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Move to Granada Spain – Frequently Asked Questions + Insider tips

Move to Granada Spain – Frequently Asked Questions + Insider tips

Move to Granada FAQs

A move to Granada is often the reason why my readers email me. I receive lots of questions about living in Granada Spain.

The usual things that come up are on the same themes; accommodation, learning Spanish and finding work. So hopefully this insider information will give more insight to those of you thinking about a move to Granada or even moving to Spain.

After living here since 2006 I have first hand experience of living in the city on a permanent basis.

Here are some of the most Frequently asked Questions and my replies to them.


Calle Recogidas Rentals Granada Spain

Finding an apartment before I arrive?

I would recommend booking a hostel or hotel for the first 5 days – week on arrival to Granada. As soon as you are here you can look for areas and properties to rent. The majority of rentals are not advertised online.

Rental properties are snapped up quickly in Granada due to a high student population. You may find it helpful to stay in an Apartment for a week or so initially. Stay Classy Cathedral are well located, comfortable apartments.

From the End of August to beginning of October are very busy weeks and flats are quickly rented during this period.  I would not rent or agree to anything before actually getting here. You need to be here to get things done. If someone you make arrangements online you will probably pay much more that if you negotiate here on the ground.

Apartment rentals for the short term is a good solution. You will find a good selection of apartments online across Spain. A range of sizes, locations and budgets to choose from. Perfect for organising before you arrive on Spanish soil. For student accommodation there are specific websites such as Erasmusu

Homestay offer stays with Spanish families to encourage cultural immersion. This is good for those travelling solo and looking to learn or improve their Spanish.

StayClassy Granada Apartment in Spain

Which area should I choose for Rental Accommodation?

The most characterful areas of Granada are around the Albaicín. This is a beautiful quaint area but personally I find it is not very practical for daily life. The city centre of Granada and Realejo district may be more advisable and also has character too.  These areas have shops, buses and taxis as well as all services.

The Albaicín can be tricky as the infrastructure is not too good (roads, parking, access, rubbish collection etc) it depends what lifestyle you are looking for and if you have to work in a certain area.

View from Salobrena Castle Costa Tropical Spain


What to consider when buying a Granada city property or villa on the Coast?

Before buying property in Spain or planning a move to Granada Spain I would highly recommend renting a property in the same area for at least 6 months (although 1 year is better to see all seasons)

  • Can you imagine what the area will be like in wintertime?
  • Perhaps the shops and restaurants only open in summer season.
  • Does the area suffer from flooding?
  • Do you have radiators installed? What are heating costs like in winter months?
  • Will you have pets in Spain. Does the building/residential area allow them?

There are many things to take into account when living somewhere for the whole year. If you do decide to purchase please make sure that all documentation is translated into English before signing anything. To get an idea of prices or areas you can look at the website

The British Embassy in Spain provide a lot of information for British people moving to Spain

Banking in Spain

I also get asked about transferring money to Spain, exchanging currency and opening a bank account. Now this is not such an easy answer as each situation varies. Depending on if you are working, the country of origin etc.

But i have been using Wise for over 7 years now. Their multicurrency account is very easy to use. Commissions are very low or free sometimes. Transfers are very quick too. So far I have had no issues in all the time I have been using them. 

If you want to open an account with them for USD, EUROS or GBP its very easy to do. You can also benefit by using this link as you get your first Fee Free transfer via that specific url.

Granada Emergency Spai

Fixed Monthly Bills

When you purchase a property the main monthly costs that you will need to consider will be:

  • Electricity Bill (includes use of Air Conditioning if applicable)
  • Water Bill (may include Refuse Collection too depending on the region) hot and cold supplies maybe separately charged.
  • Gas or Butane Fuel Costs (depending on heating/hot water installation)
  • Community Fees for the shared areas of the building/residential area. (will cover shared costs such as Lift Maintenance, Gardening, Pool Maintenance, Painting of shared corridors etc)
  • Phone & Internet connection. You may want to get an International Sim card ahead of time to make sure you are connected from day 1.
  • Poll Tax or Land Value (Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles) Can be annual payment or quarterly.

As a property owner it is important that you understand the costs that are involved for each individual apartment or home. Houses that aren´t part of a building may still have community fees in certain residential areas. Often most of this information will be in Spanish language only.

Restaurante Gallio Plaza Bib Rambla Granada tapas

Watching TV from Abroad

One of the things that I most enjoy is watching UK TV from my home in Spain. To do this easily (on my smartphone) I have been using Surfshark VPN successfully. This IP changer users servers to alter your network so that you can access services in other countries. Although you can use with 3G or 4G it works much better on wifi signal.

I can also be useful if you need to access computer systems or platforms remotely too.

Tea Shops Calle Caldereria Albaicin

Is Granada safe?

I would say that there is no real concern for Personal Safety in Granada. People are very social and the streets are busy in the city centre at all hours. The area North of the city, around the bus station is known as the Poligono. This area is the most problematic but is not at all touristy. I would not advise this area for rental accommodation. (Zona norte, Pulianas, Almanjayar, Estación de Autobuses) This doesn´t mean that the bus station is dangerous, but be more careful as with any large transport hub.

As with any tourist destination you need to keep an eye on your personal belongings, especially valuables such as cameras and mobile phones. Pickpockets are more likely to be the most historic areas around Plaza Nueva, Albaicín or Cathedral.

The busy times such as Easter Corpus Fair or Christmas holidays are particularly targeted as there are larger crowds in the city.


Occasionally Granada has small tremors or earthquakes. Since living here for over 12 years I have only experienced tremors of 4 or less.

