10 Best Things to do in Granada, Spain: Top Places to visit

Granada Alhambra

Granada is a historical gem, home to the world-famous Alhambra Palace and its magnificent gardens. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Granada in Andalusia, taste the delicious local food and discover why Granada is one of Spain’s most popular cities. Take a look at our travel guide with tips on best things to do in Granada.

Today we’ll take a look at the best places and sights to see and visit in Granada, Spain to build an itinerary for 1 or 2 days in Granada. We’ll also add tipshow to enjoy your visit to Granada (transport, parking, public transport, food, accommodation, map).

Best Things to do in Granada, Spain. Top places to visit

Step back in time in the old Moorish quarter of Albaicín, stroll through some of Spain’s most famous architecture and take in spectacular views of the Alhambra Palace. Granada also has an incredibly vibrant culture with bustling squares full of people enjoying traditional tapas and flamenco.

If you love nature, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the nearby mountains, take a boat ride on the river or simply enjoy a picnic in the park.

Let’s take a look at the most beautiful places and sights to visit in Granada:

Alhambra and Generalife Gardens

The Alhambra Fortress is one of the most visited monuments in Europe. Number one on the list of sights to visit in Granada. An amazing display of Moorish architecture and craftsmanship, a must-see for anyone interested in history or culture.

The fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its chambers, gardens and courtyards attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Alhambra Granada / things to do in Granada

The Alhambra, built between 1238 and 1358 AD, was originally conceived as a palace complex for the Muslim rulers of Granada. Its walls are made up of brick battlemented towers that recall its military roots as well as its beauty. Inside are a series of palaces full of intricately decorated ceilings, arches, columns and balconies.

Alhambra Granada

The gardens of the Alhambra are renowned for their beauty and are a tranquil oasis amidst the ancient walls. There are plenty of benches where you can relax under the shade of the cypress trees and enjoy the spectacular views of Granada surrounded by the Sierra Nevada.

Alhambra Granada

Admission and opening hours of the Alhambra 2023

Admission: full admission to the Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens costs €18 and reduced admission costs €12 (seniors over 65, youth 12-17, EU students). Children up to 11 years of age are admitted free of charge.

When booking your ticket reserve a specific time slot . This is valid only for entry to Nasrid Palaces. All other places can be visited at any time you want within the opening hours.

To give you a better idea, here’s an example: when you made your reservation, you chose a time of 10:00. You can come to the Alhambra at 8am when it opens and visit other places in the meantime (Generalife Gardens, Alcazaba, etc.). At 10. an hour then you come to the entrance of the Nasrid Palaces.

If you do not show up at the given time, you will forfeit your entry to Nasrid Palaces. Once you’ve seen the palaces, you can visit the rest of the grounds regardless of the time.

Alhambra Granada
Charles V Palace.

Opening hours: the opening hours of the Alhambra vary according to the season: 1. April to October 14 is open 8:30-20:00 and from October 15 to 31. March is open 8:30-18:00. Ticket offices open at 8 am. The Alhambra is open 7 days a week.

If you are planning to buy tickets on the spot, especially in high season (April-September), arrive early in the morning (6am – you won’t be alone) and wait in line for tickets. Box offices open at 8am, so you’ll have a better chance of having tickets left over and getting in.

How to get here: The Alhambra forms the main enclave of the area and is easily visible from many places in Granada. You can reach the top by buses C30 and C32, or by bus C32. walk from the city centre in about 30 minutes (count on the fact that the whole way is uphill). There are also several paid parking lots a short distance from the fortress.

Tours and tickets


Practical tips for visiting the Alhambra

  • After entering the fortress you will have a lot of walking, I recommend comfortable shoes. The Nasrid, Charles V and Alcazaba Palaces are on the left and the Generalife Gardens on the right. Everything is marked.
  • There are checkpoints at several locations where staff will check your ticket and ID.
  • Take enough water. There is a snack bar and restaurant on the premises, but especially in the high season (which is very long here) queues can form.
  • It’s a little cooler in the fort than down in the city. A nice bonus if you’re travelling here in the summer, when temperatures in Andalusia sometimes soar to 35-40°C.

