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If you would like to experience living in a part of Spain that is quite inexpensive, then I would suggest heading to the university city of Granada. It is located in Spain’s south-east. I’ll admit, I was surprised with the cost of living when I went there. If you want to live quite inexpensively and also experience some of the Spanish culture, then this is one city you can consider basing yourself in.
The city is prided on Alhambra. If you go to the centre of town, you will see it and you can walk up the hill amongst the nature to really get a closer glimpse of what it has to offer. If you do want to go inside, you will need to purchase tickets in advance. The landmark gets very busy with tourists.
Depending on who you purchase the ticket from, it will cost you anywhere from 18-25 Euros for a pass.
Albacin (Mirador de San Nicolas)
It offers the most scenic spot for looking at Alhambra. With the mountains in the background, it is an incredible wonder to visit.
Paseo de las triste
This is located en route to Alhambra, so you will see traditional architecture and roadways that lead into the heart of Granada.
Cue ras Sacromonte (Flamenco en directo)
Flamenco is a big part of the culture in Southern Spain. Tickets will cost you around 20 Euros to see a performance. If you want the authentic Spanish experience, treat yourself to a flamenco show.
If you are in the mood for some dancing and partying, then Booga club is the place to go and enjoy yourself.
This is just opposite Alhambra and is honestly one of the most beautiful places in the city. Go for a stroll around there and marvel at the unique architecture and street performers in the area.
I stayed in a much cheaper place in the city. It was actually the cheapest place that I found on Airbnb. I rented a room for $16AUD a night. There were pros and cons to the accommodation. However, some of the massive pros were:
- It was in a secure building.
- I had a secure lock on my door.
- It had a hot shower.
- There were cooking facilities.
- I had internet access.
I stayed there for 7 days, but I could have easily stayed there for a month if I wanted to, since the accommodation would have cost me around $500 for the month.
You can use Agoda to look for affordable accommodation deals.
There are several supermarkets in town. I would go to AlCampo, which is a large supermarket that has pretty much everything. You can buy things in bulk, so you get a discount on your items.
The food that is common in town is tapas and bocadillos (sandwiches). You can easily make your own sandwiches by purchasing bread (or baguettes) from the supermarket (supermercado) for 40-80 cents. Then I would purchase a packet of yogurt for 2 Euros, Camembert cheese, turkey salami for 2 euros for another 2 Euros and a bottle of water for 30 cents. The sandwiches would keep me going for about two days or so.
I would also eat out. The culture of the city is that tapas are provided for free when you purchase a drink. So you can easily eat out for a few Euros and have a decent meal with a drink.
To give you an idea, I went out for tapas for lunch and I got some nachos, a mini burger and a small quesadilla. I bought 1 drink that came with 1 tapas. I paid 1.50 Euros for the other two tapas. The bill came to 5 Euros and 20 cents. I know that if I ate out in Australia, I would never have received 3 dishes for less than $10. And I had an alcoholic drink. And I felt full.
Also, I’d often go to the cafe and order a coffee with milk (cafe con leche), which would usually cost me about 1.50 Euros. For relaxing in a cafe and using the internet to browse and do my errands, I felt like it was worthwhile.
If you decide to travel within the city, it is actually easy to get around by foot. I was staying outside of the main area, but it was a 20-minute walk from where I was staying. There are trams and buses that you can catch, but to be honest, unless you decide to travel outside of the city, you will be ok commuting by foot.
To get to Granada, I took the bus. I managed to catch a bus from Malaga to Granada for approximately 12 Euros. I did book the ticket at the station, however you can also book your ticket through the ALSA website.
You can also get to Granada by train. I chose to leave Granada by train to Ronda, which is a city in the West of Spain. The ticket cost me just under 21 Euros. You can use the RENFE website to purchase tickets in advance.
Cost of living in Granada.
I think it is achievable to stay in Granada for less than $50AUD a day. However, I would be prepared to spend more on accommodation and have a nicer place to sleep. That being said, I was able to practice my Spanish alot with my host and I did improve my spoken Spanish whilst I stayed with her and her roommates, since they didn’t speak English.
Additionally, I think it is even more achievable to live comfortably in Granada if you travel as a pair. You can either rent a room, which is most likely to halve your cost. Or you can opt to rent an entire place, which is likely to cost you both the same (or slightly more) than if you were travelling solo.
Below, I have also shared a video that highlights my stay in Granada.
I hope that you enjoyed this article. If you have travelled to Granada before, please share your experience in the comments below.
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