Top 10 reasons to visit Granada, Spain

A fascinating and rich history, a stunning interplay of different architectural styles, beautiful natural landscape, and a lovely weather are only some of the reasons why you would want to visit Granada, in the charming southern Spanish Andalucia region, now.

Top reasons to visit Granada

Patio de la Acequia at Granada’s Alhambra

**Guest post by Chloe from Journey With Chloe

Granada has and always will have a special place in my heart. I’ve visited this amazing city seven times in the past few years. It’s still my favourite city in the world even after visiting 17 countries.

Here are my top 10 reasons why you NEED to visit Granada

1. Strangers treat you like family

I’ve never felt so welcome in a city before. On one trip, I was wandering through the Albayzín neighbourhood alone. I stopped to eat at Arrayenes, a Moroccan style restaurant. The doors were open but the seats were empty and the lights were off. I peeked inside and shouted “Hola?”. The owner greeted me to say they were closed for Siesta. I never expected what would happen next.

This absolute stranger brought me to sit down and eat with his colleagues. They poured me Moroccan lemonade and fed me couscous. And they refused to let me pay anything! I was blown away.

Normally, business owners only care about making money. Yet, this guy was happy to feed me for nothing. I’ll never forget that kind gesture. I even returned on my last visit to eat in the same restaurant with my boyfriend. When the owner realised who I was, he brought us complimentary tea and dessert.

Don’t be surprised to meet these sort of people in Granada. Another time, I met three people from Granada in Morocco who hosted my friend and me in their home for nothing in return. Another time, a man who lives in the Sacromonte caves bought me a drink even though he had very little money.

It’s true that the people make the place. When I think of all the amazing people I’ve met in different countries, a lot of them are from Granada.

2. The architecture

Top reasons to visit Granada

Albayzín quarter in Granada. Photo by Journey with Chloe

The bright white houses, potted flowers and windy cobbled streets in the Albayzín are beautiful and make it for one of the reasons to visit Granada. You feel like a child again exploring the city and discovering hidden gems. It gives you an insight into Andalusian culture too.

Click here to find out the best things to do in Granada

3. Home to a UNESCO world heritage site

The Alhambra is a 1,530,000 square foot Arabic palace and fortress. You can admire it from afar with a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Or you can stroll around the palaces and gardens for hours to witness its beauty up close.

4. The atmosphere

The magic of Granada is indescribable. It’s vibrant, open-minded, fun, relaxed and non-judgemental. People tend to see beyond race or social class. Everyone does their own thing and everyone accepts that. You don’t really tend to see the police about and it feels like a really safe place.

5. The cheap food

In Granada, the restaurants tend to be cheap anyway. Even better though, since it’s located in Andalusia, most places will give you a free tapas when you buy a drink. At my favourite tapas bar, La Riviera, you can buy a beer or glass of wine for €2 and get a decent portion of food for free. I’ve had dinner there countless times for only €4 or €6!

Top reasons to visit Granada

Lovely street art in Granada. Photo by Journey with Chloe

6. The street art

Granada is full of creative people who love to make art. The famous Grenadian muralist, El Niño de las Pinturas has street art scattered all over the city. You can see it by taking a tour or searching for an online map.

7. It’s ridiculously photogenic

Normally, you have to put effort into getting somewhere to get a nice view. Not in Granada. There are easily accessible lookout spots all around the city where the views are breathtaking. Even the doorways are worth taking photos of.

8. You can’t be underwhelmed

You could stay in Granada for weeks and still not have seen everything. There is so much variety. Each bustling neighbourhood offers an alternative side to Granada. Different styles of buildings, monuments, plazas, and markets.

9. You can sunbathe at the beach and go skiing on the same day

Top reasons to visit Granada

Granada has it all. And if it doesn’t, it’s only a short drive away. I’ve taken day trips to the natural hot springs, the beach, to snowboard, chill by a lake, hike in the mountains and see waterfalls.

Within the same day, you can ski in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains and drive a couple hours to beaches on the Southern coast!

10. It will bring you back to reality

This small city of 234,000 inhabitants brings you back down to earth. Even compared to other cities in Spain, Granada has a unique way of life. People are real to you. There’s no sugar coating or facade. It’s the best place to clear your mind from any stress you’re carrying around. Talking from experience, if you’re really open to it, Granada can even help you to discover yourself.

One thing is for sure, you won’t be able to help to fall in love with Granada like I have.

Not convinced? Read my in-depth travel guide to Granada and I’m sure you will be looking at flights to Granada by the time you finish reading!

Bio: Chloe is a travel and mindfulness blogger from Journey with Chloe who offers travel guides, tips, itineraries incorporated with veganism and mindfulness


Have you booked your flight to Granada? Here is where to stay, best hotels in Granada

Eurostars Gran Via. Conveniently located in the city centre, Eurostars Gran Via hotel in Granada is the perfect accommodation if you are visiting for holiday and sightseeing. Free WiFi is available all throughout the hotel and all rooms feature a TV, and a private bathroom complete with bathtub, complimentary toiletries, and a hairdryer.

The hotel’s guests can relax in the on-site bar and, for an additional charge, can enjoy some pampering treatments at the hotel’s wellness centre such as Turkish baths, spa, and massage.

Eurostars Gran Via is within walking distance of most historical landmarks in the city centre and is also in a good position for visiting the Alhambra, one of the main highlights in Granada.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Marquis Hotels Issabel’s. A favourite hotel in Granada, Marquis Hotels Issabel’s is located in the city centre within walking distance from the most important landmarks and great bars and local restaurants. The soundproof rooms are furnished with minimalist elegance and equipped with modern amenities such as air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, coffee and tea-making facilities, bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries.

