El Banuelo: The Oldest Arab Baths of Granada

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Arab baths sprang out in Granada, in the former Al Andalus region, as meeting points for the local residents. They are the descendants of old Roman baths.

In addition to serving the practical benefits of personal hygiene, they also have a spiritual meaning – in the Muslim religion, water was a purifying element that help to wash off the sins against the precepts of the Koran.

The oldest one of the four Arab Baths in Granada and also best preserved is the El Bañuelo, which is located close to the Darro river in the Albaicin district. It dates back to the 11 century with three well-preserved rooms beautifully restored and available to the public.

The baths were known as Baños del Nogal or Baños de los Axares (‘of health’), and they are one of the finest preserved examples of Arab baths in Spain. During the conquest of Granada and following Christians taking over the city, many of the city’s Arab baths were destroyed as they considered them a place of sin and questionable morals.

El Bañuelo escaped this fate because it was considered a public bathhouse, and therefore remained largely intact. There are three well-preserved rooms in El Bañuelo today – a small lobby leads to a cool room, followed by a warm or main room, and finally a hot room (what you would call a sauna today!).

If you’re strolling along the Darro river, you will reach it in just 5 minutes and it’s well worth the 2 euro entry investment – for most of the time, it’s also pretty empty! I have added some images below.

Bonus tip: if you get a ticket to the Andalusian Monuments, you can get in here for free, if you visit within the same day.

Opening hours: 15 Sept – 30 April Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm, 1 May – 14 Sept Monday to Sunday 9am to 2.30pm (siesta break) and 5pm to 8.30pm.


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Albaicin in Granada, Spain
Roman baths of Granada
Roman baths of Granada
Roman baths of Granada
Roman baths of Granada

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Southern Spain Travel Tips


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Lucia is a founder and travel writer at Viva La Vita. She has been living on Costa del Sol in Southern Spain (Fuengirola) since 2020. She helps travellers plan the perfect trip to Spain thanks to her local insights, practical tips and unique insider perspective complemented by original photography.

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