We remain in Spain for the next in our city guide series, to explore a destination that is often overlooked by Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga, which attract millions of visitors each year. A hidden gem, Granada is a city where East meets West and will no doubt inspire any visitor. David’s eldest daughter Vicky has been living there for the past year and shares her top tips for making the most of this magnificent city. Take it away, Vicks!


As with England, there is very much a North versus South divide in Spain. Similarly to the split in our country, it is, for the most part, a jovial one. Jokes are made by Madrileños about the Andalucian accent, and Northerners have been known to stereotype those living in the South. However, the one thing all Spaniards agree on is that Granada is a fantastic city. Situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the region of Andalusia, it is a well-loved city. The people are friendly, the food is great and the architecture and natural surroundings are nothing short of breath-taking. A long weekend is the perfect amount of time to spend here, and I’ve separated the city out section by section, so you can explore each bit at a time.


Warning: The Albaicín is situated on top of an incredibly steep hill, so bring comfortable shoes if you want to properly explore this neighbourhood!


The Centre


If you get the bus from the airport, get off at Gran Vía, Cathedral to enjoy a few drinks in the sun before dropping your bags off at your hotel. Wander past the Cathedral, through Plaza Bib Rambla to get a proper view of all the different angles of this lavish Renaissance cathedral. My favourite square is just around the corner. There are two lovely restaurants in Plaza del Campillo Bajo where you can sit and have a few Claras (beer and Fanta límon) whilst sitting in the sun. And with each drink, they will bring you a tapa for free! This is custom everywhere in Granada, so you can really enjoy eating out on a shoestring budget.


After lunch, get lost in the lovely tangle of streets around the cathedral and try some nut brittle or stop for a Pionono at Puerta Benina cafe. Pionono’s are a regional desert and must be tried! Afterwards, make your way to the river. Las Titas is situated along the banks and is a lovely place to have an afternoon drink, admiring the palms trees and blue skies. You can even get a glimpse of the mountains in the distance!


The Moors ruled over Granada for hundreds of years, and their influence is easy to see. The hammam spas dotted around the city are just one example of this. My favourites are Aljibe de San Miguel and Baños Elvira each situated about a 5-minute walk from the cathedral. Enjoy bathing in the varied temperature pools and get a massage for a reasonable additional fee.


The Alhambra


This is a must-see, and tickets often sell out months in advance so buy them early! I’d recommend getting a ticket for both the Alhambra and the gardens. At 15 Euros it is incredibly good value for money. The Alhambra is almost a city itself. The gardens, fortress and palace span out over a vast area that overlooks the city. Once you have made the climb, it is worth staying on the hill for some time. There are free botanical gardens that also warrant a visit, so check these out while you are here. I’d also recommend going to the Hotel Alhambra Palace for drinks. You’ll pay more for the drinks here, but the view is worth it.


The Albaicín


A world heritage site, The Albaicín is a lovely neighbourhood that overlooks the city. The narrow, winding streets have not changed since the Medieval Moors ruled over Spain. The Moorish influence can be found in the many shops nestled in this lively borough, selling incense, beautiful lighting and other goods that will make a memorable souvenir. Make sure you have good walking shoes as The Albaicín is essentially one big hill, covered in cobbled stones. When you reach the top, head to El Higo for a drink. It is a vegan place, a rare find in Spain, so the tapas are unique.


Another square that is nice for a drink in Plaza Larga. If you are feeling the need to stretch your legs some more, take the path up to the caves of Sacramonte for more stunning views. I’d recommend you arrive there at sunset, for it is a beautiful way to overlook the city. When you are ready for dinner, head to Estrellas de San Nicolas or Carmen de Aben Humeya. The latter features an incredible desert platter, where you can try every sweet on the menu! A little pricey, save either place for your last night. The view of the illuminated Alhambra is unforgettable.




If you have time, spend a morning in Monachil. Just 30 minutes outside the city, this town perched in the mountains is a lovely contrast to the city. There is an hour-long hike you can do that features hanging bridges and a path along a river, slowly leading up into the mountains. Catch bus 183 on the corner of Calle Acera del Darro and Paseo de los Basillos (just by the river). Go to La Babaría where you can have a coffee and enjoy the view of the mountains after your hike.


See you next week!