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7 Best things to see & do in Granada

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros
  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Landscape view of the Alhambra Palace Fortress with mountains behind

Bucket List Experience

The Alhambra

The pinnacle of the exquisite refinement and sophistication of Moorish Spain, the Alhambra is where the Arabian Nights come to life.

Dominating Granada from its spectacular hilltop location, with the Sierra Nevada looming in the background, it was the base of the Nasrid kings, the Alhambra ruled from the 13th century until 1492.

Visits include the main palace with the famous lion fountain patio, the Generalife summer palace and its fountain-filled courtyard, the enchanting gardens, the Alcazaba fortress and the Renaissance Palace of Charles V with its circular courtyard: so allow at least three hours to see everything while drinking in the unforgettable views.

Adult price: £12

Good for age: 18+

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

A flamenco dancer holds a fan up to the sky

Bucket List Experience

Flamenco in Granada

Andalusia expresses its passionate soul in the guitars, singing and twirling, stamping steps of its native flamenco – declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

Most scholars believed the seeds of flamenco arrived in the 15th century with the Roma from India. Over the centuries they slowly migrated west with their castanets and tambourines, absorbing songs and dances in the Middle East and North Africa along the way. The Spanish at first considered it a foreign art, or ‘Flemish’ – hence flamenco.

By the 19th century flamenco as we know it emerged – popularized by Bizet’s Carmen – with shows performed in cafés cantantes (singers’ cafés), the forerunners to the modern tablaos. These are intimate venues with small wooden stages, perfect for the exhilarating machine gun-like zapateado (dancing).

You can hear flamenco’s eastern origins in the singer’s cante jondo (‘deep song’), evoking pain, sorrow and joy, while dancers express each emotion with their bodies, driven by the pulsing percussive strumming of the guitars.

A good show, and there are many here, can send chills down your spine with their duende, the ecstatic ‘demon’ spirit that brings listeners out of themselves.

Adult price: £15

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 90 minutes

When: Daily

Freq: daily

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Granada’s best food & drink

Bucket List Experience

Granada’s best food & drink

Andalusian cooking is renowned for fresh seafood, olives and olive oil, sun-ripened vegetables, garlic and paprika.

Cooking is simple, letting fresh, delicious ingredients speak for themselves. Much of the preparation in the kitchen is minimal – fish is usually lightly dredged in flour and golden fried in olive oil.

Cold soups star in summer, hearty stews in the winter and melt-in-your-mouth cured ham (jamon serrano) year-round. Many of the desserts, many involving almonds, go back to Arab times.

Sangria, as elsewhere in Spain, is a popular drink, as is sherry.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Hammam at Hammam Al Andalus

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

A green tiled pool surrounded by arches with a curved ceiling

Experience

Stunningly-restored 13th-century Arab baths, using pure water from the Sierra Nevada in a range of Moroccan-style aromatherapy massages. Numbers are limited to make sure you book online before you go.

Adult price: £30

Min age 5

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 1-3 hours

Hammam at Aljibe de San Miguel

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

A visitor bathing in a large rectangular bath inside the Hammam

Experience

Atmospheric, Arab-style baths by Granada cathedral, with a hammam, aromatherapy treatments and exceptional massages including al-hakam, a full-body coating of warm chocolate, pepper and cinnamon.

Adult price: £22

Min age 10

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 1-3 hours

Aljibe de San Miguel

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

A visitor bathing in a large rectangular bath inside the Hammam

Experience

Atmospheric, Arab-style baths by Granada cathedral, with a hammam, aromatherapy treatments and exceptional massages including al-hakam, a full-body coating of warm chocolate, pepper and cinnamon.

Adult price: £22

Min age 10

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 1-3 hours

Royal Chapel of Granada

  • Granada, Andalusia, Spain

Close up of the exterior showing intricate stone detail

Experience

This jewel of intricate, lace-like Isabelline Gothic architecture, built just after the end of the Reconquista between 1505-17, holds the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella, their daughter Joanna ‘the Mad’ and her husband Philip – parents of emperor Charles V.

Good for age: 18+