Looking to embark on a magical journey through the charming streets of Granada, Spain? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve got just the thing for you: a self-guided walking tour of Granada that will take you on a captivating adventure through this historic Spanish gem.
Granada, nestled in the heart of Andalusia, is a city brimming with rich history, mesmerizing architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. By following our handy guide, you’ll have the freedom to explore at your own pace, soaking up the enchanting atmosphere and uncovering the hidden treasures that make Granada so captivating. So, take out your trusty smartphone, and let’s dive into this self-guided walking tour that will leave you falling head over heels for Granada!
Granada walking tour logistics
Total distance: 4 miles
Walking time: approximately two hours if you follow the route without stopping. I’d recommend you reserve half a day for this tour if you want to spend a good amount of time at each place. Also, it may be a lot to see all 13 sites in one day so another option would be to break the tour up over two days.
Items to pack
Comfortable shoes – wearing some running shoes with soles that provide support. The Nike Air Max Thea Sneaker is a great choice.
Portable Wi-Fi – I use the Travel WiFi Portable Hotspot device to access reliable Wi-Fi abroad. it’s a better alternative to using SIM cards or racking up roaming fees. It’s also really convenient and reliable. You can read my full review of Travel WiFi Wireless to seek if it’s the right pocket Wi-Fi for you.
Water – stay well hydrated, especially if you visit in the summer!
Map or GPS – with pocket Wi-Fi, you can access Google maps or Apple maps on the go. In Spain, Google maps’ directions may be a little off (in my experience, at least). A good alternative would be the Moovit app, which is free to download.
Camera – A DSLR will capture those Gaudi buildings so much more beautifully! I always recommend the Nikon D3400 for beginner photographers. It’s very simple to use.
Snacks – pack some fruit, cookies, or some other snacks if you get hungry easily, like me. My go-to travel snack, the WanderBar, is a protein bar made specifically for travelers and frequent flyers. I can’t get enough of the Cocoa Crunch flavor.
Granada Walking Tour for first-time visitors
Let’s start our adventure at Plaza Nueva, the oldest square in Granada located in the heart of the city. Although its name translates to ‘new square,’ this plaza has been around since the 16th century. This place is the beating heart of the city, where history, culture, and a whole lot of energy come together in perfect harmony.
As you step into the square, you’ll be greeted by stunning architecture that showcases a blend of styles, including Renaissance and Moorish influences. It’s like stepping into a time machine and being transported back to a bygone era.
Now, let’s talk about what you’ll find here. Plaza Nueva is a hub of activity, lined with a myriad of shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s the ideal spot to indulge in some retail therapy, sip a cup of aromatic coffee, or savor delicious local cuisine while soaking in the lively atmosphere.
But that’s not all. Plaza Nueva is also a gateway to Granada’s historic Albaicín neighborhood, with its narrow winding streets and breathtaking views of the Alhambra. You can start your journey of exploration from here, immersing yourself in the city’s enchanting past and discovering hidden gems around every corner.
Whether you’re seeking a vibrant atmosphere, a glimpse into Granada’s history, or simply a place to unwind and people-watch, Plaza Nueva has got you covered. It’s a dynamic square that captures the essence of Granada, inviting you to dive headfirst into its lively embrace. So, make sure to add Plaza Nueva to your must-visit list and prepare to be swept away by its charm.
Distance to the next destination: 0.3 miles
Corral del Carbón
Our next stop is one of the oldest structures in Granada. Picture this: a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of the city, where history and culture collide in the most delightful way. Corral del Carbón is like stepping into a time machine and finding yourself transported to the 14th century.
Now, what exactly is Corral del Carbón, you might ask? Well, it’s a historic monument that once served as a thriving marketplace and lodging for traveling merchants. It has the most beautiful Moorish architecture, giving it a unique and captivating vibe.
As you wander through its ancient courtyard, you’ll be surrounded by exquisite columns, ornate arches, and intricately carved wooden details that will make your jaw drop. Trust me, it’s a photographer’s dream come true!
