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The Albaicin Quarter: Granada's Open Air Museum
No trip to Granada is complete without wandering the narrow streets of the Albaicin neighborhood. The courtyards, baths, parks, churches and views of the Alhambra are a collective and colorful open air museum of patterns. This part of town feels like walking into a different world and you immediately see the Moorish, Arab, Christian and Muslim footprints in all the little details of the buildings and walkways. The Albaicin was declared a World Heritage site in 1984 alongside the famous Alhambra just a mile away (best viewed from the courtyard next to the church of San Nicolas). While you're exploring, you may want to visit the archeological museum, the church of San Salvador, and the Arab bath complex; but honestly, I'd encourage you to just head up there and wander the streets with no real agenda. Every turn will surprise you and have you even more so, in love with Granada.
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El Nino de Las Pinturas
It seems like just about everywhere you wander in Granada, Spain—from bustling plazas to the winding alleyways of the Albaicin—you come across murals by local legend, El Nino de Las Pinturas. Most are social commentaries depicting people in highly saturated colors, such as this mural asking "Quien juega con nuestras hijos?" or "Who's playing with our kids?"
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Teterias of the Albaicin
When in Granada I highly recommend visiting one of the Moroccan tea houses in the Albaicin. I have visited many but have two favorites that I return to repeatedly. “ La Teteria del Banuelo” is situated away from a main road and is a bit of a haven when you want to get out of the heat and away from cars and sidewalks full of people. It is decorated in soft earth tones with beautiful antique plates from North Africa, a fountain, and singing birds. My other favorite is a bit more of a walk but I think this makes the tea taste even better and I always feel welcomed when I walk in the door. This Teteria is on the corner of Cuesta del Chapiz and Camino del Sacromante. This tea house is like entering a beautiful desert tent, the walls are draped in panels of rich colored fabric, the celling is painted a colorful elaborate pattern, and the owner always makes you feel welcome. Besides Tea there is also great food to be had in the tea houses from Almond and Date desserts to Lamb Tahini and cucumber pepper salads.
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