What is the Albaicin of Granada?
The Albaicín was Ziríes Court monarchs in the XI century and is considered the last Arab stronghold before being expelled completely from Granada. Since the Moors left their homes, the rich Christians from the lower part of the city of Granada acquired these buildings to create rich and sumptuous “cármenes”. The carmen is a traditional type of housing in the hillside neighborhoods with a closed exterior space, surrounded by walls and lush vegetation, which sometimes had their own gardens.
Today the Albaicín is a suburb of Granada from where the Alhambra divides. It is a beautiful district and the second top tourist attraction in Granada after La Alhambra. There are still remains of the Arab wall as well as the different doors such as the Puerta Elvira, the Boards door, linking the walls of the Alhambra and the neighborhood of the citadel and under which the Darro River passed.
What does Albaicin mean?
The Albaicín word has several meanings, however, the closest one to reality is “slanted neighborhood.”
Best starting point to visit el Albaicin
We can therefore recommend going up by a bus which departs from the stop near the Isabel la Catolica Monument.
What to see in el Albaicin
We propose you the following itinerary in Granda to enjoy el Albaycin and the best views over the Alhambra palace.
Strolling through the streets and finding ourselves in front of monuments such as the church of San Juan de los Reyes, the church of San Pedro, the Plaza de San Miguel Bajo, the Cordova Palace and its Gardens. Descending the Darro you will find the Castril house which highlights its plateresque entry, an archaeological museum and finally the Bañuelo (Arab baths). What follows is the itinerary we recommend you to take in El Albaicin.
We recommend you go down the path from the Albaicin until you reach Sacromonte. These little streets reflect the history of this lovely place and are less crowded than the Albaicin. Here, in the inside of these little caves you can find the Zambra Flamenco Show. These natural caves carved in stone were home to the gypsies, bohemians and flamenco artists for centuries.
Our recommedend itinerary in Albaicin includes some of the best views of Granada. The itinerary starts in Plaza Nueva. From there you get to El Paseo de los Tristes through the Carrera del Darro. The first monument you will find on your way is a beautiful Mudejar style church: Chuch of Santa Ana. Next to the Carrera del Darro street you will find the Darro river (the street takes its name from the river) There are four bridges and from that point you will arrive to the Paseo de los Tristes and to one of the best views of la Alhambra. The second step in the itinerary takes you to la Cuesta del Chapiz, the hardest part to walk. Before you start this part we recommend you to visit the outside of the Palacio de los Cordova. The next stop in this itinerary takes you to Carmen de la Victoria, a small secluded park with fountains and great views
The next stop is the very famous Mirador de San Nicolás, a very romantic place which have received the visits of many famous people, including Bill Clinton (he said this was the best sunset in the world) From there we recommend you visit the Calle Las Tomasas where you will find an ancient water tank and Mudejar tower and also one of the best restaurants in the area (Restaurant Las Tomasas) In case Mirador de San Nicolás is too busy when you get there, another excellent option and with less tourists is the Mirador de San Cristobal. Near this mirador you will also find the Aljibe del Rey, the largest water tank in the Albaicin.