What to see in Granada?

By | 19 February, 2024 | 0 comments

Discover the most beautiful places in Granada

Discovering Granada is an adventure, perhaps because of the heritage of Arab mystery that still surrounds it, perhaps because of the narrowness of its streets or because of the treasures it conceals. It has always been considered a privilege to contemplate it, as demonstrated by the popular saying: “Give him charity, woman, there is nothing in life like the pain of being blind in Granada”.

Granada is the capital of the province. The city lies at the confluence of the rivers Darro and Genil, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and opening up to its fertile valley. At the foot of the Alhambra, its most emblematic monument visited by more than two million people every year, is a city full of animation and monuments.

A ‘Moorish and Christian’ city, its heritage brings together the legacy of both cultures. Enriched for centuries by the Arabs, the Christians gave the city unique monuments, reflecting their culture through their mastery of the arts and sciences.











1. Emblematic Spaces

The Alhambra

The Alhambra, declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, is a palatine city located on the Sabika hill, next to the river Darro. Its name comes from the colour of its walls (Al-Hamra in Arabic), which were made from the clay of the land itself, hence its reddish colour.
The complex is made up of the Generalife gardens, the Nasrid Palaces and the Alcazaba, of Arab construction. Of Christian construction are the palace of Charles V and the church of Santa Maria, built on the site of the old mosque. The Nasrid Palaces are grouped irregularly and the different rooms are connected by courtyards or galleries.

Las entradas deben ser compradas al menos con 3 meses de antelación.
How to get your tickets?

  •  Via https://tickets.alhambra-patronato.en/. Here you can choose the day and time you would like to visit with a regular ticket.
  • A group tour of about 25 people. The price includes transport, guide and tickets, and is offered in the morning or afternoon shift.
  • A private organised tour. Includes hotel pick-up service, official guide with the language of your choice, private transport to the Alhambra and back to the hotel and tickets.

Visit la Alhambra

Albaicín quarter

The Albaicín was originally a nucleus that extended to the northeast of the Alcazaba Cadima (old citadel). A walk through the Albayzín is a journey through the history of Granada. Its buildings, its squares and the very structure of its streets allow us to recognise the different cultural and social transformations of the city.

The visitor who enters the Albaicín for the first time will discover a neighbourhood full of life, feeling transported to the most glorious moments of Granada’s history. Little is known of its first inhabitants, as there are hardly any traces of its Iberian or Roman past, but the long centuries of Muslim settlement can be recognised, not only in its buildings and in the appearance of the neighbourhood, but also in the scent of jasmine that permeates its streets, in the Moorish gardens, in its cármenes – the typical houses of the neighbourhood – or in the decoration of its villas.

The Albaicín was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984.

A tour through Albaicín

  • “Puerta de Elvira”: The Puerta de Elvira or Elvira Gate, located at the foot of the hill and of which only the arch remains today, was the traditional entrance to the city of Granada, and is today the perfect starting point for exploring the neighbourhood. At its foot is the current Plaza de San Gil, known in the Muslim period as Plaza de Hatabin or Plaza de los Leñadores, and which was one of the busiest squares in the Arab period, as it served as the nerve centre of communications between the city and the suburbs and medinas located on the opposite bank of the River Darro.
  • “Carrera del Darro” and “Paseo de los Tristes”: The Carrera del Darro leads to the Paseo de los Tristes, another of the emblematic places of the Albaicín and from which the steep Cuesta del Chapiz starts, from which the route to Sacromonte can be taken. On the Cuesta del Chapiz the visitor should not miss the Casa Morisca, or the Palacio de los Córdova, based on a 16th century building which was rebuilt in its current location in the mid-1960s and which houses the current Municipal Archives.

