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11 Best Things to Do in Granada Spain

The first time I visited Granada, I immediately fell in love with this charming city in Southern Spain. Many people visit just to see the Alhambra, and while this stunning palace is a highlight, it’s not the only cool thing to do.

Since my first visit to Granada, I’ve returned a few more times, discovering something new each trip. For those who can’t visit multiple times, I’ve compiled the best things to do in Granada, Spain, to make you fall in love with the city like I did.

Best Things to Do in Granada, Spain

1. Visit the Alhambra

Intricate decorated columns at Nasrid Palace, tours from Seville to Granada
Nasrid Palace inside Alhambra

While the Alhambra is definitely not the only thing the city has to offer, it is a must do in Granada Spain. This historic palace is one of the best things to do in all of Spain, it’s absolutely stunning.

Since it’s a popular place, I recommend buying your ticket on the official website online as soon as possible. I visited in late October and got a ticket two weeks prior. In high season, buy months ahead. Consider third-party providers if the tickets are sold out on the official website.

The time slot on your ticket is for the Nasrid Palace, you can visit the rest of the Alhambra complex anytime. Check out more tips for visiting Alhambra so you don’t miss anything during your visit.

🤩 Get your Skip the Line Alhambra Ticket now (They are a bit more expensive than normal tickets from the official Alhambra webpage)

2. Find Your Favourite Viewpoint

Is Granada worth visiting? 10 reasons why it is
View from the cave house museum

One of my favourite things to do in any city is find a great viewpoint. In Granada, there are several spots that offer breathtaking views of the Alhambra and the city. Here are some examples:

  • Mirador San Nicolás is the most popular viewpoint, but it’s not my favorite. It’s close to the center, but unless you have a great zoom, the rooftops of nearby buildings will be in your Alhambra photo. And on weekends, it’s usually overcrowded.
  • Mirador de San Cristóbal is near Mirador de San Nicolás. It offers a great view of Granada with fewer people, but you can’t see Alhambra from there.
  • In front of the Ermita de San Miguel Alto, you get an amazing view of the city and Alhambra with hardly any crowd. We enjoyed a beautiful, quiet sunset there.

🤩 Enjoy the sunset from the best viewpoints on this walking tour!

3. See The Cathedral & Royal Chapel

Cathedral of Granada
The square in front of Granada Cathedral is a popular meeting place

The Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in Granada, Spain. It’s huge and impressive from both inside and out. Actually, I think the cathedral is even more impressive from the inside than the outside. The inside is completely white with a golden altar.

Next to the cathedral, well actually within the same building but at a side entrance, you’ll find the Royal Chapel that houses the tombs of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, who conquered Granada in 1492 after 700 years of Muslim rule.

You need separate tickets for each. If you only want to see one, I recommend the cathedral. I found the inside of the Royal Chapel underwhelming, but I visited it the same day as some amazing churches and monasteries in Granada, which were more impressive.

🤩 Love this Royal Chapel & Granada Cathedral Tour – it includes both entrance tickets!

4. Get Lost in The The Arab Quarter, Albaycín

Small alley in Granada
Walking around in Granada

The Arab Quarter of Granada is called Albaycín. It’s the most historic, atmospheric neighborhood in the city and home to lots of great restaurants and cute souvenir shops.

Stroll around the winding cobblestone streets, admire the white-washed houses with their colorful flower pots, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

🤩 Discover hidden treasures in Albaycín on this amazing walking tour!

5. Go Shopping in a Moroccan Style Market

A colorful market in Granada, Spain, with vibrant textiles hanging overhead and stalls lined with traditional clothing and souvenirs.
Shopping stalls at Calle Alcaicería, near the Granada Cathedral

The Arab influence in Granada is still very much alive, and one of the best ways to experience it is by visiting a Moroccan style market.

The most famous is Calle Alcaicería, next to the Cathedral. It’s packed with shops selling tea sets, lanterns, clothing, and souvenirs. The vibrant colors and bustling atmosphere offer a great shopping experience.

Calle Calderería Nueva is another great shopping street with similar items and cool tea houses. You can even get henna done, one of the unique things to do in Granada.

6. Have Tea & Baklava In a Teahouse

A woman holding a cup and a small tea kettle
Some tea houses have dim lighting for photos, but they’re still really cool.

In the Arab Quarter, especially on Calderería Nueva, you’ll find several teahouses. The Moorish tetería offers a variety of tea flavors and sweets. Yes, they are quite touristy, especially on this popular street, but it’s worth visiting for a cup of tea.

Upon entering, you feel immediately transported to a distant place. It’s not without reason that Calle Calderería Nueva is called “Little Morocco.” Where else in Spain can you get that Moroccan atmosphere?

I tried three teahouses in Calderería Nueva: Tetería Kasbah, Tetería Al Waha, and Tetería Nazarí. My favorite was Tetería Nazarí.

