It is true that the best way to discover a new place is with somebody who lives there to show you the real culture and what the locals do to enjoy themselves. But if you cannot find a friendly native then the other option is getting off your tour bus and walking around. Perhaps we can give you some ideas of where to start discovering Granada and the things that you should not miss out on.
The Botanic Gardens
In the heat of a hot summer’s day in Granada many locals head for the shade, and a wonderful place to take time out under the leafy boughs of the trees is the wonderful Jardin Botanico which you can find by the Plaza de la Universidad.
The gardens are actually part of the university and contain seventy species of large trees together with wild plants, herbs and other flowering flora. You can gain access to the university by ascending the stone steps and entering into a world of peaceful courtyards and cool marble corridors that date back to the 1500’s.
A Tapas Crawl
There are many cities famous for tapas, Barcelona and Madrid two of the more popular ones. And Granada has a thriving tapas scene with certain bars serving their own particular specialty. If you have never experienced a tapas crawl then you have definitely been missing out.
A tapas bar hop is all about the food, and taking in the ambiance of each hostelry. Unlike pub crawls is it not about drinking copious pints of beer, it is done at a leisurely pace and the enjoyment is grazing upon each bars edible delicacies.
Start your tapas hop at Calle de Almireceros and Bodegas Castaneda, which is about authentic as you can get with hams hanging from the rafters and dark carved wood all around. With your tapas you must try a glass of vermut, which is a spicy fortified wine made in large barrels on the premises.
Your next point of call should be St Germain bar on Calle Postigo Velutti, which offers a range of classic tapas as well as a great cheese selection. And complete your epic tapas hop at El Bar de Fede, and try one of their house cocktails as you munch through some delicious platters.
Granada has a thriving coffee culture that actually stretches back to Moorish times, and the traditional Spanish way of drinking coffee either, cafe con leche or cafe solo has been reinvented. Many small cafes that you can find lining the plazas or on pavements now serve their coffee with freshly baked goodies.
Try Minuit Pan & Coffee in the Albaicin area, for some of the freshest coffee and breads in the whole of Granada. The ethos of this great cafe is to keep things simple but perfect. If you are popping in around lunchtime try a tostada which is toasted homemade bread that has a variety of yummy topping smothered over it. Granada is not all about grand palaces and superb monuments, it is a living breathing modern city that has embraced the new and fused it with the traditional.