More information here

Sacromonte Abbey

The work was commissioned by the archbishop of Granada, Pedro de Castro Cabeza de Vaca y Quiñones, to the Jesuit brother and architect Pedro Sánchez. The courtyard is the most outstanding element of the complex. The four sides have galleries with Tuscan columns. The church is dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. The plan of the initial project consisted of a single nave that finished off the transept. From the 18th century onwards, it was enlarged and a Latin cross plan was planned, with three naves, a main chapel, transept and choir.

More information here

Bañuelo arab baths

The Arab baths or ‘hamman’, place where the inhabitants of the Albaicín neighbourhood went to wash themselves, take care of their bodies and share conversation. The Bañuelo baths date from the 11th century and are in a perfect state of preservation.

The enclosure is divided into three rectangular rooms. Next to the courtyard that serves as the entrance is the cold room. This is followed by the temperate room, which is larger and decorated with horseshoe arches on three sides. Finally, the hot room, where the baths were located and next to this room was the bath’s boiler.

Tickets can be purchased directly in the Bañuelo.

More information here

The Cathedral

Granada Cathedral is considered to be the first Renaissance church in Spain and one of the greatest exponents of this artistic order. The Catholic Monarchs ordered its construction in 1492 and it was initially designed following the Gothic model of Toledo Cathedral.

In 1528 Diego de Siloé took over the project and designed a new plan for the temple in the Spanish Renaissance style. Almost two hundred years later, in 1704, the work was completed.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Cathedral.

More information here 

Royal Chapel

The Catholic Monarchs, who saw Granada as a symbol of the unity of Spain and the Christian kingdom, ordered the construction of this temple as a resting place for their mortal remains.

Its construction, in Gothic style, began in 1506 and was dedicated to the Holy Johns: the Baptist and the Evangelist. It was completed in 1517 during the reign of Charles V, who also transferred the remains of his parents, Joan the Mad and Philip the Handsome, there.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Royal Chapel.

More information here

Carmen of the Martyrs

According to tradition, this place is built over the old dungeons of the Christian captives in Nasrid times. Once the city was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs, it became a Carmelite convent where San Juan de la Cruz spent some years as prior.

Its current appearance corresponds to the 19th century, showing the orientalist tendencies of the time. The gardens are a successful blend of French and English models together with the aesthetics of Andalusian gardens.

Monastery of La Cartuja

This monastery began to be built in 1506 and its construction is a fusion of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. Its temple, sanctum sanctorum and sacristy mark the peak of Andalusian and Spanish Baroque.

Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, it houses a valuable collection of paintings by the Carthusian monk Sánchez Cotán, as well as works by Bocanegra and Carducho.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Cartuja Monastery.

More information here

Royal Hospital

Headquarters of the Rectorate of the University of Granada. The Royal Hospital was founded by the Catholic Monarchs in 1504 to treat the wounded from the War of Granada.

Its construction began according to the plans of Enrique Egas, in the late Gothic style, but it was Charles V who was responsible for its completion in the Renaissance style.

More information here

2. Flamenco Live Shows

Those with a more flamenco vocation should go to one of the zambras in Sacromonte, see a flamenco show in the Albaycín or enjoy a dinner in a flamenco restaurant in Granada.

Flamenco en una auténtica Zambra del Sacromonte

Cueva Los Taranto, La Rocio or Venta del Gallo
We recommend a complete experience with dinner at Los Patos Restaurant to finish with a 1 hour flamenco show with a drink in one of the Sacromonte caves.


Casa del Arte Flamenco o Casa Ana

Those who want to stay in the city center can also enjoy the best flamenco in one of these tablaos.

At the reception of the hotel Hospes Palacio de los Patos, we will be happy to provide you with more information.


3. Turistic Zones

Catedral de Guadix

A beautiful jewel built between the 16th and 18th centuries in which the pure Renaissance and Baroque styles merge. It was built over the Almohad mosque and the old Gothic cathedral.

It has three façades dedicated to the Annunciation, San Torcuato, patron saint of Guadix, and Santiago Apostle. It has three naves with an apse and ambulatory.

