Planning to travel to Granada, Spain?

I hope so as Granada is arguably Spain’s most beautiful city.  Popular with visitors, but with good reason, it is where I personally take my friends or family visiting Spain for the first time.   It is not only home to the Alhambra, but Granada is a vibrant, working city where three cultures historically lived together.  Still visible today, the city hosts a maze of an old Moorish quarter on a hill, a centro histórico with a huge cathedral, as well as a smattering of Jewish history.

Maybe you’re traveling throughout Spain and only have a few days dedicated to Granada.  Or maybe you’re looking for just a quick long weekend away and want to spend it all exploring Granada.

Then you came to the right place! These are my recommendations for three days in Granada to get a quick overview of the city.  Of course, if you have more time to travel in Granada or are looking for something more personalized and detailed, don’t hesitate to reach out to me through the form on this page. There is so much more to see and do in Granada than covered in this itinerary.

 

Day one – The Old Moorish Quarter

Albaicin Granada Spain

The narrow alleyways of the Albaicín, Granada’s old moorish quarter.  Getting lost is half the fun!

Today is your first day in Granada, I recommend wandering around Albaicín, the old Moorish quarter.  The maze of cobblestones and narrow alleyways is charming and picturesque, and getting lost is part of the fun.  Be sure to check out the Palace of Dar al-Horra, a building in typical Moorish style that was home to Aixa, Boabdil’s (the last Moorish king of Granada) mother.  Other sites to in the Albaicín not to miss include the Mezquita (mosque), the Saturday morning flea market at Plaza Larga, and the quaint Placeta de San Miguel Bajo.  The popular mirador at San Nicolas is home to Granada’s most famous postcard view.  If you’re up to it in the evening, you may want to see an authentic flamenco show in the caves of the Sacromonte Neighborhood.

Although Google maps (kind of) works in the Albaicín, unless time is of an issue, I recommend forgoing the map and enjoying the maze.  If you keep going up, you will always arrive at a mirador (or a road to one).  There are a few bus lines that run through some of the bigger “roads” in the neighborhood if walking uphill (or downhill) is an issue.

Day two – The Alhambra

Early morning light in the Nazrid Palaces of the Alhambra

Early morning light in the Nazrid Palaces of the Alhambra. That early wakeup call is worth it!

Today is the big day and probably the reason you came to Granada: The Alhambra.  This will be a full day as the complex is enormous, there is a lot to explore, and much distance to cover between sites.

Hopefully, you reserved your tickets far in advance and have an entry for the earliest time into the Nazrid Palaces (8:30 am).   After you are finished with the Nazrid Palace, go over to the Alcazaba making sure to climb all of the towers (oh the views!).  Once you’ve enjoyed all of the birdseye views of Granada, head toward the Generalife (gardens).  If you are needing a pick me up, treat yourself to a café con leche at the Parador on site (and on the route Generalife).   Be sure to pace yourself, taking breaks as this is a long day.  Don’t forget to check out the public areas of the Alhambra complex too such as the Palacio Charles V, the Renaissance style palace.  There are many other secrets to the Alhambra.  Discovering them, you can feel like a modern-day Irving Washington

Tonight may be the perfect night to visit the Hammam, Granada’s Arab baths.  After a long day at the Alhambra, you deserve some pampering!

 

Day three – Centro Histórico

Bird's Eye view of the Granada Cathedral

A bird’s eye view of the Granada Cathedral as well as the historic center. From this angle, you can see how cavernous the cathedral is.

By now you are probably tired from walking all of the hills in the Albaicín and at the Alhambra complex.  The good news is, today you won’t be walking uphill very much.  Today is your day in the historic center of Granada. Of course, you can not miss the Granada Cathedral, one of Spain’s largest.  Unlike all of the Moorish architecture you’ve seen over the past few days, the cathedral is designed in Baroque and Renaissance styles.  After your visit to the cathedral itself, you can stop by the royal chapel, where Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand are buried.  Granada’s center is a pleasant area of the city to wander around, with beautiful plazas and a the Alcaicería old Moorish silk market, which was converted into a bazaar selling Granada trinkets.

If you came to Granada looking for Jewish history, head to Nearby Barrio Realejo.  This area is the city’s old Jewish quarter.  Not much remains as there are very few Jewish families still living in Granada, but there is a small Sephardic history museum tucked away in its small streets.

 

Looking for more?

This is clearly simply an overview with limited time in Granada.  There is a lot of room to fill in the blanks and so much more to see and do in Granada.

Need more tips, ideas on where to eat (tapas are king in Granada), help with bookings for accommodations or attractions such as the Alhambra?  Want a detailed, 100% handcrafted and personalized Granada itinerary just for you? Hoping to experience a little Granada off the beaten path? Want to spend more time in Granada (which I highly recommend!)?  I can help!  Simply fill out the form on this page to contact me. 

Albaicín Granada Spain

Granada’s Albaicín, the beauty is in the details

 

 

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