The city of Granada

/The city of Granada
The city of Granada2023-10-11T14:08:29+02:00

Granada is a city located in southern Spain, belonging to the region known as Andalusia.

History and monumental legacy
The first recorded population in Granada were the Iberians. This civilization first settled in the city in the 7th century BC. In 180 B.C., the Roman troops conquered the area and renamed it Ilíberis. After several centuries of Roman domination, the Visigoths took control of the city in the 5th century. In 711 the Berbers invaded the Iberian Peninsula. Already under Muslim rule, Granada obtained its present name. The Catholic Monarchs conquered the city in 1492, thus completing the Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. During the siege of the city, Queen Isabella of Castile received Christopher Columbus and granted him the means to embark on his voyage to the West Indies.

This eventful history has left numerous traces in Granada in the form of palaces, churches and other buildings that proclaim the city’s rich cultural heritage. The monumental complex of the Alhambra and the Generalife (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), fortress, medina and palace of the Nasrid kings, is world renowned both for its beauty and for the breathtaking panorama that its privileged location offers visitors. Within this complex is also the Renaissance palace built by Emperor Charles V next to the Arab bastion.

Opposite the Alhambra, on another hill, is the Albaicín neighborhood (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a narrow and fascinating labyrinth of streets. Here you will find the Mirador de San Nicolas, from where there is a beautiful view of the Nasrid palace. Nearby, the visitor can visit Sacromonte, with its inhabited caves and some of the most genuine flamenco venues in the city.

It is also possible to contemplate in Granada the Renaissance Cathedral, considered the first of its style in Spain. Next to it, the Royal Chapel, erected by the Catholic Monarchs to be their tomb.

Granada and surroundings
Granada is geographically surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Natural Park and is also very close to the Mediterranean Sea. Less than 30 minutes from the capital is the ski resort of Sierra Nevada, the highest mountain range of the Iberian Peninsula. Apart from the beautiful view it offers from the city, Sierra Nevada has one of the most important ski resorts in Spain, the southernmost in Europe and the only one in Andalusia. The coastal towns of Motril, Almuñécar and Salobreña are 50 minutes from the capital. The Alpujarras also stand out when listing the possibilities of the province of Granada. It is a succession of valleys and ravines dotted with about 50 villages of great beauty. It is an excellent choice for rural tourism and camping, as it offers a panorama that is difficult to match.

The city of Granada
Granada has about 250,000 inhabitants, although its real population is higher, mainly because of the 60,000 students enrolled in the University, one of the oldest in Spain.

Granada is a center of tourism, due to its monuments and the proximity of the ski resort of Sierra Nevada, as well as the historical area known as La Alpujarra and also the part of the Mediterranean known as the Costa Granadina.

Granada is famous for its tapas, which are served free with every drink and there is a great variety. In addition, both food and drink are usually reasonably priced, especially since a large part of its audience are university students living in Granada.

As for public transportation, the municipality has a light rail system: the Metro de Granada, which runs transversely through the city and connects it with the main surrounding municipalities, from Albolote to Armilla. To travel on the metro you can buy a flexible card (cost in 2023: 0,30€) at the vending machines of the Metropolitano de Granada. This card can be recharged and used by up to 15 people traveling together.

Granada also has a bus system that allows travel throughout the city, making free transfers if the time elapsed is not more than 60 minutes between one trip and another. The cost of the ordinary ticket in 2023 is 1.40€, but it is recommended to buy the Bonobús (or Credibus card) if you plan to make several trips or if there is a group of people making the trip together. The Bonobús is purchased by paying directly to the bus driver (cost €2) or at the vending machine located on line 4. It can be recharged (e.g. with 5€) and the price of the trip is much cheaper (in 2023 it is 0,40€). Several people can use the same bonobús by passing it through the bus card reader once for each person.

The temperature of the city of Granada in the month of October ranges between 23 ºC (maximum) and 10ºC (minimum), with an average temperature of 16ºC.

How to get to Granada

Granada can be reached by road from any part of Spain, especially the highways that connect with Madrid (433 km.), Malaga (128 km.), Seville (251 km.), Murcia (275 km.) or Valencia (480 km.).

The bus station allows to travel to and from Granada and the main Spanish cities, as well as to communicate the capital with other nearby towns.

The train station communicates the city with Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, mainly. It also has connections with Almeria, Cordoba, Malaga and other destinations.

Granada is served by the Federico García Lorca airport, which has daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona, and several flights a week to Palma de Mallorca, London, Rome and Paris. There is a bus that goes from the airport to the center of Granada (price about 3 euros) and the trip takes about 45 minutes depending on traffic, as the bus makes stops in the center of the city. At the airport there are cabs that can take you to the center of Granada. The cost is around 25-30 euros.