Best Things To Do In Granada, Spain
Architectural sights that are not Alhambra
There is much more to see than Alhambra!
You can find some impressive architectural sights in all of Spain. After the city was conquered by the Christians in 1492, the area below the Alhambra and Albaicín became a stage for the Christian architectural might.
Today, the area is still dotted with cafes, ceramics shops, guitar makers, and other local color. The Cathedral is definitely worth a visit – it blends together Renaissance, plateresque, and Baroque architectural styles. The Royal Chapel is also worth seeing – it was built between 1505 and 1516 to house the tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella. In addition, there are some newer sights that are worth checking out, like the Centro José Guerrero (which is free) and the new Centro Federico Garcia Lorca. Both of these centers offer exhibitions on topics related to Granada’s history and culture.
Granada has much more to offer beyond the Alhambra. Granada’s rich history and culture are evident in its architecture, which includes centuries-old churches, monasteries, and fortresses. What about museums, art galleries, and theaters? Granada has it all.
Andalusian food is hearty and flavorful, with dishes like gazpacho, paella, and tapas. Granada is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely meal and people-watch. The city’s pedestrian-friendly streets are are so pretty, lined with cafes, bars, and shops. Granada is an ideal destination for those who want to experience all Spain offers.
Albaicín is one of the most charming sights in Granada. This historic Arab quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the narrow and winding streets of Albaicín, you can find beautiful whitewashed old buildings, great Arabic shops and restaurants, picturesque gardens, and great views of Granada and the Alhambra.
White little houses, minarets converted into Catholic churches, cobbled streets, ceramic tiles with tiles, wrought-iron grilles, Arabic script and arches. The hill was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.The Mirador de San Cristobal observation deck offers a magnificent city view, and the Mirador de San Nicolas terrace overlooks the Alhambra.
The construction of the quarter dates back to the 14th century. At that time, it was surrounded by fortress walls. It’s easy to get lost in Albaicín. You will find the layout of the streets, the many stairs, and the lanes very confusing. But it has a unique charm!
The Mirador de San Cristobal
The Mirador de San Cristóbal is a hidden gem in Granada. This less-popular viewpoint is much quieter than Mirador de San Nicolás, and you won’t be fighting off nearly as many crowds. The Mirador de San Cristóbal offers a different, more unique view of the sunset in Granada. It’s a bit of a hike but well worth the effort. Watch the city light up at night! The Mirador de San Cristóbal is located just west of Albayzín, and it’s a great spot to watch the sunset over the city.
You’ll have an unobstructed view of Granada, and you’ll be able to see the Alhambra lit up at night. It’s a truly magical experience that you won’t forget anytime soon. So next time you’re in Granada, check out the Mirador de San Cristóbal for an unforgettable experience.
Best things to do in Albacin Granada
Place San Nicolás
Place San Nicolás is located in the heart of Albaicín.
This is the most popular tourist spot and offers a beautiful view of the Alhambra. On the square is the church of the same name from the 16th century.
Piazza Larga in Albacin
– is one of the favorite places of the people of Granada. On Saturdays, there is a market in Piazza Larga that sells a variety of goods.
Carrera del Darro is one of the oldest streets in Albacin and is located at the foot of the hill.
Carrera del Darro
Carrera del Darro is a narrow, winding street that runs from Piazza Nueva along the winding bed of the Darro River. This scenic route is full of with beautiful buildings, remains of Arab houses, stone bridges, and good restaurants.
Flamenco in Albayzín District
If you want to see some authentic flamenco while in Granada, there’s no better place to go than the Albayzín District.
This world-famous neighborhood is famous for its stunning views of the cityscape, and it’s also the caves with the most famous(and touristy) flamenco show town. From intimate performances in small bars to large-scale productions in theaters, there’s something for everyone in the Albayzín. And with its close proximity to Sacromonte, you can easily make a night of it by catching a show in both neighborhoods.
