press trip with alsa autobuses and visit granada
I have fallen in love with picturesque Granada. Last time we came, we didn’t explore it to the extent we needed to. We didn’t visit the museums that we should have. So, this time, we made sure we did thanks to the Granada Card.
If you’re planning to go to Granada, make sure you plan ahead. There is so much to see and do and so many experiences. You won’t want to miss anything. Also, make sure you book The Alhambra well in advance. Tickets sell out very quickly.
We’re sure you’ll love Granada as much as #WeLoveGranada.
For those that don’t know, Granada is a city in the South of Spain in the region of Andalusia. The most famous monument is the Alhambra and has a staggering 3.2 million visitors per year, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain. Unfortunately, we aren’t part of that figure. Another excuse to return to Granada?
We learnt that Granada was originally called Gárnata which is thought to mean “hill of strangers” in Arabic but now translates from Spanish to “pomegranate”.
This tranquil city in the South of Spain has a very heavy Arabic influence. Granada was one of the most influential cities during the years of the Muslim control in Southern Spain. It became one of the wealthiest cities in Europe due to its economic accomplishments and the architecture definitely shows that.
Granada has hot, dry summers and cool winters and in the months of July and August the temperature easily rockets over 40’C. We made sure to keep safe, ducking between museums and bars. We have been to some stunning museums and I’ll be writing about them in further detail, so keep tuned.
Granada has a relatively low humidity so the high temperatures are not as unbearable as they are in Benidorm. In Comparison, the humidity of Benidorm today was 80% whereas in Granada it was only 25%! Even though the temperatures are so high, it doesn’t feel it compared to Benidorm!
Our Granada Card included the following monuments, bolded are the ones we managed to visit:
- Granada Cathedral
- Royal Chapel
- Monastery of la Cartuja
- Monastery of San Jeronimo
- Science Park Museum
- Zafra’s House
- Cuarto Real
- Sacromonte Abbey
- Fine Arts Museum
- Arqueological Museum
- Casa de Los Tiros Museum
- Casa Horno del Oro
We also were given the option to use 9 trips on the local bus network and 1 trip on the Granada City Tour Bus, which would prove as a lifesaver for commuting between the monuments. Although it would have been great to travel on the Tour Bus or the Train, we ended up walking it all. I love that you can find quaint, hidden spots on foot.
We have had a wonderful day wandering around the beautiful city of Granada. The highlights for me was definitely The Cathedral, The Royal Chapel, Casa de Horno del Oro, Zafra’s House and seeing The Alhambra lit up at night.
The Cathedral of Granada is the fourth largest in the world, but it’s definitely the most beautiful one I’ve seen yet.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the fine architecture where gothic collides perfectly with Spanish renaissance.
We spent 20 minutes inside The Cathedral, but you could easily spend more. We were on a tight schedule of getting between places but planned for extra time at The Cathedral.
I made sure to drop some coins to La Ofrenda to light up a candle.
Lots of people ask if there is a dress code at The Cathedral. The dress code isn’t as strict as other places, such as La Mezquita in Cordoba or The Cathedral in Barcelona. You are allowed shoulders and knee showing, however, caps must be taken off and tops must be worn.
It is also an active place of worship so remember to be respectful.
Casa Horno del Oro
The Albaicín neighbourhood in Granada has lots of examples of Andalusian houses. The Casa Horno del Oro is a fine example.
The house is completely hidden from the outside, preserving privacy and being a hidden, gem. We actually walked by the Casa Horno del Oro, wondering where it was!
It is a beautiful, rectangular patio with a pool in the centre. Although, not for swimming! It has beautiful arches and archways which make wonderful photos.
We loved that the Casa Horno del Oro was so hidden away, it was a great example of beautiful Andalusian architecture whilst being so quiet and relaxing.
We’d have never known this place existed without our Granada Card.
The Moorish house of Zafra is such a treasure in Granada that you’ll kick yourself if you don’t visit it! This is one of those gems that we’d have never really known about or made a thing of going to if we didn’t have our Granada Card.
Located in the neighbourhood of Albaicin, it is a spectacular example of Moorish Spain in the 14th to 15th century.
Not only is the building and wall paintings well conserved and beautiful, but it also boasts amazing views of The Alhambra.
Prepare to be amazed at this World Heritage Site.
The Royal Chapel, La Capilla Real, is a spectacular chapel. It is forbidden to take any photos inside, so I’m unable to share any with you!
Inside, you’ll see tapestries, fine art and beautiful architecture.
It is also the burial place of the Catholic Monarchs.
It is a monument that any city would be proud to be home to. You can find the Royal Chapel, next to The Cathedral.
Arriving at 9:00a.m, after sleeping on the ALSA bus, meant we had a full day ready to explore. We are currently using our ALSAPASS with 7-day unlimited travel, to explore a couple of cities in the South of Spain.
You can buy your ALSAPASS by following this link: https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/travel-plans/alsapass/buy-alsapass
There are three passes available, the 7-day pass is €99, the 11-day pass is 145€ and the 15-day pass is 175€. You can pay by PayPal, Mastercard, Visa or American Express. Don’t forget to input your Identification. Passport and NIE are both acceptable forms of identification.
The convenience of the Granada Card meant we could explore straight the way, the tickets are PDF and SCAN ready, so there’s no need to wait to get the tickets. You can start your day as soon as the museums open. The only thing you’d need to collect is the bus tickets.
You can pick up your Granada Card by following this link: http://en.granadatur.com/granada-card
Granada Cards are available 3 calendar months in advance. To use the Public Transportation, you will need to collect the tickets at one of the pick-up points listed on your pass. Adult tickets start at just 34.50€.
We stayed at the Hotel Los Jerónimos which had a gorgeous rooftop bar. It cost us 30€ last minute, so it’s definitely good for on a budget. It was very basic, but it’s what you expect for the money.
The rooftop bar was amazing and had lovely views of the Granada. Tapas and drinks were both very reasonably priced, with tapas being only 1.50€!
Watch our Granada 1SE Freestlye mode vlog here!
Have you been to Granada before?
Thank you to Granada Turismo for providing us with two Granada Cards enabling us to experience these wonderful monuments and museums. Also, a big thank you to ALSA for sponsoring my travel.