So, you’re looking for an itinerary for 2 days in Granada but don’t know where to start? This comprehensive guide delves into the city, its ancient attractions, and its iconic neighborhoods.
Granada has been one of the top cities to visit in Spain since its conception. It was first inhabited in the 14th century by the Iberians, Romans, and Visigoths. As expected, it has gone through a few changes over this time. You can see this in the elaborate Alhambra palace, the Arab Hammams, and its neighborhoods.
Regarding Granada, a 2-day itinerary is the best way to go. This gives you enough time to explore its corners calmly and thoroughly. And, with the help of this Granada travel blog, you’ll be able to do so seamlessly.
Day 1 in Granada
If you’re only planning to spend one day in Granada, we recommend that you explore the city center and its surroundings. Here, you’ll get to explore what the everyday lives of the locals entail.
Quick Tip: Purchase a Granada Card to access the city’s top monuments at a fraction of the entry price.
The Alcaicería neighborhood is set in the historic center and is home to the famous Bib-Rambla Bazaar — a long-standing Arabic market and shopping street. This is where merchants once stood, corralling customers to buy their wares.
Today, you can walk through these narrow paths and seemingly return to the 15th century when it first started. Alcaicería, in particular, was the original Moorish silk market, but since burning down in the 19th century, this labyrinth is only a fraction of its size. Still, it’s running at full speed and is an excellent place to pick up souvenirs, jewelry, and bags.
One unique thing about Granada is its bars’ time-honored tradition of serving free tapas with its drinks. This is an excellent way to sample Granada food in the most budget-friendly way. But you don’t always want to have an alcoholic drink in the mornings, do you?
That’s when this 11 am Granada walking food tour comes in handy. On the tour, you’ll stroll around the area for three and a half hours from the meeting point of Acera del Casino. You’ll enjoy sampling dishes passed down for generations from family-owned establishments, bars, and local hotspots.
You’ll spend time sourcing typical Granada dishes, like Iberian ham and serrano peppers, and learn how Roman, Nasrid, and Berber traditions influence them. You’ll also get to pair them with local wine and Tinto de verano – a Spanish wine cocktail.
The highlight of this tour was stopping by Chikito restaurant, which was the favorite meeting spot of some of Spain’s most famed politicians, poets, musicians, and composers. They called it ‘El Rinconcillo’ (the little corner). To commemorate these artists and their go-to eatery, a seated statue of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, one of its loyal members, has been placed by a table.
Cathedral of Granada
Less than a five-minute walk from Alcaicería, you’ll find the towering Cathedral of Granada. Construction started in the 16th century when the Christian monarch took over the city. The building process lasted almost 200 years.
During these years, much work went into creating the masterpiece with magnificent altarpieces, facades, naves, and chapels. Every inch is an artwork in itself, encapsulated with immaculate designs and gold accents. To see its beauty up close, you’ll need to buy a ticket to enter at €6 (about $6.30) for adults and €4.50 (about $4.70) for students.
This not only gives you access to incredible architecture and intricate moldings but also a look at religious artworks. These paintings date back as far as the 16th century. One painting, “Virgin Milk”, is attributed to Da Vinci himself, but the accuracy of this is still up for debate.
While the Royal Chapel sits adjacent to the Cathedral of Granada. Construction for this chapel also started in the early 16th century and was built in the Isabelline Gothic architectural style. Its main purpose is the burial place of the Catholic Monarchs — Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand.
The temple facade stands as a beautiful reminder of the era it was built in, with intricate stone details like a carved roof, trimmings, and religious figures guarding the chapel entrance. Inside, you can find the Sacristy-Museum, where personal items of the Christian monarchs are on display.
Similarly to the chapel’s exterior, these items are decorated richly and intricately to showcase royalty and wealth. One of the artworks you can’t miss is Queen Isabella’s handcrafted missal and the chapel’s long list of artworks by Spanish and Italian artists. These paintings, produced in Renaissance and Baroque styles, depict a range of religious figures and biblical tales.
To enter the chapel, you must buy tickets at €6 ($6.50) for adults and €4.50 ($4.80) for students.
These 11-century Arab baths next to the Darro River are among the best-preserved hammams in the Andalusian region. They were built during the Moorish conquest, and while most bathhouses were demolished during the Christian takeover, this one stood firm.
As a result, it is a time capsule of how life was back then. The baths are in three rooms, namely the cold, warm, and hot chambers. Each is intricately decorated with star-shaped holes in the ceiling to help with ventilation and light.
Unfortunately, you cannot use any of the baths here. For a relaxing, old-school dip, you’ll need to go to our next attraction on the list.
Al Ándalus Hammam
Al Ándalus Hamman is hands down the best hammam in Granada. While it still stays true to its Mudejars roots, today, it stands as a luxurious yet modern bath that attracts many customers. That said, if you plan to visit, make sure you book well in advance, as it’s usually very busy.
The services range from massages with essential oils to a deep soak in the calming waters. Visit the bath for a 1.5-hour-long massage with a mix of hot and cold rooms before finishing it off in the steam rooms.
