Granada was part of our Andalusia 10-day trip in December 2023 and was an instant love at first sight for me. The city is steeped in history and boasts stunning architecture, a friendly community and a thriving cultural scene. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share the ultimate 3 Days Itinerary in Granada and the best experiences it has to offer.

Disclaimer: Any products and recommendations in this article are the result of my personal experiences and careful research so if you book or purchase anything through these links I may earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. 

3 Days Itinerary in Granada

The ultimate 3 Days Itinerary in Granada

Day 1: Discover Granada’s Rich History and Iconic sites

Explore the Magnificent Alhambra Palace

No trip to Granada is complete without a visit to the magnificent Alhambra Palace. It is the most visited monument not only in Andalucía but in the whole of Spain.

Moorish garden with water basin in Alhambra

Founded in 1232 by Mohammed Ben Nazar (Ibn Nasr) – also known as Al-Ahmar (The Red) , who managed to maintain its independence through a policy of occasional alliances with the crown of Castile and North African leaders. In 1238, the sultan decided to establish the seat of his court in Granada within old fortifications located on the Sabika hill, a foothill of the Sierra Nevada.

It was at this time that the Alhambra was built. Thanks to the reforms undertaken by the successive Nasrid sultans, this large fortified enclosure evolved into a complex urban fabric, becoming one of the most imposing royal cities of the time with its sumptuous Nasrid palaces, administrative dependencies, mosques, schools, barracks, gardens, baths, and workshops.

Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a testament to the city’s rich Moorish heritage and is sure to impress you with its excquisite architecture and lush gardens.

famous fountain with lions inside Alhambra

The Alhambra is an extremely popular landmark even in the low season so make sure to book your ticket weeks or even months in advance to avoid disappointment. You can book a guided tour or a self-guided tour. I personally am not a fan of guided tours however during our visit in December, there was only one available slot left on New Year’s Eve and it was a guided tour so we had no choice but to book it. Our guide was friendly and  knowledgeable but the pace of the visit left much to be desired. He rushed through the most interesting parts and I quickly became frustrated as I wanted to spend more time in the gardens and take in the details. We parted ways after 30 minutes and we explored independently. We spent six hours visiting the place which were a pure delight. I could have lingered longer but we had plans later in the day. The Alhambra is the most breathtaking place I have ever seen and I still find myself looking at the hundreds of images I took that day and marvelling at its beauty.

Wander Through Albaícin and Sacromonte Districts

Albaícin, Albaycin or Albayzín is the most historic quarter in Granada. Perched atop a hill with stunning views of the city, it traces its roots back to the 10th century. Its name, which echoes the Arabic term “al-bayyāzīn,” means “the white quarter,” in reference to the district’s distinctive whitewashed houses which constitute its main feature to this date.

old neighbourhood and white houses in Alhambra

We stayed in Sacromonte area which is situated in the Valparaiso hill and borders the north-east side of Albaícin district. Known as the gypsy quarter, Sacromonte’s origins can be traced back to the early 16th century, when Granada’s Muslim community was expelled from the city and the Romani settlers from Europe were allowed to live in the upper parts of the Albaícin . They carved dwellings into the rock which gave rise to the iconic caves of Sacromonte.

Later, many of these caves were converted into venues which today host flamenco shows along the narrow Camino de Sacromonte road.

Blue house in Albaicin- 3 Days Itinerary in Granada

Albaícin is centered around a hill and surrounded by wonderful views. But in order to enjoy the high views you must climb the steep hill first so wear comfortable shoes and prepare to walk and climb a lot of stairs.

old neighbourhood and white houses in Alhambra

If you don’t want to walk you can take bus C34 or C32 from the city centre, but I highly recommend walking so you really experience the soul of this medieval Moorish neighbourhood.

One activity you shouldn’t miss is watching the sunset from the San Nicolás viewpoint.

sunset in San Nicolas mirador

This is a relatively short but steep hike from Albaícin . The walk takes you past winding paths, old bridges and whitewashed houses. The red walls of Alhambra are visible from every corner. We stopped every few minutes to soak up the views and take pictures which was also an opportunity to rest. In January they looked timeless against the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains.

Once your reach the summit you will be greeted by a breathtaking panorama. The Alhambra Palace stands majestically, its impressive walls illuminated by golden hues. The area gets very busy as locals and tourists gather to watch the sun go down and cast magical colours on the hills nearby. 

The Mirador San Nicolás is also one of the best places to see free and authentic Flamenco performances. Almost daily, local artists and dancers gather in the square and delight visitors with spontaneous jam sessions.  

While there, you can also visit the mosque of Granada (Mezquita Mayor) just opposite the church. The mosque has a tranquil and pretty landscaped garden where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. Treat yourself to Moroccan mint tea and pastries from Teteria Marrakech next door.

In the evening, head back to Sacromonte and watch a live performance of flamenco while enjoying tapas.

Day 2: Immerse yourself in mindful experiences

go on a Day Trip to Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada is a mountain range approximately 32 kilometers (about 20 miles) southeast of Granada. Even though it’s outside the city it can easily be part of your 3 Days Itinerary in Granada. It’s home to several villages and towns and one of the largest ski resorts in Southern Europe.

