The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Granada, Spain (2020)

The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Granada, Spain (2020)

NOTICE: Your health and safety come first. Please adhere to the WHO recommendations and avoid any non-essential travel at this time. If travel is unavoidable for you, then you can check the Flatten the Curve website for information on global travel restrictions.
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Granada was our favorite city in Spain. We visited over ten cities and towns throughout the country but Granada is the only place we could really see ourselves living in.

In fact, we were planning on going back and staying for at least a month in 2021. If the world rights itself before then, then we may still get to do that.

We loved everything about this city. We loved its size and its narrow meandering streets. It’s one of the birthplaces of flamenco and home to the University of Granada. About a third of its population is comprised of students, giving it a relaxed college town vibe that belies its long and complex history.

Granada was the final stronghold of the Spanish Moors. Evidence of Islamic influence is still prevalent throughout the city, from its Arab baths to the Alcaiceria to the Albayzin and the mighty Alhambra.

We loved Granada’s atmosphere and architecture but the one thing we enjoyed most was its food. Every city in Spain will have great Spanish food but Granada offers one thing that many Spanish cities do not – free tapas.

Is it any surprise we want to live there?

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Tapas and carvings inside the Nasrid Palaces

GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Travel Restrictions
  2. Granada at a Glance
  3. Best Time to Visit
  4. Traveling to Granada
  5. Where to Exchange Currency
  6. Best Areas to Stay
  7. Places to Visit
  8. Things to Do
  1. Day Trips from Granada
  2. Spanish Food Guide
  3. Where to Eat
  4. Points of Interest (Map)
  5. How to Get Around
  6. How Many Days to Stay / Sample Itinerary
  7. Budget / Summary of Expenses
  8. Travel Tips

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Because of the current global situation, travel guidelines change regularly. Our friends at SafetyWing created a website that lists detailed information on travel restrictions around the globe.

Before planning a trip to Granada, be sure to check the Flatten the Curve website for information on travel restrictions to Spain.

GRANADA AT A GLANCE

Granada is a city in the Andalucia region of southern Spain. It’s a university city and home to one of the most famous landmarks in Spain and in Europe – the Alhambra.

Granada has been inhabited by humans for at least 2,500 years. It started as an Ibero-Celtic settlement before becoming a Greek colony. It flourished as an economic center of Roman Hispania before being ruled by the Visigoths and then reconquered by the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire.

The Moorish conquest of 711 AD brought Islamic rule to the Iberian peninsula with Granada becoming the center of Muslim Spain. After the Christian Reconquista in 1236, it became the center of the Nasrid Kingdom for the next 250 years before ultimately falling to Christian Spain in 1492. This marked the end of Moorish rule in the Iberian peninsula.

Attempts to hide its Muslim character were made over the following centuries. Much of the city’s architectural heritage was destroyed before tourism began ushering in global interest to the city. In a way, I guess you can say that tourism helped save Granada’s Islamic heritage.

Today, the Alhambra and Granada are among the most visited destinations in Spain.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

As far as the weather goes, Apr-May and Sept-Oct are the best months to visit Granada. They’re the mildest times of the year.

We were in Granada in late April and the weather was nice. It would be overcast on some days but it never rained. It wasn’t warm yet but we were fine wearing just light jackets.

MAR-MAY: This is one of the best times of the year to be in Granada. The weather is favorable, especially towards late April and May. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, then March may be a good month to visit as well.

JUN-AUG: Summers in southern Spain are hot, so this isn’t the best time to go if you aren’t a fan of hot weather. Temperatures often exceed 40°C (104°F) in July and August, prompting locals to escape to cooler climates like San Sebastian in the north. Many shops, restaurants, and bars may be closed during this time. In contrast, June is a busy festival month in Granada. It hosts the Feria del Corpus Cristi and the Festival Internacional de Musica y Danza.

SEP-NOV: Weather-wise, fall is similar to spring making it one of the best times to visit Granada.

DEC-FEB: Because of its location in the south of Spain, winters in Granada are relatively mild. If you’d like to go skiing in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, then winter is a good time to go.

Climate: Annual Monthly Weather in Granada

For more on Granada’s weather, check out these climate graphs from holiday-weather.com. I’ve also created the average temperature and annual rainfall graphs below with the most ideal months to visit marked in orange.

