Granada is one of the 8 provinces of Andalusia that is one of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain. This city should be seen for its history, climate, nature and food. The population of the city center is around 250,000-350,000. This difference is due to the abundance of domestic and international students who come to the city for education.
Granada, as a Mediterranean city, of course has a warm weather. In July-August, the temperature reaches 40 degrees. However, since it is a dry weather, you do not feel an overwhelming heat like Barcelona for example. Granada, which has a combination of Mediterranean climate and continental climate, is sunny and clear in January, but generally the winter months are cold. The effect of the Sierra Nevada mountains range is great in this. Sierra Nevada is a mountain favorite with ski lovers, with an altitude of approximately 3500 meters and 131 ski tracks. In addition, we should mention for the enthusiasts that it is the only ski resort in Europe where you can ski in a swimsuit and that every year in April, there are events called “Bajada en Bañador” (Skiing down in swimsuits).
Since Granada is a city surrounded by mountains, you can see the snowy mountains at the end of every street most of the year. At the same time, in Granada, which has a 79 km long coastline, it is possible to swim and ski at certain times of the year.
The best season of the year to visit Granada is spring or autumn when the weather is warm and sunny.
The people of Granada (Granadinos) are generally friendly, smiling people who love to eat, drink, have fun and dance. As a tourist, you will witness that they try to answer your questions as best they can and try to help you.
If there is flight from where you live, the easiest way to go to Granada is by plane. If not the best way to go is fly to another Andalusian city, Malaga. It is about 128 km from Málaga to Granada, and it is possible to get there by renting a car, bus or train.
If you ask how long it takes for a Granada trip; In our opinion, 2 full days with a bit of rush or 3 more quiet days will be enough for you to visit all the places you need to see.
Places to Visit in Granada:
1- Alhambra Palace & Generalife:
This magnificent palace, which is the only building in its category in the world, is a place you should not go back to without seeing it and you will need 1 day to visit the whole of it. This palace, which is a work of Muslim rule that lived in Spain between 711-1492, takes its name from the word “red, scarlet” in Arabic and has a fascinating appearance when daylight hits to the red stones used in its construction. Since it is one of the most visited buildings in Europe with approximately 3 million visitors a year, if you go in high season, you have to wait in long queues to buy tickets. We strongly recommend that you buy your ticket in advance. You have to choose a time when buying your ticket, and this time shows your entrance time to the Nazari Palace. You can visit other places other than this main palace before or after. By clicking on the official website of the palace, you can both get your ticket and get more detailed information about the palace and the plan of the entire area to visit. Click here for the location of Alhambra Palace and the Generalife, the summer palace of the Sultan. If you are going to the palace from the city center of Granada and there is little time left for the time on your ticket, or if you do not have enough time to climb a considerable slope, you can get on the minibuses that cost 1.40 Euros and have ring services from various points of the city. Click here for departure locations and route.
2- Granada Cathedral:
This magnificent cathedral is one of Granada’s must-see structures. There may be a queue at the entrance. For this reason, if you are going during the high season, it is useful to buy your ticket in advance. Click here to find out more about the cathedral and get your ticket.
3- Paseo de los Tristes:
It is the road along the Darro Stream, which you will use to get down to the center when you leave the Alhambra Palace. Although it is officially called “Paseo del Padre Manjón”, known by this name, which can be translated into English as “The Sad Road”, as it is the way where funeral processions pass on the way to the cemetery. It is a narrow but pleasant road where you can take pictures of the palace from different angles.
The Albaicin region, which is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, is a neighborhood worth seeing where traditional Andalusian architecture and Moorish local architecture are harmoniously blended. With its narrow streets and small squares, it is an impressive area built in a medieval city plan, bearing the traces of prosperity of past as well as modest Moorish and Andalusian houses. Do not leave without seeing this neighborhood, which is on the opposite slope of the Alhambra Palace, enriched today by the Spanish and Baroque period contributions added to the Islamic design of the streets.
5- Mirador San Nicolas:
It is an ideal viewpoint to watch a beautiful view, especially at sunset, to relax a little while listening to the flamenco played by local musicians, and to take pictures from across the palace. You can have something to eat and drink in many cafes and restaurants right next to it and relieve your tiredness.
