Enjoy these top things to do in Granada, Spain Now
There are endless things to do in Granada, Spain. Being the gateway to Sierra Nevada Natural and National Park and featuring historic sites like Alhambra palace, fortress, and gardens only your imagination can stop you. Exploring the best hikes in Sierra Nevada one day and walking back in time the next. With narrow cobblestoned streets, Granada old town invites for tapas, flamenco, and fun.
With all these opportunities, can be hard to figure out exactly what to do in Granada, so here are the best options for an unforgettable vacation!
Things to do in Granada, Spain
Visit Alhambra and Generalife
The Alhambra fortress, palace, and Generalife gardens are the highlights of visiting Granada and the most visited tourist attraction in Spain. You should at least spend one entire day exploring the dreamy complex.
Holding an abundance of history and dating back to when the Moors ruled in the 13th century, the complex is beautifully situated with the majestic, often snowcapped Sierra Nevada as a backdrop.
This UNESCO World Heritage site beholds the romantic Generalife Gardens of colorful flowers, trees, and ancient fountains that are built to impress. Then you can admire the ruins of the Alcazaba.
But most spectacular of it all are the Palacios Nazaries which are the combination of three palaces: the Palacio Real, Palacio de Comares, and Palacio de Los Leones.
There is no shortage of mesmerizing architecture with impeccable details taking you back in a time where kings were fighting for this lush land.
It is highly recommendable to purchase tickets in advance of your visit as they can be sold out weeks in advance. See tickets, opening hours, and prices on Alhambra’s official site.
Get lost in the old town, Albaicín
It is a must to wander around Granada old town getting lost in the enchanting cobblestoned streets through whitewashed houses. Also known as the Albaicín quarter, it is rich in Moorish culture and architecture which are the roots of Granada before the cultural blend was topped up by Jewish, Gypsy, and Christian cultures.
Enjoy the best views of the Alhambra, with the astounding backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, from Mirador de San Nicolás and soak in the energy from the vivid square. It is usually filled with street vendors, musicians, and travelers. The square is home to the 16th Century whitewashed church of San Nicolás. Not far from there you can also admire San Salvador church.
Make time to stop at a few of the many tapas bars for a drink and a tapa to savor the local cuisine and drinks. For the best Flamenco shows, head to the neighborhood of Sacromonte.
Insider Tip! Albaicín is also the best neighborhood to stay in Granada with numerous luxury hotels in historic buildings where you can enjoy Turkish baths and outdoor pools!
Visit Granada Cathedral
The Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain and one of the best things to see in Granada. It was constructed on the same place where there used to be a mosque to celebrate the Christian victory over the Moors. Construction started in 1523 and was never fully completed.
Make sure you also visit the Capilla Real de Granada when you are there. The chapel has its own entrance and was built in the early 1500s as an addition to the cathedral. There you will also find the royal tombs. Connected to the Royal Chapel you can also explore the Sacristy Museum where you among large art collections and artifacts also find Queen Isabella’s crown and King Ferdinan’s sword. They are both buried in the chapel.
Hike in a gorge
20 minutes outside Granada, in the village of Monachil, you can hike a one of a kind trail, crossing multiple hanging bridges, you can swim in swimming holes, and admire vivid waterfalls.
There are a couple of parts of the hike where it follows the side of a canyon, and you will have to crawl under the rock wall as it bends above the path. Other places you will have to hold on to metal handles that are pinned into the mountain to help you pass.
But do not worry, it is not very far down, so as long as you do not have severe vertigo this is a very fun route for the whole family.
After exiting the canyon, the route takes you over one last bridge before returning above the canyon on a track through olive groves and farmland before finally winding down to the road for the last few hundred meters.
If you are an outdoor lover and want to experience something unique while in Granada, this trail is for you!
Go skiing in Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada is not only famous for all the hiking routes. It also has the southernmost ski resort in Europe with one of the longest skiing seasons from November until late April. It gets extremely busy there in the winter months when ski enthusiasts from all over Andalusia travel there to enjoy the snow.
There are slopes for all levels from beginners to experts all the way up to the second tallest peak in Sierra Nevada, Pico Veleta (3398 masl). You can rent all necessary gear right there and there are ski and snowboard instructors if you are trying the sport for the first time.
The views from the snow-capped mountains are amazing! It is hard to believe that this is less than an hour´s drive from the city.
Reflections on what to do in Granada
As you can see, there are a lot of interesting things to do in Granada for every type of traveler. The city is one of the most visited in Spain, mainly because of the Alhambra that is the tourist attraction receiving the most tourists in the country.
However, Granada is not only popular among foreign tourists, but also among the Spanish. So you will without a doubt have a cultural immersion when traveling to Granada.
Weather and best time to visit Granada
Weather can be variable depending on the time that you visit the area but generally the best weather and temperature tends to be in spring to early June when the weather is still temperate and warmer. Dress in layers when you are visiting the city and area during different seasons where it becomes extremely hot or cold.
Where to Stay in Granada
There are a variety of accommodations you can stay around the city closer to the Alhambra district or in the historic central district of town. Check out the best reviewed hotel locations here for current prices and availability.
You can stay at a variety of hotels in the Alhambra district, check out all these well reviewed hotels and inns here for availability, prices and booking.
You can stay at a variety of hotels in the historic district, check out all these well reviewed hotels and inns here for availability, prices and booking.
Or check out all the various areas around the city of Alhambra here for the well reviewed hotels and inns here for availability, prices and booking.
Guest writer Bio
Linn Haglund is an avid traveler that has based herself in Andalusia for the last 7 years. Her love for the outdoors made her start Andalucia Hiking to help travelers explore the amazing region beyond the cities.
Conclusion on Things to do in Granada, Spain
Granada is one of those places that once you set your foot in, you don’t feel like leaving. You’re taken by the thrill of the activities in Granada, the incredible mountainous landscape, the historic district, fantastic neighborhoods and other neighboring towns, and the charming vibe of Granada itself. Travel destinations don’t come better than this.
That’s all for the best things to do in Granada! Do tell us if you found the post helpful and drop in any questions in the comments section below.
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