It may be compact, but Granada’s mix of Iberian and Arab heritage, from traditional Andalusian tapas bars to bustling bazaars...
...and traditional Moorish bathhouses, only adds to its charm. Throw in some of the world’s most fabulous historical buildings and the Sierra Nevada mountains on its doorstep, and you have a city just begging to be explored.
The International Festival of Music and Dance, which takes place around the third week in June, has been running for more than 55 years and brings some of the world’s best musicians and dance performers to Granada. Classical music, flamenco, ballet, recitals and more are held in historic venues such as the Palacio de Carlos V in the Alhambra, the gardens of the Generalife and the courtyard Patio de los Arrayanes, as well as the El Albaicín and Sacramonte districts.
In the first week of December, the Encuentros Flamencos festival features some of the biggest names in flamenco, with a different theme each year. The week-long event has been running since 1999, with concerts and performances held in venues such as the Teatro Municipal Isabel La Católica and the Teatro Municipal Zaidín. Less formal, late night performances called ‘trasnoches’ take place in the Pena La Platería, which claims to be Granada’s oldest flamenco club.
Major religious festivals are often lively, colourful affairs, featuring music, dance, lots of food and drink and enormous papier maché figures called gigantes y cabezudos, literally “giants and big heads”. The Fiesta de la Toma in January celebrates the day the Catholic Monarchs ‘liberated’ Granada in 1492 and includes a procession with people dressed in 15th-century costume