Ultimate Guide to Granada, Spain

Granada - Alhambra Mirador - Albaicin

We visited Granada last summer, and we have to tell you guys, it is amazing! For that reason, we crafted the Ultimate Guide to Granada for you. Alright! We’ll give you a little history lesson on Granada before jumping into the nice staff.

The city of Granada is located in southern Spain and has a long history that dates back to the Roman era. It was then dominated for several centuries by the Moors (Muslims from North Africa), who left behind some incredible architecture, including the known Alhambra palace.

The Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella finished the process of retaking Spain from the Moors in 1492 by taking control of Granada. This occasion signaled the end of Muslim authority in Spain and the start of its transformation into a significant European power.

Granada maintained its status as a significant city during the Golden Age of Spain, drawing writers, painters, and philosophers to its vibrant cultural scene.

And what about today?
Today, Granada is a well-liked vacation spot esteemed for its magnificent architecture, extensive history, and dynamic culture. 



Quick Facts

Location: Granada is located in the southern part of Spain, in the Andalusia region.
History: Granada has a rich history dating back to the Roman times.
Alhambra: The Alhambra is a well-known tourist destination and one of Granada’s most recognizable attractions. It is a palace and fortification complex that was created while Spain was ruled by the Moors.
Climate: mediterranean, with warm summers and moderate winters.
Economy: The economy of Granada is based on tourism, agriculture, and higher education, with the University of Granada being one of the largest in Spain.
Culture: Both Spanish and Moorish traditions have influenced the rich cultural legacy of Granada. It is famous for its traditional food, festivals, and flamenco music and dance.


How to get there depending on your location

1. Plane

Federico Garca Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport, which serves Granada, operates flights to and from a number of places in Spain and Europe. This is a practical choice for visitors arriving from a distance.

2. Train

Granada has frequent train service from places like Madrid and Seville, making travel by train convenient. Although it could take a little longer than flying, this is a convenient and economical choice.


3. Bus

Cities all around Spain, including Madrid and Seville, provide bus services. Although this technique is cost-effective, it might take time.

4. Car

If you prefer to travel by car, you can rent one at the airport or drive from another location. This gives you the flexibility to explore the region at your own pace.


The best way to experience both Granda and the surrounding area is to rent your own car! We recommend booking well in advance using price comparison sites like rental cars. if traveling in the peak summer season.

Must See in Granada

1. The Alhambra: A Gem in Granada's Crown

Granada - Alhambra

Spain’s Granada is home to the palace-fortress complex known as the Alhambra. The Moors, who dominated the area between the 13th and the 15th centuries, constructed it. The Alhambra is remarkable for its artistically designed and gilded architecture, which includes arches, courtyards, fountains, and magnificent tile work. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

The Nasrid Palaces, Generalife Gardens, and Alcazaba Fortress are a few of the components that make up the Alhambra. The Nasrid Palaces, which are known for their magnificent decoration that includes calligraphy, geometric patterns, and Quranic inscriptions, are regarded as the Alhambra’s crown gem. On a hilltop above the royal complex, the Generalife gardens offer a quiet haven with fountains, flowerbeds, and shaded paths. The oldest portion of the Alhambra, the Alcazaba fortress, provides sweeping views of Granada and the surrounding countryside.

Buy your tickets online.


Opening Hours And Ticket Price

October to March: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
April to September: 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM

General Admission Ticket: €16 
Night Ticket (valid for entry from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM during the summer months only): €18 

Combined ticket that includes Alhambra, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife Tour is approximately €50 per person

Bear in mind that the operating hours may vary on holidays. Check the official website for more info.


The Nasrid Palaces

Granada - The Nasrid Palaces

It is a collection of royal buildings called the Nasrid Palaces, sometimes referred to as the Alhambra Palaces.

They were constructed while the Nasrid dynasty dominated the area between 1238 and 1492. The palaces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are regarded as one of the best examples of Islamic architecture in Spain.

