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2 Days in Granada: A Complete Guide to an Unforgettable 48 Hours in Granada

Have just 2 days in Granada, Spain? Plan an unforgettable visit with our itinerary and experience the city's wonders in just 48 hours!

By Liza S. | Updated 5 Feb 2024 | Granada | Cities | Login to add to YOUR Favourites Favourites Icon or Read Later

This article has been visited 252 times The Alhambra The Alhambra

The Alhambra

If you're searching for the ultimate 2-day Granada itinerary, look no further! This guide is designed to ensure you experience the essence of Granada, blending its rich history with vibrant contemporary culture, all in just 48 hours.

Along the way, you'll discover practical tips to enhance your visit, from navigating the city's charming quarters to selecting the perfect spot for a flamenco show. Designed for travellers who want to make the most of their time and based on our personal experience, this ultimate guide to spending 2 days in Granada promises a comprehensive snapshot of Granada's best offerings.

Prepare to immerse yourself in a city that captivates with its beauty, history, and the warmth of its people. Let's dive into your unforgettable journey through Granada!

Is 2 Days in Granada Enough?

So, you're wondering if two days is enough to really see Granada? The short answer is yes, but with a small caveat.

Granada is a city that's brimming with culture, history, and activities that could easily fill up a week's itinerary. However, if you're tight on time but big on curiosity, you can still catch the highlights and get a real feel for the city's charm in just 48 hours.

In two days, you can definitely hit up the big-ticket items: marvel at the Alhambra, meander through the Albaicín's historic streets, dive into the local dining scene with a tapas tour, and even enjoy a flamenco show in the gypsy caves of Sacromonte.

This quickfire visit will give you a taste of Granada's essential sights and sounds, all without feeling like you're rushing through them.

Sure, with extra time, you could take a deeper dive into the city's museums, unwind in ancient baths, or venture out to the stunning Sierra Nevada. But if you're looking to blend Granada into a larger trip around Andalucia or just want to make the most out of a weekend getaway, two days will give you a memorable and enriching experience of what makes this city truly special.

And who knows? It might just leave you wanting to come back for more.

2 Days in Granada: The Ultimate Itinerary

Our 2-day Granada itinerary is based on two full days in the city and we’ve designed it to be walkable (because walking is our favourite way of seeing a city!).

In 2 days in Granada, you’ll be able to see the city’s top sights and most interesting neighbourhoods without feeling rushed and we’ve laid it all out for you below. Feel free to adjust as needed, if you have less time or prefer a slower pace.

Get ready for two fun-filled days in Granada!

Day 1 in Granada: Exploring the the Heart of the City

Nasrid Palaces, Alhambra Nasrid Palaces, Alhambra

Nasrid Palaces, Alhambra

Marvel at the Alhambra

Get ready to start your Granada journey with a bang, because we're heading straight to the crown jewel of the city: the Alhambra. Trust me, this place is every bit as magical as you've heard, and then some.

The Alhambra stands as a testament to the sophisticated culture and artistic heritage of the Moorish period in Spain. Built primarily in the 13th and 14th centuries, it served as a palace, fortress, and a symbol of Islamic art's elegance and complexity.

Visiting the Alhambra offers a unique glimpse into a time when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in relative harmony, contributing to a flourishing of the arts and sciences.

The Alhambra is a superstar attraction, and its audience numbers match its fame. To avoid missing out, buy your tickets online well in advance. Opt for early morning entry if you can; it's cooler and less crowded, giving you a more intimate experience with the palace's stunning details.

Comfortable shoes are your best friends here, as there's a lot of ground to cover. Whether you choose to bus (C32 is the bus you want), taxi, or walk up the hill to the entrance, each option offers its own charm and views of Granada.

What Not to Miss:

  • Nasrid Palaces: The intricate mosaics, delicate stucco work, and architectural ingenuity here are unrivalled. Entry is timed, so keep an eye on your slot.
  • Alcazaba: Offering panoramic views of the city, this military fortress is a reminder of the Alhambra's strategic importance.
  • Generalife Gardens: These gardens are an oasis of calm, with their lush vegetation, tranquil water features, and fragrant flowers. It's a perfect spot to reflect on the beauty you've witnessed.

