Wondering what 2 days in Granada would look like?
The Andalusian city of Granada at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains is home to The Alhambra, one of the most popular attractions in Spain.
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But this beautiful destination has so much more to offer its visitors.
Rooted in the Moorish culture, it has a captivating history and exquisite architecture, with charming narrow streets and hidden gardens. The atmosphere is vibrant, with crowded pavement cafes, lively tapas bars, and a genuinely excellent culinary scene.
If you plan a short visit to the region, you may wonder what to do in Granada in 2 days. So we’ve done all the work for you and put together this handy and comprehensive itinerary.
Here you’ll find our suggestions for the very best things to do on each morning and afternoon of your visit. We’ve also shared our recommendations for some of our favorite places in Granada to eat and stay, with ideas suitable for every budget.
On the first of your 2 days in Granada, you will visit its famous Alhambra and then explore more historic gems in the city’s center.
Start your day with breakfast at Oteiza Coffee, Carrera del Darro 25. The setting is beautiful, the menu imaginative, and the coffee outstanding!
Coffee in Granada is often served in a glass instead of a cup. Some of the most popular choices here are café solo (black coffee), cafe con leche (a 50-50 mixture of milk and coffee), manchada (milky with less coffee), or cortado (more coffee with less milk).
Just a 20-minute walk from here will take you to the Alhambra, the jewel of the city and its most famous monument. It is so popular, in fact, that you will need to book your ticket well in advance – several months before your visit if possible.
You can either explore this fascinating site alone or book a tour.
Many visitors find that a guided tour is the best way to experience this attraction as it allows you to understand better what you are seeing.
Once a walled citadel, the Alhambra became the seat of the Nasrid emirs of Granada. Much of what you will see dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries, although its origins are believed to be much older.
There are two museums inside the palace – the Museo de la Alhambra, filled with Moorish artifacts, and the Museo de Bellas Artes, which contains artworks from the 15th- to 20th-century.
Among its many features, you can also see the remains of the site’s original citadel, the Alcazaba, and the Palacios Nazaríes at the center of the complex.
Connected to the Alhambra is Generalife, the summer estate of the Nasrid rulers. The gardens are simply gorgeous, with glorious flowers, patios, pools, pathways, and fountains.
Although the palace has undergone multiple changes throughout the years, the gardens maintain their original design and are some of the oldest in Andalusia.
After a full morning exploring this historic site (and working up an appetite!), why not try one of the many local Arabic restaurants for lunch?
Offering everything from Lebanese felafels to Moroccan tagines, they tend to be very reasonably priced and an excellent way to experience the Moorish culture of the city.
Either book a walking tour or go it alone to see some of the other highlights in the city.
One of the main attractions is the Cathedral. If you’re expecting a typical dark and gloomy European cathedral, Granada’s version – with its beautiful, bright white interior – will surprise you!
Built early in the 16th century in Renaissance and Baroque styles, it is the second largest cathedral in Spain.
Another ‘must see’ during your weekend in Granada is the Royal Chapel, next door to the cathedral. Here you can see the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the Catholic monarchs who commissioned the famous expedition of Columbus.
After leaving the Chapel, take time to explore The Alcaiceria nearby. This labyrinth of winding streets has a Moorish feel and was originally the Grand Bazaar.
It’s now a great place to buy some middle eastern-themed souvenirs of your trip!
Next, head to the Monasterio de San Jerónimo, just a short walk from the Cathedral. The first monastery to be built in Granada after the conquest by the Christians, it has a stunning Baroque sacristy and a beautiful altar.
To complete your afternoon, head north to the Arab quarter of the Albaicín. This UNESCO World Heritage site has charming cobbled streets lined with distinctive whitewashed buildings and is now one of Granada’’s most sought-after districts.
Visit the Casa de Zafra museum to see what a traditional Albaicín house would have looked like then walk to the Mirador de San Nicolás.
Granada’s most famous viewpoint, it overlooks the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Alhambra, and the Generalife Gardens.
Granada is famous for its unique tapas, and one of the best ways to experience it is on a tapas crawl!
This involves ordering a drink at a bar – which will include your tapas – then moving on to another bar for the next!
Some establishments will give you a tapas menu to choose from, whereas in others, you will simply be served whatever is on offer that day. The surprise is all part of the fun!