The Mexuar Palace, Comares Palace, and Lions Court are just a few of the structures and courtyards that make up the Nasrid Palaces complex. The palaces are famous for their beautiful stucco embellishments, calligraphy, and delicate tile work. 

Millions of tourists travel to the Nasrid Palaces each year, making them one of Spain’s most well-liked tourist attractions. They are regarded as evidence of the rich cultural history of Andalusia and as a representation of the aesthetic and architectural accomplishments of the area throughout the Islamic era.


Opening Hours And Ticket Price

November to February: from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
March to October: from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM

General admission without a specific time slot: €14
General admission with a specific time slot: €16
Night admission (summer only): €22

Bear in mind that the operating hours may vary on holidays.


The Generalife

Granada - Alhambra General Life

Part of the broader Alhambra complex, the Generalife is a stunning palace and gardens in Granada, Spain. The Nasrid dynasty had it constructed in the 13th century, and the kings of Granada used it as a summer residence.

A wide range of plants, flowers, fountains, and water elements may be found in the Generalife’s famed gardens. In the peaceful courtyards, visitors may stroll while taking in the aroma of blossoming flowers and the sounds of trickling water. Despite the palace’s modest size, its intricate tile work, arches, and galleries make for outstanding architecture and design.

The Generalife is notable not just for its aesthetic appeal but also for its historical and cultural significance. The palace and gardens, which were created to be a haven of peace and contemplation, provide a window into the customs and way of life of the Nasrid monarchs. The Generalife has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is regarded as one of Spain’s most significant examples of Islamic architecture.


Opening Hours And Ticket Price

November to February: from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
March to October: from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM

General admission without a specific time slot: €14
General admission with a specific time slot: €16
Night admission (summer only): €22

Bear in mind that the operating hours may vary on holidays.

2. The Cathedral of Granada

Granada - Cathedral

The Royal Chapel of Granada, usually referred to as the Cathedral of Granada is regarded as one of Spain’s greatest examples of Renaissance architecture and was constructed between 1523 and 1704.

The church is very famous for its elaborate chapels, stained glass windows, and deft stone sculptures.

The cathedral’s interior, which has a stunning high altar, choir stalls, and several chapels honoring different saints, is especially remarkable. Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic monarchs of Spain, who had a huge impact on the history of their nation and the colonization of the Americas, are also buried there.


Opening Hours And Ticket Price

Monday to Saturday: from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sunday: from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM

ticket for entrance is approximately €5
Students and people with disabilities: €3,5
Children under 12: free entry.

Bear in mind that the operating hours may vary on holidays.

3. Albaicín

Granada - Alhambra Mirador - Albaicin

The Albaicn district is perched on a hilltop with panoramic views of the city. It is famous for its small streets, old buildings, and breathtaking views of both the city and the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the distance.

The Moors established the Albaicn during their control in Spain, giving it a long history. This is mirrored in the neighborhood’s architecture, which includes winding lanes made of cobblestones and white-washed structures that are typical of traditional Andalusian architecture.

The Mirador de San Nicolás, a lookout with panoramic views of Granada, the Alhambra castle, and the Sierra Nevada mountains, is one of the most well-known attractions in the Albaicn. Both tourists and locals frequent this viewpoint, especially around sunset when the scenery is most breathtaking.

The Albaicn is famous for its vibrant ambiance and range of taverns, cafés, and restaurants serving regional food and typical Spanish tapas in addition to its breathtaking vistas and old architecture. It is a well-liked location for tourists to take in Granada’s local culture and nightlife.

Together with the Alhambra, the Albaicn is included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its distinctive cultural and historical value. Visitors who want to explore this quaint and ancient area should surely include the Albaicn on their agenda.

