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Budget Traveller's Guide to Granada Spain

Hemingway famously advised, “If you were to visit just one city in Spain, it should be Granada”. I have to agree, Granada is a beautiful Andalusian city in southern Spain that is much more relaxed and quiet than its more flashy neighbours of Barcelona and Madrid. It blends culture, architecture, and history of the diverse groups of people who have lived in the area including Moors, Jews, Arabs, Romans and Gypsies.

Granada is best known for its two architectural masterpieces: The Alhambra Palace complex and the town of Albaicin (Albayzín) both recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. The name Granada translates as pomegranate and that has become the city's symbol.

Granada was settled at the beginning of the 8th century by Moors (North African Arab Muslims). The area known today as Andalusia thrived with extensive trade routes and partnerships with luxurious amenities and a superior community civilization. For nearly 800 years the city was ruled by wealthy Arabic Sultans. The rule of the Catholic Kings took over just as the Renaissance period of art and culture began. Visitors will see the influences of the Islamic, Renaissance, and Baroque culture in every direction.

Like many old cities, the beautiful cobbled streets are narrow, steep and rarely follow a straight route. It will be difficult to drive and park. I recommend that budget travellers explore the city on foot or by using their bus system. Bus fares are inexpensive and tourist bus passes are available.

El Granado Hostel

I like hostels for their affordability and the opportunities to interact with other travellers. Hostels have changed a lot over my years of travel. Many now offer private rooms and are welcoming to travel