One-day trip to Granada: the Ultimate Travel Guide with – or without – Alhambra

Granada is a city that exudes magic and charm at every turn, with its diverse neighbourhoods and rich historical heritage waiting to be explored. From the magnificent Alhambra to the bustling streets of Albayzin, there’s something in Granada for every traveller. If you’re planning a one-day trip to the enchanted Granada, We have compiled the best recommendations just for you!

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Morning: Discover the Alhambra

Begin your day with a visit to the iconic Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Queue jump by booking a guided tour to Alhambra in advance and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife​​.

Do you want to visit the Alhambra on your own? You always have the option of booking your ticket to Alhambra – and the Nasrid Palaces – by yourself. We recommend doing so at least 15 days in advance of your arrival if you come during the medium tourist season and at least a month in advance if it is high season.

Alternative Morning: Palace of Charles V

Begin your day in Granada at the Palace of Charles V, an architectural gem within the Alhambra complex. Take a walk through its grand corridors, admire the unique circular patio, and explore the two onsite museums. This palace is a magnificent testament to Spain’s Renaissance period.

Inside the Palace of Charles V, you’ll find the Alhambra Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts that highlight Granada’s rich Moorish history. The museum features an impressive collection of Hispano-Moresque and Nasrid art, including ceramics, woodwork, plasterwork, and metalwork, dating from the 9th to the 16th century. As you explore the exhibits, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the artistic and cultural significance of the Alhambra, making your visit to Granada even more enriching.

Afterwards, seek tranquillity in the Alhambra forest, also known as the “Dehesa del Generalife“. Stroll around the surroundings of the red fortress where you will enjoy not only nature but also the refreshing shade even on the hottest summer afternoons. And if you would like to venture into the upper forest area in search of the serene sounds of nature, you will discover the “Silla del Moro”, a small castle with panoramic views of the Alhambra and Granada. A much longer route will undoubtedly prevent you from enjoying other sites, but an early morning walk blends history and natural beauty, creating a memorable start to your day in Granada.

As an alternative to the great Alhambra, you can visit the Granada Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece located in the heart of the city. As one of the most exquisite examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture, the cathedral is a visual feast of grand pillars, intricate carvings, and stunning chapels. The main altar, illuminated by a lantern tower, is a sight to behold. Step inside and let the cathedral’s grandeur and peaceful atmosphere captivate you. This visit will deepen your appreciation for Granada’s rich cultural and historical tapestry. So, be sure to include the Granada Cathedral on your must-see list, as exploring its stunning interior is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Afternoon: Explore Albayzin and Sacromonte

Venture into Albayzin, the ancient Moorish quarter. The narrow, winding streets are a joy to wander through. Don’t miss the Mirador de San Nicolas, where you’ll get a stunning view of the Alhambra. After Albayzin, head over to Sacromonte, renowned for its traditional cave houses and flamenco shows. Consider booking an electric bike or segway tour for a unique way to explore these areas​​.

Our recommendation is always to get lost in the streets of the Albayzín and Sacromonte neighbourhoods. However, if you are travelling alone and want to take a guided tour in company or meet new people, you can opt for a free guided tour.

Evening: Experience Authentic Flamenco

As the sun sets, head to some of many flamenco shows in Albayzín or Sacromonte. Here, you can savour delicious – paid – tapas while enjoying a flamenco show inside a traditional cave or tablao setting​​. Below, you can grab your tickets for some of the most popular Flamenco shows in Granada.

Food and Drink

When it comes to dining, Granada offers an eclectic mix of Spanish, Arabic, and world cuisine. Enjoy fresh seafood at La Esquinita de Javi €€€, try the best churros and chocolate at Café Fútbol €€, or indulge in contemporary Andalusian dishes at Atelier Casa de Comidas €€€€, a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant. If you’re in the mood for something different and cheaper ones: try going for tapas in those typical bars for local people where you can enjoy small dishes of food included with your drink. Some of those hidden gems are Bar La Riviera, El bar de Nino, Bar Teruel, Bar Más que vinos o the famous Bar Los Diamantes.

Getting Around

Granada is a city best discovered on foot, but be prepared for some uphill walks. For a smoother journey, consider using public transport. If you are in a hurry, better call taxis. Cycling is not a good option if you intend to visit the Albaicín or Sacromonte neighbourhoods and are not physically fit, as steep slopes and cobblestone floors abound.

Stay more

If you decide to extend your stay, Granada offer a huge variety of places to spend some nights. You can choose from cheap but comfortable backpackers hostels or even to sleep like a Queen – or King – in 5-stars Luxury Hotels.

This is just a sneak peek into what Granada can offer. Visit all our site for more detailed information on each location, including opening hours, ticket prices, and tips to maximise your visit. Stay tuned!