What to see in Granada: 10 Things to do and itineraries from 1 3 5 days

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

"Granada, city of sun and flowers ... Romantic Granada, country of light, blood and love!". With these verses the famous Claudio Villa celebrated the pearl of Andalusia, that Granada which thanks also to its strategic position, wedged between the Sierra Nevada and the sea of ​​the Costa Tropical, is increasingly assaulted by tourists, fascinated by its monuments. and kidnapped by its climate, its colors, its traditions.
Let's take advantage of this top ten of Granada's must-see attractions to get to know it better ... and, perhaps, fall in love a little with this city.


  1. Alhambra
  2. Generalife
  3. Albayzín
  4. Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel
  5. Alcaicería
  6. Sierra Nevada National Park
  7. Arab Bath (Bañuelo)
  8. Science Park
  9. Sacromonte
  10. Dar-al-Horra (Monastery of Santa Isabella)
  11. 5 things to do in Granada
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Alhambra

If you were to ask any inhabitant of Granada about their city's top attraction, the answer would almost certainly be unanimous: the Alhambra. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site this military citadel, a stronghold built to guard and defend the city, it is one of the symbols of Muslim rule of the area. Its name, which can be translated into "Red Fortress", actually has an Arabic derivation and most likely refers to the color of the bricks used to make the outer walls of the fort.

  • by bus from the center in half an hour. From Avda. Constitucion bus SN1 to Catedral, then from the stop Plaza Isabel la Catolica bus C3 to the destination - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun 08: 30-18: 00
  • full € 14,00; children under 12 free. Discounts for over 65 (€ 9,00) and children between 12 and 15 years (€ 8,00)

Book entry first: The entrance is for a limited number of people per day, and the queues are interminable, you risk hours of waiting. The ticket must be booked weeks in advance, in high season even months in advance if possible. For this reason, but also because it deserves to be visited carefully, we highly recommend the priority entrance ticket to the Alhambra and the Generalife or, even better, the priority entrance with guided tour. Allow yourself no less than 3 hours to visit the whole complex.

2 - Generalife

In Arabic, its name means "Garden of the Architect". It goes without saying that the architect in question is not a man, but God. Right in front of the Alhambra treat yourself to a moment of inner peace immersed in the lush greenery of the Generalife, colorful and well-kept gardens that surround the entire surrounding structure: a true Paradise!
The Palacio de Generalife was the summer residence of the Nasrid sultans of the Sultanate of Granada, built during the reign of Muhammad III.
Here too, as for the rest of the Alhambra complex, we highly recommend a ticket with priority entrance to the Alhambra and the Generalife or, even better, priority entrance and guided tour.

  • From Avda. Constitucion with the SN1 bus to Catedral, then from the Plaza Isabel la Catolica bus C3 to the Generalife stop. Estimated time: 34 minutes - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun 08: 30-18: 00. From April to November it is possible to carry out night visits (Tue-Sat 22 pm-00pm; from October 23th to November 30th, Fri-Sat 15 pm-14pm)
  • full € 7,00. Children under the age of 12 enter for free. Night visits: full € 5,00; free admission for children up to 12 years

Visit the Nasrid Palaces first: if you intend to visit the Nasrid Palaces in your visit to the complex (and we highly recommend it, make sure your ticket includes them), it is better to visit them before the Generalife. This is because the visit to the palaces takes place at the time indicated on the ticket, and you enter up to a maximum of 300 people every 30 minutes. No delays are allowed, you risk losing your ticket. So, better prioritize this and then continue with the Generalife

3 - Albayzín

A neighborhood where it flourishes in all its glory an Arab-Muslim architecture so fascinating that it received the important recognition of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Staying in Granada includes a pleasant obligatory stop in the suggestive Albayzín district, which together with the Sacromonte district are the most characteristic of the city. This is why we recommend visiting it with a historical walking tour that in 2 hours will immerse you in the history of this Moorish neighborhood.
In the evening, don't miss a characteristic flamenco show in a tablao in the Albayzín.

  • in less than half an hour by bus n ° 9 from the Av. Constitucion 4 stop, last stop Ctra Murcia-Pages-Albaicin. Walk for a few minutes - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

Visit the Miradores: in the Albayzìn district there are several "Miradores", panoramic points from which to enjoy a wonderful view. The best known are those of San Cristobal, San Nicolas and San Miguel Alto. If you visit them at sunset, you will get some extraordinary shots!

