During the period of Islamic domination, Granada was one of if not the most important city in Spain and today its main claim to fame is the wonderfully preserved 11th-century Alhambra palace. The city retains much of its Moorish atmosphere especially in areas such as The Albaicn with its cobbled streets, white-washed houses, patios, restored Arabic baths and breathtaking views to the Alhambra.
The Alhambra Palace & Generalife
Spain’s most visited monument which features Moorish palaces with fabulous mosaic decoration, fortifications and gardens. There are also great views of the city and Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s strongly advised to buy tickets in advance as there could be long queue, or they may be sold out on the day. Take the credit card you book tickets with to the Alhambra as you use this to verify when pick tickets up. Print online confirmation page and take with you in case of any problems – the amount isn’t deducted until tickets are picked up.
Cathedral and La Capilla Real
Gothic Renaissance cathedral and burial place of the ‘Catholic Kings’ Ferdinand and Isabella in attractive city centre plaza.
Old Arab quarter with cobbled streets, white-washed houses, patios and restored Arabic baths. Walk through the quarter up to San Nicholas Mirador for great views of the Alhambra. Bustling streets with pottery shops, stalls and tea shops.
Visit the ‘gypsy’ quarter to see caves inhabited for hundreds of years. Now often used as bars and setting for flamenco ‘tableos’ (cater for tourists and can be expensive). Worth a visit for the atmosphere even if not going to a dance show – fabulous views of the Alhambra.
Plaza Nueva and Plaza Bib-Rambla
Popular squares with restaurants, bars, flower stalls and street theatre
Between June and September the temperature regularly gets well into the 30’s C (90’s F) with July and August the hottest months. It’s also pleasantly warm in autumn and spring with periodic torrential downpours. Winter brings cold but often sunny weather and fantastic views of the snow covered Sierra Nevada.
Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week)
One of Granada’s biggest festivals – on Wednesday of Holy Week, there is a procession called ‘Christ of the Gypsies’ or ‘Christ of Sacromonte’. Others include the procession of Silence, which begins at midnight on the Thursday, leaving from the Church of San Pedro on the Carrera del Darro, and the procession of Las Anguastias, which takes place on the Saturday.
Corpus Christi Feria
Between May and June the Corpus Christi Feria, Granada’s biggest festival, is celebrated. Various events are held from the last week in May including Granada’s biggest bullfighting festival.
Getting around Granada
Granada has a good, cheap bus network although is small enough to walk around the major tourist sites but if you don’t fancy the walk up to The Alhambra there’s a regular shuttle minibus service from many points throughout the city including Plaza Nueva.