Read more here about Granada Seismic activity


 Guadix Cavehouses Granada Spain Blog

Forest Fires & Air Quality

Also please be aware that wooded areas may suffer from forest fires. Homes may be near to trees or woods and there is a higher possibility of Forest fires in Summer. The houses on the outskirts of Granada and surrounding areas are more affected than the city itself as they have more woodland.

Air quality for people with allergies or asthma may be an issue in the city and outskirts. With many agricultural or plants surrounding the city. Different crops and Olive plantations increase pollen in the air and can cause discomfort from April – July especially. The best mobile app for updated allergy information is Polen Rea.

escapada a granada

Is there a Public transport service?

The city bus service in Granada is run by Transportes Rober. This serves the metropolitan area only. These red buses are running from 7am until 11pm approximately. Taxis are quite good value compared to other Spanish cities.  There is a tram-metro service on the edge of the city. This connects the Bus station, train station and some university buildings to towns on the outskirts of Granada such as Armilla and Maracena. It also has a stop at Nevada Shopping Centre.

From the airport to Puerta Real, Granada expect to pay 30 euros (updated March 2017)  There is also a bus from Airport to city for 3 euros. Granada is a manageable city and many routes are short enough to walk.

If you move to Granada you will see that the city is simple to get around and you can choose to live without a car. You can just rent a car on certain weekends if you need one.

move to granada local Market

How about the costing of Daily items in Granada?

I have written up this post with detailed information about The Cost of Living in Granada Spain

    • a beer                         €1.50-2.60 comes with a free tapa
    • 1 glass of wine         €1.50-2.60 comes with a free tapa
    • Tapa or pincho     Normally free but sometimes an extra €1 or so
    • Café con leche         €1.10 to 1.40
    • Average midday meal           €10  menú del día
    • A night on the town  €20-30, Nightclub cover usually €5-10 and includes a 1st drink though sometimes drinks can cost up to €9
    • Dorm hostel               €25-30
    • Private hotel/hostel room  €35-50
    • Transport:                 Bus: €1.40 per ride but only €0.85 on a bus pass that you top up in multiples of €5
    • Attractions                 €14 Alhambra. Museums Some are free or anything up to €8
    • Rent:                             €180-280 in a shared apartment with €40-65 in utilities
    • Groceries for 1 wk    €35 approx

Kiosko Las Titas Granada.J

International Bank Transfers

Since living in Spain. I realized that I need to make financial transactions in several currencies. USD, Pounds Sterling, Euros….

I continued to use my normal bank but soon noticed that each no UK transaction cost me 4 gbp. (regardless of the amount moved) So I paid lots of money I got stung for in transfer fees. Sometimes there were currency conversions at unfavourable rates too.

Foreign Currency Leftover coins holiday money by piccavey

Multicurrency Bank Account

Getting a flexible bank account that can deal with different currencies and has fair transfer rates will make a huge difference.

To avoid these high fees I use a Wise account.

This European online bank has really been a game changer. I now have the benefit of different currencies in my account. (It looks like paypal) I´ve been using this for over a year and everything works so quickly. Love it.

Plaza Nueva Granada Spain

Getting a VISA

Depending on which country you are from you may need a VISA for an extended stay in Spain (or the EU)

There is lots of updated and specific information on the iVisa website.

Whichever nationality you are it provides lots of detail about when you need a VISA and when you should get in touch with your embassy. There are changes to rules and each case can vary so best to get updated official information.

Mujumaps Home Office Desk Map Granada Spain

How to find work in Granada ?

In Granada most of the people I know teach English or are working in the tourism industry (bars, restaurants or rural accommodation)

Some also have a business or are freelancers that can work from anywhere as long as they have internet and a phone line. I wrote this post with tips on Job Search that may be useful.

Teach English in Spain

In Spain or in any other country you choose, you will need a TEFL certification. My TEFL offers great online courses which you could complete before actually moving to Spain.

These courses are good particularly if you are new to teaching but also fit if you already some experience.

Click on the banner for more information on TEFL certification and courses.

Accredited Online TEFL readers enjoy an Exclusive Discount on My TEFL courses. 

Add Promo Code  PICCA  when booking online to apply this offer.

Tefl Certificate

Helping newcomers transition to living abroad is something I enjoy.

Here´s hoping this deal helps you get ahead when making your plans to live abroad.

Piccavey Experiences in Andalusia Spain Hiking Sept 2018

Speaking Spanish

If you want to work in a Spanish company you will need to Learn Spanish to a high standard. Unemployment levels are very high in Spain and Granada at the moment. Finding work is not easy for anyone. I would recommend securing work before a move to Granada if at all possible. Whether that is a remote online job or a more traditional role such as teaching english. 

If you are looking into running your own business in Spain. Here is lots of English information about being Autonomo in Spain this is more complex that the system in UK. In fact some expats choose to have a Limited UK company to simplify bureaucracy.

Learning Spanish in Granada?

I recently published this detailed post about Learning Spanish. I cannot stress the importance of grasping the basics of Spanish at least. In other areas of Spain the expat community is numerous and Spanish may not be as necessary. In Granada the expat community is quite small and locals do not have good english. To carry out the most basic task (e.g posting a letter at Correos) you will need some Spanish.

There is also the opportunity to Stay with a local Family and get a real Spanish experience. Homestay specialise in this type of programe. Learning any language will give you a deep understanding of where you live, the society and philosophy of the locals. This wont be visible to you if you don´t learn the language to a good level.

Piccavey Spain Blog Benalmadena Malaga Expat

How can I find other English speakers + Expats in my area?

There are many networking opportunities in Granada. A group that I have participated in In Granada they usually meet once a month. The group is gradually increasing in size. There do have other groups in Spanish & European cities too. The online platform is good to find contacts and the meet up is great to socialise and make local friends.  

