I just came back from a trip to Granada, Spain, and I cannot stress how much visiting this city changed my life. It's a city that is blissful, splendid and homey, and in a few short days as a tourist in Granada this anxiety-ridden foodie managed to find more inner peace than she'd had in months. 

I attribute this magical experience to Granada's combination of friendly locals, extraordinary history, and mouthwatering cuisine. Below are a few reasons why Granada is foodie heaven. Hopefully, they will inspire you to visit (or re-visit) this breathtaking city. 

1. Bottomless tapas 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Yes, you heard that right. It's apparently a tradition that if you order alcoholic beverages by the glass (hello, sangria!), they'll bring you a TON of free tapas! And what could possibly be more exciting than food that is both free and delicious?

On the very first day, I visited one of the city's most iconic tapas restaurants, Los Diamantes, and was overwhelmed by the rich flavours of the array of foodgasmic dishes. Feast your eyes on the protagonist of the picture above: my personal favourite, a salty-and-spicy dish called Pulpo a la Gallega, which consists of boiled octopus on a bed of potatoes and topped with olive oil, paprika and sea salt.

2. Churros, churros, churros 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Just take a minute to admire the golden-brown crispiness of the fresh churros pictured above. Then, imagine dipping these awe-inspiring creatures into dense hot chocolate, before biting into their creamy yet brittle goodness. All the while, the southern Spanish sunshine is smiling down on you, bright as ever at 6pm, and you wonder how you could ever surpass this state of serenity and bliss. 

There are a hefty amount of places where you can eat mouthwatering churros, but the ones pictured above are from a locals' favourite, Alhambra Cafeteria, in Plaza Bib-Rambla. 

3. Extreme multiculturality

Marie Chantal Marauta

Due to the city's complicated history, Granada is a mosaic of different cultures. But, instead of standing in stark and competitive contrast to each other, over time these cultures have managed to peacefully co-exist, and, in some ways, even blend. The Flamenco, for example, is a dance form that resulted from the combination of Arab and Andalusian Gypsy cultural forms.  

So what does this mean for cuisine? It means that you can walk through Albaicín and sip on traditional Moroccan mint tea, and then walk ten minutes to the city centre to have Habas con Jamón, and then another ten minutes to the Gyspy quarter, Sacromonte, to eat Tortilla del Sacromonte!

Granada lets you wander between extremely different cultural worlds in a span of ten to twenty minutes, giving you the best of three different worlds. Unique and delectable!

4. Relaxing and historical ambience 

Marie Chantal Marauta

As a history buff, I found eating meals in front of the Alhambra and Generalife palaces to be simultaneously relaxing and exciting. While enjoying a plate of grilled pork followed by sweet and juicy orange slices, all I could do was marvel at the fact that I was sitting in a city whose history was as rich, diverse and intriguing as its cuisine. 

Choose one of Granada's many panoramic restaurants to either eat a meal or have a drink at, and let this majestic city relay hundreds of years' worth of history to you as you sit, relax, and soak it all in. Seeing this historical jewel in the flesh makes one feel very small (in a good way), and if, like me, you take the feeling of a city to heart, you'll find peace in its magnificence.  

5. Berenjenas con miel 

Marie Chantal Marauta

Okay, these aren't strictly Granada-specific, but this typically Andalusian dish is the DEFINITION of foodgasm. Fried eggplants served with saccharine, sticky honey will fulfill both sweet and savoury cravings, and are the perfect tapas to either snack on mid-afternoon or eat as an appetizer to a full meal. 

A great place to have these is at a hotspot amongst locals, the historic Bodegas Espadafor, an establishment that has been open since 1910. 

Warning: fried berenjenas are extremely addictive. 

6. 10/10 friendly service

From the moment I set foot in the first tapas bar of the trip, I felt extremely welcome and at home in this completely new city. I appreciated the waiters' chill vibes, and was in awe of the fact that they consistently provided relaxed yet alert service with a smile even at highly chaotic peak hours.

Furthermore, I was super impressed by the patience and good humour displayed by literally every waiter we encountered as I listed my extensive catalogue of allergies. In some cases where dishes and sauces were pre-prepared with ingredients I couldn't consume, the kitchen went out of their way to create a completely new (and extraordinarily flavoured) dish for me.

The city really knew how to treat their visitors well, and at every turn locals made sure that us tourists had a pleasant and easygoing experience. 

7. A large amount of alcohol for a very low price 

As a gin lover, I was overjoyed when I paid 8 Euros for three and a half shots' worth of Hendrick's or Larios Rosé. Back at my current 'home' town, Oxford, I would have paid double (and, in some super-touristy pubs, triple) that amount. Individuals on strict student budgets can rejoice that in Granada they no longer have to feel guilty for spending a lot of money in order to get that late-afternoon buzz. 

The low prices don't just apply to alcohol, either. In general, one can eat some marvelous and filling meals at various tapas bars for as little as 15-20 Euro. And by meal, I'm talking about a feast, complete with sangria or beer. It's truly wonderful. 

If you get the chance, I would 100% recommend visiting this beautiful, idyllic city. A tour around this Andalusian treasure will both relax you and enhance your cultural sensibilities, and it's uniqueness will ensure that you come away from Granada with a completely novel experience. Good food + intriguing culture = happy tourist.