4. Mirador de San Nicolás

Granada - Alhambra Mirador San Nicolas

As already said above, the old Albaicin is home to the Mirador de San Nicolás viewpoint. Offering breathtaking panoramic views of Granada, the Alhambra castle, and the neighboring Sierra Nevada mountain range, it is one of the city’s most well-liked attractions.

Visitors may get the viewpoint, which is perched on a hill, by ascending a winding roadway dotted with classic white-washed structures. There is a sizable terrace with seating and a stone wall at the top where you can take in the views.

The Alhambra and views of Granada lighted up against the Sierra Nevada mountains at sunset are among the most popular times to visit the Mirador de San Nicolás.

 It was built in the 16th century, during the Moorish rule in Spain, and is a testament to the rich history and culture of the Albaicín neighborhood.


5. Mirador de la Alhambra

Granada - Alhambra Mirador

Mirador de la Alhambra is a lookout point with breathtaking views over the city and its surroundings. The vantage point offers a wide-angle view of the city, the known Alhambra Palace, and the Sierra Nevada mountains from its high location.

It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Granada. From the city center, it is simple to get to the viewpoint by foot, by automobile, or by public transportation. Visitors may take in views of the city along the course of the picturesque stroll to the lookout.


6. Sacromonte

Sacromonte is a historic neighborhood located in the hills above Granada. This neighborhood is famous for its traditional cave dwellings, known as ‘cuevas’, vibrant flamenco culture, and stunning views of the Alhambra and the city below. Sacromonte was originally a hub for gypsies and flamenco performers, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, the area became home to a large number of artists, writers, and intellectuals, who were drawn to its bohemian atmosphere and stunning views.


7. Bib-Rambla square and the Alcaiceria market

Granada - Alcaiceria Market

Bib-Rambla Square (or Plaza Nueva), is a lively and bustling square located in the heart of Granada’s historic district. It is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops where you can rest for while after a long walk in the city. In the center of the square stands a monument to the famous poet Federico García Lorca, who was born in Granada.

The Alcaiceria Market is a historic market located near Bib-Rambla Square. It was originally built in the 11th century and was one of the largest silk markets in the world. Today, the market has been restored and houses a variety of shops selling souvenirs, traditional crafts, and local products.


8. Granada ancient Arab baths

Granada Arab Baths

The Granada Ancient Arab Baths are a fascinating historical attraction and date back to the 11th century and are an excellent example of the bathhouses that were built by the city’s Arab rulers during the Moorish period. While you are there, you can explore the various rooms and areas of the bathhouses, including the cold room, the warm room, and the hot room, each of which served a different function in the bathing ritual.

The Granada Ancient Arab Baths are easily accessible and are located just a short walk from many of the city’s top attractions and shopping areas. They are open to the public 7 days a week and offer a range of ticket options for visitors, including individual admission and guided tours.


9. Mirador de San Cristóbal

Both locals and tourists enjoy the Mirador de San Cristóbal, where they gather to take in the scenery, unwind, and admire the beauty of the city. The viewpoint is a popular location to see sunrises and sunsets, and visitors may enjoy a picnic or simply relax while taking in the breathtaking views.

The Mirador de San Cristóbal is a must-see location, regardless of whether you live nearby or are simply visiting Granada. The vantage point provides a beautiful setting for an unforgettable encounter.

10. Casa-Museo Federico García Lorca

A museum honoring the life and works of famous Spanish poet and dramatist Federico Garca Lorca. It is one of the most significant cultural institutions in the area and is situated in the southern Spanish town of Granada.

The childhood home of Lorca, a classic Andalusian-style building that has been conserved and refurbished to match its original look, serves as the museum’s location. Visitors may visit Lorca’s bedroom, the family living room, and other rooms, all of which have been adorned with the author’s personal items and period-appropriate furniture.

The museum has displays that highlight Lorca’s creative output and the social and political environment in which he resided. Visitors may learn more about the author’s life and work by seeing displays of his manuscripts, original editions of his works, and personal belongings, as well as interactive displays and video presentations.