Visit la Catedral de Guadix

 Calahorra Castle

Built in just three years, between 1509 and 1512. It was a revolution in Spanish architecture at the time, as it was the first work built in the Iberian Peninsula in the Renaissance style. This style was already prevalent in Italy at the time and marked the abandonment of the Gothic aesthetic that prevailed in almost all of Europe.

Its exterior shows a rectangular building, flanked at each of its corners by four cylindrical towers topped by domes. The massive and austere exterior contrasts, however, with its magnificent and elegant two-storey Renaissance interior courtyard, with a double gallery of delicate arches, beautiful Carrara marble balustrades and a cloistered staircase of great artistic value.

Declared a national monument, it is privately owned and can be visited on request.

More information here

La Alpujarra

The Alpujarra is one of the most visited regions in the province of Granada. It is shrouded in legend for being such a remote place, which has contributed to its, until recently, difficult access.

It is a mountainous area with a narrow, winding road. Its spectacular scenery, the beauty of its villages and the peace to be found here make it well worth the journey, and once settled, you will not want to leave… The Alpujarra

overs the area between the Sierra Nevada and the sea; to the east it extends to the province of Almeria, to the west it borders the Sierra de Lújar and to the south it reaches almost to the ocean, including the Sierra de la Contraviesa.

More information here

The Lecrín Valley

Next to the Alpujarra lies the fertile Lecrín Valley where orange and lemon groves perfume the air in spring with the heady scent of orange blossom. Ancient flour mills, Muslim castles and charming farmhouses dot this peaceful and luminous region.

Mor einformation here

The Geoparque

The northern part of the province of Granada has one of the most unique landscapes on the Iberian Peninsula: a semi-dessert succession of tens of thousands of gullies and badlands surrounded by mountain ranges and the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. In order to enhance its value and make it known, various institutions (Granada Provincial Council, municipalities, development groups, the IGME, the Universities of Granada and Jaén, and associations in the area) have promoted the integration of the Granada Geopark into the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

It is one of the few natural desserts in Europe, where you can walk, cycle or ride a horse among suggestive badlands, geological landscapes sculpted by erosion in the form of rocky outcrops, gorges, river canyons, sharp gullies, clayey ridges and a thousand other capricious shapes.

Visit the Geoparque of Granada

4.  Museums & Cultural Centres

Science Park

The Granada Science Park is a 70,000 square metre complex dedicated to various branches of science, such as physics, chemistry and biology. Its main attraction lies in its interactive displays, designed to involve visitors and promote educational entertainment.

The museum’s different exhibitions explain concepts related to the universe, the biosphere, light and colour, robotics and science in general. In addition, the Science Park often hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to technology, music and a variety of other topics.

The museum also houses a large 50-metre-high observation tower, perfect for overlooking the city, Granada’s most important neighbourhoods and some of its main monuments, such as the Alhambra.

Visit the science park

 House Museum of  Federico García Lorca

The Granadine artist par excellence and one of the most influential playwrights and poets in Spanish literature lived in this house in Valderrubio for a decade (1926-1936). During this time, Federico García Lorca wrote works as important as Romancero gitano or La casa de Bernarda Alba and met his contemporaries such as the composer Manuel de Falla.
This house museum maintains the original structure and furniture of the author’s house. During the guided tour it is possible to see original objects belonging to García Lorca, as well as drawings and manuscripts he made shortly before he was shot to death by Franco’s troops. The house was built in the 20th century and maintains the sober decoration typical of the period.

Mor einfromation here

 House Museum of   Manuel de Falla

The brilliant composer Manuel de Falla, from Cadiz, lived with his sister María del Carmen in this typical carmen in Granada between 1922 and 1939. In the house still survives the atmosphere that inspired his great works: El Retablo de Maese Pedro, Psyché, Concerto for harpsichord and five instruments, Soneto a Córdoba, Homenajes a Arbós y Dukas and… Atlántida.