You will find stunning views and lovely scenery in Sacramonte, another gypsy quarter located on a hillside. Although Albacin is not as crowded with tourists as other places in Granada, it is still worth exploring this charming town.
What to do in Sacramonte Granada
Flamenco in the caves
The city of Granada is well-known for its flamenco workshops and performances. For centuries, guitars, castanets, and cajons have been produced in the city – all essential instruments in flamenco music. However, the best flamenco performances, take place in the caves of Sacromonte(located in one of Granada’s three hills).
The area is famous for its whitewashed houses and narrow, winding streets. It has been the traditional residence of Granada’s Gypsy population since the 16th century. Some of the caves are still inhabited but now have the benefits of modern civilization. The flamenco performances in Sacromonte’s caves are truly unique – you can’t miss it if you are in the area.
Get clean in Hammam Al-Andalus
Why not try an authentic Moorish experience and visit a hammam? Hammams, or bathhouses, were an essential part of daily life in Moorish Al Andalus. They were banned by the Christians in the mid-16th century. Suppose you’re looking for a more complete experience. In that case, you can add on services like body scrubs, massages, and traditional black soap treatments.
Are you ready to take a step back in time and enjoy a Hammam session during your stay in Granada?
A visit to Hammam Al-Andalus is a must. First, Hammam Al Andalus offers 90-minute sessions starting with the introductory “water tour. This historic bathhouse reopened in 1998. The XIII century building features original mosaics with geometric designs, columns carved with arabesque motifs, and arches and vaults punctuated by skylights.
A visit to Hammam Al-Andalus is an unforgettable experience that will transport you back to the Andalusian society of centuries past.
Granada is a place where the past and present collide. By day, tourists explore the city’s centuries-old architecture and bustling markets. But as the sun sets, Granada comes alive with music and dancing.
Spain is famous for its rich culture and delicious cuisine. And in the province of Andalusia, located in southern Spain, there is a unique tradition of bars and eateries serving free tapas to patrons any time they order a drink.
One drink=one tapa.
You can basically have a meal with several rounds of drinks!
The cost? A couple couple of euros paid for every glass of wine.
This wonderful tradition allows locals and visitors alike to enjoy the superb flavors of Spain without breaking the bank. So next time you find yourself in Andalusia, be sure to take advantage of this amazing chance to sample some of the best tapas Spain has to offer. Salud!
Granada is renowned for its tapas, and for a good reason. These delicious little dishes are not only a great way to sample the local cuisine, but they’re also a perfect way to snack between meals. And since the food comes in good portions, these tapas are a substitute for lunch or dinner.
Chapel of San Miguel
There are many things to do in Granada, but one highlight is visiting the Chapel of San Miguel. Not only does it offer stunning views of the city, but it’s also a historical religious monument. The Chapel was built in the 17th century in the Baroque style, and it’s worth taking some time to appreciate the intricate details of its architecture.
Benedictine abbey on Valparaiso hill
If love religious monuments, you should also check out the Benedictine abbey on Valparaiso hill. Similarly, the Cathedral or Santa Maria de la Encarnacion is a beautiful Renaissance church that dates back to the 16th century. Queen Isabella commissioned its construction as a victory monument for Christians over Moors. Today, it’s one of the most important buildings in Granada. Be sure to check out the immense relief on the 16th-century western façade and the decorative sculptures on the northwest side of the cathedral.
Gabriel Garcia Lorca home in San Vicente
La Huerta de San Vicente is a historic house and museum in Granada, Spain. The property was the summer home of Federico García Lorca, a famous Spanish poet. It is now open to the public for guided tours. La Huerta de San Vicente was originally outside the city limits, but it is now surrounded by a lovely park. La Huerta de San Vicente is a must-see for any fan of García Lorca’s work or of Spanish history and culture.He wrote some of his famous works in the building, which was his family’s home. The museum is located in the Huerta de San Vicente.
This garden was once part of the Lorca family property. The garden has been restored to its appearance during Lorca’s lifetime, and the museum houses a collection of manuscripts, photographs, and personal belongings. Visitors can also see a recreation of the poet’s study and bedroom.