Average Temperature
Average Temperature in Granada, Spain

Annual Rainfall
Annual Rainfall in Granada, Spain

TRAVELING TO GRANADA

We flew to Granada from Barcelona but there are several ways to get there depending on where you are.

By Plane

People flying into Granada will arrive at Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport aka Granada International Airport (GRX). It’s located about 18 km (11.2 miles) west of Granada. From the airport, you can take an Alsa bus, taxi, or private transfer to the city.

BUS: The bus takes about 45 minutes and costs just EUR 3. It’s the cheapest way to get from the airport to the city. You can pay for it on the spot or in advance through Klook. The bus is cheap and reliable but you’ll need to walk or take a taxi to your hotel after it drops you off in the city center. Many of Granada’s neighborhoods are hilly with cobblestone streets so you may have some difficulty walking to your hotel.

TAXI: Taxis will get you into the city center in about 20 minutes. It’ll cost between EUR 25-30 so if there are enough people in your group, then it may be worth it for the convenience.

PRIVATE TRANSFER: If you’d prefer to have a driver waiting for you at the airport when you land, then you can book a private transfer in advance through Get Your Guide (Option 1 | Option 2).

By Train

Granada can be reached by high-speed AVE train. The train station is located about 1.5 km (1 mile) north of the city center so you can either walk or take a taxi to your hotel. You can check Trainline for route information and to book tickets.

By Bus

You can also travel to Granada by Alsa buses which are cheaper than trains and just as comfortable. We took a bus to go from Granada to Madrid. The bus station is located farther away, about 3 km (1.9 miles) north of the city center. From the station, you can either take a public bus or a taxi to your hotel. You can search for bus tickets to Granada on FlixBus or Alsa.

By Car

If you’re comfortable driving, then traveling by car is the best way to epxlore Spain and Europe. We drove from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable legs of our trip.

If you’re interested in renting a car and driving to Granada, then you can do so on Rentalcars.com.

WHERE TO EXCHANGE CURRENCY

The unit of currency in Spain is the Euro (EUR). We withdrew EUR from an ATM so we didn’t have to change any currency in Granada. This seems to be the de facto option in Spain and in many other European countries these days.

If you plan on using your ATM card in Europe, then I suggest informing your bank beforehand. That way they don’t flag any transactions. In my experience, my ATM card works in some machines but not in others. I had no such problems in Spain.

NOTE: Many ATMs in Europe will ask if you’d like to proceed “with or without conversion”. Always proceed WITHOUT conversion. Proceeding with conversion authorizes the foreign bank operating the ATM to do the conversion for you, usually at terrible exchange rates.

BEST AREAS TO STAY

If it’s your first time in Granada, then it’s best to stay in the historic city center. It’s the busiest part of town but it’s also the most convenient, putting you close to many of the city’s major attractions, tapas bars, shops, and restaurants. Aside from the city center, I think the Albayzin is another great place to stay.

I’ve created a color-coded map to help you understand where these areas are. Click on the link for an interactive version of the map. (Please note that marked areas are approximations only)

RED – City Center
BLUE – Albayzin

Granada area map

CITY CENTER

Staying in Granada’s historic center will put you close to everything. Many of the city’s top tourist attractions – including the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens – are located inside or within walking distance of the city center.

It’s also home to many of the best tapas bars and restaurants so for us, there really is no better place to stay in Granada, especially if it’s your first time in the city.

We stayed at a spacious three-bedroom apartment along Calle Cuartelillo. It’s called the tuGuest Molinos Apartment and is one of many apartments in Granada owned and operated by the same vacation rental group. It’s in a quiet neighborhood a little over a kilometer away from the Alhambra.

You can book a room at tuGuest Molinos Apartment through Booking.com or Agoda. If it’s too big or not the right place for you, then click on the links to search for alternate listings in the city center: Booking.com | Agoda.

ALBAYZIN

The Albayzin (or Albaicin) was my favorite area in Granada. It’s a medieval Moorish district known for its predominantly white houses built on the side of a hill overlooking the city and the Alhambra. It’s a lovely atmospheric neighborhood that’s one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Granada.

