Granada is rich with history and spectacular architecture dating back to the Moors and Romans thousands of years ago. It’s always been a city at a crossroads, where culture and ideas from North Africa and Europe collide. The city is still heavily influenced by its Moorish roots and you will smell hookahs, couscous, and incense everywhere you go. Be sure to visit the Alhambra and bike along the outskirts of the city to view the scenic country roads. There are countless museums, monuments and statues worth seeing and exploring, which are perfect for the budget-minded traveler. Granada is one of my favorite cities in Spain. It’s a unique mix of cultures, the food is amazing, the architecture stunning, and the energy unlike anywhere else in the country.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Granada
1. Explore the Sierra Nevada
2. Visit the Alhambra Palace
3. Take in the view at Paseo de los Tristes
4. Watch a Flamenco Show
5. Admire the Granada Cathedral
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Visit Mirador de San Nicolas
The square is also a nice lookout point, with a great view of Alhambra. It’s a great place to catch the sunset after a day of exploring.
2. Check out Casa del Chapiz
These two 16th century mansions form into one, and there’s a courtyard with several galleries that are great to visit.
3. Soak in a hammam (Arab bathhouse)
A modern spa reconstructing the ambiance and decorations of the ancient Moorish baths in Granada. It is a good way nowadays to relax and cool off. They are some of the best baths in Spain. Entry is usually around 20 EUR, not including a massage.
4. Go for tapas
Even the saying “ir de tapas” (going for tapas and a drink) has found an important place in the language and culture here. Tapas are an essential aspect of Spanish life, and extend beyond the idea of just going for dinner. It’s a complete social experience. Order a few tapas between friends, grab a drink, and take in the social atmosphere around you.
5. Visit the Banuelo
After soaking in a modern hammam, you should pay a visit to the ruins of this historical Arab bath. The Banuelo lies at the base of the Alahambra, and was part of a private house. The ruins date back to the 11th century, and are free to visit.
6. Wander through the Albaicin
The Albaicin is the historical Arab quarter of the city. A walk through here, with its narrow streets and characteristic architecture, will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a completely different city.
7. Cycle around
Whether you cycle by yourself throughout Granada or cycle as part of a group, it’s the best way to see the city. Cycling from Granada to Seville is spectacular and can be led by a tour guide. With a combination of flat terrain and hills, the scenery makes for a spectacular trip. Single-day rentals around the city cost around 12 EUR, while guided tours between Seville and Granada (lasting up to 7 days) cost around 1,500 EUR per person.
8. Visit the Monasterio de San Jerónimo
A visit to the 16th century Monasterio de San Jerónimo is a humbling experience. The building has beautiful stained glass, but even more impressive is the detailed painting of the interior. The monastery is still in use, but is open for visits for 3.50 EUR.