This is not a shop but a street and district in Granada. The first indication that you are about to experience something special is with the overhead sign proclaiming, "Alcaiceria." The street begins at the Plaza Alonso Cano. The translation of the name is the House of Caesar. The area got its name from the fact that hundreds of years ago this was an area where the Moors could sell silk. The area was a great market for hundreds of years but was largely destroyed by a major fire in 1843. It took years for the area to return.
Today it is an area of bright contrasting colors selling a variety of t-shirts, rugs, wall hangings, scarves, dresses and maybe just a few items made out of silk. Because of the narrowness of the streets and some Islamic remnant architecture the area takes on a special flare. While we looked around we found nothing special to buy but were stunned to find that even fireworks and guns were for sale in some of the booths.
What to buy: Some of the wall hangings and rugs are quite interesting.
This patisserie is on the ground floor of the hotel we stayed. They offer a great variety of cakes. Piononos and Felipes are the specialties of the house. In fact, the patisserie was created by Ceferino Isla, the patissier who created the famous pastry called Pionono.
There is also a great variety of ice creams.
There are three more branches in Granada and two in Santa Fe.
Along the entire length of one side of the cathedral (not the entrance where the gypsy "fortune tellers" are) can be found stalls selling tea and spices in open baskets. To find this part of the tourist area was a pleasant surprise, it was not mentioned in my guidebook. There you will find dozens of fascinating, colourful choices that give off a heady mix of scents that could almost be confusing to the ordinary shopper. The sellers are nice here -- they do not harrass the buyers, so you don't feel intimdated even if you just look around without planning to buy, and they allow samples for smelling.
There are various exotic teas, but the best one for me was the Granada mix. They are sold at 100 gr minimum, for something around 4 euros.
I was trying to figure out why tea should be a preferred drink here as Spain is generally a coffee-drinking country, and I think it's got something to do with their Moorish tradition still evident in small ways here.
If you want to buy your tickets online (there is a RESTRICTED number of visitors allowed each day) you can do it at http://www.servicaixa.com/nav/landings/en/mucho_mas/alhambra/alhambra.html?loce=en-home-top-LAALHAMBRADEGRA
Here you pay with a card and you can withdraw the tickets at the Alhambra tickets office or at any ATM of "la Caixa" bank.
There are several tickets: general, night visit, palaces guided tours...
Only 5 tickets per person can be bought.
Price of the simple entrance: 13 €
What to buy: You can aldo buy the tickets at the main ticket office (see pic), from 8:00, for 12€. But they might be sold out if it's high season...
We did not have a great deal of free time to wander around in Granada, but we did enjoy our little stroll through the Albaicin district after we had finished with the Alhambra. The narrow street along the River Darro was fronted by old buildings housing various narrow shops running back from the street. This made for some quite interesting browsing, such as this one selling North African artifacts of all descriptions. We wandered through it checking out quite a collection of different things to buy and nobody pestered us or put a hard-sell on.
Our hostal was located not far away, on the other side of the river, and I noticed the same type of shops were located there when arrived in Granada (2nd photo). Every morning the owners would spread their wares out on the sidewalk and always, across the street, was a male member or two of the family leaning against a wall chatting or smoking while watching to make sure a street passerby did not just grab something for free!
What to buy: Too much variety to even begin!
Often when I've visited foreign countries, I've come back with souvenirs- ornaments,etc, which are gathering dust on my shelves!
I've recently decided to go for more practical reminders of my holiday- so usually food items or music on CD etc. which I can use, and are reminders of my trip
I love cooking, so - I'm usually on the lookout for authentic pots n pans, gadgets etc, So this shop was a great find.
Crammed full of various kitchen ware- all practical stuff, such as paella dishes, oil cans, casserole dishes, even a contraption to hold a full ham for carving!
I'm not sure if I'm right, but I guess Ferreteria means ironmongers! There was a selection of tools, screws, nails, paint etc for sale too.
What to buy: Oil cans start at about 3 euros!
Enamelled Casserole dishes/ Paella dishes.
kitchen gadgets and tools
What to pay: From 1 euro upwards!