How to skip the queues for the Alhambra Palace

The Alhambra is famous for its queues. Do your best to avoid them and don’t waste energy waiting. Energy will still be needed – the complex is huge.

I recommend the first one to book a ticket in advance . Believe me, you’ll be relieved when you walk past the long line on the spot and go straight in.

This has the added benefit of making sure you can get in. There are a limited number of tickets to the Alhambra, and as a result many people leave empty-handed or only get into certain parts of the palace (and of course not the best parts, like the Nasrid Palace).

In high season, it can sell out weeks in advance – book well in advance .

If you have the opportunity to visit the Alhambra in the low season or at least during the working week, do it.

During the day is a better time later in the afternoon when the tourist tours leave. This has the added benefit of making the Alhambra even more beautiful as the sun sets.

Granada Cathedral

We move down to the city centre, which is a labyrinth of medieval streets, beautiful buildings and charming squares. Located in the heart of Granada, Granada Cathedral is a definite must on your list of things to see in Granada, Spain.

The Renaissance cathedral is hidden among the surrounding buildings. You walk through the streets and suddenly a magnificent and magnificent building appears in front of you.

Granada Cathedral / Sights in Granada, Spain

Granada Cathedral was built in 1523 and stands in the centre of the Muslim part of Granada. Its main façade was designed by Alonso Cano and features sculptures by Duque Cornejo, Risueño and Verdiguier. The only tower of the two planned was only partially completed, yet it adds to the grandeur of the cathedral.

I recommend walking around the entire cathedral to see the magnificent entrance of La Puerta del Perdón by Diegeo de Siloé.

Granada Cathedral / Sights in Granada, Spain

Admission: entrance to Granada Cathedral is 5€ and reduced for children and students under 25 years 3,5€. Children up to 12 years of age are admitted free of charge. You can buy tickets book online .

Opening hours: the Cathedral is open daily – Monday to Saturday 10:00-18:15 and Sunday 15:00-18:15.

How to get here: The cathedral is located in the centre of Granada and is easily accessible on foot.

Royal Chapel

A visit to the Royal Chapel in Granada, Andalusia, is like a return to Spanish history. The Catholic monarchs Isabella and Fernando chose this place as their final resting place because they considered the conquest of Granada the crowning achievement of their reign.

The Royal Chapel on the left and the Cathedral on the right

The Gothic chapel was designed by Enrique Egas and completed in 1521, the northern facade was designed by García Pradas. Inside, there is an incredible wrought-iron screen created by Bartholomew that separates the royal mausoleums from the rest of the nave.

In addition, inside the sacristy there is also a museum full of paintings from Queen Isabella’s own collection, along with her crown and King Fernando’s sceptre and sword.

Admission: admission is €5 and a reduced fee of €3.5 for youth and students aged 13-25. Children up to 12 years of age are admitted free of charge. You can buy tickets book online .

Opening hours: the Royal Chapel is open Monday to Saturday daily 10:00-18:30 and Sunday 11:00-18:00.

How to get here: The Royal Chapel is adjacent to Granada Cathedral. You can also get here by buses 8, 21, 33, C31, C32 and C34.

See our complete Granada accommodation offer.


The Alcaicería is a fascinating place rich in history and culture, which used to be home to the Grand Bazaar of Granada. There used to be a brisk trade in Arab silk, spices and other goods.

Only part of Calle Alcaiceria between the cathedral and Calle Reyes Catolicos has survived. As you stroll through this historic bazaar, your eyes are drawn to exotic objects such as faience pottery, wooden taracea boxes and stained glass lamps.

Alcaicería granada

Please note: Despite the friendly atmosphere, be cautious. Gitani (gypsy women) offer fortune telling or palm reading for money. Watch out for pickpockets, too.


The gypsies of Sacromonte have been a source of fascination for centuries, from the time of the Moriscos to the Romantics 19th century and modern adventurers. Still in the middle In the 20th century, Sacromonte was a slum with dirt roads and small houses carved into the hillsides.

