Time to Go Home!

Melanie Brown Arcadia in Granada, Spain


May 22, 2018

As the semester comes to an end, I’m feeling very conflicted. I’m really going to miss Granada and it’s beauty. I’m going to miss speaking Spanish and traveling. I think a little more than that, though, I’m excited to go home. For someone who travels so much and has traveled so much recently, I remain quite attached to my family and friends in Louisville. Not to mention, I have an AWESOME summer planned. In this final blog, I want to talk about some of my favorite places in Granada or Andalusia as a sort of list/diary entry but also for future reference of anyone who reads this!


  • Cafe Alhambra Palace- A slightly pricey (I only ever bought tea) cafe in a luxury hotel with an AMAZING view of the city and the Sierra Nevada. It’s open to the public and has better hours than most cafes in Granada.
  • La Qarmita- A book exchange cafe with a calm, hipster vibe. The coffee, vegan brownies, and tostadas are amazing! Definitely not touristy; I got weird looks if I spoke English there!
  • D’Kañas- A nice little tapas bar far off the tourist track. Great prices and huge vegan tapas options! I don’t recommend going during busy times because the service can get exceptionally slow, but otherwise, it’s a great environment with awesome cheap food.
  • Planta Baja- A really cool underground venue that hosts multiples types of rock shows. It has lots of events with free entry and is a regular haunt with Spaniards.
  • Mae West- Okay definitely touristy, but an all-around awesome club. You know those clubs you see in movies with the huge crowds, smoke, confetti cannons, and gorgeous partygoers? Well, this is the Spanish version of that! It even has class-like salsa nights and the occasional quirk like people walking around in mascot costumes, a performing Captain Morgan, and GoGo dancers. The fact that tourists go there only makes it better, to me. One night, I met people from Korea, Haiti, Spain, the US, Portugal, and Ecuador!
  • Chupiteria 69- Okay, so this is STRICTLY for students. This is a very, very affordable bar full of international students with a really fun ambiance. It’s an institution in Granada, and you can’t study there without giving it a visit, that is if you drink.
  • Mirador de las Carvajales- A must, less touristy, chill lookout that locals regularly go to. The most popular and very touristy one is called Mirador San Nicolas. Don’t get me wrong, that one is great! It’s just consistently crowded with vendors trying to sell you stuff left and right.  I would say Carvajales is definitely better to go to at night or in the evening when the Alhambra is lit up because it’s so close and quaint.
  • El Huerto de Carlos- Also known as “Plaza Jipi,” this is a really cool lookout and chill little plaza. There are locals and “hippies” there all hours of the day and nights usually playing music, performing cool tricks on slacklines, and playing with dogs. Of course, I went there to scope out the dogs.
  • Gran Cafe Bib Rambla vs Cafe Futbol- Okay, so this is a big debate in Granada. Who has better churros, Cafe Bib Rambla or Cafe Futbol? After much research and thorough...um...investigation, I’ve decided that Cafe Bib Rambla’s churros con chocolate are far superior. Frankly, I think that everyone here knows it. No competition at all. That being said, Cafe Futbol excels in other areas. Their Leche Rizada (basically the milkshake version of arroz con leche) is absolutely fantastic and their ice cream is delicious.
  • Parque Tico Medina- All in all, the most grass you will get in Spain. This is a relatively nice part with more fields than I’ve ever seen in Spain. Not to mention it had adorable workout machines and a very popular dog park. You can probably tell that I sought the places with the most dogs in the city.


First of all, Nerja is a gorgeous, mountainous beach town on Spain’s tropical coast. This is one of the more touristy destinations on the coast, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful.

  • El Chiringuito Ayo- Also known as “Casa ayo,” this restaurants offers all you can eat seafood and chicken paella for 9 euro. AMAZING. The paella comes from insanely huge pans and with a chunk of lemon for each serving. It’s one of the most famous parts of Nerja and for good reason.
  • Buddha Bar- This bar attracts tourist and locals with its amazing mojitos and a drop dead gorgeous view of the sunset and mountains.
  • Playa Burriana- This is the most popular beach in Nerja, so if you’re looking for amenities like beach bars, kayaks, and umbrellas go there. Right do the side of it tucked away is my preferred beach. It’s super small, and I’m not exactly sure of the name, but it’s a much more tranquil little hidden gem. It even has a fun little hideaway that you can get to by climbing or hiking! Both of these options are topless friendly, too!

Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park

This park is a much less touristy, virgen beach. Clothing optional and much more secluded outside of a small town called San Jose, this is what you should think of when you think of Spaniards going to the beach.

  • Playa de los Genoveses- Unfortunately this was the only beach that I got to explore in this gorgeous natural park, but it didn’t disappoint. With much softer sand than Nerja, and shallow water that lets you walking about a quarter mile out into the ocean before any major drop off, it’s definitely a unique experience. The water here is much warmer than Nerja, and it’s so clear that you can see tiny fish and the occasional crab around your feet.

All in all, I will forever be grateful for what I’ve gained here in Granada. Whether it be the awesome experiences at the places above, my immensely better Spanish, internship or the intercultural exchanged that I’ve had. I’m so excited for the next chapter of college—senior year!