Shopping in Granada
ranada offers something for everyone with its colorful Arabic craft shops, chic vintage boutiques, and sleek commercial centers.
Shopping in Calle Reyes Católicos
Calle Reyes Católicos is Granada’s main shopping street. Here, you will find a mix of long-established retailers and familiar fashion chains.
Alhambra Bookstore (Librería de la Alhambra) is a must-visit for quality gifts and souvenirs and a collection of titles dedicated to the monument’s history and culture.
La Alcaicería in Granada
For a truly unique shopping experience, head to La Alcaicería in Granada. This historic market dates back to the 15th century, and today it is still a bustling hub of activity. What a feast! It’s like you’ve transported to a real Moroccan bazaar. From tapestries to exotic spices and teas. Interspersed among the stalls, you’ll also find plenty of opportunities to take in Granada’s Moorish heritage. For example ,the ornate archways and tightly crammed passageways. Whether hunting for particular artisan finds or just wanting to soak up the atmosphere, La Alcaicería is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Al Sur de Granada Sur de Granada
Al Sur de Granada Sur de Granada is one of the more authentic places to go shopping in Granada. The shelves are lined with delicious local produce (olive oil, jam, honey, wine) . This place would be a great place to buy presents for your friends.
Go ahead and sample the products in the tapas bar and choose from a range of wines and cheeses. There is also a downstairs room where wine tasting evenings are occasionally held. Ask about this at the bar when you visit.
Mall? Why not!
Nevada Shopping Center is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of retail therapy. Situated a few km outside Granada, in the municipality of Armilla, the sleek, modern mall offers about everything!
- Typical street labels
- exquisite designer options
- shoe shops
- sports outfitters
- home decor stores
Where to eat in Granada
Granada is also home to many excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars, so visitors will never be far from a good meal.
Granada’s gastronomy reflects this diversity, with traditional Andalusian, Spanish, and Arabic dishes all represented. Olha de San Anton is a traditional dish of Granada. One of the most distinctive features of Granada’s cuisine is the use of spices, which gives many dishes a unique Eastern flavor.
Some of the most popular regional dishes in Granada include:
- beans and ham
- sacromonte tortilla
- and Andalusian gazpacho with garlic and grilled sardines
- Salted bean bread, the famous tortilla del Sacromonte, or the Granada cod and orange cod remojon salad, are also typical.
Drinks to try in Granada:
To try the local wine in Granada, ask for “un costa”
“tinto de verano” is “summer wine”
Granada has some great breweries – beer lovers will have a blast!
Cerveza Alhambra is a must-try for any beer lover. And you can find it anywhere.
The teahouses in the Moorish quarter of Albaicín are the perfect place to enjoy an authentic cup of tea.
The Alhambra is one of the most iconic landmarks in Spain, and it’s easy to see why. This exquisite ensemble of Islamic architecture and art has been celebrated for centuries in poetry and song, popularized by Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra.
Its image is endlessly replicated on postcards, representing Andalusia’s essence. The Alhambra is more than just a pretty face, though. It’s also a historical landmark with a rich and fascinating history.
The Alhambra is an undeniably impressive sight, towering over the city of Granada like a medieval castle in a storybook. But those who take the time to explore beyond its imposing walls will find a city full of life and history.
The magnificent palace complex was once the home of the Nasrid sultans, who ruled Granada from 1232 to 1492. Today, visitors can explore the palaces, citadel, and fortress at their own pace or with a guided tour.
The Alhambra is especially magical at night when most visitors have left. The only sounds are the fountains in the Patio of the Lions and Court of the Myrtles. As the sky darkens, the stars are reflected in the shimmering pools, creating a truly unforgettable experience.
Granada is well known for its many cultural festivals. The Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize is presented in Granada every year. This is because the poet lived during his school years and before his tragic death. Granada and the stories of its locals are mentioned in many of the poet’s poems, for example, in the collection “Gypsy Romancero” or the play “Blood Wedding.”
