Cultural Activities

Arcos includes cultural activities in your study abroad program price! These are typically during the afternoons. Our carefully crafted cultural activities can include cooking classes, dance classes, culinary tours, and museum visits. You will find your confirmed cultural activities in the Program Calendar that you receive one month before your program start date. Below is a list of possible cultural activities for your program:

Welcome Activity & Program Orientation

Your first full day in Granada we will introduce you to the main streets and central neighborhoods of the city. This is a perfect way to get acquainted with the layout of your new city and how to travel from your homestay to school on the first day of classes.

Students on a city tour of Granada, Spain

Granada Orientation City Tour

With Granada’s deep history and mix of so many cultures the city tour is a walk through time. We will visit hidden plazas and wind our way up cobblestone streets to inspiring lookouts, or miradores. There are many Islamic buildings in the central part of the city such as La Madraza, the remains of the old Muslim University. Also on the tour is the Corral del Carbón, a 14th century market place built by the moors. Plaza Nueva is arguably the center of the city. Here amongst tapas bars and cafés is the Iglesia de Santa Ana, whose bell tower was a former mosque’s minaret. We will also walk Paseo de los Tristes which curves along the Darro River and into the Albaicín. Finally making our way up to the San Nicolás mirador we’ll see striking views of the Alhambra and surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

Buildings on Plaza Nueva in Granada, Spain

Arabic Baths

Step back into the days of the Moors and experience an Arab Bath house (or Hammam). Water was sacred to the Moors and among other things the baths served as a means of purification. You will experience the relaxing hot and cold baths while enjoying the silence and calm the bath house provides. This is a journey through the history of Arabic Granada!

Students soaking in the arabic baths in Granada, Spain

Arabic Tile-Making Workshop

Design your own plaster tile and learn the art of traditional design and paint used by the Moors in the time of Arabic Spain.

Arabic tile-making workshop in Granada, Spain

Arabic Tea House

Granada’s historic quarter known as the Albaicín is full of exotic Arabic tea houses or "teterías". These intimate locales are cool and dimly lit with low lying tables and plush Arabic cushions. The aromas of exotic teas, brewed in the Arabic tradition, fill the rooms. This is a bohemian experience and with Granada’s large student population the teterías are always frequented with young people, both Spanish and foreign. You will definitely want to savor the famous Moroccan tea made with mint leaves and sweetened with honey, as well as snack on exquisite Arab cakes.

Arabic tea house in Granada, Spain

City Tour (Albaicín Neighborhood)

The Albaicín is the best-preserved Moorish quarter in all of Europe. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will explore the history and architecture of this unique neighborhood.

Students touring the Albaicin neighborhood

City Tour (Cathedral & Royal Chapel)

Visit the historic Cathedral and Royal Chapel of Granada. The Royal Chapel is the burial place of the Catholic Kings, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Also buried here is their daughter, Juana la Loca, and her husband Felipe el Hermoso. The Chapel is built in Gothic style. Next to the Royal Chapel is the Cathedral of Granada. It was built on top of the former Great Mosque. Construction began in the 16th century and took 181 years to finish. It is a representative of Spanish Renaissance architecture. The Cathedral contains works of art by El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera, and Alonso Cano.

The Cathedral in Granada, Spain

City Tour (Sacromonte Neighborhood & Gypsy Cave Houses)

Explore the historic Gypsy neighborhood of Sacromonte during the Albaicín City Tour and later complete the experience during our Flamenco Performance Night when you will see a live flamenco performance in a Gypsy cave.

Cactus and cave houses of Sacromonte neighborhood in Granada, Spain

City Tour (The Realejo Neighborhood)

We will explore the hidden points of interest of this historic neighborhood of Granada. This white-washed district is home to many plazas famous for their tapas restaurants. We will also see the "carmenes" or large mansions with intimate gardens typical of this part of the city.

Students touring the Realejo neighborhood of Granada, Spain

Festival (Festival de Música y Danza) - June & July

This festival is one of the most important cultural events in Spain. Performers come from all over the world and the city itself turns into a theater. We will watch a performance either in one of the indoor or outdoor venues of Granada.

