(hotel with breakfast, meals, activities and local transportation included)
On the hill above the city there stands, of course! The Alhambra. Fascinating within, tremendous on the outside, specially if you pick out its red and golden walls and see it standing there beneath the Sierra Nevada like an illumination in a manuscript. In this Granada trip we provide with many secret ideas to enjoy the city in and out in 2 days. Granada is much more than the Alhmabra and you will agree with us once you go through this Granada city break plan.
We have hand-picked hotels and restaurants that we believe provide the best experience to enjoy Granada. They are in our view among the best options for different budget levels. You will also be able to find more ideas and recommendations in our Granada city guide.
Why Granada? Maybe the the nightingales of the Generalife gardens live up to their reputation as they sing away among the cypresses and the white and narrow streets at el Albaicin demand that you get lost, at least for a morning, and imagine how live was back in time.
Ferdinand negotiated the surrender of Boabdil, the last Moorish king in Spain in a little mosque in Granada. The Catholic Monarchs, Isabella and Fernando watched their flag rise at last above the towers of the Alhambra. They are with a good reason among the most famous Spanish people. They settled in Granada, and where actually buried at the Cathedral of Granada.
Is one day enough to visit Granada? In our opinion one day is not enough but you can still make both the Alhamnbra and Albaicin in one day. If you dedicate 2 days to Granada you will be able to add the Cathedral, a Flamenco Show and experience their famous Moorish Baths. If you decide to stay 3 days you will be able to enjoy some of its interesting museums, or a day trip to the Alpujarras, a land famous for its beautiful villages like Pampaneira.
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Our budgets are based on average costs if you enjoy the different activities mentioned in the itinerary. But prices vary from month to month, or also in case of special events in Granada, which means you should treat our daily budget as an orientation.
You will be able to add any of the elements we recommend in the itinerary to your trip plan list to ease your planning.
It is arguable if Granada is Andalusia’s top destination to enjoy Moorish heritage (anybody from Cordoba will claim the city of Cordoba and the Great Mosque is. But with no doubt Granada holds with the Alhambra Spain´s jewel of medieval live and Moorish architecture
Granada is a city full of character and with many contrasts. The lavish, romantic Alhambra rises majestically above the city. In front of it, the captivating white walls and small cobbled streets of the Albaicin, the original core of the town, and which maintains its ancient Moorish charm. Further up, the Sacromonte, the old gipsy quarter in Granada, famous for Flamenco dancing and its caves.
Visiting both the Alhambra and the Albaicin will require almost 5 hours walking. The Albaicin is set on the hill and it streets are cobbled. Granada is not the easiest city to visit, but it is worth the effort! and you may want to consider taxi drives to shorten the walking time involved.
La Alhambra On the Sabika hill is the palatine city, called Al-hambra, which means “Red Castle” (redness of its exterior walls). Nowadays the Alhambra Palace
Why do we recommend El Albaicin? The Albaicín retains both the original urban physiognomy as well as various medieval buildings. The three elements have a
Why we recommend Carmen Aben Humeya? In the center of Granada, looking out at the Alhambra, we find one of the best and most romantic
The Alhambra is an citadel or fortress complex and palace. It is one of Spain´s top attractions and the most visited monument in Spain. We strongly recommend to book your tickets well in advance. Our team has put together a very complete guide with the most important highlights of the Alhambra. You can buy tickets online from the official site. You can also purchase the tickets on the spot but you will need to be there really early. We would like to insist that you book weeks or months in advance. You may want to consider joining a group with a guide. This is a always a good option.
RECOMMENDED GUIDED TOUR
This guide tour is a great option to enjoy Granada in one day. It includes the Alhambra (3 hours), and the Albaicin and Sacromonte after a free break for lunch after the visit to Alhambra palace. The tour is also great value for money. More details here.
Is it better to visit La Alhambra in the morning or in the evening? Views from the Alhambra to the Albaicin at dusk are fantastic, but the views of the Alhambra from the Albaicin are even better. We would recommend to start with the Alhambra in the morning.
