Visiting Granada – Free and Cheap Ways To See The City
This is the first instalment of a new occasional series written by expert bloggers on cities in Spain. They’ll be giving us their insider knowledge on where to visit without breaking the bank and how to enjoy your mini-break in the Spanish city they call home.
First off is Molly Sears-Piccavey, who lives in Granada. Read what she has to say about this city full of history.
Granada is well-known for the complimentary tapa offered when buying a drink. Most bars and restaurants through the city give you a free snack when you order beer, wine or a soft drink. They charge you the cost of the drink only.
In Granada the free stuff doesn’t stop there. Here are more than 15 activities to enjoy in Granada for free!
On Paseo de los Tristes, an 11th century Arab bathhouse called the Bañuelo is free to visit. They usually ask you from which country you come from for their tourist statistics when you go in the door. This is one of the oldest Muslim buildings remaining in Granada. Open from 10am – 2pm Tuesday to Friday. Address: Carrera del Darro, 31
The Museum Casa de los Tiros is on Pavaneras street, in the Realejo quarter. They have permanent and temporary exhibitions of historical items relating to the city of Granada. The highlight of visiting this building is the intricate wooden ceiling of the Golden room or Cuarto Dorado. The decorative ceiling features faces of Trojan Heroes. See more information on the museum here: Museum Casa de los Tiros
You can walk up to the Alhambra along Cuesta de los Chinos. Head up to the Palacio Carlos V. Inside here to the right you will find the Museum of the Alhambra. Entrance is free (if you are from EU) Read more about the museum here: Alhambra Museum website. This summer inside the Carlos V palace there is an exhibition which is worth seeing. It features paintings of the Alhambra by the Spanish Painter Joaquin Sorolla. Entrances is free. See more information: Blog post about the Sorolla exhibition
Regardless of it being free or not you must see the view from the Mirador de San Nicolas. Walk up the hill to the Albaicin area. Find a spot on the wall or if you´re lucky get a bench and watch the sun go down on the Alhambra palace, the Sierra Nevada mountains and on the city itself below. Sunset over Granada, priceless.
See the Corrala del Carbon, this is located behind the town hall, just off Reyes Catolicos street. Built in 1336, it is the only remaining caravanserai left in Spain. The caravansei is an inn built around a large court for accommodating merchants and their caravans along trade routes in central and western Asia. The lower part was for storage and animals and the upper part for the merchants. Free entrance to see this wonderful historic building.
In Granada there are three tourist information offices. Here you can get lots of free leaflets, a map of the city and advice if you need it. Find offices at Mariana Pineda Square and Plaza Nueva (Calle Santa Ana) or on the Virgen Blanca street (near Neptuno & Garcia Lorca park) The office at Virgen Blanca gives you information about Granada province too.
There are also several free magazines that you can pick up in bars, shops and restaurants around the city. The Sentinella is in English and has information about the Costa Tropical and Granada. La Balconada is mainly in Spanish with information about the Valley of Lecrin, Durcal and surrounding area. The Pocket Guia & Guia Go are more about Granada city and although are in Spanish times and places are easy to follow if you don´t speak the lingo.
There are many Churches in Granada which have no cost to go into. Some of them have wonderful architectural features and altar decoration. Many of the churches in the city today were originally mosques and were redesigned after the year 1492 by the Catholic Kings. The church on San Anton has just completed a restoration project and looks great after the time invested carefully restoring the exterior walls.
More and more Free Internet Wifi is being offered in hotels and restaurants. Do ask if you check in to a Hotel what their policy is. Also keep you eyes peeled for the typical black and white WIFI sign on the windows of different places you visit.
If you are learning Spanish, or want to learn English, you might want to participate in the Language exchange evenings at Totes & Amigos. The activity is free and if you buy a drink you get a delicious free tapa too. More info on the Totes & Amigos blog. This usually runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays.
Hiking around the Sierra Nevada and Alpujarra trails is free, although you may need a car or bus to get there initially from Granada. See route information and more details here: Tur Granada – Hiking in Granada
Taking photos of the wonderful city of Granada is free and so is drinking the water from the Sierra Nevada mountains in the many fountains dotted around the city. In Granada each week new exhibitions are opened in the city in the different museums and buildings. You´ll often find that many are free to go in. Check information in local newspapers they often publish information the day before something new opens.
The travel game ´Spot the pomegranate´ is also free to do in Granada. All you need is to be able to walk around the streets of Granada and see the Pomegranates everywhere! Just like I-Spy just for Granada ; )
Molly was born in Robin Hood country, a village in Nottinghamshire UK, but has been living in Spain since 1998; initially in Barcelona but now in Granada, Andalusia.
Molly works in Communication and PR in the technology sector and in her spare time blogs, tweets, reads and listens to Podcasts. Molly speaks fluent Spanish and English along with some French and Catalan.