The quickest way to reach the Sierra Nevada is by hiring a car but a bus is also available from Granada main bus station. The journey by car or bus takes between 45 and 55 minutes depending on traffic.

You can also join a tour for a hassle-free experience.

Sierra Nevada offers the ultimate outdoor experience as you can hike scenic trails, indulge in skiing and snowboarding, mountain bike or take a leisurely drive through the pretty whitewashed villages nestled in the mountains.

In the summer you can enjoy longer hikes and picnics or savour traditional Andalusian cuisine in one of the local restaurants.

Indulge in an ancient Experience at Hammam Al Andalus

Ancient calm baths with Moorish architecture in Granada

End your day with a relaxing session at the Arab Baths. Hammam Al Andalus is located in the old city and offers several packages. You can have a massage, take a bath in a thermal pool or just sit and breathe in the fragrant air of the steam room while drinking fresh mint tea. Make sure to check their website as they often have deals. You can also get a 5% discount with your Alhambra ticket.Desit

Day 3: Visit the historical landmarks 

Explore Granada Cathedral 

Granada Cathedral  was built over many centuries, starting in the early 16th extending into the 18th century, and combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles. The cathedral has an impressive façade while the inside has towering vaulted ceilings, exquisite chapels, and many religious artworks. The cathedral’s most notable feature is the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real), which is the last resting place of the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. The cathedral is open every day, times vary so check the official website. Tickets cost € 5 and admission is free for children under 10.

Lose track of time in Alcaiceria

From the cathedral, head right to Alcaicería, Granada’s old market centre, you’d think you are in a Marrakech souk. The narrow lanes are dotted with traditional shops offering a variety of items, including fabrics, handmade pottery, spices, and leatherwork. Alcaicería was once a bustling marketplace under Moorish reign. It was entirely burned down in a fire and restored in the 19th century, but has retained a strong feeling of antiquity and authenticity.

Stroll Along  Paseo de los Tristes and Plaza Nueva

In the afternoon go to Paseo de los Tristes, also known as “Promenade of the Sad”. This scenic cobblestone street is in the Albaicín and runs along the Darro River at the foot of the Alhambra. The name “Paseo de los Tristes” is said to have originated from funeral processions passing through the area on their route to the local cemetery.
Nowadays, Paseo de los Tristes is a bustling area with restaurants, cafés, and bars and is a major hub for social gatherings. Go for a leisurely stroll down the promenade and take in the stunning views of the Alhambra and the beautiful surroundings.

After sunset, head to Plaza Nueva, the bustling heart of the city. You can indulge in a shopping spree if you like or sit in a terraced café and people watch. End your evening with dinner at one of the many tapas bars in the area.

Getting there

Granada is not served by direct flights from the UK so you’ll probably need to fly to Malaga or Seville and take a train. We flew to Malaga with Vueling. Flights are very frequent and affordable in the low season.

The train from Malaga to Granada takes around 1h30 m and is very comfortable. The frequency of trains depends on the season so check the national railway information or book directly on

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Where to stay

Choosing the best area to stay in Granada depends on your preferences and interests. We wanted to stay in the historical centre and chose Sacromonte for its bohemian atmosphere and proximity to Alhambra and Albaicin. We stayed in Apartamentos Montesclaros, a self-catering accommodation with a range of apartment sizes and traditional caves, a shared terrace and a rooftop terrace with a plunge pool and the most stunning vista of Alhambra. One of the highlights of my time there was waking up each morning to admire the views while having breakfast.

If you prefer to be in the heart of the action, staying in the city centre is a great choice. You’ll find a buzzing atmosphere, plenty of shops, restaurants and bars and you will be within proximity of the main sights like the Cathedral, Royal Chapel, and Alcaicería.

Realejo is a modern neighbourhood with a historic charm. It has trendy cafes, art galleries, and great nightlife.


Granada has a fascinating history, lively culture, and unique charm that should not be overlooked on your Andalusia itinerary. It was my favourite place in Andalusia and I hope this 3 day-itinerary will help you plan your visit efficiently and that you enjoy Granada as much as I did. 


  • March 17, 2024

    Looks amazing!!! I’m ready to go!!!

  • March 17, 2024

    Love the amount of detail you have covered in this itinerary, thank you so much for sharing x

  • March 17, 2024

    Such a detailed itinerary for Granada! This is definitely an awesome place to visit and the historical palaces are very interesting!

  • March 17, 2024

    This looks amazing and the pics are stunning

  • Asmaa

    March 17, 2024

    Wonderful post! Thank you very much for sharing all the details. Each year, we drive to Costa Del Sol, and I’ve been planning to include Granada in our trip for a long time. However, I consistently ended up cancelling at the last minute because I hadn’t planned an itinerary.
    I have a question though, is it manageable with a toddler and a kid?

  • March 17, 2024

    I had no idea how much Granada has to offer. Your pictures are amazing! I’m adding this destination to my travel bucket list!

  • March 17, 2024

    Thank you for all the tips! This place sounds so fun and beautiful


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