Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Granada — Yes, I Would Live Here

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I had the feeling I would love Granada before I even arrived.  And I was right — after 24 hours, I was thrilled to death with this city in southern Spain.  And more importantly, I felt like I could live here.  Easily. (Not all cities I love have that quality.)

So what is it that made Granada so special to me?

So Beautiful — and Diverse

To start, Granada is an absolutely beautiful city.  But it’s not all like the whitewashed buildings you see above.  You can head up hill into the Moorish Albaicin neighborhood where the city has looked the same way for centuries, or you can give your heels a rest and head down to the modern downtown.

There are brightly painted buildings near Plaza Nueva.  The area by the river looks almost Italian.  And other parts of the old city almost look like they could be in a Moroccan souk, down to the dreadlocked hippies taking up residence.  I love that Granada has so many neighborhoods — and that all of them are beautiful.

Tapas

Free tapas, that is.  Granada is one of the few cities in Spain where the tapas are still complimentary — just order a drink and they’ll ask you what you’d like for your tapa!

One of my favorite tapas bars in Granada is Poë, located a few blocks down from the cathedral.  My friend Hilary from home could not sing the praises of this place enough, and I’m so glad she got me to go.  It’s so warm and cozy and the British owner is so nice.  These tapas are not traditional — try spicy Thai chicken and piri-piri pork!

Total cost of a tapa and a tinto de verano (red wine with lemon soda)?  1.80 EUR.  Unbelievable.

Fantastic Weather

I was so at home in Andalusia with the warm March temperatures!  Granada wasn’t quite as warm as Sevilla, but the temperatures were still toasty and fabulous.  The sun is strong in Granada, so it will be very warm in the sun at mid-day (one day got into the low 80s!) but you’ll need a coat at night.

Like the rest of Andalusia, the summers are very hot and the winters are mild.  And throughout the year, as in much of Spain and Portugal, clear blue skies without a cloud in sight are the norm, not the exception.

Mountains

I had no idea that Granada had mountains — the Sierra Nevadas are just outside the city!  Spending time in Innsbruck last summer made me realize how happy it makes me to see mountains around me, even when in a city.  It was a wonderful surprise that Granada has this to offer as well.

Because of this, Granada is actually close to great skiing — but unlike Innsbruck, the city isn’t covered in snow all winter!  Perfect.

The Alhambra

I’ve had only a few travel experiences that have left me short of breath out of sheer wonder.  Visiting the Allhambra was one of those experiences.  This place is absolutely spellbinding, and I feel like a better person for having visited it.

That’s just a tease for now.  Expect many more photos of the Alhambra soon!

Cool People

I spent my time in Granada hanging out with Will of My Spanish Adventure, Gap Daemon, Travel Sex Life and many other sites, and Ben of Life Rapture.  I love these guys, and hanging out with them was one of the best parts of my time in Granada.

Will and Ben also told me that Granada has a huge expat community and a lively Couchsurfing community — so it’s very easy to meet new people!  You can always find somewhere to go out at night.

The Ultimate Granada Experience

Walk up to Plaza San Nicolas for the sunset.  Once at the top, watch the colors change in the sky as the gypsies play romantic flamenco music.  It was absolutely blissful, looking at something so beautiful and listening to something so beautiful!  That, more than anything else, made me fall in love with Granada and with Spain.

So if I do take that plunge and move to Spain, for a short time or a long time, you’ll probably find me in Granada!  In the meantime, if you’re planning a trip to Spain, get yourself to Granada.  You won’t regret it.Granada, Spain

Comments

24 Responses to “Granada — Yes, I Would Live Here”
  1. Glad you enjoyed it Kate! I’m going to go out on a limb here and vote that you should move here for a bit!

  2. Granada is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever visited. My favourite areas were Albaicín and Sacromonte, and visiting Alhambra at night was worth the effort.

    Thanks for your post, Kate!

  3. Love love love Granada! And every time I visit it, it grows stronger! The Alhambra is breathtaking and the city’s very diverse neighbouhoods and nightlife make it just perfect 😉

    Thanks for your post!

  4. Already on the top of my list the next time I visit Spain.

  5. Benjamin says:

    I sure hope Google places “I’ve had only a few travel experiences that have left me short of breath out of sheer wonder.” and my name beside each other in the SERPS.

  6. Free tapas seems like a pretty big selling point to me! I’d be out all the time if that were the case.

  7. Put the words “Tapas” and “Free” together and I’m destined to be in love…

  8. Amanda says:

    Wow, it looks beautiful, Kate! That last panoramic sunset photo is awesome.

  9. kathy says:

    Loved it too. Went twice because the first time I couldn’t get in to the Alhambra. Strangely I had one truly bad and one truly good hotel experience – all part of the fun of travelling.

  10. Granada is my favorite city in Spain- I’m so glad you liked it! I agree with Will, spend a few months there (you won’t regret it!)

  11. i think Granada and specifically alhambra would me go back to spain for a third time! i have to see those places!

  12. David Call says:

    Great blog on Granada! Indeed it is my favorite city and I have always felt like this city just hugs you when you arrive and takes you into its time-warp and drenches you immediately with its history, food and people!

  13. Marc says:

    Hey Kate! I’m a student at the University of Tampa and plan on studying abroad this spring semester. I’m stuck right now between Seville and Granada! I know whatever location I choose I’ll have a great experience. Help me decide! 🙂

  14. Marc says:

    Orrr…Italy?

  15. Shantaya says:

    I lived in Granada for six months last year and still think about it everyday. It was my first opportunity to travel internationally and start my blog. I can’t believe you were in my old stomping grounds, I went to POE several times a week. If you ever go back there is a tapa bar down the street from the university called Europe…the food is amazing there as well.

  16. Mike says:

    I know you posted this a while ago, but after having studied in Granada and having ran across this I had to comment. I knew that Granada was a place I could live almost right away too. It’s so diverse yet all so welcoming at the same time. Poë was one of my favorite tapas bars too! The owners were incredibly nice. I’ll be teaching in Spain come fall, so I’ll be looking forward to either living in Granada again or going back as a visitor.

  17. Erick says:

    Well, I just quit my job and will be traveling Europe on my own for a few weeks. I’ve been researching and this might be first blog post that inspired me to add a city to my travels. Granada awaits. Thanks!

  18. Enrique says:

    Lovely photos, great experiences. I’m considering Granada as my next residence, too:)

  19. Alejandro says:

    Heyyy
    I live in Granada and well thank you for making this article about my city with such positive comments about it. It will definatelly help us see more non-Spanish people around and make Granada more culturally open

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