How to Spend 48 Hours in Granada, Spain

Nestled in the heart of Andalusia, Granada promises a delightful blend of Moorish history, stunning architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine. Looking for tips for your Granada, Spain itinerary? We’ve crafted a 2 days in Granada itinerary that ensures you experience the best this city has to offer.

Granada, renowned for its photogenic charm, has preserved its authentic spirit. Beyond its gardens and fortified structures lies a range of things to do in this lovely city. With everything conveniently located, there’s much more to discover, making every experience easily accessible.

Your 48 Hours in Granada Itinerary

Day 1: The Cathedral of Granada, Culinary Delights, and Unique Cocktails

Morning

Kickstart your day with a delightful breakfast at a local café. Granada offers an abundance of options for a satisfying coffee or a delicious brunch. If you’re a fan of pairing your morning coffee with delectable pastries or brunch delights, our top pick is La Finca Coffee, conveniently located near the cathedral. The quality of their coffee beverages stands out, making it a must-try spot in the city. Despite its cozy size, La Finca exudes an inviting, pleasant, and relaxed atmosphere—an ideal spot for a quick bite if you’re eager to dive into your exploration promptly.

Alternatively, if you’re leaning towards a takeaway or a swift bite, consider Sur Coffee Corner. This charming little coffee shop, just a few minutes away from la Fuente de los Gigantes and la Plaza de Bib-Rambla, offers tasty takeaway options, including breakfast and brunch options, along with juices and vegan-friendly choices. 

If you come across another hidden gem for the best brunch in Granada, don’t keep it to yourself! Snap a pic and share your tasty find with us on Instagram.

Once fueled up, head to the Granada Cathedral, The Royal Chapel, the resting place of Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. Marvel at the Gothic architecture and explore the art and artifacts within. As you traverse the area, don’t miss the chance to visit the Iglesia Parroquial del Sagrario, accessible by passing through the bustling Bazaar of the Alcaicería.

48 hours in granada
The Royal Chapel

Lunch

For lunch, head to Mercado San Agustín, a lively market surrounded by food and drink stands with lots of delicious Spanish food. Mercado San Agustín is one of the largest markets in Granada. Located one block away from a cathedral, it’s very popular among locals.

48 hours in granada, spain
Photo credit: www.andalucia.org

Afternoon

Explore the Alcaicería, just a 5-minute walk from the market, is the oldest bazaar in the area, located between Plaza de Bib-Rambla and the Granada Cathedral. Immerse yourself in its charming shops, harking back to the 3rd century when the Moors graced these quaint streets.

The Alcaicería, home of the Great Bazaar of Granada

For those with a sweet tooth, treat yourself to Granada’s famous “piononos,” available at traditional local pastry shops. These cream sponge cakes, soaked in syrup, boast a unique toasted crown resembling Pope Pius IX’s cylindrical head. Legend has it that pastry chef Ceferino Isla González invented the pionono around 1897, dedicating it to the Pope who proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, given his deep devotion. To enjoy these delights, visit a patisserie or bakery like Casa YSLA and add a touch of sweetness to your day.

Another must-visit spot is Bruno’s ice cream shop on Trinidad Street, renowned for its homemade ice cream recipe. One of the highlights is the Tartufo di Pizzo, created in the mid-20th century for Prince Humberto of Savoy. This ice cream delight features a ball of ice cream filled with liquid dark chocolate that remains unfrozen. With daily queues forming outside, Bruno, who came to Granada ten years ago to study Economics, brought this traditional recipe with him. Now, almost 75 years later, it remains the secret behind Heladería Grillo, which Bruno opened in 2018.

If you feel like treating yourself after a day of exploration, why not unwind and rejuvenate at the Hammam Al Andalus baths for a truly relaxing experience?

Evening

As the sun sets, immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Granada city. Explore the lively tapas bars, where ordering a drink often comes with a complimentary plate of tapas. Begin your tapas exploration on the fantastic Calle Elvira or head to Granada’s renowned tapas streets, such as Calle Navas, situated near the town hall area. A well-established tapas bar in Granada worth a visit is Los Diamantes, famous for its fried fish.

For those craving delicious cocktails, make your way to 3 Onzas Granada cocktail bar. A must-try is the Pisco Sour, or venture into the unexpected with a Mezcal sour. Whether you choose a favorite or opt for something new, the experience is bound to leave you pleasantly surprised and thoroughly satisfied.

Day 2: Exploring the Alhambra and Albaicín

Morning

Commence your second day with a visit to the renowned Alhambra, a historical palace and fortress complex that narrates Granada’s rich Moorish legacy. Situated atop a hill in the heart of Granada, this UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises palaces, gardens, and fortresses, forming a trip of pivotal cultural and historical landmarks in the southern Spain –  The Alhambra, Generalife, and Albaicín.