Granada is not a big expat destination when compared to Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol. Currently there are 6000 British residents in Granada province that are permanently here. (source

Looking for bloggers who write about the area where you intend to live or even searching on twitter can prove very interesting. I have met lots of great contacts this way. They also tend to share lots of experiences and detailed information about their local area too.

Move to Granada Spain

For a successful move to any country it is really important that you find contacts and receive support. You will take time to adjust after a move to Granada or any other location. In Spain Costa Women has a large network of members that could be in the area which you are interested in.

If you go to a language school or language exchange evening this may provide contacts too as there many be other people in the same situation as you. My advice to be open minded and friendly and go a few times as each time there will be different people.

Moving to Spain Tips

Why not listen to this interview. On this podcast I share insight into moving to Spain.

Click on the link below to listen:

Moving to Spain Checklist with relocation coach


Things to Do in Granada Alcaiceria

How can I find good schools, childcare and nurseries in Granada

I haven´t had to choose nurseries and schools personally I cannot drawn on my own experience, however here are some resources that will help.

Again as I mentioned with accommodation before deciding on a move to granada big decisions need to be taken here, not remotely. Lots of information isn´t freely available online unfortunately.

Final thoughts

Granada is a small city. Population around is 275,000. It is traditional Spanish city. Spain generally is a social place and family orientated society. Children play out late on the street and are involved in all activities. If you have a family it can be a positive move once you have settled in. Probably enjoying a better quality of life than in your home country.

My blog is written mainly about Granada & Andalusia. I try to avoid the typically touristy/expat vibe as my life is actually 100% Spanish. I enjoy connecting with the local traditions and culture. Hoping to share this atmosphere with you the reader. I want to share the authentic Granada rather than just from a holiday perspective.

This move to Granada guide is an overview, a starting point. Please do lots of research before you hop on the plane!

November in Granada Plaza Nueva

Before you move to Granada

If you are seriously considering studying or a move to Granada Spain you must read two posts that should give you an overall feel for the city & province:

Is there something I didn´t cover?

Do add your question in the comments below or on this dedicated Questions and Answers post

Leave the Grind Behind

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. All thoughts, feelings and opinions shared on this blog and in this post are my own.
  1. Ewelina says:

    Great article!

    I have a question about safety. Now during covid19 Spain faces an increasing problem with squatters. Is it also an issue in Granada?
    And why on mosts windows there are bars? Is there a homebreaking problem?
    I plan to move there for some time with husband and a half year old son. Is the healthcare and hospital on a high level?
    Thanks for your answers, you might help me a lot. I was also considering moving somewhere to the Malaga – Alicante coastal part of Spain, but I am afraid of the crime level there 🙁

    I hope you will find some time and reply me 🙂


    • Molly says:

      Hello Ewelina,
      I am not sure where you are getting information about increasing problems with squatters. During COVID I believe things have not changed so much at all. In fact as people spend more time at home. They tolerate less noise and issues close to home. So any problems tend to be resolved quickly. Regarding bars on windows, well homes that have ground floor windows in many locations tend to have bars on windows for several reasons. To prevent cats, dogs or other animals getting inside. It is also a cultural thing, as Spain has very good weather most of the year we often have windows and doors open during the day and night time. So yes it is a security measure, but doesn´t mean that it is unsafe here. Insurance policies for ground floor and first floor homes also need to see you have bars. Otherwise they may not cover.
      Regarding crime rates in Spain. They have been falling considerably over the past 10 years. Crime rate in 2018 was 0.62 per 100,000 population. In the USA its 4.96 and in UK 1.20 per 100,000. So you can see that the rate is low. In 2013 Spain had one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

      About healthcare please consult this article:
      Really there´s too much detail to reply here but I hope this helps

    • Molly says:

      Hello Ewelina,
      I am not sure where you are getting information about increasing problems with squatters. During COVID I believe things have not changed so much at all. In fact as people spend more time at home. They tolerate less noise and issues close to home. So any problems tend to be resolved quickly. Regarding bars on windows, well homes that have ground floor windows in many locations tend to have bars on windows for several reasons. To prevent cats, dogs or other animals getting inside. It is also a cultural thing, as Spain has very good weather most of the year we often have windows and doors open during the day and night time. So yes it is a security measure, but doesn´t mean that it is unsafe here. Insurance policies for ground floor and first floor homes also need to see you have bars. Otherwise they may not cover.
      Regarding crime rates in Spain. They have been falling considerably over the past 10 years. Crime rate in 2018 was 0.62 per 100,000 population. In the USA its 4.96 and in UK 1.20 per 100,000. So you can see that the rate is low. About healthcare please consult this article:
      Really there´s too much detail to reply here but I hope this helps

  2. Karen Rice says:

    Hi Molly

    I have found your website really useful thank you.

    I am trying to find a bilingual concertado or state school for my 7 year old in Granada but I’m struggling online and wondered if you had any good advice. I guess I need to decide on an area to live, Realejo? Albacin? We are arriving the end of August.

    Hope to hear from you.

    All the best Karen
    Ps Are you Irish?

    • Molly says:

      Hi Karen,
      To be able to arrange the school its best to actually be here. You will need to go to meet staff and fill in documentation.
      Enrollment is actually happening now for the next school year. Online it will be quite tricky.

      there are three types of schools:
      Public (free but you need to live in the postcode catchment area)
      Mixed (you pay but also need to be in the catchment area)
      Private (address is irrelevant, you pay the fees)

      Usually you choose your address first and the school will be allocated according to your district.
      Regarding where to live this guide maybe a good starting point.

