A Moorish city in Andalusia, Granada is packed with hookah lounges, cool bars, themed clubs, and a thriving, old-school tapas culture. Comprised of thousands of stairs that are scattered all around the city, Granada is a drunk walking test like no other. Ladies, you'll have to hold your heels for this one.
Here, you'll need to get several layers of pre party in before you're ready to go. When the sun begins to set, park yourself at a hookah tea lounge for a few hours. The best ones don't look like much from the outside. Once inside, the lounges open up into caverns with little nooks and crannies. Order a hookah, and alternate between wine and tea until the coals burn out.
The kitchiest bars in Granada involve a long list of chupitos. There are several different ones around the city but the idea is the same: a shot bar where you pay about 1 euro for a creatively-named shot of random liquor mixed with all kinds of weird shit. There is normally a scribbled-on chalkboard that lists all of the available shot options; you will quickly realize that everyone goes for the “blowjob” so mix it up.
The best club in Granada is Cambodio. Nestled high up in the hills with a view of La Alhambra, this club is actually a natural cave in the side of the mountain, into which party people have carved a good time. A massive club, you can travel through the space without ever getting bored. As you progress through the club, each chamber pumps a different kind of music, with bars set up throughout, and all kinds of light shows that play well off the curvy cavernous walls. Make sure you step out onto the outdoor patio about halfway through the club to get a view of the city; it'll take your breath away (or make you puke up a few chupitos if your pre partying went too well).
Granada is an amazing destination for tapas. While up-tight Madrid has gotten stingy with giving them away for free, down south, people still hold on to their tapas traditions. Whenever you get a drink, you get a free bite to go along with it. In addition, since Granada is home to many Moroccan and Middle Eastern immigrants, their tapas come in all kinds of varieties, from traditional gambas (shrimp), acetunas (olives) to kefta and couscous. If you need to take a break from the drinking and focus solely on grubbing, get yourself to Kebab King where they sell the saucy, meaty, face-satisfying pita sandwich of your drunken dreams.
Sala Quilombo is a club in the Realejo quarter that plays to the late night crowd. Get there no earlier than 2 a.m. and let the euro drum and bass, house, and trance take you 'til the morning. This place is popular amongst locals and Spaniards from other cities.
OTP Tip: On your walk home, if you hear what sounds like the meowing of 10,000 cats, don't think you've lost your mind. It's actually the meowing of 10,000 cats, who live by La Alhambra. Once you sober up, go take a look. They're eye-clawingly precious.
High up on the uphill battle of Placeta Correo Viejo, the Oasis Hostel may be a bitch to get back to late night but trust us, if you need to keep the party going, this place won't let you down. It's a large, multi-level hostel with clean and beautiful rooms, a huge, shared kitchen and many common areas, some of which are outside and include a BBQ pit and rooftop deck. This place is known to attract a good variety of people so chances are, late night conversation will feel like a UN meeting, over beers and food in the communal kitchen.
Luckily, the Spanish actually have no idea what hangovers feel like because they keep the momentum going, day and night, always. To take the edge off on a summer morning, have a little tinto verano, a mix of fanta and red wine that restores the buzz and eliminates the blahs. If you're aching in the wintertime, get a calimocho (coke and red wine.) That little nap in the middle of the day always helps too.
While everyone else is up in Madrid paying for their tapas, get your little bites for free in Granada. The city makes you work a bit for what it has to offer, but all the stairs give it a lot of charm and allow you to burn off some of those free fried things and chupitos.