15 Best Things to Do in Granada


Grana­da is a Span­ish city in Andalu­sia and the birth­place of the famous gyp­sy fla­men­co. Nature, sun, cul­ture and cus­toms of the peo­ples liv­ing in this cor­ner make the city unlike any oth­er. There are majes­tic tem­ples and cue­va caves, a fla­men­co school and stun­ning parks.


Who travels to Granada and why

Grana­da dif­fers from the rest of the cities of Andalu­sia with its unique cul­ture. For the city, suc­cess­ful­ly locat­ed between the rocks, bat­tles and bloody wars have been fought since ancient times. He passed from one hand to anoth­er, and each suc­ces­sive own­er want­ed to leave behind a mem­o­ry for ever. There­fore, there are so many palaces, church­es, forts and fortress­es in the city. Archi­tec­ture and his­to­ry buffs can plunge head­long into Granada’s past.

From here, the Sier­ra Neva­da is with­in easy reach, which means that fans of ski resorts can buy uni­forms for down­hill ski­ing. The famous Cos­ta Trop­i­cal coast is also not far away — a lit­tle more than fifty kilo­me­ters along the high­way.

After swim­ming in the sea, you can learn how to dance fla­men­co with the local gyp­sies, and then dine in one of the cozy restau­rants, savor­ing the local wine.

architectural landmarks

Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel

cathedral cathedral

The tem­ple com­plex was erect­ed in the 15th cen­tu­ry on the site of a mosque. For those times, it was a nor­mal prac­tice — Islam in Grana­da was active­ly erad­i­cat­ed by Chris­tians. Out­ward­ly, the cathe­dral does not make a pompous impres­sion, but no mon­ey was spared for the gen­er­ous dec­o­ra­tion of the inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion. There are carved columns with fres­coes by emi­nent artists and bewitch­ing majes­tic vaults, rich­ly dec­o­rat­ed with gild­ing.

Next to the main shrine of the city is the Roy­al Chapel — the tomb of the mon­archs. By area, it is the largest in Spain. Revered peo­ple of the past are buried here, for exam­ple, Isabel­la of Castile and Fer­di­nand of Aragon.

Monastery of Saint Jerome

monastir st ieronima

This is the first build­ing that was built by the Spaniards after the recon­quest of local lands from the Moors. The monastery was designed by Diego de Siloe, who lat­er worked on the cre­ation of the Cathe­dral of Grana­da. Cur­rent­ly, the remains of Fer­nan­do González de Cor­do­ba, who was the com­man­der of the Span­ish army dur­ing the Recon­quista, are buried in the shrine.

Church of St. Egidius and St. Anne

cerkov st egidia

The Catholic Cathe­dral, locat­ed near the main shrine of Grana­da, is very com­pact and dif­fers marked­ly from its own kind, as it is made in the Mudé­jar style. This is a spe­cial fusion of Catholic and Mus­lim archi­tec­ture.

Pre­vi­ous­ly, a mosque stood on the site of the cathe­dral, as evi­denced by the well-pre­served minaret, which was con­vert­ed into a bell tow­er. The inte­ri­or of the church can­not be called rich, but vis­i­tors pay atten­tion to the cof­fered vault and wall paint­ings.

Carthusian monastery

kortesianski monastir

The appear­ance of the monastery can be called non­de­script, which can­not be said about the inte­ri­or. Inside the Carthu­sian monastery you can see medieval paint­ings, beau­ti­ful fres­coes, paint­ings and stuc­co.

There is a chapel on the ter­ri­to­ry of the shrine. Despite the fact that the con­struc­tion of the tem­ple was com­plet­ed rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly (in the 19th cen­tu­ry), unfor­tu­nate­ly, it was not pos­si­ble to pre­serve the dec­o­ra­tion in its orig­i­nal form.

Dar al-Orra Palace

dvorec darel ora

The palace was erect­ed in the 15th cen­tu­ry, and a few cen­turies ear­li­er, a cas­tle belong­ing to the Zirid dynasty stood in its place. The name of the palace in trans­la­tion from Per­sian means “Queen’s House”. It was orig­i­nal­ly built for the moth­er of the last sul­tan rul­ing in Grana­da.

After the Spaniards came to these lands, the cas­tle was turned into a monastery. Inter­est­ing­ly, the inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion of the archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ment has been pre­served in its orig­i­nal form, despite numer­ous recon­struc­tions.

Elvira Gate and Monite Gate

gate elviri

Dur­ing the rule of Grana­da by the Moors, the arch of Elvi­ra served as the main entrance to the city. It was called after the city of Elvir, where the cen­tral road led. The gate was part of a large com­plex, which includ­ed a city wall and a fortress that pro­tect­ed Grana­da from ene­my attacks.

Not far from the arch there is anoth­er gate — Mon­ai­ta. They were built much ear­li­er — in the 9th cen­tu­ry and were called the “gates of the epochs”.

