Only an hours drive to the Mediterranean coast, Granada enjoys a mixture of Spanish and African heritage. Home to the UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, The Alhambra is an ancient Nasrid citadel and palace that tourists from all over the world flock to see. The mixture of worlds, such as ancient Islamic architecture and contemporary street art, makes Granada more than just a historically significant location.
British Consulate Malaga
Calle Mauricio Moro Pareto, 2
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: Spanish
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: es
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 236 982
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Some tourists take the midday siestas as an opportunity to explore the city when it is less busy and take better pictures. This can also be an opportunity for a thief to rob you with less witnesses. Take note from the locals and relax as wandering round a big empty city can have lots of cons as well as pros.
- Taxi drivers are known to overcharge tourists so try to have a good idea of the average prices whilst you're there. Use an official service if you can, recognisable by their green and white cars. Ask before you set off about a rough estimate to your destination. Spanish culture does not include expecting tips unless you have had very excellent service. Be wary of any taxi driver who demands a tip.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 from any phone.
Granada Tourist Information Centre: 958 248 280
Granada has an international airport and a train station built for various lengths of travel, connecting both major cities and small towns. Granada has two official taxi services, Teleradio Taxi (958 280 654) and Radiotaxi Genil (958 132 323), that can be recognised by their green and white colouring. In 2017 Granada Metro was launched; the line runs through the city and down to the town of Armilla. The metro trains share the green and white decoration of the taxis.
F.G.L. Granada-Jaén Airport: 902 404 704
Granada Station: Adif – Información de la estación
What’s the weather like?
Granada is a south-easterly Spanish city and therefore will be hot and sunny most of the time. Its Mediterranean climate means that the summers are hot and dry whilst winter is mild and possibly rainy, especially between November and April.
The average summer temperature is 26 °C whilst the average winter temperature is 7 °C.
For the most reasonable weather visit in late spring and summer.
Dress and plan accordingly.
What should I be aware of?
You’re unlikely to encounter any violent crime in Granada, however personal theft is a known issue. Pickpockets usually operate in crowded areas so be careful of people who bump in to you- they might be distracting you from your wallet. Keep your valuables securely on you, no, back pockets do not count!
Take extra care, especially during festivals and evening entertainment, on crowded buses and trains. Also, beware of hanging your jacket over a chair in restaurants and cafes. Don’t make your stuff easy to grab. Keeping everything close and in your eyeline is your best bet.
What’s a safety top tip?
Learn some common phrases in Spanish to help you navigate your time in Granada. This will be especially helpful in relation to taxis.
Not all taxi drivers speak English and their companies use a semi-automated system: you speak to an operator to say where you are, you then listen to music while the operator contacts taxis near you, and finally, you will hear a fast, recorded message either saying that “Taxi number xxx is on its way” or that “No taxis are available at the moment. Please try again in 5 minutes”. If you don’t speak Spanish, it is sometimes difficult to understand what they have said so understanding some key phrases beforehand is a good idea.
Never underestimate the importance of communicating accurately when it comes to travel!
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
In celebration of when the Catholic Monarchs “liberated” Granada- the last Muslim stronghold in Spain- in 1492, the people of the city put on a colourful procession through their streets. Festivities include dressing in 15th century period costumes, the raising of the monarchs’ banner at the Ayuntamiento (City Hall), and teams of young people racing up the Alhambra’s Torre de la Vela to ring its bell.
In celebration of Granada’s patron saint, the feast day of San Cecilio is held. A mass is performed in the Abadía del Sacromonte (Sacromonte Abbey), where he was interred. A highlight of the festival is the free Tapas- a great way to try the best of Granada’s famous food!
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Granada’s most important festival of the year, Corpus Christi features countless events, such as free puppet shows, a bullfighting festival, traditional processions, theatre, concerts and exhibitions. You can also see the free flamenco and regional music performances in the centre of the city or head to the fairground to see what’s being hosted in the casetas (huge tents). The fairground area has three different parts to explore. You can wander round the casetas area, have fun in the swings and attractions area, and enjoy the surrounding area, where you will find copious amounts of stalls selling food, drinks, sweets.
Started off by European symphony concerts in The Palace of King Charles V, this festival has been going since 1883. The Granada International Music and Dance Festival is an ongoing celebration of cultural and educational action. Classical music is expertly performed by orchestras, bands and singular musicians. Watch dancers perform ballet in elaborate and varied costumes. Containing both evening and daytime events, the festival takes place in venues like the Generalife Theatre and, of course, The Palace of King Charles V- where it all began. Some events are even outside for everyone to enjoy in the glorious Grenada sun!
Every autumn, dancers and musicians come together to celebrate the genre of tango. A mixture of well-known and up and coming artists will perform around the city. The creation of the tango was a marriage of Hispanic and African culture in Argentina that is now celebrated all over the world. Granada captures that through its authentic professional dancers, be they partners or troupes, as they show you how tango is really done.
Yes, another music festival! Another shining example of the diverse multicultural heritage of the residents of Granada and the richness it brings the city. This festival is a celebration of music and art. Performances commence all over the city to be enjoyed by all. The atmosphere becomes alive as Granada is filled with music.
What should I visit?
Granada’s most emblematic monument and one of Spain’s most visited attractions, if you’re there then you have to visit the Alhambra- that’s just how it is. This palace city was declared an UNESCO World heritage site in the 80s and for good reason. It has been the site of much history and was used as a palace, a fortress and a citadel, all at different times. As a result of these regular changes, there are examples of different historically valuable architecture from various cultures all over the building. It also contains the breath-taking gardens of Generalife, watered by unique hydraulic infrastructures built in medieval times.
These historic caves were carved into the cliffside in the 15th Centenary and are still lived in to this day. It has a hugely ethnically diverse residence, who are used to visitors coming to be amazed by their unique homes (as long as you are respectful). The home of Flamenco, the atmospheric large white rooms are one of the best locations to see the dance performed on an evening. You can also get an one of a kind view of the city from this attraction!
What should I do?
After exploring the heat and the history in Granada, you will need somewhere to relax. Granada is full of bathhouses using tried and tested techniques to give you a luxurious visit. A hammam is an Arabic bath, using steam and alternating temperatures to cleanse your body. There are many treatments on offer including massages, aromatherapy and hot rock treatments. There will be plenty of establishments to choose from but Hammam Al Ándalus is the most popular.
You’re in the south of Spain so time for some snow activities, right? Oh, didn’t you know the Sierra Nevada National Park is a beautiful mountain range that contains highest point of continental Spain? These mountains contain Europe’s most southern laying ski resort! That means you can go skiing between November and May and hiking all year round. You can walk, cycle and horseback ride to explore the huge range of natural beauty in this park. Lower elevations contain easier walks, in which you can enjoy the south Spanish climate and extensive views of nature, whilst as height increases so does hike difficulty.
Where should I eat?
Try things you never thought you would with truffled octopus and other strange delights. It’s okay though- there’s a proper French chef who thought up and cooked it so it has to be good, right? Situated in the privileged position with views of the Alhambra, head down to The Estrellas de San Nicolás restaurant for a unique taste of Granada (Mediterranean food with a French twist).
Located in the heart of the Albayzín district, this restaurant has been passed down through four generations and is still going strong. Guaranteeing authentic Andalusian and traditional cuisine, this establishment promises that its methods are contemporary whilst also capitalising on their long history. The current owner repeats his grandfather’s words: “money is forgotten, quality does not” and that’s why El Picoteo Casa Torcuato is popular with both locals and tourists.