In addition to its literary and culinary heritage, Granada is also home to many kinds of music, dance, tango, jazz, cinema, and theater festivals. As a result, Granada is a city with much to offer in terms of culture and history.
The East meets the West
Granada is a melting pot of cultures, where the East meets the West, and the past feels alive in the present. From the charming winding streets of the Albaicin district to the lively tapas bars of Plaza Nueva, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Granada. So don’t let the Alhambra overshadow your visit to this vibrant city — make sure to explore all that Granada has to offer.
Where to stay in Granada?
Best hotels in Granada
Parador de Granada
If you’re looking for the best hotels in Granada, look no further than Parador de Granada and Palacio de Mariana Pineda. Located in the heart of Granada, both hotels offer stunning views of the surrounding area. Parador de Granada is located inside the Alhambra, making it the perfect place to stay if you want to explore this historic site.
Palacio de Mariana Pineda
The hotel has 40 beautifully-decorated rooms and a terrace for dining or drinks. Palacio de Mariana Pineda is located at the edge of the Albaicin and overlooks the river and the Alhambra. This five-room hotel is filled with antique furniture. It serves a daily afternoon tea perfect for restoring yourself after a day of exploring. If you’re looking for the best hotels in Granada, look no further than Parador de Granada and Palacio de Mariana Pineda.
Granada History Brief
Spain is a country with a vibrant history. The land was home to the Berber/Arab civilization of the Moors for centuries. They produced a highly cultivated culture that was influential in medieval Europe.
Christians eventually drove The Moors out of Spain. The consolidation of Spain's small, Christian kingdoms was finally achieved with Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile marriage in 1469.
Granada, the last Moorish outpost in Spain, fell to Ferdinand and Isabella's forces in 1492, just as Columbus discovered the lands to become Spain's New World empire. Spain's history is full of drama, intrigue, and conflict - making it one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
Where is Granada, Spain, located?
Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, between two hills separated by the Darro River valley. The Sierra Nevada is one of the highest mountains in Europe. Granada offers a wide variety of climates and landscapes, from the alpine vegetation of the Sierra Nevada to the tropical coastline.
Granada is also 433 km from Madrid, 454 km from Cadiz, 128 km from Malaga and 251 km from Seville.
The climate of Granada is transitional between the Mediterranean and cold semi-arid. Summers are dry and hot, and winters are cool. The average annual temperature is 14 degrees.
Getting to Granada
Granada is a small city in southern Spain. The closest airport is 12 km west of Granada, but it only serves a few destinations. Malaga Airport, which is about an hour away by bus, has many more flights and is a convenient transfer point if there are no direct routes to Granada.
There are regular buses to Seville, Malaga, Madrid and Cordoba, and trains to Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia twice a day.
The bus (ALSA) takes only 1.5 hours from Malaga to Granada. The Granada train has convenient railway connections with almost all major cities in Spain.
Getting to Granada From Madrid
The train travels 4 hours from Madrid, and the tickets cost 30 €.
Bus From Madrid (Estacion Sur station) – takes 5 hours, ticket price from 19 euros.
From Seville to Granada
The train takes 3.5 hours from Seville, and ticket prices start from 24 €.
From Malaga to Granada
It will take 1.5 hours to get from Malaga to Granada, and ticket prices start at 11 euros.
When is the best to visit Granada, Spain?
Granada is a mountainous city (700 m above sea level). You are likely to need war clothes in the morning and evening. During the day gets really hot. However, there is little rainfall in Granada and plenty of sunny days. The best time to visit is spring when everything around is in bloom and the air is still fresh.
In summer, the average temperature is 25°C (maximum rises to 35°C), in winter – 6-8°C.
In winter, the weather is cool but not freezing. Granada is an excellent destination for skiers. Also, in February, Granada celebrates the day of the patron saint of Granada – Saint Cecilius. And it’s a very unique and colorful celebration to see.