Many people visit the Alhambra on their own; I did the same on my first visit to the Alhambra. If you do, be sure to allocate anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to fully explore this palace complex. Read our guide to visiting the Alhambra for our suggested route and more tips on visiting this beautiful monument.

A common question we get is whether to visit the Alhambra on your own or to do a tour.

Honestly, it comes down to personal preference. Some people love taking their time, wandering around, and discovering a place on their own.

But going on a guided tour of the Alhambra is certainly well worth it. These typically last about 3 hours and they’re a wonderful way to learn more about this fascinating monument. I certainly found that having a guide share historical facts, anecdotes, and architectural highlights elevated my experience at the Alhambra.

And after the tour, you can continue exploring at your leisure so you get the best of both worlds.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s essential that you secure your Alhambra visit as soon as possible! I cannot stress this enough; the Alhambra is immensely popular and it’s impossible to just roll up and get a ticket at the door. So before you go, input your visit dates below to check the ticket availability for the Alhambra.

Note: Don’t forget to bring your passport/ID with you as the Alhambra staff does an ID check when you’re entering the palace.

Albaicin neighbourhood Albaicin neighbourhood

Albaicin neighbourhood

Wander Through the Albaicín and Admire the Sunset at Mirador de San Nicolás

After immersing yourself in the grandeur of the Alhambra all morning, it's time to transition to the charming streets of the Albaicín, Granada's old Moorish quarter. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a delightful maze of narrow lanes, whitewashed houses, and hidden courtyards, all set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.

If you haven’t had lunch yet, Albaicín is dotted with quaint cafes and restaurants offering a mix of traditional Andalusian dishes and international cuisine. Look for places with terrazas for a meal with a view. Try some local specialties like tortilla sspañola, gazpacho, or anything that comes with a side of Granada's famous cured ham.

Walking through Albaicín is like stepping back in time. Half the joy of discovering this neighbourhood is just wandering through its winding streets but if you want some guidance, check out our self-guided walking tour of Granada which includes the Albaicin.

Pay attention to the architecture around you—the district is famous for its Moorish influences, with elements that remind us of Granada's Islamic past. Don't miss the chance to visit some of the centuries-old churches that were once mosques, like the Church of San Salvador, built on the site of a former mosque.

As you stroll through this historic neighbourhood, you'll find plenty of shops selling everything from handmade ceramics and crafts to exotic spices. The Albaicín is also great for snacking—try some local sweets like piononos or grab a cup of Moroccan tea from one of the tea shops scattered throughout the district.

No visit to the Albaicín is complete without stopping at the Mirador de San Nicolás, the famous lookout point that offers stunning views of the Alhambra against the Sierra Nevada. The best time to go is in the late afternoon, as the setting sun casts a golden light over the palace. It’s a popular spot, so expect some company, but the view is absolutely worth it.

Take a Granada Tapas Tour

After a day of historical exploration and scenic views, it's time to indulge in one of Granada's most enjoyable traditions: tapas hopping.

Granada is renowned for its vibrant tapas culture, where every drink comes with a free tapa—a perfect way to sample the local cuisine. This evening, consider joining a food tour in Granada to truly immerse yourself in this culinary adventure.

Embarking on a food tour, especially for first-timers in Granada, offers several advantages. You'll be guided by a local expert who knows the best bars and hidden gems, ensuring you taste the finest tapas the city has to offer. Plus, it's a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow travelers and share the experience.

This highly-rated food tour promises an authentic dive into Granada's food scene, visiting several top tapas bars and sampling a variety of dishes.

From classic Spanish ham and cheese to more innovative and modern tapas, each stop introduces you to the rich diversity of Andalucian cuisine. The tour not only feeds you but also educates you about the culinary history of Granada, making the dishes even more memorable.

One of the best parts of joining a small-group tour is the chance to connect with people from all over the world. Sharing food is a universal way to make friends, and you'll find yourself bonding over shared plates and stories.

Wear comfortable shoes, as there will be some walking involved between bars. Bring a light jacket if the evening gets cool, and definitely come hungry—the variety and quantity of food will surprise you!

The tour will leave you pleasantly full and more knowledgeable about Granada's culinary landscape. If you're up for it, end your night with a leisurely stroll back to your accommodation, enjoying the city's lively streets after dark. Granada's nightlife is as varied and vibrant as its food scene, so feel free to explore further if you're not ready to call it a night.