Day 2 in Granada
On the second day, you’ll be spending it mainly around the Alhambra area. Generalife, Alhambra, and the Nasrid Palaces are relatively in the same space, but we’ll discuss them separately to highlight each spot.
Then, to end off your historical day, we recommend sealing the deal with one of the most entertaining cultural shows — a flamenco dance.
Eat Breakfast at Café 4 Gatos
As one of the closest cafés to Alhambra, Café 4 Gatos is an excellent stop for a quick brekkie and cup of coffee. This cozy cafe is a favorite among Alhambra visitors because it has impressive views of the Alhambra palace and fortress, creating tremendous anticipation for the journey ahead.
The café serves breakfast and lunch from 8:30 am to 4 pm daily. It specializes in light, homemade Andalusian meals but still caters to anyone with dietary restrictions. Get the breakfast special for a high-fiber and protein meal with a complimentary cup of coffee or tea and orange juice.
If the weather permits, sit outside on the patio for an even better view of Alhambra.
Note: This café only accepts cash, so come prepared.
A trip to Granada will only be complete with a visit to Alhambra, which sits atop a hill overlooking the city. The complex dates to the 13th century and comprises different sites. These sites are the Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba, and a fine arts museum.
The Alcazaba, which roughly translates to ‘fortress’ in English, is the military tower. It is one of the oldest parts of Granada and probably the first thing you’ll see from the city below. Take your time exploring the three towers and see how they were used for self-defense. The top of the watch tower is especially breathtaking as it offers panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
You can see multiple sites by buying a comprehensive ticket for a little over €19 ($19). But, if you’re on a strict budget, we suggest visiting the Alhambra Museum as it’s one of the best free things to do in Granada if you’re a European Union citizen.
Here, you’ll get to examine all kinds of ancient artworks, like statues, paintings, furniture, and personal memorabilia.
Quick Tip: Alhambra is the most visited attraction in Granada, so you’ll have to book your ticket for this location ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
As mentioned, the Nasrid Palaces are a part of Alhambra, but we think it needs its own heading to really delve into its complexity and beauty. Within the group of palaces, there are three sections you must see — the Mexuar, the Palace of the Lions, and the Palace of Comares.
Starting with Mexuar, this columned room was used for important hearings. It has gone through multiple renovations, but still, incredible care has gone into decorating the space with intricate wall carvings and colorful tiles.
But, it doesn’t hold a candle to the thousand engravings on the Palace of Comares. This was the official dwelling of the king and thus exudes beauty and opulence from its porches to its multiple galleries.
Last but not least is the Palace of the Lions, which is the most marvelously decorated palace of all. It was the royal family’s private chambers, after all. You’ll probably spend the majority of your time really taking in its beauty as it stretches across seven halls on each corner of it.
Quick Tip: Take this Alhambra complex guided tour to skip the lines and get a private guide through Alhambra, Generalife, and the Nasrid Palaces.
Like Alhambra, the Generalife Gardens are a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is a series of gardens once used by Muslim kings of the ancient Nasrid kingdom as a resting place. As you can imagine, the gardens are an elaborate and captivating Eden-like sanctuary fit for, well, a king.
The gardens do a good job of mixing stone, earth, and water in their design. The first thing you’ll notice after the sheer vastness is probably the range of architectural styles present here. They range from Moorish and modern to Catholic influences.
Generalife Gardens used to be connected to Alhambra, but not anymore, so you can visit without going through the Alhambra palace. Tickets start from €10.61 (about $11.20), but nighttime visits are slightly discounted at €7.42 (about $7.90). However, we advise you to buy a combo ticket to see the Alhambra Palace, gardens, and Nasrid Palaces.
Sacromonte is a historic village with a big Roma community. It’s best known for its cave houses that people still live in today. You can see these cave structures for yourself, as one of the top attractions here is the Sacromonte Caves Museum.
You can visit eleven perfectly preserved caves. Each of these has its own theme relating to the area’s Roma people and their daily lives roughly 100 years ago. One of the most noteworthy caves is the one retelling of the origin of the Flamenco dance. Once you’ve learned about the origin, it’s time to see a live performance for yourself.
The museum is open from Monday to Sunday. Tickets to enter this fantastic museum cost €5 (about $5.20)
Quick Tip: Take this Sunset walking tour in Albaicín & Sacromonte for a wonderful look into both neighborhoods.
One of the best things to do in Granada at night is to watch an authentic flamenco dancing show. Luckily, there are many performances each evening.
Flamenco dancing originates from the south of Spain’s Andalusian region — which includes Granada. This energetic dance incorporates live instruments, theater, and sometimes singers.
In Granada, most flamenco dancers are from the Sacromonte district, where there is a large Roma community. One of the places you can see these dancers perform their hearts out is at this Flamenco Show in Cuevas Los Tarantos.
The Cuevas Los Tarantos is in a vaulted room resembling a cave. It’s a great way to end the night and get great value for your money. Your ticket can include wine and tapas as an all-inclusive experience, so you’ll have dinner and a show. Now that’s a true Granada fiesta.
Getting Around in Granada
Flying to Granada from Barcelona or Madrid is the easiest way to reach the city. Of course, you can also take a train, bus, or car. Once there, there are a few ways to get around on your Granada itinerary of 2 days.