Be prepared to stand as you eat – this is typical of the tapas experience, as many bars are extremely crowded and tables are in demand!
The second of your two days in Granada will be spent seeing – and experiencing – traditional Arabic baths. You’ll also be exploring the small neighborhoods of Realejo-San Matias and Sacromonte.
Start the day at the El Bañuelo beside the Darro River in the Albaicín.
Dating back to the 11th century, these historic Arab baths may now lie in ruins but are still fascinating to visit, with many of the porticoes still intact.
They represent the culture of hammam (public baths) which were integral to Arab life – not just somewhere to bathe, but somewhere to meet friends and socialize too.
It’s now time to experience an Arabic bath for yourself at Hammam Al Ándalus. Filled with arches and ornate tiling, it keeps to a traditional design and is gently illuminated by candles and lanterns.
There are various areas for relaxing with mint tea, along with a series of hot and cold pools, and steam rooms.
To complete your morning, take the 10-minute stroll to the old Jewish neighborhood of Realejo-San Matías. Here you’ll see some fascinating street art painted by the graffiti artist ‘El Niño de las Pinturas’ (Raul Ruiz).
It’s pretty cool to observe the contrast between his edgy paintings and the ancient, dilapidated buildings.
This is a very unique section of the city, home to Granada’s gypsy community and featuring incredible cave homes built into the side of the cliff.
Sacromonte’s origins lie in the 16th century, when many of the citizens of Granada were forced from inside the city walls by the Spanish Inquisition.
For a small fee, you can visit some of these cave homes. While some enjoy modern conveniences like electricity and running water, those higher in the hills rely on a communal water supply.
But it’s interesting to see how these cave structures naturally enjoy a pleasant atmosphere – warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Visit the Cave Museum of Sacromonte to learn more about the Roma cave-dwelling tradition and view locally produced crafts.
Sacromonte also has a very lively main street – Camino del Sacromonte – lined with bustling tapas bars.
If you are feeling energetic, it’s worth taking the hike up to Vereda de Enmedio. This street runs parallel to the main street below but is less touristy and has an authentic feel.
Stay in Sacromonte for dinner and to attend an authentic flamenco show. The region has its own distinct form of dance, known as Zambra and created by Granada’s Roma community.
The most popular places in which to see Zambra performed are Maria la Canastera and Cueva de la Rocio. These are both traditional cave houses, making the whole experience that bit more special!
Are 2 Days In Granada Enough?
So is it really possible to see the best of Granada in 2 days?
Using this itinerary, you can definitely see Granada’s highlights in 2 days. You’ll also find it just the right amount of time to soak up some of the city’s atmosphere and get a real feel for its culture.
But do remember that this itinerary is based on 2 full days in Granada.
We recommend adding an extra night if you arrive in the city late on your first day or need to leave early on your last.
Where To Stay In Granada
There is no shortage of excellent accommodation in Granada. Here are some of the best places to stay in Granada.
Best Budget Accommodation
The Granada Old Town Hostel enjoys a great location just 5 minutes from the Cathedral and offers a mixture of shared accommodation and private rooms.
The roof terrace and solarium are great places to sit and chat with other travelers, while the rooms are brightly decorated and air-conditioned.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
Located in a fully restored XVI century historical building, the charming Hotel Casa 1800 Granada is situated in the Albaicin district. It is intimate and comfortable and offers a small selection of single rooms, double rooms, and suites.
Despite its central location, it has a calm and tranquil atmosphere and offers buffet-style or American breakfasts.
Best Luxury Accommodation
If you want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury for your two days in Granada, then look no further than the stunning Hotel Hospes Palacio de Los Patos. Just a short walk from Granada Cathedral, the hotel is located inside a UNESCO-protected 19th-century palace.
While the building retains its historic charm, the comfortable rooms are decorated in contemporary style.
At the end of a busy day’s sightseeing, you can relax in the hotel’s sauna, Turkish bath, or whirlpool, perhaps enjoying one of the massage or beauty treatments available.
Final Thoughts On This Itinerary For Two Days In Granada
This Andalusian city is one of the most beautiful parts of Spain to visit, whether your interest is in history or architecture, gastronomy or culture.
We hope that this guide for seeing the best of Granada in 2 days has helped you plan your stay and that you have a wonderful trip.
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