Mirador de San Nicolás
If you are planning a trip to Granada, grab a pen and paper and jot down Mirador de San Nicolás as a must-see. There are many reasons why this is one of Granada’s most emblematic spots, and deservedly so. The church exudes history on every side, and romantic buffs can take in one of the most spectacular sunsets from here. In fact, former U.S. President Bill Clinton rated the views from the overlook as one of the best in the world during his trip in the summer of 1997.
We recommend this stop for its stunning panoramic views of the city and this is everything you need to know before heading up to Mirador de San Nicolás.
What can be seen from the Mirador de San Nicolás overlook?
This spot offers one of the best panoramic views of Granada. The most comprehensive views of the Alhambra and its gardens, with Sierra Nevada as the backdrop, can be seen (and admired). The Generalife is on the left and the Queen’s Dressing Room (Peinador de la Reina), the Nasrid palaces and the Alcazaba are on the right. You will want to remember these sights forever.
One of the most popular photos taken from the scenic overlook is of the wall on the far end of the small square in front of the church, where visitors sit with their legs hanging as they marvel at the landscape.
Church of San Nicolás
Once you have basked in these amazing views, taken the obligatory photos and assimilated everything, it’s time to turn around. With your back to the overlook, you will be facing the Church of San Nicolás.
The cobblestone pavement you are (or will be) walking on was one of the first lands inhabited by the Visigoths, and later, during the Arab conquest, it was a key enclave of the Alcazaba Cadima.
The church was built in 1525 on an ancient mosque, like many other churches in Granada. The building with a Gothic and Mudejar style features a single central nave and two side chapels. The white façade is perfectly paired with the reddish hue of the Arab tiles. This scene goes hand in hand with the lookout. The church is open to visitors during service hours and donations received are allocated to the renovations it needs.
Where to eat?
As the scenic overlook tour continues, it’s time to stop for a bite to eat. The bars, restaurants and cafes behind the church are a gift for the eyes and the stomach.
For an afternoon beer, go to Bar Kiki, which has an outdoor terrace that serves drinks and food. If you like wine, ask the staff for recommendations since the wine list includes local wines. If you’re hungry, ortiguillas (sea anemones) are the signature dish.
The restaurant Balcón de San Nicolás is located directly below the overlook, so it boasts the same views but without the crowds. The small terrace is a perfect spot when the weather is nice. Some of the dishes include grilled calamari or sea bass en papillote.
For a romantic dinner, El Huerto de Juan Ranas is the ideal restaurant. Traditional Andalusian cuisine served in a Mudejar-inspired setting. Aubergine with honey, strawberry gazpacho and cod confit are some of the creations made by the restaurant’s fusion kitchen.
For additional alternatives, walk down from the overlook to Plaza de San Miguel Bajo, which has more bars and restaurants to choose from. For example, Bar Lara serves tapas and El Yunque features traditional Andalusian food.
This tour will most certainly give you a bigger perspective of the city. Now do you understand why Bill Clinton is such a fan of this sunset?
Information of interest
How to get to the Mirador de San Nicolás
- By bus: Take the C1 or C2 bus lines that cover the Albaicín quarter.
- By car: It's best to leave it parked and make your way to the scenic overlook via the other two options since the narrow streets have extremely tight curves.
- By foot: The best alternative is to walk up along Paseo de los Tristes, or if you prefer, cross Plaza Larga and continue along Cuesta de Alhacaba.