Whenever I travel, I like to listen to local music whether live or recorded, and try to buy at least 1 CD to remind me of the place I've visited.
I found this shop, that had a wide selection of Cd's of Flamenco, classical and modern Spanish recordings, as well as popular European and American Artistes.
The shop owner was very friendly and helpful. He doesn't speak fluent english, but on both times I've visited this shop, We've managed to communicate ok.
*Update* On my second visit, I was hoping to get tickets to see Bruce Springsteen play at the Bull ring, I'd remembered this shop had quite a lot of Bruce stuff- cds, posters etc, so this was my 1st stop to try to get a ticket- he advised me to try El Corte Ingles, which wasn't successful, but he said I'd get a ticket ok. I did!!
I was racking my brains to find a present for my parents, and as they like Opera, and I was in Spain- a CD of Carmen was a good choice- again, the owner was very helpful in advising me of the best recording - it was a bit more expensive than the one I'd originally picked, but he assured me that his choice was superior, and was his favourite. My parents were very pleased with it!
Closes around 1300 reopens 1700 - 2100 I think!
What to buy: Although I had a list of Cd's I would have liked to buy, I was limited to a budget, so I ended up just buying 1 compilation CD of Flamenco, which contained recordings in a variety of styles, and included some of the well known Flamenco singers and musicians.
I also bought a CD of Carmen on my 2nd visit, which the owner helped me chose - My Spanish is virtually non-existant, the owners English is quite limited, but he is very helpful.
You can also buy tickets for Flamenco shows in Sacromente here.
Good stock of popular music, Flamenco, Classical music, Folk music etc
What to pay: The Cds I saw were priced around 15 euros
Spice at this shop is all sold in bulk, not in those little bottles. When I walked past this outdoor spice stall near the Granada Cathedral, I was in heaven. The aroma from the spices was intoxicating. I didn't want to leave.
At Plaza Bib-Rambla there is a few flowerstands called "floristeria". You can buy flowers, plants and bouquets of many kinds.
What to buy: Flowers, plants, bouquets.
What to pay: I guess the price depends quiete a lot of what you purchase.
Equally appealing as the Old Moorish silk market shopping area of Alcaiceria is the street where we started our tour of the Old Arab Quarter (Albayzin), Calle Calderia Nueva which is like what you'd expect a market in Morocco to look like. Unfortunately, both times I visited I was too early to stop at any of the tea shops but we were able to poke around in the many shops lining this street and buy a few trinkets to take home with us.
In the narrow streets of the old Moorish silk market, you might imagine that you've stepped into an exotic land, here you will find all of the trinkets and souvenirs you might expect to find if you were visiting a market in Marrekesh or the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
You should be able to spot this area if you head to Plaza Bib-Rambla and head for the north end of the Plaza.
The Buying Team at Corte Ingles' handbag department deserve a huge round of applause. Each season they manage to offer an outstanding selection of creative, unique, quality bags, in all price ranges from some well-known and some lesser known designers, mainly from Spain and Italy.
Look out for Renato Angi, Lamarthe, Lupo (of course!), Fun & Basics, Marvia..................
Sorry, I'm a handbag addict, what can I say! I'd not encountered this Spanish designer before and now I'm glad I have. Quality bags, leather, some canvass, some from different materials! wonderful shapes, sizes, ingenious............
Also some beautifully designer leather accessory drawers, lamp bases, portfolios.................. reasonably priced for good quality.
This small shop looks as if the bags are going to be sporting ridiculous price tags but go in and be pleasantly surprised :-) . Everything is 20 euros! There are some great designs, nice materials and a number of other accessories too. Totes, backpacks, clutches.......lots to choose from at prices its hard to ignore.
one evening we wandered through the souk in the Albaicin district, small shops, stalls and tea shops all packed together in the narrow winding streets, we liked the fact that there was no pressure to buy and we could browse as much as we liked, we bought a carved wooden ring for our grandson, only 2 euros, and a box of joss sticks the smell of which was everywhere we walked.
We didnt stop for a glass of tea and a puff of the hubbly bubbly pipes, but we wished we had bought a pack of the tea which is for sale everywhere - there were so many different blends to choose from