The oldest & most typical shops in Granada

One of the most charming things about visiting the historic city of Granada is wandering around narrow cobbled streets. Tucked away into narrow alleys and quaint squares are some of the oldest shops and the most traditional one left in Andalusia.

Dairy shop Granada Spain

Eggs & Milk

Amongst the shelves here they have colourful fruit from the Costa Tropical, freshly baked bread from Alfacar, Honey and Jams produced in the Alpujarra mountain villages and lots of delicious cakes and pastries of all varieties. Most of their products are made in small villages dotted around the Granada province. They also sell local cheese, delicious salchichón dotted with black pepper, fiery red chorizo and endless other delicatessen ítems.

Doesn´t it just make you want to eat something reading all this?

Esparteria San Jose Granada

Espartería San José

Walking along a little further, I found this delightful shop near to the cathedral. It sells wooden items made from locally sourced Olive wood. It has been there since 1907, several generations of the same family have been running this honest craft business. Apart from the wooden spoons, bowls and furniture, they have all kinds of wicker work too. They have lots of baskets in all shapes and sizes hanging outside.

Something that particularly caught my eye was the traditional Andalusian wicker chairs. These small chairs with paint in bright colours, are also decorated with flowers and swirls along the legs and frame of the chair, the seat is bound in wicker. This traditional design can be seen in homes and restaurants all over Andalusia. 

The Old Pharmacy

On the Calle Mesones you can pop into Farmacía Galvez. This pharmacy still has lots of old vintage shop fittings. The inside of the shop has barely been modified. I just love to see the old ceramic pharmacy jars on the shelves. This business is amongst one of the oldest in Granada, it began in 1890.

 Ceramics pottery Granada Spain

Blue & Green Pottery

When you visit Granada you will quickly notice the ceramic plant pots and bowls. In the Granada region they are typically white with a blue and green design. Since the year 1517 these typical ceramics are known to have been made. The traditional place where this has been kilned is the Cerámica Fajaluza. This factory in the Albaicin district is at Calle Fajalauza 2. The distinctive blue and green design seen in many restaurants, hotels and homes usually has a pomegranate in the centre of the pot.

Marquetry in Granada Spain



The art of wooden inlay or Marquetry was brought to Granada from Northern Africa. You can see many examples of this craft in Churches and historic buildings such as the Alhambra. Marquetry has been crafted in Granada since the 14th century. Originally the designs would have inlaid shapes made from exotic woods, mother of pearl, tortoiseshell, ivory or bone. Nowadays there are only a couple of producers left in the city.

One of them called Artesania Beas is located in the Zaidin neighbourhood. The head artisan there is eighty years old and it´s the only job he has known. The technique of carving bone is particularly tough on the hands. It seems that this technique will soon die out due to the difficulty in carving this material.You can find Taracea or marquetry pieces in the shops around Granada but be careful to purchase the real craftwork rather than the cheap plastic reproductions.

Hat shop Granada Spain

Hat makers

Further on past the Cathedral I came to a Hat maker, Miroc. They have been trading since the 1900´s. They have dozens of hats crammed into the small shop. Panama Hats, a varied selection of Fedoras, summery Straw boaters, the elegant Cordobés hats for the Feria, Flat caps, Bowler hat, the traditional birettas for the University ceremonies, you name it, it´s there. This shop is on a small street just above Plaza Trinidad, very close to the Cathedral. It really has character and an air of tradition to it.

Traditional Ice Cream

Walking up from there, up across the Gran Via we come to the most traditional place to eat an ice cream in Granada. Los Italianos have been trading since 1936. They are not open all year round to the public. Every year they open for business on St Joseph’s Day, March 19th and close on the Pilar festivity, which is celebrated on the 12th October.

On her visit to Spain in August 2010 Michelle Obama and her children had an ice cream here. I heard that she choose the 3 chocolate flavour. My personal favourite is the house special ´Cassata´ This business has been run by the same family for almost 80 years, descendants from Italian immigrants, hence the name of the shop.

Granada shop

Silk ribbon and buttons

With all the festivities happening each year in Spain, the weddings, the Crosses festival in May, Romerias, Feria, christenings and Holy Communion ceremonies, the Spanish certainly need a lot of lace and trimmings. These Merceria´s or haberdashery shops are dotted about all over the place. Selling lace, edging, tassles, fringing and trims in an infinite variety of colours and qualities, they decorate the colourful processions and the horse’s bridles in festivals all through the year. For the day you decide to wear your Flamenco dresses to the fair, they can also provide you with lots of accessories. Scarf pins, clips, and traditional hair combs called Peineta which support the lace shawls on your head. These shops are a real treasure trove of trinkets.

These specialist shops and businesses are dotted all over Spain. Stopping to look at them gives us some insight into Spanish culture and the local traditions. When next wandering in a town or city pop inside and see what unusual things you find. This is certainly a way to find conversation-starting gifts rather than buying just another bottle of wine.