I loved the Albayzin but it may be a bit far from the city center. It’s about half an hour away on foot from central Granada. You’ll need to walk through hilly cobblestone streets to go back and forth so it may not be the most convenient place to stay for first-time visitors.

With that said, the Albayzin is definitely where we want to stay on our next trip to Granada. It’s quieter than the city center with its own cluster of restaurants, cafes, and tapas bars. You can search for accommodations in the Albayzin on Booking.com or Agoda.



Booking.com


PLACES TO VISIT

1. The Alhambra & Generalife Gardens

The Alhambra is the main reason why many people visit Granada. Built in the 8th century, this magnificent complex was the fortress of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Islamic kingdom in Western Europe. It occupies about 10.5 hectares (26 acres) of land and is protected by 2 km (1.2 miles) of fortress walls.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Alhambra consists of three main sections – the Alzacaba, the Medina, and the palatial zone. The palatial zone is where you’ll find Nasrid Palaces which is the most spectacular part of the fortress complex. As you can see below, nearly every square inch of the palace is covered in intricate detail.

The Alhambra is one of the hottest tickets in Spain so you’re strongly advised to purchase your tickets as soon as possible. We bought ours from the official website but if you’d like to go on a guided tour, then you can book one through Get Your Guide.
Nasrid Palaces in Granada, Spain

The Generalife was the summer palace of the Nasrid rulers. It features a cluster of buildings and many large gardens that are considered among the most well-preserved Moorish gardens in Spain.

The Alhambra and Generalife feel like they’re in the same complex but they’re actually separate entities situated right next to each other. They’re so massive that it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk from one to the other.

Purchasing a general ticket to the Alhambra will give you access to the Generalife as well.
Generalife Gardens in Granada, Spain

Admission: EUR 14 / Estimated Time to Spend: About 3-4 hrs

2. Granada Cathedral & Royal Chapel of Granada

There are beautiful churches all throughout Spain. Granada Cathedral is the biggest church in the city and considered a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

Interestingly, it was built over the former site of the Great Mosque, in an effort perhaps to eradicate the city’s Moorish character and mark the end of Muslim dominance in Granada.
Granada Cathedral

Admission: EUR 5 (audioguide included) / Estimated Time to Spend: About 30 mins – 1 hr

The Royal Chapel of Granada is located right next to the cathedral. Constructed in 1517, it was built to house the remains of the Catholic Monarchs Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand.

The Cathedral and Royal Chapel are located in the historic center so you can easily visit them on your own, but if you’d like to have a guide explain everything to you, then you can join a guided tour (Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3).
The Royal Chapel of Granada

Admission: EUR 5 (audioguide included) / Estimated Time to Spend: About 30 mins – 1 hr

3. Carmen de los Martires Gardens

A Casa Carmen refers to a traditional house in Granada with an enclosed garden. There are many Carmenes in Granada, but one of the most well-known and easily accessible is the Carmen de los Martires. Located just south of the Alhambra, it’s the biggest Carmen (by surface area) in Granada.

Many Carmenes are open only for special events but the gardens of Carmen de los Martires are open to the public. The house itself remains closed but tourists are free to explore the Carmen’s gardens which are described as among the most beautiful in Granada.
Granada Cathedral

Admission: FREE / Estimated Time to Spend: About 1 hr

4. Monasterio de San Jeronimo

The Royal Monastery of St. Jerome is a Catholic monastery that was the first to be built in Granada after the Christian Reconquista. Built in the Renaissance style, it features a sacristy described as one of the best examples of Spanish Baroque architecture.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it because there’s a EUR 4 admission fee to go inside. You can however enter the courtyard for free. It’s a peaceful space with dozens of orange trees.

You can visit the monastery on your own or on this guided tour that includes visits to the Cathedral and Royal Chapel as well.
View of Monasterio de San Jeronimo and orange trees

Admission: EUR 4 / Estimated Time to Spend: About 30 mins – 1 hr

5. Monasterio de la Cartuja

Founded in 1084, the Carthusians or the Order of St. Bruno are an enclosed religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes both monks and nuns who lead spartan lives.