      I hope this helps

  3. Hi Molly, and thanks for your post on Granada. I’m not sure when it first appeared, but you mentioned that most flats/homes for rent are not listed online. Is that still the case? Apart from, do you recommend any other web sites to search for longterm rentals? Also, and this is getting into some detail so I hope I’m not a pest: can one find a decent unfurnished flat ranging 75-100 square meters in the 600-900€ range, do you think? I once lived in the Albaycin, so I’m familiar with the area, but maybe as you say, Realejo is preferable, yet it would be nice to have a balcony or terrace with a view!
    Thanks a bunch, Jordan (in Montpellier, Fr)

    • Molly says:

      Yes this blogpost is up to date the situation hasnt altered much. It is still challenging to find a good rental property for longterm rental in Granada. Due to Airbnb and tourist rentals and also the student accomodation in the city.

      Hope this helps

  4. kristin Ann Cannell says:

    Love your blog Molly! I am planning a trip in January (to make sure I can tolerate Granada winter) and to start the search for a retirement apartment.

    • Molly says:

      Sounds exciting. It´s a good idea to come at the coldest time to see what its like in Granada then.
      Good luck with the search

  5. Michael Waggoner says:

    Dear Molly,
    My wife and I are soon retiring to Granada…upon arrival, we will need an assistant to “fast track” our access to those vital things like renting an unfurnished apartment, etc…
    M & S

    • Molly says:

      Hi Michael,

      I´d be delighted to assist with this, I will contact you with more details on email
      and we can follow up with a Skype call.

      Such an exciting decision

  6. Frank says:

    Great article, thank you so much!

    We have been living as a family in Mexico for almost 7 years after careers in San Diego, CA.

    We feel a year abroad ( who knows what that could turn into ) in Granada for the first year of prepa for our twins would be a great and life changing experience.

    I am going to hit all your school links and try to figure out the Visa and tax liability situation on our pension.

    I have a small business designing and installing solar arrays but I don’t believe I would be legal to work en España.

    Thank god for the University of Google.

    I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    • Molly says:

      Sounds like a great experience for the twins!
      Good luck with all the planning

  7. Stanica Enache says:

    Hello Molly,
    Once our youngest boy starts college we would also like to move to Granada. We use to live in the southern Africa for a few years as well.
    I read through all the above comments and answer and allow me to say Hat Off to your kind assistance.

    How is tango in Granada by the way? Do you happen to know?

    I would love to receive a private message from you too.
    Great help!
    Good bless!

    • Molly says:

      Thanks for reading! I will send a few comments over to you about the Tango festival in Granada

  8. Christa Brandkamp says:

    Hi Molly

    I just came across your site when I was researching Granada. I have driven past the city on several occasions, on my way from Torrevieja, where I currently live, to my family in Torrox. But unfortunately I have not had time to explore further. I really love the general landscape, the history and the look of this city. So much so, that I am contemplating if it would be possible to relocate there.

    My biggest problem is work. I have a fairly good job at a real estate office in Orihuela Costa and I rent a reasonably priced villa just outside Torrevieja and I am a bit worried about giving it all up. My biggest issue is that since I work mostly with English, German and Dutch clients and we speak English at work (as we have so many different Nationalities working together), I have not mastered Spanish as well as I would like to. I can read fairly ok now, and I understand a lot more and can do basic day to day stuff, but I cannot hold a conversation. But that is one of the reasons I would like to move to a more Spanish place…. if I stay here I will never really learn, even the Spanish speak English here! I am German but speak fluent English and Afrikaans (a bit like Dutch), as I grew up in South Africa. I wonder if I would be able to get work there? I reckon I would learn Spanish fairly quickly if I was forced to use it more in my daily life.

    The up-side is that I don’t have small kids to worry about, I just have 3 cats and a grown-up daughter and her hubby living with me at the moment, but they want to move closer to Torrox. I was contempating renting a biggish villa or townhouse and then have a few house-mates for company and to share the costs. Would that be a possibility? I think in University cities this usually works quite well, and I don’t mind having youngsters around.

    I do think I should take a drive down to Grananda soon, stay a few days and have a good look around. But what if I like it too much… then I will really want to move there, lol.

    PS: How bad is winter in Granada? I am a bit spoilt here, as the winters on the Costa Blanca are pretty mild and obviously I had great weather all those years in South Africa!

    • Molly says:

      Hi Christa

      Of course I´ll get back to you to respond in detail
      Winter this year has been very mild so its not a typical winter .

      best wishes

  9. Phyllis Webb says:

    Hello Molly, my husband and I want to move to Granada City or Granada Province, My husband is a fine art lithographer and is looking for space that he can set up a workshop (taller). He would, ideally need around 100 m. sq. Is there a community of artist and studios in any particular place in the city? What do we need to look for, for this kind of business?
    Thank you,

    • Molly says:

      hanks for your message on

      In Granada the real estate and rental of properties (workshops etc) is quite low cost compared to other areas of Spain/Europe.
      There is also plenty of places available.

      With regard to a community of artists/studios while there are co working spaces in the city
      they are more office style workers, as far as I know there isnt a particular area dedicated to artists in the city
      Although many areas live and work in Granada.

      Before deciding on this point it is extremely important to stay in Granada for some time
      a short term rental, air bnb etc to see how the city works for your lifestyle.

      The studio or space where he would be working is the finer detail rather than the main crux of such a big decision.
      The house where you will live should be a starting point (even if it is rental) and the financial/healthcare planning

      I hope the articles and information I share on my blog and Social Networks helps you to gather information together.

