Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada. It is located in Southern Spain’s Andalusia region, sprawled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Known for its Moorish architecture, Granada is a popular destination for those traveling to Spain. Most notable is the Alhambra, a grand palace and fortress complex built between 1238 and 1358.
Granada’s population is 234,000 compared to Barcelona’s 1.6 million. If you are looking to work on your Spanish, Granada is the perfect place. In Granada they only speak Spanish, as opposed to Basque or Catalan, which is spoken in much of the North, including Barcelona.
When to Travel to Granada
The best time to travel to Granada is in Spring and Fall, when the weather is quite comfortable. Spring and Fall temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter temperatures range from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer can get very hot and uncomfortable, with the average temperature rising above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The main airport in Granada is the Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport, also known as Granada Airport. This modern airport is located approximately 9.5 miles West of the city of Granada. You can get to the city by bus, taxi, or private car.
Where to Stay
If you want to be in the middle of all of the action, the best place to stay is El Centro. This is the commercial district of Granada. You’ll be able to walk almost anywhere, and will have access to numerous restaurants and cafes.
The Plaza Nueva is the main old city square. Here you’ll find historic buildings and the Iglesia de San Gil y Santa Ana. Also known as the Church of Santa Ana. This 16th century church was built in place of the mosque of Almanzora.
If you are planning a short stay in Granada to visit the Alhambra, you might want to stay right at the Alhambra. The Alhambra has one luxury hotel within its grounds.
Check out: Weekend adventures in Granada
What to See and Do
If you are a foodie, you’ll love Granada. Tapas are the main attraction.
From 1-4 pm and 9 pm until midnight, you can go to any bar or restaurant and order a variety of tapas. Also known as small plates. Tapas can range from a mixed olive plate, ham and cheese plate, to small sandwiches or deep-fried calamari.
Keep in mind that dinner is usually late in Granada. Most restaurants are closed from 5 to 8 pm.
There are many sites to see in Granada. However, the main attraction is the Alhambra and its grounds. Plan on spending a minimum of 3 hours to half a day here. And purchase your tickets in advance. Especially if you want to see the Nasrid Palaces.
The Nasrid Palaces is a capacity-controlled area. You will only be allowed in during the time stamped on your ticket. If you purchase your tickets in advance, you’ll be able to choose your time slot. Keep in mind that the Alhambra can get quite busy on weekends and holidays.
The Alhambra hours vary by season and day.
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The Granada Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in the Central District. It is the 4th largest cathedral in the world.
The Granada Cathedral has impressive facades and a stunning interior, with many chapels of different ages and styles.
The Cathedral is open on Mondays through Saturdays from 10 AM to 6:30 PM. Public holidays and Sundays from 3 PM to 6 PM.
The Royal Chapel
The Royal Chapel was built between 1505 and 1517, and is an Isabelline style building.
Located next to the Granada Cathedral, it is the burial place of the Spanish Monarchs Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II.
The Royal Chapel is open Monday through Saturdays from 10:15 AM to 6:30. Holidays and Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM.
The Bañuelo are impressive, well preserved Arab Baths. Built beneath a private home, the Bañuelo are one of the few establishments that have been saved from destruction by the Catholic Monarchs.
The Bañuelo hours are Monday through Friday 10 AM to 4:45 PM.
Other Activities and Places of Interest
- The Plaza Nueva
- Albaicín and Sacromonte Districts
- Flamenco Shows
- The Sierra Nevada National Park
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