But here’s the kicker: Corral del Carbón isn’t just a pretty face. Nope, it’s also a hub for cultural events and performances. From concerts and theater productions to art exhibitions and festivals, this place knows how to keep things lively. So, keep an eye out for any happenings when you’re in town.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s free to enter? Yup, you heard me right. You can soak up all that history and soak in the good vibes without spending a dime.
So, if you’re up for a dose of history, stunning architecture, and maybe even catching a cultural show, make sure to add Corral del Carbón to your Granada walking tour. It’s a hidden treasure that’s just waiting to be discovered.
Distance to the next destination: 292 ft
Let’s indulge in some retail therapy and explore the vibrant and bustling Alcaicería, a historic market in Granada that will transport you to a world of exotic sights, fragrant aromas, and lively commerce. Originally a Moorish silk market, the Alcaicería is a popular attraction tucked away in the heart of the city.
As you wander through the narrow labyrinthine streets of the Alcaicería, you’ll be surrounded by a vibrant tapestry of shops and stalls offering a diverse array of goods. The market is famous for its handicrafts, textiles, spices, and traditional Moorish souvenirs. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the colors, scents, and flavors of Andalusia.
Take your time to explore the charming nooks and crannies, marvel at the intricate craftsmanship, and interact with the friendly local artisans. You’ll find beautiful ceramics, delicate textiles, and ornate jewelry, all crafted with skill and passion.
The Alcaicería isn’t just a place to shop; it’s an experience for all your senses. Inhale the heady aroma of saffron, cumin, and other spices that waft through the air. Let your eyes feast on the vibrant tapestries and intricately woven rugs. And don’t forget to indulge your taste buds by sampling traditional delicacies such as Arab pastries or a refreshing cup of mint tea. The best part? You can bargain. Don’t ever accept the first price the sellers offer you. Put your haggling skills to the test and snag some major savings.
While the market has undergone restorations over the years, it still retains its enchanting Moorish ambiance. The architecture, with its narrow alleys and decorative arches, harks back to a bygone era, giving you a glimpse into Granada’s rich cultural heritage.
So, if you’re looking to add a touch of exoticism to your visit, make sure to weave your way through the Alcaicería. It’s a treasure trove of unique finds and an immersion into the soul of Granada’s marketplace culture. Embrace the vibrant energy, soak in the atmosphere, and let the Alcaicería whisk you away on a sensory adventure.
Distance to the next destination: 318 ft
Plaza Bib-Rambla is a lively square at the heart of Granada. Think of it as Granada’s answer to Plaza Mayor in Madrid. This bustling plaza is a hub of activity, where locals and visitors alike come together to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy a drink.
Plaza Bib-Rambla is an architectural gem, surrounded by beautiful buildings that showcase a blend of Renaissance and Baroque styles. The square takes its name from the Bib-al-Rambla, an ancient gate that once stood here during the Moorish period. Today, it’s a meeting point that exudes charm and history.
As you step into Plaza Bib-Rambla, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a plethora of cafes, restaurants, and shops. It’s the perfect spot to indulge in some people-watching while sipping a cup of aromatic coffee or enjoying a delicious meal. The outdoor seating areas spill out onto the square, inviting you to relax and soak in the vibrant energy of the place.
One of the highlights of Plaza Bib-Rambla is the Fuente de las Batallas, a stunning fountain adorned with intricate sculptures. It serves as a central gathering point and adds a touch of grandeur to the square.
Throughout the year, Plaza Bib-Rambla plays host to various events and markets, including flower exhibitions, craft fairs, and cultural festivals. These events infuse the square with even more vitality and provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Plaza Bib-Rambla also serves as a starting point to explore other nearby attractions, such as the Alcaicería market and the Cathedral. From here, you can easily navigate the vibrant streets of Granada and continue your adventure.
So, whether you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon of people-watching, a taste of local cuisine, or a starting point to explore Granada’s treasures, Plaza Bib-Rambla is a must-visit destination. Embrace the energy, take in the sights and sounds, and let the vibrant spirit of the plaza capture your heart.