      Best wishes for the New year

  10. Kathy Cox says:

    Hi Molly,
    My 21 year old daughter is doing a study abroad in Granada until January 2018.. She is having wifi issues. Her wifi signal is so weak that I can’t hear her (but she can hear me). She has asked to reboot the modem and she has restarted her router, but the wifi is still weak. Do you have any suggestions on internet/ wifi services that she could purchase in Granada for the remainder of her stay so that we can talk on Facetime or What’s app? She often wants to talk to me when she is back in her cave room in the evening.
    Thanks, Kathy

  11. conor says:

    Hi Molly,

    Some great reading here. Thank you. I wondered if you knew anything about the squatting situation/problem in Granada, especially the Albaicin. I’ve been reading some disturbing stories on the Spanish sites recently. I used to live in the south of Madrid and this problem was everywhere, but didn’t think Granada would have that issue. The reason I ask is that I’ve purchased a house there that may be empty for much of the year initially. I was worried that I may have to get a big expensive security system and new doors etc. I will try to rent it out eventually, to a family hopefully, but that may take some time. I’ve tried posing this question on some of the Spanish sites but no replies.

    Thanks Molly


    • Molly says:


      I believe that the problem tends to be more when the building is abandoned or run down in Granada.
      Buildings that have had no attention for many years.

      I would strongly suggest that you rent out the property as that area is actually in high demand and then you are making sure that there is plenty of activity
      There are also property maangement companies who can caretake a property for you if you want to leave it empty,
      They would take care of the garden or plants and cleaning.
      Also look out for any weather damage and similar issues.

      Hope this helps.

  12. Tom Maentz says:

    Greetings Molly!

    ‘The Reign in Spain’ by Galician expat author W. Kristjan Arnold is now available in paperback at Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in 20th century Spain’s remarkable transformation from dictatorship to democracy, and the Royal Family’s epic struggle to regain the throne.

    Tom Maentz

  13. Juan Carlos says:

    Dear Molly,

    I was born in Cuesta de la Victoria, Granada, years ago. Lived there during my childhood, playing in el Paseo de los Tristes (a,k.a Paseo del padre Manjón), with the Alhambra looking down upon me.

    Muchas gracias. JC.

  14. Patty Lawrence says:

    Hi Molly,
    Do you happen to have recommendations for an internet provider in Granada?

    Also, I’m looking for hair stylists for cut and color. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks Molly,
    Patty Lawrence

  15. Steve Corlew says:

    Thanks for the wonderful first-hand knowledge you are sharing here. I am working on all the picky details to come over in a few months for a test drive of Granada as a retirement destination.

    Do you have any tips or warnings about securing a short term (60 to 90 days) rental after I arrive? Granada is physically smaller than I picture when poring over the map. Should I aim for a central location, e.g. Realejo, initially or is it practical to stay a few miles/kms out of town and travel in regularly?


    • Molly says:

      Thanks for reading
      1) Stay in the city itself. Realejo quarter is quaint and characterful but also more practical than the Albayzin.
      Lower Albaicin is also OK Calle Elvira, Paseo de los Tristes, close to Gran Via.

      2) Book an apartment or hotel for first week and then find a 60-90 day rental when you are actually here. You need to see the streets with your own eyes to get an idea of the place.

      Hope this helps

  16. Stephen says:

    Hi Molly
    Thank you for such a helpful website.
    I am evaluating buying a property in Granda to use half of the year including winter for skiing!
    However, one possible area I may have problems with is transport, e.g. getting to and from Sierra Nevada.
    I would prefer to drive, probably hiring cars for long weekends.
    From my research, Granda seems quite problematic for drivers – especially non residents.
    I have drawn a blank trying to find out about Parking Permits. I suspect that they may only be offered to registered residents – which whilst I may plan to do this long term – but not be in the beginning.
    Also, I guess if I have a hire car which will be different from visit to visit, I suspect that a parking permit would be ruled out as the registration will vary.
    I am keen to live centrally but am aware that the new Metro may permit me to dump a car “outside of town” (hopefully not too risky) for each visit!
    Do you have any advice as to how I may avoid these possible problems???
    Thank you in anticipation. Best regards Stephen

    • Molly says:


      Driving in Granada is only a problem for the Albaicin and historic centre
      I have replied to your comment in detail by email so that I can get you specific information

      Thanks for stopping by to read my blog

  17. Durian says:

    Hi Molly,

    A quick question, any ideas where I can find a good cleaner Granada to clean a property when I’m not there?


    • Molly says:


      The best way is to ask the neighbours who live in your apartment block or someone you work with or know in Granada
      To find a good cleaner in Granada (and Spain) word of mouth works best

      Hope this helps

  18. Christopher David Horner says:

    I am a Cambridge CELTA trained native Englishman (from Yorkshire), recently arrived in Granada and trying to learn from the UK expats already here.
    I have brought my belongings with me in my car and have to decide whether to register the car in Spain or sell it and buy a Spanish car.
    Is there an expat garage or motor mechanic in Granada that I can talk to about my car?
    I also teach English + happy to do anything that contributes to the local community.

    • Molly says:

      Hello Christopher

      Thanks for checking out my blog.
      I will send you an email with the detailed reply


  19. Mathilde Lie-Nielsen says:

    Hi Molly,

    Fantastic post, really helpful info!

