Updated: Oct 17, 2020
By Ana Pérez.
Granada is certainly one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in Spain. There is something to do for every kind of person and every season of the year. During winter, you can go skiing to the gorgeous mountains of Sierra Nevada, and in summer you can enjoy some sunbathing on the coast. If you are somebody who enjoys sightseeing, Granada has one of the most stunning palaces in the entire world, La Alhambra de Granada. Here's a quick guide to discover Granada.
Where is Granada?
Granada is a small city in the south of Spain. It is one of the cities in the region of Andalusia.
A bit of history:
The name of the city comes from its Arabic age when it was conquered by the Moors in the VIII century. The streets of Granada are covered by the heritage of the people who lived there within this period. However it wasn’t until 1492 when Granada became part of the Catholic Monarchs’ empire and part of what it is now Spain. Inside its walls, many different cultures have lived together for years, and in peace.
As it has been mentioned already, La Alhambra is one of the largest fortresses/palaces/castles in Spain which encompasses many different kinds of architecture, from Moorish ornaments to Christian aesthetics.
But Granada is not just La Alhambra. If you visit Granada you have to go and see Granada’s cathedral which is a Roman Catholic church where Isabel I de Castilla and Fernando II de Aragón were buried.
Furthermore, there are also more modern buildings worth paying a visit, like The Science Park, where you can enjoy playing with nature or feeling like a scientist while discovering amazing experiments.
Granada is much more than charming streets and places to go, Granada is also food, and more exactly TAPAS. Every bar you go will offer you a nibble with your drink for free! Don’t miss the best places to go to eat in Calle Elvira or Calle Navas. Moreover, if you have a sweet tooth after having a few tapas, you need to try a Pionono, which is a traditional desert from Granada. It consists of a layer of pastry rolled a few times and coated with syrup, topped with toasted cream, something sweet and delicious to top up your meal.
If you are studying Spanish and you go to Granada, or better known as "Graná", you might hear expressions that you won’t understand at first. Let’s go through some of them:
1. If somebody asks you where are you going and you don’t want to give any details but also not be rude, you should say you are going to “hacer un mandaillo”.
2. If in your way you see something surprising you might say “cuchi”.
3. “Con ti, con eso” is something you would say instead of just in case.
4. Moreover, your friend might make an inappropriate comment and you would highlight it saying ¡Qué bocaná!
5. If you have eaten too many tapas and you want to say that you are full, you could say that you have eaten “una pechá”.
Día de la Cruz
Now, if you want to feel like a proper granadino, the 3rd of May you've got a date with Granada. On this day, every neighbourhood, school, and even sometimes independent shops compete to win the prize for the best cross decoration. They build a cross made of flowers and then decorate it with different themes. You can use anything you want to create this amazing cross. Typically, next to the cross, there would be a Spanish guitar, some flowers, and a background very flamenco related. But the best part of this day, apart from the beautiful crosses, is to see how everybody comes together to celebrate. People walk through places where the neighbours would offer you food and drinks which will consist mainly of Sangría, salty bread, and raw broad beans. Nevertheless, you will also have Serrano ham, fried fish, and all the delicious food that the south of Spain has to offer, that depends on the neighbourhood. It is sure that if you come to Granada on the 3rd of May you would never forget the experience.
As you’ll have probably learned by now, Granada, a city full of magic and history, in other words, a unique city. It is a perfect place to go to practice Spanish because it doesn’t matter what you're looking for, you will find everything there.
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Text: Ana Pérez
Text editing: Paula Ruiz
Images: Ruralidays, PIXABAY, PEXELS and UNSPLASH.