Granada is a charming city that exudes an air of culture and tradition from its historic Moorish palace and fortress called Alhambra to its thriving Sacromonte district which offers visitors a real slice of authentic Spanish Flamenco, whilst all the while never being far from the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountain Range with its superb ski resort and scenic wilderness trails.
Granada has hot summers with temperatures averaging around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and mild winters which are often between 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit with frosts not uncommon over the winter months. October through to January are the wettest months of the year with November often receiving the most rainfall.
Granada is located in the south of Spain at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains within Andalusia.
Granada has rail, plane and bus connections with many other areas of Spain.
- Granada Airport
The Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport (GRX) is located around 10 miles from the city
and has several domestic flights to and from areas such as Madrid and Barcelona.
Granada can also be reached by train from Madrid and Seville.
- Bus and Coach
There are frequent bus services throughout the region as well as long distance coach trips such as to Madrid and Seville. Once in the city there are several bus services covering much of the city.
Travel by car can be a bit of a challenge in Granada due to the city's narrow one way streets many of which are restricted to busses and taxis only and for finding parking spaces, with parking garages often your best option if sometimes a little tight on space. It is often a good idea to seek travel advice from your hotel regarding the best directions to your hotel and parking garages in the area.
Walking around the city is a great option as many of the sights are fairly close to each other and it gives you a chance to take in much that the city has to offer, although be prepared for the city's steep hills and any creative traffic.
There are several main areas of Granada which include Sacromonte, Realejo and Albayzin.
- Northeast Granada - Sacromonte
The neighbourhood of Sacromonte features the vast Sacromonte Abbey and Museum which is beautifully positioned on top of Mount Valparaiso with striking views of the mountains as well as the districts white washed houses, winding streets and
caves which offer one of the most unique places to view a Flamenco show.
- South Central - Realejo
To the south east is the former Jewish quarter of the city which features the Campo de Principe square which contains a statue of Cristo de los Favores.
Within the narrow winding streets and whitewashed houses you'll find the Granada Archeological Museum, Hamman El Banuelo Arabic Baths as well as excellent views of the Alhambra complex. This district used to be the old Muslim quarter of the city and is a great place to explore with many lively bars and restaurants also found in this area.
- West Granada
The west of the city is home to the beautiful Parque Garcia Lorca which is a great place to walk around and relax. To the north there is also the San Jeronimo Monastery with its beautiful architecture.
- North Granada
To the north of the city centre you'll find the striking Granada Charter house (Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada) which is a beautiful monastery with excellent architecture and interior design.
- Central and South Granada
Within the heart of the city you'll find Puerta Real area which has plenty of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops as well as attractions such as the Granada Cathedral, Plaza Isabel Catolica, Royal Chapel, Corral del Carbon.
- East Granada
The east of Granada is home to the historic Alhambra complex which contains the Palace Of Charles V, Alcazaba, Palacios Nazaries and the Generalife Gardens as well as beautiful views of the surrounding area.
One of the city's main shopping areas is within central and south Granada such as around Puerta Real which contains several modern shops and boutiques, there are also plenty more shops found around the streets surrounding the Cathedral, such as the Alcaiceria which is one of the main areas for gifts, crafts and souvenirs. Other popular shopping areas can be found on the way to the Alhambra or alternatively there are also several large shopping Malls found within the busy city centre.
Cuisine in Granada is typical of the Andalusia with several wholesome dishes that beautifully combine plenty of vegetables, meat and spices together. Many of the restaurants, cafes and bars serve an incredible variety of tapas such as stuffed olives, along with other regional favourites such as Sacromonte and Spanish omelettes, tagines, paellas, soups and cold meats that are equally full of flavour and popular choices.
Many of the restaurants have entertainment such as flamenco dancing and live Spanish music performances which adds to the charming atmosphere of an evening dining out in Granada with areas such as Sacromonte especially well known for their restaurants and entertainment. There are restaurants found throughout the city especially around central areas such as Puerta Real and Albayzin, where as well as Spanish food there are also several restaurants serving international cuisine as well.
Festivals and Events
Granada has a colourful mixture of festivals and events that occur throughout the year including the vibrant spectacle of the Three Kings Parade, the energetic and colourful Carnival and the International Festival of Music and Dance amongst some of the most popular... more about Granada Festivals and Events
Exploring around the city's winding streets allows you the perfect opportunity to take in many areas of this unique city, from its traditional white washed houses to its fine selection of historic buildings and gardens that burst with charm and architecture along with tranquil gardens and fascinating museums which contain a wealth of information about the city's rich history. And with the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background there are also plenty of opportunities to take in the incredible scenery that is also on offer.
