After enjoyining a magical walk around the city of Granada, what could be better than treating yourselves with delicious food and a cold beer? Granada is one of the best places for tapas in the whole country. With every drink that you buy, you get a free tapa! One of my favourite places in Granada where you can find delicious food is "Bodegas Castañeda". Where, apart from enjoying your free tapa, you can choose from the various and exquisite boards (sharing wooden plates), as well as, taste their home-made mixed wines.
This is just one place, there are hundred of bars around Granada where you can enjoy a nice tapa with your drink, sharing laughts with friends, getting lost in its little and magical streets, contemplating its astonishing arquitecture. Or simply buy a beer and a durum kebab in "Calle Elvira" and walk up to the "Mirador de San Nicolás" and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL view, while you listen the music of the flamenco musicians who are play in the squares. It's just bewitching.
BEAUTIFUL NATURAL SPACES AND BEACHES:
-Cabo de Gata-Níjar, a must!
MY HOMETOWN, ANTEQUERA: In the centre of Andalusia, you will find Antequera. Antequera is a beautiful, cultural and historical town. A fascinating place where you can travel from the bronze age visiting the pre-historical dolmens to the wonderful Al-Andalus era, walking around the beautiful Moorish fortress. Without forgeting the classical world -Roman heritage- and the beautiful 33 churches that Antequera has, traces of the Reconquista.
Also, a wonderful place to enjoy its beautiful food! Visiting the "Bar Carrera" or "Las Hazuelas" you will think you are in heaven :)
It's very important that you don't forget visiting "El Torcal", an amazing walk in our unique mountains! As well as enjoying a cheap delicious home-made rustic lunch in one of the "ventas" (inns).
Tapas bar near the Arab baths, nestling alongside the river below the Alhambra. Holidaying on a shoestring. A couple of beers accompanied by free mammoth tapas and you won't go hungry. Que aproveche!
Carrera del Darro, 37, Granada
Google map: bit.ly/11R8Ows
Well worth the climb through the narrow, atmospheric streets of the old gypsy quarter, where you can imagine the spirit of Federico Garcia Lorca still lingers; El Huerto rewards you with ice cold drinks and an incomparable view of the Alhambra, ( the nearby Mirador is where all the postcard pix are taken) against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, snow capped in the cooler months. There is no better place at sunset for a drink and/ or a light meal. Particularly notable for fantastic G&T s with a huge choice of both gins and tonics. Torches blaze, candles flicker, colours of the sunset deepen, impossibly beautiful staff waft attentively, you sink lower into the cushions and order just one more ...
Los Diamantes is a tiny - blink and you'll miss it - local watering hole and tapas bar hidden on a bustling street full of touristy restaurants. The scrumptious smell of fried seafood, ubiquitous in Granada, is almost intoxicating on Calle Navas. If your attitude to good food is anything like mine, don't be surprised if it has a pavlovian effect on you. It certainly made me jiggle on the spot with anticipation and go "mmmm! mmmm!" This place was recommended by Lonely Planet as "reason enough to go to Granada" (I wholeheartedly agree, with the caveat that the Alhambra is, of course, the top reason to go to Granada, followed by a soak and massage in the excellent arab baths - Aljibe de San Miguel.)
The crowded, noisy, bar looked quite daunting at first but we boldly strode in, still clutching our Lonely Planet. We stood our ground and found a small space by the corner of the bar reasonably easily, considering the circumstances. Luckily we had brushed up on our Spanish food words and were ready to order such tasty tapas as "almejas" (clams), "gambas planchas" (grilled prawns) and "chipirones fritas" (deep fried baby cuttlefish). The lady standing beside me was much amused. She pointed at our Lonely Planet which we hastily stowed, "Is this place in the book?" I had no choice but to confirm this. "The food is very bad. I live in Granada and I never come here," she said with a mock frown. "Don't tell your friends about this place, ok?" said her gentleman friend. We laughed at the joke but I knew there was real worry under the smiles.
