Where to Stay in Granada City: Best Places and Hotels

November 22, 2023

Picture this: ancient Islamic architecture, a rich Moorish heritage, free tapas, and homes dotted atop hilltops with stunning views of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. That’s Granada!

This southern city is quite different from the rest of Spain. For starters, Granada was once a Muslim Kingdom for about 260 years, and thanks to that, the city boasts a number of Arabic architecture. But you’ll also spot plenty of Moorish, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles.

The city is one of the only places to ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon. Granada’s food culture is also quite a fascinating one. All across the city, you’ll find bars and restaurants that typically serve drinks with free tapas – yes, free!

So, without any more rambling, let’s dive into the best places to stay when visiting Granada.

Where to Stay in Granada, Spain, at a Glance

lamp shop in granada

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a snapshot of the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Granada.

  • Alhambra Neighborhood – Best for first-time visitors
  • Albaicín Neighborhood – Best for stunning city views
  • El Centro Neighborhood – Best for sightseeing
  • Sacromonte Neighborhood – Best for flamenco
  • Realejo-San Matias Neighborhood – Best for nightlife
  • Beiro Neighborhood – Best for foodies
  • Ronda Neighborhood – Best for young travelers and families
  • San Ildefonso Neighborhood – Best for a quiet holiday

Best Places to Stay in Granada, Spain in Detail

If you’re looking to stay at the best hotel Granada, Spain, has to offer, you will not go wrong in any of the neighborhoods listed above.

In the rest of the post, we unpack each of these areas in detail, what makes them special, and why you should consider booking your stay in one of them.

Now that you have a glimpse of the various neighborhoods you can stay in when visiting one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, let’s look at what you can expect. From top attractions to the best hotels, lodges, and Airbnbs, you should consider staying at.

If you have a healthy budget, you can also stay in one of the luxury hotels in Granada. We found that these offer a regal experience that only a few people, like royals and nobles, were afforded in Granada during the Middle Ages.

Alhambra Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for First-Time Visitors

aerial view of the alhambra

This neighborhood is often only associated with the famous Alhambra Palace. We think that is very unfortunate because there is so much more to uncover in this historic area of Granada.

The Alhambra is undoubtedly one of the most stunning castles in Granada. On the complex, you’ll find many palaces, like Palacios Nazaríes and Palacio de Carlos V, and fortresses like the Alcazaba that put Islamic architecture on full display.

That’s why Alhambra is the best place to stay for first-timers. Everywhere you look, there’s a historic landmark in view, but there’s more to this area than what meets the eye. You can also delve deeper into the history by visiting the Access Pavilion of the Alhambra Museum.

Top Tip: If you’re keen on visiting the Alhambra, take a skip-the-line tour to avoid waiting in long queues so you can explore the palaces, fortresses, and museums at your preferred pace.

Best Hotels in Alhambra Neighborhood

inside view of the alhambra palace

Albaicín Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for Stunning City Views

aerial views of albaicin

Dotted with rows of white-washed houses and winding cobblestone streets, Albaicín is easily one of the city’s prettiest neighborhoods. Affectionately called “the Medieval Heart” of Granada, Albaicín is a UNESCO-inscribed neighborhood that transports you to the peak of Nasrid rule.

Albaicín offers some of Granada’s best views. From Mirador de San Nicolás, you’ll get sweeping views of the city, including the Alhambra in all its glory. This scenic spot is also a fantastic place to catch the mesmerizing Granada sunset. We made sure to get there early to get the best view.

Other great things to see and do in Albaicín include hiking up the surrounding hills for a scenic vantage point of the city and catching a show at Tablao Flamenco La Alborea.

The best thing about Albaicín is that it’s a very walkable neighborhood. So don’t be afraid to explore this district on foot, admiring its ancient architecture and snapping photos for the gram.

