My favorite hidden gems of Granada

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Adah Freeman
May 18, 2023
statue in a garden in Granada Spain

Throughout my time in Granada, there’s a few little places I’ve come across that I absolutely love. Here’s a collection of places around town where I would gladly spend hours upon hours of my time...

1. Carmen de los Mártires

Located on the hill right across from the Alhambra, this expanse of gardens is huge: it contains a variety of styles of gardens, from Islamic inspired patios to French courtyards and fountains, and even a few peacocks who wander around the grounds. It is open most days, free to enter, and at its back right corner it offers a gorgeous view of the city and the winding path of the Genil river. Another beautiful garden in Granada is Carmen de la Victoria: it is a whimsical little garden in the Albaicin covered in vines, succulents, roses, and cypresses, and it has a lovely view of the Alhambra. 

2. Bohemia jazz café

Next up, Bohemia Jazz Café is an absolutely unique café/bar that is different from anything I’ve ever seen before. It is located right off of Plaza de los Lobos, and as soon as you walk in, it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time. The walls—and even ceiling—are covered in yellowed newspaper clippings, vintage posters, and knickknacks from all over. Everything is bathed in warm light, several of the tables are actually vintage pianos, and there is always the sounds of jazz—sometimes coming from a jazz pianist in the middle of the café, sometimes echoing through the café's speakers. Bohemia has some of the best (and very large) ice cream sundaes I’ve had, and the atmosphere is spectacular. 

3. Ábaco té

This cute tea shop in the Albaicin is tucked away among the homes in the area and not only offers some wonderful teas and crepes, it also has one of the best views of the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevadas in the distance. The seats on the balcony are the most coveted part of the restaurant, and swooping in to grab a space is absolutely worth it—to get the best shot, try to show up just as they open up in the middle of the afternoon, I promise it will be amazing.

4. La Madriguera 

This art store is practically the store of my dreams. It is full of art supplies and journals as well as the cutest collection of art books, decorative pins and patches, unique totebacks, and all sorts of studio ghibli, star wars, and disney/pixar knickknacks. My favorite part is the life sized mannequin of Vecna from stranger things just chilling in the corner for seemingly no reason but to add to the vibes. I think I visited this store more than 10 times during my 4 months in Granada, and I highly recommend stopping by even if it is just to walk down the street that it is on: Calle Cruz is an adorable street with several cute "friki" stores and a great coffee shop as well.

5. Tiempo Perdido

The equivalent of La Madriguera but for books, this bookstore is as whimsical as can be. I already mentioned it in my bookstore tour in Granada, but I couldn’t help but include it again. Its storefront is decorated with fairy lights, it has a winding staircase, an Edgar Allen Poe shrine, and a little reading area upstairs. Even if you are not a reader, it is absolutely worth a stop by. 

5. Om Kalsum

Last but not least, I can’t make a “favorites in Granada” list without including arguably the best tapas restaurant in the whole city. With a focus on Morroccan, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern food, everything on their menu is amazing. My personal favorites are the falafel (you HAVE to try it), the chicken shwarma, and the meatball tagine. Their menu is almost all available as tapas and the city knows just how good this place is—to get seating, I recommend getting there right as they open!


With that concludes my list of favorite places in Granada—places I’ll miss dearly but which inspire me to look for my own little corners in each of the other cities I will call home in the future! You can’t go wrong with any of them and I recommend them wholeheartedly. 

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Adah Freeman

Hola! My name is Adah and I am a junior at North Carolina State University currently studying in Granada, Spain! Though my major is Biology, I have a passion for all things art and Spanish, and you can most likely find me sketching away during the late hours of the night. My current obsessions are gouache paints, crochet, and watching local birds! I'm so excited to share my time exploring Granada with all of you.

2023 Spring
Home University:
North Carolina State University
Biological Sciences
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