Granada is one of the most visited cities in Spain. Its rich heritage and the experiences it offers always leave a beautiful mark on everyone who puts their feet in it. If you are thinking of visiting it, take note, I suggest some of the best plans to do in Granada so you can return with the feeling of having squeezed it to the fullest.
40 things to do in Granada list!
Are you visiting Granada and want to know what are the things to do you cannot miss? Perfect! We have the answer for you! Check the following list with 40 things to do in Granada including local tips, secret and not so secret monuments and streets, tasty cuisine, flamenco art, beautiful viewpoints, relax in a Moorish bath and much more!
Tip: Continue reading below the list, where you will find a short explanation about each point: why we have chosen it as a “MUST” thing to do in Granada and some little explanation and advice for your Granada trip!
So…Here you go, the promised list of TOP THINGS TO DO IN GRANADA YOU CANNOT MISS!
- Visit the Alhambra, the Nasrid jewel of Granada
- Walk around Plaza Nueva
- Get to Sacromonte and visit its Abbey
- Marvel at the Cathedral of Granada and the Royal Chapel
- Have fun like a kid in Granada famous Science Park
- Visit the impressive monastery of San Jerónimo
- Go for tapas, an art in the capital of Granada
- Start your visit to the city with a Free Tour
- Savor a good cup of tea in a typical Arabic tea shop
- Get inside the Arab Baths of El Bañuelo
- Cross the door of Elvira
- Enter in one of the Moorish houses of the Albaicín
- Getting lost in the streets of the Albaicín neighborhood
- Sleeping in a cave house
- Relax in an Arabian Hamman
- Watch a Zambra Flamenco Show in Sacromonte
- Enter the monastery of La Cartuja
- Try the little touristic “train” TreneCity
- A day trip to Alpujarra white towns in the mountain
- Enter the Sacromonte Cave Museum
- Walk along the romantic Paseo de los Tristes
- Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
- Discover the Dar al-Horra Palace
- Admire the best view of the city from the Mirador de San Nicolás
- Go for a walk around “Silla del Moro”
- Discover the Federico Garcia Lorca Museum House
- Visit the old Bullfighting Ring
- Get inside “Corral del Carbón”
- Visit the “Madrasa” Palace
- Enter the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum
- Buy an original souvenir in Alcaiceria or Calle Elvira
- Try Granada’s typical dishes
- Get lost in the Old Jewish Realejo Neighborhood
- Do you like jewels? Try the Museum of the Royal Chapel
- Have a look at the traditional stores in Alcaicería
- Go for an evening walk around Puerta Real
- Visit the amazing Carmen de los Mártires
- Get into Andalusia culture at the museum Caja Granada
- Enjoy the snow in Sierra Nevada
- Discover the house-museum of Manuel de Falla
1. Visit the Alhambra, the Nasrid jewel of Granada
So, you might be asking, is the Alhambra worth visiting? Undoubtedly, the first visit you should do is to the Alhambra. Although it has been seen one and a thousand times, there are always corners, spaces and secrets to discover in this palatine city of the Al-Andalus era, which stands very majestic on the hill of Sabika. It is declared a World Heritage Site, rightly so, because it keeps extraordinary intramural architectural gems, a source of inspiration and praise throughout history.
With the general ticket you can visit all Alhambra highlights: the Generalife, the Alcazaba, the Bath of the Mosque, or the Nazari palaces, where the Patio de Los Leones and the Mexuar are located, as well as some free access areas such as the Palace of Carlos V, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Alhambra Museum.
2. Walk around Plaza Nueva
This square, located halfway between the Darro fortress and the center, is the oldest in Granada. In addition to being one of the busiest – it has access to the Albaicín neighborhood and Calle Elvira – it is surrounded by significant buildings, such as the Pisa house and the Royal Chancery, and dotted with bars and restaurants with terraces, where you can enjoy of a soft drink with beautiful views.
3. Get to Sacromonte and visit its Abbey
Touring the Sacromonte is another of the things you MUST do in Granada. This small gypsy neighborhood, which rises facing the Alhambra, is crossed by very narrow streets, in which are clustered their typical white houses, which are mostly caves carved into the mountain.
In addition there are also some enclaves of unmissable visit, such as the Abbey of Sacromonte, which presides over the highest part, or the Cuevas del Sacromonte museum, which houses exhibitions on the history of flamenco or the ethnography of this neighborhood with such a racial character.
4. Marvel at the Cathedral of Granada and the Royal Chapel
In the center of the city are these two monuments, which, undoubtedly, are an essential part of the list of things to do in Granada. The cathedral was ordered to be erected by the Catholic Monarchs and can boast of being the first religious temple of Renaissance style raised in our country.
