Granada Guide

About Granada, Spain

It is said that Granada is one of the, if not the, best place to visit in all of Spain. Since it is situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it offers relief from the Mediterranean heat that most other Spanish cities are enveloped in year round.

Granada is also home to the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel palace that is important to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. The city has played an important historical role in all three religions and has always been multicultural since the beginning of its time, which makes it a hotspot for tourists. Granada retains much of what the peoples of these three religions left behind by way of architecture, culture and art.

Today the city is also celebrated for its esteemed University of Granada. It is notably one of the top three colleges in Spain. Students work hard and play equally as hard. In recent years, the city has also become famed for its wild nightlife, thanks in part to the university students.

Things to do in Granada

Our mini-guide to what's on in Granada lists the top 10 events and attractions in the area. If you take your short break in Granada, Spain when these events are taking place, add them to your list of things to do in Granada.

1. Capilla Real - This stunning Gothic style chapel is widely known as a mausoleum that holds the precious remains of the Catholic Kings, who took over from the Moors in the 16th century. There are also many relics and fine architectural details to be seen here too, like the Real's exquisite Dome. The Real is open on weekdays from 10:30am - 1:00pm and 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Admission varies.

2. Semana Santa - Each March the citizens of Granada stage a spectacular Holy Week that reminds all of the city's deep roots in the Christian, Pagan and Middle Eastern religions. Daily processions and activities starting on Palm Sunday and ending on Holy Saturday are the highlights although the feasts are not half bad! Hours vary and all events are free of charge.

3. International Festival of Young Filmmakers - Every April young international filmmakers from everywhere including Spain, the UK, France, Japan, Germany, Korea, North and South America and Senegal converge on Granada to try to make a name for themselves. The fest focuses on short films that are screened in cinemas all over the city. Other entertaining events run parallel to the festival each year. Hours and admission varies.

4. Andalusia Rocket Festival - Just south of Granada, on a site located in a stunning valley surrounded by soaring mountains, the three day rocket festival takes place. The dramatic location fills 15 acres with equally dramatic music, visual arts and events. Thousands come here to stay on the public campsites for the duration of the fest. Admission for the site and fest is approximately 65EUR, 12 and under are free. The event takes place annually in May.

5. International Festival of Music and Dance - Granada is one of the places were the flamenco tradition started. To pay homage to its roots, the one of a kind Alhambra Palace holds an annual festival that allows guests to browse its gardens, monasteries and cathedrals as well as enjoy the sights and sounds of flamenco music, dance and song. Many streets and additional venues also fill with the sounds of flamenco song and dance. Hours and admission varies. The festival takes place from June through July.

6. Festival of La Virgen de las Angustias - The streets come alive each September as the citizens of Granada honor the Virgin of Anguish with parades, masses of flowers and delicious foods at every corner. There is no admission cost.

7. Hocus Pocus Festival - This magical festival brings together many masters of illusion from all over the world. There are also lectures and workshops for those who want to learn the ways of magic. Hocus Pocus Nights run throughout the fest and show a different magician each night. Hours, admission and venues vary. The fest takes place each November.

8. Reconquest Festival - The entire city floods the streets to remember the fateful day when the Christians took Granada back from the Moors on January 2, 1492. The day starts with a huge service at Capilla Real followed by a procession, where a flag is raised in honor of Fernando and Queen Isabel. Afterwards parties go well into the evening in venues and streets all over Granada. The Real's service ranges from 2.50 - 3.50EUR. Admission elsewhere is free.

9. Catholic Kings Tour - The Catholic Kings were present when the Christians defeated the Moors. They added much to the city's architecture including the Hospital Real, Santo Domingo Church, Capilla Real and La Cathedral de Granada.

10. La Alhambra - This completely stunning structure is part fortress, part palace, part garden and part government office. It dates back to medieval times and is often considered one of the seven wonders of the world. It is such a sought after attraction that it is recommended to book tickets in advance. Alhambra is open from March through October daily from 8:30am - 8:00pm, weekends from 10:00am - 11:30pm. In November through February closing hours change to 6:30pm. Tickets are around 10EUR.

Granada Airport

Iberia airport is about 12 kilometers from Granada and offers incoming flights from Madrid to Barcelona daily. There are also budget flights from other European cities, though not daily.

The airport is about ½ hour from Granada in good traffic. A taxi ride to the city is about 20EUR. One can also wait for the bus, which is 3EUR and drops off airport guests at Palacia de Congresos every ½ hour.


Granada Web Sites

We haven't found any good Granada web sites yet! Please let us know if you know any.

Search Hotels