You can’t miss Granada on your next trip to Spain – it’s part of Andalusia’s Golden Triangle and rightfully so! You’ll fall in love with this ancient city as you explore the beautiful streets of Albaicín,taste traditional piononos at a local café, shop in the Alcaicería (great bazaar), and soak up Granada’s rich history. Did I mention plenty of spectacular views of the Alhambra?
We spent two full days in Granada on this trip – if you’re able to spend more time I’d recommend at least 3 days (but we were able to see all the main items on our list)!
Where to stay in Granada – Albaicín Neighborhood
We stayed in the beautiful and central neighborhood of Albaicín (akaAlbayzín). Declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, this neighborhood is located on a large hill with winding, little streets – remnants of its Medieval Moorish past. A lot of locals live in this area and the streets are relatively quiet at night. Albaicín is within walking distance to all the city’s main attractions and (because it’s on a hill) you’ll come across several restaurants and bars that offer views of the Alhambra.We got a greatAirbnb rental with a garage – it’s super important to find a place with parking if you’re staying in this neighborhood…otherwise you’ll be paying to park in a public garage or walking a long way to your car.
Where to eat in Granada
If you’re in town make sure to get a reservation at Ruta de Azafran; the food, service and view are unbeatable. We came across the restaurant walking along the Paseo de los Tristes below the Alhambra; they were completely booked up but we managed to get a table the following night. It was the best meal of the trip!
Also make sure to try some piononos while you’re in Granada! This traditional pastry gained its popularity thanks to three sisters in the 19th century. After they rediscovered the original recipe they sold piononos in their bakery, “La Blanquita” located in the town of Sante Fe. They named this tasty pastry after Pope Pio Nono and you can try one for yourself at various cafeterias in the city. Check out the gold piononos we got at Rey Fernando on Calle Reyes Católicos!
Things to do in Granada
Obviously, one of the top things to do in Granada seethe Alhambra! It’s important to purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible because only a certain amount of people can access the Nasrid Palaces at one time – when you purchase a ticket you will be asked to select a specific time to visit this attraction. We had “afternoon” tickets with entry to the Nasrid Palaces at 4:30pm; we were able to explore the Alhambra grounds between 2pm and8pm but had to be at the Nasrid Palaces on time or we would lose our chance to see it! I purchased our tickets via ticketmaster.com and picked them up at a La Caixa ATM in town – if you can’t get your tickets beforehand you can pick them up at the ticket office on site (you’ll get instructions once you purchase the tickets online).
If you have enough time try to get a reservation at the Arabic Baths! The Hammam Al Andalusin Granada is beautiful (even more beautiful than the baths in Seville) and a massage feels great after climbing all those steps to get to the Alhambra! 😉
You can learn more about things to do and see in Granada on this website– some of my highlights were seeing the Monasteria de San Jeronimo and getting lost in Albaicín. I also enjoyed walking around Alcaicería (the great bazaar) because it reminded me so much of shopping in Tangier,Morocco. Something else you should do is drink an Alhambra beer while gazing at the Alhambra from one of the bars near Mirador de San Nicolas (viewpoint).
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