Granada is an enchanting place, and it is one of Spain’s most popular tourist resorts. The city exudes mystery and romance from the great Moorish examples of architecture to centuries old fortifications. But most tourists only visit the well-known buildings like the Alhambra and gather together in coach parties.
To really discover Granada, you have to find its soft underbelly and take the paths trodden by the locals. Try walking among the barrios or backstreets to really get a feel of Granada and you will soon learn that above the city’s prominent elegance there is also an edginess.
The rolling hills all around Granada have brought many different civilizations to this part of Spain, peoples like the Visigoths, Iberians, Moors, and Romans have all called Granada home. But modern Granada is very different to those old historic days, as a university town it has a thriving art and cafe scene just waiting to be explored.
Barrio Street Art Walk
After your compulsory visit to Alhambra try discovering beneath the south side of the great structure. There is an old Jewish quarter called Barrio Realejo. This district of Granada has leafy plazas and winding streets that are just waiting to be discovered on foot.
The architecture can be grand with its Roman and Islamic influences but today its newest addition is its street art. There are now colorful enhancements to the crumbling brickwork in the shape of El Nino de las Pintura’s fantastic murals.
The artist also pays homage to the Moorish past of Granada by heavily featuring colors such as turquoise and gold. If you get a tad peckish on your wanderings, why not pop into Rosario Varela’s tapas bar on Calle Varela for some amazing food and entertainment.
Most tourists have never witnessed authentic flamenco dancing, only a sad interpretation in some holiday hotel lounge. But real flamenco is a sight to behold. If you want to see real flamenco that dancers would go and see, then head over to Pena la Plateria which is near Albaicin Bajo.
The only public performances are held on Thursdays and it is advisable to book a table. If you like what you see, then you can actually take lessons from the main dancer Chua Alba at her studio.
It is widely thought that all Spanish beer is simply lager that is served so cold that you cannot really taste it. But as the craft beer revolution has gripped many parts of the world Granada did not want to be left out. If you are in need of liquid sustenance the San Lazaro area is a popular spot frequented by the locals.
New bars such as El Ferentador are bringing a fresh approach to beer in Granada. There are eight draft taps serving all manner of beers from around the world, plus dozens of different brews in bottles. Whilst you are enjoying your refreshing brew you can also take advantage of some fantastic tapas that the bar is also famous for. Taking the path less trodden is always good advice when trying to discover new places and in Granada’s case it is highly advisable.