Distance to the next destination: 755 ft
The Granada Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Incarnation, is a stunning example of Renaissance and Spanish Gothic architectural styles. As you approach the cathedral, you’ll be greeted by its grand façade, adorned with intricate carvings and towering spires that reach towards the heavens.
Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by a sight that will leave you breathless. The interior of the cathedral is a true marvel, with soaring ceilings, majestic columns, and an abundance of ornate decorations. The play of light filtering through the stained glass windows creates a mesmerizing ambiance, adding to the cathedral’s ethereal beauty.
One of the highlights of the Granada Cathedral is the Royal Chapel, a mausoleum that houses the tombs of the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II. The chapel’s intricate craftsmanship and elaborate altarpieces make it a must-see within the cathedral.
As you explore further, you’ll discover chapels dedicated to various saints and adorned with priceless works of art. The Sacristy, with its stunning collection of religious artifacts and paintings, is another notable highlight.
Climb to the top of the cathedral’s towers, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Granada. The sweeping vistas encompass the Alhambra, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the cityscape, offering a perspective that is simply unforgettable.
The Granada Cathedral is not just a place of worship; it’s a testament to human creativity, devotion, and architectural brilliance. It invites you to step into a world of beauty and wonder, where the past and present merge seamlessly. So, make sure to include a visit to the Granada Cathedral in your itinerary and prepare to be awed by its grandeur.
Distance to the next destination: 0.3 miles
Basílica de San Juan de Dios
The Basilica de San Juan de Dios is another church to add to your Granada itinerary. A true architectural gem, it features a blend of Renaissance and Baroque styles. Its grand façade, adorned with intricate carvings and statues, beckons visitors to step inside and experience its spiritual aura.
Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a sanctuary that radiates tranquility and serenity. The ornate altars, beautiful religious artwork, and magnificent stained glass windows create an ambiance of reverence and awe.
The basilica also houses a museum dedicated to the life and works of the revered saint, San Juan de Dios, where you can learn about his extraordinary journey and the legacy he left behind.
Whether you’re seeking a moment of reflection, a glimpse into Granada’s religious heritage, or simply an appreciation for exquisite architecture, the Basilica de San Juan de Dios is a must-visit. It invites you to connect with the spiritual essence of Granada and pay homage to the enduring legacy of San Juan de Dios.
Distance to the next destination: 0.8 miles
Mirador de San Nicolás
Mirador de San Nicolás is the most famous viewpoint in all of Granada. Perched atop the Albaicín district, Mirador de San Nicolás offers panoramic views of the city and the majestic Alhambra. It’s like having a front-row seat to a stunning masterpiece.
This viewpoint is a popular gathering spot for both locals and visitors. As you reach the viewpoint, prepare to be awestruck by the mesmerizing vista that unfolds before your eyes.
With the Alhambra as the centerpiece, the view from Mirador de San Nicolás is a symphony of architectural wonders, lush gardens, and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance. The combination of the sun casting its warm glow, the intricate Moorish details, and the vibrant atmosphere of the Albaicín creates a scene that is simply magical.
Take your time to soak in the view, find a cozy spot to sit, and let the enchantment of the surroundings wash over you. Whether it’s sunrise, sunset, or any time in between, the Mirador de San Nicolás offers a truly unforgettable experience that will leave you with a profound appreciation for Granada’s beauty.
Another great thing about this viewpoint are the spontaneous performances that happen here. You might be able to catch a free Flamenco show like I did. So, if you’re looking for a place to catch your breath, marvel at the splendor of the Alhambra, and create memories that will last a lifetime, make sure to visit the Mirador de San Nicolás. Trust me, it’s a spot you won’t want to miss.
