Visit Granada Spain - Granada City Guide

Granada travel guide for visiting the Alhambra and Granada Spain

Granada Guide

The online travel guide with all the info to visit Granada city in Andalusia. All tips for activities and sights in Granada Spain. Visit the city with the world famous Alhambra palace.

Visit Granada (Spain) and the Alhambra

Granada is a Spanish city in Andalusia as well as the capital of the province of Granada. The city has 236,982 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest city of Andalusia (after Seville, Málaga and Córdoba). It lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at a height of 738 metres. With an annual visitor count of over 3 million, it comes as no surprise that the city is featured in the top 10 most visited Spanish cities. The most famous tourist attraction of Granada Spain is certainly the Alhambra, featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List and good for a full day of sightseeing during your city trip. This historic palace is full of remnants from both the Moorish and Catholic culture. The city has a compact centre that can easily be explored on foot and the palace of the Alhambra is visible from the entire city; with the snowy mountain tops of the Sierra Nevada in the background.

But, Granada Spain has more to offer than just the Alhambra. It is a large and lively student city in Spain (approximately 60,000 students) thanks to the prestigious Universidad de Granada. This student life also means the city of Granada has a vibrant night life, trendy bars and no shortage of tapas. Combine this with authentic districts, colourful markets, flamenco and its own tapas culture and you have all the ingredients for a surprising city trip.

GranadaGranada in Andalusia
Granada SpainThe Alhambra Palace in Granada Spain

A city with cultural history

The cultural riches of Granada with influences from the Moors, Catholics and Jews make this city in Spain into an important cultural centre. In the 7th century, the Moors continued to invade Spain from North Africa, following which Granada was occupied by the Moors for 800 years. Granada's role gradually increased within the Moorish realm, became one of the richest cities in Europe and eventually became a kingdom with the stunning Alhambra palace. In 1492, the city was reconquered by the Catholic kings (Ferdinand and Isabel), due to which the Moors and Jews had to convert to Catholicism or flee the country. Slowly but surely, this caused the city to fall into economic and cultural decay for several centuries.

In the cosy Albaicín quarter and the gypsy and cave district of Sacromonte, you can find lots of flamenco, the traditional dance from Andalusia. Lots of stars from the Flamenco world started their careers there. The maze of alleys in the Albaicín district is ideal for wandering, to subsequently visit the Jewish quarter of Realejo for a bite to eat and a drink in one of the many cosy squares and alleyways. What makes this extra fun is that many of the bars in the narrow streets serve a free tapa with each drink. Had your fill of culture? Visit in Granada city the trendy shopping area around Plaza Bib-Rambla and Plaza Trinidad. Besides the world-famous Alhambra, this Andalusian city still plenty of interesting sights and must-sees:

Top 10 Highlights Granada

Places to visit in Granada Spain

Alhambra Granada

Alhambra Palace

The Moorish Alhambra is a medieval fortress and palace and certainly one of Spain's highlights. Prepare your visit because tickets are normally sold out weeks before.

How many days of vacation in Granada?

Wondering how many days to stay in Granada Spain? Many tourists will visit Granada with a tour of the Spanish region of Andalusia. Two days are enough to discover the sights of Granada. You will spend most of the first day visiting the Alhambra, but it is necessary that you have reserved tickets in advance for your visit (tip: book tickets for the morning; the temperature is more pleasant, especially if you also take the walk uphill to visit the Alhambra). You always get Alhambra tickets for a fixed time slot to visit the Nasrid Palace and afterwards you can visit the other sights on the Al-Sabika hill of the complex such as the fortress 'Alcazaba', the Palacio Carlos V and the beautiful gardens of the Summer Palace Generalife.

In the afternoon you descend down the hill towards Plaza Nueva. In the area surrounding Plaza Nueva you will find many restaurants for lunch. You can then use the afternoon to discover the El Albaicin district. This Arab district has narrow streets and attractive squares. Pay a short visit to El Bañuelo (the Arab baths) and enjoy the best view of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolás. You can use the evening to visit Plaza de Bib-Rambla. There are many tapas bars around this square where you can enjoy the local tradition that you get a free tapa with every drink.

You can use the second day to visit other Granada highlights, such as the cathedral of Granada. The cathedral is best known for the adjacent funeral chapel "Capilla Real" with the tombs of some Catholic kings. The basilica "San Juan de Dios" is another attraction to visit, this church has a beautiful interior. Do you want to shop for souvenirs? Then visit La Alcaiceria, the bazaar next to Plaza de Bib-Rambla. The second evening you can take a long uphill walk to the Sacromonte district. This is the cave district of Granada known for the 'Gitano's' and their cave houses. These Gitano's have a long tradition of flamenco and you can attend a flamenco show in their cave houses. A fun activity to end your visit to Granada Spain.

Best travel period Granada & Andalusia

Like the rest of Andalusia, Granada city has a Mediterranean climate under the influence of the Mediterranean. Due to the location near the Sierra Nevada, there are sometimes large temperature differences between day and night. This is not common for a climate that is under the influence of a sea. Both in the summer and winter months, the temperature can plummet at night and rise during the day (even to as much as 40 degrees centigrade). The winters are very cold for Spain and it is possible that the temperature drops below freezing occasionally. The winters are also fairly wet and snow may even fall. The best period for a Granada city trip is the spring because of the ideal temperatures and the green nature, or September/October.

Weather Granada Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum (°C) 11 12 15 17 22 27 32 32 28 21 15 11
Minimum (°C) 1 2 4 6 9 13 16 16 14 9 5 2
Hours of sunshine / day 5 6 7 7 9 11 12 11 8 7 6 5

Video: Granada visit

Where is Granada in Spain?

Granada is located in Andalusia in southern Spain. The most famous cities nearby are Malaga at 126 kilometers, Almeria 156 kilometers, Córdoba 172 kilometers and Seville is 248 kilometers. The city is also perfect for a longer stay, because within an hour drive you are also at the beach (Almuñecar, Salobrena and Motril are popular beach resorts) and even faster you are in the Sierra Nevada mountains for beautiful walks. In the Sierra Nevada you will find the high mountain peaks of the Mulhacen (3481 m), Veleta (3470 m) and Alcazaba (3314 m).

Granada Spain Travel Guide
Our readers say
4.8 (95.28%) 8 reviews
May 19, 2024 : "We had a fantastic holiday in Granada Spain because of the interesting tips for sightseeing, tourist attractions and visiting the amazing Alhambra."