Visiting Granada was like stepping back in time where we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of Spain’s past life, gazing upon the Morrish architectural feats and appreciating the colorful intricate shapes all around the city. It is one of my favorite cities thus far in Spain, and I hope to come back and experience it again.
We stayed at the NH Collection Victoria Hotel close to the centre of town and it was the perfect splurge. The bed was so luxurious and the location was ideal. It was great place to come back to after a long day of exploring.
La Oliva: Not really a restaurant per se, but a dining experience. And you should definitely make reservations. The owner, Francisco, accommodates for food allergies and making a reservation was super easy. For about 40 euros, you can try a variety of local Spanish foods. We started off with an olive oil sampler and about 12 courses later, we ended with delicious homemade orange chocolate ice cream. Francisco uses only in-season local ingredients and provides some history on the dishes. You really have to pace yourself because the dishes just keep coming and you definitely leave with full belly. Because there are only a few tables, it was also great to meet and chat with other travelers while each course was being prepared. The experience is really interactive, fun and absolutely delicious! Highly recommended!
Cacho & Pepe: Our first night in Granada and we get Italian here… but after about a week in Spain, I was craving something a bit different from your normal Spanish fare. And the eggplant lasagna and tiramisu were both so good! We ordered it to-go from this little shop and found a nice spot on a bench in Plaza de San Nicolas for eating and people watching.
Restaurante la Nonna: Another Italian restaurant a bit outside of central Granada. I was clearly craving Italian while in Spain, and this restaurant was highly recommended and rated by travelers. It was amazing! We walked a good 45 minutes to the restaurant for a weeknight dinner and they were completely booked. I was super “hangry” and devastated. But we made a reservation for the next night and it was totally worth it. The food was fresh, homemade, innovative and really hit the spot. Try the Tortellini al horno. Simply the best!
Bar Poe: Owned by a British expat who loves Spanish people, food and culture. You get a nice sized tapa (which you can actually choose from on a menu) with each drink and great conversations with the owner and those sitting next to you. A popular place for students, locals and expats because the price is so darn reasonable. I felt like we didn’t get treated like typical tourists here and met some really interesting personalities.
Wander the city by foot (Albaicin & Sacromonte): The best way to see Granada is by foot because of all the small alleyways and uphill climbs. We did a free walking tour through Pancho Tours and booked two spots for their “Albaicín: 1000 years of History In Granada” tour. The tour itself is free and gratuity is definitely appreciated. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was a great first look at the city.
We wanted to explore the Albaicín some more so the next few days we crawled up the steep cobbled streets and tried to check out every nook of the neighborhood. Then we continued up towards the Sacromonte district to see the white painted gypsy caves and gardens. We stumbled across the Sacromonte Caves Museum which provided some insight into how they gypsies lived.
Alhambra & Generalife: A “cannot miss” if visiting Granada. Book your tickets / tour months in advance. Tickets go fast, especially if you want to do a tour. We aren’t big tour group people but for this specific site, we wanted to get as much context and history while exploring the large palace and gardens. We booked 2 months in advance and felt like we were essentially left with one option. The tour we did was solid and we learned quite a bit about the life in the Alhambra and the history of Granada.
Mirador San Nicolas: The ultimate spot for sunsets in this city with the best views of Alhambra, but everyone knows this as well. So, get ready to wait for a snapshot and get friendly with your fellow tourists. The gypsy music is a nice distraction and the views are just unbelievable. So it’s worth it!
Soak in a Hamman: One of the items on my list was to enjoy a spa evening in one of the many Hammans in the city. But since I was still early on in my pregnancy, I didn’t want to risk the warm soaks, so we decided to skip it on this particular trip. We were looking at booking at Hammam Al Ándalus which seemed to be one of the nicer baths in the city but quite reasonable.
Granda was my favorite city to explore on this trip to Andalusia and I’m so glad we got to spend a few days here enjoying the culture, the people and the food!