Granada is a fantastic study abroad destination and has a lot to offer for students who want to study the Spanish language, history, or international relations. Granada was first founded in the fifth century BC by the Greeks, occupied by the Moors from 711 until the late fifteenth century, and then was taken over during the Catholic Reconquista in 1492. Granada still has a definitely Moorish feel to it, especially in the Alhambra and Albayzin.
Many international students call Granada home every semester, as the city is a major study abroad location in Spain. Located at the foot the Sierra Nevada mountains and only an hour away from the coast, this city has something to appeal to everyone. Here are the things that EDUinReview recommends you do while studying abroad in Granada to get the most out of your experience without breaking the bank.
1. Go on a tapas tour. Unlike restaurants in the other major cities in Spain, restaurants in Granada give free tapas with every drink you order during the night. This means that you can eat dinner for free in Granada. Each restaurant serves different tapas, so it’s best to go on a tour of different restaurants to see what their specialties are. Also, the more drinks that you order at a restaurant, the better their tapas will be, so it might be a good idea to find one restaurant you really like and then camp out there all night, ordering drinks and eating free food.
2. Get lost in the Albayzin. This little section of Granada feels like it has been preserved since the 15th century, when Granada was still a Moorish city. I love spending hours in the Albayzin, wandering through the many shops and drinking té arabé in the teterias, where you can order delicious hot teas in a very relaxed environment. My favorite tetras are Kasbah and Teteria Alfaguara.
3. Gaze at the Alhambra and enjoy live music at the Mirador de San Nicolas. Located at one of the highest points of the Albayzin, this lookout point has a fantastic view of the Alhambra. It’s best to come here in the early evening because there are often musicians playing music here for the tourists. If you are lucky, there might even be some locals dancing flamenco. When the sun starts to set, get a front row view along the wall to see the sun go down behind the Alhambra, a view unmatched anywhere else in Spain.
4. Celebrate the night life. Calle Pedro Antonio de Alarcon is a great little street that is filled with great bars. This is where a lot of international students who are studying abroad come after stuffing themselves on free tapas for a fun night out on the town. Since there are many different bars here, you are sure to find one that is to your liking. If you are more in the mood to dance, go to Granada Diez. This dance club used to be a theatre but has since been converted into a dance club. Ladies almost always get in free, and guys can get in free if they come with enough chicas, so just make sure you travel in a group.
5. Shop for unique gifts in the Mercado Artisan. This artist market is a great place to buy souvenirs and other small gifts for your friends and family back home. Located near Plaza Nueva, you can spend hours shopping here. Obviously you can find the traditional souvenir wares here, but if you look hard enough, you can also find porcelain figurines and other unique gifts. After you have worn yourself out shopping, head to one of the surrounding teterias and enjoy a warm beverage.
6. Look for the granadas. The word “granada” is Spanish for “pomegranate,” because when Queen Isabella I first saw the city, she said the buildings on the hillside reminded her of the seeds of a pomegranate. Today, you can find granadas hidden throughout the city. The fruits are carved into buildings, imprinted onto the sidewalks, and painted all over the place. Play a game with your friends to see who can find the most granadas in one day.
Have you studied abroad in Granada, Spain? Do you have any tips for other students who are planning on studying there? Share them with us in the comments section below.