Distance to the next destination: 0.3 miles
Cuevas Los Tarantos
You can’t visit Granada without seeing a Flamenco show in the caves of Sacromonte. Yes, there are spectacular Flamenco shows put on in the caves of Granada’s Roma neighborhood that have been happening for decades. One of the best places to experience a unique and unforgettable Flamenco show is at Cuevas Los Tarantos in Granada. Nestled in the heart of the enchanting Sacromonte neighborhood, this place will transport you to a world of vibrant flamenco rhythms, passionate performances, and a truly authentic atmosphere.
Cuevas Los Tarantos is a cave venue that serves as a stage for flamenco shows, bringing the essence of this traditional Spanish art form to life. As you step into the dimly lit cave, you’ll be enveloped by an intimate setting that exudes the spirit of flamenco.
The skilled performers, with their fiery footwork and soulful melodies, will captivate your senses and leave you in awe. The intimate setting of the caves allows for an up-close and personal experience, where you can feel the raw energy and emotion of the flamenco dancers, singers, and musicians.
Soak in the rich sounds, watch the intricate movements, and let yourself be swept away by the passion and intensity of the performances. It’s an immersive cultural journey that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the artistry and heritage of flamenco.
If you’re in Granada and seeking an authentic flamenco experience, Cuevas Los Tarantos is the place to be. Prepare to be mesmerized by the power of flamenco, and let the magic of the caves transport you to the heart and soul of this captivating art form. The Flamenco shows happen at night so you may need to come back here after you make a reservation.
Distance to the next destination: 0.2 miles
Paseo de los Tristes
Let’s take a stroll along the charming Paseo de los Tristes, a picturesque promenade that will steal your heart. Translating to “Walk of the Sad Ones,” this delightful street is anything but melancholic. It’s actually named after the funeral processions that used to pass through here long ago.
Nestled at the foot of the Alhambra, Paseo de los Tristes offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. As you meander along the cobblestone path, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of La Alhambra’s magnificent fortress, framed by the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Lined with charming cafes, bars, and shops, the Paseo invites you to relax and soak in the atmosphere. Grab a seat at an outdoor terrace, sip on a refreshing beverage, and watch the world go by.
The lively energy of street musicians, artists, and locals adds to the vibrant ambiance of the Paseo. It’s the perfect place to unwind, enjoy a leisurely stroll, and capture some Insta-worthy photos.
Distance to the next destination: 0.6 miles
La Alhambra is the reason to visit Granada. This 13th century palace and fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most mind-blowing places you’ll ever set foot in. It is also one of the best preserved remnants from the period of Moorish rule in Spain. Touring La Alhambra is like stepping into a fairytale dreamland.
This magnificent complex, nestled in the hills of Granada, is an absolute feast for the eyes. As you wander through its intricate courtyards, marvel at the intricate tilework, the delicate arches, and the stunning carvings that adorn every nook and cranny. Seriously, the level of craftsmanship is mind-boggling.
The Nasrid Palaces are the crown jewels of La Alhambra, and they’ll make your jaw drop. Imagine wandering through opulent halls, tranquil courtyards with trickling fountains, and stunning views of the city from the Palace of Charles V. It’s the stuff of dreams. Besides the Nasrid palaces,you can also tour the Medina,
Here’s a little tip: book your tickets in advance because La Alhambra is insanely popular. In fact, it is the second most visited tourist attraction in Spain. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this mesmerizing experience.
So, whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just someone who loves beauty, La Alhambra is a must-visit. Get ready to have your mind blown and your heart stolen by this extraordinary place. Seriously, it’s like stepping into a fairytale, and I guarantee you’ll leave with memories that will last a lifetime.
Distance to the next destination: 0.2 miles
On the eastern side of the Alhambra complex, you’ll find the Generalife Gardens, home to over 300 species of flowers. These gardens are a slice of paradise on earth. Imagine strolling through lush greenery, catching the scent of blooming flowers, and stumbling upon hidden alcoves and charming water features. It’s pure magic.
As you wander through the Generalife Gardens, you’ll be captivated by a symphony of vibrant flowers. The scent of blossoms fills the air as you explore terraced landscapes, fragrant courtyards, and gently flowing fountains.