Members of the Carthusian order fast regularly and observe strict vows of silence, which makes the Monasterio de la Cartuja somewhat ironic because it’s known for being one of the most elaborately decorated Carthusian monasteries in Spain.

The monastery’s bare exterior belies what’s described as a “flamboyant explosion of ornamentation” and one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Spain.

The monastery is located about 2 km north of the city center. It’a pleasant walk though you’ll find yourself going uphill for a good portion of it. I think it’s worth it just to see a different side of the city.
Looking up at La Cartuja Monastery

Admission: EUR 5 (audioguide included) / Estimated Time to Spend: About 1 hr

6. Monumentos Andalusies

The Monumentos Andalusies (Andalusian Monuments) refers to a set of four Moorish attractions scattered throughout the city – El Bañuelo, Corral del Carbon, Palacio Dar al-Horra, and Casa Horno de Oro. I visited two on my own but a joint ticket will give you access to all four.

Pictured below is the exterior of the Palacio Dar al-Horra, a 15th century Moorish palace that was the former residence of Aixa la-Horra – mother of the last Emir of Granada. I walked by this place on my way back to the city center from the Albayzin.
Walking by Palacio de Dar al-Horra

After the Christian Reconquista, Arab baths were banned in Spain. El Bañuelo is one of the few that survived destruction by the Catholic Monarchs. Located along Carrera del Darro, it’s believed to be the oldest and most well-preserved Arab bath in Spain.
Inside El Bañuelo

Corral del Carbon dates back to the 14th century and is the only surviving Nasrid alhondiga in Spain. An alhondiga or almudi refers to a public market where grain was bartered and stored.
Inside the courtyard of Corral del Carbon

Admission: EUR 5 / Estimated Time to Spend: About 30 mins – 1 hr per site

THINGS TO DO

1. Watch a Flamenco Show Inside a Cave

Watching a flamenco show inside a cave in Sacromonte is one of the best things you can do in Granada. Personally, it was one of my favorite experiences not just in Granada, but in all of Spain.

Flamenco is a Spanish art form consisting of song, dance, and guitar playing. It has its roots in Andalusia and is believed to have originated from nomadic Romani people who migrated to southern Spain.

Some of them settled and built their homes inside caves in Sacromonte, a neighborhood just east of the historic center. Inside these caves is where you can enjoy some of the most authentic and memorable flamenco experiences in Spain.

We went to Zambra Maria la Canastera, a venue often cited for being one of the best places to watch flamenco in Sacromonte. You can also book flamenco shows on Get Your Guide.
Flamenco dancer inside a cave in Sacrmonte

2. Explore the Albayzin

The Albayzin was my favorite neighborhood in Granada. It’s an atmospheric Moorish district with mostly white houses and miradores (viewing points) offering spectacular views of the city and the Alhambra.

The Albayzin is located about 1.5 km (1 mile) northeast of the city center so you can easily get there on foot, though much of the walk is uphill. I had a great time exploring its labyrinth of roads and narrow alleyways which is much more peaceful than downtown Granada.

You can easily visit the Albayzin on your own, but if you’re prefer to go on a guided tour, then you can book one on Get Your Guide. It’s located next to Sacromonte so many tours will take you to both.
Walking around the streets of the Albayzin

3. Shop at the Alcaiceria

The Alcaiceria was the former site of the Great Bazaar of Granada, a network of streets filled with over 200 shops selling silk, spices, and other precious goods.

Unfortunately, much of the bazaar was destroyed by fire in the 19th century so all that remains today is this colorful strip of shops selling items like Arabic crafts, farolas, and ethnic clothing.

If you’re in the market for interesting souvenirs in Granada, then this is a great place to look. Entering the Alcaiceria through Calle Reyes Catolicos will take you out to Granada Cathedral.
Entrance to the Alcaiceria

4. Bathe at Hammam Al Andalus

If you enjoy massages and thermal baths, then you’ll probably want to spend an hour or two relaxing at Hammam Al Andalus. It’s the first Arabic bath to reopen after they were banned in Spain over five centuries ago.

