Granada Opinions Reviews and Travel TipsGranada travel tips, opinions, reviews posted by real travelers. Travel advice on places to visit, where to eat in Granada, information on sightseeing, shopping, what to do when all tickets to the Alhambra sold out and the most important festivals.
A good way to get to know Granada and its history is by taking a tour. There are several interesting free and private tours offered by Civitatis:
Free Tour of Granada: What better way to get to know the hisotric centre of Granada than on a free walking tour with a local expert guide?!
Private Tour of Granada: Discover the hidden treasures and secrets of Granada exclusively just for you and your partner, friends, or family.
It is magicalI'm in love with Granada, it is magical, I think that it should cost someone a lot to leave the city, that keep showing the beauty of Granada, chaoooo I am Chilean.
Arab Baths AljibeSomething really worth seeing are the Arab baths Aljibe, amazing experience taking a bath while you hear a arab music and drink mint tea, relaxing massage, would feel something like Scheherazade's of the Arabian Nights (Mela).
Green areas of GranadaGranada is losing its style, has evolved from a green garden with special freshness to look like a tiled bathroom. There are fewer parks and gardens compared with how was before.
And the new architecture in the city is also aberrant with concrete blocks that "hurt" an environment.
"Unofficial" parking attendants demanding money - bus station carparkMy wife and I are from Australia. From 30 December to 1 January (2 nights) we stayed at the H2 Granada Hotel, Avenida Juan Pablo II, 35, Granada. When we arrived I parked our car in the free (bus station) public car park next to the hotel to avoid the hefty hotel parking fees.
As I parked the car I noticed six men, some drinking beer, operating as self-appointed parking attendants; two were wearing yellow workmen vests. One waved me into a parking space (which I was going to use anyway) and then asked for payment for his help. I gave him one euro. Another member of this group (an older man who appeared to be the leader of the group) then approached us and asked for more money. I refused and he became aggressive and abusive (we are in our sixties).
I ignored him and we went to the hotel and I complained to the receptionist who just shrugged (clearly there was nothing she could do). Our room overlooked the car park and I watched as this group of men fleeced money from every driver using the free public car park.
These men intimidate people and have completely taken control of a free public car park which they charge the public to use. The authorities appear to be doing nothing about it. This was very unpleasant welcome to Granada and reflects very poorly on Granada.
A lost bag on line 3, Granada City BusesOn a recent visit to Granada I left my bag on a service 3 bus from the bus station to the city centre.
In it was a camera worth 1000 Euros but more importantly two passports and my flight tickets home to Scotland. I was so upset.
I reported the loss to the Guardia Civil and the British Consul but did not expect to see my bag again. I was so thrilled when that evening the driver of the bus came to my hotel with my bag.
He had opened it saw how important it was and returned it to me when he had finished work. What a fantastic man-so honest and kind.
I do not know his name but if you can publish this in your staff newsletter or put it on a noticeboard he will know that a man from Scotland will never forget him (Stuart).
Little available in languagesGranada is friendly and interesting but very little available in languages other than Spanish which is a real put off for non spanish when one is a self directed tourist.
GratitudeUpon discovering this page I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to a woman that accompanied me in the visit to the museum. I do not remember her name (she told me), but her treatment was exquisite. I made the visit in late Junio 2009. Thank you for your attention, I will be back.
Granada ShopingJust to say that I love shopping in Granada, I've been twice here, but surely I come back soon! (Jenni)
Granada the relaxed way, or put it another way, 'let the train take the strain'
A good way to get to know the Alhambra, its histor, palaces and gardens is by taking a tour. There are several interesting free and private tours offered by Civitatis:
Alhambra Guided Tour: Discover the incredible history and architecture of the impressive Alhambra, the Generalife and Nasrid Palaces with a passionate and experienced guide.
Alhambra Open Air Tour: See the Alhambra from a new perspective, visiting the surroundings of the beautiful Alhambra, free areas and gardens, the Palace of Charles V...
