Granada seems to specialize in evocative history and good living. Settle down in the old center and explore monuments of the Moorish civilization and its conquest. Taste the treats of a North African-flavored culture that survives here today. This city has much to see, yet it reveals itself in unpredictable ways; it takes a poet to sort through and assemble the jumbled shards of Granada. Peer through the intricate lattice of a Moorish window. Hear water burbling unseen among the labyrinthine hedges of the Generalife Gardens. Listen to a flute trilling deep in the swirl of alleys around the cathedral. Don’t be blind in Granada — open all your senses.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ The Alhambra The last and finest Moorish palace, highlighting the splendor of that civilization in the 13th and 14th centuries. Reservations are a must if you plan to visit during the day.
▲▲ Royal Chapel Lavish 16th-century Plateresque Gothic chapel with the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand.
▲▲ San Nicolás Viewpoint Breathtaking vista over the Alhambra and the Albayzín.
▲ Cathedral The second-largest cathedral in Spain, unusual for its bright Renaissance interior.
▲ The Albayzín Spain’s best old Moorish quarter.
Cave Museum of Sacromonte A center with caves and displays on Roma cave building, crafts, food, and music.
Alcaicería Tiny shopping lanes filled with tacky tourist shops.
Corral del Carbón Granada’s only surviving caravanserai (inn for traveling merchants), with impressive Moorish door.
Paseo de los Tristes A prime strolling strip above the Darro River lined with eateries and peppered with Moorish history.
Hammam El Bañuelo 11th-century ruins of Moorish baths.
Great Mosque of Granada Islamic house of worship featuring a minaret with a live call to prayer and a courtyard with commanding views.
Hammam al Andalus Tranquil spot for soaks and massages in Arab baths.
Zambra Dance Touristy flamenco-like dance performance in Sacromonte district.
Carthusian Monastery Lavish Baroque monastery on the outskirts of town.