Spain : Exploring history in Granada
January 1, 1970
Granada; not the biggest, neither the most famous city in Spain but absolutely one of the most beautiful and historical cities of Spain. Located in the south of the country, the city existed for a long time under the influence of the moorish empire. So join me on my trip through this beautiful city with its tight alleys and arabic architecture.
Start in the center of the city at the “Jardines del Triunfo” and walk down the long street called Calle Gran Via de Colón. And if you don´t want to walk that much – there are many bus stops along the street. Already here you can find the tipical southern architecture and if you really want to live the city as close as possible, I would recommend you to check in one of the hotels or hostels along the street for at least two nights. So here is want you can do on a three day trip:
Day 1 : West side of Gran Via de Colón – combination of history and present
If you walk down the Gran Via you will notice a modern city in combination with the influence of old architecture. There will be many cars, many people walking around – the typical city lifestyle. And although Granada only has about 230.000 inhabitants, you will feel like being in a big city. The only thing you have to do to become a part of this great ‘anthill’ is to turn to the right and enter one of the many small streets that lead you deeper into the heart of Granada. The best place to enter is a small street just for pedestrians that is located in front of the cathedral. It is not just this beautiful building that makes this place so special. It´s also the people in the streets: the musicians, the flamenco dancers and the vendors who sell every type of tea that exists. You will enter a typical Spanish street live and a beautiful way of living that you won´t forget that fast.
Walking that much causes hunger and that is a great way to continue this trip. Just two minutes away from the cathedral is a one of the places, they call “Plaza” in Spanish. Sometimes it´s just a free space between houses or a park and sometimes it is a place where people come together and eat or drink something at one of the many restaurants, the kids play around the chairs, the older ones sit on the benches under palm trees and everyone is enjoying their afternoon. The Plaza de Bib-Rambla is exactly like this. Here you can eat Tapas or other typical Spanish food but also Hamburger or Pizza – it´s a place for everyone.
After your brake you can continue searching your way through smallest streets, little souvenir shops and getting impressions of this beautiful place. And if that´s not enough for you, end your day with a little walk to the Federico Garcia Lorca Park where you can get by bus or walking down the Calle Reyes Catolicos and then the Calle Recogidas streets. Then you turn to the right into the Calle Arabial and on the left hand there will appear the park where you can also learn about one of the most famous Spanish writers.
Day 2 : East side of Gran Via de Colón – walking up the mountain
After the first day in the center of the city you may want a little bit of relaxation now. And with that I mean less people and maybe the feeling of a smaller city and also the feeling of travelling to the past for some years. For that, you can just turn to the other side of the big street, leaving the Gran Via in direction to the east. You could enter the street Calle Profesor Emilio Orozco until you get to the Puerta de Elvira where you go to the right into the Calle Elvira, then the first to the left and now you will see a small street or better a stair of many, many steps. Maybe you would not climb that much steps normally but I recommend you to just doing it, it´s worth it. Getting to the top you can turn around and be on the same level as the roofs of the city. It´s a wonderful feeling and it will even get better if you continue climbing up those little streets until you come to a part where there are some ruins and then all of a sudden there is a palace. Behind this palace there is a park where you can rest for some minutes next to the Calle Pilar Seco. Then what you do is, you go down the park and turn the first street on the left into the Camino Nuevo de San Nicolás until the end of the street.
After some minutes of walking between the famous white houses that are typical for the south of Spain, you´ll arrive at a Mirador from where you can see one of the most famous historical buildings in Spain and in my opinion one of the most wonderful places that I have ever seen: The Alhambra. Just look at the pictures and then get to see it by yourself because words can´t describe the impressions you can get there.
When you finished here, I can recommend walking down the street on the other end of the Mirador, the Cuesta del Chapiz and turning on the right into the Calle Carrera del Darro. It´s a wonderful street that will lead you back to the southern end of the Gran Via and you will pass through a Plaza with little restaurants where you can eat with the mountain of the Alhambra right in front of you, a cathedral and one of the biggest places of Granada, the Plaza Nueva. For a great finish of your day, you can hop in on one of the sightseeing trains that also pass this Plaza. So you can review many of the places you have visited for the past two days. This tour is very lovely when it starts getting dark outside, especially in the summer.
Day 3 : A great finish – Alhambra
The Alhambra is maybe the greatest part of the history of Granada that still exists. Visiting Granada without entering the Alhambra is like only reading the first half of a really good book. In my opinion it´s one of the most beautiful places to be in Granada and in Spain. But notice: You´ll have to get the tickets some days before entering because it could be that there are no tickets left the day you want to enter. Once you bought the ticket, you´ll have access to the great park of the Alhambra, to many of the buildings and a guided tour through the oldest part of it. I don´t want to tell you too much about this place because I think that you have to see it by yourself but I can guarantee that you will be fascinated. Here is a picture of just the view you´ll get from the Alhambra. Just enjoy it!