One of the highlights is the stunning Patio de la Acequia, a long pool flanked by meticulously trimmed hedges and colorful blooms. It’s a visual masterpiece that reflects the harmonious balance of nature and architecture.
The Generalife Gardens were the leisure retreat of the Nasrid kings, a place of relaxation and inspiration. As you follow in their footsteps, you’ll experience the serenity and beauty that has enchanted visitors for centuries. With each turn, the gardens offer a new perspective, inviting you to slow down, immerse yourself in the surroundings, and discover the magic that lies within the heart of Granada.
Distance to the next destination: 1.0 mile
Carrera del Darro
Take a journey along one of Granada’s most picturesque and captivating streets – Carrera del Darro. Brace yourself for a stroll through history, charm, and breathtaking views that will leave you utterly spellbound.
Carrera del Darro is a historic street that winds its way along the Darro River, offering a glimpse into Granada’s rich past. As you set foot on this ancient pathway, you’ll immediately be transported back in time. Cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and enchanting Moorish architecture create an ambiance that is nothing short of magical.
But what truly sets Carrera del Darro apart are the views it offers. Picture this: on one side, the river meandering gently below, reflecting the golden hues of the surrounding buildings. On the other side, the towering presence of the Alhambra, its majestic silhouette rising above the city like a guardian of time. It’s a sight that will take your breath away.
As you stroll along Carrera del Darro, you’ll encounter charming cafes, boutique shops, and artisanal stalls. Take a moment to pause and immerse yourself in the atmosphere, sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee or sampling delicious local treats.
Along the way, you’ll also come across iconic landmarks such as the Puente del Aljibillo, an ancient bridge that adds to the street’s allure. The bridge provides the perfect vantage point to capture stunning photos and soak in the beauty that surrounds you.
Carrera del Darro is not just a street; it’s an experience. It invites you to slow down, appreciate the intricate details, and marvel at the fusion of history and natural beauty. So, when in Granada, be sure to take a leisurely stroll along Carrera del Darro and let its timeless charm weave its magic on you.
Distance to the next destination: 459 ft
Hammam Al Andalus
Step into a world of tranquility and indulgence at Hammam Al Andalus to finish off your walking tour. This exquisite Arabian bathhouse offers a blissful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Prepare to immerse yourself in a luxurious and serene oasis that will rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
Hammam Al Andalus follows the traditional Arab bath ritual, allowing you to experience the ancient customs of cleansing and relaxation. From the moment you enter, you’ll be greeted by a soothing atmosphere of dim lighting, soft music, and the tantalizing scent of essential oils.
Indulge in a series of thermal baths, each with varying temperatures, followed by steam rooms and tranquil resting areas. The warm water and gentle massages will melt away your stress and leave you feeling utterly pampered.
To complete your journey, enjoy a cup of aromatic tea in the tranquil tea lounge, allowing the serene ambiance to linger a little longer.
Hammam Al Andalus is not just a spa; it’s a sanctuary where you can reconnect with yourself and experience a slice of ancient Moorish luxury. Treat yourself to this unforgettable experience and leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to conquer the world.
There you have it – your very own self-guided walking tour of Granada. Use this as a general guide to plan your tour of the city. Feel free to modify this walking tour to suit your interests. No matter how you decide to spend your time in Granada, all I can say is don’t skip La Alhambra! You’ll thank me later.
Frequently asked questions about the Granada walking tour
Is it easy to walk around Granada?
Yes, it is easy to walk around Granada. Its compact size and pedestrian-friendly streets make it super easy to explore on foot. The city’s main attractions, such as the Alhambra, the Granada Cathedral, and the Albaicín neighborhood, are within walking distance of each other. Strolling through the narrow streets of the Albaicín or wandering around the historic center allows you to soak up the charming atmosphere and discover hidden gems along the way. However, keep in mind that Granada is hilly, especially in the Albaicín, so be prepared for some uphill walks. I would definitely recommend wearing comfortable shoes when walking around the city.
Is one day enough for Granada?
