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  • Writer's pictureAmar Dhaliwal

Granada, Spain - February 2024

Updated: Jun 2

We arrived in Granada by coach from Malaga (Malaga trip report here).


The journey from the coast to foothills of the Sierra Nevada took 1.5 hours by coach - we paid a very reasonable €9.20 per person for tickets with Alsa.


Like Agra with the Taj Mahal, Granada is so well known for a single monument - the Alhambra - that one might think there is nothing else to the city. This could not be more wrong, as wandering the backstreets and hills of Granada is endlessly fascinating and enjoyable.





It is a city that oozes old school elegance while at the same time possessing the edge that inevitably occurs in places that have seen many layers of history and tumult. Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes to explore.


We stayed in Granada for 4 days which felt about right to get a good feel for the place.

In the sections below, I have only listed places that I have personally visited.

 

Staying (prices are from February 2024)


Áurea Catedral by Eurostars (map) (C. Cárcel Baja, 11)


  • This was the first time staying in a Eurostars hotel and it was a very enjoyable experience.

  • The location of the Áurea Catedral is unbeatable. The name is not a marketing exaggeration, the hotel is literally next to the Cathedral.

  • The hotel, which blends into the environment in a very sympathetic way, is modern and welcoming and consists of two wings with nice outdoor spaces including a beautiful courtyard.

  • The room was very comfortable with lots of space to spread out and a great bed. I took advantage of the well-equipped gym and sauna every day.

  • We paid €125 per night before taxes (via hotels.com)

  • Highly Recommended.

 

Eating (prices are from February 2024)


Restaurante el vecino de la Romanilla (map) (Pl. Romanilla, 7)


  • We arrived in Granada just in time to rendezvous with some friends for lunch.

  • Walking around the Cathedral we came across a group of restaurants and picked the one that had a table free in the sun.

  • We all opted for the Menú del día, at €14.50 each and what a bargain it turned out to be. We ordered some beers and glasses of vino blanco and soaked up the rays of the February sun.

  • Not fancy dining, and not open during the evenings while we were there, but perfectly lovely for what it is and excellent value for money.

  • Highly Recommended.

 

Vino Y Roso (map) (C. Álvaro de Bazán, 12)


  • I had read about this restaurant and the reviews prompted a booking for our party of four.

  • With a reservation for 8.15pm on a Thursday night on the first day of February it was not a surprise that the restaurant was largely empty when we arrived (and pretty much stayed that way until we left two hours later).

  • Chef Patron was charming, he came over and spent quite a bit of time with us and talked us through the menu.

  • After some lovely appetizers from the kitchen, we each ordered a starter and an entrée and shared a couple of desserts. The food was excellent and generous and timed perfectly so that we could enjoy catching up with our friends. The service was friendly and on point.

  • Including two bottles of wine we paid €155.00 between the four of us which represented good value for money.

  • Highly Recommended.

 




Pimienta Rosa (map) (Pl. Pescadería, 4)


  • This was a delightful meal in a lovely environment.

  • Pimienta Rosa is a charming restaurant close to the Cathedral. Seeing it full of happy people during the lunchtime rush, we made a reservation for dinner for four.

  • The space is warm, welcoming, and intimate. Our reservation had managed to bag us the table in the corner where the windows meet, giving us a lovely view of the dining room and of the good people of Granada walking by and enjoying their Friday evenings.

  • We ordered a few starters to share (including delicious eggplant with honey), an entrée each, followed by two desserts to share. All accompanied by two bottles of wine.  

  • The service was charming, attentive, and discreet. Excellent.

  • We paid €140.00 between the four of us which represented very good value for money.

  • Highly Recommended.

 

Provincias Bib-Rambla (map) (Pl. de Bib-Rambla, 10)


  • Walking through Plaza de Bib Rambla at lunch time we had spotted the bustling Bar Provincias. Unable to find a spot for lunch we made a reservation for dinner.

  • We had made a reservation for their outside covered area and immediately regretted it – while the early February sun in Granada can make lunch time eating outdoors a delight, the evenings are chilly and remind you that you are still in winters embrace. As we sat down, we shivered a bit until the heaters kicked in and the space filled up – it ended up being fine, but we were grateful that we had layers on.

  • We ordered some pork skewers and gambas al ajillo to start and shared a steak as our entrée. The food was ok, not great.

  • The service was excellent, and our waiter in particular was very friendly and attentive.

  • We paid €68.00 (including a bottle of white wine).

  • Recommended.  

 

El Aguador (map) (Pl. Romanilla, 12)


  • After a long and exhausting walk up and down the Albaicín neighbourhood of Granada a nice relaxing, carb heavy, lunch was on the agenda.

  • El Aguador is one of the restaurants that circle the Plaza De La Romanilla. Most of them seem designed to attract the tourist trade – but this time of year they were pretty much frequented by locals which was a good sign.

  • We found a spot to eke out as much of the February sun as we could – ordered a couple of glasses of Verdejo and a plate of arroz de pollo (paella) each.

  • Perfectly nice food with friendly service. The arroz did take 30 minutes to arrive but we were pre-warned that this would be the case.

  • We paid €50.00 for lunch (including €14.00 for 4 glasses of wine).