Housed in a 13th century building, Hammam Al Andalus features seven pools with varying temperatures. You probably won’t need reservations to soak in the pools but it’s recommended to book any treatments in advance. Get Your Guide offers vouchers for a bath session with an optional massage or bundled with a ticket to the Alhambra.
Inside Hammam Al Andalus

5. Go on a E-Bike or Segway Tour

Granada is small enough to easily explore on foot, but if you’d like a more interesting way of navigating the city, then perhaps you’d like to go on an e-bike or Segway tour.

Many of the neighborhoods in Granada are hilly so this may be an attractive option for people with mobility issues. There are many e-bike and Segway tours you can choose from on Get Your Guide.
Segway on cobblestone street

DAY TRIPS FROM GRANADA

1. Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada mountain range is a popular tourist destination in Andalusia. It’s the third-highest mountain range in Europe and where you’ll find Mount Mulhacen, the highest peak in Spain.

It’s home to the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort which is the southernmost ski resort in Europe. Its ski season starts around late November and can last until early May. I remember looking up from the Albayzin in late April and marveling at how beautiful its snow-capped mountains were.

Skiing is one of the best reasons to visit Sierra Nevada but it’s proximity – about 35 km (21.7 miles) east of Granada – makes it an ideal day trip destination at any time of the year.

Get Your Guide (Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3) offers tours that take you to Sierra Nevada to go biking, hiking, or to simply enjoy its cool mountain air.
View from the Sierra Nevada Mountains

2. Alpujarras

The Alpujarras is a region on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It features around fifty villages that were originally established by Berbers who inhabited this area after the Moorish invasion of 711 AD.

These villages served as the final stronghold of the Moors. After the Reconquista, the Moors were forced to convert to Christianity. Those who refused fled to these hills and continued to rebel against the Catholic Monarchy until the last Moorish leader was executed in 1571.

The villages of the Alpujarras continue to be inhabited and have become a popular tourist destination from Granada. You can get there on your own by Alsa bus, but for day trips, it’s probably easier to go on a guided tour (Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3).
Alpujarran village

3. Frigiliana

Frigiliana is a town in Malaga acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in Spain. Located about 8 km (5 miles) from the coast, it’s known for its labyrinth of cobblestone streets and rustic whitewashed houses.

The town’s picturesque setting and lovely coastal atmosphere have it earned it the title of “prettiest village in Andalusia” by the Spanish tourism authority.

Frigiliana is about 100 km (62.1 miles) south of Granada. You can get there by Alsa bus via Nerja, though considering the distance, it’s perhaps best to go on a guided tour (Option 1 | Option 2).
Frigiliana

SPANISH FOOD GUIDE

For me, Spain is one of the world’s best countries for food. It’s home to many delicious dishes like paella valenciana, callos a la madrileña, tapas, and churros con chocolate.

If you’re wondering what to eat in Granada, then check out our Spanish food guide for a list of 45 of the most delicious dishes in Spain.
Polbo a feira

WHERE TO EAT

13 Must-Try Restaurants in Granada

There is much to be fascinated with in Granada but the free tapas was definitely a highlight for us. I don’t know if it’s done in other Spanish cities but Granada was the only place we visited that offered free tapas with drinks.

Every drink you order at a tapas bar entitles you to one free plate of tapas. Order a second and you’ll get another plate of a different kind. We never stayed for more than two drinks at any bar because the free tapas made bar hopping so much fun. We wanted to visit as many bars as we could at every meal!

If you’re looking for suggestions on which tapas bars and restaurants to visit, then check out our food guide with 13 of the best tapas bars in Granada.
Moorish tapas

Thirteen may be too many for some people so I’ve listed five of our favorites below. Be sure to click through to the complete food guide for more pictures and information.

1. Bar Los Diamantes

Bar Los Diamantes is one of the most popular tapas bars in Granada. It’s almost always packed with people enjoying plate after plate of tapas. Don’t let that turn you away because they offer some of the best seafood tapas in the city.

Just shimmy your way to the bar and enjoy delicious tapas like chipirones fritos (baby squid), navajas (razor clams), and mollejas (sweetbreads).
Seafood tapas at Bar Los Diamantes

2. Bar Poë

Bar Poë was one of the most interesting tapas bars we went to. It’s owned by a British expat and his Angolan wife. He manages the front while she weaves her culinary magic in the back.

