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Granada Things to do & Must See

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Boasting ancient Arabic architecture, rich culture, and delicious cuisine, Granada is a Spanish city unlike any other. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the city has just 232,000 inhabitants.


But don't let the size fool you. Mini is mighty, and Granada is home to some of the most impressive sights in Andalusia. There’s also an energy to the city streets - packed with cafes, tapas bars and flamenco shows - that's sure to leave a lasting impression.


Here's a round-up of the best things to do, the best places to visit, and the unmissable places to see on your next trip to Granada.


View of the Alhambra and the city of Granada from Sierra Nevada

Things to do in Granada Old Town


There are many tourist attractions and things to do across Granada old town, but the sights are not always within walking distance, as the old town consists of several districts.

  • Monastery of Cartuja

  • Granada Cathedral

  • Markets

  • Plaza de Toros

  • Plaza Nueva

Strictly speaking, due to the lively history, there isn't actually a single old town in Granada. There is the historic Arab quarter of Albaicín. With its paved streets and whitewashed buildings, it’s one of the most authentic districts of the city. Here you'll find spicy aromas emanating from market stalls and an abundance of tea houses, or teterías.


Beyond Albaicín is the Sacromonte neighbourhood. Located on Valparaiso hill, it's a former Romani neighbourhood famous for its cave houses. Today they are now an amazing place to go see a flamenco show. There is also Realejo, once the city's Jewish quarter, and worth seeing for its magnificent Andalusian villas.


In Cartuja you will find the monastery of the Carthusian Order and around the Plaza Bib Rambla, you will find the gastronomic stronghold of Granada. Around the square, there are lively shopping streets and the nearby Alcaiceria market. The Alcaiceria market is the largest souk in Granada, offering ceramics, glass lamps, magnets, postcards and jewellery.


Finally, you have the Zaidín district. Dominated by students, the area is very multicultural and is one of the best places to visit for lively bars. Free tapas with every drink you order are also one of the highlights of Granada.


City Tours and Activities in Granada

Historical Buildings in Granada


The history of Granada is as varied as it is exciting. Dating back to 5500 BC, the city was originally known as Iliberis or Florentia Iliberritana under the Romans. It was then revived under the Nasrids, and the world-famous Alhambra Fortress was built, which received UNESCO World Heritage status.


The Alhambra was the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors; a collection of ornate palaces with stately gardens. Book as far in advance as possible, as tickets are extremely hard to come by, especially for the Palacios Nazaríes.


No tickets are required for the particularly beautiful view of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada from the Mirador de San Nicolas, which is located in the Albaicin district. There are also an abundance of other sights to see in Granada.

  • Capilla Real

  • Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens

  • Carrera del Darro

  • Monastery of Sacromonte

  • Palace of Charles V

  • El Banuelo

  • Basilica de San Juan de Dios

  • La Corrala del Carbon

  • Monastery of San Jeronimo

The district of Sacromonte owes its name to the discovery of Arabic and Latin writings between 1559 and 1599. These were in fact regarded as the fifth gospel and therefore holy. Although the writings were found to be a forgery in the 17th century, they reached the monastery of Sacromonte, where the relics of Caecilius of Illiberis are said to be kept.


The Royal Chapel, Capilla Real, is one of the buildings that again reveals the religious influence on Granada. The Chapel is the last resting place of Spain’s Catholic Monarchs, Isabel I de Castilla and Fernando II de Aragón. A unique architectural mix of renaissance and Gothic styles, it's not to be missed when you visit Granada.


Even if you have already been to Granada, a return trip to the city is always recommended. The rich cultural history means you will discover new sights. For example, the Arabic bath El Bañuelo (Arab Baths), the Basílica de San Juan de Dios or the old grain exchange La Corrala del Carbón.


Granada Accommodations

Museums in Granada


You certainly won't have to do without a museum in Granada. There is so much to see here that you will be amazed for hours. It will probably not be possible for us to list all the museums in the city of Granada, but we would like to give you a round-up of the most famous.


Granada Art Museums

  • Museo de Bella Artes

  • Centro José Guerrero

  • Carmen de los Geranios - Casa Museo De Max Moreau

  • Museo San Juan de Dios

Other Museums in Granada

  • Parque de las Ciencias (Science Park)

  • Alhambra Museum

  • Museo Cuevas de Sacromonte (Cave House Museum)

  • Manuel de Falla House

  • Huerta de San Vicente

  • Centro Cultural de CajaGranada

  • Casa de los Tiros

  • Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta

  • Museo Arqueológico y Etnológico de Granada

  • Casa de Zafra y Centro de Interpretación del Albaicín

  • Palacio de los Olvidados

  • Museo Etnológico de la Mujer Gitana

  • Museo Sefardí

More Things to do in Granada


Of course, there are a few other sights in Granada that don't fit into any of the above categories. We recommend Zambra María La Canastera and Museo de la Zambra la Cueva del Curro, two of the most iconic places to experience the Andalusian tradition of flamenco in Granada.

  • Flamenco show

  • Gardens

  • Hammam

  • Patio de los Perfumes

Then there are also many beautiful gardens that are always worth a visit. For example the botanical gardens of the University of Granada, Carmen de los Mártires and Jardines del Triunfo. These beautiful gardens can offer a free alternative to busy tourist attractions, with well-maintained parks, lovely fountains and patios.


After walking in the footsteps of the Moors, you will surely feel the urge to get even closer to them and their culture. One of the most relaxing ways to do this is by visiting a hammam. As a traditional Islamic bath, admission isn't exactly cheap, but we think it's worth every penny. You can leave all of your worries behind in their unique ambience.


There are plenty of activities to choose from in Andalusia. It's no different in Granada. One of our insider tips is to visit a workshop at the Patio de los Perfumes. Here you can create your own fragrance and learn everything about the production of perfumes. Why limit yourself to seeing the sights? Get involved in the experience yourself to gain a whole new perspective on the culture of Andalusia.


Cheap Flights to Granada

On idealo you can find cheap flights to Granada and further offers

Eat and Drink in Granada

  • d'Sano

  • El Mercader

  • Antojitos

Places to Visit Near Granada

  • Sierra Nevada

  • Ruta del Mamut (Padul)

  • Alpujarra

  • Costa Tropical


FAQ


How many days in Granada is enough?

You should spend at least two days in Granada to visit at least the most important sights, such as the Alhambra. But there's no harm in adding a day or two to your trip to truly immerse yourself even further in the culture and get to know other sights in Granada.


Is Granada Spain worth visiting?

Yes. Granada is located in inland Andalucia, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, and for that reason alone offers incredible views of the city and the mountains beyond. But the sights in Granada have much more to offer. Neighbourhoods with different histories, cultures and cuisine make Granada a Spanish city like no other.


Is 2 days enough in Granada?

Yes, two days is enough in Granada to see the most important sights. Be sure to book the Alhambra well in advance to avoid disappointment. Travel to Granada for three days and you can tick off even more things to do in this city.


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