History of Granada
The first settlements in Granada date back to 1500-2000 b.c. where
small tribes lived cloase to Granada. Then the region was inhabited by the Phoenicians and
than the Carthaginians. From the 5th century when Visigoths conquered the city establishing it as
a military stronghold and from that time Granada started to become a more significant city.
During this period a small community of Jews lived in the region, calling it “Garnata al-yahut”,
which was probably the origin of the city´s name.
In 713 the Moors took over the city of
Granada and developed it during the next 300 years. At the beginning of the second millennium,
the city was almost completely destroyed, because of fights between the ruling clans. Finally, in
1013, the dynasty of Ziries came to power converting the region into an independent kingdom.
The expansion of Granada was sustained under the regime of Nazari dynasty, one of the greatest
periods. The Nazari family controlled Granada until 1492, when it was incorporated to Castilla
by Ferdinand and Isabel and the end of the last Muslim kingdom in Spain.
During the next
centuries the Moorish population was baptized by force and all the signs of the Arabian culture
were prohibited. This led to rebels and riots and in the consequence most of the Moorish were
Until the middle of 20th century, Granada was in economic depression. Some
years after that it became an important Spanish university city and also artistic centre, with
Federico García Lorca and Manuel de Falla living here. Now Granada is a thriving and growing
modern city which enjoys a wonderfully rich history and and great atomosphere of a university
What to See in Granada
The most famous attraction is the Alhambra. The
construction lasted several centuries, resulting in some remarkable contrasting architecture
styles. The Moorish architecture of Palacios Nazaríes, the Arabian Baths and, by some accounts,
built as the royal harem Palacio de los Leones with its stunning fountain that gushes water from
the mouths of 12 lions, are examples of spectacular artistry of Moorish craftsmen. A
counterbalance to the levity of Arabian buildings are heavy ramparts and towers of the citadel
Alcazaba and the huge Renaisance Palacio de Carlos V. The surrounding Generallife, a romantic
garden of beautifully managed flowers, plants, pathways, patios and fountains, forms a perfect
background for all buildings.
Besides the Alhambra, there are a lot of other interesting thing
to see in Grenada. You can’t miss Albacín, the biggest and most characteristic Arabic quarter in
Spain, and the gipsy aldenmanry of caves Sacromonte – home of the most famous Flamenco
dancers and singers.
And besides the Moorish period, the conquest of Granada was another
historical highlight. Not only for Granada, but for completely Spain. In 1523 Queen Isabel gave
orders for the building of the Cathedral of Granada. With this, she wanted to show the world that
her conquest of Spain was complete. In the Capilla Real next to the cathedral, among other
monarchs, Fernando and Isabel still rest in peace.
Nightlife in Granada
Granada is a
popular destination for Spanish as well as foreign students. Thankfully there are enough bars,
restaurants and terraces to enjoy a good night out. From intimate bars and patios to large
outdoor and indoor clubs, it’s all available.
Start your evening with some tasty tapas. In Granada an inexpensive way to start your night
out, because when you order a drink, it comes with a free tapa. You can find good tapas bars for
instance in Calle de Elvira and Calle Navas.
After your dinner, it’s time to party. Whatever
you like, Granada guarantees groovy party nights for everyone. For instance, see some
fascinating flamenco in the caves on the Sacromonte hill, hear some live jazz music in one of the
several jazz clubs or relax on some reggae tunes in the Afrodisia Club. There are some popular
places for international students to start their night out. One of them is Irish Pub Hannigan's and
another, the more typical Spanish option them, is Chupiteria at Calle Pedro Antonio de Alarcón.
Televisions here show photos of visitors which prove that a lot of Spanish and foreign party
people have found their way to this bar and tried one (or maybe more) of their 120 different
Plaza Nueva is another area of the city which offers many bars and pubs. Enjoy making
several “stops” whilst getting to know your way around a very interesting part of the city.
Close to here, you can visit La Galaria, a funny and well decorated spot, with a copy of
Picassos’ Guernica, and moreover lots of Spanish people and ‘musica español’. Also Calle Elvira
offers many other bars. Another trendy venue with a lot of Spaniards is Cuadros, which is also an
excellent place to have some tapas.
Enjoy the most famous discotheques of Granada. A
disco in a cave? El Camborio is one to try.... and don’t forget to enjoy the amazing view of
the Alhambra. Other options are the bigger discos in Granada, the plush cinema Granada 10 and
the very popular Mae West.
As well, Granada offers cinemas, theatres and many
festivals, in summer, many of these are open air.
Learning a language is enriched by learning and of course enjoying the culture, Granada is a
wonderful city which gives you many options
Excursions around Granada
city surrounded by beautiful mountains and mediterranean beaches. Enjoy the long summer and
The snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada Mountains on the south of Granada, are an
interesting background for the city. Trekking, climing and biking in summer and skiing and
snowboarding during winter months Enjoy the view of the Mediterranean Sea and the
Mulhacen, the highest peak in Spain, at the same time – the picnic on the Valeta apex is just a
perfect place. Ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon.
On the southeast, just at
the foot of Sierra Nevada, you can find Las Alpujarras, a chain of almost 50 rustic mountain
villages with characteristic white houses, small winding cobbled streets. Visit some of the
villages, enjoy great views, eat classical andalusian country cuisine or enjoy the country and
mountain walks, hikes and activities from yoga and meditation to horse riding.
eastwards from Granada, you can find a completely different scenery. On the arid landscape,
especially near the town Guadix, where you can discover a huge amount of historic cave
After gruelling mountain excursions, you can easily relax on the beach of the
Costa Tropical. As the name says, this area always gives high temperatures, and because of good
irrigation thanks to the melting snow from the Sierra Nevada, you can find the sugar cane
plantations, avocados and other tropical plants. The towns along the coast provide some of the
typical beach activities and entertainments...
Weather in Granada
In December and Janaury on a sunny day, eat lunch outside, ski at the resort or walk on a
promenade by the beach.. In April and May, on a sunny day, enjoy the beach and a coffee in a
beach bar. In June, July and August, enjoy sun all day and appreciate warm, relaxed evenings
by the beach, in the mountain villages or stay in the city centre. In September or October,
continue to enjoy a day at the beach or busy sunny days out and about.