This typical Granadian house now exhibits objects from the author’s personal life, original furniture and even the piano on which he composed a large part of his work. The Manuel de Falla House Museum shows what the day-to-day life of the famous musician from Cadiz was like. During the visit you can see his desk, his bed and the gifts he received from other artists such as Picasso and Miguel de Unamuno.

More information here


5. Beachs & Mountains

Tropical Coast

Dozens of beaches and small coves with crystal clear waters. 320 days of sunshine a year. And an average annual temperature of 20 degrees. These are the credentials of the Costa Tropical, the 73 kilometres of coastline in the province of Granada. It owes its name to the exceptionally mild climate throughout the year, which two centuries ago allowed it to become the only place in Europe where tropical fruits such as mangoes, custard apples and avocados are grown. Names that evoke exotic flavours and places, yet are typical of one of the most privileged corners of Andalusia.

  • ALMUÑÉCAR, its Phoenician name “Sks”, was translated by the Romans as Sexi Firmun Julium, and so the inhabitants of Almuñécar are known as sexitanos/as. This gives us an idea of the antiquity of this ancient town that has been integrating cultures sheltered by the mountains of Granada and bathed by the Mediterranean Sea.
  • MOTRIL is the most important town on the Costa Tropical of Granada. It is situated at the foot of the Sierra de Lújar and surrounded by a fertile plain at the mouth of the river Guadalfeo. If you are interested in the history of the sugar cane industry, pay a visit to the Sugar Cane Interpretation Centre or the Pre-Industrial Sugar Cane Museum in the beautiful Casa de la Palma.
  • SALOBREÑA.  Thousands of years ago the castle was used as a forced “retreat” for members of the Nasrid royal family. In addition to the castle, you can visit the Historical Museum, where you will discover the roots of this town with more than 6,000 years of history. The neighbourhoods of La Villa, El Albaicín and El Brocal, in the vicinity of the castle, are beautiful corners of Andalusian charm with whitewashed facades and many flower pots.

Visit the tropical Coast 

Sierra Nevada Natural Park

Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986 and a National Park in 1989, it is a must-visit destination for winter sports enthusiasts. It is the southernmost ski resort in Europe with the highest peaks on the Iberian Peninsula, offering 115.6 km of skiable terrain across 120 marked trails and just 100 km from the Mediterranean Sea and the Costa Tropical.

More information here

Sierra de Huétor natural Park

A set of mid-height mountain ranges just 20km from Granada, with a complex relief where water filters through, creating galleries, caves, and springs. Two of the rivers that run through these landscapes are the Darro and the Fardes, where the latter hosts common trout and has become a meeting place for sports fishing enthusiasts. One of the main attractions of this natural park is its ease of access, as well as the numerous forest tracks that traverse it.

More information here

6.Other Places of Interest

¡ San Jerónimo Monastery

The impressive vaults decorated with coffered ceilings and the elegant cloister located next to the main gallery stand out in this temple. Stones from the Arab gate of Elvira were used for its construction. The monastery has two landscaped cloisters, the first of which is the one with the most genuine Renaissance decoration.

The rich Renaissance decoration, with coffered ceilings, scallops and sculptural groups, is a swan song of humanism in Spain. The iconographic programme was designed to highlight the military greatness and heroism of the Gran Capitán, who is buried in the transept next to his wife, Doña María de Manrique.

Basílic of Nuestra Sra. de las Angustias

It was built at the end of the 17th century and houses the image of the patron saint of the city, “Nuestra Señora de las Angustias” or Our Lady of Sorrows, a beautiful seated sculpture holding Christ in her arms.

More information here

Córdova Palace

A building with a Renaissance façade surrounded by beautiful gardens and orchards. The Mannerist façade, made in 1592, the peristyle courtyard, and the richly carved armouring and alfarjes that cover the interior rooms, are the most outstanding architectural elements of the palace.