This husband and wife duo is known for producing a menu of internationally inspired tapas dishes like Brazilian black bean and pork stew, spicy chicken liver with coriander, and Portuguse-style salted cod.
Trio of tapas at Bar Poe

3. Oum Kalsum

Located around the corner from Bar Poë, Oum Kalsum is another interesting bar known for serving Moroccan-inspired tapas dishes like couscous, shawarma, falafel, and tajine.

Pictured below is a delicious dish of tajine de kefta which are seasoned meatballs cooked in a traditional tajine pot.
Tajine de kefta at Oum Kalsum

4. La Sitarilla

La Sitarilla is located near Bar Poë and Oum Kalsum. Their tapas aren’t as exotic as the previous two but they’re every bit as delicious. Pictured below is a supremely tasty plate of lomo or pork tenderloin cooked in tomato sauce and served with chips.

La Sitarilla was one of the biggest and busiest tapas bars we went to. It was filled with Spanish locals being loud and having the grandest time. The energy in this place was infectious!
Lomo tapas at La Sitarilla

5. Bar Avila

Bar Avila is another local favorite. They don’t serve anything unusual but everything we tried was absolutely delicious.

We had many tasty dishes like pork casserole, papparones, and chipirones fritos, but my favorite was this plate of juicy roasted pork tenderloin served over crusty bread. My god was this good!
roasted pork tenderloin tapas at Bar Avila

POINTS OF INTEREST IN GRANADA

To help you navigate, I’ve pinned the places recommended in this guide on a map. Click on the link to open the interactive map in a new window.
Map with pins

HOW TO GET AROUND

Granada isn’t that big with most of its major attractions located inside or within walking distance of the historic center. If you enjoy walking, then you probably won’t need any form of transportation.

If you’d rather not walk, then a great way to get around is by hop-on hop-off train. The Granada City tourist trains are called trains but they don’t actually run on rails. They’re a series of electric cars that can hold up to 54 passengers at a time.

They ply set routes throughout the city and you’re free to get on and off as often as you like for the duration of your pass. You can purchase 1- or 2-day tickets on Get Your Guide.

No matter how you get around, I suggest downloading the Google Maps app (iOS | Android) if you haven’t already. It’ll tell you all the different ways to get from point A to point B by walking or using any city’s public transportation system. It’s accurate and reliable and something we can’t travel without.

HOW MANY DAYS TO STAY / SAMPLE ITINERARY

As described, Granada is relatively compact so it’s possible to do almost everything in this guide in two full days. However, it may be an event-filled two days so if you’d rather not rush, then it’s best to extend it to three.

Here’s a sample 2D/3N Granada itinerary to help you plan your trip.

DAY ONE

• Carmen de los Martires
• Alhambra
• Generalife
• Carrera del Darro
• El Bañuelo
• Hamam Al Andalus
• Flamenco in Sacromonte
DAY TWO

• Alcaiceria
• Granada Cathedral
• Royal Chapel of Granada
• Calle Elvira
• Monasterio de San Jeronimo
• Palacio de Dar al-Horra
• Albayzin
• Mirador de San Miguel

BUDGET / SUMMARY OF EXPENSES

Assuming you’ll be sharing a modest hotel room with one other person and staying in Granada for two full days, then a budget of around EUR 60-65 per day should be enough. This takes into account your hotel room, meals, transportation, entrance fees, and pocket wifi rental. Here’s a quick breakdown of expenses:

ACCOMMODATIONS

Hotel choices vary greatly from person to person. We stayed at a spacious 3-bedroom apartment in the historic center and paid about EUR 96 a night, which comes out to roughly EUR 32 per room. I just did a dummy search on Booking.com and there are rooms for two people for just EUR 24 a night.
MEALS

If you like to drink, then you can theoretically get through the day in Granada without having to order food ala carte. Depending on the size, draft beer ranges in price from EUR 2-3 so I’d say a budget of EUR 15-20 a day for food and drink is good.
TRANSPORTATION

If you’d like to use the Granada City Train, then a 2-day ticket will cost you EUR 12.
ENTRANCE FEES

In my opinion, only the Alhambra, Generalife, and flamenco show in Sacromonte are must-dos. Everything else is optional. The combined cost of the Alhambra general ticket and flamenco show at Zambra Maria la Canastera is EUR 43.
POCKET WIFI RENTAL

It depends on the type of device, but renting a mobile router from an established provider like Tep Wireless will cost you around EUR 10 per day.
TOTAL

This comes out to about EUR 60-65 a day per person. Ren and I are middle of the road travelers who enjoy good food and drink, so the recommended budget works for people like us. Feel free to adjust based on your own travel habits.