Inside, you can see the Cathedral Museum, the Main Chapel, beautiful stained glass windows and important works of art such as those of Alonso Cano. Aneja to this is the Royal Chapel, which keeps the mortal remains of the Catholic Monarchs, the infant Miguel, and his daughter Juana la Loca and her husband Felipe el Hermoso.
5. Have fun like a kid in Granada famous Science Park
As its name suggests it is an interactive museum dedicated to the sciences. It has many spaces, but the most striking are the astronomical observatory, the tropical butterfly house, the Biodome, the curious vegetable labyrinth and the observation tower.
6. Visit the impressive monastery of San Jerónimo
This Renaissance monastery, the first one built after the conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs, is another essential visit to Granada. Inside, the main altar stands out, brimming with images of heroes, historical figures and saints, and its two beautiful landscaped cloisters.
7. Go for tapas, an art in the capital of Granada
Tapear is an almost intrinsic part of the culture of Granada. The custom is to put a very generous and free lid with each drink. Elvira street is the area par excellence of this miniature gastronomy, full of bars that compete to offer the best tapa.
Likewise, the downtown area – two steps from the aforementioned street -, the Paseo de los Tristes, or the Plaza Nueva are reference points for the granaína tapas route. Some of the bars that I recommend to get out of tapas are the Bar los Diamantes, Castañeda Wineries, the Riviera, Los Manueles, Casa Julio, Casa Torcuato restaurant, or Entrebrasas. Really the list could be huge…
8. Start your visit to the city with a Free Tour
A good way to get a first contact with the city and learn about it is by joining a free Tour. These tours are one of the things that are worth doing in the cities where this option exists. In addition to the explanations about the city and its monuments, you are sure of good recommendations on places to go out for tapas or dinner, to go out, go shopping and things like that.Free tour around Granada
9. Savor a good cup of tea in a typical Arabic tea shop
The Calle Calderería Nueva, very close to the well-known and central Elvira, is full of traditional Arab tearooms, craft shops, bakeries, and Arab patisseries. Do not forget to enjoy the experience of entering one of these tea shops and savor some of the modalities of Arab tea and other exotic offerings.
10. Get inside the Arab Baths of El Bañuelo
These royal baths, located in the Carrera del Darro, date from the 11th century, which, curiously, makes them the oldest in Spain. Its interior is decorated with beautiful Visigothic, Roman and Caliphate arcades, between which the light and the rays of the sun, which give it a special beauty, slip through the octagonal embrasures.
In my case I visited it because I entered with the “Dobla de Oro” ticket. The bathrooms are small and if you have to pay the separate entrance to see them you can be disappointed. Still, it’s an interesting visit.
11. Cross the door of Elvira
This gate-fortress, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, was part of the old wall and gave access to Granada during the Islamic domination. Currently, this gate, one of the oldest in the city, preserves the great horseshoe arch topped with a row of battlements. The best perspective of this will be from the side of the Plaza Nueva.
12. Enter in one of the Moorish houses of the Albaicín
This neighborhood, which for me is the one with the most charm of Granada, is covered by narrow and steep streets, between which its typical cármenes slip through. These houses of Moorish heritage are integrated by impressive patios that open to privileged viewpoints with exceptional views of the Alhambra.
Some of the houses that are worth visiting are the house of Zafra, a Nazari palace headquarters of the Albaicín Interpretation Center, and the house of Chapiz, which includes a beautiful patio decorated with Nasrid columns.
13. Getting lost in the streets of the Albaicín neighborhood
Getting lost in the alleyways of the Albaicín neighborhood is one of the essential things to do in Granada. You have to walk slowly through its narrow streets, which meander uphill and open to small squares and viewpoints with splendid views both to the Alhambra and the city center.
Long walks in this neighborhood both day and night is one of the things I remember best remind me of Granada.
The Albaicín also keeps several tourist attractions that are worth visiting. Palaces such as Dar al-Horra, monasteries and convents such as Santa Isabel la Real, public baths such as those of Bañuelo, viewpoints such as San Nicolás or San Cristóbal, cármenes and Moorish houses such as Casa del Chapiz and a good number of small churches.
14. Sleeping in a cave house
The Sacromonte neighborhood is well known for its cave-houses carved into the rocks, which during the time of the Catholic Monarchs served as housing for the gypsy ethnic group. Today, some have been converted into houses that are rented to tourists.
Contrary to what you may think, they have all the amenities you need to enjoy a pleasant stay and a unique experience.
15. Relax in an Arabian Hamman
These public Arab baths were a place of relaxation, hygiene and socialization in the Arab world. They are integrated by different rooms, in which there reigns a calm atmosphere and a typical decoration of al-Ándalus, where you can enjoy steam baths and various treatments, which will allow you to cleanse the body and, above all, relax, and enjoy the experience.