The Alcaicería

Nestled between the Cathedral and Calle Reyes Católicos, this is Granada’s most historic shopping area. Centuries ago it was the Grand Bazaar of Granada and the famous Nasrid silk market that stretched from Plaza Nueva to Bib-Rambla. It survived until the night of 19 July 1843, when a fire in a match shop in Calle Mesones reduced it to ashes.

Today, this reconstruction or replica in neo-Moorish style, houses shops dedicated mainly to the sale of souvenirs, traditional products and handicrafts

Coal Corral

The “Corral del Carbón” was built in the 14th century by Yusuf I, at the height of the Nasrid period, and was used to store goods for sale on the spot, as well as to house the merchants who passed through the city. Later, in the 16th century, the Christians adapted it for theatrical performances.

La Plaza de Toros of Granada

In 1928, in the golden age of bullfighting, the current Plaza de Toros de Granada was built. Its promoter was a bullfighter, Lagartijillo Chico, and his predilection for the maestro Frascuelo meant that this bullring was also known as the Monumental de Frascuelo. The first bullfight was held on 30 September 1928.

Royal Cancillería

he creation of the Royal Chancery was encouraged by the Catholic Monarchs, who in 1505 decided to move the Court from Ciudad Real to Granada. However, the current building must have been built around 1530, during the reign of Charles V.

It is currently the seat of the High Court of Justice of Andalusia.

The building consists of two parts, the Chancery and the Prison, both connected by an interior triangular body. With a Renaissance layout and configuration, it is organised around a square courtyard onto which opens a two-level gallery with five semicircular arches on each side on the ground floor, supported by slender columns. This courtyard, considered to be the best of its kind in the city of Granada, was built in 1540 and its design and execution are attributed to the architect and sculptor Diego de Siloé. The main façade of this building is the most emblematic work of Mannerism in the city of Granada.

El Realejo

The Realejo de Granada  was the old Jewish quarter of the Muslim city and, according to many historians, this is the origin of the name of the city of Granada. We can go down to the Realejo de Granada from the Alhambra, strolling through intricate narrow streets, between Cármenes and whitewashed houses, and through the Puerta del Sol, an old washing place that still stands as a witness to the past.

7. Charming routes around Granada

The golden DOBLA

The dobla, the Hispano-Muslim coin that symbolically unifies the value of Arab and Christian culture, is also a tour to visit the Alhambra and discover the main Andalusian monuments of the Albaicín and other enclaves of the city of Granada that hide secrets.
For less than 20 euros, the Dobla de Oro tourist voucher provides visitors with a select guide and a key that unlocks all the doors of medieval Granada. It is valid for three days and allows you to choose between day and night visits.
The ticket includes:

  • General daytime visit to the monumental complex of the Alhambra (Nasrid Palaces, Generalife, Partal and Alcazaba).
  • Corral del Carbón
  • Bañuelo
  • Palace of Dar al-Horra
  • Moorish House (C/ Horno de Oro)
  • House of Chapiz
  • House of Zafra
  • Qubba of the Royal Quarter of Santo Domingo

Mor einformation here

Viewpoints Route

Granada is a city full of famous viewpoints that have been sung about by poets such as Ibn Zamrak (from Granada in the 14th century), Lorca and Machado. They have all praised its extraordinary perspectives, its diffused lights and that soundtrack in which the distant and invisible barks conspire with the vanishing line of the horizon. The province is no less so: it treasures balconies, rooftops and watchtowers where the world is transformed into belvederes, as the Italians call those high places that allow the most beautiful way of seeing.

We propose a fantastic route through the 10 viewpoints from which you can rediscover Grandada:

1. El Puntal de don Diego
In the municipality of Gorafe stands this emblematic viewpoint of the Granada Geopark, which transports the traveller to a landscape worthy of Moebius’ The Airtight Garage or, even more imaginatively, to a different planet as yet unexplored. From El Puntal opens up a spectacular and extensive diorama of clayey gullies which, in the area of Los Coloraos, compete in unreal tones – reddish, sometimes reddish, sometimes pinkish, sometimes chestnut with saffron folds – and transport the observer to an unknown dimension.