    I am a student from London, coming to Granada for a year aroad/an erasmus. I was planning to stay at the student residence Student XD in Calle Obispo Hurtado, but when I returned from vacation just now, they were all booked.. I am a bit lost, as I can’t seem to find any other nice student residences. Coming from London, I had priginally decided that I would probably continue living in a student residence, as it seems easier than renting privately. However, I now see that I probably will have to try and rent privately after all – but I have no idea where to start or to look. I will be studying at the
    law campus, in Avenida de Fuente Nueva, so I guess it would be nice to stay somewhere not too far from that, if possible. Do you have any suggestions as to where to start the search or areas to look in? The other option I have for a student residence, seems to be a bit outside the city centre, in Calle Prof. Vicente Callao. Would that be so far outside that I miss out on the “city feel”? Google maps says it is a 30 min walk to the city centre.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind regards,
    Mathilde Lie-Nielsen

    • Molly says:

      Hello Mathilde

      Thanks for reading and for your comment
      Dont worry just yet, there is still time to sort this out

      I will send you an email with lots of resources so you can find the best accomodation for your faculty


  20. George says:

    Hi Molly. Great post.
    My wife and I are considering a move to Granada. Currently we live in Miami. Florida. We both enjoy working alongside entrepreneurs and creatives. Both of us are self employed and rely heavily on the internet for our business. Is there an area of town that has a young creative/entrepreneurial vibe going on? Is reliable wifi service available?
    Thanks in advance for your help. It’s greatly appreciated.

    • Molly says:


      Great to hear from you, for the last 6 months I have been working at Co Working in the city centre which I really enjoy.
      The Coworking has full day, half day (can be mornings or afternoons) or Drop in tariffs
      The internet is a good connection and the atmosphere is fresh too. A mix of local Granada people, Spanish and Foreign people work out of this office
      ErranT Co Working is right by the shops and is a comfy place to use if you stay full time or part time in the city.

      Hope this helps

  21. Dave says:

    Great info! I lived for a year next to the Parque de Ciencias and fell in love with Andalusia. My wife and and I are waiting for our youngest child to take off for college and then we will relocate either to Granada proper or somewhere closer to the Med since we both sail. I adore the Lecrin Valley – gorgeous views and incredible cycling!

    Is the process for acquiring and using a TEFL certificate the same regardless of where you are coming from? Do you have any more advice about part and full time work? I’ve done a lot of searching but haven’t found much regarding the logistics of relocation for an American looking to work in Spain.

    Thanks for your work! I’m having fun planning g and finding resources like yours!

    • Molly says:

      Hello Dave

      Many thanks for your comment and lovely comments

      I can recommend Granada province as I have been living here for 11 years now.
      The house prices and cost of daily life is lower than other areas of Andalusia (Costa del Sol, Seville etc)

      The Lecrin Valley in fact is a good choice as the area is inbetween Granada City, the Costa Tropical (Almuñecar Salobreña etc) and the Alpujarra villages
      It is also a good option all year around.
      Whereas the city is very hot in summer and the coast is really boring in the winter months

      TEFL yes, good wherever you are in the world.

      There is very high unemployment in Andalusia.To work you need good Spanish and English.
      To teach english there is always a demand.
      The only thing that fluctuantes is the wages. Some pay better than others.
      But once you get going and get a name in the area it works out OK.

      I hope this helps

      Kind regardas

  22. Patty Lawrence says:

    My husband and I want to buy a vacation home, and for future retirement as well. We are looking in Granada, Granada. We have found several properties on we would love to see when we arrive in early June…assuming they are still available. Regardless, we want to find an English speaking Realtor who can guide us through the looking and buying process. We live in the US and have been visiting Spain the last several summers.

    I have searched online but am only finding sales websites in Spanish. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Molly says:

      Hello Patty

      Indeed it´s not simple here to do business or arrange contracts as a non Spanish speaker
      I will send you a detailed email with some recommendations to help

      Exciting plans!

  23. Mike says:

    I like your informative website.
    I will be retiring to Spain and am considering Granada and Malaga.
    Which city do you like better?

    • Molly says:

      That is a huge question.
      Each city is totally different.

      Depending on your lifestyle and ideas for retirement my answer would vary.
      Will you be driving in Spain?
      Which kind of home would you like to live in?

      I will email you so that I can give you some specific information about this

      Kind regards

  24. Veronique says:

    Hello Molly,

    I am coming to Granada soon on holiday to have a look….I homeschool my 3 children aged 12,13 and 15 years old. I would like to know if you know of any homeschooling families in Granada or even if they go to school (which is an option ), a family with teenagers so I can maybe meet them. If yes could you put me in contact?

    • Molly says:

      Hello Veronique

      I would suggest asking this question in the Granada community group on Facebook:
      There are around 900 english speakers located in the area in this group and you will get varied information from them

      You can also try
      In Granada there is an active expat group who meet up once a month in Granada
      Some people in that group have family and may beable to clarify on the homeschooling part

      IMHO I would suggest going to school as this will help enormously with the immersion process for the children and also for you
      This way you already get contacts through the school and the other parents.
      How to get a school here is based on the address where you live (radius from the street of your apartment)
      THe standard inscription process for schools in Granada is in March
      So you have to register with the Education authority in the month of Month to get into the school for Sept.
      (e.g March 2017 registration will get you a place for Sept 2017 through to June 2018)

      Also everything needs to be done in person. Online there is hardly any information.

      I hope this information helps
      Kind regards

  25. Maria says:

    Hi Molly

    We are moving to Granada very soon and we have 3 children (who all will be in elementary school). Any info regarding the school system (international, bilingual, public schools, etc) will be highly appreciate it!

    Awesome blog with a ton of useful resources!


    • Molly says:


      Thanks for reading. There really is lots to say about this subject. Applications are made in March for Sept school year.
      I have sent over an email with more details. Basically you need to decide on a place to live first and then choose the school afterwards

      Kind regards

  26. marta says:

    Hi Molly,
    We are just about to move to Granada. We have 3 kids (11, 4 and 2). We would like to find a good public or semi public school in Granada or around..and a good neighbourhood to live (in Granada or in one of the surrounding villages). The best would be not further than 20 -25 minutes from Granada. I’m in contact with the delegacion de educacion…but as an outsider i have no idea where are the good primary schools…and which are the nice areas to live in.
    Could you help us with some info, please.
    Thanks a million.

