Let's explore one day in Granada, Spain. It's not hard to have a wonderful day in Andalusia, the region of the country where Granada is. It includes some of the most popular cities in the country, including Cordoba, Malaga, and Seville.
Granada is a wonderful city to spend 24 hours in – even if it's split into two days, staying one afternoon overnight into the next morning. In this time, you'll be able to hit up all its key spots and taste some of the city's best food.
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One Day in Granada, Spain Overview
If you going to Granada for the day, here's what we recommend doing:
- Arrive in time for breakfast
- Tour the Alhambra
- Get lunch at Bar Los Diamantes
- See the Cathedral of Granada
- Grab an afternoon ice cream at the famous Helederia los Italianos
- See stunning Granada views in Placeta Cristo Azucenas
- Have dinner and drinks with a view of the Alhambra (we share exactly where, below!)
- You must see an evening Flamenco show in the Sacromonte neighborhood (read below for which one to see)
- Close the day out with an evening snack before heading to bed
Morning in Granada, Spain
Cafe 4 Gatos Breakfast
Breakfast is always a wonderful way to start the day! Your one perfect day in Granada, Spain, begins with a Cafe 4 Gatos breakfast. It has an incredible view of the Alhambra from it's patio. We opted to eat indoors and talk to the friendly bartender/waiter.
We ordered a cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and something to eat. It was a no-brainer for me to order Spain's well-known breakfast, “Pan y Tomate,” which is toast with tomatoes. (I devour pan y tomate anywhere I can get it, including roaming Barcelona finding the best food.)
I topped it with the usual olivia y sal, or olive oil and salt. My friend opted for their toast with apple spread and butter. The apple spread was locally sourced.
The pairing of the butter and apple spread was out of this world. I highly recommend it.
They open at 8:30am so be sure to time your Alhambra tickets to about 9:30am or 10:00am, depending on how fast of an eater and walker you are.
Address: Placeta Cruz Verde, 6, Albayzin, Granada
One Day in Granada, Spain, MUST include an Alhambra Tour
The Alhambra is the number one highlight of the city.
Whenever someone asks, “Is Granada worth visiting?” we answer it most certainly is. And even for this historic attraction alone, if you do nothing else during one day in Granada, you have to do this. (But you should do many other things there, of course!)
This was the palace that Isabelle and Ferdinand lived at while they conquered the region. It's absolutely beautiful and gets very busy. We recommend booking your tickets online weeks, or even months, in advance. We did the palace and general life tour for a combined price of $55 or so.
We were incredibly happy with the guide and tour we received. They're strict on ticket times, so be sure to arrive when your ticket says, whether you go with a tour group or not.
This tour takes a few hours, so it will surely bring you to lunchtime. If you're a healthy, physically fit person, you'll surely be able to walk there after breakfast.
The Alhambra sits atop a hill, as many palaces do, and you'll be thankful you brought some H2O to stay hydrated. (All of Granada is a little hilly. It reminded us of San Francisco, California!)
Bring water with you. We always travel with a reusable, refillable water bottle for this reason.
The Best Refillable Travel Water Bottles
This Nomader water bottle saves a lot of space when rolled up before filling. The only reason we don't carry one is because we're worried about squishing it when it's filled with water. But it's a great option if it fits your needs.
Lunch in Granada
Lunch at Bar Los Diamantes
Walk back down the hill after your Alhambra tour to Bar Los Diamantes. This restaurant should be on any Granada itinerary! They've been in Granada since 1942 and at the Plaza Nueva location, closest to the Alhambra, since 1950.
They serve many wonderful tapas, especially seafood. Order two drinks and one-half portion of mixed fried seafood that includes sardines, calamari, shrimp, and butterfish.
You'll get complimentary tapas with your drink order so it ends up being more food than you think! If you're still hungry I recommend the tomatoes with olive oil and salt for something refreshing and on the lighter side.
Address: Plaza Nueva 13, Granada
Cathedral of Granada
Head to the Cathedral after your bellies are full! For €5 you gain access to one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. An audio guide is included in the price. Plan to spend about an hour at this beautiful site, built in the 16th century.
