Photo: Ronny Siegel

From the moment my bus entered the city and I saw the snow-covered Sierra Nevada in the background, I knew I’d fall for Granada. The only thing richer than this city’s turbulent history is perhaps its food, and more food, and choosing what to see in a tight time frame can be very hard. Pack up your comfortable shoes and stroll around the narrow, cobblestone streets followed by some delicious local treats at Don Fernando’s. Tell him Dayana sent you.

All of these spots and more can be found on Matador Network’s new travelstoke app.

1. Sacromonte

 SacromonteGranada, SpainSacromonte has got to be my favorite area of Granada. Composed of dozens of small caves high in the hills of the city, this area is known for its Roma (gitano) population who dance flamenco like nothing you’ve ever seen. (Seriously, the passion on those dancers’ faces made me shiver in my chair). The neighborhood is very picturesque with narrow streets and whitewashed houses. It’s quite steep, so wear comfortable shoes and have your camera ready to take some sweet landscape shots. #free #hiking #history

2. Mirador San Nicolás

 Mirador San NicolásGranada, SpainPeople come here for the best views of Granada and it’s easy to see why – located atop a hill in Albayzin, this spot looks at the Alhambra as well as the twinkling lights and roofs of the city below. Come around 4:45pm to reseed yourself a spot, since it can get pretty crowded. You’ll see locals hanging out here, as well as travelers and gypsy musicians singing and playing guitar. #views #hiking

3. Generalife

 GeneralifeGranada, SpainThe Generalife is an absolute treat for the outdoor enthusiast/ your inner kid. Once the emir’s summer residence, this part of the Alhambra is covered in lush greenery, flowers, orange trees and tiny streams run through. The only thing that would have made me feel more like Alice in Wonderland would have been finding a white tabbing to chase. #statue #hiking

4. El Granado

 El GranadoGranada, SpainEl Granado is the coziest hostel I’ve ever stayed at. Debora at the front desk is extremely friendly and helpful. She’ll give you recommendations on what to see and direct you on getting there. The pic above is of their entryway. There is a kitten and hangout area in the back. I stayed in a 6-bed female room which was super neatly organized, very clean and warm in the winter. We had our private bathroom and kitchenette. The location of El Granado is excellent – right next to the botanic garden and steps away from the cathedral. #central #free-wifi

5. Catedral de Granada

 Catedral de GranadaGranada, SpainLocated in the heart of Granada, the cathedral is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. Enter through the little square and stick to the right. You’ll see marvelous paintings, carvings and organs as well as an elaborate display of figures representing historical events from the area. It’s a very photogenic place with a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Plateresque architecture, and you can easily spend an hour inside. As an art history enthusiast, I recommend it to anyone with a flare for history and beautiful paintings. #gallery #statue #history

6. El Tabernaculo

 El TabernaculoGranada, SpainI came to El Tabernaculo with curiosity aroused by Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. The thought of a Semana Santa-themed bar where Jesus and Mary photos galore and spicy sausage comes with a nice glass of wine was very enticing. What I found in El Tabernaculo was even better. I walked in around 3pm and found only Don Fernando and his son, also Fernando. We spoke about Granada, history, politics, food and the hidden gems of the city. Don Fernando prepared some special tortilla for me and played his Semana Santa playlist. Young Fernando showed me a photo of his son and invited me to give them a call when I come back to Granada so they could show me around from a local’s perspective. This bar and its owners absolutely embody the Andalusian hospitality.

7. El Palacio de los Olvidados

 El Palacio de los OlvidadosGranada, SpainTucked in the narrow streets of Albaicín, museum always has something good going on. I saw the Inquisition exhibit on tortute which was deliciously cringeworthy. Immediately upon entry, a tall statue of a man in a black hood a-la-KKK slaps you in the face, preparing you for what’s about to come. The exhibition on the first floor features various torture devices you won’t be able to look away from, while feeling extremely grateful you do not live in the centuries they were so popular in. Upstairs is the Sephardic museum with many cool relics including scriptures, toys and artifacts. The museum is excellently curated and very well-assembled with a bathroom downstairs. Best €5 I’ve spent in my life. This should be one of your must-see’s in Granada. #statue #history

8. Paseo de los tristes

 Paseo de los tristesGranada, SpainTo be totally honest, I don’t see how you can walk around here and be sad (triste) – it’s gorgeous even on tee coldest of winter days. Stroll by the river and look to your right at the narrow streets of Albaicín leading uphill. You’ll find a few restaurants and shops lining up this area, so stop, grab a bite and enjoy the moment. #free #history #hiking

9. Alhambra

 AlhambraGranada, SpainUnless you live under a rock larger than the building blocks of the Alhambra, you know this is the most famous historical spot of Granada (and the world). In a nutshell, the Alhambra was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889AD until the Moorish emir really upped its game in the 13th century. Seemingly simple from the outside, the Alhambra is elaborate and resplendent on the inside and is an absolute must-see in Granada. Some areas you can access for free, while others (Nasrid Palaces), you have to buy a ticket for and show up at a certain time. Don’t miss the chance to soak up history in the place where Muslim and Christian traditions lived at war and peace. #statue #hiking

10. Albaicín

 AlbaicínBarcelona, SpainThis neighborhood has heavy Moorish influences, written all over its narrow, cobblestone streets and quiet hangout spaces by running water. The area is tranquil and neighbors know each other. It gives off a sense of community and old time charm. Get lost in the streets (trust me, you will even if it’s not by choice) and take some photos during siesta time – you’ll be the only one around. #free #history

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