Granadamay be world famous for its magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site, the Alhambra, but this fascinating city has so much more to offer. A stroll up hill from the city center and the Granada Cathedral will take you through the ancient Muslim quarter known as the Albayzin with its narrow lanes and palaces.
The historic Realejo, Granada’s former Jewish district, is also a must see with its hipster hangouts where I was lucky enough to find a delicious vegan restaurant. Granada is home to more than 80,000 university students so the city is always buzzing with activity.
Of course, it’s the Alhambra that draws legions of tourists to Granada. To those who are unfamiliar with this architectural treasure, the Alhambra isn’t merely a building. The expansive hilltop compound encompasses a fort, assorted palaces, gardens, churches and museums.
The difficulty of securing a last minute ticket to see the interiors of the Nasrid Palaces, the highlight of any visit, is well worth the effort. These palaces display the very best of Moorish craftsmanship that had developed over the previous seven centuries in Al-Andalus. Of particular note is how effectively the architects used water to add a sense of infinite space and tranquility.