People gathered for a concert in front of the Cathedral in Granada, Spain

Theater Night (Federico García Lorca) - July & August

Every summer, from late July to early August, the Board of Andalucia, puts on a music and dance performance which adapts musical pieces from the famous theatrical works of native son, Federico García Lorca. The performances are in the evening in the open-air theater located in the heart of the Alhambra palace complex. Here, you will experience a surreal musical and theatrical experience under the stars of southern Spain. These pieces focus, in particular, on the flamenco which Federico García Lorca loved so much.

Students at a theater performance at the Alhambra

Flamenco Dance Class

Flamenco is a must while in Granada. Everyone will have the opportunity to take a Flamenco dance class. Those who are interested can continue to learn about the different parts of this passionate art form, Cante, the song, and Baile, the dance. Granada is a very artistic community and visitors can typically find any type of dance instruction, from salsa and merengue to hip hop. Dance classes are a great way to improve your dance skills and get involved with local activities.

Students at a flamenco dance class in a gypsy cave

Flamenco Performance (Gypsy Cave)

In the evenings the lively music of the gypsies, flamenco, resonates from the hillside caves of Sacromonte. This neighborhood has traditionally been home to the gypsies and the unique art form that has its origins in Southern Spain. We will enjoy an evening performance demonstrating the three forms of flamenco, Cante, the song, Baile, the dance, and Guitarra, guitar playing. The white-washed and dimly lit caves of Sacromonte provide the ideal venue for this passionate art form.

Female flamenco dancer in a gypsy cave

Hiking

The wild mountain landscapes of Southern Spain provide the perfect locale for hiking. The valleys that lead up to the high Sierra Nevada mountains are full of infinite hiking trails. Some of the most popular areas located just outside of Granada are Los Cahorros, the Sierra de Alfaguara and the high peaks accessible via the ski slopes. Los Cahorros is an area of breathtaking scenery and deep ravines cut by the Monachil River. Trekkers might cross suspension bridges and squeeze through tight canyon walls. The high sections of the trail are rugged and full of great views of the river gorge below. Other trails found in the mountain terrain of the Sierra Nevada wind through pine forests, green meadows, and past mountain streams. Arid and rugged landscapes stretch in the distance. You will have views of impressive peaks in the area such as La Veleta, El Mulhacén, and El Caballo, among others.

Two young women hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains

Movie Night (in Spanish)

We will visit one of Granada's movie theaters to watch a film in Spanish.

Puerta Real, Granada, Spain

Tapas Night

Granada is the most famous city in Spain for its tapas tradition. Tapas are small plates of food to be shared with friends. There are even city designated tapas trails to explore specific tapas restaurant areas. What really makes tapas special in Granada is that they are usually free with a beverage.

Spanish tapas

Traditional Cooking Class (Paella & Spanish Tortilla)

Learning to cook traditional dishes while abroad is the best way to take something back from your experience. Granada is famous for its Mediterranean cuisine. Learn typical dishes such as croquetas, roasted bell pepper salad or tapas. These are all dishes you can later share with friends and family.

Students in a Spanish cooking class

Traditional Food Tasting Class (Spanish Tapas, Olive Oil & Cuisine)

Learn about the culinary traditions of Southern Spain. We will taste the wide variety of olives and olive oils that come from the region. Spain produces and consumes more olive oil than anywhere else in the world. In Andalucía there are 262 varieties of olives! Also experience the fine cheeses and meat cuts that are cured in the high sierra just outside of Granada. We will also taste other delectable items such as honeys and preserves. No venture to any exotic locale is complete without enjoying and learning about the culinary delights it has to offer.

Plate of Spanish cheeses and olive oil

Museum Visits

Granada is home to many unique museums. One of which is the personal art collection of Queen Isabela housed in the Royal Cathedral. The archeological museum has a nice collection of artifacts from the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and other cultures that inhabited Granada. Another highlight is the Manuel de Falla Museum. This is the former home of the famous composer from Granada. The house has beautiful gardens and paintings by Picasso and others.

Students in front of the Pablo Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain

Science Park

The Granada science park provides a full afternoon of fun with both temporary and permanent exhibits. The facility is first interactive center of its type in Southern Spain.

Teenagers at the Parque de las Ciencias in Granada, Spain

Zipline & Adventure Park

Great group-building activity with fantastic views and 8 incredible ziplines!

Zipline adventure park in Granada, Spain