    • Molly says:

      Hello Marta,

      Thanks for reading my post.
      There are many good locations withinh 10-15 mins of the city centre to choose from.

      I have detailed information on the schools which I can send by email.
      I would recommened moving to an area and then once installed, sorting out the school.
      Remotely it will be practially impossible.

      Will send a message with more detailed information

      Kind regards

  27. Neha says:

    Hi Molly,

    I’ve read a couple of posts by you about Granada, and I’ve found the information very helpful. I’m a writer and I’m going to spend a couple of months in Spain on a fellowship this fall. The plan is to spend about six weeks in one place, so I can get to know the area and get a good amount of work done. I’ve narrowed my options down to Sevilla and Granada. Granada has a slight edge, but I really haven’t been able to talk to anyone who has extensive experience of either place. I’ll be traveling alone (I’m a woman), and it seems that both places are rather safe. Is there anything that jumps to your mind, that tips one place over the other? I’m told that Sevilla is “livelier” than Granada in the evenings, but I’m not sure what that means. I’m not at all interested in a clubbing/dancing type of night life, but I would definitely like to live in a place where the streets aren’t completely isolated at night. Do you have a perspective on this?


    • Molly says:


      Thanks for reading,
      I will send you information in detail on email


  28. Charles Rudd says:

    Hola Molly

    Your Info is v,good. You seem to fit in well in Granada. Intelligent Lady. I’m a retired (semi-retired) Canadian Artist on a Canada Pension and will be coming to live in the Granada Region, probably a smaller city like Almanecar on the Sun Coast. I’m a Global Culture addict. Smile.
    I speak a good basic Spanish and will be looking to rent a modest 1 or 2 bedroom flat or Casita, in a Spanish culture area rather than expat community. I’m also considering buying a small car or VW Van or light off-road motorcycle to also see much of Spain and Morocco. Do you have thoughts about transportation in Spain – Morocco? I’ll research flats to rent, and will follow your advice about renting once I get there and have a feel for the region.
    I’m excited to see Flamenco live and of course the many ancient cultural centres as the Alhambra and Andalusia. And of course the warmth and friendly character of the People of Spain. I have had a lifelong relationship with Mexico and it’s People and Cultures, living there on many occasions.
    Perhaps Spain has a similar personal warmth, with more Latin Culture?
    Looking forward with pleasure to your reply.

    Via con Dios,
    Carlos. (Charles).

  29. Tom says:

    I’m in the process of completing my Celta qualification with a view to move to Granada to teach English. I’ve found your blogs really useful in getting a feel for the city as well as really informative. Thank!

    One questions though, are rentals in the city normally done privately or via agents?

    • Molly says:

      Hello Tom

      Thanks for reading!
      Feel free to subscribe to my free updates (right sidebar)

      There is a mixture of private rentals and agents.
      It depends on the owners availabilty, at it is a student town competition for tenants is fierce especially during term time (Sept-May)

  30. Vanessa says:

    Hi Molly, great site and brilliant info….
    Myself and partner are looking to buy an apartment in Granada to spend the six winter months only. We don’t mind walking and have quite a small budget. We have began looking at LA Chana and Churriana areas. It is quite mind boggling any possible advise you can give would be great. Thanks.

    • Molly says:

      Thanks Vanessa, I have replied in length on email, here´s a summary of my reply:

      I wrote up some details about the different areas of the city on this post:
      It also has information about Mid term rentals which may be useful for you.

      I would try to book an Aparthotel for the first 2 weeks when you arrive and look for somewhere to rent when you are actually here.

  31. Marlys says:

    What a comprehensive helpful and useful guide! No plans of moving to Granada but the things you’ve covered here should be in every guide for moving anywhere. Thanks for this!

  32. Marcia Mills says:

    You are sooo right that people should do a lot of research before moving to somewhere. Nowadays there is almost everything in the internet. Last year I moved to Barcelona and I have started to search for information for this city 2 months before my moving day. It was like a an exam . I took it successfully 🙂 Wish you all the best!

  33. Jeremiah says:

    Hey Molly,

    Thanks for some great reading. My wife and I are considering moving to southern Spain, specifically Granada. My wife is Peruvian and I speak fluent Spanish from living in Peru for 3 years. We are currently in the US. I have two questions. How is the city in terms of being alive and having opportunity to find work and to grow a community? Also, how much monthly would a one bedroom modern apartment in the center of town?

    Thanks so much!


    • Molly says:

      Nice to hear from you Jeremiah, the city is busy with locals and students all year round (except July and August)
      A one bedroom apartment would be around 500 euros (or maybe less) depending on the quality and neighbourhood.

      Hope this helps

  34. Anna Ward says:

    Hi Molly
    Thanks for you interesting post but I can’t agree with your comments about living in the Albaicin. We’ve been here several years (and have lived elsewhere in Granada too) and have found the infrastructure to be excellent – particularly the rubbish collection! I wish they had the same system in the UK. We find that all the daily things are here (supermarkets, bakers, chemists, banks etc) and we rarely need to go to the centre for anything other than fun. I do agree that parking is difficult but the buses are good. Realejo and the centre are lovely too of course but for me the Albaicin wins out on atmosphere and because it is cooler in the summer (at least a bit – for all Granada newbies be aware it is very hot in the summer.)

    For those coming to Granada with kids we have found this site useful

    And for those looking for childcare etc this might help

    Welcome and good luck to all

    • Molly says:

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your comment.
      I´m glad you are enjoying life in the Albaicin.

      The rubbish collection is very frequent (daily) in the whole of Granada, but it´s not great fun when you are stuck behind the rubbish truck in an Albaicin street.
      This has happened a few times to me on my way back from one of the Carmen restaurants (near Mirador) as the collection is around 11.30pm-midnight typically.