2. El Fin del Mundo
This promontory of the Geopark looks like something out of the Apocalypse of St. John. It is located in Beas de Guadix and from its natural peak, with the immense backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, you can admire the valleys of the rivers Alhama and Fardes, as well as the misty profile of its municipalities: Cortes y Graena, Beas, Marchal and Purullena, with their badlands and bulbous, dark brown mountains that transform in the light. It is advisable to get there on foot from Beas along a one-kilometre track that ends at the End of the World.

3. El Jabalcón
The summit of Jabalcón hill, another of the elevated jewels of the Granada Geopark, forms part of the Guadix-Baza basin. It is a carbonated massif of 1,492 metres formed by limestone rocks that allows a prodigious 360-degree view and covers more than 4,000 square kilometres that combine the brown roughness of the earth with the dark green of the vegetation. Something like a prodigious summary of the geological and geomorphic characteristics of an almost supernatural space.

4. Mirador de National Geographic
It offers magnificent views of Montefrío from the road to Tocón and its name is an exercise in gratitude to the publication which, thanks to a very well-publicised report full of well-deserved praise, revitalised tourism in the Poniente Granadino. Montefrío is steeped in history. The castle, which was the site of a fierce battle during the conquest of Granada, is now a very popular place of fascination from the viewpoint, as is its round church and its network of streets.

5. La Magdalena de Guadix
If Guadix, at ground level, is an admirable town full of history and monuments, seen from the viewpoint of La Magdalena, from a bird’s eye view, it reaches splendid heights.  The Cerro de la Magdalena is its most characteristic promontory and is an attraction in itself. From its summit, the view takes in the Cathedral and the Alcazaba, the historic quarter, the Cuevas district and then disappears into the fertile plain.

6. Tajos de Alhama
If there is a romance that enhances the admiration that Alhama de Granada and its gorges have caused throughout history, it is the Romance of the Moorish king who lost Alhama, whose plaintive echoes still resound in books and memory. To visit Alhama is to look into history and leaf through the books of romantic travellers. The Tajos were formed by the erosion of the river Alhama and their clefts reach a depth of 50 metres. The Huerta de Santa María is the natural entrance to Los Tajos. At the confluence of the Aserradero ravine there are three viewpoints to choose from.

7. Mirador del Embrujo
The conversion of the municipality of Soportújar, known as the balcony of the Alpujarra, into a centre dedicated to highlighting the history of witchcraft for family tourism has also transformed its stunning natural viewpoint into the Mirador del Embrujo. And its threshing floors in the Era de los Aquelarres, where the sorceresses stored their concoctions.

8. Enrique Morente
The Albaicín viewpoint in Salobreña changed its name to Enrique Morente in 2012, two years after the death of the brilliant flamenco singer. Since then, the impressive view of green and sea has been adorned with a sculpture designed by Javier Arteta. The cantaor “looks towards infinity, looks towards the sea, towards the fertile plain of Salobreña and looks towards the future”.

9. Isabel de Castilla
This newly designed, avant-garde viewpoint offers a complete and beautiful panorama of Loja. The contrast between the striking design of the watchtower and the view of the Alcazaba and other monuments with their old stones and centuries-old history captivates the visitor.

10. Cueva del Gato
In the Sierra de Huétor Natural Park, the Cueva del Gato viewpoint is a privileged and breathtaking place. Valleys, holm oak groves and dense scrubland characterise this spot where you can glimpse the minimal flow of the Darro River against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada. To the right, on the Cerro del Maúllo, trenches from the Civil War survive, next to the Cross of Víznar, an iconic element of the area.

Granada awaits you! Discover a historic city, with a huge artistic, cultural and natural heritage. Enjoy its nature, beaches, mountains, museums, monuments and emblematic sites. Take a break, taste the local gastronomy at Los Patos Restaurant and relax at Bodyna Spa, next to the main monuments and places of interest in Granada. We are waiting for you!

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