TRAVEL TIPS

1. Plan your Trip with Sygic Travel or ViaHero

SYGIC TRAVEL: If you’re like me and enjoy planning every detail of your trips, then you’ll find the Sygic Travel app useful. I’ve been using this free trip planning app to create our itineraries for many years now. You can download it for free on iOS or Android.

VIAHERO: If you find travel planning to be tedious and would rather have a destination expert do it for you, then you can try ViaHero. ViaHero is a tip planning service that links travelers with local experts who can create custom itineraries based on your interests. If you’d like to give them a try, then you can get a 5% discount on their services if you use our link.

2. Rent a Pocket Wifi Device

Having a stable wifi connection is a must when traveling. You’ll need it to do research, convert currencies, and stay connected on social media. Having access to Google Maps alone justifies the cost.

We brought our own Pokefi devices so we didn’t need to rent any mobile routers in Europe. But if you do need a device that works in Spain and Europe, then you can try Tep Wireless. They’re one of the more established portable wifi providers in the market today.

Click on the link to rent a device from Tep Wireless. You can have it shipped to your home before your trip, or to your hotel.

3. Book Your Alhambra Tickets Early

As described, the Alhrambra is one of the hottest tickets in Europe. We bought ours a few months in advance and a few time slots for the Nasrid Palaces were already fully booked.

One of our travel companions finalized her trip late and Alhambra tickets were completely sold out by then. If I remember correctly, our trip was still a few weeks away so if you can, then you should book your tickets as soon as you finalize the dates of your trip.

They only allow a certain number of people in the Nasrid Palaces at a time so you’ll be asked to pick a time slot when buying your tickets. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early because they won’t let you in if you miss your time slot!

4. Never Pay for Tapas

When our host was checking us in to our apartment, she told us that every bar in Granada will give you free tapas for each order of a drink. If they try to charge you for it, then you’ve walked into a tourist trap.

Unless you order ala carte, authentic local bars will never charge you for tapas that should come free with your drink. To avoid any tourist traps, be sure to check out our food guide for some of the best tapas bars in Granada.

5. Check for Discount Tickets

You can buy vouchers for tours and other travel-related services from many websites. For a trip to Granada, I suggest checking Get Your Guide and Klook. They’re both leading travel ecommerce websites that offer a good selection of deals on tours, transfers, tickets, and more.

6. Rent a Car

Renting a car is one of the best ways to experience Spain. We rented a car to drive from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela and it turned out to be one of the most memorable portions of our trip.

If you’re considering renting a car in Spain or anywhere else in Europe, then you can do so through Rentalcars.com.

7. Get Travel Insurance

Though we do get it more often now, we don’t get travel insurance before every trip. It depends on where we’re going and what we’ll be doing. If we plan on doing any physical activities, anything that could get us hurt, then we’ll definitely pick up a policy.

When we do feel the need for it, we get it from World Nomads or SafetyWing. They’re both leading travel medical insurance providers used by many digital nomads.

Check out my article on why we buy travel insurance for more information. You can click on the links to get a free quote from World Nomads or SafetyWing.

8. Bring the Right Power Adapter

Spain has Type C or Type F electrical outlets so be sure to bring the right power adapters for your devices. Electrical voltage is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

Have fun!

I’m by no means an expert on Granada but I do hope that you find this guide useful. I’m only sharing some of the things I learned from our trip. If you have any comments or suggestions, then please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. You’re welcome to join our Facebook Travel Group as well.

Thanks for reading and have a great time exploring the Alhambra and eating free tapas in Granada!

OUR GEAR

These are some of the things we brought with us to Granada. Check out our “What’s in Our Backpack?” post for a complete list of our gear. (NOTE: The following links are Amazon affiliate links.)

Disclosure

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