Last Updated on 12th September 2022 by Sophie Nadeau
Nestled in Spain’s Andalucia region, the city of Granada is a treat for all the senses. Gaze at the beautiful scenery, listen to Flamenco music, taste delicious tapas, and feel the South Spanish sun on your skin. Here’s a one day in Granada itinerary you’ll want to steal.
- Why visit Granada?
- Is one day enough time to visit Granada?
- Suggested one day in Granada itinerary
- More things to do in Granada
- Where to stay in Granada
Why visit Granada?
Granada is most famous for its tapas and is one of the only places in Spain where drinks always arrive together with free food. The city is also well-known for its street art, beer scene, and wealth of Islamic architecture.
Places of interest close to Granada include the resort town of Nerja, Frigiliana (often cited as the ‘prettiest village in Andalusia’), and Guadix, which lies in the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
In this article, we detail a one day in Granada itinerary to help you plan your trip there! For more inspiration, check out our guide to the best-kept secrets of Spain.
Is one day enough time to visit Granada?
Granada isn’t a big city, and it’s possible to see most of the best attractions in just 24 hours, which make the city perfect if you’re on a road trip around Spain or are visiting from another Andalusian city.
Suggested one day in Granada itinerary
Breakfast at Macondo Granada
Breakfast in Spain is usually a late affair, and if you have early tickets to the Alhambra or want to start your day before nine, you may find that not much is open, save for bakeries which tend to be takeaway only.
However, Macondo Granada (address: C. Solarillo de Gracia, 4, 18002 Granada, Spain) opens at 8 am and serves a delicious tostada con tomate, which is an Andalusian speciality consisting of crushed tomatoes and olive oil on bread.
If there’s one attraction that you can’t miss in Granada, it’s the Alhambra. Sitting high above the city, it’s a foreboding fortress that began life in 1238 when the Moorish monarchs instructed it to be built.
Its construction didn’t actually end until 1358, some 120 years later! It’s a fascinating place to learn about Moorish history in Spain. You can either do a guided tour of the Alhambra (this is a great way to learn about it as it’s such a significant place!) or visit independently and hire an audio guide.
It’s recommended to book your ticket online before your trip, as they can sell out quickly. Book your Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket here in advance. Alternatively, if you’re looking to enjoy the Palaces together with a guided tour, then you can book this Generalife Gardens and the Nasrid Palaces on a tour with a professional guide.
Once you’ve learned about Moorish history at the Alhambra, experience Christianity in Spain by walking around the Granada Cathedral! Construction of the Cathedral began in 1523, 31 years after the city was surrendered by the Moorish people.
It took even longer than the Alhambra to be built; 181 years in total! It costs 5 euros for adults to enter the cathedral and look around, learning about its unique architectural style as you go.
Please note that, as with other religious buildings in Europe, you should cover your shoulders and knees when visiting the Cathedral. Alternatively, if you want to visit with a guide, then you can book this Cathedral and/or Royal Chapel Tour.
Walk to the Sacromonte neighbourhood
Spilling down the hills toward the city centre are the white buildings that make up the neighbourhood of Sacromonte. This is an incredibly photogenic part of the city, so don’t forget your camera!
Sacromonte has a lot of cultural significance as it has been home to a mix of cultures throughout the years. Historically, repressed groups (after the fall of Granada) moved into the area, and you can see cultural remnants from each group as you explore.
I’d recommend first taking a taxi or walking upwards to the Mirador Placeta de Carvajales. From here, you can take in views of the Alhambra. There’s also a cobblestone square lined with restaurants where you can enjoy a drink and some lunch.
Traditional Spanish fare is on the menu here – it’s the perfect place to try some paella! Some of the most popular paella ingredients include seafood, saffron, chicken, and vegetables. Then, take a taxi or continue walking through Sacromonte to reach the cave museum.
Many people who lived in Sacromonte ended up residing in the hillside caves. Here, they found refuge from persecution in the city and they eventually built up communities and a new way of life.
