europe in its own right. It has a rich history and magnificent architectures. If you only have a day to visit Granada, below you’ll find some activities to fill in your day when in this city.
1. Experience the magical Alhambra Palace of Granada Spain.
Alhambra is one of the famous icon of Granada Spain. In fact, it has been an inspiration of many stories in the Tales of Alhambra by Washington Irving. This place was also once a Royal residency of the catholic Monarchs Isabel and Ferdinand. This was visited by Christopher Columbus, when he was sent on the royal expedition to discover the East side of the world. Due to the popularity of Alhambra among tourists, touring the palace requires early reservation from tourists. It is best to reserve your tickets online weeks in advance of your visit. Touring the palace by walking in is impossible and therefore could lead to frustrating visit.
2. Experience winter and sun at the same time in Granada Spain.
As you walk along the city center of Granada, you’ll be amazed by the sight of the mountains with their top covered in snow even in summer! Yes, that is Granada. With the warm winter temperature of 8-16 degrees, it is possible to go to the mountain area and do sking in the snow. If you go on the summer time, you can do mountain biking, hiking, and music festivals in the place. The mountains of Sierra Nevada is technically 30 minutes outside of Granada city, which is very accessible to tourists. The Sierra Nevada can be accessed via car, bus or taxi, meaning there is no excuse for not checking them out!
3. Drink from the Fountain of Youth.
Granada Spain has many fountains (or fuentes in Spanish), which can be drank freely by visitors. One of the famous fountains is the Fountain of Youth, which is located behind the church of Sacromonte. Legend says that an olive tree started to flourish and produced lots of water, which when drink makes people look young. Who knows, drinking in this fountain could make you look young and live forever?
4. Experience the playground with kids.
Granada also has a nice playground for kids near the bus station. This playground is quite big for a normal playground. In case you have kids, better to bring them here for fun and to take a rest from a tiring tour of the city.
5. Enjoy the Albayzin – Arab quarter in Granada Spain.
If you walk along the streets of Granada you will find the Arab quarter filled with Arab inspired architectures and Arab souvenirs! Albayzin (or Albaicin) is a district in Granada that has been rich in history and considered as a UNESCO World heritage site.
6. Enjoy the cuisines and tapas in Granada Spain’s restaurants.
Granada Spain offers many of the delicious cuisines and tapas. Some of these restaurants even offer secret flamenco dances. If you are the type who love exploring, don’t miss what Granada offers. We stayed in the coastal area of Granada and I would say that it was one of the best part of our travel. There are many foods to enjoy especially their seafoods. Beware that it will be difficult to find restaurant when in the coast as compared when you are inside the city filled with restaurants.
7. Visit the town of Salobreña, Granada Spain.
If you like to experience Granada in a different way, it is good to visit Salobreña, a town in the South of Granada and is an hour drive from Granada city. This town is facing the sea and has a famous fortress that overseas the whole city. Salobreña is a very small town and can be toured in one day. Warning for tourists who would like to drive in the city of Salobreña. It is better to park your car outside the city instead of bringing them directly to the tourist destinations. The city center of Salobreña is very hilly and narrow. Once you drive up the mountain, it is almost impossible to get out without any scratch in your car, so better park in the lower areas of the city. Atleast you’ve been warned.