Sacromonte, famous for its cave houses and Flamenco dance, is one of the neighborhoods inhabited by gypsies (Los Gitanos), who are known to have come to Spain about 600 years ago. You would not be able to complete your trip to Granada without wandering the streets of this neighborhood, which has become quite touristic today, and watching a flamenco show in places called “Tablao”. If you want to better understand this culture and the changes that caves and houses have undergone over the years, there is also a museum worth seeing. Zambra Maria la Canastera is one of the best places to watch a Flamenco show, the local version of which is called Zambra, where both the cave ambiance and the dance will enchant you. The other is Cueva de la Rocío.
Click to open the locations of places to visit in Google Maps.
Where to Eat in Granada?
Before this part, if you are a traveler in Spain, especially in Andalusia, it would be useful to know about the time period called “Siesta”. First of all, the origin of this word, which is called “Siesta” and refers to resting and taking a nap during the day, is not Spain but Italy, contrary to what is commonly known. A habit derived from the Romans’ meal and rest time, which comes from the Latin word “La Hora Sexta” (Sixth Hour) and refers to the 6th hour after sunrise, that is, the hours when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Nowadays, although not everyone does it, in the Mediterranean, where the heat is very felt, a break may really be needed in summer. As for why this topic is of interest to this part of the article: In Andalusia, meal times are quite different from ours. It would be useful to know the opening and closing times of restaurants because you can see restaurants that are closed when you are starving.
Generally, shops open at 09:00-10:00 in the morning and close at 14:00. It opens around 16:30 in the afternoon and closes around 20:30 in the evening. Bars and restaurants where you can eat meals or “tapas” open around 12:00 and close around 16:30. Then they open again between 20:00-24:00. Cafes where you can have breakfast and eat “Churros” are open between 7:30-14:00 and 15:00-21:00. Of course, these are general information. Otherwise, there are places that are open during these hours. But if there is a restaurant or cafe you are planning to go to, look specifically at the hours it is open.
We would like to give you some suggestions based on experience. Of course, we tried to compile the most economical places:
1- 100 Montaditos: A food chain in Spain famous for its cheap prices. It is a place where you can find many foods such as sandwiches, salads, chicken wings, desserts, ice-cold soft drinks and beer. It takes its name from the 100 varieties on its menu. On Wednesday and Sunday everything on the menu is 1 Euro. It is an ideal restaurant for a budget snack and rest, as there are more than one in every city.
2- Taberna El Quinto: There are many alternatives such as seafood, “Paella”, meat and tapas. It can be preferred with its friendly employees and reasonable prices. The street on which it is located, “Calle Navas”, is a street with many restaurants and bars, so you are likely to find a suitable place for you by walking around.
3- La Taberna de Kafka: A restaurant that we recommend, 500 meters from the Alhambra, with its ambiance, staff, rich menu, fine wines and reasonable prices. You can find detailed information here.
4- Bar Avila: A good tapas restaurant with affordable prices, 10 minutes’ walk from the cathedral. Details can be found here.
5- Cafe 4 Gatos: It is 400 meters away from the San Nicolas viewpoint, with 4 tables outside with a view of the palace. You can have breakfast, eat a meal or have a rest coffee in this cozy cafe. There are also vegan options available. The website is here.
6- D’Sano: 4 minutes walking distance from the Cathedral, it is a nice place where you can find good breakfast, dessert and coffee. You can find the details here.
7- Fogón de Galicia: If you want to eat a good Paella (Spain-specific rice, famous for its meat/chicken/seafood varieties), this is the place we can recommend. Click for details about this restaurant located in the center, “Calle Navas”.
8- Restaurante Vegano Hicuri: By the way, let’s not forget the vegans. “Where to have the best vegan food in Granada?” This restaurant is the answer. Click for details.
9- Palacio Andaluz Almona: A very good choice for those looking for “Halal” food. In this Moroccan restaurant located in the center, you can find many foods such as good meat dishes, pastries, snacks, desserts at affordable prices. Click here for details.
Let’s give a few examples of places where you can both eat and watch a Flamenco show:
10- Jardines de Zoraya: A tablao/restaurant located in the Albaicin region and one of the best in Granada. You can access the website here.
11- La Alborea: A tablao/restaurant located in the center and it’s also one of the best. You can find the details here.
Click to open where to eat locations in Granada on Google Maps.
We started our travel guide articles with Granada, one of the most visited cities in Spain. We would like to continue to publish such articles in our blog, so that we can share information and suggestions with each other with your comments. Please add the informations and suggestions you have obtained from your previous experiences or as a result of your research as a comment to the bottom of this article, which we have prepared to give you an idea for your trip to Granada.
Stay healthy. Have a good trip!