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Granada is a gem in the heart of Andalucia, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain. Home to some of the country's most famous Moorish architecture, and with a rich history, it gives you the opportunity to explore royal palaces, quaint patios and blooming gardens. From walking to Carrera del Darro, a romantic trail along the river bank, to catching live flamenco in Plaza de San Nicolás, the city is a prime example of the traditional Andalucian way of life.
Find some peace and quiet at a Granada hostel with an original courtyard filled with lush greenery or at a place with hammocks strung around its outdoor area. You can get to grips with the famous regional cuisine by choosing a hostel that hosts cooking classes. Alternatively, to save a few euros, pick a hostel with a kitchen so you can cook dinner yourself, or go for somewhere with free breakfast. Lots of Granada hostels have free Wi-Fi and a choice of dorms or private rooms.
The Albaicín neighbourhood of Granada is one of the city's most charming. The old Arabic quarter is filled with Moorish architecture: look out for hand-painted tiles on the buildings lining the winding alleyways. Realejo, the old Jewish district, has been brought to life thanks to the thought-provoking and edgy street art. In the hills to the north of the city, you'll find Sacromonte: a traditional area with houses carved into the rock face.
The most famous of all Granada's Moorish sights is the magnificent Alhambra, a large, ornately decorated complex comprising a castle, palace and gardens overlooking the city. In the centre of Granada is the second-largest cathedral in Spain and, right next door, the Royal Chapel, which houses the tombs of several monarchs. To pick up some souvenirs, head to the Alcaicería, the old bazaar. If you're in need of a break from the bustle, you can take a trip out to the Sierra Madre National Park, just under an hour away, for a peaceful hike with panoramic views.
Málaga Airport is the closest international airport to Granada. From there, you can take a bus to Granada in around 2 hours. Trains from major cities around Spain arrive at Granada station, which is around a 20-minute walk from the centre. To get around the city itself, take the hop-on-hop-off train, walk or rent a bike.