I really enjoy travelling by train to other parts of Europe. You don't have to turn up hours before your departure time, you usually arrive in the city you're visiting and you don't have the schlep in from some out-of-the way airport.
Your luggage stays with you and, best of all in this case, getting to Granada by train is so much easier than you think! You also get to feel rather "worthy" as you can reduce your carbon footprint by not flying and taking the greener option.
London to Paris is easy, if a little boring, but the real travelling starts once you board the Francisco de Goya from Paris to Madrid. For those of you, like me, who have done the Caledonian Sleeper from Euston to Fort William, read on as this should restore your faith in "proper" train travel.
On this lovely "train hotel" you get a comfy bed and you don't get charged loads of money for the pleasure of being served something resembling a cow pat. If you travel Gran Class, like we did, the cabins are clean, spacious and (best of all) you have your own loo and shower.
No padding, (dressed in a combination of PJ's, trainers with a modesty-covering fleece) down draughty corridors in the middle of the night to have a pee on this train! Another huge plus for Gran Class is that your meals and drinks are included in the price of your train ticket.
We got a great deal by booking through the Spanish Rail Service in London who gave us a 40% discount for 2 people travelling together, sharing a cabin. If you factor in what the flights would have been, plus meals and drinks, the difference cost-wise between the train and flying was not that much.
A quick change of clothes and off we went to the dining car. A word of advice here - book the first sitting if you can and then promptly plonk yourself down and gaze out of the window or into each other's eyes.
Our train was pretty full and there were some rather disgruntled travellers (part of an English tour group) who were most miffed to have the party split into 2 separate sittings. One particularly tenacious elderly lady told us that "Hyacinth Bouquet has nothing on me" - she was right, I wouldn't have asked her to vacate her seat and wait for the second sitting! Once seated the waiters offered us Cava or Fino and this arrived promptly with some nice little nibbles.
The tables were smartly dressed with crisp white linen and the cutlery reassuringly weighty. The courses arrived nicely served and were well cooked, the wine arrived without any fuss and the scenery passed very pleasantly - all in all a very pleasurable experience.
We were left musing on how, if they can get it this right on this train, how does Scot Rail get it so badly wrong? (particularly when the scenery travelling through Scotland can be jaw-droppingly beautiful!) We ambled back to the cabin, ever-so-slightly merry and full of praise for the train and it's staff.
A restful night's sleep, a shower (large and plentiful towels) and a rather nice breakfast later and we arrived in Madrid. As we were travelling on to Granada, we opted for a taxi to the bus station. We could have chosen to go by tube to catch the connecting train to Granada, but the journey is slower, it takes longer and it's much more expensive. Plus the overnight train arrived just in time to just miss the day train down to Granada and the only other one left much later in the day. We plumped for the coach.
It was comfy, air-conditioned and played films most of the way (not that useful to us however, as neither of us speak or understand Spanish!) We passed the time "testing" each other from our Spanish phrase book and watching the temperature climb as we got nearer to our home for the next week.
We passed through some stunning scenery on the way and the roads were pretty empty. The road-side stops on the coach took in great places to eat and buy water; this journey really was pretty painless and very enjoyable.
The big pay-off was arriving in Granada. Granada is a beautiful city, stunningly situated which is (cliched though it may sound) steeped in history. We stayed in the Albaicin.
The guidebooks cautioned against wandering around this area as muggings have increased and tourists have been targeted. Personally, I think this is a great part of the city. It's atmospheric, the views of the Alhambra and the mountains are to die for and there are some great places to explore.
As with all cities, I would avoid wandering around the dark, unlit alleys at night and I wouldn't display bags and cameras prominently. If you do head back to accommodation in the city late at night, go by cab or the zippy little (very frequent) minibuses.
If you do all of this, there can be no better place to sit and watch the sun set (with a glass of something cold in your hand!) than the small square, high in the Albaicin opposite the Alhambra - it was quite simply, magical. This felt like "real" Spain.
[ Written by Fran Johnson - London ]
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Page Updated: Feb 27, 2020