Plaza Nueva – The centre of Granada

View of Plaza Nueva from the central apartments.

The image above is very useful for understanding the layout of Granada. Plaza Nueva is considered to be the absolute centre of Granada from a tourist point of view.  The tower on the right of the the photo is the Torre de la Vela which is a big tower in the Alhambra. On the right between the two buildings is the Cuesta Gomeres which is a hill which goes up to the Alhambra. Just in front of that are the bus stops for the C1 and C2 minibuses which will take you to lots of interesting places in Granada.  On the left is the Albayzin district. In the valley between the Alhambra and the Albayzin runs the River Darro which is very picturesque Right in the distance straight ahead is the Sacromonte neighbourhood.  There is a taxi rank underneath the trees. The picture is taken from the start of the Calle Elvira famous for its lively night life.

Some links:

This photo was taken from Elvira Sudio  Apartments this view could be yours if you stay there.

History and info about Plaza Nueva

Bars and restaurants around Plaza Nueva

See more photos of Plaza Nueva.

See map of Plaza Nueva

Get to Plaza Nueva on the bus More info

The nearest hotels to Plaza Nueva More info

What is the Albaicín?

Albayzin Granada

The Albaicin is a “barrio” (a neighbourhood) of Granada which has been built on a hill opposite the Alhambra. The layout came about when Granada was ruled by the Arabs long before the advent of cars so the streets form a narrow cobblestoned maze interspersed with small squares.  The  geranium filled balconies, glimpses of the Alhambra at every turn, the silence and the sound of running water in numerous fountains all give the Albayzin  a romantic slightly enchanted atmosphere.

 

San Miguel Bajo

There are lots of squares in the Albaicín perfect for al fresco dining, people watching and generally chilling out hopefully with some good company. The photo above shows San Miguel Bajo but there are many more squares with open-air restaurants such as Plaza Larga, Paseo de los Tristes, Plaza San Nicolas etc.

The photo above shows the stones which cover the streets of the Albayzin. Car access is difficult or impossible in the labyrinth of streets. This can make building work difficult because it is difficult to transport the materials. It was possible to hire a man with a  donkey  to bring sand but sadly the last donkey powered haulage contractor retired in 2002. Comfortable footwear is necessary in the Albayzín, wearing high heels would be a big mistake.

Plaza Larga on market day

The Albayzin is not just a tourist attraction. In the photo above we can see Plaza Larga on market day. Many of the geraniums on the balconies are bought here. There are normally a couple of gypsies selling live snails from a bucket.

How to get to the Albaicín ?
The C1  and C2 minibus do a constant loop of the Albayzin and they pass by every 15 minutes or so. The most popular alighting point is Plaza Nueva.

What to do in the  Albaicín ?
The Albaicin is all about eating out in restaurants and wandering around.  An example of a good plan would be to get the minibus to Mirador de San Nicolas which has an amazing view of the Alhambra, then go and eat in an outside restaurant.  Then afterwards just wander about without a map and see where you end up

Where to stay in the Albaicín ?
Granadainfo.com have a large selection of places to stay. Accommodation in Granada

Links:

More photos of the Albayzin

Walking routes in the Albaicin

Restaurants and other establishments in the Albayzin

Map of the Albayzin


 

Alcaicería

This is now taken up with souvenir shops but it was once a great bazaar where silk was made and sold. Alcaicería literally means either the “house of Caesar” or “belonging to Caesar” in recognition of the fact that Emperor Justinian granted the Moors permission to sell silk. Traditionally these bazaars were situated in the centre of a city, with inns where the merchants could stay, and with gates at all the entrances to guard against looting and which were closed at night. The narrow streets inside were then patrolled by watchmen.

On the night of the 19th July 1843, a fire broke out in one of the shops making matches in nearby Calle Mesones and consequently the entire original bazaar burned down. It was soon rebuilt but never regained its importance as a bazaar.