Granada in 4 days
Four days in Granada offer countless opportunities. If you are planning a lengthy stay in the former capital of the Nasrid kingdom, this guide will fully immerse you in the charms of this cosmopolitan city filled with old legends, historic remains and hidden spots. In addition to the must-see World Heritage Sites such as the Alhambra and Albaicín, there are many other places to visit. Experience the magic of gypsy zambras in Sacromonte, pay tribute to Federico García Lorca’s statue at his former summer home and explore the nearby Los Cahorros gorges along the Monachil River. Be sure to also visit the many tapas areas and try the local cuisine with views of the Alhambra.
There are many sides to Granada that can sometimes be eclipsed by the majesty and fame of the Alhambra. This guide will help you discover all of them.
Itinerary day 1
Let's start at the beginning. This 13th century Nasrid fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, is the jewel of Granada's crown, as noted by ancient Arabic writers. It is not to be missed under any circumstances.
The terrace of this national parador hotel invites us to gaze at the Generalife gardens as we dine on a selection of Spanish-Moorish creations.
Connected by a wall to the Alhambra's Alcazaba, this mysterious defensive bastion may be older than the Nasrid fortress, dating back to the 11th century.
After a hefty dose of culture, why not relax the body and mind with a steam bath and a massage at this hammam that was built in 1998 on the former site of a 13th century Arab bath.
Granada's charm appears at night in the famous caves that serve as the stage for this song and dance performance of Moorish origin that was made popular by great flamenco families.
Itinerary day 2
This gorgeous Renaissance temple and the crypt where the Royal Monarchs have been laid to rest were built on the former site of the Great Mosque as symbols of Christian power following the city's conquest in 1492.
It would be a sin to skip this historic square that has witnessed all of Granada's history, followed by the old Moorish silk bazaar that today houses handicraft and souvenir shops.
At this centric tapas hotspot, traditional taverns coexist with indie-style establishments. Everyone faithfully follows the ritual: a tapa is served for free with every beer.
On the edge of the Darro River, the ‘most beautiful street in the world’ is home to the oldest Arab baths in Granada and also leads to a promenade with a bohemian air whose name does not appear on maps.
Making our way up the winding streets of the Moorish quarter where Granada was founded, we reach a stunning overlook from which to gaze at the Alhambra as the sun sets.
Located on the Mirador de San Nicolás lookout, this is the perfect place to spend an evening enjoying delicious Andalusian cuisine in one of the dining rooms decorated with Mudejar-style arches or on the terrace with views of the Alhambra.
Itinerary day 3
Only eight kilometres stand between Granada and this stunning landscape of gorges and hanging bridges over the Monachil River, where you will feel like Indiana Jones in Sierra Nevada.
After some physical activity, there is no better way to top off the excursion than with a hearty stew and quality meat at this rustic restaurant located in the town of Monachil.
Heading back to Granada, be sure to visit the Renaissance cloister of this monastery and the great altarpiece in its church, where the body of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the famous Great Captain, lies.
As the only old Arab grain exchange that remains fully intact in Spain, this gorgeous 14th century building has gone from being used as a grain warehouse to the stage for concerts and plays.
The building that housed the historic Arab university—the first in Granada until its closure in 1500—still features a gorgeous mihrab (a small niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying) and an octagonal cupola.
Located next to Puerta de Elvira, the original gate to the old Moorish city, this 19th century tavern is famous for its Iberian cured meats and the best local tapas.
Itinerary day 4
This interactive museum, a benchmark of scientific disclosure in Europe, features countless experiences for an educational morning filled with fun, regardless of your age.
In the heart of Federico García Lorca Park, time stands still at 1936 inside the family's former summer home, where the poet wrote his best works before being assassinated.
Only locals are aware of the fantastic homemade food served at this restaurant that is run by cloister nuns who only takes reservations for large groups.
The upper part of Realejo is home to this 19th century estate and romantic garden built on the former site of a monastery where San Juan de la Cruz wrote his works.
A final walk through the old Jewish quarter where Sephardi Jews lived well before the Moorish conquest. Stop by Casa de los Tiros, the Mirador del Lavadero overlook and the Church of Santo Domingo.
This emblematic square in Realejo is a popular spot with some of the best tapas bars. Oh, and be sure to make a wish to the renowned Cristo de los Favores (Christ of Favours). Perhaps ask to visit Granada again?