Allocate 3-4 hours to explore the heart of Alhambra, discovering the secrets of the Nasrid Palaces, exploring the formidable Alcazaba, and strolling through the mesmerizing Generalife gardens. For those on a tighter schedule, no worries, as 2.5 hours are sufficient to capture the essence of Alhambra’s splendor. Enjoy panoramic views of Granada from the hill’s various vantage points within the complex.

There are numerous tour and ticket options available, catering to different preferences. Some include evening guided tours of the palaces, while others focus solely on specific areas. Explore the range of choices to tailor your Alhambra experience, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this captivating site.

La Alhambra
The Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain

Lunch

Many visitors opt to spend the entire day at the Alhambra, making the most of their time by having lunch on-site or bringing a picnic. Devote at least half a day to it (minimum). If you choose the former, dining at the Parador de Granada provides an exclusive gastronomic experience within the Alhambra itself.

If you finish your visit around lunchtime, delve into Granada’s oldest neighborhood and former Arabic quarter, Albaicín, also known as Albayzín. Enjoy a meal at one of the carmenes with a stunning view of the Alhambra. For an exceptional dining experience, Forbes recognizes Carmen de Aben Humeya as one of the best restaurants in Granada. Situated in the UNESCO-protected Albaicín district, this unique gem, with two Moorish houses from the 14th-15th centuries adjoining the city’s first wall from the 11th century, is a cultural and artistic treasure.

Afternoon

Stroll through the charming, narrow streets lined with white-washed houses and lively flowers. A great starting point for your walk into Albaicín is the Gate of Elvira, a medieval entrance that served as the main gateway to Granada during Moorish rule. Follow the path down Calle Alhacaba to immerse yourself in the labyrinthine streets of Albaicín. Make a pause at Mirador de San Nicolás to enjoy a stunning view of the Alhambra set against the picturesque backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

As you explore Albaicín, just an eight-minute walk away, you’ll discover Peña La Platería, a non-profit cultural association dedicated to the art of flamenco. Founded in Granada in 1949, Peña La Platería has established itself as the premier flamenco club in the city, offering a unique glimpse into the rich flamenco heritage of Granada.

alhambra granada
Views of La Alhambra de Granada from Mirador de San Nicolás

Evening

Wrap up your 48 hours in Granada escapade with an unforgettable Flamenco show. Enjoy the passionate music, dance, and singing, immersing yourself in the soul of Andalusian culture.

Consider options like El Templo del Flamenco, just a 6-minute walk from El Mirador de San Cristóbal. La Alborea, situated in the Centro neighborhood near Albaicín, stands out as one of the best Tablao Flamenco places in Granada. For a piece of Granada’s Gitano-Flamenco history, Cueva los Tarantos in Sacromonte, renowned for its cave dwellings, an enduring establishment, is a quintessential choice.

If you decide to extend your stay in Granada, a wealth of experiences awaits you in the city, from flamenco, tapas, and the Alhambra to its neighboring regions, making a weekend getaway truly worthwhile. Additionally, consider exploring the stunning Sierra Nevada resort for an extended adventure, particularly enjoyable during the fall and winter seasons. Against the scenic landscape of Granada, the majestic white peaks of Sierra Nevada stand out, remaining visible from afar despite the station’s closure in late April.

What To Do 2 Days In Granada

Discover the essence of Granada in 2 days with our curated list of recommended activities and tours.

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48 Hours in Granada Itinerary: Last Thoughts

As you can see, 48 hours in Granada packs in a lot of unforgettable experiences. Granada, with its rich history and vibrant culture, provides an unforgettable getaway. From the mesmerizing Alhambra to the rhythmic beats of Flamenco, every moment in this city is a step into a world of enchantment. So pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready for an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Happy travels!

Thank you for reading: 48 Hours in Granada, Spain: The perfect two-day itinerary

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Accommodation Options for Your 48 Hours in Granada

When it comes to where to stay in Granada, the choices are plentiful, ranging from cozy family-run pensions to luxurious five-star hotels. To make the most of your 2-day adventure, we recommend lodging within the historic center, ensuring easy access to all attractions on your itinerary or near the iconic Alhambra Palace.

City Center: Here are 4 hotels in the city center to consider for your stay in Granada;

– Hotel Palacio Gran Vía promises a luxurious stay in the heart of Granada, boasting modern amenities and elegant design.

– Áurea Catedral offers a perfect blend of elegance, modernity, and excellent central location. This mid-range option provides comfort and convenience without compromising on quality.

– Hotel Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites, centrally located on Gran Vía, just 200 meters from Granada Cathedral, boasting a rooftop terrace for panoramic views.

– Experience the charm of Eurostars Puerta Real Hotel, a 4-star gem in the heart of Granada, mere steps away from the Cathedral and surrounded by lively tapas bars.

Alhambra: For an indulgent experience consider;

Parador de Granada nestled within the Alhambra grounds, this unique hotel offers an unforgettable stay surrounded by history and beauty.

Check out our comprehensive guide on Where to Stay in Granada for detailed neighborhood insights and more hotel recommendations:

Related Questions About Spending 48 Hours in Granada

The best times to visit Granada are during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when temperatures are pleasant, and the city is less crowded. During the spring season, blooming flowers enhance the cityscape, and significant cultural events fill up the calendar. Summers can be hot, reaching over 30°C (86°F).

