8 Things to Do in Granada to Really Discover the City
Granada is the Moorish gem of the south of Spain, where you can experience centuries of rich and fascinating history. Its stunning architecture, amazing monuments, and mouth-watering cuisine tell the story of Granada’s past. As you plan your trip to Andalusia, make sure that you leave plenty of time to experience Granada. Here are some of the best things to do in Granada that you won’t want to miss!
Visit the Alhambra and Generalife
The Alhambra is, without a doubt, the crown jewel of Granada and one of the most recognizable monuments in Spain. Construction began as early as the 11th century and was a castle, palace, fortress and city, all in one. It was a palace for the Nasrid dynasty when Granada was under Moorish control. Today, countless of visitors come to marvel at the beauty of the Alhambra and the secrets it holds. It’s recommended that you book your tickets well in advance, and plan your visit early in the day to beat the crowds (and heat, in summer). While it’s possible to spend the whole day just wandering around the Alhambra, we recommend giving yourself a couple hours to visit.
Additionally, make sure that you leave time to stroll through the Generalife gardens. A complex of buildings that were part of the Nasrid summer palace, the Generalife is now a lush garden with small pools, fountains, and beautiful floral arrangements. You absolutely can’t miss this when you visit the Alhambra, so be sure to leave plenty of time to visit both of these wonders!
Marvel at the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel
The Granada Cathedral stands upon the foundations of the site of the former Great Mosque. It was built in the 16th century, after Granada was acquired by the Spanish crown. The cathedral shows examples of both Gothic and Spanish Renaissance architecture. The cathedral houses several chapels, including the famous Royal Chapel. This is the final resting place of the most famous monarchs in Spain’s history, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella I, the Catholic Monarchs. These monarchs are credited for unifying the kingdom of Spain, ending Moorish control, and converting Spain to a Catholic nation. You can visit their tombs in the chapel, as well as admire the architecture and artwork inside.
Go on a food tour
Granada is famous for its tapas and traditional dishes, so what better way to experience Spanish cuisine than on a food tour? Food Lover Tour is so excited to present our Picoteo Lover Tour in Granada, which is a tapas bar crawl through the heart of the city. We take you to the best local spots to try the tastiest tapas and most authentic dishes, paired with favorite local drinks. Along the way, your local tour guide will share the history and secrets of Granada with you. Connect with fellow food lovers and really dive into the city’s foodie scene. A food tour with Food Lover Tour is definitely one of the best things to do in Granada!
Watch the sunset at Mirador de San Nicolás
At the Mirador de San Nicolás, you can watch the sun sink over the Alhambra, creating the most stunning views and sunsets in Granada. Visitors flock to the Mirador at all hours to see the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Alhambra, but it is most magical in the late afternoon hours. Flamenco musicians gather here to perform for the crowds, and there are often local artisans selling jewelry and handicrafts, too. It’s a hub of activity that still maintains an ambiance of peace and calm.
See the Bañuelo
El Bañuelo, or the ancient Arab bath house, gives visitors a glimpse into daily life in Moorish Granada. The Bañuelo dates back to the 11th century and is one of the few that remain to this day. Look up and you’ll see star-shaped holes in the ceiling that let the light in!
To see something truly unique, head to the Sacromonte neighborhood, one of the most interesting in Granada. Gypsies settled into this area in 1492 after the Catholic Monarchs conquered Granada. Visiting Sacromonte is one of the most interesting things to do in Granada as you can see traditional houses built into whitewashed caves. These houses are built directly into the surrounding hills and are quite picturesque. Sacromonte is also known for its delicious cuisine, vibrant flamenco music, and distinct cultural scene.
Walk the Carrera del Darro
The left bank of the Darro Rover is known as the Carrera del Darro, and is a path that follows the river throughout the city. It’s one of the oldest streets in Granada and makes for a beautiful walk at any time of day. This cobblestone street along the river can be quite romantic, or is simply just the perfect picturesque stroll through Granada!
Stroll through Albayzín
Albayzín is the old Arab Quarter of Granada, which still retains much of its Muslim influence to this day. At it’s height, Albayzín had as many as 40,000 residents, 30 mosques, and countless homes. After Granada fell to Spain and became part of the Catholic monarchy, this neighborhood became a residence for the Muslims of Granada. Today, you can wander the neighborhood’s narrow, winding streets and slopes and admire the architecture. Tapas bars and restaurants dot the neighborhood, providing the perfect place to stop and refuel after a day of sightseeing. Additionally, many people like to go to Albayzín in the afternoon to watch the sunset.
And there you have it! These are just a handful of the best things to do in Granada, as there is so much to explore. Be sure to join Food Lover Tour on a food tour to experience the best cuisine and walking tour in the city!