The Cave Museum details this, with exhibitions about how they made money and traded, to cooking methods, to cultural ceremonies. It’s a fascinating window into how people historically lived in Granada and is one of the best things that you can do to appreciate the complexity of this city.
Enjoy some free tapas
One of the best things about visiting Granada is the tapas. Tapas are small plates of food that are shared between a group, traditionally served for free whenever you purchase a drink. This tradition has waned in popularity elsewhere in Spain, with people generally paying a separate rate to purchase the small plates of food.
However, Granada remains, more or less, one of the only cities in Spain where you can still enjoy traditional tapas. Every time you purchase a glass of wine or beer, you’ll receive a complimentary plate of patatas bravas (potatoes), olives or another dish.
It’s worth pointing out that you can’t choose this plate. If you have any dietary restrictions, you could let the waiter know as you sit down, but it’s not guaranteed that they will be accommodated.
However, if you’re vegetarian, El Jergon (address: Cta. del Realejo, 10, 18009 Granada, Spain) does good veggie tapas. For drinks, skip the sangria and try tinto de verano. This is a similar cool wine drink, but it’s what the locals consume!
See a Flamenco show
After the sun goes down, kick back with another tinto de verano and catch a Flamenco show! This dance is allegedly native to Granada (although people from Sevilla and other cities in Spain will claim the same!).
However, nobody can deny that the caves of Sacromonte were historically important places for the rise of Flamenco dancing. It’s thought that the dance originated in the cave dwellings of some Granadans, and it evolved into the world-famous performance that it is today.
Flamenco shows take place in venues throughout the city, although you’ll find them mostly in the Albaicin region. The Albaicin district itself is well worth strolling around as it is easily one of the most picturesque spots in the city. The are also offers fantastic views onto the Alhambra.
More things to do in Granada
Granada is small, but it’s mighty! There are so many wonderful things to do here, and it’s a really culturally significant place that’s shaped the course of Spanish history over the centuries.
If you only have one day in Granada, this itinerary will help you to make the most out of it! If you have more time, then read on for other things to do in Granada if you have a weekend or more…
The Arabic Baths
Known in Spanish as Baños Árabes de Granada, one of the more unique experiences that visitors can have in Granada is by heading to the historic baths. There are several establishments across the city and Granada is home to some of the oldest baths and the hammams in Spain.
Carrera del Darro
A particularly historic corner of Granada is Carrera del Darro, which is often said to be one of the most beautiful streets in the city. The road leads between the Plaza Nueva and ends at the start of Paseo de los Tristes.
Paseo de los Tristes
One of the coolest places to visit in Granada is Paseo de los Tristes, which is sometimes referred to as Paseo del Padre Manjón. Translated into English as ‘Passage of the Sad,’ the street lies in the shadow of the Alhambra Palace and is well worth a wander along. Please note that, if you want to find the road on the map, you’ll have to type in the official name of ‘Paseo del Padre Manjón’.
Where to stay in Granada
There are a few great places to stay in Granada for all budgets and tastes. So whether you’re travelling Europe on a shoestring budget or you’re searching for an accommodation where you can splash out, here are some of the top places to stay in Granada (based on prices and location).
4U Hostel, C. Coches de San Matias
4U Hostel is a sustainable property that’s perfect for backpackers or anyone travelling on a budget. It also has a bar and terrace! Check prices and availability here.
Bellavista, C. Gloria
Bellavista is a selection of gorgeous apartments in the Albaycin region of Granada. Some has incredible views of the Alhambra and all are kitted out with what you need for a self-catered stay. Check prices and availability here.
Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites
Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites has a lovely pool, perfect for escaping from the summer heat of Granada, and rooms kitted out with all the mod cons you’ll need. Check prices and availability here.
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Claire Martin is a travel blogger and freelance writer who specialises in overland adventures. She’s drove around Australia, travelled from Bali to London without flying, lived in Mexico and has spent many months exploring Europe. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Claire’s Footsteps.