Situated on the southern side of Spain, Granada is one of Spain’s best-loved holiday destinations. Famed throughout the world for the stunning Alhambra palace-fortress which overlooks the city and its rich Moorish heritage, Granada affords plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. When the sun goes down, Granada’s vibrant night scene comes alive. From enjoying a beer and tapas in a terrace bar to visiting busy clubs or watching authentic flamenco dancing, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the evenings here.
When to Visit Granada
During the summer Granada enjoys its warmest weather with the average temperature at around 25°C. Summer is a particularly attractive time to visit Granada as this is when the city hosts most of its major outdoor concerts, festivals and fiestas. However, the climate can become uncomfortably hot in July and August here with temperatures reaching highs of 40°C.
The shoulder seasons of late spring and autumn are also attractive times to visit Granada. During these seasons the weather is slightly cooler and there are fewer crowds.
Where to Stay
Granada’s accommodation scene has improved significantly in recent years. From luxury hotels in historic buildings to cheap and cheerful guesthouses, accommodation in Granada runs the full gamut. Much of Granada’s accommodation is concentrated in the city centre and close to the city’s main attraction, the Alhambra. In addition, there are a number of accommodations in close proximity to the university.
What to Do in Granada
Granada’s principal tourist attraction is its thirteenth-century fortress, La Alhambra. The stunning fortress is perched on a hill overlooking much of Granada and is a magnificent piece of architecture. Visitors can explore the citadel, called Alcazaba, which is the oldest part of the city, and the Alhambra Palace. One of the highlights of the palace is the famous Patio de los Leones which has an impressive basin held up by 12 marble lions. The fortress is encircled by the Generalife Gardens. These landscaped gardens are a beautiful setting for a leisurely stroll and in the summer months the gardens are an atmospheric stage for outdoor concerts.
Sacromonte is Granada’s gypsy district and is famous for its cave dwellings carved into the sides of the hills. The narrow, winding paths of the Sacromonte are great fun to explore and are lined with local shops and welcoming bars. In addition, there are a number of historic sites in this area including medieval walls and arches, quaint plazas and old churches (many of which were once mosques).
From the outside Hamman El Bañuelo does not look particularly noteworthy, however the building is home to Spain’s best-preserved Arabic bath house. The historic baths are thought to be constructed around 1,000 years ago and used to be a major socializing and bathing venue during Muslim Granada. Today, visitors can walk around the bath house to explore its beautiful architecture and learn how the baths house worked. There is also a scenic courtyard outside which is worth a visit.
The Royal Chapel and Cathedral are two sights not to be missed while on holiday in Granada. The Royal Chapel, Capilla Real in Spanish, was commissioned by Fernando and Isabel, Granada’s Christian conquerors. The chapel is also the resting place of the conquerors. Next door is the Cathedral which was commissioned by Carlos V in the early sixteenth century as he thought the Royal Chapel was not grand enough for his late grandparents. Sadly, the cathedral took too long to complete and was never used as a crypt for his grandparents. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful building featuring both gothic and renaissance styles and has an interesting museum which showcases some of the cathedral’s curious relics.