When I moved to Spain, Granada held the most intrigue for me, thanks to its winding, hilly streets, flamenco culture, and of course, the emblematic Alhambra Palace. I still remember the first time I caught sight of the magnificent structure, sparkling atop a hill in the sunlight along a mountainous backdrop—I couldn’t look away from its grandeur.
This Andalusian city has much to offer beyond its most famous attraction. I find that Granada’s appeal comes from its quaint tapas bars, hilly Albaicín quarter, and the confluence of Roma, Moorish, and Christian cultures.
Visiting for the first time? Here’s what to see and do so you don’t miss a thing.
Granada, like the rest of Andalusia, is usually warm and sunny, so bring sunblock.
If you only have time for one thing, make it the Alhambra Palace and Fortress, the city’s iconic attraction.
Start your visit by heading to Granda’s number one attraction: The Alhambra. Due to its popularity, it’s essential to prebook tickets. A skip-the-line or VIP tour can help save time. Make sure to see Nasrid Palaces, the Palace of the Lions, and the Generalife gardens, all highlights within the famous attraction.
That evening, enjoy a night of stomping, dancing, and clapping with a traditional Andalusian flamenco show. Many of Granada’s flamenco performances are held in the Sacromonte neighborhood inside caves, where you’ll enjoy an evening of music, dance, and cuisine (shows may offer meals).
Wear comfortable shoes to explore Granada’s other neighborhoods, such as the Albaicín (check out views of the Alhambra from the San Nicolás viewpoint), Sacramonte, and the historical center, home to Granada’s cathedral and Alcaicería market. Consider getting around by e-bike, an ideal way to traverse the hilly streets without too much effort.
Granada’s nearby Sierra Nevada National Park is home to snow-capped peaks, rivers, and wildlife. It's the perfect spot for a nature infusion, whether via skiing in winter or hiking the trails in summer.
You can’t visit Granada without indulging in the city’s tapas culture. Many bars and restaurants offer a free tapa when you order a drink. Stroll around the Albaicín neighborhood, near the cathedral, or in the El Realejo area, the former Jewish quarter, stopping in restaurants and bars at your leisure. Sample local Granada delights like green beans and ham and “poor” potatoes—fried potatoes with onion.