Once you have finished your visit to the Alhambra we recommend you take a taxi to Plaza Nueva from which you will lead to the Paseo de los Tristes. But before that our recommendation is that you enjoy lunch at Restaurante El Mercader before you start your itinerary in the Albaicin. This restaurant offers excellent value for money and great food. We recommend a light lunch to get ready to walk. This is a small restaurant and we recommend to book in advance. If you would opt for tapas, ask your taxi driver to drop you at Bar Aliatar in Calle San Sebastian (there are several Aliatars in Granada) This is a place with lots of locals and just 5 minutes walk from Plaza Nueva.
Many toursits (almost the same number) that visit the Alhambra visit the Albaicin. Despite being such a popular tourist attraction in Andalusia, its charm styas almost intact. The Albaicin was the first area settled in Granada and it possesses a unique romantic character that sets it appart. Albaicín maintains a serene quietness that transforms its potentially stressful maze-like streets into a picturesque and calming journey through Spain’s Arabic history.
Our recommedend itinerary in Albaicin. From Plaza Nueva till you get to the Paseo de los Tristes. The first interesting thing you will find is the Chuch of Santa Ana (Mudejar style) La Carrera del Darro street is named like that due to the river Darro. You will encounter 4 beautiful bridges and at the end of the Carrera del Darro you will arrive to the Paseo de los Tristes. The views of the Alhambra from this area are fantastic.You may want to stop at the beautiful Palacio de los Cordova (only exterior can be visited, free of charge)
Cuesta del Chapiz. This is the hardest area to walk. You may want to consider a stop at the Casa Chapiz to enjoy a small, fantastic palace with views over the Alhambra.
From Casa Chapiz you could continue to Sacromonte, but in our recommended itinerary we would not leave from Cuesta del Chapiz and stop at el Carmen de la Victoria, a fantastic small park with fountains and amazing views.
The next stop is the Mirador de San Nicolás. This mirador was made famous by Bill Clinton in 1997 said this is ‘the most beautiful sunset in the world,’ The Mirador, it is true,boasts breath-taking views, specially at sunset, when it can get crowded. If you feel you need a bite we recommend Restaurante las Tomasas, an excellent option in El Albaicin. It is located at Calle Las Tomasas, where the is also a Moorish water tank and from you will see the mudejar tower of San Nicolas church. We are sure you will spend a good amount of time at Mirador de San Nicolás but another excellent mirador with less tourists awaits you: Mirador de San Cristobal. From here you may want to visit el Aljibe del Rey, the larges water tank in the Albaicin.
We propose you 4 different options for dinner after you have enjoyed el Albaicin. We have selected options which are near the end of the itinerary. You may however prefer to get back to your hotel and rest a bit before enjoying your dinner. Restaurants in this area are a great options due to the views over the Alhambra or simply because we believe they are some of the best options for you.
Carmen Aben Humeya is one of the most romantic options in Granada. Great views. Casa Torcuato is a great option if you love fish and rice. Locals love this restaurant. Restaurante Mirador de Morayma is a fantastic place, with exquisite cuisine, a very good wine list, great decoration and even better views! Last not least you may want to experience the “real thing” with a flamenco show and dinner in the Sacromonte. No matter which of these 4 options you select, we are sure you will enjoy the experience!
Despite you can enjoy Flamenco shows in some of Spain´s main cities, many people say that the ones in Granada are special. The Sacromonte, the gipsy distric of Granada, has something to do with this. Gipsies arrived at the Sacromonte right after the explusion of the Moors by Isabella and Ferdinand.
In this link you will be able to find different quality options to enjoy Flamenco in Granada
You may be able to enjoy dinner during the show. You are there for the show, do not expect a top gastronomy experiece!
If you can stay longer in Granada you will be able enjoy some of the things most tourist neglet. The Cathedral of Granada where the Catholic Kings were buried is a good example. You will also be able to enjoy moorish tea at some of its fantastic teterías or a relaxing bath! You can find below 3 excellent ideas.