Day 2 in Granada: Culture and Leisure

Granada Cathedral  Granada Cathedral

Granada Cathedral

Visit Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel

Good morning! After yesterday's feast for the senses, today offers a deep dive into Granada's rich religious and royal history.

Your morning will begin at two of the city's most revered sites: the Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel. Both are not only architectural marvels but also key to understanding Granada's complex past.

Begin your day at the stunning Granada Cathedral, a Renaissance beauty which stands on the site of the city's former main mosque—a symbol of the Christian conquest of Granada. Construction began in the early 16th century but took nearly 200 years to complete, resulting in a blend of styles that primarily showcase the grandeur of the Spanish Renaissance.

The cathedral's imposing interior, with its grand columns and intricate ceiling, creates an atmosphere of awe and tranquillity. Don't miss the main chapel, where the art and the detailed work on the altar are simply breathtaking.

Just around the corner from the cathedral, the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) is your next stop.

This mausoleum houses the remains of Catholic Monarchs Queen Isabel I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, whose marriage and reign were pivotal in the unification of Spain and the conquest of Granada.

The chapel is a masterpiece of Isabelline Gothic architecture, with a façade that invites you in to explore its richly decorated interior, featuring Flemish paintings and intricate sculptures. The personal effects of the monarchs, including Isabel's crown and sceptre, are also on display, offering a personal glimpse into their reigns.

Aim to get to the cathedral when it opens to enjoy the space with fewer visitors. This allows you to appreciate its beauty in a more serene setting.

You can purchase tickets for each site separately, but consider a combined ticket as it often provides better value and a more streamlined experience.

If you’re interested in the historical and architectural significance of these sites, then I recommend joining a guided tour of the cathedral and Royal Chapel. A guided tour will offer insights and anecdotes that you might miss when exploring on your own.

After your visits, take a moment to reflect and relax at one of the nearby cafes. Enjoy a café con leche and maybe a sweet treat like a churro or tostada con aceite. It's a chance to ponder the morning's experiences and energise yourself for the adventures ahead.

Bonus Stop

Before leaving this area, pop by the Alcaicería which is a short walk from the Granada Cathedral.

Originally established as a thriving silk market during the Nasrid dynasty, this area was once the epicenter of trade in Granada, bustling with merchants and artisans.

Today, the Alcaicería retains its historical charm with narrow, winding alleys that evoke the feel of a traditional Arabic bazaar. You can find an array of goods, from vibrant textiles and intricately designed ceramics to handmade jewellery and exotic spices - it’s fun just to browse the storefronts!

The market's atmosphere is reminiscent of the past, with each stall and shopfront adding to the richness of Granada's cultural heritage and offering a tangible connection to the city's Moorish roots.

Explore the Realejo Neighbourhood

With the morning spent soaking in the historical grandeur of Granada's religious monuments, your afternoon promises a change of pace. It's time to explore Realejo, Granada's old Jewish quarter, now a vibrant neighbourhood brimming with street art, cosy cafes, and hidden gardens.

This area, once the Jewish quarter of Granada, is a colourful blend of historical charm and contemporary vibrancy. Spending your afternoon in Realejo not only introduces you to Granada's vibrant day-to-day life but also allows you to connect with the city's Jewish heritage and artistic soul.

Keep an eye out for the street art that adorns many of the walls here, especially the works by local artist Raúl Ruiz, also known as El Niño de las Pinturas. His murals bring the walls to life with images that tell stories of the neighbourhood's past and present.

In the heart of Realejo is Campo del Príncipe, a spacious square that comes alive in the afternoon with locals and visitors alike. It's a great spot to grab lunch or a coffee and watch the world go by. The square is also home to a statue of Cristo de los Favores, and on Good Friday, it becomes a focal point for local celebrations.

You may also want to visit the Casa de los Tiros Museum. This 16th-century house-turned-museum offers a glimpse into Granada's history and culture, with exhibits that include historical artefacts, art, and photography. The museum's name, which translates to "House of Shots," comes from the muskets that adorn its façade, hinting at its defensive role in the past.

A short walk from the heart of Realejo, the Carmen de los Mártires Gardens are a hidden gem, offering a tranquil escape with stunning views of the Alhambra. The term "carmen" refers to a traditional Granadan house surrounded by gardens, and Carmen de los Mártires is one of the most beautiful examples. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a moment of peace amidst your busy itinerary.