Top Tip: Figuring out when and where the sun will set in Granada could be tricky for a tourist. We suggest you take a sunset walking tour of Albaicín with a local guide who shares insider tips on the best sunset viewing spots.

Best Hotels in Albaicín Neighborhood

flower-filled alley in albaicin

El Centro Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for Sightseeing

sunset in el centro granada

The bustling cultural and commercial hub of Granada, El Centro, is loaded with sightseeing opportunities. This neighborhood is always buzzing, with lively, tourist-filled terraced cafes and students giving impromptu live music performances around the Plaza Nueva.

We loved El Centro’s Alcaicería Market. The Arabic-style bazaar is lined with local vendors selling souvenir-worthy goods, like jewelry, lamps, and colorful garments. Calle Zacatin is a fabulous place to go upscale shopping. The street also hosts some of the best hotels and Airbnb’s in Granada, so you can easily walk to the center.

El Centro has a vibrant nightlife, so if partying is on your itinerary, you’ll be spoiled for choice between Granada’s best tapa bars and energetic nightclubs. Other fun things we found in El Centro are the Granada Cathedral, Generalife Palace, and its amazing gardens.

Best Hotels in El Centro Neighborhood

exterior of the cathedral of granada

Sacromonte Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for Flamenco

aerial view of sacromonte

Known as the city’s gypsy quarter, Sacromonte is one of the most free-spirited neighborhoods in Granada. The area is famous for its hillside caves that often transform into lively hotspots for playing music and dancing the night away.

We found plenty of free things to do in Granada available in Sacromonte. The most loved activity is none other than flamenco dancing. You can head to Camino del Sacromonte to catch an eclectic flamenco show. The street also hosts several Andalusian restaurants.

Top Tip: We’re pretty sure you’ll find a local flamenco show in Sacromonte. But if you miss it there, we suggest you go to this flamenco show in a cave restaurant to enjoy the thrilling display paired with a tasty multi-course meal.

Best Hotels in Sacromonte Neighborhood

exterior of a sacromonte cafe

Realejo Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for Nightlife

aerial view of realejo

Formerly the Jewish Quarter, Realejo is an up-and-coming neighborhood that perfectly blends history and culture with hip tapa bars, cafes, and graffiti-dotted murals. This area sprawls with monuments and churches, but it’s just as loaded with restaurants and lively nightclubs.

We liked that many of the bars in Realejo are geared towards international tourists. Although there’s a seemingly unending number of Spanish tapa spots, the district also has several English and Irish bars like Daly’s (formerly Paddy’s Pub) serving chilled pints of imported beer.

You can also spend time strolling through the Court of the Water Channel, marveling at monuments like Puerta de las Granadas and Puerta del Vino. Walk into any tapa bar, like La Pajuana, and get the most authentic Granada experience.

Best Hotels in Realejo Neighborhood

inside the realejo palace

Beiro Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for Foodies

aerial view of beiro

Remember that mouth-watering Granada cuisine we mentioned earlier? This is where you’re most likely to find it. Beiro is one of the best places to stay in Granada, Spain, especially when you’re on a gastronomical adventure. The area is particularly famous for its scrumptious paella.

Beiro is on the outskirts of the center. So, we found the neighborhood less touristy, and many of the events or activities here are an amazing feat if you’re looking for a “local vibe.”

The incredible things you can get up to in Beiro range from watching a bullfight at Plaza de Toros de Granada to picnicking under the shady trees of Los Paseillos. We would also urge you to spend some time soaking in one of the bathhouses (or hammams) around the city.

Best Hotels in Beiro Neighborhood

cars lining up a street in beiro

Ronda Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for Young Travelers and Families

aerial view of ronda

Not to be confused with the city of Ronda, which is closer to Malaga and Seville than it is to Granada. The Ronda District lies on the city’s outskirts, close to the University of Granada.

This student-friendly neighborhood is perhaps the most residential area in the city, making it arguably the best area to stay in Granada for families and young travelers.