      I have also had the problem of an Albaicin accomodation not having access by car. My friend had a lot of luggage (2 month stay) to move at 6am one morning to get to the airport.
      The only way to get the luggage out and into a taxi was by finding 3 people to move it out and down to Plaza Nueva.

      It´s not just a whim that I say that the Albaicin can be unpractical.

      I suppose it depends on lifestyle, but if you need to work (go to the office, or to a workplace) it´s not always the easiest place.
      If you can work online of course then everywhere is a possibility.

      The Albaicin ´alto´ is of course slightly cooler as it is a little higher than the city and there are less large buildings and traffic heating up the atmosphere.

      Thanks for the websites,
      Kind regards

  35. sam says:

    Hi molly, I have taken some lessons in spanish in a language school there its very good but my money is getting short. …but I am desperate to carry on learning spanish do you have any suggestions. I am happy to do conversation swap..any suggestions please let me know.
    muchas gracias

  36. loretta says:

    Hi Molly,
    We are moving to Granada with our 7 month old and hoping to find a lovely niñera to hep us out for a few hours a day. It’s difficult online and we are arriving next week. Do you have any suggestions for us?


    • Molly says:

      Hi Loretta,
      I would suggest looking into this once you arrive.
      I am sure that you won´t have a problem finding someone.
      Feel free to drop me an email to with details of the actual area/neighbourhood you will be located in, I may have more details then

      Good luck with the move

  37. Steven says:

    We are retired and moving to Granada on in June….

    • Molly says:

      I will send you some details about Moving to Granada by email, Thanks for Reading

  38. Dana says:


    I am interested in the opening times and days of the Moroccan Bazaar.

    Great Website.


    • Molly says:

      Hi Dana,

      The Arab style bazaar in Granada is known as the Alcaiceria.
      This is next to bib Rambla square and Zacatin.
      These shops have standard opening times as the other Granada shops, 10h until 20.30h
      These open on Sundays too (whereas other normal stores don’t)
      You will also find some more of these Arab shops next to the teterias on Caldereria nueva (just off Calle Elvira and plaza nueva)
      This post may also be helpful

  39. Anna says:

    Hi can you please tell me what the averidge price for a small apartment in Granada city is? And if you know any agencies that you would recommend regarding renting an apartment for a longer period of time?

    Thank you for a great post

    Kind regards, Anna

    • Molly says:

      Glad the post was useful for you
      Of course I will send you an email with some details

  40. Cherise says:

    I am dealing with the difficult task of where to spend 1 month in Spain over the summer (not to travel, to live temporarily!) and I love your blog!
    Granada is in the running along with Sevilla, but I need to do more research to decide!

  41. Mimi says:

    Thanks so much for this information it was very much needed on my part! I also wanted to ask a question. I’m planning to come to Spain in 2015 (from January to May) to do a study abroad exchange and I’ll be coming with my brother. So what would you recommend in terms of accommodation? I would like to rent a two bedroom apartment but I’m not sure if a 5 or 6 month lease would be possible? What do you think would be the cost for renting and utilities if I were to do this?

    Thanks very much 🙂

    • Molly says:

      Currently in Granada there are more flats for rent (and for sale) than demand.
      So 5 or 6 month rental should be negotiable, no problem.
      Please don´t rent anything until you arrive. You will have a better choice if you look at properties when you arrive.
      The Price varies depending on the área you choose and the facilities.
      For 600-700 euros you should be able to get something pretty central.

      • Mimi says:

        Ok that’s great thank you. But if I were to come to Granada and stay in a hotel for my first week or so, would I still be able to look at a lot of properties and get into one right away?

        Thanks again 🙂

  42. Hitch-Hikers Handbook says:

    Great and useful guide! We loved Granada when we visited it last year, it’ s such an amazing city!
    We also have a Granada guide on our blog. Please, take a look. Is there anything else we should add? Thanks!

  43. Terri Ann says:

    Great post Molly… no doubt I asked you most of those in my first 12 months there, haha… So great of you to share your knowledge so freely x

  44. Sandra Danby says:

    I love Granada, the sun, the snow, the Alhambra, great restaurants, just sitting having coffee and watching the world go by! SD

  45. Buck says:

    Great post, Molly. And particularly timely for me. I understand getting around and having a car in the city can be difficult and costly. Would you classify Granada as particularly ‘bike-friendly’?

    • Molly says:

      Some areas of Granada are great for bikes. The cobbled Albaicin streets can be tricky though. Lots of bike lovers live in Granada as it’s great for outdoors

  46. Sue Sharpe says:

    Great information, Molly!

  47. Paddy Waller says:

    The Alhambra must make a few bob at 14 euros a visit….that’s around 35 million Euros a year!!

  48. Paddy Waller says:

    Some great info Molly and such a special city!

    • John says:

      Great post Molly I always enjoy reading your posts and my wife and I hope to move to Spain in the next two years but haven’t decided on a place yet Granada looks very beautiful, We would like to live in a small village l am not one for the big city so I think it’s a good idea to come for a year to look at different places,my wife is from the Dominican republic so we should be OK with the Spanish my Spanish is not so good so o will have to learn, thank you for all your posts they are always very interesting.

      • Molly says:

        There are lots of villages not too far from Granada. Pinos Genil and Guejar Sierra near the Sierra Nevada mountains. The villages in Lecrin Valley South from Granada, Restabal, Pinos del Valle and Niguelas. There are also some locations on the outskirts of Granada which are very close to the city but set in countryside. Cullar Vega, Cenes de la Vega… So much choice. The best way to choose is to spend time visiting some of these areas before choosing.

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