Legend says that in 1492, when Moorish ruler Boabdil fled Granada (pop. 240,000), the last Muslim stronghold in Spain, his mother berated him for casting a longing look back at the Alhambra. You do well to weep as a woman, she told him, for what you could not defend as a man. A spectacular palace celebrated by poets and artists throughout the ages, the Alhambra continues to inspire melancholy in those who must leave its timeless beauty. The Albaicm, an enchanting maze of Moorish houses and twisting alleys, is Spain’s best-preserved Arab quarter and the only part of the Muslim city to survive the Reconquista.
Trains: RENFE Station, Av. Andaluces (902 24 02 02). To: Algeciras (5-7hr. 3 per day 7am-6pm, ‚16); Madrid (5-6hr. 7:55am and 4:40pm, ‚28-44); Seville (4-5hr. 4 per day 3am-8pm, ‚16).
Buses: Major bus routes originate from the bus station on the outskirts of Granada on Ctra. Madrid, near C. Arzobispo Pedro de Castro. Alsina Graells ( 958 18 54 80) runs to Cordoba (3hr. 10 per day 7:30am-8pm, ‚11) and Seville (3hr. 10 per day 7:30am-8pm, ‚16). ALSA (902 42 22 42) goes to Alicante (6hr. 8 per day, ‚23), Barcelona (14hr. 7 per day, ‚57), and Valencia (10hr. 7 per day, ‚35). All ALSA buses run from 2:15am-ll:30pm.
Public Transportation: From the bus station take bus #10 to the youth hostel, C. de Ronda, C. Recogidas, or C. Acera de Darro or bus #3 to Av. Constitucion, Gran Via, or PI. de Isabel la Catolica. From PI. Nueva catch #30 to the Alhambra or #31 to the Albaicm. Rides ‚0.85, bonobus (10 tickets) ‚5. Free map at tourist office.
ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
The geographic center of Granada is the small Plaza de Isabel la Catolica, at the intersection of the city’s two main arteries, Calle de los Reyes Catolicos and Gran Via de Colon. To reach Gran Via and the cathedral from the train station, walk three blocks up Av. Andaluces and take bus #3-6, 9, or 11 from Av. Constitucion; from the bus station, take bus #3. Two blocks uphill on C. Reyes Catolicos sits Plaza Nueva. Downhill on C. Reyes Catolicos lies PI. Carmen, site of the Ayuntamiento and Puerta Real. The Alhambra commands the steep hill above PI. Nueva.
Tourist Office: Oficina Provincial, PI. Mariana Pineda 10 (958 24 71 28; www.dipgra.es). From Pta. Real, turn right onto C. Angel Ganivet, then take a right 2 blocks later to reach the plaza. Open M-F 9am-8pm, Sa 10am-7pm, Su 10am-4pm.
American Express: C. Reyes Catolicos 31 (958 22 45 12), between PI. de Isabel la Catolica and Pta. Real. Open M-F 9am-l:30pm and 2-9pm, Sa lOam-lpm.
Luggage Storage: 24hr. storage at the train station.
Laundromat: C. La Paz 19. From PI. Trinidad, take C. Alhondiga, turn right on C. La Paz, and walk 2 blocks. Wash ‚5, dry ‚1 per 15min. Open M-F 10am-2pm and 5-8pm.
Emergency: 112. Police: C. Duquesa 21 ( 958 24 81 00). English spoken.
Medical Assistance: Ciinica de San Cecilio, C. Dr. Oloriz 16 ( 958 28 02 00 or 27 20 00), on the road to Jaen. Ambulance: 958 28 44 50.
Internet Access: Net (958 22 69 19) has 2 locations: PI. de los Girones 3, up C. Pav-aneras from PI. de Isabel la Catolica; and C. Buensucesco 22,1 block from PI. Trinidad. ‚0.75 per hr. Both open M-F 9am-llpm, Sa-Su lOam-llpm.
Post Office: Pta. Real (958 22 48 35; fax 22 36 41), on the corner of Carrera del Darro and C. Angel Ganivet. Lista de Correos and fax service. Wires money M-F 8:30am-2:30pm. Open M-F 8am-9pm, Sa 9:30am-2pm. Postal Code: 18009.
Hostels line Cuesta de Gomerez, Plaza Trinidad, and Gran Via. Call ahead during Semana Santa.
Hostal Venecia, Cuesta de Gomerez 2, 3rd fl. (958 22 39 87), near PI. Nueva. Wake up to a soothing cup of tea and a hint of incense. Singles ‚15; doubles ‚26; triples ‚39. O
Hospedaje Almohada, C. Postigo de Zarate 4 (958 20 74 46). From PI. Trinidad, follow C. Duquesa and take a right on C. Malaga; it’s the red door with the small sign on your right. A successful experiment in communal living. Dorms ‚14; singles ‚16; doubles ‚30; triples ‚40.
Hostal Residencia Britz, Cuesta de Gomerez 1 (fax 958 22 36 52), on the corner of PI. Nueva. Singles ‚18; doubles ‚28, with bath ‚38. Show the reception your copy of Let’s Go for a 6% discount. MCV.
Hostal Antares, C. Cetti Meriem 10 (958 22 83 13), on the corner of C. Elvira, 1 block from the cathedral. TV and AC. Singles ‚18; doubles ‚30, with bath ‚36.
Aibergue Juvenil Granada (HI), Ramon y Cajal 2 (958 00 29 00). From the bus station take #10. Across from El Estadio de la Juventud,” on the left. Dorms ‚14-16, under-26 ‚10-12. Nonmembers add ‚3.50.
Hostal Macia Plaza, PI. Nueva 4 (958 22 75 36), centrally located on the Plaza. Carpeted rooms with marble baths and AC. Singles ‚47; doubles ‚70; triples ‚90. O
Hostal-Residencia Lisboa, PI. Carmen 29 ( 958 22 14 13 or 22 14 14; fax 22 14 87). Take C. Reyes Catolicos from PI. de Isabel la Catolica; PI. Carmen is on the left. Singles ‚18, with bath ‚30; doubles ‚2740; triples ‚3350. MCV.
Hostal Gomerez, Cuesta de Gomerez 10 (958 22 44 37). Simple rooms with hall baths. Multilingual owner will assist guests planning longer stays. Laundry ‚6 per load. Singles ‚15; doubles ‚24; triples ‚30.
Hostal Landazuri, Cuesta de Gomerez 24 ( 958 22 14 06). Colorfully decorated rooms and a rooftop terrace with splendid views of the Alhambra and Sierra Nevada. Singles ‚20, with bath ‚28; doubles ‚2436; large suite for 2-3 ‚40.
Hostal Zurita, PI. Trinidad 7 (958 27 50 20). Bright rooms and AC. Singles ‚17; doubles ‚29, with bath ‚36; triples ‚4050.
Hostal-Residencia Londres, Gran Via 29, 6th fl. (958 27 80 34), perched atop a fin-de-siede edifice with multiple patios. Great views. English spoken. Singles ‚18; doubles ‚27, with bath ‚35. Each additional person ‚10.
Pension Olympia, Alvaro de Bazan 6 (958 27 82 38). From PI. Isabel, walk 6 blocks down Gran Via and turn right. Singles ‚15; doubles ‚20, with shower ‚25, with bath ‚30. MCV.
Hostal Gran Via, Gran Via 17 (958 27 92 12), 4 blocks from PI. de Isabel la Catolica. Singles with shower ‚17; doubles with shower ‚25, with bath ‚33; triples ‚3545.
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