Granada. Almost unrivalled for its beauty and architectural splendour, the entire city has been declared a national monument. It lies at the foot of Spain’s mightiest massif, the Sierra Nevada, and on the edge of an extraordinarily fertile plain. A provincial capital with a university and an archiepiscopal presence, Granada is divided by the Darro the river which runs underground in the city center. On the right lies the Albaicin, the city’s oldest quarter; on the left rises the imposing Alhambra… Discover in this city guide of Granada this fascinating and magical city in the region of Andalusia in Southern Spain.
6 Top Granada Tours & activities
Private Tour: Albaicin & Sacromonte
E-bike Tour - Albaicin & Sacromonte
Flamenco at Jardines de Zoraya
Flamenco and dinner in Sacromonte
Granada travel guide - Contents
GRANADA 10 TOP HOTELS
10 "MUT-DO" THINGS IN GRANADA
GRANADA BEST TOURS
OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
Our 3 top: hotels with Alhambra views in Granada
Shine Albayzín – Amazing 3-star hotel in Granada
Hotel Casa 1800 Granada – Authentic 3-star hotel with Views
Eurostars Washington Irving – Luxurious 5 stars
5 Top Reasons To Visit Granada
- La Alhambra, the Red Castle (al-qala´aal-hamra) Once you visit the Alhambra it becomes easy to understand why this is Spain´s most visited tourist attraction. Its beauty is in its stunning gardens, its many monuments, the museum, but also in the views from La Alhambra of Granada, the Sierra Nevada, and rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside. Last but not least, the views from Granada of the red castle are simply amazing and have inspired poets, painters, and lovers from all over the world.
- The Albaycin. The old Muslim quarter that faces the Alhambra is an open-air museum with romantic palaces with secluded gardens, fantastic view-points like Mirador de San Nicolas, white houses, narrow streets, bars, and shops. We recommend you lose yourself in the Albaycin during one morning or late in the evening to enjoy amazing views at dusk. You can find our recommended itinerary in the Albaicin here. Once at the Albaycin we do also recommend to continue your visit and explore El Sacromonte, the gipsy district with also fantastic views and that will also transport you to a different world.
- Gastronomy. Not only you will find it very affordable, but also authentic. The eclectic nature of Granada is also felt in its bars and restaurants. The mixture of flavors and aromas is part of Granada and dates some centuries back to our globalized days of fusion food.
- Sierra Nevada and Alpujarras. The park of Sierra Nevada offers one of the best trekking in Spain. For ski lovers, the mountain range is one of Spain´s top ski resorts. Its top peak with the beautiful name of Mulhacen is at 3,478 meters, 11,410 feet and it ranks in second place amongst Spain´s highest peaks.The Alpujarras is part of the Sierra Nevada. A region of spectacular landscapes, dotted with white villages, it was historically occupied by the Berbers and then, when Granada was occupied, also by the Moors from Granada that fled to these lands. Besides the beauty of its landscapes, a wealth of culture and fascinating villages like Pampaneira await you, and we should not forget that one of Spain´s most famous Jamon (Spanish ham).
- Street-art in Granada. Spain is not particularly well-known for the quality of street-art but Granada is clearly an exception. Most Graffiti art is to be found in the Realejo quarter, which is not far from the Alhambra. Raul Ruiz is an artist known as “El niño de las pinturas” (the kid who paints) who is behind many of the paintings and who may have inspired others to follow his art. Some of the places where you will be able to enjoy excellent examples of street art in Granada include: Santo Domingo School, Plaza de Joe Strummer, Calle Molinos 44, hotel Molinos, with a fantastic version of Rodin´s The Thinker.
You can find more ideas and things to do in Granada in this article.
Best Time To Visit Granada
Our favorite months to visit Granada are in spring and autumn. There are fewer people (despite schools visits are usually programmed at the end of spring) and temperatures are mild.
In case you visit Granada during summer it may be a good idea to opt for a hotel in Granada with a pool though this may imply you will need to sacrifice charm in your accommodation selection.
Weather In Granada
Temperatures in Granada during summer can range 90 F (average for daily highs) in July and August a and daily lows during summer are above 60F.
From mid November till end of February daily high average temperatures are between 50 and 58F.
During summer it is very unlikely you will get a rainy day in Granada. The rainest month of the year in Cordoba is November.
Most popular attractions in Granada
Brief History of Granada
Granada was ruled by a viceroy dependent upon Córdoba until the fall of the Caliphate in Córdoba in 1031. During the next two centuries Granada was ruled first by the Berber dynasty of the Almoravides and then Berber Almohades, until the first Nasrite king, Mohammed I, established a kingdom in 1241.
After the capture of Córdoba by the Christian armies in 1236 the town increased in importance, reaching its brilliant zenith under the rule of the Moorish Nasrites, who were tolerated by the Castilian kings. It was the only surviving bastion of Islam in Spain until the last king of Granada had to relinquish the city to Ferdinand and Isabella at the treaty of Santa Fé in 1491.
The famous humanist Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1503-75), who was born in Granada, described the capture of the town. In the same way that the Alhambra palace was built during the Nasrite dynasty and a lively cultural environment was able to develop in the densely populated and wealthy city, so too were the new Spanish powers able to enrich Granada with splendid Renaissance and baroque buildings. However, from 1570, following the expulsion of the Moors who had rebelled against the repressive measures of Philip II, the economical and historical importance of Granada declined. Vital irrigation systems which were destroyed at that time
were not rebuilt until the 20C.
Important characters: Alonso Cano And Pedro De Mena
In the 17C the versatile Granada-born artist, Alonso Cano, who was painter, sculptor and architect, made an important contribution to the appearance of the town.
His buildings were of a stylistic importance which reached beyond the confines of Granada itself. The sculptor Pedro de Mena, who was also born in Granada was Cano’s pupil.