For admirers of Lorca’s writing and for those with an interest in Spanish literature and culture, it is a must-see location.


11. Palacio de los Córdova

It is notable for its elaborate ornamentation and lengthy history and is regarded as one of Andalusia’s most significant examples of Renaissance architecture.

A wealthy and powerful family in Granada at the time, the Córdova family commissioned the construction of the palace in the 16th century. The palace is a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture that incorporates regionally characteristic Gothic and Mudéjar designs.

The Palacio de los Córdova is known for its lavish décor, with beautiful carvings and sculptures covering both the façade and inside of the structure. The palace’s stunning courtyards, which are encircled by columns and arches and embellished with elaborate tilework and fountains, are another thing that makes it famous.

The Palacio de los Córdova is significant historically and architecturally, but it also has a long cultural heritage. Some of Granada’s most well-known artists and authors have called it home. It has been used as a residence, a military barracks, and a cultural center.


Cultural Venues

1. El Club de la Memoria

The purpose of the cultural institution El Club de la Memoria is to safeguard the city’s memory and cultural legacy. Since its founding in the late 20th century, it has grown to play a significant role in Granada’s cultural landscape. The club’s mission is to promote Granada’s rich cultural, historical, and social legacy, with a focus on its past as a center for the arts, literature, and music. It provides a variety of celebration and promotion-focused activities and events, such as exhibitions, concerts, seminars, and educational programs.


2. Sala Alhambra

Sala Alhambra is a concert hall and one of the top music venues in the area, known for its superb acoustics. The location hosts a range of musical acts, such as jazz performances, flamenco performances, and classical concerts.

It is a building from the 20th century that has the name of the nearby, well-known Alhambra Palace. The theater contains a large main auditorium with outstanding acoustics that can hold up to 1,000 people, as well as other smaller rooms that are utilized for rehearsals and other events.

The location draws great artists and performers from all over the world, and its schedule is absolutely full of thrilling events and performances all year long.


3. Alhambra Sound Museum

It is a music museum devoted to the preservation and development of Andalusian music and its cultural history whose name comes from the Alhambra. The museum offers a wide range of interactive exhibitions and displays that highlight the rich musical heritage of Andalusia and the city of Granada.


Where to eat in Granada

1. Bodegas Castañeda

Granada is home to the winery Bodegas Castaeda. It is famous for creating premium wines using age-old techniques and grapes grown nearby. People interested in the history of Spanish winemaking frequently visit the winery, which is situated in the center of the city.

Visit Bodegas Castaneda and enjoy a tour of the winery, discover the background of Spanish winemaking, and taste some of the company’s best offerings. If you are interested in the history of winemaking and the cultural legacy of Granada, the winery is a distinctive and intriguing trip.

So if you’re into wine, love history, or just want a cool experience while in Granada, checking out Bodegas Castañeda is a no-brainer.


2. Bar Pintxo

Popular bar and restaurant located in Granada known for its lively atmosphere, delicious food, and wide selection of drinks. Bar Pintxo is well-known for its warm and welcoming environment. The bar’s menu is periodically changed to reflect the latest seasonal ingredients and features a range of classic Spanish cuisine, including tapas. The pub has a variety of drinks, such as local beers and wines in addition to cocktails and other alcoholic drinks.

Bar Pintxo is a well-known location for evening beverages and socializing because of its bar, comfortable seating spaces, and classic Spanish interior design. The pub has a vibrant environment and is highly famous for its live entertainment and music.


3. Restaurante Elrinconcillo

El Rincóncillo has a long history and is one of Granada’s oldest bars, having opened its doors in 1860. The restaurant has a wide variety of wines and authentic Andalusian cuisine. Classic foods like gazpacho, fried fish, and tapas are available to you in a warm and welcoming setting.

