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Things to do in Granada
Granada is a city in the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Known for its grand examples of medieval architecture, serene patios, reflecting pools, and orchards... this city has it all. Andalusia is a melting pot, a crossroads between Europe and Africa. What makes you love Granada is wandering through the various neighborhoods where you can feel the impact of the different civilizations and religions. Featured in both our Andalusia Jewels tour and our Historic and Sunny Andalusia tour, once you arrive you’ll never want to leave!
- Bike – Granada has bike lanes and designated bike parking across the city. While steep hills and stairs might keep you from everywhere you want to go, biking around town is a great way to familiarize yourself with Granada and its various lively neighborhoods.
- Visit the Alhambra – The Alhambra, a spectacular Arabic citadel, is the symbol of Granada. The oldest part of the Alhambra, called the Alcazaba, has stood on a hill looking out over the city for centuries. The Alhambra also includes the Palace of Charles V which houses 3 museums, Generalife which includes a leisure residence and gardens, and the Nasrid Palaces which were the homes of the sultans. The Nasrid Palaces are the heart and soul of the Alhambra and are not to be missed! The Alhambra is open daily from 8:30am to 6/8pm though the Nasrid Palaces section is open much later. Depending on your ticket, prices ranges from 5 euros to 14 euros.
- Stroll San Nicolas Plaza – At the top of a steep trek through the Albaicín Neighborhood, this plaza is home to a gorgeous church, as well as the best views of the Alhambra. Visit at sunset for some of the best photos of your trip!
- See a Flamenco Show – There are several great venues to see shows in Granada. One of them, Peña La Platería, claims to be the oldest Flamenco club in Spain! Unlike other more private clubs in the city, Peña La Platería regularly opens its doors to non-members for performances on Thursday nights at 10pm. Casa Del Arte, Jardines de Zoraya, and Cueva de la Rocio are other highly recommended venues that you can browse through online at the Flamenco Granada Organization’s website. Reservations are recommended for any flamenco show in the city.
- Go out for Tapas – If Spain is the land of Tapas, Granada is the capital. Whether you go to illustrious tapas bars or find a hidden gem, a tapas crawl is a MUST in Granada. Granada’s tourism site even has recommended Tapas Routes depending on where in the city you are. Many tapas bars in Granada give you a free tapas plate with every round of drinks you order. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
- Visit the Cartuja Monastery – On the outskirts of town, the Cartuja Monastery is well-worth the distance (about 2 miles). While easily bike-able, it is also accessible by the 8, U1, or U3 bus, or by taxi. Once you arrive, you will enter the Cartuja Monastery through a simple patio with arches... but don’t let that deceive you. Inside holds artistic riches from the Baroque era including ornate paintings and sculptures. The chapel of the monastery is simply dazzling because of the chromatic richness of its marbles. The Monastery is open Monday to Friday and Sundays/Bank Holidays from 10am to 8pm, and on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm. Admission is 5 euros.
- See the Cathedral of Granada – Granada Cathedral was built by Queen Isabella when the Catholics took over the city. This Spanish Renaissance style Cathedral’s first stone was laid in 1523, on the site of the ancient mosque. As the 4th largest Cathedral in the world, it boasts impressive facades and a stunning interior with a grand altar and several chapels. The Cathedral is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6:30pm. General Admission is 5 euros.
- Experience the Royal Chapel – Located next to Granada Cathedral, the Royal Chapel is the final resting place of Granada’s Catholic Monarchs. The burial monuments are intricately engraved marble slabs. This ornate work is credited to Domenico Fancelli and Bartholomew Ordenez. The chapel is open Monday to Saturday from 10:15am to 6:30pm. General Admission is 5 euros.
- Enjoy Aammim Alyawza (El Banuelo) – These Arab baths are one of the few bath establishments that were saved from destruction by the Catholics, as among the Christians bathhouses had a reputation comparable to that of brothels. Being situated under a private home, they were saved and preserved. Today, these baths are undoubtedly the oldest and best-preserved Arab baths in Spain, and the oldest work of Muslim architecture left in Granada (from the 11th century). While simply a monument now, you can also visit the Hammams in town where the steamy baths are open for business.
- Taste the Teterías – Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city in one of Granada’s many arabic tearooms. The tearoom is an ideal place to unwind and relax- all with robust menus! Sit back with a cup of tea, juice, Moorish pastries, cakes, wine, and/or Andalusian liquor.
- Explore Patio de los Perfumes – A museum, workshop, and shopping experience all in one, discover the art of the manufacture of perfumes, ancient perfumery bottles, the most valuable and rarest ingredients from the four corners of the world, as well as the perfumer's secrets. The Patio of Perfume has an awesome workshop, where you can make your own personal scent (they’ll even digitize your formula so it can be recreated!). The Patio also has a cafe to immerse yourself in the aromas with a relaxing cup of tea. Patio de los Perfumes is open from 10am to 10pm daily.
- Shop the Marketplace – If you’re planning to buy some souvenirs, you should head to Alcaiceria market. It is souk- style market with souvenirs for everyone. Ceramics, colored glass lamps, jewelry, fans, trinkets, postcards... you’re sure to find the perfect gift to bring back home at this bazaar. Spanish fans, Andalusian pottery, and local wines are highly recommended local products. Artesania Gonzalez is also a great street to shop local crafts such as pottery, wooden handicrafts, marquetry, drawings, and photography.