We didn’t find many landmarks in this area. But we did come across several shopping centers and avenues like Pub Wall Street, with tapa bars and restaurants that give Realejo a run for its money. Ronda is one of the must-visit stops on a day trip from Seville to Granada.

Ronda may be small, but you’ll find plenty of things to do and see to keep you entertained. Take a leisurely afternoon stroll among the towering trees in Federico García Lorca, or opt for an indoor activity and head to the Parque de las Ciencias Science Museum.

Best Hotels in Ronda Neighborhood

exterior of a building in ronda

San Ildefonso Neighborhood: Best Place to Stay in Granada for a Quiet Holiday

exterior of the church of san ildefonso

Tucked between all the Granada neighborhoods we’ve mentioned so far, San Ildefonso is a tiny district that offers you a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center. This area boasts some of the city’s most well-preserved churches and unspoiled gardens.

We spend our time in San Ildefonso strolling through the manicured gardens of Jardines del Triunfo and attending shows at the El Templo Del Flamenco theater. You may also like to hike up to the Mirador de San Cristóbal for epic city views or to catch the sunset.

Since San Ildefonso is quite a small neighborhood, you can leverage its closeness to other areas in the city and explore what they have in store. The historic hammam El Bañuelo, for example, is a fantastic place to see the intricacies of Spanish bathhouses.

You’ll also find tons of monuments and churches like the Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, which boasts the most majestic interior we’ve ever seen. Steeped in history, the inner workings of the monastery boast elaborately carved white walls, surrounded by religious paintings and gorgeous black and white tiles.

Best Hotels in San Ildefonso Neighborhood

a flower-filled courtyard in granada

FAQs About Staying in Granada City

Now before you hurry to pack your bags, we’ve listed some of the commonly asked questions about the places to stay in Granada, Spain. Check them out below:

Which Is the Best Area to Stay in Granada?

This is a tricky one for us to decide because we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at each area covered in this post. But if we had to pick one, we would say the best neighborhood to stay in Granada, Spain, is Alhambra. It is the closest you can get to Granada’s most famous attractions.

What Is the Main Area of Granada?

This is a no-brainer: the beating heart of the city, El Centro, is the main cultural and commercial hub of Granada. This means you’re most likely to find the most attractions, activities, and even the best hotels in Granada in and around this neighborhood.

Is It Safe to Walk Alone at Night in Granada?

We would like to give an emphatic yes to this question, as the city is well policed and lit up during the dark hours. But we’re going to say yes – but mitigate the risks. As with any major city in the world, chance-takers are always looking for vulnerable tourists.

Avoid walking alone in dark areas, and if you have to, ensure you’re with a group of trusted acquaintances.

Tip: The best place to make friends is at your accommodation.

How Many Days Do I Need in Granada?

Granada is a small city compared to other fantastic cities to visit in Spain, like Barcelona, Seville, and the capital Madrid. But we can assure you – there’s plenty to do here. We suggest you’ll need at least two to three (2-3) days to uncover Granada’s landmarks and hidden gems.

Do Many People Speak English in Granada?

Yes. Although on paper, Granada is a small city, and most of these quaint towns are home to many monolinguals (people who only speak one language).

But luckily for you (and us), we found that many people can speak English in Granada, especially at popular attractions, museums, and restaurants.

Wrapping Up Granada’s Best Places to Stay

So there you have it, eight of the best places to stay in Granada, Spain.

From historic neighborhoods atop lush hills to winding cobblestone streets dotted with white houses, Granada has plenty of views, attractions, and historical landmarks to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway in Andalusia, a lively area with free-tapa-serving bars, or cave-like flamenco spots to dance the night away, Granada has you covered. And when it comes to where to stay, Granada hosts many hotels, hostels, and apartments.

Next Read: After exploring the city’s best attractions, check out these amazing day trips from Granada to further immerse yourself in Spain’s Andalusia Region.

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