Inevitably, most Americans make use of their time abroad to dot around various parts of Europe while it all sits so close by! Though I definitely recommend saving lots of your weekends to explore your own city and get involved with the community there, studying abroad is definitely a great opportunity to choose a few other countries to visit while you’re in the area.
Here are a few of my top tips for traveling in Granada as I walk through my trip to Rome!
1. Book as early as you can!
This is classic travel advice, but often, the sooner you get tickets or flights, the cheaper they will be (or for museums, the more likely you’ll be able to get them in the first place). Google flights works great to search for what’s out there, and then purchasing through budget airlines like Ryanair and Vueling can safe lots as well (though make sure to travel light!).
2. Granada’s airport is tiny…but Málaga’s can get you almost anywhere you want to go!
Granada’s airport has been opening up more locations in recent months, but when looking for flights out of the city, unless you’re flying within the country or to a few specific cities around Europe, Granada is a bit more limited when it comes to flight options. Málaga, however, has a much bigger airport and has access to most places. We booked our flights to Rome out of Málaga, so our first step was to take a 1.45 hour bus from Granada to Málaga.
3. The Granada bus station is not the closest.
This is something that you’ll learn very quickly, but the Granada bus station is not located in the center of the city. It’s simple enough to take a city bus or taxi to get to the intercity buses at the station, but it’s definitely not a walkable distance (according to google it would take about an hour to walk from the city center!). Another thing to note is that taxis are easy to hail at any taxi stand, and Pidetaxi is an app that works well. At the time of writing this, Freenow is a taxi app that doesn’t work in Granada but is a good option in most major cities throughout Europe (including Rome). It always worked well for me to take the city bus for 1.4 € to get to the Granada Bus Station—though be sure to give yourself some wiggle room in case the bus runs a little behind.
4. Figure out transportation to your housing beforehand
Sometimes it just works out to arrive at your destination’s airport and there’s a shuttle or metro to your airbnb or hostel, but I always like to at least have an idea of what I’m using to get there ahead of time. If there is a metro or bus that takes you where you need to go, you’re all set, but sometimes you need to take a taxi which can be a bit more expensive. Our taxi to our airbnb in Rome was more costly than would have been nice but the airport was so out of the city that it was a necessary expense.
5. Don’t forget your passport when going to attractions
Also something that seems very straight forward, but don’t forget your primary form of identification. Even if you don’t really have to show your passport to board intercity buses, you will often need your passport as identification at tourist attractions and to check into your housing. It is generally a good idea to bring it around with you in a safe location because you never know when it might be required.
6. Finally, leave space to go off book!
Some of my favorite experiences were due to on the fly decisions because I had left time to be able to do just that. My favorite way to plan a trip is to get started early, plan out set events in one chunk of the day and leave several hours in the other part of the day (whether the morning or afternoon) to just wander around and see what I find. Sometimes I like to have a list of options that I googled earlier and sometimes it’s a matter of walking into a random store or restaurant that I happen to see. My favorite moment out of our entire Rome trip was when we spontaneously booked tickets inside of the pantheon because it was raining and happened across a classical concert inside that echoed around the ornate interior as rain fell through the circular opening in the very top of the dome. It was magical and I could have stayed there forever.
Hopefully that little list helps (even if just a little) with generating ideas for traveling out from Granada, and I wish you a buen viaje for any place that you decide to go!
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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.