If there is a city that truly evokes the essence of Spain, that city is Granada. A cross-roads of civilizations since time immemorial and in an unparalleled location, Granada is a vibrant, friendly and lively metropolis that is full of culture. The Alhambra, the flagship of the city's vast historical heritage, stands on a hilltop overlooking a city that attracts around three million visitors every year.
Granada, capital of the province of the same name, is in south-eastern Spain, in the autonomous region of Andalusia. Traditionally, it was the capital of High Andalusia, or eastern Andalusia, which comprised the provinces of Jaén, Granada and Almería, as opposed to Lower Andalusia or western Andalusia. In addition to being the traditional capital, Granada is the judicial capital of Andalusia, as the home of the High Court of Justice of the autonomous region.
Alhambra: The world's most spectacular and renowned Arab construction, is an unforgettable experience. The Alhambra's ship-like outline surrounded by cypress trees can be seen from anywhere in the city. The monument has been the emblem of Granada for twelve centuries. The Alhambra has been a palatine city, a royal palace and citadel, all in one. The construction of the complex is amazing: it has no main façade, no centre or no core attraction. Buildings, towers, palaces, courtyards and gardens follow each other naturally, as though designed by the inhabitants' everyday lives.
Historical Centre: The monumentality of the Catholic Monarchs' favourite city is felt in impressive monuments like the Cathedral, a symbol of Granada's Christianity and an excellent place to start a stroll through the heart of the city. The Royal Chapel, the Monarch's mausoleum, is nearby, and, a little further on, the Monastery of San Jerónimo, an outstanding jewel of the Renaissance.
The centre of Granada is a lively area with streets full of shops and many tapas bars. The main features are the Alcaicería, an old silk market, and plaza Bib-Rambla, where flower kiosks fill the air with fresh bright colours year round.
Realejo: is the old Jewish neighbourhood of Granada, or Garnata al-Yahud (Granada of the Jews), as it was called in the Arab period. It is right at the foot of the Alhambra, and the Sephardic legacy can be readily appreciated in the streets and hidden corners. A statue of the Jewish scholar Judah ben Saul ibn Tibbon presides the entry to the neighbourhood from calle Pavaneras.
Nowadays, it is an extremely pleasant and tranquil neighbourhood that invites visitors to take a walk and discover its secrets, like the Corrala de Santiago, a traditional 16th century courtyard house, and the Placeta de la Puerta del Sol, a lovely viewpoint with an old public washing place. Take a break and try some of Granada's local dishes from the sidewalk restaurants in Campo del Prínicpe, a large, very popular square in the centre of the neighbourhood with a casual atmosphere.