Plan a Trip to Granada

Granada is one of the most famous southern cities in Spain, with a culture and atmosphere all its own. The Andalusian culture along with a tradition of Islam in Spain give rise to a variety of foods, architectural styles, and of course, the famous Alhambra. Our Teach and Travel Team will go through the best way to plan your trip, including all the great things to do in Granada.

The Alhambra is one of the best things to do in Granada

The mysteries of Granada await!

Getting there

We generally begin our trip from Madrid, which is right in the middle of Spain. But of course, you can get to just about anywhere in Spain from anywhere else. As always, there are three ways to get from city to city, and getting to Granada is no exception:

The cheapest way to get to Granada is by bus. These tickets are usually around 35 euros round trip from Madrid, and the drive lasts around 5 or 6 hours. Coming from a different city, you can take the ALSA bus to Granada, and the ticket shouldn’t be very expensive. In fact, Granada makes one of the country’s best low cost holidays overall. Of course, bus rides can be very long, and it may not be everybody’s cup of tea. However, if you need to save money, the bus is the best way to go.

The Renfe train connects the major cities of Spain, but it tends to be rather expensive. Taking the Renfe from Madrid to Granada costs around 30 euros each way, 60 euros round trip, but you must be sure to book your tickets far in advance. The train ride lasts around 4.5 hours, which in our opinion isn’t enough of a time-saver to be worth the money. However, the train is without doubt more comfortable than the bus is, which may appeal to you if you have the spare money to spend.

There are also flights that run between Madrid and Granada, operated by Iberia. This flight only lasts around an hour and costs a minimum of around 80 euros. This option may be good for you if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in transit, and for only an hour flight, the cost difference may be worth it. Flights from Barcelona cost a bit more, over 100 euros, and are operated by Vueling rather than Iberia.

Sites to see

History fills every corner of Granada, so it helps to have a general guide to which sites are worth visiting. Otherwise, you may get bogged down with all the things to do in Granada:

  • Albayzin: Also spelled “Albaicín,” this is the old barrio (neighborhood) of Granada. Think: winding cobblestone roads, white houses, beautiful views of the Alhambra, flowers, fountains…You’ll feel like you stepped into a fairytale in this area of Granada.
Albayzin in Granada

The white buildings of the Albayzin shine in the sun

  • The Alhambra: The most famous monument in Granada, this is an absolute must-see on our list of things to do in Granada. Whether you tour it during the day or gaze at it from afar at night, you’ll be impressed.
  • Mirador de San Nicolas: If you choose to see the Alhambra from afar, we suggest you do it from here. The mirador is about a 15 or 20-minute walk up through the Albayzin, and from the lookout point you can see the monument in all its splendor. This is a great option if you’re looking for budget-friendly things to do in Granada.
View from the Mirador of the Alhambra, one of the best things to do in Granada

A view of the Alhambra from the mirador

  • Basilica de San Juan de Dios: This is one of the many religious buildings in Granada and is known for its ornate interior. For those of you who love architecture and art, don’t pass up a visit to this basilica.
  • Granada Cathedral: This is one of our favorite things to do in Granada, and we’ve seen quite a few cathedrals in our day. The sheer size of the structure will amaze you, and housed in the same building are the graves of Ferdinand and Isabella. Even if you’re feeling a little jaded about cathedrals, trust us, this one is worth a visit.
Inside of the Granada Cathedral

No photo does justice to the inside of the Granada Cathedral

There are, of course, countless things to do in Granada that satisfy all interests. This list will just help you to get started!

A world of tapas

Eating in Granada is a sacred activity, and the tapa culture thrives there like almost nowhere else in Spain. When you go to a tapas bar to order a drink, you generally choose from a menu that lists a variety of tiny meals to go with it. The best part is, the price of the food is included in the drink, and the drinks are as cheap as anywhere in Spain! So the long and short of it is, when you go out for a few drinks, you automatically have access to a full meal.

There are tons of websites that list the writers’ favorite tapas bars in Granada, and we have yet to test them all. However, our visit to Bar Poe is worth a mention, as their tapas are inspired by Thai and Brazilian cuisine. Also, if you’re in the central area of Granada, wander through the mini-Morocco that takes up only one street. Shops selling authentic Moroccan goods line the sidewalks, and there are a multitude of teahouses and hookah shops to choose from. Another great area to go out (and eat) is the Albayzin. Chances are, if the bar looks cool, the tapas will be delicious.

View of Moroccan market

A sidewalk lined with Moroccan leather

The best part, as we’ve said before, is that there are so many things to do in Granada, you’ll never be bored. But at the same time, the tapas culture and tranquil barrios ensure that your visit won’t be overwhelming, either. If you have any questions or recommendations, please let us know! We’re always on the lookout for things to do, things to see, and things to eat!

What are some of your favorite things to do in Granada?

Photos courtesy of dalberakevinpohJen SFO-BCNtrioptikmal, and MojoBaer

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