Over time, however, the traditional inhabitants moved away (but you can still see some of them today) and were overrun by artists and intellectuals who paved the roads with cobblestones and turned the former caves into even more luxurious dwellings.

Caves in Sacromento Granada
Caves in Sacromento

Sacromonte today is much more than just an interesting neighbourhood – it’s a vibrant cultural centre with cafes and craft shops along the streets. The Vereda de Enmedio promenade offers a wonderful view of the historic Alhambra and Albaicín districts. For a traditional flamenco performance, head to the Camino del Sacromonte.

Sacromonte Granada

Other places of interest in Sacromonte are the hilltop abbey overlooking Granada and the 14-stop Stations of the Cross, or the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte (Ethnographic Museum), where you can see how life used to be in Sacromonte.

Planning a trip around Granada? Check out the most beautiful places to visit in Andalusia, Spain.

El Albaicín

Granada’s El Albaicín is a place of dramatic beauty and historical richness. So big that the district was inscribed on the UNESCO list of monuments in 1994. Set on a hill above the stunning Alhambra Palace, it has some of the best views of Granada from many points.

The area was first established in 11. century rulers of the Zirid family, but apart from a few sections of the walls (including those that once enclosed the quarter) and four magnificent gates – El Arco de las Pesas, Monaita and Elvira – little remains of it today.

El Albaicín Granada / things to do in Granada
El Albaicín Granada / things to do in Granada

The streets of El Albaicín are full of amazing surprises. Inside the once Moorish citadel from the 11th century. century there are charming courtyards, white houses with black fittings decorated with flowers and ceramic plates. The quarter is a perfect labyrinth of narrow streets where you can walk for hours.

El Albaicín Granada / things to do in Granada

The outer cisterns for ritual washing and several minarets that have been converted into bell towers have also been preserved in the quarter. Walk along Calle Panaderos and Plaza Larga, lined with shops and restaurants. But the best part is the winding, winding streets, where you can discover new corners.

Mirador de San Nicolás

Thanks to its hilly terrain, Granada offers fantastic views in all directions. The Alhambra Palace, the Sierra Nevada mountains and the valleys of the Darro and Genil rivers.

The most popular sight is the Mirador de San Nicolás, located below the church of the same name in the Albaicín district.

It has an incredible atmosphere for the evening with live music and locals and tourists alike coming to watch the setting sun bathe the Alhambra in orange-red hues.

Mirador de San Nicolás granada

If you’re looking for a view a little closer to the centre, head to Mirador Placeta de Carvajales. The Mirador de San Cristóbal, on the other hand, is located at the highest point of the Albaicín.

Monastery of San Jerónimo

The Monastery of San Jerónimo (Monasterio de San Jerónimo) is a magnificent complex full of history and grandeur from the 16th century. century.

The complex has two ambits, each built around a garden, and the Doric entrance with 36 semicircular arches is decorated with the emblems and initials of its founders, together with the coat of arms of the first bishop, Jerome Hernando de Talavera.

The second monastery is today the seat of a monastic community and was once the residence of the Portuguese Empress Isabella and her husband, Charles I of Spain.

The site also includes a church where the remains of the Spanish general Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known as “El Gran Capitán”, and his wife Doña Maria de Manrique are buried.

Monasterio de San Jerónimo Granada

Admission: full admission to the monastery grounds is 5 € and reduced admission is 3,5 € (students 13-25 years old). Children up to 12 years of age are admitted free of charge.

Opening hours: the monastery is open daily from 10:00-13:30 and 15:00-18:30.

How to get here: Bus no. 25 or 10 minutes walk northwest of the cathedral.

La Cartuja de Granada

The Convent of the Assumption – better known as La Cartuja de Granada – is a hidden gem of Granada, tucked away from the main tourist attractions. It is an incredibly decorated Carthusian monastery with a unique atmosphere.

Upon entering the complex, you will be amazed by its beauty. Fountains and four large orange trees in the middle of the central cloister. On both sides there are three smaller chapels with statues.

The highlight of La Cartuja de Granada is the Baroque church. Architecture and art blend perfectly to create one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Spain.

La Cartuja de Granada / things to do in Granada, Spain
La Cartuja de Granada / things to do in Granada, Spain

Admission: admission to the monastery complex is 5 € and reduced for children and students under 25 years 3,5 €. Children up to 12 years of age are admitted free of charge.

Opening hours: the monastery is open Sunday to Friday 10:00-18:00 and on Saturdays 10:00-12:45 and 15:00-18:00.

How to get here: There is a bus stop near the monastery (line 8 or U3). It is a 30-minute walk from the centre.

Things to see and do in Granada – Map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips on sights and attractions to visit in Granada, Spain. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Granada guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

Where to stay in Granada?

  • Hotel Urban Dream Granada – modern 4* hotel on the outskirts of Granada with good access to the centre and great value for money
  • Oripando Hostel – charming accommodation in the Albaicín district with mixed and private rooms. Excellent price, kitchen and pool available.
  • La Perla Granada Suites – a cosy guesthouse with clean rooms and a great location within easy reach of almost all the sights in Granada
  • Veronica Centro – cheap, clean and pleasant guesthouse in the city centre with traditionally furnished rooms

See our complete Granada accommodation offer.

What to taste in Granada?

Granada is full of diverse flavours and aromas. The cuisine is based on traditional dishes with an Arabic influence. Vegetables such as beans, artichokes and aubergines are used in many dishes, and olive oil is also an important part of Granadian cooking.

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try Gazpacho, a cold tomato soup that’s perfect for summer in Granada. Or Ajoblanco, a kind of cold garlic soup.

Try the traditional Travelez ham or the famous Sacromonte omelette. Other local delicacies to try include tapas, which are often served free with a drink or beer. Granada has streets that are famous for their tapas bars, such as Calle Navas, Elvira and Calle Calderería Nueva in the centre.

And what to have as a sweet spot? Definitely churros, fried pastries that you dip in thick chocolate.

How to get to Granada?

By air

Granada has its own smaller airport, which is mainly used for domestic flights. I recommend flying to Málaga, which is 1.5 hours by train from Granada. There are direct flights to Málaga from a number of European cities including Prague, Nuremberg and Vienna. See our current flights to Málaga here.

Trains and buses

For train connections, visit the Spanish Railways Renfe website. You can buy tickets online (and get the best price) or at the station. The ALSA buses also work well, connecting Granada with many cities in the surrounding area.

The main train station is 15-20 minutes from the city centre. The bus station is on the outskirts of Granada, about 15 minutes by bus No. 33 or by taxi from the centre.

Car rental

Renting a car is another option to comfortably get to Granada and visit other beautiful places in Andalusia.

I recommend comparing offers from car rental companies to get the best service at the lowest price. Just beware that prices can vary between rental companies. In our experience, they offer the best prices and the widest range of Rentalcars.com.

To rent a car in Spain you will need a driving licence from your home country (non-EU citizens need an international driving licence), a passport and a credit card.

In our guide to renting and driving a car in Spain, we share practical tips and useful links that will come in handy before your trip.


Non-residents are banned from the centre of Granada and some surrounding areas. The only option is to park nearby and take public transport or taxi to the rest. The price for parking is around €20 for the whole day in the parking garages near the centre.

Transportation in Granada


Transport in Granada is provided by buses (and a metro line, which you probably won’t use as a tourist). To get around the centre and its surroundings, you will be interested in the following routes:

  • C30 Alhambra – centre
  • C31 Albaicín – centre
  • C32 Alhambra – Albaicín
  • C34 Sacromonte – centre

Minibuses run to the Alhambra Palace and the Albaicín district. All 4 lines also stop at several locations in the centre near Gran Vía. Connections are easy to find on Google maps.

A regular ticket costs €1.40 and children under 4 travel for free. You buy your ticket directly from the driver (tickets cannot be bought from newsagents). The only exception is bus line no. 4, which has ticket machines at bus stops – in this case you have to buy your ticket from the machine and not from the driver.


Public transport is supplemented by taxis, which are affordable and safe in Granada. You can simply wave at a taxi on the street – they are white with a green stripe and glow green at the top if they are free. There are plenty of taxi ranks in the centre and elsewhere in Granada.