As is the practice in Granada, we got a complimentary plate of tapas with our cervezas to start. It was a generous portion of pulpo (octopus) which my boyfriend, who does not like octopus, wolfed down faster than you could say "I thought you didn't like octopus". The food did not disappoint. The clams were small and sweet (the way they should be), the prawns fresh and garlicky, the cuttlefish juicy, their tentacles crunchy. We resolved to go there again the next night. The entire meal, with three beers and bread, came up to slightly over 30 euros.
I left wishing I could bring all my friends to Los Diamantes, partly for selfish reasons - so that we would be able to order a greater variety of tapas to try as two dinners at this excellent tapas bar really wasn't enough.
This is the real tapas experience and tremendous fun. Great atmosphere and very friendly guys behind the bar and cooking the tapas. Each time you order a beer (a cana of approx 33cl draught Alhambra poured expertly) a shout goes up and a few minutes later a hot tapa plate will appear from the kitchen (the more beers ordered the larger the plate, a shared experience). A new one comes every 10-15 minutes and as long as you order every now and then you seem to get more plates than glasses, though by that stage you don't care. The food is really good - great seafood cooked beautifully and in huge variety, with occasional extras.
We loved the place: it's friendly, efficient and high quality. There's more room at lunchtime and seats outside.
Calle Navas, 28, 18009 Granada, Spain
+34 958 22 70 70
Google map: bit.ly/NXQ4T6
In Granada, when you order a drink in bars it comes accompanied with a free little (or not so little) dish of typical food. Normally, the food could be meat in sauce, squid, little fish, sandwiches, potato omelette, etc.
The Granada people go out for "Tapeo" and only asking for two drinks they can have dinner.
We recommend it because is a typical custom in Granada and it is very important to live this custom to understand the kind of life of there. And it is a very cheap way to have dinner.
This wine and tapas bar is absolutely fantasic! The owner is generous and interested in pleasing anyone who shares her love of food and wine. She plays flamenco from her record collection, serves up yummy tapas, some of which she makes herself, and has a small but excellent range of Spanish wines that she thoughtfully combines with whatever tapas you want. I left myself entirely in her hands and had two blissful wine/food experiences. The atmosphere is also memorable with tasteful decorations and thoughtful touches like linen table cloths that she puts out on the bar before you begin. If I could make this my regular wine bar I'd be in heaven!
Tendillas De Santa Paula No 4, Granada, Andalucía
Google map: bit.ly/HKg39Y
A slow train south from Madrid to the Andalucian city of Granada was the first leg of the first holiday my now wife and I took, just weeks after we first met.
The air-conditioned carriage trundled for hours across the baked earth of Castile as we ate tinned olives and shared icy bottles of Heineken.
Spain stretched out before us with the occasional puff of cloud emerging over the horizon. On arrival in the evening, the southern heat was still overwhelming. Our supper was a large plate of sliced tomatoes, garlic and olive oil with a chunk of crusty white bread. Sleepy after the journey, we held hands as we walked through jasmine scented streets in the dark.
This very beautifully decorated wine bar is in the Realejo part of Granada (the old Jewish quarter), very close to Melia hotel. What a great place to have tapas and a huge selection of Spanish red and white wines and cider. Carlos, the owner, knows his stuff and will be very happy to talk you through each of his selected wines and point you in the right direction should you want to take some home with you. We will be back.
Calle San Antonio, next to (Plaza de Los Campos). Granada, Andalucia, Spain
+ 34 666 238 485
Google map: bit.ly/tvqqef
Large rectangular area within the Albaicin area from where you have a wonderful view of the Alhambra on the other side of the gorge. The view is even more stunning at night.
Just be careful as pickpockets are known to operate in the area.
Google map: bit.ly/qkiOqm
Tiny tapas bar that is extremely popular. As soon as the door opens the place fills up.
As with a few other tapas bars in Granada, you get a free tapa with every drink. Don't ask me how they remember but for every drink you buy, you get a different and better tapa each time.
Emphasis is on seafood and the menu is very reasonably priced.
