48 hours in Grenada: where to eat, drink and stay in the Spanish tapas capital


One of Andalucia's best-known cities for its history and architecture, Granada is also the city of the tapa where every drink gets you a free dish. We spent a happy 48 hours wandering the streets and finding the best places to eat and drink.


Where to stay

Palacio Gran Via - C. Gran Vía de Colón, 14, Centro, 18010 Granada

Opened just over a year ago (we were there when they were celebrating their first birthday), this gorgeous city hotel is set in a historic building in the centre of Granada. The former Rodríguez-Acosta bank was built in 1905 and is considered one of Granada's best modernist buildings. There are plenty of reminders of its previous occupation with a huge safe in reception and a very swish hamman now taking up the space where the bank vaults were in the building's basement.

We were staying in a Deluxe Double Room with a balcony (you can ask for a City view if you'd like to be able to gaze on the nearby cathedral) and thought the hotel was in a super position in between the Moorish Albaicin quarter and the city centre.

palacio gran via granadaClockwise from left: the stunning courtyard restaurant at Palacio Gran Via, sunbeds up on the roof, and our room

Although they don't really make a big deal of it on their website, the hotel's Patio restaurant is exceptional and definitely worth trying while you're in town. Think haute cuisine with a distinctive Granada flourish.

Chef Mara Sánchez was born and raised here in Granada and she's taken traditional classics and given them a modern interpretation. Here are some of the highlights from our lunch.

palacio gran via granadaClockwise from top left: highlights from our lunch at Patio - suckling pig with Grelot apples, prawns pil pil with tear peas, brioche 'snack' and foie gras ingots.

The hotel also boasts a real rarity in Granada - a open-air rooftop bar. It's only available to hotel guests which means that while it might be lacking in buzz, you'll always get a table and with views across to both the Alhambra and Cathedral it's pretty spectacular.

palacio gran via granadaThe rooftop bar at Palacio Gran Via


Where to eat

The most crucial fact we can give you about planning a trip to Granada is understanding that this is the "ciudad de la tapa". What that means is that while everywhere else in Spain might serve up olives or crisps with a drink, the bars in Granada include a proper tapa with every drink you order. The quality and size of the tapas improve the more you drink - think of it as the best kind of reward system.

This is crucial knowledge, particularly if you're planning what to order when out as you need to bear in mind the snack that will come with every drink you order in a bar. You'll also need to know which bar serves which tapas. Here's our guide to some of the places we enjoyed.


Restaurante Oliver

restaurante oliver granada spainPl. Pescadería, 12, Centro, 18001 Granada

The reason everyone comes here is because it's where the late Anthony Bourdain came when he was touring Spain for his TV show. Dine inside for the least touristy atmosphere. We had two drinks here from a particularly good wine list which got us first a teeny boccadillo and then, randomly, half a baked potato with sour cream with our second drink.


Bodegas Castaneda

Bodegas CastanedaC. Almireceros, 1, 3, Centro, 18010 Granada

Split into two bars across the street from each other, this is a hugely popular spot for a reason. If you're after a plate the size of your head loaded with Russian salad with prawns and some beautifully cooked presa this is an easy recommendation.



petra wine bar granadaC. San Jerónimo, 32, Centro, 18001 Granada

Owned by Granada's first female sommelier Petra Fuensanta Martín Caceres, this tiny wine bar features a predominantly natural wine list. Come here for a glass of organic fizz from Catalonia and you'll get a simple tapas of tomato slices on bread and sausages. We returned for a second visit where we did the right thing and ordered a whole plate of their amazing tomatoes drizzled with Melgarejo picual oil. We would return for this alone, frankly.


Pimienta Rosa

pimiento rosa granadaPl. Pescadería, 4, Centro, 18001 Granada

A corner table here out on the terrace is perfect for people watching during the paseo evening stroll. The menu here looks pretty traditional at first glance until you spot dishes like their white chocolate and cauliflower croquetas and black pudding with peas and a 'veil' of Iberico ham.


Casa de Vinos La Brujidera

best wine bar granadaC. Monjas del Carmen, 2, Centro, 18009 Granada

This 40-year-old wine bar is a particularly good spot if your Spanish is limited in a city where most wine isn't on any kind of a list. Here, there are about a hundred wines listed up on the wall, with a huge selection by the glass. Barrels of vermouth and sherry on tap are behind the bar and it's about as Instagrammable as they get. Here, our tapas was a fabulous mound of hot baked ham on a slice of baguette.


Mercado San Agustin

ALTPl. de San Agustín, 2, Centro, 18001 Granada

Heading to any Spanish city's main food market is always a good bet for food and the one here in Granada has plenty of tapas bars that you can pull up a stool at, and which are open for longer than the actual market hours. If you're after the freshest of fish, try Hoy Sushi which has its pick of the best seafood from the neighbouring stalls.


El Queijo

el quejio wine granadaCta. de Gomérez, 11, Centro, 18009 Granada

Lots of people recommend this eclectic wine bar that's just down the road from the Alhambra gardens. But it does have odd opening hours - only four per day as far as we could tell - so we just weren't in the area when they were up and running or we'd definitely have wandered in.


Where to see

The one thing you're definitely going to want to go and see while you're in Granada is The Alhambra. This mediaeval Moorish palace towers over the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you're buying your plane tickets to Spain, buy your tickets to the Alhambra at the same time as they only accept limited numbers to see inside the palaces and slots sell out quickly.

palacio gran via granadaJust one tiny part of the extraordinary Alhambra palace in Granada

It's a huge site, think of it as a city within a city, so allow plenty of time to gawp at the intricate carvings and to roam through the gorgeous gardens. There are numerous Alhambra ticketing sites claiming to be the official one, so make sure you book via the main website here. You'll need to bring your passport with you for ID on entry.

We also really enjoyed the Royal Chapel where Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand are buried. The marble tombs are beautiful works of art - don't bother buying a ticket in advance here, you'll still have to join the shortish queue.


How to get there

The nearest airport is Malaga. From here you can take a direct coach to Granada which takes about 2hr 15.  There are also a few trains each day from the centre of Malaga direct to Granada which take just under an hour and half to get there.


Booking Palacio Gran Via

Rooms at the Palacia Gran Via start at £212 for a Deluxe Double with balcony. Book your trip here.

Hot Dinners stayed in Granada as guests of Palacio Gran Via. 


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