Weekend Getaways - Exploring Granada

Granada is a city that encapsulates the essential heart of Spain. Offering regular airlinks to the UK, it is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway in a city that is friendly and lively, but without the rampant commercialism so often found in Barcelona or Madrid. If you live in Spain, Granada is conveniently located, and provides a wonderful insight into the host of cultures that merged to form the Spain you know and love today.


What particularly attracts visitors to Granada is its incredible examples of Moorish architecture, which date back to the medieval period. But whilst many visitors come for the architecture, they stay for the warmth of the welcome from the locals, the delicious food and the exquisite gardens.

Here’s everything you need to know about exploring Granada, and some of the highlights you should enjoy if you’re spending a weekend in the city:

Where to Stay

If you’re looking for a hotel in Granada then you’ll be spoilt for choice. The city offers an incredible selection of hotels that offer opulence, five-star luxury, boutique comfort, or great value, depending on your budget, sense of style and personal taste. Here are some of our favourite hotels in the city to suit a wide range of needs:

  • Shine Albazan. The Shine Albazan is a hotel that is located within a former 16th century palace. It has been sympathetically modernised and offers a stylish and luxury accomodation without breaking the bank. It is a short walk away from the Plaza Nueva, meaning that you’re never far from the action and you’ll have plenty of options for delicious restaurants and lively bars.
  • Parador de Granada. If you have a generous budget and are looking for a night of sheer luxury then check into the Paradour de Granada. Located in the Alhambra complex, among ancient gardens and fountains , Parador de Granada is a former monastery benefiting ultra-luxe décor and views of the city that are unparalleled.
  • Gar-Anat Hotel. Finally, if you’re looking for a budget hotel without sacrificing style, the Gar-Anat Hotel is small and unique. The original building was constructed in the   17th century, and many of the original architectural features remain.

What to Do

A weekend in Granada simply isn’t enough time to see and do all that this historical and beautiful city has to offer, meaning that you’ll be spoilt for choice of activities to suit your interests and your needs. There’s one thing that everyone that visits should do though: It would be impossible to visit Granada without visiting the ancient Alhambra Palace, which dominates the skyline of the city.  Tickets to the palace are best purchased in advance to avoid what can be rather lengthy queues, particularly during peak tourist seasons, and you should allow at least half a day to fully appreciate everything this incredible and ancient site has to offer.

If you’re looking to indulge in a little retail therapy then head to the Gran Via, which is home to a wide and varied range of Spanish fashion outlets, boutiques, and big high-fashion brands. You’re sure to find plenty of high-end souvenirs to bring home with you that will satisfy even the fussiest of shoppers.

Indulge in a traditional Spanish bath that combines luxurious relaxation with historical interest. The Hammam Al Andalus is a decorative Arab baths that opened in 1998, five centuries after the original baths were shut on the same site. Here you can enjoy a steam or a massage, whilst taking the time to appreciate the intricate mosaics and arches.

Want to take the time to appreciate nature during your trip? Then include a visit to the Generalife Gardens, which are included in you Alhambra Palace admission tickets. The year-round clement climate in Granada lends itself perfectly to gardening, meaning that you’ll find oversized rose bushes bursting with colour and life, elegant cyprus trees, relaxing water gardens, and an abundance of other incredible flowers too. 

Finally, ensure you schedule in several times to stop for a glass of Spanish wine, locally sourced fish, and a bowl of tapas or two. Granada is well-known for its excellent cuisine, particularly the rich desserts.

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