There’s an unmistakably Moorish sense as you walk around Granada, and for a good reason too. The Catholic Monarchs left their mark, as did the Islamic rulers. That may have been centuries ago, but their legacies remain, and as a visitor, we can only be thankful they did. There’s little doubting that Granada is an interesting city to delve into and explore.
Set among the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and sandwiched between the rivers of Darro and Genil, Granada can boast architectural gems ranging from the Renaissance and heritage from the Al-Andalus period. No better illustrated than by the imposing Alhambra.
And the beauty from a tourist point of view is that all this heritage sits perfectly with the modern trappings of the 21st century. Wander through the city and you’ll come across fountains and houses with gorgeous gardens. You really need to search all the corners to full immerse in the Granada spirit. So, with a weekend free, we spend 2 days in Granada getting lost in all it’s cultural glory! Come on, let’s see what it offers.
Day 1: In the city
Let’s start our 2 days in Granada in the city itself. As mentioned, you could simply wander around the streets, stop in cafes and sit in squares, absorbing the atmosphere and the flavours. But that’s missing out on some top attractions. Granada Cathedral, with its imposing entrance, is a good place to get an idea of the architectural styles on offer in the city. A Renaissance dome and gothic floor, for example.
Enjoy a very different experience at the Science Park Museum. There’s some 70,000 sq meters of interactive museum to explore here. The cultural gallery and digital planetarium among them. And with outdoor areas and an observation tower, it means there is plenty to keep you occupied. Morning or afternoon. Well, you can decide.
Finally, for day 1 there is the La Cartuja Monastery, a baroque masterpiece. Exploring around here, looking at the richly decorated interior, makes for a good prelude to tomorrow. That towering, all-encompassing building on top of the hill can wait no more!
If you are lucky, your evening may include with one of the many festivals held in the city. There’s a Festival of Granada during the summer (June to July), jazz and tango festivals, too. In fact, an evening of tango entertainment should be high on your list. Dance the night away!
Day 2: Head to Alhambra
Ok, so we’ve saved the most visited attraction for day two, and you’ll find it was well worth the wait. The Alhambra and Generalife are, and these aren’t my words, the embodiment of heaven on earth. Stunning palaces, beautiful courtyards, fountains and gardens. I don’t want to spoil the experience for you. Just immerse yourself and lap in all the history of this World Heritage Site. And when the heat gets too much, well, the tree-lined walkways will help keep you cool.
There is an Alhambra Museum further out of town if you want to learn more about the Hispanic-Moorish civilisation. Suffice as to say, a day here is really a must do. And if that’s not enough, for a more in-depth look at Alhambra there is an article that will hopefully fill in any blanks.
Granada is an Andalusian gem where culture and leisure activities combine to give you the perfect weekend away. Perhaps 2 days in Granada isn’t enough? Although adding it to an extended stay on the Spanish coastline and you have the perfect blend. Sun and sea, history and culture. You can count me in.