Along with its delectable fare, El Rincóncillo is known for its boisterous atmosphere, where live flamenco performances occasionally take place. We highly suggest you this restaurant if you want to taste genuine Andalusian cuisine and culture.


Where to stay in Granada

Granada is a beautiful city with a wide range of accommodations to choose from, so there are plenty of options for you depending on your budget and preferences. Some of the best places to stay in Granada include:

  • Albaicín: This historic neighborhood is one of the most charming and atmospheric areas of Granada, and is home to a variety of small, charming hotels and traditional inns. The area is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers breathtaking views of Alhambra.
  • Realejo: This is another historic neighborhood that is a great option for travelers looking for a central location. The area is known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and bohemian atmosphere.
  • Plaza Nueva: If you’re looking for a more modern and central option, Plaza Nueva is a great place to stay.
  • The Alhambra: If you are looking to stay close to one of the city’s top attractions, there are several hotels located within the grounds of the Alhambra.


Granada Accommodation

There are a lot of accommodation options in Granada. From budget-friendly apartments to 5-star luxury hotels.


Best Time to Visit Granada

In general, the best time to visit Granada is during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November), when temperatures are mild and the crowds are smaller. The busiest seasons are April through June and September through November. The sunny, pleasant weather throughout these months is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities and touring the city’s sights, such as the Alhambra palace.

We were there in July and found it to be less enjoyable due to the high temperatures. However, Granada’s summer is a vibrant season with many festivals and outdoor activities provided so you may not mind the heat.

However, the exact best time to visit will depend on your individual preferences and travel plans. You should consider the following before deciding when to visit Granada:

  • Weather: Granada is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The summer months of June, July, and August are the hottest and driest, with temperatures frequently reaching into the high 30s. Although Granada has moderate winters, they can still be chilly and damp, and certain tourist sites could be closed altogether.
  • Festivals and events: Granada has a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the famous Granada International Festival of Music and Dance in June and July, and the Granada Film Festival in November.
  • Crowds: Granada is a popular tourist destination, and the city can become very crowded during the summer months. If you’re looking to experience Granada without the crowds, consider visiting during the spring or fall, when temperatures are mild and hotel prices are more affordable.


Things to do around Granada

There are a lot of things to do around Granada and we definitely suggest taking a day trip to one or more destinations in the area.


Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada is a stunning mountain range about an hour’s drive from Granada. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts such as skiing and snowboarding during the winter months, hiking and trekking in the warmer months, rock climbing, biking, and wildlife watching.




Malaga is a vibrant and historic city located on the southern coast of Spain, about 1 and a half hours from Granada. There are many things to do in Malaga, including:

  • Visit the Alcazaba: one of the most important landmarks in Malaga and is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the city.
  • Walk Around the Historic Center: Malaga’s historic center has a variety of beautiful and well-preserved buildings, including the Cathedral of Malaga and the Roman Theatre. 
  • Explore the Picasso Museum: Malaga is the birthplace of the famous artist Pablo Picasso where the Picasso Museum is located and showcases many of his works.
  • Visit the Port of Malaga: it is one of the most important landmarks in the city and is a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Walk Along the Beach: Malaga is located on the Mediterranean coast and is home to a number of beautiful beaches.




Cordoba is a historic city about 2 hours drive from Granada. The best things to do in Cordoba are:

  • Visit the Mezquita: it is one of Cordoba’s most famous landmarks and is a must-visit if you are traveling to the city. 
  • Explore the Historic Center: Cordoba’s historic center is a charming and well-preserved neighborhood that is perfect for exploring on foot.
  • Visit the Roman Bridge: it is one of Cordoba’s most iconic landmarks and is a great place to take in the views of the city and the Guadalquivir River.
  • Walk Through the Jewish Quarter: it is a charming and well-preserved neighborhood that is perfect for exploring on foot. 
  • Visit the Palace of Viana: it is a beautiful palace located in the heart of Cordoba and is one of the city’s most important landmarks.


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