Friday, October 6, 2017


I'm not sure if it is the magic of the city or that you are in the shadow of the Alhambra Palace, but this city never fails to bring a smile to my face. The people are warm, there are dances on the street, and you can have a romantic dinner with the most breathtaking view.  The obvious main attraction for Granada is Alhambra, but there is so much more to the city; don't miss it!

Where is it: Granada is in Southern Spain, in the the Andalucia region.

Downtown GranadaGranada on the map

Getting there: Granada can be accessed easily by bus or train from most cities, specifically Seville, Madrid and Barcelona. If coming from Madrid or Barcelona, consider taking a flight as it can save you some time and be comparable in price. A great search engine to get you started in the logistics is

Things to do:
Alhambra: This post is to focus on what there is to do in Granada outside of the Alhambra Palace. Click here for more on Alhambra.

Madrasah of Granada: If you're wanting more of the amazing Islamic calligraphy and want a peek of what the palaces in Alhambra looked like back in the day, this is the location for you! The Madrasah of Granada, which is part of the University of Granada, is home of some of the original facade done by Yusuf I. What makes this facade so important is that it still obtains some of the original paint and decoration, which is different from the palace in Alhambra. Alhambra just has the bare bones of the walls and all the paint has been removed with time, but what you see in the Madrasah still has the original paint and gives us an idea of what the whole Nasrid Palace would have looked like.

You have to pay 2 euros for a tour that allows you to walk in the room with the facade. The tour also includes some additional rooms and artifacts from when the structure was originally built by Ferdinand II in the 1500s. As the price is low, conveniently located, and typically not crowded it is worth seeing. The Madrasah is located at Calle Oficios, 14, 18001; it is a little difficult to locate so don't hesitate to ask for directions.

Madrasah of Granada facadeMadrasah of Granada facade

Cathedral and Royal Chapel of Granada: It wouldn't be a city in Europe if it didn't have a massive church in the center. Previously the site for the mosque, the construction for the cathedral started in the early 1500s and was completed in 1561. It was originally built to be the final resting place for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, whose remains are there to this day. The burial site is in the Royal Chapel, which is connected to the cathedral, not in the cathedral itself. Also part of the Royal Chapel is the Sacristy Museum, which houses artifacts from the Spanish royal family and famous paintings. While walking into the site, make sure you look at the entrance and take in the doors. There is so much detail on the doors that they are a piece of artwork themselves.

The cost to enter the Cathedral is 5 euros and an audio guide is included with the ticket. The church is located right in the city center at Calle Gran Via de Colon 5, 18001. This is a location to keep a close eye on your belongs and be aware of your surroundings.

Cathedral in GranadaTop of the Cathedral in Granada

The Alcaiceria: This was home to the Great Bazaar, which was the original marketplace for the Moors. In the 15th century, this was the area people would go to barter for fabric, specifically silk, and other household goods. It was perfectly located close to the mosque, now the site for the Cathedral, and people would venture after prayer to do their shopping. A fire destroyed the original structure of the market, but a replica was built in the 19th century. Now you will find hundreds of stores selling souvenirs, as the site is specifically geared towards tourists. Even if you aren't looking to shop, it is fun to walk around and take a look at the vendors to get a feeling for the atmosphere of the bazaar. The address for the entrance is Calle Alcaiceria, 1, 18001.

The Alcaiceria in GranadaThe Alcaiceria in Granada
Mirador San Nicolas: This site is not so much historical, but a lookout point that has gorgeous views of Alhambra and is frequented by local musicians. If you have energy for it, walk up to the point as you will pass through fun parts of the town and cute shops along the way. If you don't have energy to walk both up and down, take a bus up to the site, and choose to walk down as it is downhill. 
View of Alhambra from Mirador San Nicolas

Mezquita de Granada (Mosque): The construction of this mosque is recent, built in 2003; however, the presence of Muslims in the region has been for hundreds of years. The original mosque was where the Cathedral of Granada is now, and this site was built approximately 500 years after its demolition to replace a missing historical link in Granada. At times there is a mosque representative on the site who is very friendly and helpful with questions. The best part of the mosque is the gardens, which are open to the public. During the right season, the roses will be in bloom and you can get breathtaking views of Alhambra. The mosque is located at the Plaza de San Nicolas, and typically not a crowded part of town. 

View of Alhambra from Mosque in Granada

Go to a Carmen: A carmen, for the Granada definition, is a house in the Albaician region that traditionally has a garden. These homes have been converted into some of the best restaurants in Granada, and most have views of Alhambra. These are perfect if you are looking for a fancier night out with fantastic food. I would suggest going to Restaurante Las Tomasas, but I'm not sure you can go wrong with any of them.

View of Alhambra at night

Flamenco Show: Also in the Albaician region, there are caves and carmons that have a flamenco show. If you are going to Seville on your trip and only want to see one show, definitely save it Seville. However, if you just love flamenco or you are not visiting Seville, catch a show with dinner. There are so many options, and the show will leave you breathless. If you are a true flamenco fanatic, consider going during the International Festival of Music and Dance at Alhambra. You need to book your tickets in advance as it is extremely popular and famous artists perform, but having the opportunity to see an opera or flamenco performance in Alhambra, is a once in a lifetime experience.

Catch a dance in the square: When taking a walk around the town at night, you definitely can't call it a sleepy town! During the summer, it is common for people to get out and cool off by having a party in the square of their choice. Walk around the town at night and don't hesitate to jump in and partake in the fun!

Must eat:

  • Bodegas Castaneda: Lively bar with a great fish platter. There are two restaurants with this name, make sure you are at the one on Calle Almireceros 1. 
  • Los Diamantes: great tapas bar, grab a seat once you see one open
  • Carmen de las Tomasas: More fancy and upscale in the Albaician area
  • Poe: Another tapas option
Suggested Place to Stay: NH Collection Victoria: Great hotel that is mid-range price wise.

NH Collection Victoria in Granada


  1. This sounds like a beautiful place! My husband and I are planning a trip to Spain next year so I will definitely keep this in mind! Thank you for your lovely pictures!!

    1. Great! I have tons of Spain postings and a few more to come so check us out when you are in the planning stage of your trip!

  2. One of our friends raves about the Alhambra in Granada. We went to Spain this year but didn't make it to Granada. So Southern Spain is on our list to visit in the future. Thanks for the tips on what to see and where to eat there!

  3. People talk about alhambra a lot and how beautiful it is . And you did a fantastic job by describing it well with great pictures.


  4. Beautiful city and great photos! Game of Thrones fans will recognize some of those locations.

    1. You've given me another incentive to watch the show! I'll keep an eye out for them :)

  5. Looks great, loved Granada! Wouild love if you checked oiut mine �� Spain: 1 week Itinerary