Is Granada Worth Visiting? Local Expert Answers [2024]

Is Granada Worth Visiting? Local Expert Answers [2024]

Are you wondering if it’s worth visiting Granada?

The short answer is YES!

Granada is an important historic city in Andalusia in Southern Spain, with the world-famous Alhambra attracting millions of visitors every year.

If that wasn’t enough, it will charm you with the beautifully preserved historic old town (Albaicin), centuries-old monasteries, authentic flamenco shows in the Sacromonte district and stunning views anywhere you go.

If you have more time to explore, you can venture all the way to the Sierra Nevada mountain range to enjoy some winter sports or hiking in the summer.

This article will cover all the questions you might have before visiting Granada.

Alhambra in Granada, Spain
Alhambra Gardens

Where is Granada in Spain?

Granada is located in Southern Spain, in the autonomous region of Andalusia. The closest airport to Granada is the one in Malaga.

Granada is just on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, making it a popular destination not just for history lovers, but also for those who like hiking and winter sports.

Distances from Granada:

  • Granada to Malaga – 125 kilometres
  • Granada to Seville – 248 kilometres
  • Granada to Marbella – 178 kilometres
  • Granada to Cordoba – 162 kilometres

See the location of Granda on the map below.

What Region is Granada in?

Granada is located in the autonomous region of Andalusia. It is one of its biggest cities and one of the oldest ones too.

Albaicin in Granada, Spain
Views of Alhambra from Sacromonte district

Is Granada Worth Visiting?


Granada is certainly worth a visit if you’re planning to explore Southern Spain. It is one of the most important and oldest historic cities in the region of Andalusia.

Even if you can only make it for a day trip, you can squeeze all the main higlights into a single day of exploring – just prepare to walk a lot!

The highlights of Granada include:

  • Alhambra, with Nazaries Palace and its gardens
  • Generalife Gardens
  • the Alcazaba
  • Albaicin – the old town
  • Sacromonte district
  • Granada Cathedral

There is plenty more to discover in Granada in addition to the highlights mentioned above. Scroll down lower to see recommended things to do in Granada.

What’s the Weather Like in Granada?

The weather in Granada is very different from the coastline at Costa del Sol. It could be 20C and sunny on the coast, but very cold and as low as 12C by the time you get to Granada.

I made the mistake myself when I assumed the weather will be similar without checking the forecast. Safe to say I was freezing and had to buy some extra warm clothes!

If you’re visiting Granada in the summer, the temperatures are much higher than by the coastline, and there is no beach to cool yourself off.

Average temperatures in Granada throughout the year:

  • January: 12C
  • February: 14C
  • March: 18C
  • April: 20C
  • May: 24C
  • June: 30C
  • July: 34C
  • August: 35C
  • September: 29C
  • October: 22C
  • November: 16C
  • December: 13C
Hotel Casa 1800 Granada

What To Do in Granada, Spain

Even if you’re planning to spend more than 3 days in Granada, I’m pretty confident you won’t run out of things to do.

I’ve been in Granada already twice, I have still not covered all the opportunities it has to offer. Below is a short list of the highlights.

Things to do in Granada:

  • The Alhambra Complex (Palacio Nazaries, Gardens, the Alcazaba and Generalife Gardens & Palace)
  • Albaicin district
  • Sacromonte district
  • Flamenco show (in Sacromonte)
  • Roman Baths (Albaicin)
  • The Cathedral of Granada
  • Plaza de Toros de Granada
  • The Science Museum
  • Visiting Miradors in Granada (viewpoints)
  • Abadía del Sacromonte
  • Carmen de los Martires (gardens)
  • Tapas Tour of Granada
  • The Alcaicería (The Great Bazaar of Granada)
  • Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción “La Cartuja”

Granada Monuments Tickets & Tours

Here are a few guided trip options for visiting the main sights in Alhambra. To check availability and prices please click on the link below.

How Many Days do You Need to Explore Granada in Spain?

If you’re in a rush, you can see the highlights of the city in one full day.

In one day, you can manage to see the Alhambra including Generalife Gardens, and much of the Albaicin and Sacromonte districts, which are considered the main tourist highlights of the visit.

Ideally, though, you would have at least 2 – 3 days to see the city and what it has to offer at a slower pace and to be able to take it all in.

Where to Park in Granada?

I have always visited Granada by train or bus, so I don’t have personal experience with parking, however, this website lists some recommended parking options in Granada, along with prices and locations.

If you’re staying in a hotel, they will probably offer you a parking spot, but do keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to find parking in the Albaicin district since most of it is just narrow residential streets.

granada spain 245
Rooftop bar in Granada

Is One Day Enough to Explore Granada?

One day is enough time to see the highlights of Granada – see my post below for the full one-day itinerary. If you want to explore the city better and experience more of what it has to offer, a weekend break would be ideal.

READ MORE: How to Spend One Day in Granada: The Highlights Itinerary

Where to Eat in Granada? What are the Best Restaurants?

If there is one thing Granada is known for, it’s also the food!

In particular, the old habit of tapas with every drink. Something that I very much appreciated on my visits.

As soon as you sit down and order a drink, a small plate of food arrives promptly at your table. It could be a small piece of baguette with jamon, or as big as a bowl of Russian salad.

Food is a very personal concept and everybody has different expectations, so what I like might not be to taste to somebody else. However, when I look for restaurants, I want not only good food, but also a beautiful setting to enjoy it in. Below are some of the places that tick both of the boxes!

Restaurante Mirador de Morayma, Granada

Restaurante Carmen St Miguel, Granada

Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas, Granada

Where to Stay in Granada?

Granada has plenty of options for accommodation, whether you’re looking for a posh hotel, hostel or an apartment in the old town.

The only practical tip I would give is that if you’re booking accommodation in the old town (Albaicin), the access to most of the properties is limited and the taxi won’t be able to drive you right to the door in most cases. That means you might have to drag your suitcases up the hill yourself.

At the same time, I think staying in Albaicin gives you a chance to find a place with beautiful Alhambra views!

One of those places I stayed first time was Hotel Casa 1800, set in a stunning historic building that will make you feel like you’ve been transported in time. It’s also a short walk from the main pathway next to the Darro river and the perfect place for exploring Albaicin, and for access to the Alhambra entrance.

Generalife Gardens in Granada, Spain
Generalife Gardens

Explore More in Granada

Generalife Palace & Gardens, Granada

The Charming Albaicin Neighbourhood of Granada

How to Spend One Day in Granada, Spain: The Highlights Itinerary

Getting from Seville to Granada: Your Detailed Transport Guide

13 Beautiful Photography Locations in Granada: Tips from a Local Expat

How to Get from Malaga to Granada: Your Detailed Transport Guide

Visiting Alhambra in Granada: The Complete Guide

The Alcazaba of Alhambra, Granada

Carmen de los Martires, Granada

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links - if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

Make yourself at home and find the best places to explore in Andalusia and beyond.

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