Granada City Neighbourhoods
Living in Granada city for years now, I am often asked about apartment rental and life in the city of Granada itself. So here is some specific information on this rather than just a visit to Granada to see the Alhambra or on a city break.
To help address other Frequently asked Questions I wrote a post: FAQs Moving to Granada based on readers questions.
As Granada is a popular University town, rentals are generally negotiated for term time (from Sept through to June) or on 6 month contracts. Trying to find somewhere to rent for shorter periods can be tricky. There are certain times of the year when it gets very busy.
As students return to Granada at the end of August beginning of September the rentals are snapped up quickly as new arrivals settle in to begin their new term. Around Christmastime again there tends to be some movement and then again in June.
Most visitors seem to look out for the same few things. WiFi is always high up on the list, Spanish renters won´t be too concerned about that as they will arrange this themselves with their phone company. However there are a few things which you may not think of but I would recommend you priortize when house hunting.
What to look for:
- Look for ´calefaccion´ if you are staying in the cooler months of October – March. Granada gets very cold. The mountains are nearby.
- Avoid ´Butano´ the orange gas bottles used for hot water and boiler systems. Check you apartment has central heating or calefaccion.
- If staying in Granada city between July – September check for Air conditioning and other cooling devices like awnings and shutters.
- Check if the community bills are included or if you have to pay anything. This is a monthly fee for the general upkeep of the building. (cleaning, lift maintenance, painting)
Wifi is not really a huge problem, if you like a property and it doesnt have wifi don´t be put off you can arrange this easily afterwards, however more and more property owners have this a standard now.
Transport around the city is bus, walking or taxi. Both buses and taxis are quite cheap and easy to use. As the distances arent huge you can generally walk around unless it is really hot or you have to go uphill (Albaicin) with lots of heavy shopping.
Its nice to choose a Rental in Granada somewhere with a café or bakery near to you which most places will do in the city.
In case you are unfamiliar with the layout of the Granada city, here is a quick overview of the different barrios
The old quarter of Granada, opposite the Alhambra palace. This area runs from Plaza Nueva right up to the Mirador San Nicolas and varies greatly. The lower Albaicin is next to the city centre and on the lower part of the hill. Whereas the heart of Albaicin, high up above the city, the centre of the nieghbourhood around Plaza Larga feels like a village in itself.
This area is difficult for parking and doesn´t always have access to the door by car or taxi (This depends on the street). Cobbled, narrow and even stepped streets are characteristic of this neighbourhood. It may not be the most practical for everyday living, it is probably the most characterful. Shopping in the neighbourhood is done in small shops dotted around the barrio.
This location is far from the Alhambra as it is located on the hill opposite and also quite far from the main university buildings and adminstrative centre of Granada. The lower Albaicin depending on the street is better located.
Historically this neighbourhood was the jewish quarter of Granada. Spanning from Calle Angel Ganivet up to the edges of the grounds of the Alhambra. This neighbourhood is full of history and character but well located too. Most streets are accesible by car although parking spaces are difficult to come by. Food shopping in this area is simple as you are close to the city centre.
There are quite a lot of businesses on Calle Molinos and Calle Pavaneras, the Tmain streets of the Realejo. In this barrio there are modern buildings and some older. This is a good location for city centre and has lots of buses nearby.
The centre of Granada city is the area between Gran Via and Camino de Ronda. The downtown. Generally speaking older properties (historic areas) are towards the top of this area, close to Gran Via and the Cathedral. The further down the city you go (Calle Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, Arabial etc) the more modern the buidlings are.
Think 1960´s etc. and tend to less characterful. Of course as they are more modern they have more space for cars. This newer is more likely to have parking spaces available. Food shopping in this area has the San Agustin Market (off Gran Via) and plenty of choice as this is the city centre. Hipercor andEl Corte Ingles are large stores located in the centre of Granada
Cartuja – Plaza de Toros
The area around Plaza de Toros Cartuja and Hospital Real is very popular with students as this is located to lots of the campus and faculties. The Plaza de Toros has lots of good residential areas with modern apartments. Cartuja area can be a mixed bag. Depending on where you want to be located there are good and less attractive offers. In this area look out for steep hills (not good when carrying shopping on a hot day)
Zaidin + PTS
This neighbourhood is the largest in Granada city (most inhabitants) It begins just past the Palacio de Congresos and reaches as far as Granada C.F ground. The Science Park Museum is located in this barrio. There are lots of food and clothes shops in the Zaidin. Merca 80 indoor food market on Calle Palencia is great value for money. Carrefour Armilla is close to the Zaidin neighbourhood (Carrefour Armilla)
Parking is slightly easier than in other areas of the city.
PTS or Parque Tecnologico de la Salud
This relatively new area is the extension of the Zaidin and in fact the city of Granada. Reaching into Armilla this is next to Granada Football ground and also has the main hospital in the city. A new medicine and sport faculty is based here for University of Granada. There are newly built apartment blocks in this part of the city.
- Choose a location that suits your workplace or where you will spend most of your time
- Dont rush into renting somewhere. It make sometime to find a second choice so make a decision when you are sure.
- Visit the area in the morning and the evening too, places change depending on the time of day.
Other Useful Posts:
- Learning Spanish How to become a fluent speaker
- Moving to Granada city Spain. The Most Frequently Asked Questions