One of the most beautiful cities on the planet, Granada, is located in the south of Spain. The ancient town, situated on three hills in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, is famous for its historical and architectural heritage of Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance periods. The maze of narrow medieval streets, the huge Alhambra palace complex, fancy cathedrals and churches, and fiery dance shows in the caves of Sacromonte — Granada can amaze and delight. A native city of ancient architecture, passionate music, and bustling nightlife attracts tourists from all over the world.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 57 €/night||from 76 €/night||Start - 4.03 €, 1km - 1 €||1.35 €/liter||30 € for 2 person|
Attractions in Granada
The ancient city has many wonderful places and sites for visitors: ancient palaces, cathedrals, magnificent gardens, parks, interesting museums, and restaurants with amazing cuisine. To see all the amazing sights of Granada, it is better to plan your itinerary in advance.
At the beginning of the 11th century, the Berber Zirid dynasty took over the city. During their rule, Granada became one of the most prosperous cities of Andalusia.
At the end of the 15th century, the Spanish conquered Granada. This was the end of the Reconquista, a process during which Christians reclaimed lands belonging to the Moors. Muslims and Jews were expelled from the city, resulting in the decline of handicraft production.
Throughout the 16th century, Granada's image gradually changed, acquiring more and more Catholic features.
The economic development of the city marked the end of the 18th century. Weaving workshops appeared, and Granada yarn became popular in Europe.
Beginning in the second half of the 20th century, tourism in Granada began to develop intensively. Gradually the city became one of the most frequently visited not only in Spain but also in all of Europe.
The best time to visit Granada
Each year at the beginning of November, Granada brings music lovers from many countries to the Festival de Jazz de Granada. The festival hosts celebrities and up-and-coming artists from more than 30 countries. The festival program includes not only jazz fusion and ethnic music concerts but also workshops from the masters of this style. There are also themed exhibitions and film screenings.
One of Granadians' favorite holidays is Día de la Cruz, which takes place on May 3. On this day, decorated crosses are displayed in all areas of Granada. Then a contest is held for the city's most beautiful cross and altar. The imagination of the citizens is impressive. Crosses and altars are decorated with flowers, fruits, beautiful bedspreads, ceramics, and faience. Cheerful music, rousing dances, and colorful fairs accompany the festivities.
Explore Granada at any time of year. A mild climate, beautiful scenery, and many architectural sights will make your holiday unforgettable.
The public transport in the city consists of buses. To save on fares, you should buy a bus card, BonoBus. You can buy tickets at special cash desks at bus stops, newsstands, and from the driver. Get on the bus through the front door and exit through the back door by pressing the green button. Keep in mind that the red buses without a roof are tourist buses.
If you are planning an extensive cultural program in Granada, it is worth buying the Granada City Pass (Bono Turistico). It gives its holders a discount to visit most museums, monasteries, Generalife Gardens, and the Park of Sciences. Also, the card gives the right to 9 free rides on the tourist bus.
Do you want to try some traditional Granada food? Check out the Mirador de Morayma in the Albaicín neighborhood or La Oliva. Enjoy excellent Arabic food at Kasbah Teteria. The Kiki bar near the winery serves excellent local wines.
Things to do in Granada
- Admire the city's panorama from the Mirador de San Nicolás observation deck. The famous place is located in the historic district of Albaycin. From here, you have a stunning view of Granada and the Alhambra Palace. The scenery is especially beautiful after sunset when the city lights up. On the site, you can listen to the play of street musicians and buy original souvenirs.
- Experience the atmosphere of antiquity in the Albaicín neighborhood. In 700 years, the appearance of the ancient Arab neighborhood has not changed much. Stroll through the narrow streets and endless staircases, admire the dazzling white houses, and sit in the coolness of the small taverns. The best time to explore Albaicín in summer is early in the morning or evening when it's not too hot.
- Marvel at the Alhambra palace complex. The huge 14th-century palace ensemble consists of palaces, mosques, residences, administrative buildings, gardens, and reservoirs. The pearl of the palace is the Court of the Lions, in the center of which there is a beautiful fountain of twelve marble lions. The structures of the palace complex are decorated with carved ornaments, bright mosaics, and elegant ceramic tiles.
- Be impressed by the searing flamenco in the caves of Sacromonte. The ancient gypsy quarter is considered to be its birthplace. Back in the 15th century, Spanish gypsies, "gitanos" settled here. They gave the world the art of legendary dance. Now in Sacromonte, you can see residential grottoes with all conveniences, and a cave museum of Roma culture and life. Many of the caves host flamenco concerts, which are especially popular with tourists.
- See the Cathedral of Granada. The city's main temple was built in the 16th and 17th centuries. In its appearance, you can consider many architectural styles — Gothic, Baroque, Classicism, and Renaissance. The cathedral's interior is especially impressive: snow-white elegant columns, exquisite vaults, and wall paintings. The interior design of the temple has a lot of gilding, which emphasizes the beauty of the interior.
- Visit the 16th-century Gothic Royal Chapel, located in the Cathedral. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Castile, their daughter, her husband, and some of the royal family are buried there. The center of the chapel contains tombstones made of Carrara marble in the Renaissance style. Inside, the structure is decorated with weapons, crowns, and other trappings of royal life. The chapel has a museum with a collection of paintings by Spanish, Flemish, and Italian masters.
- Take a stroll through the Generalife Gardens. The historical complex of the 13th century, consisting of a palace and landscaped gardens, is considered a masterpiece of Arabic park art. The beautiful residence of the Moorish rulers is an ideal place for a secluded vacation. Walk through the cypress alleys, smell the fragrant roses, and enjoy the small oriental fountains. Concerts of famous artists are often held on the territory of the garden complex.
- Experience the spirit of Spanish bullfighting in the bullring. The huge but elegant neo-Mudejar building was constructed in the first half of the 20th century. The three-story arena seats almost 15 thousand spectators. Bullfights are held here during the main Spanish holidays.
- Take a tour of the Huerta de San Vicente. The house, surrounded by lush greenery, belonged to the great poet and playwright Garcia Lorca. He lived here for many years, creating his literary masterpieces. It was in this house that the poet was arrested at the beginning of the Civil War and then executed. Note the items that belonged to Garcia Lorca: a desk, a piano, and household objects. The balcony of the house offers a view of Granada, which the genius poet admired.
- Discover the latest technological advances in the Science Park. One of the most interesting museums in Granada is considered the largest interactive park in Southern Europe. Here you can learn how the laws of nature work and see rare representatives of fauna. Especially popular with visitors are the Eureka and the Biosphere Halls, the Tropical Butterfly Park, and the Black Hole model.
- Try the local cuisine. Order rabo de toro (oxtail stew in red wine), cason (fish in batter served with lemon sauce), rosca (bun with lettuce, meat, and sauce). For dessert, try the local honey or almond cookies. Check out the local herbal teas with spices and unusual ingredients for which Granada is famous.