The most traditional, also the first to be reopened in Europe after the Reconquest, are located in the vicinity of the Alhambra.
16. Watch a Zambra Flamenco Show in Sacromonte
The Sacromonte is considered one of the cradles of flamenco. Therefore, there is no better place than this to enjoy a typical zambra or, what is the same, a show of flamenco singing and dancing as they know it here.
Every night in the cave-houses that make it up, shows take place, many with dinner. One of the busiest are those of the tablaos of María la Castañera. My impression is that it has become too touristy, losing part of its original charm.
Unfortunately, most of these sites stick you pretty. For asking I went to the Venta el Gallo and the price for something less than 1h and a half of the show was 26 euros. Still, it seems that the shows are of quality. Some dinner formulas plus show are more interesting.
17. Enter the Monastery of La Cartuja
The Monastery of the Cartuja is built on an ancient Arabian carmen and served as home to the community of the Carthusian monks until 1835. Inside this baroque temple you will see a beautiful ornate altar, interesting pictorial collections, such as those by Juan Sánchez Cotán or Francisco Bocanegra, and a singular sacristy, where the vein of marble creates curious shapes.
18. Try the little touristic “train” TreneCity
Going around the city by train, through the most significant monuments and streets, will allow you to get to know it from another perspective and learn about the history of the Granada capital from the Middle Ages to the conquest of Christians.
You can choose between the night tour, which starts in Plaza Nueva, and the day tour, which departs from the Alhambra. It is a fun activity to do in Granada, especially if you are traveling with children.
19. A day trip to Alpujarra white towns in the mountain
One of the most recommended plans that can be made in Granada, or rather from Granada, is an excursion through the Alpujarra of Granada. You will be able to know an area with a very rich nature, with its mountains and wild landscapes dotted with white villages.
It is worth visiting towns such as Lanjarón, Órgiva Caratuñas, Pitres, Pampaneira, Pórtugos, Trevélez or Capileira. The best way to do it is by car. If you do not have your own vehicle you can also opt for the convenience of an organized excursion.
20. Enter the Sacromonte Cave Museum
If you have not had the chance to see one of these cave-houses inside, you can do it in this museum. It contains ten recreations of this type of housing, decorated with innumerable implements, tools and basic elements that were used a hundred years ago.
It is an excellent opportunity to understand the way of life and the customs of the inhabitants of these caves. In addition, its privileged location, will allow you to enjoy a beautiful view of the city and the neighborhood with the Alhambra as the protagonist.
21. Walk along the romantic Paseo de los Tristes
Its real name is Padre Manjón’s walk, but they have called it that because the funeral processions passed through it to the cemetery. The walk runs parallel to the Darro River, at the foot of the Alhambra and the Albaicín neighborhood.
If you want to regain strength, you will find a long string of terraces, which, of course, will serve you a tapa with your drink.
22. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
It is inside the palace of Charles V, attached to the Alhambra, and its entry is free for EU nationals (for the rest only 1.5 euros). It is the most valuable in the capital of Granada, as it houses more than 2,000 works of art and sculptures, from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. The most prominent are The Burial of Christ, by Jacobo Florentino and the works of Alonso Cano, such as La virgen del lucero.
23. Discover the Dar al-Horra Palace
Located in the upper part of the Albaicín neighborhood, the Dar al-Horra Palace is one of the most interesting visits in Granada. This small palace dating from the XIV century an excellent example of Nasrid architecture. It is included in the Gold Dobla route.
24. Admire the best view of the city from the Mirador de San Nicolás
Of all the viewpoints that the city has, San Nicolás is the best known and the one with the best views. It is located in the heart of the Albaicín. It will offer stunning views of the Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra and the rest of the city. If you want to take a special memory, go when the sun sets.
Although the best known is that of San Nicolás, there are also other viewpoints, such as the one in San Cristóbal or the one in La Lona that is worth discovering.
25. Go for a walk around “Silla del Moro”
The castle of Santa Elena or El Moro chair dates back to the Nasrid period. It was built to defend the Alhambra and the Generalife and to control the distribution of water from the royal canal to the whole of the palatine city and to the orchards in the vicinity.
Going up it by the enabled path, among pines and olive trees, to enjoy the incredible views is another of the interesting things that can be done in Granada.
26. Go to the García Lorca museum-house
If you desire to continue getting into life and the world of artistic geniuses, without a doubt, this house-museum will compensate your desires and with a vengeance. It is located on the outskirts of the city, in the same place where the vegetable gardens of La Vega are located, and it was the residence of Federico García Lorca.
In this house, where the poet created the classics of literature The house of Bernarda Alba and Romancero Gitano, you can see his original furniture, copies of manuscripts and many other personal items.
