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GRANADA

Granada is a mid-sized city located in Granada Province in the Andalucia region of Spain. Rich in history and culture, Granada is a very worthwhile city in Spain for a tourist.

Oriented around the intersection of Gran Via de Colon and Calle Reyes Catolicos, central Granada is the historic center and bustling heart of the city, with its many shops, restaurants, bars and attractions situated along narrow cobblestone and brick alleys or on the edge of one of the many serene plazas in the area. Walking through you're sure to take in the sights, smells and sounds of superb architecture, good food, and pleasant conversations among residents.

Part fortress (the Alcazaba), part palace (Palacios Nazaries), part garden (the Generalife) and part government city (the Medina), the Alhambra overlooking Granada is one of the top attractions in Spain, with many visitors coming to Granada expressly to see the Alhambra. The last Moorish stronghold in Europe, the Alhambra reflects the splendor of Moorish civilization in Andalusia and offers the visitor splendid ornamental architecture, spectacular and lush gardens, cascading and dripping water features, and breathtaking views of the city. There are four primary attractions: the Alcazaba, the Palace of Charles V, the Palacios Nazaries and the Generalife.

The lush and gorgeous gardens of the Nasrid kings, the expansive Generalife is the finest set of Moorish style gardens in Andalusia, positioned on a hill situated at the rear of the complex overlooking the Alhambra palace. Within you'll find beds of colorful flowers, more exquisite architecture, leaping fountains and cool shade.

The area surrounding Puerta Real serves as the city's main shopping district. El Corte Inglés, Spain's department store chain, has a large store between Calle Acera del Darro and Calle Carrera de la Virgen just south of Puerta Real, while Calle Mesones and the adjacent pedestrian streets between Puerta Real and the Cathedral are home to a large number of fancy clothing and gift stores. If you're looking for postcards or other tourist wares, the Alcaiceria south of the Cathedral (see above under See) is chock full of souvenir shops, although you can also find plenty of souvenir shops along Cuesta de Gomerez on the way up to the Alhambra from Plaza Nueva.

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