7 Reasons I Love My City (and 3 Why It Sucks): Granada

Granada, Molly's City

Granada, Molly’s city


Thinking about moving to Southern Spain? International movers will make your transition smoother.


By Molly Sears-Piccavey

After living in Barcelona for over 8 years, I moved south to the city of the magnificent Alhambra palace. Initially I was concerned about leaving the big city, where I´d adjusted easily to the cosmopolitan life. Moving down to traditional Andalusia was going to shake things up and challenge me. I have been in Granada for over six years now. I have adjusted well to the new setting and I actually love the city of Granada as much those who were born here. I certainly haven´t regretted the move from Barcelona to Granada.

The Upside:

1.FOOD – Eating out can be amazingly cheap with free tapas offered in many places. Breakfast out costs just less than two euros at the moment. For that you great a frothy café con leche and a piece of toasted baguette with butter and jam, or like the locals with tomato and drizzled olive oil.

2.WALK – I love that I can walk everywhere.

3.TIME – Distances between things are short. In Barcelona or Madrid as it takes at least 45 minutes to get anywhere. The day just flies by. Here in just 10 minutes you can get practically anywhere in the city. This way you can fit a lot of different activities into one day. It seems that time stretches further here.

3. WEATHER -The climate is great. In winter it is really cold. That crisp, fresh Alpine style cold. In summer it’s baking hot but not at all sticky or humid. If you keep in the shade, it is bearable. We have a proper summer and a proper winter.

5.MONEY – The cost of rent and house prices here are good value when comparing with other towns and cities in Spain. For example 170,000 euros could buy you a new basic three bedroom home with shared community swimming pool and individual garage. Rent here is around 600 euros for three bedroom apartment in the city centre.

6.WEEKENDS, WEEKDAYS -Every day feels like the weekend. People are out at night in the week, not just at weekends. I find it really easy to mix with the locals and get on. People are generally friendly and welcoming.

7. SWIM AND SKI -A well-known fact is that you can actually ski and sunbathe on the beach on the same day. The ski resort is about a 40-minute drive from the city and the beach is a similar distance away at Motril or Salobreña. Of course, I would only recommend doing this at the end of April or in May.

Molly Sears-Piccavey

Molly Sears-Piccavey

The downside:

1. AIRPORT- Limited amount of flight destinations. The local airport hardly has any international flights. National flights to Barcelona or Madrid are available, although both have few flight times to choose from. Most people travel 90 minutes by car or bus to nearby Málaga to catch a flight.

2. JOBS- Career opportunities: If you are running you own business, freelance or online-based, then you’ll do OK. Work is pretty limited. If you want to find work here a good level of business Spanish is obligatory. Currently around one in four people are unemployed in Granada province.

3.FAMILY-TIES -A problem here is enchufismo. This is where families stick together and give jobs to other family members, (cousins, brother-in-law, uncle, etc) and don’t let anyone else in. This mindset can be a particular challenge when doing business, (not only for foreigners, Spaniards from other areas can experience this, too).

Molly was born in Nottingham, UK but has lived in Spain since 1998, initially in Barcelona but now in Granada, Andalusia. Molly works in Communication, PR and Institutional Relations and in her spare time reads, tweets, listens to podcasts and blogs. There´s not enough time in the day! Molly speaks fluent Spanish and English along with some French and Catalan.http://piccavey.com/

14 Responses

  1. robin says:

    I was horrified at first to see that my favourite city in the world had as many as three downsides, but relieved to see that they don’t actually relate to the city itself. A wonderful, wonderful place.

  2. admin says:

    haha…very few! I’d love to get back to Granada soon.

  3. Tomás says:

    Hi Molly!

    I am absolutely agree with you in each of your points, but I would include traffic as another point of the “downside”. In the “upside” a huge number of things (the soul, the natural and fresh air from Sierra Nevada, the history, etc).

  4. Mike says:

    Having studied in Granada for a semester and applied for teaching in Spain for next year,
    I was curious when I saw the title to out the 3 downsides to my beloved Granada. Seeing as though there is nothing about the city itself I’m not offended. Right after I left Granada I heard that RyanAir pulled out. I remember taking a direct flight with them from Granada to London, which was great. I loved the fact though that I could walk everywhere!! I loathe my car to this day. I’ve tried biking, which I do like but I still much prefer walking, mostly due to my time in Granada.

  5. admin says:

    RyanAir is not a huge loss. The company is pretty hit or miss. We also love Granada.

  6. William says:

    I love Granada and have made 56 trips to Spain in my life. I will be there this summer with my wife looking for a place to retire! Speak fluent Spanish.

  7. admin says:

    56 is quite a bit! I think it’s time you move to Spain.

  8. Siobhan Barter says:

    Hi Molly, are you still there? We are a UK family of 3, currently living in Brisbane, Australia, but contemplating a year in Granada from January 2017. Would love to meet you when we arrive and get a bit of a low down from you. Have work prospects improved? We are both in Communications – my husband is in Corporate and I am a specialist in Annual Reports and corporate reporting and editing. Very excited….

  9. The Spain Scoop says:

    You might try getting in touch with Molly via Twitter or through her personal blog. This was a one-time article she wrote for The Spain Scoop.

  10. Malasha Baldwin says:

    I live in the US. I was just in Granada on tour. I LOVE IT!! I’m making plans to move there!

  11. The Spain Scoop says:

    Granada is one of our favorites!

  12. Mary M Dunn says:

    I really liked her assessment. I am retired artist living between Berlin and Canary Islands for a couple of years. I think to move to Granada but have only visited.
    All the Canaries are different, but it seems had to be a single person or to live without car or own place. Rentals based on tourists, and I don’t really fit that.

  13. Fay says:

    I have stayed in Granada three times for one month periods over the last five years . I am smitten and can’t think of another place where I’d like to live in…. and I come from beautiful Malta … my spanish is quite good . I am a teacher on English and a translator . I hope to move to Granada one day …until tnen I am trying to win the lottery !!!

  14. Farida says:

    I have never been to Granada .I’ve been to Barcelona. I always love Spain, even learning the language . But Granada struck me as where I want to …..well, was going to buy a property but its law different from Australia. Granada has Mountain surrounding and close to Snow. Then I discovered Mount Beauty in Victoria, Australia, Looks and feels like Granada. Nevertheless , Granada will be my holiday destination every year. Just like that!

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