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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)

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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

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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)

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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

Albaicín

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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

Sacromonte

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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

Mirador de San Nicolás

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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

Royal Chapel of Granada (Capilla Real)

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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

Hammam Al Andalus Granada

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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

Paseo de los Tristes

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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

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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

Alcaicería

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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

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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

Trip ideas

How to Choose an Alhambra Tour

How to Choose an Alhambra Tour

How to Spend 2 Days in Granada

How to Spend 2 Days in Granada

Food Lover's Guide to Granada

Food Lover's Guide to Granada

Top activities in Granada

Alhambra and Generalife Small Group Guided Tour with Skip the Line Tickets

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Alhambra and Generalife Small Group Guided Tour with Skip the Line Tickets

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Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour with Skip the Line Tickets
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Malaga to Granada: skip-the-line at Alhambra & Nasrid Palace - for cruisers only
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The Secrets of the Alhambra, private tour
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Alhambra, Nasrid Palaces, Generalife and Alcazaba Private Tour in Granada
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Private Official Guide to Visit Alhambra in Granada from Malaga Hotel pick up
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Granada Electric Bike Guided Tour

Granada Electric Bike Guided Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Granada

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Exceeded expectations
Lorraine_W, Nov 2022
Arabian Baths Experience at Granada's Hammam Al Ándalus
I came to Granada to see what the hammam is like in real life.
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Great Tour
Michele_L, Sep 2022
Granada Electric Bike Guided Tour
Great way to see parts of Granada.
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Brilliant Bike Tour
Fiona_K, Sep 2022
Granada Electric Bike Guided Tour
Fantastic tour and great way to see and learn about Granada.
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The Amazing Alhambra
Dale_N, Aug 2022
Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour with Skip the Line Tickets
The pictures I sent back to friends in Facebook are encouraging them to come to Granada to see the Alhambra and Granada and Spain.
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Wonderful way to see Alhambra!
Michelle_R, Jul 2022
Private Official Guide to Visit Alhambra in Granada from Malaga Hotel pick up
This was a great experience and wonderful way to see the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens!
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Great experience.
Frances_C, Jun 2022
Skip-the-Line Alhambra, Generalife & Nasrid Palace Guided Tour - Small Group
It was great to see all three areas, to give better context to how Spaniards lived in Granada, the politics, etc.
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Great experience !
Nikolette_R, Jun 2022
Skip The Line Alhambra and Generalife Guided Tour
Our tour guide Manu is very knowledgeable and gave us tips on what other things to do , see and eat in Granada.
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Perfect Intro to Granada
Patrice_S, Oct 2022
Granada Sunset Walking Small Group Tour
Night had fully fallen when our tour finished, but ambient light provided a clear path back down the hills.
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Great tour!
Cynthia_S, Oct 2022
Skip-the-Line Alhambra, Generalife & Nasrid Palace Guided Tour - Small Group
Our guide Ana spoke great English and was really enjoyable, and shared lots of interesting historical info about the Alhambra, the city of Granada, and life in the Alhambra under the sultans.
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Very enjoyable way to see the hilly and diverse area.
jillbrobinson, Aug 2022
Granada: Off-road Segway Tour
The segway is really a must have in the hot summer days.
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A Must!
Martha_B, Aug 2022
Alhambra: Small Group Tour with Local Guide & Admission
It was nice not to have to wait in line at the various passport checkpoints--our group went through separately from other lines--and I was happy to know that we saw everything we planned to see without having to figure out the order in which to see it and try to figure out what we were looking at.
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This was perfect for us....
Mari_D, Aug 2022
Private transfer from/to Seville to/from Granada with optional stop in Cordoba
We were traveling with kids 11 and 15 and 4 suitcases plus backpacks.
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Enjoyable hike in the countryside.
Evelyn_D, Jul 2022
Hike along the Gollizno route
Our hike was about a 30 minute drive from town and it was lovely to see the countryside and be out in nature.
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Granada on wheels
Aletta_R, Jul 2022
Granada: Albaicin and Sacromonte Segway Tour
What a great way to see the beautiful Granada!
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Lovely day trip
Sydney_H, Jul 2022
Las Alpujarras Full-Day Tour with Optional Lunch from Granada
It was conducted in both English and Spanish, and the guide did a good job of balancing explanations in both languages and responding to questions as they arose.
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Best tour and guide we had on our trip!
Maria_V, Jun 2022
Alhambra Private or Small Group Tour with Nasrid Palaces Skip the Line Ticket
I did a lot of homework to pick the best activities, and this tour was a jackpot.
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One of my favorite things we've done while in Spain!! 10/10
YusefNabil_S, Jun 2022
Flamenco Show in a Cave Restaurant in Granada
The staff were able to communicate with me in English to get us seated and order from the menu.
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You Won't Regret It!
Valerie_W, May 2022
Skip The Line Alhambra and Generalife Guided Tour
If you can, go in the morning hours if it is summertime so you aren't caught in the heat.
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Superb tour and wonderful...
Ryan_E, Apr 2022
Granada Night Adventure Tour
An excellent way to see the streets of Granada.
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Beautiful tour—highly recommended
Ann_M, Nov 2021
Granada Sunset Walking Small Group Tour
Great way to see a beautiful part of Granada.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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