Granada

As you can imagine, we could not start this section of our favorite trips without first mentioning our wonderful city, Granada. Granada is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and that is not just us. It is charming, cheerful, dreamy. Its sunsets overwhelm you and leave you breathless, and the word «enchantment» acquires meaning among its streets. People from various Spanish and international cities live here, but Granada has no problem welcoming us all.

The city of the three cultures, the last Muslim stronghold, keeps history alive among its monuments and cobbled streets. Granada is not a one-day visit, no matter how much some tour operators from other Andalusian cities insist on that. We will try to «bewitch» you in this article so that you will want to come and study at the University of Granada.

Not only for this reason, but also because it is our city, where we have the program and where we welcome our students with open arms, that we are going to dedicate more than one entry to it. So, in this one we are going to talk about Granada as an important city today full of resources for its locals and visitors. And in others, we will talk about the Historical Centre, the old Muslim quarter, the Albaicín and the old Jewish quarter, or El Realejo.

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Sun, Snow and Mountain

Located in the South-East of Spain, this city has a very convenient location to enjoy nature. Surrounded by Sierra Nevada mountains, with the Mulhacén as the highest peak of the peninsula. No wonder why snow lovers can’t wait for the winter to arrive and practice their favorite sports. The Costa Tropical, only 40 minutes from the city, makes it easy to enjoy its beaches in full sunshine…of course, with sun protection. They are also some of the best in Spain for diving, snorkelling and underwater fishing.

Veleta Peak in Sierra Nevada mountains

However, you don’t have to go that far. Only 20 minutes walk from the city centre, you are in the middle of nature to simply enjoy the best views this city has to offer. The Winter Park, beyond the Alhambra is an outlet for all of us who need a little bit of expansion, disconnection, and why not, to walk with our pets. Even those who are not into hiking without water nearby, River Genil, one of Granada’s three rivers, is a delight to runners, cyclists, and walkers every day.

Granada has EVERYTHING, we know it and that is why we have the program here.

First destination for Erasmus Students

Granada is a University city and the Vice-Rectorate for Internationalisation of the University of Granada does a great job in keeping this city and its university at the top of the academic ladder for foreign students. Each university department works hard to offer excellence to its students. As does the Center of Modern Languages of the University of Granada. The place where our students receive their classes every semester or in summer courses, and which belongs to that Vice-Rectorate. The academic satisfaction together with the cultural offer that this city provides, guarantees any student who comes to this University, to meet their expectations.

For this reason, Granada is like a “melting pot” of cultures. Here many foreigners like those of us who formed Beststepsabroad and foreigners like Erasmus students, decided one day to come and study in this wonderful city. What we didn’t know was that we would fall so much in love with it that we had to stay. And honestly, it is not a matter of two days, we have been working for years with students who dream of coming back and settling down in Granada. Some manage to do so, especially Erasmus students, but more and more non-EU students are managing to stay here. Ask us how, and we’ll tell you.

Granada has everything to meet the academic, cultural and social expectations of any student.

Granada is art, music and culture.

As we said before, in Granada there is everything. Art and culture run equally through the veins of this city as do its three rivers. Federico García Lorca, Francisco Ayala, Angel Ganivet, José Guerrero, Enrique Morente, his daughter Estrella, Marina Heredia, Luis García Montero, Miguel Rodríguez-Acosta,… and there is more. All these artists have left and will continue to leave an unconditional legacy to enrich the cultural heritage of this city and brighten the lives of all who live here. In fact, Granada celebrates the International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada with renowned artists from Spain and abroad every year in July.

The cultural spaces in Granada are many and varied and cover the needs of all people of any age. We will try to highlight the most relevant ones but there are many more. The Federico García Lorca Centre recently opened, the Isabel la Católica Theatre, the Alhambra Theatre, the Palacio de Congresos which houses fairs, exhibitions and concerts. The Science Park, an interactive science museum, the Sacromonte Caves Museum, the same Sacromonte caves that offer Flamenco, the Caja Granada Cultural Centre and many more. And best of all, many of the activities are free.

Flamenco spectacle at Theater Alhambra

Swan Lake at Generalife gardens

Gastronomy and social life

Granada is also known for its gastronomy and its innumerable bars and nightlife venues. First thing to remember when you come, is that the “tapa” that you take with your drink is free. It doesn’t matter if it’s at midday or at night, and it’s up to the students to find the bar that offers the best one. It is important also to realize that  there is a gastronomic contest that is Granada de Tapas where almost all the bars in the city participate. Even gastronomic days to taste typical dishes, such as the Güejareño lamb, the Asturian fabada, the Motril shrimp…

Tapas bar in Granada

We always emphasize to our students that going for tapas doesn’t meant going for beers. Many Spaniards do not drink alcohol, however, this does not prevent them from socializing in bars with their friends. Also, with a soft drink they are entitled to have their tapa. Don’t let this confuse anyone, Spanish people socialize outdoors, meet their friends in bars and cafes, close businessand agreements in bars. Similarly to other cities in the US, in Granada the normal thing to do is to go out on Fridays and Saturdays, but you can see people taking a tapa any day of the week. You have to take into account that in Granada there are more than 300.000 inhabitants.

Discover Granada

There’s nothing like having an experience of your own to talk about. We hope that we have managed to transmit the life that this city has, the amount of cultural offerings that it has to make the student have an unforgettable experience.

As we have said, Granada is very focused on student life and that means that it is always on the move, that it stays young. Things happen in Granada, it is not a boring city, it is just a question of wanting to live adventured. Of course, always with common sense, to remember them with happiness and to continue accumulating experiences.

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