March 2017. The Andalusian city of Granada is globally revered for The Alhambra, a stunning castle-palace perched atop Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun). Scores of visitors shuttle in and out just to see the palace, but the city itself is well worth at least a day of your time. Having booked myself into the centrally located Alhambra Zoom Hostel (11 Euros a night), I eagerly set off into the city to begin my explorations. It wasn’t long before I came upon Granada Cathedral, a hulking beast seemingly crowbarred into its spot in Plaza De Las Pasiegas. It boasts an amazing mishmash of architectural styles, including baroque outside, renaissance inside and gothic roof vaults. There’s a five Euro fee to tour the interior.
March 2017. Anyone familiar with Andalusian cities will find Granada a familiar mix of pretty squares and cobbled lanes awash with cozy tapas joints. But head just fifteen minutes or so out of the center and the hustle and bustle melts away through a series of increasingly peaceful, ascending streets. The higher you climb the more the roads open up, with striking views of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance. There’s plenty of street art too, such as this crumbling building on Escoriaza Street.
March 2017. Up in the hills the street art extends as far as Santo Domingo Primary School. They’re obviously proud of the colourful façade and indeed a painter was busy touching up various sections of the wall while I took my shot.
March 2017. Don’t miss this pretty 8000 square meter promenade park (Paseo del Salón) right in the centre of town running alongside the River Darro. Popular with tourists, couples, joggers, mooching teens and local drunks alike, this tree-lined walkway is home to a couple of fancy restaurants, a few sculptures, a fountain or two, wonderful city views from its bridges and plenty of bench-bound Spaniards sittin’ doin’ nothin’.
March 2017. A walk through Granada’s gorgeous Muslim quarter (Albayzín) provides the city’s best up-close-and-personal views of The Alhambra. Eventually the route takes you to the bottom of Valparaíso Hill. Make the brief but stirring hike up to the traditional neighbourhood of Sacromonte where more Alhambra angles await, not to mention a sweeping panoramic of the local countryside in the opposite direction. A lone restaurant (a beer and a small plate of tapas is just €1.50) is the perfect place to rest your feet and breathe it all in.
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