Granada is such a beautiful cozy little city with so many amazing things to do. I adore walking around small cities and exploring their pebble stone streets. I’ve been visiting these quaint little towns one by one and sharing all the information I find on Instagram and Google.
My name’s Ahmed El Sharkawy. I’m 36 years old and I work as a Communications Engineer. I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt where I studied until the end of my university graduation.
My passion for photography began in 2004. I became fascinated by sunrises and sunsets. I spent much of my free time during the summer at the beach around 70kms away from Alexandria.
Starting first with a point and shoot camera, I got to know the basics of photography over the span of six years. In 2010, I decided to buy my first professional camera. This opened up a whole new world to me (it was a Canon 60D).
Between 2010 and 2012, I became engaged and was planning on marrying the love of my life. Due to unfortunate events, we broke up in late 2012. The next one and a half years was the hardest for me.
Then in April of 2013 one of my friends asked me if I ever thought about traveling outside of Egypt. We decided to head overseas and make our way to Europe in June of that year.
My first trip was to Vienna, Prague and Berlin. It was an amazing trip! I became fascinated with exploring new cultures, tasting new food and learning new languages.
Photography definitely played its part in my new-found love of travel, since the environment in Cairo isn’t that conducive for photography. While I travelled, I yearned to discover rich new environments where you could take photos all day long.
I haven’t been able to stop ever since. Now, I choose two or three cities per year and travel to them. I also make a huge list before traveling there including the best local foods to try, best restaurants, attractions to see, desserts, pubs, clubs and hidden gems off the beaten path.
Four Special Days in Granada: The Gem of Andalusia
I would say that Granada and Southern Spain (Andalusia) have been on my mind for the last year or two. This region of Spain has lots of Muslim heritage away from the Middle East which always fascinated me. This rich history inspired me to visit for its beautiful mix of cultures.
I decided to visit Barcelona and then go south to Granada, Seville and Cordoba. My time in Granada was limited to four short but beautiful days.
I stayed at Granada Old Town Hostel which is located right in the heart of the city. I always try to book accommodation in the city centre to experience all the flavour of the place.
Granada has a unique flavour. It’s a mix between European culture and Muslim heritage. Both distinctively mix together and appear in each corner of the city. Alhambra on top of the hill with its magnificent architecture is a great example of this.
On the inside of this palace you can find intricate detailed architecture and poems/carvings on the walls which are astonishingly mesmerising. Keep in mind that Alhambra was built at least 600 years ago.
I had already booked my tour inside the Alhambra complex six weeks prior to my Spain trip. I bought a Granada Card which includes all entrances to the main attractions of the city. It served me perfectly during my stay in Granada and you recommend you get one too.
My Favourite Places and Experiences in Granada
The whole trip to Granada was just fantastic. There were several factors that went into this. Firstly, the food was amazing.
I had wonderful steak at Negro Carbon. The breakfasts and desserts were delicious. I’m not really a sweet tooth yet I enjoyed it to the max! I found some wonderful coffee and some superb wine too.
What amazed me the most about Granada was that due to the connection between Spain and Latin America, I found my favourite coffee (Guatemala coffee) and tried some unbelievable new coffee (from Honduras).
It was at a local coffee shop named La Finca Coffee. I always try to support local artisan shops and cafes when I travel.
Secondly, the people were super friendly and relaxed. The culture is different to the rest of Spain where you can see this mixture of modern European culture with the old Muslim heritage. I especially enjoyed the soulful Flamenco street performers and gypsy musicians.
The view of the Sierra Nevada mountains was my favourite place in Granada. It’s absolutely breathtaking. The mountains stand behind Alhambra in a majestic vista. I also loved taking photos and exploring the Albaicin neighbourhood.
Touring the Albaicin neighbourhood, the inside out of Alhambra, Hotel Alhambra Palace and Palacio de Dar al-Horra was an incredible experience. I highly recommend these places.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
My recommendation is to stay in the heart of the city at Calle Recogidas and the surrounding area. Everything is reachable from here within a 10 minute walk. It’s a lively neighbourhood with lots of bars and restaurants. Hotel and hostel prices are good too.
Book Alhambra way in advance. Two months at least from the official website as it costs less than the Granada Card. But if you want you can buy the Granada Card which costs around 45 Euro and includes a huge list of attractions. I used this card and found it great value for money.
Finally, pack a pair of comfy shoes as the city is mainly on hills. I did a lot of walking up and down the hills. Enjoy the local wine, coffee, people, culture, music, sights and views. Granada is one special place!