It’s well worth spending time exploring the centre of Granada
Granada is a popular destination at any time of year, mainly due to the popularity of the Alhambra, the majestic complex of palaces and irrigated gardens which nestles amongst the hills on the outskirts of the city. The Alhambra’s Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain and the court of the Nasrid dynasty. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Nasrid emirs turned the area into a fortress-palace complex which forms the basis of the magnificent buildings and gardens we see today. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Alhambra can get very crowded, particularly during the peak summer months, despite ticket numbers being tightly controlled. Nevertheless, it’s still well worth buying a timed ticket in advance for the Nazrid Palaces. Without this, entry to the Palaces, one of the highlights of an Alhambra visit, cannot be guaranteed.
Granada has many other sights worth seeing, including the Cathedral which has impressive facades and a stunning interior with a grand altar and several chapels. In the burial chamber are the tombs of the Catholic kings. The Royal Chapel is located between Granada Cathedral, the old Fish Market and the Church of Sagrario.
The Albaycin district with its sugar-white houses and steep, narrow streets feels like a different world within Granada. It is an area to explore by wandering though the streets and soaking up the Moorish atmosphere. You can stop at one of its numerous bars and wait for the red sunset over the Alhambra.
When you walk through the historic centre of Granada you come to the area known as Realejo. This district was the Jewish quarter at the time of the Nasrid rule when the Jewish population was of great importance to Granada. The Campo del Principe is the meeting place next to the Church of San Cecilio built on the site of a former mosque. The focal point of Campo de Príncipe is a jasper and alabaster statue of Cristo de los Favores. This was paid for by the residents of El Realejo Alto and was installed in 1640. Many of the walls in the Realejo have been painted by the graffitti artist “El Niño de las Pinturas”.
There’s certainly plenty to see in the centre of Granada and is well worth a short break. The city doesn’t have a direct air link with the UK but can be easily reached by high speed bus from Malaga. It often forms part of a multi-centre city break, combining 3 magnificent cities of Southern Spain – Seville, Granada and Malaga.