pomegranate city.

15 Jul

My mom and my third stop on our Spanish city tour last January was Granada, in the region of Andalucia in Southern Spain. (“Granada” is Spanish for pomegranate in case you’re ever on Jeopardy). We were surprised by how much we loved Granada and wished we’d allocated our time differently so we could have spent more than two nights there – and it remains one of my favorite cities in Spain! [You can read my mom’s guest post about Granada here.]

granadas in Granada.

the basics. Granada is a tourist attraction mostly due to the Alhambra – a vestige of the Islamic presence in Spain prior to the Spanish Inquisition in 1492 when Jews and Muslims were forced to convert to Catholicism or leave the country – but the city is charming in its own right with the gorgeous Sierra Nevada mountain range serving as a back drop, the myriad tapas joints studding the city, and the North African influence in the Alcayzín area. Granada is charming and enchanting.

touring G-town.

the logistics. Coming from Madrid was a cinch. My mom and I hopped on an ALSA bus from the Estación del Sur and arrived in Granada less than 5 hours later (and that includes a mandatory rest stop). The tickets were cheap – and while not luxurious, it’s an easy and efficient way to travel.

the lodging. We stayed at unique place very close to the Alhambra called Hotel Zaguan. It had lots of character – our room was two stories and we had to climb up a spiral staircase to get to the room itself. I’d recommend this place, though, the value is pretty good even if it is a little bit quirky!

home for two nights.


the sights. 

  • the alhambra. We spent a few hours at The Alhambra and took in the stunning views and appreciated the Moorish architecture. It was awesome to be at one of the most visited sights in Europe – and it was definitely worth the visit. We walked through the Generalife, Alcazaba, and the Nasrid Palaces.

view from the alhambra.

the alhambra + sierra nevadas.

  • mirador de san nicolas. This vantage point was impossible to find using our various maps, but luckily we stumbled upon it before sunset. We hung out and took photos, and watched a raid or two from the policia on the locals selling jewelry and other trinkets. After the cops were there for 30-40 minutes, people were re-selling their wares within minutes. It was a unique and fascinating spectacle, and the views were great too.

mirador de san nicolas.

the raid.

sunset from the mirador

the food. While the tapas were delicious (and free with a beer or other drink!) the real stand-outs from our time in Granada were decidedly non-Spanish. My mom’s favorite meal took place at a fast food joint called Kabab King – the Mediterranean blend was delicious – and the addition of corn to the classic kebab was welcome. Kabab King is on C/ Elvira in Granada.


My favorite meal would have to be in the North African-inspired region of the city, the Alcayzín, at a “teteria” or tea shop called “Kasbah.” We had North African/Moroccan food consisting of chicken with cous-cous and raisins – the flavors were delicious and it was a unique experience for Spain.
rock the kasbah.
I love Granada for its cultural diversity – it’s rare for a Spanish city to basically be multi-cultural in everything from its origins and background to its current population and culinary options. Granada is definitely my favorite city in Andalucia, and although I only spent a short time there, it may even rival Madrid for 2nd place in my list of favorite Spanish cities.
Have you been to Granada? What was your favorite part about it or thing you did there? 

7 Responses to “pomegranate city.”

  1. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] July 15, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Did you go to one of the teterías? I loved that! We got mint lemonades (yeah, I know, not tea) that were so delicious.

    • gillian July 15, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Mint lemonade – that sounds right up my alley! My mom and I ate at a restaurant/teteria – but neither of us are big tea fans so we didn’t actually order tea. The North African influence in Granada is SO cool.

  2. tina July 17, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    hey gillian! i’m planning to go there with my parents and sister when they come visit spain during christmas! i’ll def take your advice and recommendations!!! miss ya

    • gillian July 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Thanks Tina!! You’ll love Granada – that’s so exciting you already have trips lined up for Year #2!! Hope you’re enjoying your last couple weeks in Madrid before your US return! 🙂

  3. shannoncherry678 September 16, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    I studied abroad in Granada, so my heart remains there even though I’m about to live in Salamanca. So glad you found la mirador, because that was definitely my favorite escape in the city!

    • gillian September 16, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      That’s awesome – I LOVED Granada (and really liked Salamanca when I went there as well last December, although it was a brief trip). The Mirador was probably my favorite part of Granada as well – although it was super hard to find. Thanks for commenting!


  1. two thousand eleven: the playlist. « That's G - December 31, 2011

    […] Bilbao with my mom at a coffee shop the beginning of the month. We also went to San Sebastian and Granada and had a great time together in all three (we both loved Granada the most, […]

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