27. Visit the old Bullfighting Ring
The bullring of Granada, neomudéjar style, also known as Monumental El Frascuelo, is within the list of the ten best in Spain and, also, declared of Cultural Interest.
Although you can make a free visit, it is advisable to opt for a guided tour, because they will explain the history of each corner and because you will know more information and curiosities of each part.
28. Get inside “Corral del Carbon”
This Nazari alhóndiga, located on Calle Mariana Pineda, can boast of being the oldest legacy left by the Arabs in Granada and the best preserved in Spain. It served as a warehouse for merchandise, today it is the headquarters of offices. You can enter your yard for free.
29. Visit the “Madrasa” Palace
It is located in front of the Royal Chapel, in the heart of the city. It is from the Nasrid era, but over time it was modified, so today the predominant style is the Baroque, although it still conserves the oratory, which includes a mihrab, the octagonal dome and the Mudejar coffered ceiling of the main hall. This building, which belongs to the University of Granada and is the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, is worth a visit.
30. Enter the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum
If you like to go to museums, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum. It is located in the house of Castril, a Renaissance palace located on the popular Darro race.
In its two floors, organized around a central patio, you can see extensive collections that show pieces and objects Iberians, Romans, Arabs, Celtiberians and Phoenicians and that allow to understand the way of life, economy and customs of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic societies.
31. Buy an original souvenir in Alcaiceria or Calle Elvira
Little things to buy as a souvenir: you will find many walking through the streets of Granada. Do not forget to take a look at the little shops of Arabs in the street of the teterías with their colored lamps.
32. Try Granada’s typical dishes
The gastronomy of Granada combines the Christian and Muslim traditions, which endows it with character and uniqueness. If you want to come back with the feeling of having tasted the city, you have to try the aubergines with honey, the beans with ham, the Sacromonte omelette – made with sesadas or criadillas, peas, walnuts and breadcrumbs – the granaíno remojón, the pot of San Antón or the Andalusian gazpacho.
33. Get lost in the Old Jewish Realejo Neighborhood
This old Jewish quarter, located right at the foot of the Alhambra, is lined with charming streets where the Sephardic heritage is well appreciated. Here the only thing that matters is getting carried away and wandering to discover magical corners, like the placeta of the Puerta del Sol, which preserves an old laundry room and from where the views are very beautiful.
Among its streets there are also some interesting monuments, such as the Corrala de Santiago, an exceptional example of Granada architecture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that houses the University of Granada, Campo del Príncipe, an old Muslim cemetery, the house-museum de los Tiros, which houses collections on various periods of the city’s history, or the church of Santo Domingo, of which its beautiful Plateresque door stands out
34. Do you like jewels? Try the Museum of the Royal Chapel
The Royal Chapel contains a museum that lets you know a little more about the legacy of the Catholic Monarchs. It houses numerous fabrics, goldsmith objects and paintings of Spanish, Flemish and Italian origin. To which are added the numerous personal objects of Isabel and Fernando, among which are crowns, scepters, swords and even a chest with jewels of the queen.
35. Have a look at the traditional stores in Alcaicería
This network of streets of Arab aesthetics, once an Arab souk where silk was sold, is full of craft shops and traditional bazaars. It constitutes a point of pilgrimage for lovers of shopping and one of the most recommended areas to buy Fajalauza ceramics or inlaid figures.
36. Go for an evening walk around Puerta Real
This big square is the modern center of Granada. If you go through it, you can see nice squares, like the one in Campillo or Mariana Pineda, and buildings of interest, such as the Isabel la Católica theater, the post office building or the church of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias.
37. Visit the amazing Carmen de los Mártires
This site is located south of the walled part of the Alhambra and was built by Isabel la Católica. It is integrated by a small palace, surrounded by beautiful gardens with English and French designs. They are open to the public and your visit is another of the recommended things to do in Granada.
38. Get into Andalusia culture at the museum Caja Granada
In its four rooms you will see several exhibitions relating to the natural, social and cultural heritage of Andalusia, which will allow you to delve into the present and the past of one of the most traditional communities in Spain.
It also has an art exhibition that has more than a hundred works, from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century, which include some of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Santiago Rusiñol.
39. Enjoy the snow in Sierra Nevada
Just half an hour from Granada is Sierra Nevada one of the most popular ski resorts in Spain. Being so close if you have time it’s worth making an excursion either to enjoy its ski slopes, or simply the mountain and the snow. Also, if you travel with your family, it is undoubtedly one of the most fun things you can do in Granada with children.
40. Discover the house-museum of Manuel de Falla
This typical Granada Carmen was where the great composer lived. He keeps numerous personal objects, souvenirs, sheet music, furniture and curious gifts, such as a painting by Daniel Vázquez Días, Picasso figurines or paper bows by Miguel de Unamuno.
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