The first stop should always be the tourist office, where you
can get free maps as well as information on the sights,
exhibits and cultural events. Granada's most centrally located
office is run by the Junta de Andalucia (regional goverment) and
is just off Plaza Nueva in Calle Santa Ana. This covers mainly
the city of Granada. There are also offices run by the city
goverment (further outside the center) and the Diputación de
Granada (Granada province and city). All have good web sites which
I have listed below.
Tourist Office (Granada City)
Calle Santa Ana, 4 (Plaza de Santa Ana)
Tel: (34) 958 228 157
Tourist Office (Granada City and Province)
Plaza Mariana Pineda, 10
Tel: (34) 958 247 128
Tourist Office (City, run by city Goverment)
Calle Virgen Blanca 9
Tel: (34) 902 405 045
Making phone calls to the U.S. is best using a telephone
card purchased in a estanco (Tobacco Shop) or kiosco.
Most used to offer a toll-free number (900 numbers are toll-free
here), where you could choose your
language, enter a pin number and the number you are calling.
These cards had the best rates from Spain
to the U.S. or other countries. Then the phone companies came along and changed the law so there would be no more toll-free numbers for these calling cards, this making it more expensive to call for consumers, and let the phone companies compete with their hgiher rates.
Be sure to check the
expiration date for the cards - they often have a 30 day
limit once you make your first call, so be sure you'll use
all of your minutes before the card expires. One phone card
I've seen come highly recommended is the Eurodirect phone card. It offers calls to the US, Australia and other
countries for 3.7 cents per minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week. There are no connection fees, which makes this hands
down the best card you can use when calling overseas. You
can find it at a number of newsstands and internet cafes
in Sevilla. If you wish you can also bypass the operators
and call an AT&T, MCI or Sprint operator.
This option is best if you have a calling card from any
of these companies, but expect those rates to be higher
than what you will find with a locally purchased card. Finally,
using coins at a telephone booth or calling direct from
a hotel room will always be the most expensive options.
A few notes about calling: Be wary of special calling cards
not from the main long-distance companies which claim you
can use them from anywhere in the world. One card a relative
of mine bought in Costco or Sam's advertised it could be
used all over the world, but when they got here they could
never get through to an operator and never were able to
use the card. Also keep in mind that local calls in Spain
(and most of Europe) are not free unless the owner of the line has contracted a plan. Finally, over the last few years, phone companies have offered affordable flat rate plans for local and national calls. For landline to mobile calls: calling a mobile
phone from a fixed line or pay phone will be much more expensive.
For example, a call from a pay phone to a mobile phone may be about of 0,60€., while the same call to a fixed
(home) line is only 0,20€, or free if you have a flat rate plan like I mentioned above.
The mail system is much improved since I lived in Spain in the easrly 1990's, but I still expect delays when receiving a package
from the U.S. or the U. K.. Airmail packages tend to take
anywhere from 7-21 days. Recently I have received my packages in 2-3
months, but I did lose two I sent to the U.S. as well as
one I sent to Seville some years ago. At times I have received
a letter in 5 days, while another letter sent from the same
location at the same time arrived 2 weeks later. As well,
at least once a month my weekly magazine fails to arrive
during a given week but generally turns up the following
week. When receiving packages
by U.S. Airmail be prepared to pay a nominal handling fee
when you go to pick it up at your nearest Post Office branch (Correos). Smaller packages
may arrive directly to your house while larger ones will
always require pick up. Bring an ID to prove who you are. Services such as UPS or DHL will
deliver the package to your door, although expect those
shipping fees to be much higher and expect to pay a duty
on some shipments
The main post office (Correos) is in the center of the city (Puerta Real 2). There are post office boxes, a fax service, and more. Note you can always purchase
stamps for letters and post cards at the local tobacco shop,
When shipping something urgent from Spain to the U.S. or
another country I recommend using UPS, if only from my brief
experiences in mailing documents. My last mailing cost about
32 Euros to get one set of documents to the U.S. in two
days. I shipped this using the local Mailboxes, Etc. In Granada there is an office
on Calle Verónica De La Virgen 1 (www.mbe.com). All of the tracking information
was sent to my email address where I received updates on
the shipment including final delivery. It arrived on time
(48 hours) and I was fairly pleased with the service. I
have heard Fedex is not recommended to use because they
contract out their services to another company in Spain.