Free WiFi is available throughout the whole property and the front-desk service is 24-hours. The hotel also has a bar, a restaurant, a terrace to relax outdoors, and the possibility to have breakfast delivered in the room. For an additional charge, guests can enjoy the in-house spa and massage treatments.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Apartamentos Turísticos GRX. If you prefer the privacy and cosiness of a home when you visit Granada, Apartamentos Turísticos GRX is your ideal accommodation. The apartments feature a kitchen equipped with a microwave, a toaster, a refrigerator, washing machine, dining table, cleaning products, a coffee machine, and kitchenware.

The living area has a dining zone, a sofa, and a sitting area, while the bedroom features a baby crib and a wardrobe. The modern private bathroom is equipped with towels, free toiletries, a hairdryer, baby soap,

The apartments are complete with ironing facilities, flat-screen TV, a balcony, and WiFi connection. The property is pet-friendly.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Hotel Posada del Toro. If you prefer to spend a holiday completely free from the hassle of taking care of a house and you would rather stay at a fully managed accommodation, Hotel Posada del Toro is one of the favourite hotels in Granada.

Finely decorated in a traditional Andalusian style, this hotel in Granada city centre is conveniently located a stone’s throw from the major historic attractions such as Granada’s cathedral, souq, Plaza Nueva, and many tapas bars.

The soundproof rooms feature free WiFi, minibar, safe, flat-screen TV, a private bathroom complete with shower, hairdryer, towels and complimentary toiletries. The Suite includes also a terrace with a view of the Alhambra and a separate lounge.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

More luxury hotels in Granada

Eurostars Washington Irving. Located in the city centre close to many of the local historic landmarks and a stone’s throw from the Alhambra, Eurostars Washington Irving is a favourite luxury hotel in Granada.

Guests of this property love the excellent breakfast and professional service, free WiFi all throughout the property. Rooms are spacious, modern and equipped with state-of-the-art amenities such as flat-screen TV, safe, extra-sized bed, a modern bathroom with large shower and a hairdryer, air-conditioning, and a desk. Deluxe rooms have also a minibar.

The hotel’s rooftop has a private swimming pool available for the guests, in the good season also an outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy also an in-house restaurant and coffee shop.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Alhambra Slowhomes. A great choice among the apartments options in Granada is Alhambra Slowhomes. Located close to the Alhambra and within walking distance from the city centre, this accommodation features a kitchen equipped with a microwave, a fridge, a stove and a toaster. A coffee machine and a kettle are also available.

The bathroom features towels, complimentary toiletries, and a hairdryer. Rooms are soundproof and equipped with air-conditioning/heating and feature free WiFi. Pets are not allowed.

The apartments are very modern and complete with anything you might need. Entrance is through passwords so key-free.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Chezmoihomes Plaza Nueva Deluxe. A fantastic option among the apartments selection in Granada is  Chezmoihomes Plaza Nueva Deluxe, conveniently located in the city centre close to all major historic landmarks.

Rooms feature air-conditioning and some units also a sitting or a dining area. The apartments feature brand-new facilities and come with a well-furnished kitchen, a dishwasher, a microwave, the oven, a refrigerator, and coffee/tea-making facilities. Bedrooms are complete with bed linen. The bathroom features free toiletries, towels, and a hairdryer.

Free WiFi is available everywhere on the property.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Smart Suites Albaicin. Located in the lovely area of Albayzin, Smart Suites Albaicin are one of the favourite accommodations in Granada. Some of the apartments include a kitchen with dishwasher, oven, and microwave, some units have a dining area and a terrace.

The Penthouse three-bedroom apartment features three bathrooms, two double rooms, and one twin room, a living room with flat-screen TV, kitchenette complete with dishwasher, microwave, oven, stove, toaster, coffee machine, and kitchenware.

All rooms are modern and feature air-conditioning/heating system, TV, tea/coffee-making facilities, TV, desk and free WiFi.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Parador de Granada. Among the choices of hotels in Granada, Parador de Granada is one of the favourites. Located in a 15th-century convent, this hotel has a great in-house restaurant serving traditional local cuisine that guests can enjoy either indoor or on the restaurant’s terrace with a view of the Alhambra.

A traditional look perfectly blends with state-of-the-art facilities and a contemporary style. Rooms feature free wired internet access, air-conditioning, a modern private bathroom with free toiletries, bathrobe and hairdryer, flat-screen TV, minibar, safe, and kettle.
Click here for more reviews and current prices.

Alhambra Palace. Another good choice of hotels in Granada is the Alhambra Palace, located right outside the Alhambra.

Rooms are furnished in a revisited Moorish design and come with free WiFi, air-conditioning, minibar, safe, satellite flat-screen TV, and a modern bathroom with complimentary toiletries, shower or bathtub, bathrobe, and hairdryer.

The hotel features also a nice restaurant that serves traditional Andalusian dishes and a terrace with a fantastic view of the Alhambra. For visiting the Alhambra, this location is pretty hard to beat.
Click here for more reviews and current offers.


Want to visit more places in Spain? Check out our other articles:

La Judería, Muslim, Christian, Jewish heart of Cordoba

Exploring Barcelona architecture and unearthing Gaudí’s genius

Top 10 reasons to visit Andalusia


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