Because it’s so small, Granada is very easy to discover on foot. In fact, we found that this was better for discovering hidden gems along the narrow streets.
You can take a walking tour or explore on your own with guidebooks or route suggestions picked up from a tourist office.
Granada is cyclable, too. There are a few places you can rent a bike from, whether you’re looking for a bicycle, e-bike, mountain bike, or scooter. Depending on the store, you’ll be able to rent one by the hour, day, or week.
It’s fairly easy to find a taxi in the city as they run 24/7. You can find them either by calling and booking one beforehand, catching one at a taxi rank, or flagging one down in the street.
There’s only one public taxi company operating in Granada — Tele Radio Taxi. Rates depend on distance and what time of the day you use one.
Warning: Taxis are more expensive at night and over weekends in Granada.
Renting a car in Spain is a great way to take impromptu day trips from Granada. There are a few rental dealerships in the city, but we recommend getting one from a major city like Barcelona or Madrid. This is especially true if you’re planning on leaving the city center often.
Quick tip: You can rent a car from the airport too, but expect to pay an inflated price.
Hop-On Hop-Off Train
If you can’t be bothered to learn about bus and train lines, this hop-on-hop-off city train is perfect for you.
Stop by all of the city’s top landmarks in a breeze while listening to an audio guide tell you about each narrow street’s history. Is Spanish not your first language? No problem because your tour is available in 12 languages.
Where to Stay in Granada for 2 Days
Are you looking for the top areas and neighborhoods to call home during your trip? We’ve rounded up the best neighborhoods for different types of travelers. We also share our favorite hotels to stay in, no matter your budget.
The Best Neighborhoods in Granada
No matter how many days in Granada, you can’t go wrong staying in these neighborhoods.
Centro Sagrario: For First-Timers
The city center is the best place if you’re still new to the area. Granada is small and walkable, but from here, you’ll walk less than 10 minutes to each landmark. Restaurants, cafés, and bars are also only a stone’s throw away.
From here, you’ll also have the chance to find your own hidden gems not mentioned on this list.
Realejo (Old Jewish Quarter): For Foodies
This historic neighborhood is wedged between Alhambra and the city center. While traces of its history are all over, it has gotten a facelift, with colorful murals and street art now covering its walls and buildings, too.
It’s well-known among locals for having the most authentic tapas bars, and restaurants. Similar to the neighborhood itself, La Auténtica Carmela is a modern yet rustic restaurant serving authentic Spanish cuisine.
The Alhambra: For a Front Seat to the Attraction
If you know why you’re coming to Granada, why beat around the bush? Staying in the Alhambra area not only puts you a short distance from the famous landmark but also ensures a peaceful stay. It also gives you a better chance of being among the first when queuing for the entrance.
Hotels in Granada
Whether you’re looking for a budget option or luxury hotels in Granada, these accommodations are the cream of the crop.
Budget: Hostal Rodri
Just a short walk from the historical Old Town, these spacious rooms place you in the ideal spot for a first-time visit to the city.
Mid-Range: 4U Hostel
This hostel in the city center is a great home base on a tight budget. It has dorm rooms if you’re traveling as friends, but it also has a few private and family rooms.
Luxury: Hotel Alhambra Palace
Sitting in the heart of Alhambra, this luxury hotel is ideal if you want to be front and center to the action (or lack thereof) of the Alhambra palace.
The Best Time to Visit Granada
The best time to visit Granada is in spring and fall. During this time, temperatures are pleasant, and the city hosts many of its most popular events.
Spring is from March to June. This is the perfect time to visit gardens like Generalife because the flowers are in bloom. You’ll also be right on time for Easter celebrations and evening events like the buzzing nighttime markets.
Fall or autumn is from September to November. This is the ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking because the weather is neither chilly nor scorching hot. There are also a few music festivals like Granada Sound and Festival 1001 Músicas at this time.
FAQs About Granada
Still have some questions about Granada? Find the answers here.
Is 2 Days in Granada Enough?
Yes, two days is ample time to spend in the city. Add another day if you plan on taking day trips from Granada.
What Should You Do in Granada for Two Days?
There are many things to do in two days in Granada. Some highlights include visiting Alhambra, the Cathedral of Granada, Al Ándalus Hammam, and the Nasrid Palaces.
Which Is Better, Cordoba or Granada?
If you’re looking for a place to stay for more than a day, Granada is definitely the better choice because there is much more to do. You can visit Cordoba on a day trip.
Which Is Better, Seville or Granada?
It depends. Granada is more scenic and can be seen in two days. Seville is a historic city that’s more touristy and requires more than three days.
Are you Ready to See Granada in 2 Days?
Whether staying for 2 or 3 days in Granada, you will surely have a jam-packed schedule. The city offers everything from century-old ruins to lively singing and dance. And the best part? The city is so easily walkable that you can stroll from A to B in a matter of minutes, so you don’t miss a beat.
We’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay here. So what do you say? Do you see yourself extending your trip to a five days in Spain itinerary to take your time enjoying all this sparkling city offers?