Best Things to Do in Granada - What to See in 3 Days, Recommended Itinerary
If you're wondering what to do in Granada when you only have 1, 2 or 3 days available, this Local's guide to Granada will answer all your questions.
What things can I do in Granada
in one, two or three days? We have gathered information on the main monuments, beauty sports, attractions and best things to do during your
short stay in Granada.
- Day 1:Alhambra and the Generalife, Alhambra Museum, Plaza Nueva, Bañuelo, Carrera del Darro and Paseo de los Tristes.
- Day 2:Cathedral and the Royal Chapel, Alcaicería market, Corral del Carbón, Albaicín and its Moorish houses.
- Day 3:San Jerónimo Monastery, Hospital Real, Basilica de San Juan de Dios, Sacromonte caves and Abbey.
- Extra:Flamenco Shows, Hammam Arab Baths, Tapas Bars and Restaurants, Useful Tips.
Granada in One DayIf you are going to stay in Granada only for one day, the itinerary plan might be slightly more intense than usual. We´ll help you to see the most important places in one day.
Probably, the best thing is to start with the Alhambra and the Generalife, then visit the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel in the afternoon. In the evening, you should walk around Plaza Nueva, Carrera del Darro, Paseo de los Tristes and the Albaicin.
If you have some time left in the evening, you can see a flamenco show (Flamenco Tablao Jardines de Zoraya) or relax in the Arab Baths (Hammam Arab Baths), followed by a delicious tapas meal (Tapas Tasting and Night Tour).
It is advisable to stay in Granada for at least two or three days, as there many other beautiful places to see in Granada.
Things to Do in Granada - Day 1If you are heading to this wonderful city for a short break, this suggested itinerary will help you make the most of it.
These are some of the most important monuments and beauty sports of Granada and they are located within 5-10 minutes from each other.
To get off to a good start, don't hesitate for a moment: the Alhambra is the starting point.
The Alhambra and the Generalife
The Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain, and you will understand why over two million people from all over the world come every year to Granada when you see it.
At the Alhambra monumental setting you will find several medieval palaces, marvellous sorrounding gardens, ancient walls and watching towers.
It was home to the Nasrid sultans
between the 13th and 15th centuries, then it became the center of the emerging Spanish Empire when the Catholic Monarchs chose to live at the Alhambra.
The Alhambra and the Generalife are a royal citadel, a fortress, a royal court and a summer royal retreat. Its magnificent architecture, fascinating decoration and stunning views contribute to its breathtaking beauty.
It was designated UNESCO World Heratige Site in 1984 because of its extraordinary cultural value.
- The General entrance includes everything: the Alcazaba, the Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife Gardens.
- The best way to discover the Alhambra, its history and its secrets is by taking complete Alhambra Guided Tour with an expert guide.
- There are also night visits: you will have to chose between the Nasrid Palaces or the Alcazaba plus the Generalife.
- The Nasrid Palaces have limited entrance: when you buy a ticket you have to choose the time of entry to the palaces.
- Alhambra tickets are not refundable, nor you can change the time or date of your visit.
- For more detailed information see: The Alhambra.
Even if you only have one day to see Granada, we recommend that you visit the Alhambra Museum and leave everything else for another time.
The Alhambra Museum is a must-see. Your Alhambra experience is not completed until you visit it, since many of the original pieces of the monument can be seen here.
This museum conserves the best collection of Nasrid Art in the world, along with an extraordinary display of Hispano-Muslim art.
It is located inside the Charles V Palace, just next to the entrance to the Nasrid palaces, and admission is free. Don't miss it!
It is a family-run business that has been serving food for several generations and is very well located, near the Alhambra entrance (Paseo de la Sabica 1).
After eating and resting, your next stop is Plaza Nueva, the Bañuelo, Carrera del Darro and Paseo de los Tristes.
