Spain Trip Itineraries
Hot Spots: History, Tapas, Nightlife
If you think you have enough energy to hit up the main sights in Granada and still enjoy the best of its nightlife, this is the guide for you. There’s a lot to see in Granada, and fortunately, it is possible to fit the main attractions and a lot of fun into a two-day trip.
Arrive early on Friday and get situated in Hostel Atenas, an affordable, centrally located base with a helpful staff. Get your map at the front desk and walk toward the center of the city to Manolo, where you’ll start the day with traditional dishes from Granada and Andalusia. Nearby is the Granada Cathedral, a beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, which is rich with political and religious history. Around the cathedral, there are a number of vendors selling fresh spices and teas that make for exotic souvenirs.
Balance the time you spend in the Cathedral and your next destination wisely, as there is a wealth of uniquely Moorish architecture to be seen in Albaizín. As you begin walking up this hilly district, you’ll encounter a number of shops that have a counterculture vibe, selling scarves, pottery, jewelry, and quality leather goods. Walk to the Mirador de San Nicolas, where you can enjoy fantastic views of the city, Granada Cathedral, and the surrounding sierra (mountainous landscape)—but most of all, it is a spectacular spot to appreciate the beauty of the Alhambra.
Satisfy your hunger and relax at El Huerto de Juan Ranas, located on the Mirador de San Nicolas. El Huerto de Juan Ranas, in addition to its exceptional views of the Alhambra, offers a romantic ambience and a delicious menu featuring a fusion of Spanish, Moroccan, and mediterranean cuisines as well as an extensive wine list.
Once you’ve had a chance to relax, you can explore deeper into Albaizín, where you’ll find hidden treasures of well-preserved original Moorish homes. It is truly a unique neighborhood unlike any other in Spain. If it’s getting late, it is advisable to take a taxi from the Mirador back to the Hostel, as the dark streets of Albaizín can be a risky area at night. If you feel like taking a nap, don’t hesitate—it’s Andalusian tradition.
Within walking distance from Hotel Atenas is La Riviera, a laid-back tapas bar where you can fill your stomach and start out the night with a few drinks. The walk to El Camborio along the Darro River is long but beautiful, with dimly lit cobblestone streets and the Alhambra situated to the right. If you’re not up for the walk, it would be best to take a taxi. El Camborio has numerous dance floors including four indoor “caves,” a glass-enclosed rooftop terrace, and an elegant outdoor patio that features—you guessed it—magnificent views of the Alhambra, illuminated at night.
On your second day, don’t hesitate to hit the snooze button—remember, you’re in Spain, and everything around you is moving at a relaxed pace. For breakfast, order a typical Spanish tostada (toast) with your choice of toppings: jamón (ham), tomate (tomato), mantequilla (butter), mermalada (marmalade), or simply, aciete (olive oil—a Spanish favorite). Café Fútbol has a large outdoor patio and other Spanish breakfast and lunch staples such as churros con chocolate (fried breakfast pastry with warm chocolate sauce) and various bocadillos (sandwiches), if you’re a little hungrier. After a warm Moroccan tea or a café con leche, you’ll surely be rejuvenated and ready to explore the Alhambra.
After drooling over the Alhambra from afar for an entire day, you’ll be more than giddy about finally visiting this legendary fortress. It’s best to buy your ticket for the Alhambra online, ahead of time, rather than trying to squeeze a trip to the ticket office into your plans and risking ticket unavailability. The Alhambra, originally constructed for what would become the last Muslim rulers in Andalusia, is Spain’s most prevalent site in regards to Islamic architecture. Peruse the endless rooms of this elaborate palace—no matter how much time you spend in the Alhambra, it may never seem enough.
Later in the day, stop by La Bella y La Bestia at the corner of Calle Cárcel Baja and Calle de Elvira—a short walk from Atenas. There is a decent amount of seating to rest your legs both inside and on the patio. La Bella y La Bestia is a well-known chain in Granada, and this location has an extremely relaxed atmosphere, serving large, delicious tapas that are sure to please your taste buds. If you’re craving even more of Granada and think you have the stamina, go out with a bang at Granada 10. It’s one of the most popular discotecas (clubs) in the city, featuring numerous dance floors—each with unique music varying from salsa to house.
This exhilarating two-day visit to Granada will give you a keen feel for the city and a preview of the culture you’ll encounter throughout Andalusia. Having gotten a taste for its one-of-a-kind neighborhoods, main attractions, tapas, and nightlife, you’ll find yourself wanting to return again and again. read more about Hot Spots: History, Tapas, Nightlife
- Calle de Real de Alhambra
- tel:+34 902 44 1221
- Visit website
- Granada, 18009
Catedral and Capilla Real
- Gran Vía de Colón 5
- Plaza de la Lonja
Bodega La Bella y La Bestia
- Carrera del Darro 37
- tel:+34 958 22 3413
- Visit website
- Granada, 18001
- C/ Cetti Meriem, 7
- tel:958 227 969
- Camino del Sacromonte 48