Alhambra Palace

dvorec alhambra

This is the place where Mus­lim tra­di­tions were kept until the begin­ning of the 13th cen­tu­ry. It was then that the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of this cul­ture were going to cre­ate a “heav­en on earth.” An arch­way leads to the palace, which is called the Gates of Jus­tice. It is believed that in ancient times, pet­ty mat­ters con­cern­ing the pub­lic were heard here. Low-lying prob­lems were not sup­posed to “get” even to the park.

In the court­yard, every­thing is mea­sured down to cen­time­ters and lined up in per­fect order: gal­leries, bowls of water, sculp­tures, tow­ers. Some of the build­ings have telling names — Thieves, Sul­tans, etc.

Moorish (Arab) baths of El Banuelo

Mauritanian baths

With the dom­i­nance of Chris­t­ian cul­ture and the expul­sion of the Arabs from the ter­ri­to­ry of Grana­da, it was decid­ed to destroy many ham­mams and baths. Accord­ing to the Spaniards, they were akin to broth­els. How­ev­er, El Banue­lo mirac­u­lous­ly sur­vived. This com­plex of build­ings was built back in the 11th cen­tu­ry, and today the archi­tec­tur­al struc­ture is the old­est in Andalu­sia.

Inside, the ham­mam is quite tra­di­tion­al for its time: three rooms, arched vaults, high ceil­ings, small holes in the ceil­ing, rem­i­nis­cent of the star­ry sky, cap­i­tals and mas­sive columns.

Recreation and entertainment

Gardens of the Generalife

sadi generalife

Next to the sum­mer res­i­dence of the Moor­ish mon­archs, which adjoins the Alham­bra, are the stun­ning gar­dens of the Gen­er­al­ife. Odd­ly enough, tourists have heard much more about them than about the palace itself.

The ide­al time to vis­it the park is in the evening, when the foun­tains are illu­mi­nat­ed by col­or­ful lights, and the smells from fruit trees and flow­ers become most intense.

Science Park

park science

The inter­ac­tive muse­um of Andalu­sia was opened in the mid-90s. It will be inter­est­ing for both adults and chil­dren. Com­plex math­e­mat­i­cal, bio­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal knowl­edge is pre­sent­ed by event orga­niz­ers through games. In addi­tion to attend­ing train­ing ses­sions, you can admire the expo­si­tions of the muse­um: anatom­i­cal mod­els, robots and hydro­me­chan­i­cal struc­tures.

Interesting places

Darro Street and Alley of the Sorrowful

ulica darro

The street is con­sid­ered the most pic­turesque in Grana­da. It winds along the course of the riv­er of the same name, some­what repeat­ing both its course and its steep tem­per. From the hill where Dar­ro leads at the end, a beau­ti­ful view of the Alham­bra quar­ter opens up.

The Alley of Sor­rows has long been cho­sen by tourists. Here the best con­di­tions are cre­at­ed for them: there are sou­venir shops, shops and restau­rants. It is not known for cer­tain why the alley received such a strange name — sad­ness here can only be caused by the tran­sience of time, and on this occa­sion the Spaniards, as a rule, do not want to be sad.

Albaicin quarter

quarter albaisin

Dur­ing the Moor­ish dom­i­nance, this area of ​​the city was con­sid­ered the most pop­u­lous and pop­u­lar. It was locat­ed in the cen­ter of Grana­da and was the cen­ter of pub­lic life.

Albayzin, like no oth­er quar­ter of the city, con­veys the whole fla­vor of local aes­thet­ics: nar­row streets, end­less stairs, hous­es with small bal­conies. Even sev­en hun­dred years lat­er, lit­tle has changed here — only 30 cathe­drals and 50 restau­rants have been added over time.

Observation deck on St. Nicholas Square

smotrova ploshadka

The square is the cen­ter of the old quar­ter of Albaicin. It is locat­ed on a hill, so it offers stun­ning views of Grana­da with its snow-white hous­es. Life here is in full swing at any time of the day.

You can admire the city from an even high­er point from the obser­va­tion deck of San Nicolás. A par­tic­u­lar­ly roman­tic atmos­phere reigns here at sun­set.

District and Abbey of Sacromonte

abbey sacramonte

The world-famous area has become the birth­place of fla­men­co and the most beau­ti­ful Andalu­sian girls. Once upon a time, the Span­ish gyp­sies “gitanos” set­tled here for the first time, who lived right in the caves. Those are still inhab­it­ed today, and many are even well-main­tained — they have elec­tric­i­ty and run­ning water.

The main attrac­tion of the Sacromonte area is the abbey of the same name. Accord­ing to beliefs, Saint Cecilio, who was the first bish­op of Grana­da and is now the patron saint of the city, once died at the hands of the Romans.

Isabella Square and Coal Yard

ploshad isobelli

Tourist sight­see­ing in Grana­da usu­al­ly begins with Isabel­la Square. In its cen­ter is a mon­u­ment ded­i­cat­ed to Christo­pher Colum­bus and Isabel­la of Castile. It was this woman who helped the nav­i­ga­tor get from the coast of Spain to India.

The coal yard is one of the icon­ic places locat­ed on this square. In Moor­ish times, mer­chants and small traders stopped here for a while.


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