From the Alhambra you can walk down Cuesta de Gomerez (see map) leading to Plaza Nueva. It’s a wonderful walk through the Alhambra Forest.
After passing through the Gate of Justice and the Pilar de Carlos V, the road will take you to the Washington Irving Fountain and the Granadas Gate.
It is an easy and pleasant 10 minute walk downhill.
If you prefer to use public transport, any Alhambra Bus will take you closer to Plaza Nueva.
The narrow cobblestone street named Carrera del Darro and the Paseo de los Tristes (which means 'the sad people promenade') are some of the most beautiful places in Granada.
Located at the river Darro valley, they offer stunning views of the Alhambra.
Start your walk at Plaza Nueva, which is the oldest square in Granada.
This area is closed to private transport. You can only get here on foot, by bus or by taxi.
There are several bars with terraces in the area, where you can have some 'tapas' (snacks) or coffee and enjoy the beautiful views of the Alhambra.
- You can get to Carrera del Darro by bus. Take any bus that stops at Gran Via and get off at the Catedral. It´s a 2 minutes walk from there.
- It's not necessary to take the small Albaycin microbuses that are usually full.
- For more detailed information see: Carrera del Darro, Paseo de los Tristes and Plaza Nueva.
In the Bañuelo you will see some impressive Arab baths dating back to the 11th century.
They are one of the most complete and preserved ancient Arab baths in Spain, and they are located at the foot of the Alhambra.
The Bañuelo has miraculously survived, even though a private house was once built over it.
Luckily, it was declared a National Monument in 1918.
- The Bañuelo and the Cathedral of Granada are located in the city centre, about a 5-minute walk apart from each other.
- If you are staying in Granada for 3 days it is recommended to get the combined Monumentos Andalusies ticket at the official Patronato de la Alhambra website. It costs only 5 euros and includes the Bañuelo among others.
- On Sunday the entrance to all these monuments is free.
- Note: the Bañuelo closes at 17:00 in winter, and it doesn't open until 17:30 in summer.
- More information in: The Bañuelo.
The nearby Calderia Vieja is a pedestrian road that is full of arabic tea houses 'teterias', where you can have or buy some exotic tea or try some Moroccan pastries. There are also many nice shops like in a traditional bazaar.
Things to Do in Granada - Day 2After visiting the Alhambra on the first day, you can visit several other well-worthy sites, but ultimately all will depend on the tastes of the visitor.
On the second day you can visit the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel, the Bañuelo, or explore the old neighbourhoods of the Albaicin and the Sacromonte.
At night, you can have a beer and a 'tapa' (Tapas Tasting and Night Tour), relax in the Arab Baths (Hammam Arab Baths) or see a flamenco show (Flamenco Tablao Jardines de Zoraya).
The Cathedral and the Royal Chapel
The Cathedral of Granada was built on the site of the former Great Mosque.
The first stone of the Cathedral of Granada was placed in 1523, but it was not finished until 1704, 181 years later.
It has an imposing interior with several beautiful chapels.
The Royal Chapel is the burial place of the Catholic Kings and is adjacent to the Cathedral.
- There is no need to buy tickets in advance as they are always available.
- The best way to descover the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel is with a professional tourist guide, see Granada Cathedral and Royal Chapel Tour.
- Note that the Cathedral is open in the morning and evening from Monday to Saturday, but is closed in the morning on Sundays and on public holidays.
- For more detailed information see: The Cathedral and the Royal Chapel.
Visit the Madraza, the only Nasrid building that is still standing in the suburb of the Great Mosque (today converted into the Cathedral of Granada).
It was the first university of Granada, founded by Yusuf I in 1349.
Few things remain from the Nasrid period, but it is worth seeing its oratory with a beautiful mihrab.
The original archway can be found in the Archaeological Museum, another place you should visit.
- Every day at 10:30 there is a guided tour, included in the ticket price. Only with this visit you will be able to access the upper floor, where you will find treasures from the time of the Catholic Monarchs, when this was their Town Hall.