4 - Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel

For the Spaniards it is the Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación, for us tourists it is simply the Cathedral of Granada. Imposing, sumptuous, elegant on the outside, this Renaissance architectural masterpiece (whose construction was completed in the eighteenth century, but started in 1492, in imitation of its namesake in Toledo) hides truly priceless treasures inside. We are not talking about jewels and gold, but about the adjacent one Royal Chapel, which preserves the remains of the kings Isabella and Ferdinando. The beauty, the uniqueness and the anecdotes that intertwine around this masterpiece deserve a guided tour, which allows you to discover the most interesting secrets and details.
Near the chapel is the Sacristy, where a small one was established museum with precious finds that belonged to the sovereigns, like the silver crown. It is also worth visiting the small "art gallery" that belonged to the two regents, with works by important artists, such as Botticelli. The real "gem" of this building, however, is its Baroque facade, designed by Alonso Cano in 1667.

  • walk in a minute, proceeding southwest on Calle Cárcel Baja towards Pje. Diego de Siloé - Get directions
  • lun-sab 10:15-18:30; domenica 11:00-18:30
  • full € 5,00; students from 13 years € 3,50; children up to 12 years enter for free

5 - Alcaicería

Once in the colorful Granada, you cannot fail to experience the irrepressible impulse to buy objects, fabrics, typical products of this city. The number one place for local shopping is Alcaicería, which together with Zacatìn constitutes the old Arab and Jewish quarter of Granada.
From spices to jewels, passing through fabulous shoes, in Alcaicería you can really be spoiled for choice to return to Italy with original and fabulous souvenirs.

  • walk from the center in 3 minutes, going northeast on Calle Cárcel Baja towards Calle Gran Vía de Colón - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun 10: 00-21: 00
  • free, free visit

6 - Sierra Nevada National Park

It is a paradise for skiers, but not only. Lovers of nature, snow activities and trekking will be captivated by the charm of the Sierra Nevada, the mountains that surround beautiful Granada and which deserve an in-depth visit. The park's postcard landscapes will inspire anyone to take souvenir photos of a dream landscape.

A reserve that stretches for 75 km with peaks that exceed 7.000 meters. Snowy peaks alternate with gorges, rivers, waterfalls: a true natural paradise that deserves a full day tour.
In winter it is a skiers' paradise with about 70 ski slopes that stretch for over 80 km, while in summer, trekking enthusiasts can reach the highest peaks, such as Mulhacén and Veleta, which reach 3.500 meters.

  • to reach the park in the shortest possible time it is advisable to rent a car or move by taxi. Taking the A 44 it takes less than 30 minutes to reach your destination - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

7 - Arab Bath (Bañuelo)

On the banks of the Darro River it is located one of the few Arab baths that survived the expulsion of Muslims from the city. Labeled by Catholics as places of lust and perdition, today the bañuelo are considered real architectural masterpieces. Visiting one of the few bañuelos left intact after the devastation of every anti-Christian symbol is arousing strong emotion.

These bathrooms were a place to wash but above all a meeting point for the sociability of the time. However, Christians saw it as a place where obscene and impure acts took place, so they closed it. The demolition was averted only by the fact that this was built on top of a house.

  • by bus SN 4 from Avda. Constitucion 21, to Catedral, then on foot in 7 minutes. Estimated time 20 minutes total - Get directions
  • Sep-Apr every day 10: 00-17: 00, May-Sep every day 9: 30-14: 30 and 17: 00-20: 30
  • € 2,50

8 - Science Park

An attraction designed for young and old, which sets itself the goal of teaching something important without excluding the fun. Whether with the family or alone, it is worth stopping for a couple of hours inside the futuristic Science Park of Granada, equipped with a breathtaking Planetarium and interactive rooms where visitors are explained, among other things , human DNA.

Even the exterior has different paths and attractions for young and old, with botanical gardens, telescopic observatories and astronomical gardens, tropical butterfly parks, workshops with birds of prey.