The short answer is no. There’s so much to see in Granada, from La Alhambra to the Granada Cathedral to the Flamenco shows in Sacromonte, that one day isn’t enough to experience the city. If you’re crunched for time, you can prioritize the must-see sights and plan your itinerary carefully. However, if you have more time to spare, I would recommend at least 2-3 days to see the best that Granada has to offer.
What is one main tourist attraction in Granada?
The main tourist attraction in Granada is definitely La Alhambra, the 13th century palace and fortress that was built during the Moorish occupation of Spain. La Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an architectural wonder and a testament to the city’s rich history. The Alhambra complex is a captivating blend of stunning palaces, intricate gardens, and ancient fortifications. Step inside and be transported to a world of breathtaking beauty.
Explore the Nasrid Palaces with their intricate tilework and exquisite courtyards, wander through the Generalife Gardens with their lush greenery and refreshing fountains, and admire the Alcazaba fortress with its commanding views of the city. The Alhambra is not only a visual feast, but it also offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Moorish Spain. A visit to Granada would be incomplete without immersing yourself in the enchanting splendor of the Alhambra.
Is there a lot of walking in Alhambra?
Yes, there is a considerable amount of walking involved when visiting the Alhambra. The complex is spread across a vast area, and to fully explore its wonders, you’ll need to be prepared for some walking. The Alhambra grounds encompass expansive gardens, palaces, courtyards, and fortifications, all connected by a network of paths and walkways. To visit the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife Gardens, Alcazaba, and other areas, you’ll need to navigate through the various sections of the complex, which may involve climbing stairs and walking on uneven surfaces.
It’s important to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for moderate physical activity. However, there are numerous resting spots, benches, and beautiful viewpoints where you can take a break, relax, and soak in the breathtaking surroundings.
What is the best month to visit Granada?
The best time to visit Granada is during the spring and fall seasons. Why, you ask? Well, picture pleasant temperatures, sunny skies, and fewer crowds. It’s a win-win-win situation!
In the spring (around April to June), the city comes alive with blooming flowers and vibrant colors. You can explore the Alhambra and stroll through the charming streets without breaking a sweat. Plus, the cherry blossoms in the city add an extra touch of magic.
In the fall (around September to November), the summer heat has cooled down, making it perfect for outdoor activities. The autumn foliage paints the city in shades of gold, and you can enjoy a cup of warm coffee or hot chocolate at cozy cafes.
Avoid the scorching summer months if you can, as temperatures can soar, and tourist crowds reach their peak. But hey, whenever you decide to visit Granada, you’re in for a treat. The city’s beauty and charm are ever-present, no matter the season. So pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and get ready to fall head over heels for Granada!
Is Granada flat or hilly?
Granada is definitely a hilly city! When you visit, be prepared to lace up your walking shoes and embrace some uphill adventures. The city’s topography is characterized by its undulating landscape, with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a stunning backdrop. As you explore Granada, you’ll encounter narrow streets and winding alleys that climb up and down the hillsides.
The iconic Albaicín neighborhood, in particular, is known for its steep slopes and stunning viewpoints. However, fear not! The hilly terrain only adds to Granada’s charm and offers incredible vistas of the city and the Alhambra. Plus, it gives you an excellent excuse to take it slow, enjoy the scenery, and maybe even indulge in some well-deserved tapas as you catch your breath. So, get ready for a little workout and embrace the hilly landscape of Granada—it’s all part of the adventure!
Is Granada English friendly?
Yes and no. Granada is English-friendly around popular tourist areas and establishments. Many locals in the tourism industry, such as hotel staff, restaurant employees, and tour guides, have a good command of English. In popular attractions like the Alhambra, you can find English signage and audio guides. However, if you venture beyond the city center and the popular tourist attractions, you’re less likely to find people who speak English. It’s a good idea to learn a few basic Spanish phrases and show a willingness to communicate in the local language. With a friendly attitude and some effort, you can navigate and enjoy your time in Granada without any major language barriers.