We've been all over Italy and Spain for the last 28 days. 6 days before we go home and we are burned out so we decided to drop a couple things and just stay in Granada for four and a half days. We are training back to Seville to fly to Barcelona. Any suggestions on how to spend four and a half days in Granada? We have booked the Alhambra, we're going to do an Arab bath, what else? Help!
You've chosen a good spot to relax and recuperate after a lot of traveling. In addition to the Alhambra (and don't forget to check out the beautiful gardens at El Generalife) and the Arabic baths, I would say that you should check out la Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) because that's where Spain's Catholic Kings, Fernando and Isabel are buried, which is pretty cool. You've probably seen your fair amount of churches in Italy and Spain though.
My favorite thing to do when I lived in Granada was walk from El Mirador de San Nicolás in the Albayzín neighborhood and walk down into the city. It is the most incredible, picturesque walk you could do. You start off at the mirador overlooking the Alhambra. It's a great place for photos and there's always a hub of people hanging out, snapping photos and listening to street artists strum guitars. From there take a right and start walking down the labyrinth of beautiful, white-washed carmenes, the famously styled houses found in Southern Spain. Eventually you'll stumble onto a street filled with teterías, or great Moroccan tea shops. There's a lot of little stores along there where you can souvenir shop or you can pop in to get a tea and relax. Continue on down and you'll hit the Gran Vía, and will be instantly transported into modern city life. The contrasts are crazy! Once there you can take a left and turn down into the major shopping center and wander through all the different stores.
Granada has a lot of cool places to explore. Check out Realejo, which was the former Jewish neighborhood. It's a pretty place to walk around and there are some great tapas bars there. For nice tapas, try checking out Calle Navas which is jam packed with places. It's not far from the center of the city. What's great about Granada is that tapas are free with drinks so you can pay 9 euros for three glasses of wine and end up eating a ton of food along with it. In Plaza de Bib-Rambla, you should go to the Alhambra Café for churros con chocolate. I think they have the best ones I've ever had. There is also nice shopping on the side streets that surround Bib Rambla. Another cool place to visit, though a little out of the way, is the MUSEO CASA NATAL FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA | Fuente Vaqueros | Granada | España. It's Granada's most beloved poet, Federico García Lorca's, childhood home turned into a museum. It's small, but a nice place to visit if you're sick of walking around the city and it's pretty cheap to get in. You could also check out a flamenco show while you are there if you haven't already seen one. Granada has great flamenco places in the Sacromonte neighborhood. The Sacromonte neighborhood is interesting in general and is really cool to walk around so you can get a feel of the gitano (gypsy) culture there. They even have a gypsy ethnological museum there that's cool to visit.
Another leisurely activity that I would suggest is going around the city looking for the graffiti art (and believe me, it is indeed art) of "El niño de las pinturas". He is a famous artist from Granada who paints beautiful murals all throughout the city, usually by night. He has even done work internationally too. I loved checking out his stuff and you'll see it everywhere in Granada. It's definitely worth snapping some photos of.
I think Granada is the perfect place to end your trip. Relax at the Arabic baths, stroll leisurely through the winding streets of the Albayzín and lose yourself in tapas galore as you take on that laid back Andalusian philosophy. Enjoy!
Mentioned in this answer:
Granada is a nice city for a break. Small, but with lots to see and do - and one of the best cities just to wander around. I would definitely take a walk through the maze of streets around the Granada Cathedral and the Alcaiceria. Definitely take a walk though the Albayzin district with it's beautiful white-washed Moorish houses and great views of both the city and the Alhambra. For a change, you can even head past the Albayzin district to the gypsy neighbourhood of Sacromonte (check out this post for more info http://expertvagabond.com/sacromonte-gypsy-caves/) .
One of the best things about Granada is just chilling and having a coffee or drink at one of the countless cafes and bars. Many bars will give you free tapas with each drink, so you can eat out fairly inexpensively. There are some fantastic Arabic restaurants throughout the city, which can be a nice break from Spanish food every once in a while.
Hope you have a great time. We were exhausted when we got to Granada as well, and it made for a nice and relaxing place to recuperate for a few days.
Mentioned in this answer: