Things to do in Granada

Things to do in  Granada

Welcome to Granada

The last Moorish stronghold in the heart of Andalucia, resettled by Catholic monarchs and migrating Romani, Granada thrums to a rhythm all its own. Crowned by the magnificent Alhambra Palace complex and set against the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, this picturesque little city holds a wealth of attractions. The UNESCO World Heritage–listed Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens belong right at the top of your list. A priority-access or skip-the-line tour is the best way to experience this treasure trove of Nasrid-era art and architecture. Other historical highlights include the Cathedral, Nasrid Palace, the Palace of Charles V, and Alcazaba Fortress. Fascinating though it may be, don't let the past consume your whole visit: Stroll around to admire the work of Granada's prolific street artists (it's not all ""graffiti""), visit the Arabian Baths at Hammam Al Andalus, and try to catch a local festival, where you'll see colorful costumes, traditional dances, and Andalusian horses on parade. In the evenings, Granada's living culture takes the stage: Watch a fiery Flamenco performance in the Sacromonte caves; take a walking tour of the Albaicin (Albayzin), the old Moorish quarter; and feast on tapas and sangria. A number of day-trip destinations also lie within easy reach of the city. Visit the Caves of Nerja, go wine tasting in the mountain town of Ronda, or relax on the golden beaches of Costa Tropical. Nature-lovers can hike in the Sierra Nevada National Park, home to the Iberian Peninsula's highest mountains, or tour by 4-wheel-drive.

Top 15 attractions in Granada

Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada)

Built on a hill overlooking Granada and set against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada) is a sprawling complex of intricately decorated palaces, pristine gardens, and a once-mighty fortress. This UNESCO World Heritage site was constructed during the Nasrid Dynasty and later partially destroyed and rebuilt by King Charles V. With its mix of Renaissance and Moorish architecture, the Alhambra Palace is the most sought-after attraction for visitors to Granada, sitting high on most must-see lists for Andalucia and Spain as a whole.More

Generalife Gardens

The 13th-century Generalife served as a summer retreat for Nasrid kings when they needed a break from palace affairs. From its perch on Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun), the series of terraces, promenades, and gardens spread across 74 landscaped acres (30 hectares) of the Alhambra complex afford some of the best views over Granada.More

Palace of Charles V (Palacio de Carlos V)

During a visit to Granada in 1526, King Charles V (Carlos V) chose the Alhambra as the site of his future royal residence. The Palace of Charles V (Palacio de Caros V) stands in stark contrast to the style of the surrounding Moorish Alhambra. It is notable for its 2-level columned circular courtyard and surrounding square structure.More


The Albaicín (also spelled Albayzín or Albaycín) is Granada's old Muslim quarter, and its steep twisting streets underscore a medieval past. Founded in 1228 by the Moors, the neighborhood is dotted with Baroque churches inside old mosques and traditionalcarmenes (villas). Albaicín is also known for having stellar views of the Alhambra.More

Hammam Al Andalus Granada

The tranquil Hammam Al Ándalus Granada, located at the foot of the Alhambra and just past Santa Ana Church, is the place to relax after a long day of exploring the Alhambra’s gardens, palace, and fortress. The Arabian-bath setting has pools of different temperatures and a steam room for Moorish-style rejuvenation.More


The Sacromonte district of Granada is the seat of the thriving Gitano gypsy community that settled in hillside caves during the 15th and 16th centuries. Today, Sacromonte is also the epicenter of Granada’s zambra flamenco scene, with performances staged at thee tablaos along Camino del Sacromonte.More

Royal Chapel of Granada (Capilla Real)

Situated side by side, the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel of Granada (Capilla Real) together make an impressive monument to the power of Christian monarchs in Andalucia. The cavernous cathedral houses paintings by Ribera and El Greco; the remains of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragón are interred within the chapel’s shrine.More

Mirador de San Nicolás

The biggest draw of Granada’s Albaycin quarter (the old Moorish quarter) is the hilltop Mirador de San Nicolás, a small plaza that lies in front of San Nicolás Church. This lookout point offers panoramic views spanning the city center, the distant Sierra Nevada Mountains, Rio Darro canyon and, most famously, the grand Alhambra palace.More

Paseo de los Tristes

Granada's Paseo de los Tristes is a riverside walkway along the canyon separating the Alhambra from the Albaicín neighborhood. Paseo de los Tristes once served as the route for funeral processions—hence its name, which means "Promenade of the Sad." Today restaurant terraces tempt passersby with refreshment and sweeping Alhambra views.More

Plaza Nueva

Plaza Nueva has long been at the center of local life in Granada, and its location at the foot of the Alhambra palace means many tourists will pass through it. Laid out in the early Christian era, the square was built over the Darro River and once served as an arena for sporting tournaments and bullfights, as well as public executions.More