- La Madraza is open daily from 10:00 to 20:00 in summer and from 10:00 to 19:00 in winter.
- The Cathedral, Bib Rambla Square, Madraza and Alcalceria are are located within 100 metres from each other
As you leave the Madraza, you can enjoy the atmosphere of Bib Rambla Square and have a look at the Alcaiceria full of Arabic silk stalls.
There are many narrow streets that lead to the Zacatín and Plaza Bib-Rambla, commercial areas since ancient times.
We recommend that from the Zacatín you cross Reyes Católicos street along Puente López Rubio street and continue straight on along Puente del Carbon street to the Corral del Carbon (Coal House).
It is the best-preserved Andalusian citadel in Spain. Also built by Yusuf I and dating from the same period as the Madraza, with the beautiful Moorish archway.
It is even more surprising to know that this beautiful building was built for the farmers to sell grain and to house goods.
The interior is simple and the rooms have been completely refurbished, leaving little to admire apart from the inner courtyard with an original fountain in the middle and the stone pilars.
The Corral del Carbón is more of a historic significance than aesthetic. Admission is free and it is open every day.
It's only 3 minutes walk from the Cathedral.
You are in a popular area for tapas bars, so we recommend that you take the opportunity to stroll around Plaza del Carmen or Calle Navas to find a place you like.
You can also eat in the Cathedral area: Plaza de la Romanilla, Plaza de la Pescadería or in one of the restaurants in the San Agustín Market.
When you have visited the Corral del Carbón, walk along Calle Reyes Católicos towards Plaza Nueva. Let's explore the treasures hidden in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Granada, the Albaycin.
Albaycin and Sacromonte
The districts of Albaycin and Sacromonte are two of the most historic places to visit in Granada.
The Albaycin is located on a hill opposite the Alhambra and is one of the most typical districts of Granada where you can find narrow streets lined with old Arab houses.
You can enjoy stunning views of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolás - the most famous viewing-point of Granada.
The Sacromonte is famous for its gypsy caves, beautiful natural surroundings and flamenco shows.
- You can reach the Sacromonte and Albaycin by red minibuses that stop at Plaza Isabel Catolica near Cathedral.
- You can also walk, but it is a very steep hill. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes as the streets in these neighbourhoods are cobbled.
- It is also very easy to get lost as the streets do not follow straight paths.
- In these neighbourhoods you can enjoy the art of "tapas" and see flamenco shows, and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets.
- For more detailed information see: the Albaycin, the Sacromonte and how to reach Albaycin and Sacromonte.
Calderia Vieja pedestrian road in the Arab quarter of Granada is full of tea houses 'teterias' where you can have or buy some tea or try some fresh crepes, sweet pistachio cake, assorted Morracan pastries or even go for a dinner (Moroccan traditional food).
Things to Do in Granada - Day 3If you are staying in Granada for three days, we have chosen the Cartuja Monastery as a starting point. After lunch visit San Jerónimo Monastery, Basilica of San Juan de Dios and Royal Hospital.
They are very close to the centre, so you can walk around and enjoy the many other historic buildings in the area. Than visit the Sacromonte gypsy neighborhood.
Between the Cathedral and the Jardines del Triunfo, strolling through the neighbourhood until you reach San Juan de Dios street, you will discover beautiful corners such as the Plaza de la Universidad or the Plaza de la Encarnación.
You will be able to discover the Botanical Garden, the Faculty of Law, the church of Saints Justus and Pastor and Perpetuo Socorro churches, among others.
It is an amazing place to visit and should have been included in day 1, but because its location on the outskirts of the city it appears in day three.
The monastery looks simple from the outside, but once inside the unexpected treasures of its chapels begin to reveal themselves.
It has an exquisite baroque interior, awesome architecture and wonderful paintings. The Sacristy is overwhelming full of great art masterpieces, the ceilings are absolutely stunning.
