Am ancient city in the south of Spain, Granada has a lot to offer the visitor. Wondering what to do in Granada Spain for a day, weekend or longer? Read on to discover some secrets of gorgeous Granada.
Whether you stay in Granada for a day, weekend or a month, here are some of our favorite things to do, lodgings in Granada, and of course tips for eating and drinking too! And we’ve included a handy Granada, Spain attractions map you can view on your smartphone or computer which you will find at the end of this article.
Are you headed to Granada with your sweetheart? Then you will find a plethora of romantic things to do in Granada like visiting the Alhambra at night, wine tasting and tapas, and even experiencing a passionate flamenco performance. Read on for more!
It’s easy to get to and from Granada from Madrid, Sevilla and other parts of Spain.
Traveling by car it is about four hours from Madrid to Granada. If you don’t have a car of your own you can rent one or use shared Blablacar like locals do.
It is also very easy to reach Granada by bus from Madrid with ALSA bus and takes about 5 hours. An important note, if you plan to do this keep in mind there are no restrooms on board so don’t drink a huge bottle of water and a coffee before getting on board. 😀 The bus does stop half way for a bathroom and food break.
They are working on a high speed train line from Madrid to Granada so at this time you cannot get there directly by train from Madrid. But you can take the RENFE trains from Madrid to nearby cities like Cordoba, Malaga and Sevilla and take the bus to Granada if you plan to visit those places as well. Check Trainline for ticket and route options within Spain and from other countries as well. Take a look at check Flixbus too for inexpensive buses all over Europe.
The closest major airports to Granada are Malaga (AGP) and Madrid (MAD). You can fly into Madrid airport from most cities in Europe and of course from all over the globe. Check Skyscanner for the best prices and flight schedules for multiple airlines that fly into Madrid or Malaga.
If you arrive by train or bus you will need to catch a taxi or take the city bus to the city center if you are staying there.
More information about local buses and getting around in Granada is at the end of the article.
Granada is an ancient city full of fascinating history. The most famous landmark is the Alhambra, which is a must see when visiting Granada. But you must plan ahead if you want to see this sight. Read below for information about how to book tickets in advance as well as what to do if you can’t find available tickets.
Are you looking for things to do in Granada Spain in one day? Then the Alhambra should be on the list. But you can squeeze in a few other things too. Read on for some ideas.
The Albayzin neighborhood is a UNESCO heritage site due to the historic alleyways and structures from Arab, Jewish and Christian populations. Wander these tiny alleyways and imagine what is behind the walls of the “carmens” – the typical houses with secret gardens.
A few helpful tips about Granada:
Guided Tours in Granada, Spain:
If this is your first visit to Granada, you might want to get oriented and learn about the city with a walking tour.
If this is your first visit to Granada you will want to see the Alhambra. Admission is controlled each day to keep the crowds at an acceptable level. Therefore you will need to plan ahead to get tickets during your visit.
Especially in high season tickets can quickly sell out. You can purchase tickets via the Alhambra website up to three months in advance.
Reserve your tickets directly through the Alhambra. Here is the website in English for the General Ticket which includes everything (Nasrid Palaces, Gardens, Generalife, Alcazaba). You can also look at the other types of tickets such as Doble de Oro or night time visits to the Alhambra. They have a helpful chat feature if you have questions. Or you can call them at +34 858 953 616. (you can no longer get Alhambra tickets through Ticketmaster)
What to do if Alhambra tickets are sold out?
If you do not see any tickets available for your dates, it is still possible to visit the Alhambra with a guided tour. Here are several guided tours which will give you access to the UNESCO Heritage Site. Here are some guided tours of the Alhambra. The guides are full of useful information and if you get a good one it is definitely worth the extra cost if you love to know lots of details.
For lots more details about how to visit the Alhambra, how to get up to the site, and what to see, check out our guide to visiting the Alhambra.
Walking around Granada and exploring on your own is of course free. Put on your comfy shoes and go for a wander up and down hills and through the small and crooked alleyways of the Albayzin and Realejo. If you love taking photos you’ll find a lot of great photo ops.
Some of the local museums and monuments have free days, check their websites for the latest information. If you are on a budget you can definitely take advantage of these free things to do in Granada.
Combine the above free things to do with the below tips to create a self-guided walking tour of Granada. Here are some of the top things to see in Granada, and check below for our Granada, Spain attractions map.
Although Granada is a small city there is a lot to discover and the twisting alleyways have secrets around every bend. But perhaps you would also like to explore the surrounding areas. Here are some interesting places close to Granada that are perfect for a day trip or overnight adventure.
If you have a car you can reach many places in an hour or less. But if you don’t, never fear. You can also hop on the ALSA bus or take a guided tour.
Here are some of the best overnight and day trips near Granada:
Granada is famous for the tapas, and rightfully so! It is one of the only places in Spain where you will always get free snacks with every drink you order.
Granada has food options for all budget levels. Here are some of our favorite places to eat in Granada. And of course some of the best places for wine or cocktails too. See below for a handy Google map with all these locations and more.
Remember to check out the map below for the addresses of these restaurants and more.
There are many places to stay within the small city of Granada. If you can find a place with a roof terrace or balcony in the Albayzin you’ll experience lovely views. Most of these will be in Airbnbs and apartment rentals but several hotels and hostels also have terrific views.
Keep in mind that Granada’s old city is hilly with lots of stairs and cobblestones when you are planning your arrival with luggage.
I definitely recommend you use HotelsCombined to compare lodging prices across all booking engines when searching for accommodations. And you can click the links below to get more information and availability for each option.
If you book through Airbnb, use this link to save €30+ off your first reservation.
Budget lodgings in Granada:
Apartments in Granada:
Hotels in Granada Spain:
If you are only visiting Granada for a weekend you will probably be able to see many of the sights on foot. However, Granada is quite hilly so if you are not up for that there are other options to get around.
I highly recommend comfortable shoes. I took a nasty fall on the cobblestone steps in Granada and so did one of my friends. In addition to my clumsiness, the fault was on our flimsy sandals. Here is a list of great shoes and sandals for traveling in Spain.
As mentioned above if you are arriving by train or bus you can access the city center via the city bus. Catch it just in front of the train station. See the city bus information here.
There are small mini buses that serve the Albayzin and Realejo – you can see the maps and schedules here. Keep in mind that these are often packed to the gills, so if you are traveling with luggage or a group it may not be the best idea. The buses stop near some of the main sights like the Alhambra and Mirador San Nicolas but you will still need to walk, sometimes up steep hills and cobblestone stairs. Just something to keep in mind if you have mobility issues. Also the weather can be quite hot in summer so bring water if you will be walking around in the sun.
Both the city buses and mini buses can be used for free a certain number of times with the Granada Card. If you are visiting Granada for more than a few days or will be using the buses a lot you can also purchase a bus pass from the machines at some of the main stops.
And of course you can hire a taxi to get you around the city, keep in mind in the Albayzin and Realejo many of the small streets are only accessible on foot. A taxi can drop you off but you will still need to walk. Just keep this in mind if you have a lot of luggage or mobility issues.
All of the above locations (and more) are included on the below map which you can view on your computer or smartphone. Click here to access the map. If you open it when you are logged into Google you should also be able to access it in the Google Maps app on your phone. I hope it helps you find some amazing places and fun things to do in Granada.
I hope you liked this weekend guide to Granada and that you enjoy your visit to this fascinating place.
Headed to Spain this fall? Take a look at this handy list to help you pack for an autumn trip to Spain.
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