Probably the most famous mirador – or viewpoint – in Granada, Spain: Mirador de san Nicolas stands on the hill directly opposite the Alhambra, next to the church of San Nicolas built in 1515.
Like many churches in Granada, it was also built on the grounds of a former mosque.
The mirador is one of the most visited places in Granada as it gives you the best views of Alhambra, both at sunrise and at sunset. As you would expect, it’s also predictably crowded.
My last trip to Granada was in October, and surprisingly the crowds were still growing strong. Tickets to Alhambra were sold out a few days in advance (instead of a few weeks like in the summer), and the Albaicin district was so crowded that cars had trouble navigating the main road by the Darro river.
As such, I was expecting the mirador to be very busy, and it probably was in the evening sunset hours. Luckily in the morning, the view is reserved for the chosen few who make the trip early in the morning.
In October, before they move the clock in Spain, the sunrise is actually at decent times just after 8am, so you don’t have to drag yourself out of bed at some ridiculous hour to see it.
Before the sun gets out, photography is quite a bit of a challenge as the whole Albaicin is covered in grey cold shade that’s very unforgiving, no matter what you’re trying to capture. As soon as the sun comes out, it’s a different story.
Below are some of the photos I captured on the last trip, which are probably my favorite photos of Alhambra. If you would like some tips for what to do next to the mirador and how to get the best photos at sunset, head to the bottom of the post for some extra tips.
In the meantime, enjoy the sunrise tour!
Tips for Visiting Mirador de San Nicolas
- If you would like to capture some sunset pictures, it’s nearly impossible to do that in the season and in autumn. There are too many people gathering here and you will only stand a chance if you’re visiting Granada in the winter when it is less busy
- You can get around the issue in the summer, if you visit one of the restaurants which sit directly under the Mirador – for example, Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas, check the pictures of Alhambra from there in this post.
- There is a small square next to the church where you can enjoy some coffee and breakfast after your sunrise session
- Access to the mirador is possible with a taxi too, so you don’t have to walk up the hills if you don’t want to. Just tell the driver to drop you off at the mirador or one of the restaurants under it
- As early as October or November, you will get a chance to glimpse some snow-covered peaks of Sierra Nevada behind the Alhambra – a sight certainly worth capturing. The snow will stay there normally up to March or April.
- Late autumn, spring and winter are less busy for visiting Granada and you will be able to enjoy the mirador and many other beautiful places in the city in a relative peace
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.
- Alhambra & Nasrid Palaces Fast-Track Ticket – enjoy a fast-track access to all the sights within the grounds of Alhambra, including the Generalife Gardens. Does not include a guide.
- Alhambra, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife Tour – fast track entry to the Alhambra complex with a private or shared tour guide.
- Nasrid Palaces & Generalife Ticket with Audioguide – the same tickets to Alhambra this time including an audio guide in the language of your choice.
- Sacromonte: Flamenco Show at Cuevas Los Tarantos Tickets – entry tickets to the popular flamenco performance in the Sacromonte district of Granada
Explore More in Granada
La Piccola Carmela: The Best Italian Restaurant in Granada
Best Restaurants in Granada: Great Food & Free Tapas
The Queen’s Home: Palacio Dar al-Horra, Granada
How to Spend One Day in Granada, Spain: The Highlights Itinerary
The Palace of Charles V in Alhambra, Granada
Huerto del Loro: The Best Views of Albaicin, Granada
Visiting Alhambra in Granada: The Complete Guide
Visiting the Monastery of San Jerónimo, Granada
13 Beautiful Photography Locations in Granada: Tips from a Local Expat
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2 thoughts on “Autumn Sunrise at Mirador De San Nicolas, Granada”
Which lens did you use for capturing Alhambra from this vantage point?
Hi Omer, last couple of years I’ve been using Sony camera with Sony FE 2.8 / 24 – 70 GM Lens, which is what was used for these photos. It’s a pretty versatile lens perfect for travel, and not too heavy either!