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Things To Do In Granada
Granada may be one of the smaller Spanish cities, but it’s rich and diverse 700 year old history makes it one of the most popular places to explore. Surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges, the city has been influenced greatly by the Moorish, Catholic, Gothic and even Renaissance design styles. The best thing to do in the city is to explore the Alhambra district, a 12th century masterpiece of Moorish architecture filled with numerous citadels, patios and strongholds. The unique neighbourhoods in the city including Albaicin and Sacromonte also offer visitors opportunities to study the city’s history.
Undoubtedly the best thing to do in Granada is to explore the ancient palace complex of Alhambra, constructed back in the 12th and 13th century for the Nasrid Dynasty that ruled the Emirate of Granada in the concluding periods of Muslim influence in Andalucia. The complex offers some stunning Generalife courtyards, fortresses and Moorish influenced interiors that make it the city’s focal point for all cultural activities, all in the backdrop of the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges. The complex is so massive that everything here can’t be seen in one day itself!
Check out the Generalife Palace
Forming a part of the legendary Alhambra, exploring this summer estate of the Nasrid Dynasty rulers is one of the best things to do in the city. Created way back in the 14th century the palace grounds include stunning courtyards, fountains, pools, trees and statuettes influenced by the Moorish design style. At the crest of the hill the Patio del Ciprés de la Sultana shows the place where the Emirs would have relaxed in the cool shade of a nearly 700 year old Cypress Tree that can be found here.
Explore the Albaicin Neighbourhood
Exploring the ancient quarters of the Moorish-inspired Albaicin area continues to be one of the most popular activities on offer in Granada. The area has retained most of its old-world charm and includes narrow lanes, handcrafted tiles and historic structures like the Church of Saint Nicholas, Carrera Del Daro Street and Taberna 22, one of the best tapas spots in the country. Albaicin forms a part of the UNESCO-listed Arab Quarter of the city.
The 2nd largest cathedral in the country, the Granada Cathedral continues to attract thousands of visitors the world over. A must-do activity for historians and design lovers alike is to explore this 16th century ancient wonder. The structure is characterized by stained-glass windows and observes a combination of styles that have gone into its construction. The foundations are Gothic influenced and the interiors and mainframe are influenced by the Renaissance.
Another unique activity involves a trip to the Royal Chapel, situated next-door to the Granada Cathedral. The Catholic Sovereigns, Isabella I and Ferdinand II are entombed at this spot, having carried out the Christian overthrowing of Spain for the second time from the Moorish Empire in the 14th century. Domenico Fancelli is credited with the construction and design of this spectacular structure. It is a great place to visit to gather a deeper understanding of Granada’s rich and complex history.
A part of the Moorish inspired Albaicin neighbourhood and originally home to Granada’s Grand Bazaar, Alacaiceria is one of the best places to explore for visitors keen on picking up souvenirs or local handicrafts. Fajalauza Ceramics is a great spot to check out in this lane for earthenware, jewellery, silk fabrics other unique handicrafts.
Famously known as the city’s Gypsy Quarter, this is yet another historic neighbourhood in the city and a visit here is one of the best things to do. The area is filled with scattered caverns and is located in the countryside in the hills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The place is home to artists and the intelligentsias alike, boasting a unique ecosystem that makes it one of the city’s cultural hubs. This is one of the best places to enjoy a traditional Flamenco performance.
Explore the Banuelo
Another gem located in the Alhambra area, these ancient baths are one of the few locations that could be salvaged by the Catholic Monarchs who took over the city post the Moorish Dynasty. Way back in 1918 these baths were acknowledged as a National Monument, consequently being redesigned by the celebrated engineer Balbas. Exploring the ancient chambers and quarters of these baths is one of the best things to do here.