Enjoying South Spain Part 2 – Granada, Sevilla & Cadiz
Last time I promised that I would be able to share with you the last part of my journey to South of Spain – the beautiful cities of Granada, Sevilla and Cadiz.
What is Granada all about? Granada is known as a UNESCO heritage site because of the Alhambra and Albaycin. Situated on two adjacent hills, it forms the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The residential district of the Albaycín is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.
So how do you get to Granada? You have several options. You can get there by bus like me from any of the cities in South of Spain such as Sevilla or you can take a plane to Federico Garcia Lorca airport. Another option is to take the RENFE train or drive to Granada. My only advice about driving is that you need to be careful because Granada has so many restrictions on driving and you don’t want to get a ticket for driving on the wrong side.
I checked into my hotel – Hotel Puerta De Las Granadas which is located on your way to the Alhambra. BTW, that hill to the Alhambra needs really really good shoes so make sure you are as comfortable as you can. I got my ticket for 2 pm viewing just to visit the general Alhambra and the beautiful gardens which prevented me from waiting and standing on the long lines.
If you want to visit the Alhambra, my advice is to either get the tickets online since they only have two tours during the day if you want to visit the palace unless you don’t mind seeing the palace then you can try and get a ticket anytime. Just a warning that it gets rather packed so get your tickets and be there very early.
So what is next after visiting the Alhambra? If you are in Granada for more than a day, then you can also visit places like the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel, the Banuelo and the old neighbourhoods of Albaycin and Sacromonte and then enjoying a nice evening watching a flamenco show or a good glass of wine with free tapas.
One of the things I loved about Granada is their tapas. “Ir de tapas” known as to go for a drink plus free snack in Granada is not only a tradition but it is a philosophy and way of life and tourists like me take full advantage of that. You can literary spend your whole day doing nothing but wondering around drinking and tasting different types of tapas. This way, you not only quickly taste the variety of Granadian cuisine. Some of the best places to enjoy tapas are in the Realejo, the Carrera del Darro, Plaza Nueva, the Paseo de los Tristes, Plaza de Toros and Elvira and Navas streets.
All in all, Granada is unique, with its wonders such as the Alhambra. In my opinion, there is no place that equals Granada – affordable and beautiful and I could have not asked for more, well maybe more of the tapas.
Where do I start? My love for this city has no bounderies. This is the city that makes my dreams come true. This is the city where if you want to enjoy and be your beautiful self, then you go to. Sevilla is full of life, full of amazing people, full of excellent food and off course endless parties.
How do you get to Sevilla from Granada? You get there by taking the train. The catch is, you have to get a bus to Antequera, then from there you will take the train to Sevilla. The total journey takes about 3 – 4 hours. And as long as you have booked the train, just go to the train station and the attendants will help you board the bus. The ticket covers both the train and the bus.
I arrived in Sevilla at around 3 pm and then checked into my hotel. That afternoon, I spent my time visiting Catedral de Sevilla and then spending my evening at the Giralda Tower which is part of the Cathedral to enjoy the most classic view of Sevilla. Another good option to do is to seek out a rooftop terrace bar and enjoy the view of the illuminated tower as you enjoy drinks.
I then spent my evening having an excellent traditional dinner at the Bodeguita Antonio Romero. This place has excellent traditional Sevilla/Andalucia food.
The next day, I spent my day visiting plaza de Espana where I took a stroll on foot. You can also rent a boat and row along the canal. You can also visit Maria Luisa Park and while there, pay a visit to the Museum of Arts and Traditions. Then take an afternoon enjoying the beautiful town of Triana. In Triana, you can shop, drink, eat in the famous Calle Betis and enjoy the beautiful views. Then in the evening, spend time visiting Museo del Baile Flamenco where they have shows from 7pm.
Sevilla is a walkable city and everyday, I ended up walking more that 10 miles daily, so get ready to be fit and wear comfortable shoes. I visited Mercado de Triana and while here, I visited Museo del Castillo de San Jorge. Go to Barrio Santa Cruz and get lost wondering along this neighborhood which is a true representation of what Sevilla is all about. You have to visit this place. I also spent time at the Alcazar and visited the Baths of Maria de Padilla located beneath the Patio del Crucero. And after a long day walking, enjoy good food at El Pimento with all Andalucian dishes.
And to top everything off about my favorite things all Sevilla, Restaurant Enslava. I actually wrote a review of them. I loved and still love this place and I cannot rave enough good reviews about food here. If you want to read more, check it out on my blog post.
This place has excellent tapas and drinks and is always packed so to avoid the long lines and wait times that crowded the bar in the evening, Carol and I went there in the morning from 12.30pm when they just opened for breakfast and lunch. That way, we get excellent wine and tapas for all under $3.00
Also, your trip to Sevilla is not complete without partying non-stop at some of the best bars and clubs. You can enjoy one of the rooftop bars or just go along the canal where they have so many clubs.
A day trip to Cadiz is just what you need after as a break away from the busy Sevilla life. Take the train to Cadiz and enjoy a beach day. Besides enjoying the beach, climb to the Torre Tavirra and enjoy a panaromic view of the city. Head back to Sevilla after your day at the beach and have a good drink in Sevilla. By the way, I realized Cadiz was very expensive compared to some of the other towns. To me it rivaled Marbella in how expensive it was.
So that was how I spent my time in the beautiful South of Spain. If someone asks me which was my favorite City, I would say Marbella and Sevilla and my least favorite was Malaga. I plan to go back to South of Spain in a couple in years or so and this time round, I will spend more time in Ronda, Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada.
Take time and visit Spain!
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