If there was one thing that I expected from summer 2021, it definitely wasn’t a spontaneous £20 trip to southern Spain to see my best friend Raúl. Although I felt like a main character in a coming-of-age film, solo-travelling with one backpack during times of a pandemic whilst lacking common sense felt like an Olympic Sport. Nevertheless, the two-year turbulence of Coronavirus was well worth the flight turbulence to be hit with the gust of hot air as I stepped off the plane onto Spanish land before making my way to the beautiful city of Granada.
Travelling to a country where you have close friends gives you the golden opportunity to, without sounding pretentious, live like a local. The four days I spent there made me forget all about my British citizenship as I ran rampant around the streets of Granada and practiced my Spanish, which consisted mainly of slang and insults that I picked up from Élite.
Although my time there was short, I’ve collected a list of fun and cheap things to do whilst there. In terms of general tourist activities, if you’re looking for somewhere to shop, you can take a quick metro ride to Nevada Shopping, which has everything you might need. If you want to experience Spanish culture, a must-do is walk the Paseo de los Tristes, an incredibly picturesque street with a stunning view of the Alhambra, which is also worth a visit if you get the chance! Five minutes off the street and up a horrendously steep hill, you will find El Mirador de San Nicolás from which you can also see a full view of the Alhambra amongst the greenery that surrounds it, with occasional groups of people singing flamenco alongside the constant clamour of tourists taking photos which really adds to the atmosphere of the viewpoint. Another spot I recommend visiting is the Mercado de Artesanía which is a small pocket of the city brimming with warm colours and life amongst the bustling shops. If you go at the right time, you will catch the mercado at its brightest- when the vendors have hung their selection of rugs and materials above the pathway, creating a tunnel of reds and yellows, leading to the cathedral with a lively plaza at its feet.
Of course, I went clubbing. After a year of being subject to evenings in Klute and Jimmy’s, a night out in one of my favourite cities was well deserved. I disgraced the doorsteps of two places whilst I was there- Wall Street and Khimera. Wall Street has a very cool concept in which the prices of the drinks change at random times, meaning that my trusty vodka and cokes could go from being 2 euros to 5 euros, so I had to keep an eye on the menu, whereas Khimera was everything my little reggaeton-loving heart has desired in a club.
If you want to explore Granada, I recommend staying for longer than a weekend, because it’s packed full of fun things to do and see! It’s also a bus or train ride away from other lovely cities such as Cordoba and Malaga which are also worth a visit when in Andalusia. For a bustling city full of busy nightlife and never-ending culture, Granada is certainly a breath of fresh air in comparison to what we are used to in England.
By Victoria Ruck