Address: Calle Gran Vía de Colón, 5, 18001 Granada, Spain
Afternoon Ice Cream Snack at a Classic Shop in Granada
Head to Helederia los Italianos for their spumoni ice cream. (This is one of the best things to do in Granada if you're a foodie and appreciate ice cream ) It's right across the street from the Cathedral.
Order a cassata, which is like a triangular piece of ice cream cake they serve in a cone. (It's DELICIOUS.) Enjoy your treat at the limited seating at the back of the shop or walk around with it as you head towards the Plaza Largo area of the city.
You'll be glad you stopped here even if it's cold outside and you visit in fall or winter…because it's delicious.
Address: Calle Gran Vía de Colón, 4, 18001 Granada, Spain
Notice the “Granada” Fruits as You Explore this Andalucian City
If you're looking for a casual way to engage in the culture of the city, and what to do in Granada that's simple and free, simply notice all the pomegranates around you as you walk around the city.
From metalwork on street pipes to paintings on street signs, to pylons on the street, they are plentiful! That's because it's the symbol of Granada.
Simply put, the word pomegranate is “Granada” in Spanish. The city was renamed for the fruit many centuries ago during its Moorish period.
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Head to the Park, Placeta Cristo Azucenas, for an Awesome Photo Opportunity
Head to the park space called Placeta Cristo Azucenas. Something great to do during your one day in Granada – that we really enjoyed – was seeing the view from this park. It is INCREDIBLE.
The Alhambra peeks out in the mid-ground view here, with snowy mountains in the background.
Spain's national snowboarding competitions are hosted on those mountains each year! After you've taken photos, head to the museum home of artist Max Moreau if it's open.
Sunset into Evening Things to do with One Day in Granada
If you're staying into the evening (which we HIGHLY recommend or you're missing a main attraction in Granada) we have the perfect evening activities for you.
Have Dinner and Drinks with a View of the Alhambra in Granada
If you're looking for something during your one day in Granda that's not-to-miss yet is relaxing, requiring you to only kick your feet up to enjoy a glass of wine, we recommend saying goodbye to daylight with a stop at Restaurante Carmen Mirador de Aixa.
You'll love the sunset view of the Alhambra and surrounding city as you sip a glass of Vino Rioja (red wine) from this restaurant's impressive terrace. (Might we add drinking wine is such a part of the Spanish culture, anyway?)
The restaurant is a two-minute walk down the street from the famed San Nicholas Square, which also has an amazing sunset view of the Alhambra (without the food and drinks!).
Address: Callejón Atarazana Vieja, 6 y 8, 18010 Granada
One Day in Granada Must Include the Best Flamenco Show in the Area
Make your way to the Sacromonte neighborhood for the main attraction of your night. For an evening of great Flamenco, we recommend Zambra Maria La Canastera. It was a HIGHLIGHT of our entire trip to Spain, not only our one day in Granada.
They say that “Flamenco is to gypsies what the blues and jazz are to Americans.” It's the perfect statement! It's an incredibly authentic feeling show in the “gypsy neighborhood” of Granada.
It feels quaint and like you're a part of the family, whose been engaged in the tradition of Flamenco for decades. Arrive early to your 9:00pm evening show to spend time browsing the iconic images on the walls.
If this experience is booked, another good option is this Flamenco dinner show in a cave, though the vibe is a little different than the one listed above.
Evening Snack to Close Out Your One Perfect Day in Granada, Spain
After this incredible show enjoys more tapas or head to bed! Since many people don't eat until 9:00pm in Spain you're sure to find somewhere open after the show for a late-night bite.
And what better way to end one perfect day in Granada, Spain than with Spanish dessert, for whatever you choose?
Conclusion for One Day in Granada
We can't recommend visiting other cities in Andalucia enough. As we mentioned earlier, we also visited Cordoba and Seville on this trip and we cannot wait to go back to explore more cities in the area. We've also rented a car in Madrid to drive to Andalucia, including Malaga and Marbella.
Next time we'll definitely rent a car and drive to see cities like Malaga and Ronda, and we certainly want to see the Pueblos Blancos, or white villages, in the region.
If you have time to drive from Granada to Seville, for example, a road trip to see the Pueblos Blancos of Andalucia would be a great route to get there.
Don't Postone Renting a Car!
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