While none offered vegan options, you can get vegan sweets, like baklava, at Andalusí Nujaila bakery nearby. For more vegan eats, check out my Granada vegan guide.

7. Visit the Cave Houses in Sacromonte

A picture of a cave house from the outside, you can only see an opening in a hill
Cave houses from the outside at the Cave House Museum

Sacromonte is an iconic neighborhood in Granada known for its cave houses, carved into the hillside and traditionally inhabited by “gypsies,” hence the name “Gypsy Quarter.”

The best place to learn about the history of these cave houses is the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte. Remember, it’s an ethnographic museum with historic caves, not the typical caves people live in today.

Today, many of these caves have been turned into cozy homes, restaurants, and even flamenco shows where you can experience traditional Spanish music and dance. You can even visit a cave church in Granada.

🤩 Explore Sacromonte on a fun Segway tour!

8. See a Flamenco Show

A flamenco show in a cave house, a woman is dancing, behind her you can see guitar players and there are people sitting at the corner of the room
A flamenco show in one of the cave houses in Granada

Speaking of flamenco, it’s another must-see in Granada. Flamenco originated in Andalusia and is deeply rooted in the culture of Spain. There are many places to see flamenco shows in Granada.

I saw two Flamenco shows, one in the city center and one in a cave house and the one in the cave house was so much better!

The flamenco show in the cave house at Zambra María La Canastera was full of passion. People sat around the dancers, got a drink, and took pictures. It was a really cool atmosphere.

The flamenco show I saw in the city center was way more distant, the performers were sitting on a stage and it just didn’t have the same lively atmosphere.

9. Visit the La Cartuja Monastery

The intricately detailed interior of La Cartuja Monastery in Granada, Spain, showcasing its Baroque architecture with ornate carvings, frescoes, and gilded altar. Visiting this stunning church is one of the best things to do in Granada, Spain.
The church inside La Cartuja monastery

The La Cartuja Monastery, also known as the Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción “La Cartuja”, is one of the hidden gems in Granada. Located just outside the city center, it’s a tranquil place with a beautiful courtyard and stunning architecture.

The highlight of La Cartuja is without a doubt the church inside the monastery, the intricate details are simply stunning. And according to the informational posters there, they also have the world’s most beautiful sacristy!

Tip: Bring headphones as there is an audio guide app you can download on your phone.

10. Relax in a Hammam Bath

Hammam Al Ándalus, Arab baths in Granada
Hammam Al Ándalus, you’re not allowed to take pictures inside

One of my absolute favorite things to do in Granada is to relax in a hammam. It’s a traditional Arabic bath house with hot and cold water pools, steam rooms, and optional massage treatments.

I tried three different Arab baths in Granada, and my favorite was Hammam Al Ándalus. It’s perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring the city. 

Tip: Book your ticket in advance as there are only a limited number of people allowed to keep things more relaxing and tickets sell out fast.

11. Go on a Day Trip to Guadix

The picturesque exterior of a Guadix cave house, with whitewashed walls, potted plants, and surrounding arid hills under a clear blue sky.
Cave houses in Guadix

If you have extra time in Granada, consider a day trip to the nearby town of Guadix. It’s easy to reach by bus and offers an authentic Spanish experience without the tourist crowds found elsewhere in Andalusia.

Guadix is known for its cave houses, which are even more impressive than those in Granada. You can stroll around the cave house neighborhood, and when you see a chimney beside you, you know that you’re on top of a cave house! It’s such a cool and unique experience.

Some other highlights of Guadix include the beautiful cathedral, an ancient Alcazaba (fortress), and scenic views of the surrounding landscape. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have time during your stay in Granada.

Tina sitting on a wall overlooking the city of Granada in Spain, she's looking back at the camera
Me overlooking the city of Granada

Where to Stay in Granada

To find the right accommodation in Granada, check beforehand which area you want to spend most of your time. Since Granada is quite hilly, long walks to your accommodation can be exhausting.

Apartamentos Placeta de San Gil is a great option if you’re looking for a very centrally located apartment in Granada. I stayed there a few night with my boyfriend and we loved it!

If you’re looking for a more unique stay, try a cave house! Cuevas El Abanico FreshApartments by Bossh! is an authentic cave with all necessary amenities and a cute terrace perfect for relaxing.

Final Thoughts: Visiting Granada

Granada is a city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and unique cultural experiences. It’s also a great place to practice your Spanish and indulge in delicious food.

I fell in love with Granada during my first visit and keep coming once a year since then, because I love the Arabic architecture mixed with the Spanish culture.

Whether you visit Granada alone or as part of a Southern Spain road trip, I hope you fall in love with the city just like I did.

Read more about Granada:

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Collage of top attractions in Granada, Spain, featuring a flamenco show, a vibrant market, Alhambra's gardens, and the Patio de los Leones at the Alhambra. "Top 11 Things to Do in Granada" is prominently displayed.
What to Do in Granada: Must See Spots

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