The Alhambra is a vast and spectacular complex that includes the beautiful and tranquil Generalife Gardens, the Palace Of Charles V, Alcazaba and the Nasrid Royal Palace and is surrounded by spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and much of the city as well. The Alhambra is one of Granada's leading attractions and booking in advance is recommended as ticket numbers are limited on the day and often booked up in advance.
The Alcazaba is the fortress area of the complex and the oldest part which contains the walled ruins of the buildings that were once enclosed within the fortress walls as well as some of the best views of the city and mountains.
- Palace Of Charles V
The Renaissance styled Palace Of Charles V features a courtyard with circular colonnade and two impressive museums that contain several artefacts and fine art associated with Alhambra.
- Nasrid Royal Palace
The Palacios Nazaries features many areas of superb architecture which include beautiful carved ceilings, mosaic tiles, stucco ceilings, archways, pillars and intimate courtyards which include the Court of the Myrtles which has a rectangular pool with myrtle hedge by its side which leads on towards the Court of Lions which has a striking central fountain that is supported by the statues of 12 lions.
- Generalife Gardens
The garden's offer several areas of interest with paths leading you delicately past the tranquil fountains and pools that are set in amongst beautifully laid out flower beds full of colour, neatly laid hedges, trees and archways.
- Sacromonte Abbey and Museum
The Sacromonte Abbey dates back to the 1600's and is located on Mount Valparaiso, over the catacombs which are believed to be the site of Saint Caecilius's martyrdom.
There are regular guided tours of the Abby which also offers superb views of the surrounding area.
- Granada Archeological Museum
The Archeological Museum of Granada is located within Castril Palace and offers plenty of information and artefacts relating to the history of Granada and the different civilisations that have settled there.
- Granada Charter house
The Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada is a beautiful monastery with striking Baroque architecture
inside and out which includes an elaborately decorated dome and marble pillars as well as several pieces of art including paintings and statues.
- Monastery of San Jeronimo
The Roman Catholic Monastery of Saint Jerome fetaures elaborate Renaissance style architecture and a formal garden. The interior has several statues, columns and paintings with an incredibly grand alter piece that feature's simply hundreds of carvings.
- Plaza Isabel la Catolica
This small square features a fountain and statue of Columbus and Queen Isabel
and is a great place to sit and relax.
- Granada Cathedral
The impressive 16th century cathedral features an
elaborate Renaissance styled interior with a large dome and several chapels that are filled with artwork, statues and furnishings.
- Royal Chapel Of Granada
The Capilla Real is a mausoleum that contains the tombs of King Ferdinand ll and Queen Isabella l, which has a beautifully decorated facade and interior that contains several pieces of artwork, ornaments, beautiful tapestries, paintings and other historical artefacts as well.
- Corral de Carbon
The Corral de Carbon was built in the 14th century as a shelter and warehouse for merchants and is one of the oldest Moorish monuments remaining in the city and features an impressive stone gateway entrance with an inner stone courtyard that contains a central well.
The building now houses the tourist information office as well as art and craft shops.
- Hamman El Banuelo
Located within the Albayzin neighbourhood are the Hamman El Banuelo, a former Arabic bath house that still retains much of its architecture and allows visitors an insight into how the baths functioned with their hot and cold rooms.
- Zambra Museum
This unique museum is housed in a cave in the Sacromonte area of the city and contains several items relating to Flamenco including instruments, costumes and photographs.
- Casa de Tiros Museum
This fascinating museum is located in the Realejo area of the city and contains an excellent collection of paintings, drawings, watercolours and photographs as well as statues and ceramics and is housed within the
Casa de los Tiros.
- Casa de los Pisa Museum
Within the Casa de los Pisa building is the Museo of Juan de Dios (St John of God Museum) which is a fascinating museum that has a vast collection of religious artefacts which include paintings, statues, ceramics as well as furnishings and furniture along with plenty of information about St John of God, there is also a peaceful courtyard with a fountain in the centre.
Granada's unique location is only a short trip away from the Sierra Nevada National Park which is great for a variety of adventure sports.
During the winter months from December to about April the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort offers a vast selection of facilities and trails to suit various levels of expertise and is only 20 around miles from the centre of Granada.
There are also numerous peaceful walking paths and challenging mountain bike trails available within the Sierra Nevada National Park which offers spectacular scenery that is set in amongst dense pine tree forests, striking rock formations, green valleys and rambling streams as well as being home to a vast amount of plant and animal life such as the Spanish Ibex, foxes, snakes and toads as well as birds of prey such as the golden eagle and kestrel.
Horseback riding in the Sierra Nevada National Park is also popular with many trails offering excellent scenery over varied terrain which often includes the pine forests and tranquil valleys.