Situated snugly at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalusia, Granada is a city that captivates visitors with its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Once the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain, Granada is a melting pot where Islamic, Jewish, and Christian influences blend to create a unique tapestry.

Historical Overview

Native Iberian tribes first settled in Granada before the Romans colonized it. However, the city flourished under the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Muslim sultanate in Iberia, from the 13th to the 15th century. After the Reconquista, when the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella conquered Granada, it remained an important cultural and economic center.


The Alhambra

The crown jewel of Granada is undoubtedly the Alhambra, a stunning palace and fortress complex. Distinguished by its elaborate Islamic art and architecture, the Alhambra is esteemed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and among Spain's top tourist draws. The Nasrid Palaces, Generalife Gardens, and the Alcazaba Fortress are the main areas within the Alhambra, each with its charm and history.

Royal Chapel and Granada Cathedral

In the heart of Granada lies the Royal Chapel, where Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella are buried. Nearby is the Granada Cathedral, an example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, with its grand facades and opulent interiors.

The Albaicín and Sacromonte

The Albaicín is Granada's old Muslim quarter, and its narrow, winding streets and white-washed houses are reminiscent of North Africa. Sacromonte, adjacent to the Albaicín, is famous for its cave houses and as the cradle of Granada's Flamenco scene. Don't miss a Flamenco show in one of Sacromonte's cave bars.


Granada is home to many festivals, notable as the Internacional de Música y Danza Festival in June and the Corpus Christi Festival. Engaging in these events provides a splendid opportunity to immerse oneself in the city's culture via music, dance, and parades.


Andalusian cuisine is delightful, and Granada takes it to another level, particularly with its tapas culture.


Unlike other parts of Spain, in Granada, you get a free tapa with every drink you order at bars. This can range from a small sandwich to portions of paella. The streets around Calle Elvira and Plaza Nueva are particularly famous for tapas.


These are small, sweet pastries named after Pope Pius IX. They consist of a rolled sponge cake soaked in syrup and topped with toasted cream.

Jamón de Trevélez

This is a type of cured ham from the nearby Alpujarra region. Its flavor is famous, achieved through a traditional curing process in the mountain air.

Travel Tips

Plan for the Alhambra

Please book tickets for the Alhambra well in advance, as they sell out quickly. Decide whether you want general access or one that includes guided tours.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Granada's streets can be steep and uneven, especially in the Albaicín. Wear comfortable shoes.

Learn Basic Spanish

While many people in the tourist industry speak English, knowing some basic Spanish can enhance your experience.

Use Public Transport

Granada's extensive bus system can get you to many of the city's attractions. A train also connects Granada to other major cities in Spain.

Interesting Facts

  • The name "Alhambra" means "The Red One" in Arabic, referring to the color of the walls at sunset.
  • Granada stands out as one of the select cities in Spain that offers the unique opportunity to ski in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the morning and dip in the Mediterranean Sea by the afternoon.
  • The University of Granada, founded in 1531, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Spain, and it plays a significant role in the city's vibrant atmosphere.
  • Washington Irving, the renowned American writer known for "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," resided in Alhambra for a period, and his literary works played a significant role in bringing international fame to the site.
With its remarkable history, architectural marvels, lively culture, and delectable cuisine, Granada is a city that beckons travelers with open arms. Whether wandering through the Alhambra, savoring tapas in a bustling plaza, or taking in a Flamenco performance in Sacromonte, Granada promises an unforgettable experience rich in culture and beauty.