You’ll pay around €8 to get to the Alhambra from the centre and around €7 to the Albaicín district.

granada / things to do in granada

Practical information before visiting Granada

  • Currency: euro
  • Official language: the official language in Granada is Spanish. You can’t fully rely on English here (especially where there are more locals than tourists or if you stay in a smaller guesthouse). However, the locals are friendly and will make an effort to communicate with you, even if they don’t speak English.
  • Prices: Granada is one of the cheapest major cities in Andalusia.
  • The informal greeting in Spain is hola. Basic Spanish phrases:
    • Buenos días – Hello
    • Buenas noches – Good evening
    • Gracias – Thank you
    • Helados – Ice cream
    • Por favor – Please
  • Safety: Granada is a safe city, but keep an eye out for pickpockets in the tourist areas.
  • Siesta: Southern European countries are known for siestas between 1 pm and 4 pm. However, this applies more to the off-season or to restaurants and shops frequented mainly by locals.

When to visit Granada?

Summers in Granada are warm, with average daily temperatures around 30 °C, with some highs of 35 °C. Summer is also the peak season for tourists in Granada.

Winters here are long and relatively cold thanks to the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range. On the other hand, the city has the fewest tourists and prices are lower than in high season.

The best time to visit Granada is spring. The gardens of the Alhambra and the Generalife are blooming beautifully, as are the flowers in colourful pots in the Albaicín district. The temperatures are pleasant, the city is lively and the days are getting long.

The second best season is autumn, when the days are still quite long and the temperatures are pleasant for exploring the winding streets of Granada, Spain.

This was our travel guide to tips on things to do in Granada. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Spain

SPAIN: In our list of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain, we give you tips on what to see in Spain.

In our guide to renting and driving a car in Spain, we share practical tips and useful links that will come in handy before your trip.

MADRID: Get inspired by our tips on the best things to do in Madrid.

BARCELONA: Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain, along with Madrid. Check out tips on the things to do in Barcelona (entrance fees, opening hours, photos, map) or plan your trip with the Barcelona in 3 Days itinerary.

VALENCIA: Valencia is another beautiful city in Spain. We’ve put together a complete guide to visiting Valencia, including tips on the best things to do in Valencia.

SEVILLA: Seville is close to Granada – here’s a guide and tips on what to see in Seville.

ANDALUSIA: Andalusia is one of the most beautiful regions in Spain – in our Andalusia guide, we’ve put together tips on the best places to see in Andalusia. The most popular seaside resort in Andalusia is Málaga.

Read even more tips on travelling to Spain.

Summary for your guide and what to visit in Granada

What to see and do in Granada?

Granada is a beautiful historic city that offers everything from stunning architecture to vibrant nightlife and amazing restaurants. Here are some tips on what you can’t miss when visiting Granada:

1. Alhambra – this palace complex is an Islamic fortress with magnificent gardens and fountains as well as beautiful interiors. It is the most popular attraction you must see in Granada.

2. Mirador de San Nicolas – this viewpoint offers a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings, including the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range.

3. Catedral de Granada – This stunning cathedral was built in 1523 and features impressive Renaissance features and decorations.

4. Albaicín – the old Moorish quarter is full of winding streets, white-plastered houses, cobbled alleys and Islamic architecture. There are also several great restaurants and cafes.

How long to visit Granada for?

If you just want to see Granada quickly, one day is all you need. However, if you want to explore the city more, explore the charming streets, sample the local cuisine and visit the Alhambra Palace and the Generalife Gardens, set aside 2-3 days.

What to do in Granada?

Visit the monumental UNESCO-listed Alhambra palace complex, stroll through the old Moorish quarter of El Albaicín along cobbled streets full of charming restaurants, bars and shops, or take a peek into the cave houses of Sacromonte.
Granada is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves. The Sierras de Tejeda y Almijara National Park offers fantastic views, plenty of hiking trails and great skiing in winter.
Granada in Spain is also known for its lively atmosphere. Enjoy tapas in one of the bars or watch a traditional flamenco show.

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