This may be the case, but I have never used Fedex so cannot
speak from experience. The Spanish mail system, Correos,
also offers a rapid delivery service, but I just don't trust
them yet to get it there as quickly as UPS.
Getting your laundry done while on the road can be a pain.
I am working on a list of laundry services and locations in the city center. Should you have any experience or would want to recommend something for other travelers, please send me an email!
The three major Spanish newspapers here are El
País, ABC and El Mundo.
One note and something you have to hate about El País - you must be a paid subscriber to read the paper online.
This makes no sense whatsoever to me and while it's a good
paper this policy is just plain stupid. There are local
editions of each of the above national papers, as well as
local papers such as Granada Hoy. A free paper called 20
Minutes can be found at cafes and bars, or in the
early morning you may see people handing them out in the
center. The International
Herald Tribune, now run exclusively by the New
York Times, is offered daily except Sunday. The Tribune
also include's a small 8 page version of El País in English. USA
Today also offers an international version of the
paper. Finally, a smaller version of Newsweek is available at some newsstands as well. Of course in the
age of the Internet you can always head to a cyber cafe
and read up on everything you need. If you are searching
for press from England, Germany and France you shouldn't
have a problem finding the major newspapers.
Below are some sample prices for random
things you may want to buy, eat, read or do while here.
Not here are prices for museums and tourist attractions.
I will soon add those to my list. As for tipping leave a few Euros at a very nice restaurant. Leave more if you have a bigger
group or a fairly large bill. In general you don't tip here for less expensive meals and never for drinks.
You don't tip taxi drivers either, but rounding off the
change sometimes is nice. In general reward someone for doing
something nice, providing good service or going out of their
way, but these folks aren't expecting a large tip since
they don't work for below minimum wage as is the case in
the U.S. or other countries where tips make the difference in a living wage. Not much more to add other
than I am happy not doing the math - estimating 15% plus
tax - every time I eat out.
||2 - 4 €
||5 - 9 €
||10 - 20 €
||25 - 45 €
||1,10 - 2 €
|Soda / Refresco
||1,50 - 2 €
||4 - 8 €
||1 - 2 €
|Whole roast chicken
||7 - 12 €
|Bus (1 trip)
|Bus Bónobus (10 trip pass)
|Bus Month pass (unlimited)
||4 - 8 €
|Taxi to / from Airport
||19 - 23 €
|Local Phone Call (booth)
|Herald-Tribune (US Newspaper)
|ABC, El Pais (Spanish Newspaper)
||5 - 9 €
||2 - 3 €
||10 - 30 €
Many of these I hope you'll never need to know. Others
can be quite helpful in the right situation.
|Emergency (as in 911)
|Red Cross (Cruz Roja)
||958 22 22 22
|Farmacia de Guardia
||902 52 21 11
|Post Office (Correos)
||958 22 48 35
||958 27 12 72
||958 18 50 10
||958 24 52 37
|City Bus (Transportes Rober)
||958 81 37 50
||958 15 14 61
|915 72 03 03
Master Card (Credit
|900 97 12 31
|900 97 44 45
Listed below are the dates of national and regional holidays
which fall on fixed dates. Expect banks and other government
offices to be closed. Beware of other holidays which create puentes, or long weekends. These can make finding
a good hotel room a difficuly process. Aside from Semana
Santa you can in most cases show up and find something,
but your choices may be less than ideal in terms of location
and/or comfort. Also note that for some holidays that fall on a weekend, the date of business closings may be on a Friday or Monday, so be sure to study the calendar to anticipate closings which are around the dates below.
|New Year's Day
|Dia de Andalucia
|All Saints Day
Listed below are the dates of Semana Santa, Feria
de Corpus and Corpus through 2010. Note that the Feria de
Corpus in Granada depends on the date of Corpus Christi. Corpus falls on a Thursday, so the Feria de Corpus will begin on the Monday of the same week (before Corpus).
||Feria de Corpus
||5 - 12 April
||8 - 12 June
||28 March - 4 April
||20 May - 6 June