At the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, between the rivers Darro and Genil, lies one of the most interesting cities in Eastern Andalusia.
As well as its impressive Al-Andalus heritage, there are Renaissance architectural gems and the most modern facilities, fit for the 21st century. Granada has an unmistakable Moorish essence, due to the fact that it was the last city to be reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492.
The gastronomy, craftwork and urban planning are influenced by its glorious past. Fountains, viewpoints and “Cármenes”, houses surrounded by typical gardens of this city, create unforgettable corners in the city.
It is no surprise that one of its old neighbourhoods, the Albaicín, has been awarded the World Heritage designation, together with the Alhambra and Generalife. It was an important cultural centre for many centuries, under the Moors and the Christians too, and nowadays it boasts a broad cultural and leisure programme.
Film, music or theatre festivals are complemented with permanent or travelling exhibitions on all fields of knowledge. Old Renaissance palaces hold seminars, conferences and discussions, while the most innovative infrastructures are prepared for great events.
Granada has a vast network of accommodation, including historic buildings, such as the old convent of Santa Paula (AC Hotel) and the convent of San Francisco (Parador de Turismo located inside the Alhambra), “cármenes” (traditional villas with gardens) in the Albaicín, and cave houses in Sacromonte.Because of its great communications, its marvellous climate, its beaches, and its snowy mountains, Granada is a unique destination for cultural, adventure and business travel.
Art and culture play a key role in Madrid’s cultural life. The capital has over 60 museums which cover every field of human knowledge. Highlights include the Prado Museum, one of the world’s most important art galleries; the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, with over 800 paintings ranging from primitive Flemish artists through to the avant-garde movements.
The Reina Sofía National Art Centre, dedicated to contemporary Spanish art and containing works by Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Juan Gris, among others.
Madrid’s extensive and beautifully maintained parks and gardens –like the Retiro park, formerly the recreational estate to the Spanish monarchs, the Casa de Campo and the Juan Carlos I park– offer inhabitants and visitors the chance to enjoy the sunshine, stroll, row on its lakes or feed the squirrels, in one of the greenest capitals in Europe.
The importance of its international airport, which every week receives over 1,000 flights from all over the world, its two Conference Centres, the modern trade fair ground in the Campo de las Naciones, and over 80,000 places in other meeting centres make Madrid one of Europe’s most attractive business hubs.
But if there’s one thing that sets Madrid apart, it must be its deep and infectious passion for life that finds its outlet in the friendly and open character of its inhabitants.
Concerts, exhibitions, ballets, a select theatrical offering, the latest film releases, the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of the best Spanish and international gastronomy, to savour the charms of its bars and taverns… all these are just a few of the leisure options on offer in Madrid.
There is also a tempting array of shops and businesses featuring both traditional establishments and leading stores offering top brands and international labels.
Madrid’s lively nightlife is another key attraction of Spain’s capital, due to its variety and the exciting atmosphere to be found in its bars, pubs, clubs and flamenco halls.
Other daytime entertainment options include traditional outdoor dances, popular festivities and the San Isidro bullfighting festival, regarded as being the most important in the world.
The city of Granada; hosts a new edition of the Tango Festival, dedicated to this style of dance which is widely practised all over the world.
There has been an explosion of tango enthusiasts and professional dancers in recent years, going to show that tango is, essentially, a manifestation of contemporary urban culture. This event aims to fill the whole city with rhythm and passion, with over fifty artists and some fifteen shows, as well as parallel activities that go from dance classes and night time parties, through to street performances and meetings between artists and enthusiasts.