Summer in southern Spain is hot – and Granada is no exception. Granada experiences high temperatures in summer, often exceeding 30°C (86°F). It’s advisable to stay hydrated, plan outdoor activities in the mornings or evenings, and take advantage of shaded areas.

If you’re wondering how many days in Granada Spain and you want to explore its main attractions like the Alhambra, Albaicín, and the city center, plan a stay of at least 2 to 3 nights. This will give you 2 days in Granada city, allowing for a relaxed and immersive experience.

The Alhambra is the standout attraction, featuring stunning Moorish architecture, Nasrid Palaces, and Generalife lush gardens. Booking tickets in advance is recommended.

Allocate at least 3-4 hours for a comprehensive visit to the Alhambra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is vast, comprising the Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba, and Generalife gardens.

Granada is generally walkable, especially in the city center and Albaicín. However, be prepared for hilly terrain, and comfortable walking shoes are advisable.

When visiting Granada by car, it’s best to choose a hotel with a parking facility for the duration of your stay. This helps avoid fines due to traffic restrictions enforced by the city hall, especially in the historic center where many streets are pedestrianized. Inform your hotel of your arrival to ensure your vehicle is exempt from fines. Hotels within restricted areas may permit access, but ensure your hotel is properly informed and has your vehicle’s license plate. Free parking in the central area is scarce, and regulated blue parking zones limit parking to five hours with corresponding fees.

No, entry to the Alhambra requires a ticket. It’s advisable to book tickets in advance to ensure your visit. For detailed information, refer to our blog post: Alhambra Ticket Options: What you need to know.

Carrera del Darro, often hailed as ‘the most beautiful street in the world,’ is a sensory delight. Walking on its cobblestone path, accompanied by the soothing sound of the river, and reaching one of the finest viewpoints of the Alhambra, is a true privilege for the senses.  It should not be confused with the Acera del Darro, which is located in Puerta Real.

Calle Calderería Nueva, also known as Tea Street, is renowned for its captivating ambiance featuring tea shops, market stalls, and vibrant colors. Often called the little Marrakech of Granada, this street is popularly known as Calle de las Teterías. We recommend trying the traditional Moorish tea made with green tea and mint at the various tea houses along this charming street, creating an experience reminiscent of Moroccan culture.

Calle Reyes Católicos stands out as Granada’s main shopping street, hosting a range of well-established retailers and boutiques. Another noteworthy shopping destination is Calle Recogidas, located in the heart of Granada and adjacent to Calle de los Reyes Católicos. Calle Recogidas is a bustling street with an array of shops, boutiques, and cafes, providing a diverse and vibrant shopping experience.

Plaza Nueva is a historic square at the foot of the Alhambra. Despite its name, which translates to “New Square,” it is the oldest square in the city. Situated between the modern center and the Carrera del Darro, Plaza Nueva boasts historic buildings and serves as a central gathering place for both locals and tourists.

Granada boasts the historic Albaicín, an ancient Arab quarter nestled between the Alhambra hill, San Cristóbal hill, Sacromonte, and Elvira street. Known for its narrow medieval streets, historic architecture, and lively ambiance, Albaicín is a delightful area perfect for leisurely exploration on foot.

Explore the enchanting Albaicín by heading straight up to the Mirador de San Nicolás, offering stunning panoramas of Granada and a great view of the Alhambra. Wander through the labyrinthine streets of Albaicín to discover its historic charm and unique Moorish architecture. Also, try to find the Mirador de Los Carvajales, a secluded, tree-lined courtyard that provides excellent views of the Alhambra.

The scenic walk from Albaicín to Alhambra is delightful, taking approximately  30 minutes. While it’s a bit of a longer walk, the route offers plenty to see, especially if you opt for the extended path along Carrera del Darro, tracing the riverbanks of the Darro river. For added convenience, public transportation, taxis, or rideshare services are also available. If you prefer driving, you can park at Parking San Cristóbal Albaicín and commence your walk from there.

Granada boasts a rich culinary scene, renowned for its free tapas culture and a variety of delightful dishes. From pescaito frito and Tortilla de Sacromonte to local specialties like Piononos, the city offers a diverse gastronomic experience. Don’t miss trying Berejenas fritas con miel de caña, Choto al Ajillo, Quisquillas de Motril, Plato Alpujarreño, and Migas Alpujarreñas. This culinary journey captures the essence of Granada’s food culture.

Yes, in many bars, tapas are complimentary with your drink order. It’s a unique tradition in Granada, allowing you to savor local flavors. Simply, order a ‘caña,’ which is a beer or a wine, and it comes with a free tapa.

Calle Navas is celebrated for its concentration of bars offering complimentary tapas. It’s a lively street to experience the local tapas culture. Our recommendations: Los Diamantes or Taberna La Tana. Additionally, you’ll find many other options on Calle Elviria.

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