The drive from Malaga airport to Granada, Spain, is just and hour and a half. It was the first stop I made on my road trip around Andalucia in the South of Spain. One of its main tourist lures is the grand Arabic fortress complex of the Alhambra. Granada was the only place that I chose to spend 2 nights instead of 1. As a result, there was a little more time to relax, get my bearings and not rush this city as much. Here’s a compulsive list of things to do in Granada, Spain in 48 hours …
Alhambra palace Granada
Ok, I couldn’t miss the Alhambra out! I’d booked the trip so last minute that I wasn’t able to get into the Nasrid Palaces, having to make do with a ticket to the gardens instead. I did later find out how I could have got last minute tickets: read my post How to get Alhambra Granada Tickets when they’re sold out. There are tons of websites claiming to be official ticket sellers, but this one here is the main Alhambra official ticket site. Other sites will inflate the prices.
The Alhambra gardens themselves are huge and, if you’re not sure what to see in Granada, make sure you add these to your list. With the ticket to the gardens you can visit all the spaces of the Alhambra (except the Nasrid Palace), so you still get a good full day of exploring. From these grounds you can visit the themed gardens, alongside the photo famous water features, whilst taking in views of the city.
What to see in Granada besides Alhambra
The Alhambra is one of the best Granada, Spain tourist attractions. However, this palace and its gardens are just one part of what the city of Granada and it’s surrounding area have to offer …
Monachil Gorge Walk
Granada to Monachil is only a 20 minute drive, or you can take the take the 183 bus from Plaza Nuevo (the city’s historic square). Once there, head for the signs that say Los Cahorros. You can read my full Monachil Gorge Walk post here. This Granada hiking trail is famous for its stunning mountain views, manageable walks and (most importantly) its long hanging bridges. Suspended over the gorge, the largest of the bridges is over 60 meters high and leads off to tight paths that weave past little waterfalls and cliff-side nature trails.
Granada Markets, Bib Rambla
Very touristy, but worth it for the glittering lamps, low-cost colourful clothing and tiled home-ware. Once home to Granada’s Great Bazaar, this market on Calle Alcaiceria near Bib Rambla, was one of my favourite places to waste away the time and do some window shopping. When Granada was surrendered to the Spanish at the end of the 1400’s, the Bazaar was one of the few traditions to live on through the Christian conquest. As as result, it’s one of the best places to see in Granada if you’re looking for a time-hop back to the Moorish reign of the city.
Granada, Spain points of interest
Visit Granada Cathedral
This glorious Gothic-inspired cathedral took 180 years to build. Due to the time frame around it’s construction, Granada cathedral was worked upon by numerous architects. It was technically never finished, as original plans included 2 towers. It’ll cost you 5 Euros to get inside but, for those on a budget, try visiting its exterior whilst the sun is setting. The positioning of the Cathedral allows for a magnificent golden hue.
Do your own graffiti tour
The people of Granada are pretty proud of their resident graffiti artist, El Nino de Las Pinturas (known as Spain’s answer to Banksy). The artist (real name, Raul Ruiz) has become quite the celebrity; his work adorning a lot of the little alleys and some of the larger exterior walls of the city. There are a number of online maps detailing the locations of his work, though I found some to be out-dated. For one of the best Granada graffiti locations, head to where Calle Molinos and Cuesta del Caidero meet. That corner is an easy walking distance from the centre and has one of the largest walls of work.
What to do in Granada
Drink 2 Euro wine and beer
Never have I seen wine and beer as cheap in Europe as I have in the South of Spain. Spain is the world’s 3rd largest producer of wine and duties are low here. As a result, those on a budget can stroll into most Granada cafes and pick up a glass for 2 Euros (and often less). To sweeten the deal, this regularly comes with free tapas (if they’re not giving you free tapas in Granada, then chances are your in a touristy bar and you should leave). To make the best of Granada bars, order your drinks (and let them arrive) before you order food from the menu. This is the best way to take a weight off and watch the locals go about their day.