The Alcaicería was once a lively Arab bazaar and the center of the city’s Muslim silk exchange. The original gated bazaar was almost entirely destroyed by a fire back in 1843, and today the restored shops occupy a smaller space, dotted around Calle Alcaiceria, in the shadows of the Cathedral of Granada.More

Plaza Bib Rambla

Also known as Plaza de las Flores (Flowers Square), pedestrian-friendly Plaza Bib-Rambla is at the heart of Granada’s bustling street scene. In the center of the plaza is a 17th-century marble fountain featuring Neptune, and the bell tower of Granada’s Spanish Renaissance cathedral peers over townhouse facades with wrought-iron balconies.More

San Jeronimo Monastery (Monasterio de San Jerónimo)

San Jeronimo Monastery (Monasterio de San Jerónimo), the first monastery built after the Christian conquest of Granada, was also the first church in the world consecrated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The monastery is known for housing one of the most exquisite Spanish Baroque sacristies on earth, as well as its courtyard, which is filled with orange trees.More

Cartuja Monastery (Monasterio de la Cartuja)

Cartuja Monastery (Monasterio de la Cartuja) is where late-baroque Spanish architecture reaches its most lavish heights. Although work began in the 16th century, construction continued for another three centuries and the complex was never actually completed. The imposing sandstone exterior gives way to a lavish interior of marble, ivory, ornate stucco, and gilt.More

Sierra Nevada National Park (Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada)

Sierra Nevada, known as the Mountain of the Sun by Andalucia’s Moorish residents, is home to 15 peaks that are more than 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) high, including the highest point on the Iberian Peninsula and Europe’s most southerly ski resort. This national park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve attracts hikers from around the world.More

Top activities in Granada

Alhambra and Nasrid Palaces Ticket with Audioguide
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Alhambra Private/Small Group Tour & Nasrid Palaces Skip the Line
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Alhambra & Generalife Skip the line Small Group including Nasrid Palaces
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Granada Tapas and Wine Small Group Tour
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Alhambra: Nasrid Palaces & Generalife Ticket with Audioguide
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Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Tour with Skip the Line Tickets
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All about Granada

When to visit

During pre-Easter Holy Week (Semana Santa), the Moorish city of Granada undulates with religious processions. Traditional pasos (thrones occupied by religious icons) wind through the cobbled streets of the Old Quarter, and create a spectacle that can’t be found anywhere else in Spain. As an alternative, visit in September or October when scorching summer temperatures have cooled.


A local’s pocket guide to Granada

Monica Nunez

Monica is a Granada lover. You'll find her having dinner in the Carmen De Aben Humeya restaurant looking at the amazing view of the Alhambra at night.

The first thing you should do in Granada is...

go to El Mirador de San Nicolas to get a great view of La Alhambra and the city.

A perfect Saturday in Granada...

book a guided Alhambra tour in the morning, then walk around the Albaicin neighborhood, and finish your day with tapas and Alhambra beers in El Realejo.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

La Alhambra. Listening to the story of this incredible palace is a hundred percent worth the extra cost.

To discover the "real" Granada...

get lost in the narrow streets of Albaicin.

For the best view of the city...

go to El Mirador de San Nicolas and be fascinated by the beauty of La Alhambra.

One thing people get wrong...

is not visiting Sacramonte, a neighborhood full of cave houses where people live and you can watch flamenco shows.

People Also Ask

What is Granada famous for?

The southern Spanish city of Granada is famous for its impressive hilltop fortress, the Alhambra. This landmark is one of several architecturally striking destinations in Granada that reveals the city’s Moorish history. Granada is also famous for its maze-like streets, fun tapas bars, and colorful street art.

How many days should I spend in Granada?

Some travelers spend a single day in Granada; a visit to the Alhambra and a tapas bar provides a good introduction. But the city has much more to offer and can easily entertain tourists for two or three days with its Moorish quarter, 16th-century cathedral, hammams, and more.

What is one main tourist attraction in Granada?

The one main tourist attraction in Granada is the Alhambra, a hilltop fortress famous for its striking Moorish architecture. This landmark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular attractions in all of Spain. It is known for the stunning ornamental tilework throughout.

What is there to do in Granada besides the Alhambra?

Beyond the Alhambra, Granada offers many things to do. Explore the maze-like streets of the Moorish quarter, marvel at the 16th-century cathedral, relax in a hammam, or hop among tapas bars. Mirador de San Nicolas offers a popular lookout to watch the sunset.

Is Granada worth visiting?

Yes. Granada is worth visiting. Even if you only visit the city to go to the Alhambra, this Moorish hilltop fortress is one of Spain’s top attractions for good reason. Beyond the landmark, Granada offers a fun atmosphere with its vibrant tapas bars and colorful street art.

What do Granada people do for fun?

People in Granada hop among tapas bars for fun. Locals spend their evenings drinking and snacking at different bars throughout the city. Other fun things to do include relaxing at a hammam, shopping at small boutiques, and listening to live music.

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