8. Granada: Self-Guided City Exploration Smartphone Audio Tour
Many visitors to Granada head straight to the awe-inspiring Alhambra, the fortified palace complex that rises above the skyline. But this vibrant and historic city has so much more to offer! Wandering through its cobbled squares, alleyways and viewpoints is the perfect way to soak up its rich 1,000-year history. On this walking tour, I’ll show you the beautiful fusion of Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque architecture that you’ll find all around you in Granada’s historical centre.
You’ll start the tour in Plaza Bib-Rambla, right at the heart of the city, near the charming web of market lanes, the Alcaicería, located on the site of the former main bazaar. I’ll show you the striking building where charcoal was stored in the 1600s, the Corral del Carbón, and Plaza Isabel La Católica where you’ll see the statue of Isabella I of Castile meeting Christopher Columbus. From there, I’ll guide you through the maze of narrow streets in the Albaicín – the former Moorish quarter, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll make your way to some of the city’s Renaissance-era highlights, including Granada’s Monasterio de San Jerónimo (St. Jerome Monastery), Catedral de Granada (the cathedral) and Capilla Real (the Royal Chapel) where Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon are buried.
On our tour through this centuries-old city, you’ll also have an opportunity to:
• Take in famous sites like El Bañuelo (the Arab baths), Puente del Aljibillo – the bridge that leads to the Alhambra – and the Palacio de la Madraza, built as a school of Koranic law in the 14th century
• Stroll along Paseo de los Tristes, also known as the Promenade of the Sad People, and through squares like Plaza de la Trinidad and Plaza Nueva de Granada
• Browse the food stalls at Granada’s central market, the Mercado de San Agustín
• Soak up views of the Alhambra at Mirador Placeta de Carvajales
• See one of the best-preserved Moorish houses, Casa de Zafra, and Casa Natal de Enrique Morente, the birthplace of flamenco singer Enrique Morente
• Find out about Peña La Platería, the cultural association dedicated to the art of flamenco
During the tour, you’ll also find out the answers to questions like:
• What happens if you ring the bell on the Alhambra’s Torre de la Vela on the 2nd of January?
• Why does the cathedral only have one tower and Emperor Charles V only have one arm?
• Whose ghost haunts the Royal Chancery?
• Why can’t you stroll through the city centre along the River Darro?
Give yourself at least 75 minutes to get the most out of this tour, or linger a while at the sites, cafes or bars that take your fancy along the way. I’ll tell you about everything from Granada’s famous complimentary tapas, to playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, and a few of the most widespread misconceptions about aspects of Andalusian culture – including flamenco. And of course, there’ll be plenty of great photo opportunities!