  • from the city center by bus in 22 minutes. From Avda. Constitucion 21 with bus n ° 25, until the Parque de las Ciencias 2 stop - Get directions
  • Tue-Sat 10: 00-19: 00; Sun and holidays 10: 00-15: 00, closed Mon
  • full € 7,00, Planetarium € 2,50; reduced for over 65 and under 18 admission € 6,00, Planetarium € 2,00

9 - Sacromonte

If you want to go wild with the sensual steps of flamenco, then the Sacromonte neighborhood is the place for you! This delightful area of ​​Granada, once a refuge for Jews (who holed up in caves created in the th century to hide Muslims, called las cuevas), was stormed by gypsies in the th century. Thus it was that the gypsy community gave new luster to Sacromonte, making it the most "goliardic" area of ​​the Andalusian city!

This gypsy quarter still preserves some intact exhibits in the "Casas Cuevas", the "Cave Houses", and the caves are the object of the "Cuevas del Sacromonte" Museum (online ticket from € 5,00 with audio guide included).
Today it is visited mainly for the gypsy flamenco shows in the tablaos and cuevas, in the caves, even if for this very reason, the shows have lost some of their authenticity and become a bit touristy.

  • by bus C31 from Plaza Nueva for 4 stops to Cuesta del Chapiz - Peso de la Harina, then 7 minutes on foot - Get directions
  • always accessible. Museum 15 Oct-14 Mar every day 10: 00-18: 00, 15 Mar-14 Oct every day 10: 00-20: 00
  • free, free visit. Museum € 5,00

10 - Dar-al-Horra (Monastery of Santa Isabella)

One of the most fascinating buildings in the entire city, both for its architecture and for its history, which saw it as the protagonist of a subsequent "redevelopment". Dar-al-Horra, or "the house of the honest woman", was built in the fifteenth century on the remains of the palace of King Ziri and probably dedicated to the mother of the last Arab king Boabdil. At the end of the th century, with the advent of the Catholic sovereigns, Dar-al-Horra became the Monastery of Santa Isabella, at the behest of the homonymous queen: this use of the palace lasted until the twentieth century, when it was finally acquired by the government.

  • 13 minutes on foot. Just head northeast on Calle Cárcel Baja, towards Calle Gran Vía de Colón - Get directions
  • 15 Sep-31 Mar Mon-Sun 10: 00-17: 00. 1 Apr-14 Sep Mon-Sun 09: 30-14: 30 and 17: 00-20: 30
  • € 3,65

5 things to do in Granada

  1. Flamenco Zambra show in the Cuevas del Sacromonte
    The Zambra is probably the most authentic expression of flamenco dance. This is the flamenco of the gypsies evolved from Moorish dances. Granada is the cradle of this art, and the Sacromonte cuevas the perfect place to watch authentic Zambra flamenco shows.
  2. Shopping in the Alcaceria souk
    It is the Gran Bazaar of Granada, the Arab market where you can find silks, spices, ceramics and colored lamps, inside a colorful and fragrant maze of narrow streets where you can buy perfect souvenirs!
  3. Safari in the Sierra Nevada
    Spectacular peaks, canyons, valleys, streams: the Sierra Nevada is a natural paradise. You will witness incredible views, fiery red sunsets from the highest peaks up to 3.500 meters! The best way is a 4x4 safari with an expert guide, it will be an unforgettable adventure!
  4. Visit the Alpujarra Granadina region
    It is a valley south of the Sierra Nevada where fascinating villages meet in which life flows at the rhythm of the past. Pastoralism, agriculture, white houses and narrow streets, natural springs. Discover these historic mountain villages on a day trip from Granada to see an extraordinarily unexpected slice of Andalusia!
  5. Experience in hammams
    the Hammam in Granada is a usual experience not only for tourists, but also for locals. This is also a Moorish tradition, with Turkish baths, steam baths, cold and then hot showers ... in short, like in a real Arab hammam! We recommend that you try it in Hammam Al Ándalus by booking an optional massage experience.

Plan your stay in Granada: flights, hotels and tours

City accessible both on foot and by public transport, Granada is the ideal destination for low cost holidays in Spain without giving up the beauty of its landscapes and the thousands of cultural opportunities that the center and the various districts of the town offer. As for clubs and restaurants, you can also have lunch and dinner in the center for a rather paltry amount.

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