Calle Navas, 26, Granada, Spain
Google map: bit.ly/ow7COi
Open 1 - 4pm, 8 - 10.30pm Mon - Fri
A traditional unpretentious stand up bar which can get jammed when busy and is popular with locals and tourists alike. Always a good sign to see the locals in a bar/restaurant.
You get a free tapa with every drink. Additionally if you do want to buy off the menu, there is a great choice. It is a great way to try different dishes by selecting tapas.
Only downside is the lack of seats.
Almireceros 1-3, 18010 Granada, Spain
Google map: bit.ly/mReQuA
11.30 am - 1am Fri - Sun
Worth going in to this late Gothic chapel to see the final resting place of the two famous Spanish Catholic monarchs Isabel and Fernando.
The two monarchs lie in the crypt in simple lead coffins along with a few other related royals.
This three-star hotel is located right in the heart of Granada. As well as its location, the great feature of the hotel is the roof top terrace. In the day you can sunbathe on the roof with a great view of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada. At night the roof top terrace becomes a bar/ restaurant. Even if you are not staying in the hotel, its worth popping up on the roof at night for a drink and the view.
We booked via a well known hotel website and got rooms for £40 per night.
This book beautifully captures the sensuous beauty of 1930s Spain. Long before the days of inter-railing, the 19-year-old Laurie Lee walks from Vigo to Granada, knowing only one Spanish phrase. His rite of passage brings to life the "stutter of cicadas" in Valladolid, "disease ridden Cadiz" and the gypsy flamenco dancers of Seville. Through the freshness of a young man's eyes, the book portrays the steamy heat and vitality of a country on the brink of civil war. As a good travel book should - it makes me want to go there!
It's a lovely bar/cafe where they make you feel welcome the minute you walk in. The food is a mixture of Spanish, Middle Eastern and other international varieties. The tapas are free and abundant, as long as you order the lovely beers. We had generous portions of meatballs with ours. Very tasty. What struck me about this place is that it's a great place for vegetarians. I'm not a veggie but I ate vegetarian food there, which is tricky to find at the best of times in Spain. The falafel wraps were delicious and you could really taste the flavours in the food. Absolutely lovely! The waiting staff were really welcoming and we ate there three times during a week-long stay in Granada.
You arrive at the top entrance to the stairway, somewhat unassuming save for an epic view over the south of the city. Descending the first flight of steps you spot a chameleon clinging to the wall in black paint; 'cool' you think as you turn back towards a very personal greeting extended into the space you stand. Wandering around the corner your descent into wonder begins. Colours erupt, an octopus woman lazes down a full flight while a Ghibli-esque character skirts across a checkers board. Whales spurt, hearts bulge, monkeys play, and a pregnant Africa embraces the world. Cunningham inspired vistas are played off against the smiles and eyes of the Cheshire cat. In the sky the crescent moon plays slowly over the still fantasy below. You realise standing here, at the bottom of a staircase in this small city in southern Spain, you are witness to something very special.
Hidden a short walk north of the vibrant Albayzín district, by the balcony of San Cristobal.
In Las Alpujarras is a traditional group of homesteads and farm buildings which have been beautifully transformed into an hotel/apartment complex, enjoying fantastic views of the Sierra Nevada National Park. We (wife, son and I ) stayed there in 2009 and enjoyed this peaceful, idyllic location including it's inexpensive fine menu and wines. It has it's own vineyard, stables, hermitage and swimming pool to enjoy. Heaven!
If you are finding it impossible to get a ticket to the Alhambra, a final resort could always be to purchase a bono (pass). For €25 or €30 it combines entry into the Cathedral among other places, and provides a number of journeys on local buses (you may be grateful, the city is quite hilly, although the ride often feels more like a rollercoaster!!)
This is THE treat. Try some churros con chocolate (or coffee or orange juice for a lighter version) and enjoy the way locals have been treating themselves for centuries. I particularly recommend the coffee house Alhambra in Plaza Bib-rambla, right in town, near the cathedral. Awsome. I was a local myself.
Pl. Bib-Rambla, 27 , 18001
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