- If you have a car you can park within the monastery courtyard.
- High quality audio guide is included in admission and explains the sculptures and paintings.
- The monastery is included in our Granada Card.
- It is a 35-45 mins walk from the Puerta Real but it’s only 10-15 mins by bus.
- It is not on the general tour route, very few tourists around.
Let's start by visiting the wonderful San Jerónimo Monastery, another of the jewels of the Renaissance.
Built between 1504 and 1547, this architectural complex consites of the church and the monastery, It was declared a Heritage of Cultural Interest and Historic-Artistic Monument.
Important artists such as Diego de Siloé, Jacobo Florentino and Pablo de Rojas, among others, are linked to its creation.
It opens at 10:00 and you'll probably need a couple of hours to see it properly.
Basilica of San Juan de Dios and Royal Hospital
When you leave, don't stray too far, because right next door is a masterpiece of the Baroque period: the Basilica de San Juan de Dios.
Then, walk up San Juan de Dios street until you reach the Jardines del Triunfo, a key place in the history of Granada.
Here we invite you to visit the Royal Hospital of Granada.
Founded in 1504 by the Catholic Monarchs, it has an interesting mix of styles that reflect how architecture evolved between the 15th and 18th centuries.
It currently belongs to the University of Granada and where the Rectorate is located.
We find ourselves facing another imposing monument declared National Historic-Artistic Site for its outstanding value.
In the afternoon, we go to Sacromonte, famous for its caves, its gypsy 'zambras' and its Abbey.
You can walk all along Gran Vía in the direction of Plaza Isabel la Católica and Plaza Nueva, and try one of the best ice creams in Granada at Heladería Los Italianos.
You can also get on a bus and get off at the Cathedral bus stop. The ice cream shop is just across the street.
Now you have to decide whether you want to walk up to Sacromonte or use the city bus. The C34 route will take you there.
In the Sacromonte neighborhood there are several caves, zambras and tablaos where the visitor can enjoy a flamenco show.
The Albaycin also has several bars and restaurants with flamenco shows.
- The flamenco shows in Sacromonte and Albayzin start at 21:00-22:00 h.
- Some venues offer only the show and others also dinner.
- Normally the price of the show is 20-30 euros.
- You should bear in mind that, in most cases, the shows are aimed at foreigners.
We hope you like the selection we have made of the best places to visit in Granada in three days.
There are other alternatives, depending on the interests, tastes and ages of the people.
A museum or child-oriented attraction could be included, such as the Science Park, if you are travelling with your family, for example.
If you are interested in art or literature, the house-museum of Federico García-Lorca or the house-museum of Manuel de Falla, the Museum of Fine Arts or the Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta are a must. Although you can also visit them on your next trip to Granada.
Flamenco ShowsIn the Sacromonte there are many caves bringing you the true taste of Spain through authentic flamenco shows.
The Albaycin also has several restaurants with flamenco dancing.
Tips and Recommendations▸ Flamenco shows in the Sacromonte and the Albaycin start at 21:00. Some places offer only the show and others also a dinner.
▸ Usually the price of a show is between 20 and 30 euros, but there are other places (usually not in the caves) where you can see an authentic show for only 15 euros.
▸ It has to be noted that, in many cases, flamenco shows are orientated towards foreigners.
For more detailed information see: Flamenco in Granada
Tapas Bars in Granada"Ir de tapas" (To go for a drink plus a free snack) in Granada is not only a tradition; it is a philosophy of life.
This way you can quickly taste the variety of Granadian cuisine, and it is free (but of course you have to pay for the drink!).
Tips and Recommendations▸ The best areas where you can enjoy a good tapa are: the Realejo, the Carrera del Darro, Plaza Nueva, the Paseo de los Tristes, Plaza de Toros, and Elvira and Navas streets.
For more detailed information see: Granada Restaurants and Bars.