Get a taste of the Andalusia region with a one-week sampler platter of Seville, Malaga, and Granada.
The history of Seville is fascinating, so definitely spend some time on a history tour. There are several free tours (pay what you want) that depart from the Plaza Nueva and the Plaza de los Reyes. Our tour with Pancho Tours ended at the Plaza de Espana which is a tribute to the country of Spain and its half-moon shape symbolizes open arms towards the other Latin nations. Across the way is the Parque Maria Luisa which we could’ve spent hours wandering. It was the garden of a Duchess who donated it to her beloved city.
Don’t miss tapas in the Triana neighborhood. It is on the opposite side of the river from most of the landmarks. We found this area as well as the Santa Cruz (Jewish Quarter) to be the most fun to wander.
The Real Alcazar is a bit overpriced to be honest, but it was a beautiful Moorish Palace nonetheless. Purchase your ticket one day in advance to avoid obscenely long lines! (Also check to see if there are any free days during your stay, rather than paying 9.50 per person.) Plan to spend around 90 minutes inside the “maze” of the Palace.
We wish we could’ve captured the scent of the city during our l visit. The orange trees were just blossoming and smelled incredible. I’ll never think of Seville without that scent coming back to me.
We only had about 24 hours in Seville which was enough to see the sights, but would recommend 2-3 days to truly experience more of the local flavor.
The main sights, beach, shopping, and best dining options all easily walkable in Malaga, so stay where the action is. We loved our Airbnb location in Old Town.
Best View of Malaga
Take the 20 minute hike to the top of the Gilbrafaro Castle for an incredible view over the city, the sea, and the mountains in the distance. It’s quite steep in some areas so be prepared.
Food & Drink in and around Malaga
Our Airbnb host filled us in on the fishing town that is just a couple miles outside of downtown Malaga, called Pedregalejo. It was an easy 15 minute bus ride from central Malaga and it has a sprawling beach lined with great seafood restaurants. Many of them have these outdoor olive wood fire grills on the beach. We tried grilled sardine skewers for the first time. Troy enjoyed them more than I did.
El Pimpi – While this is a touristy place, even our host had to recommend we try this place for tapas. It’s a fun place to look around and sit on the outside patio looking out at the Roman Theater and the Alcazaba.
The Spanish say that water is for the fish. So sit down and order a wine (Vino roja / blanco) or beer (Cerveza).
Sangria is a bit sweet for me, so I learned to order Tinto con Limon instead. (Red wine with Lemon soda)
We thoroughly enjoyed our sunset drinks at Batik’s Rooftop Bar as well!
Just outside Malaga
Castillo Monumento Colomares
For 2 euros, you can explore the monument built in honor of Christopher Columbus. While it makes for great pictures and a decent view, when we arrived at the monument, we were admittedly underwhelmed by its size.
How to get there: It’s a 40 minute, 35 euro Cabify ride – OR – about 1 hour walking and taking the Train. (2.70 euro)
Notes on Cabify (Spain’s Uber alternative) – Not well established in Granada or Malaga. Most of the time we looked for a ride, it said they were not available in our area.
Arriving in Granada by bus leaves you only 10 minutes from the Albayzin neighborhood and La Alhambra. The backdrop of the city is the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. We stayed at an AirBnB right in the middle of the Albayzin neighborhood under the shadow of the Alhambra. Staying in this neighborhood will give you an authentic Granada experience as well as leave you close to the best historical, food, and shopping areas of the city.
Food in Granada
If you are a fan of Tapas, the city has much to offer. We recommend Babel World Fushion, located right off of the Tea Street this restaurant has a great selection of wine and beers and some delicious food. Make sure to ask your waiter for their daily recommendation. Most restaurants offer you free tapas when you order a drink so remember not to order too much food. Another great area in Granada for Tapas is the Realejo San Matias neighborhood. Plan a few hours and move from bar to bar where you will crowd in elbow to elbow with the locals and truly experience the culture of the city.
Granada’s Rich Moorish History
To Explore the city we recommend taking a free walking tour organized by yourguide.com. This 2.5 hour tour will wander thru many historic neighborhoods and highlights including the old silk bazaar (Alcazar), the Granada Cathedral, Tea Street, and the Mirador San Nicolas scenic overlook.
No visit to Granada is complete without a visit the Alhambra, it is a short 10 minute hike from la Plaza Nueva, or you can take the C3 bus for 1.20 Euro. There are a few gardens and walls you can visit for free, but if you would like to visit the palace make sure to book your ticket at least a month in advance (link).
If you are feeling adventurous walk past the Alhambra to the Sacromonte neighborhood. The neighborhood is the old Gypsy quarter and the houses are built into the cliffs and caves of the hill.