Andalucia, Spain travel tips, including Algeciras, Cordoba, Granada, and Seville

Where we ate:

In Adualucia, we ate most of our meals standing at a bar. After we were spoiled with free tapa in Granada, we proceeded to drink too much on empty stomachs in Cordoba nd Seville, waiting for free tapas which rarely materialized. Lesson learned: each town has different rules and each bar/restaurant does, too.

  • Meson Guijue, Algeciras – Ordinary jamon mortadillos, but they were heavenly to us: YEH
  • ermita Restaurant, Granada – Their menu del dia was the cheapest option in an expensive square. Not worth searching out: MEH
  • Puerta de los Tristes, Granada – A lovely place to sip tinto de veranos all afternoon with a view of the Alhambra until its time to stay there for dinner: YEH
  • Bodega Taurino, Granada – Tasty menu del dia and fantastically kitsch decor: YEH
  • Bodegas Castañeda, Granada – Our first free tapa, sardines on toast: YEH
  • Las Columnas a.k.a. Bodega Santa Cruz, Granada – Squeeze up to the bar to order a tasty fried tapa, then go elsewhere for dinner. The most popular and (in our opinion) the best of the Santa Cruz neighborhood tapas bars. Get their flamenquin – pork stuffed with cheese and jamon, that’s then deep fried – then leave before the rowdy crowd gets messily drunk: YEH
  • La Nueva Bodega, Granada – Generously portioned, free seafood tapa with our wine! Delicious clams: YEH!
  • Riviera, Granada – This bar is super hip and your beer comes with a hot bocadillo. The bartenders are also super-human: YEH!
  • Bar Mezquita, Cordoba – Unimpressive cafeteria who weirdly made us write down our order instead of nicely letting us practice our Spanish, but there are few places to eat in this town when all of Spain is on vacation. They did really know how to fry an egg.: MEH
  • Bar Las Columnas, Seville – The menu is made for drunk people and everything seems to come with tuna. Who can complain when it’s this cheap: MEH
  • Bar Europa, Seville – OMG, the ajoblanco con ojama! OMG, the “quesadilla” gratinada: YEH!!
  • Duplex, Seville – Hip place filled with locals, but the food is sloppily put together: MEH
  • El Rinconcillo, Seville – Old and charming place with a smoking section packed with regulars. The staff is friendly and appreciates fine art: YEH
  • Cerveceria Macarena, Seville – We were really wandering far to find food when all of Spain had left the cities for the beach, so it’s not likely you’ll make it here. If you do, they have incredibly fresh seafood and the crowd spills out (with their drinks) into the adjacent plaza: YEH
  • Campana, Seville – Delicious pastries: YEH
  • Alameda de Hércules, Seville – In summer, this is the heart of the ghost town: MEH

Where we stayed:

  • Hostal Nuestra Señora de la Palma, Algeciras – Decent price, pleasant place: YEH
  • Hostal Nevada, Granada – Okay location, blessed air conditioning: YEH
  • Oasis Backpacker’s Hostel, Seville – Gave away our reserved room and lied about it to our face: NAH!
  • Hostal Pinà, Seville – A good deal right in the center of town: YEH
  • Pension Alcazar, Seville -These cheapos gave us a hard time and only a partial refund when we canceled a reservation days in advance: NAH

What we saw:

  • Alhambra, Granada – A beautiful place from one side to another. Have we mentioned that you should get your tickets way in advance?: YEH!
  • Old Town, Granada – You just wander around the narrow streets, checking out the whitewashed buildings that are utterly covered in tagging and stencils. We thought it was hella interesting, but wonder what Ma and Pa Tourist think of all the graffiti: YEH
  • Mezquita, Cordoba – Rows of striped stone columns in a tremendous building, impressive even with all the construction. Plus, you can pick up free WiFi from a fancy hotel across the street on the steps just outside the site: YEH
  • Alcazar, Seville – Enjoy the splendor of the palace, then chase peacocks in the garden: YEH
  • Catedral de Sevilla, Seville – Very impressive architecture and even more impressive art. YEH
  • Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes, Seville – Our Let’s Go guidebook completely undersold this museum. It was a stunning building filled with gobs of fantastic and unfamiliar art. Oh, and it was mysteriously free on our visit:YEH!