  • Recommended.



 

Drinking (prices are from February 2024)


3 Onzas (map) (Calle Laurel de San Matías, 2)


  • To the southeast of the Cathedral, 3 Onzas (Ounces) is a wonderful cocktail bar.

  • Exposed brickwork, lovely high wooden tables, create a sophisticated yet cozy atmosphere. The bartenders are charming and knowledgeable.

  • The cocktail list features both unique creations and the classics. Our drinks were beautifully made and presented. I do suggest you try the Zingiber Club, delicious!!

  • Cocktails average around €11 to €13 which represents excellent value for money.

  • Highly recommended.

 

Bodegas Castañeda (map) (C. Almireceros, 1, 3)


  • Ah, Bodegas Castañeda!! I miss you!!

  • This became our favourite place for a drink and some tapas in Granada and we stopped by on several occasions. Dating from the 1920s, Bodegas Castañeda is a classic, traditional tapas bar – mainly frequented by locals.

  • The place is always bustling but don’t be put off by how full it is – the bodegas is part of Spanish culture, embrace it. Squeeze up to the bar, order a couple of drinks (the manzanilla, fino, and vermut are very good), enjoy the interesting tapas you will be served with each round, and feel like a local.

  • We did not eat here but there is a full menu.

  • Expect to pay around €3.00 per drink (which will be served with some tapas).

  • Highly recommended.

 




Saint Germain (map) (C. Postigo Velutti, 4)

  • This little wine bar close to the Mercado de San Agustín is a joy.

  • The space is tiny and inevitably full after about 7.00pm. The wine list features a variety of wines – mainly from Andalucia and mostly unknown to me.

  • We just asked for a glass of something interesting and went with the flow – this strategy served us well. The pulled pork in a bun tapa was quite delicious!

  • Expect to pay around €3 per drink (which will be served with some tapas).

  • Highly recommended.

Mercado de San Agustín (map) (Pl. de San Agustín, 2)

  • Just to the west of the Cathedral is the Mercado de San Agustín, a typical Spanish market with stalls selling sea food, olives, olive oil, jamon, vegetables, etc.

  • The Mercado has several bars and restaurants, often serving sea food from their own stalls. This is a nice place to stop by for a drink and a bite. The bustle of the market a lovely back drop.

  • Expect to pay around €3 or so per drink.

  • Recommended.



 

Doing (prices are from February 2024)


Alhambra (map)


  • There is nothing I can say here that has not been said before and no words I can write that can describe the wonder of the Alhambra. If you are in Granada, you will go here and you will be awestruck.

  • You need to buy your tickets beforehand, and yes you do have to take the ID you provided when making your booking with you – they will check. When you buy your tickets, you MUST ensure that they include the Nasrid Palaces.

  • We paid €18.55 per ticket and used our own phones for the audio guide (make sure you are fully charged and have data!).

  • You will need at least 3 to 4 hours to get a good sense of the complex.

  • Obligatory.





Granada Cathedral (map)


  • The Cathedral of Granada is monumental, in the true sense of the word. It’s enormous.

  • As is a familiar story in Andalucia, the Cathedral it was commissioned by Queen Isabella on the site of the main Mosque of Granada, sometime in the second half of the 15th century.

  • This is an impressive and interesting building with many altars to visit and works or art and treasures to admire.

  • You should plan about 1 to 1 ½ hours for your visit.

  • Cost of entry is €6 per person.

  • Highly recommended.

 

Walk the Albaicín


  • The Albaicín is the old Moorish quarter of the city and is located on a hill facing the Alhambra. It’s a decent hike up and down the hill but well worth it for views and the history on display. Be sure to wear a good pair of shoes.

  • We started our walk at Puerta de Elvira – one of the original gates of the Moorish quarter – and walked up Cta. de Alhacaba. After a decent climb you emerge into the lovely Plaza Larga. From here just follow your nose and walk the lovely streets you will inevitably stumble across the Church of San Nicolás and the stunning views across to the Alhambra from its pretty square

  • It was a Sunday morning in early February when we did this walk, yet the weather was lovely, and the square in front of San Nicolás was full of families enjoying their weekend, street performers, and various hawkers selling trinkets. A very lovely moment.

  • We took a south easterly direction down the hill and eventually ended up on C. Calderería Nueva. A picturesque shop lined street that leads into the heart of the former Moorish city.

  • Give yourself 3 to 4 hours for this walk.

  • Highly recommended.



Self Guided Walk


Granada is a fantastic walking city (certainly in February, less so in the height of the summer heat I imagine) and there are many free, self guided walks to help guide you. We took a meandering walk that included:


  • Museo Casa de los Tiros (map) – lovely museum in a converted palatial home. When we visited, they had an exhibition dedicated to Irving Washington. No English signage so thank goodness for Google translate.

  • Iglesia de Santo Domingo (map) – A beautiful church located in a delightful square in the Realejo neighborhood. We did not venture inside as there was a service underway.

  • Cuarto Real de Santo Domingo (map) – A lovely former Nasrid Palace and gardens. Some beautiful rooms with carvings and mosaics. There are also interesting excavations – with glass or elevated floors you walk over to view. Cost of entry is €2 per person.

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