Granada, Spain.

Granada sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain. In a city known for it’s Moorish architecture, The Alhambra is it’s shining star. The hilltop fortress includes palaces, gardens, fountains and breathtaking tile work, as well as intricate carvings. It is also the number one attraction in Granada and a jewel of Andalusia, in general.

Granada was under Islamic rule for over 700 years, from 711 to 1492 and the remnants of this influence is everywhere. It is equally famous for it’s tapas – it’s one of the few places you still get a tapa with every drink. In theory, the tapas get better with every drink order so if you play your cards right, you won’t have to ever pay for food. Find the street famous for traditional tapas bars – Calle Navas. It’s lively, it’s fun and you can fill up on tortilla, olives, bread, cheese, beer and cava.

Granada was the third Spanish city I visited in September of 2021.

The weather at that time was still quite hot but it suits Granada. My travel buddy and I stayed in a quirky but fantastic airbnb in the heart of Albaicín. In fact, the entire four week trip was inspired by this particular airbnb. It involved a bidet, a cat and bunk beds decorated in the Moroccan style, if you can imagine. Let’s leave that story for another time but do feel free to look up the hashtag #bidetcat2021

Only two days were budgeted for this city, but I am absolutely going back to see all the things I missed. I spent the better part of our full day there exploring the Alhambra. Visiting the Alhambra was at the top of my bucket list, after the The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. My brief taste of Granada left a huge impression and I am anxious to return. To be honest, I am still a bit salty over leaving Granada for Marrakech.

My dream is to spend Holy Week in Granada – it’s a vibe.


This gate signals the entrance to the Albaicín district, the oldest Arab district in the city. Wander the narrow, winding, cobblestone streets. Get lost, grab some Lebanese food, buy some scarves.

Hills equal views

The views from the top of the hill in Albaicín make the steep trek up to the top worth it.

Oh, This Old Thing?

Fortress, Puerta Monaita, sits high up a hill in the Albaicín, offering amazing views. We stumbled upon it while we were looking for something else. You know how you just stumble onto one of the oldest gates to the city, built in the 1100’s. As you do.

The Food

Free tapas are great but sometimes you just have to splurge on the shrimp too. This rounded out a meal of vermouth, free tapas (tortilla, cheese and olives came with our two drink orders) and, obviously, una caña. Or three.

The Arab Influence

the Arab influence in Albaicín is very strong and everything explodes with colour and adornment.

The Alhambra

Come on. Could The view through a window at the Alhambra be any more stunning?

More Alhambra

Okay, someone got the assignment. I give you – another stunning view out another window in the Alhambra

Every Palace Needs A Reflecting Pool

The Palacios Nazaries in the Alhambra is another iconic spot. Construction began in 1238. at one point, the site was left in disrepair but it has had several restorations since the 19th century. With more than one palace, Collectively, they are also known as the Casa Real Vieja (‘Old Royal Palace’).

The Middle Eastern Food in Albaicín

The Middle Eastern food here is amazing so make sure you don’t only eat tapas. Arab culture is a huge part of the region’s culture. In fact, I order you to eat some hummus while you are there.

The Beauty is Everywhere

It seems like every inch of every surface is adorned. For example, These insanely beautiful carvings extend up into the ceiling. Arabic inscriptions, quotes from the Quaran and the repetition of the Nasrid motto “wa la ghalib illa-llah” (Arabic: ولا غالب إلا الله, lit.‘And there is no conqueror but God’) comprise much of the carvings.