If you need a bite, Realejo is dotted with a variety of dining options, from traditional tapas bars to modern international restaurants. For an authentic Granadan experience, look for places offering local dishes like habas con jamón (broad beans with ham) or remojón granadino (a salad with oranges, onions, and olives).

Fancy a spot of shopping? The neighbourhood's boutique shops and artisan stalls are ideal for picking up unique souvenirs. Whether it's handmade jewellery, local ceramics, or a piece of street art, you're sure to find something special to remember your trip by.

Revel in the Passion of Flamenco

Your Granada adventure wouldn't be complete without immersing yourself in the passionate world of flamenco.

As the sun sets, head to the historic Sacromonte district, renowned for its cave dwellings and as the heart of Granada's flamenco culture. Here, against a backdrop of rugged hills and with the Alhambra looming in the distance, you'll find some of the most soul-stirring flamenco shows in the city.

Even if you decide to watch a flamenco show elsewhere, it’s worth visiting Sacromonte to see its unique cave houses and awesome views of the Alhambra.

Below are recommended places in Sacromonte where you can witness the passionate performances of flamenco dancers, singers, and guitarists:

  • Cueva de La Rocío: This renowned flamenco venue offers an unforgettable experience in one of Sacromonte's traditional caves. Known for its vibrant performances and intimate atmosphere, Cueva de La Rocío captures the essence of flamenco.
  • Zambra María La Canastera: Immerse yourself in the history and passion of flamenco at Zambra María La Canastera, named after the famous flamenco dancer. The performances here are deeply rooted in the gypsy tradition, offering a powerful and emotional experience.
  • Cuevas Los Tarantos: Set in the historic Sacromonte caves of Granada, you’ll feel the passion of traditional dance and music in a unique, intimate venue for an unforgettable evening.

Of course, beyond Sacromonte, there are other awesome flamenco venues in Granada! Here are some options, if you prefer to stay closer to town:

  • Tablao Flamenco La Alboreá: For those staying closer to the city centre, Tablao Flamenco La Alboreá brings the spirit of Sacromonte to Granada's heart. This venue is praised for its talented performers and authentic shows. You can opt between show-only or show with dinner.
  • Casa del Arte Flamenco: Situated in the Albaicín district, Casa del Arte Flamenco offers a more central alternative without sacrificing authenticity. The intimate setting and passionate performances make for a memorable evening.
  • El Templo del Flamenco: Located in a large cave in the Albaicín, El Templo del Flamenco offers a unique setting for experiencing flamenco. The acoustics of the cave paired with the emotional intensity of the performances make for an unforgettable night.

Remember to book your flamenco show tickets in advance, as these intimate venues fill up quickly, especially in peak tourist seasons. Arriving a bit early is also recommended, as it gives you a chance to choose a good seat and perhaps enjoy a pre-show drink.

After the show, take a moment to stroll through the illuminated streets of Granada or find a quiet spot to reflect on your two-day journey through this enchanting city. Your evening of flamenco will undoubtedly be a highlight, leaving you with lasting memories of Granada's vibrant culture and artistic soul.

2 Days in Granada: Recommended Activities & Tours

Getting to Granada: Practical Information

View of Albaicin View of Albaicin

View of Albaicin

Granada is accessible from various parts of Andalucia and beyond. Whether you're arriving by air, rail, or road, here's what you need to know to make your journey as smooth as possible.

By Air

Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport (GRX) serves as the main gateway for flights to Granada. Located about 24 kilometres (15 miles) west of Granada, the airport serves both domestic and international flights, perfect for those wanting a weekend break in Granada.

Travel time to the city centre is approximately 30 minutes. Taxi services are available, with a standard fare of around €25-€30. Alternatively, the airport bus service runs every 45 minutes, costing about €3 per person and stopping at key points in Granada.

By Train

Granada's train station connects the city with major Spanish destinations including Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, making it the best way to get to Granada from within the country.

Here are some approximate travel times and costs:

  • Madrid to Granada: High-speed trains complete the journey in about 3.5 hours, with tickets starting at €35 when booked in advance.
  • Barcelona to Granada: A longer journey of approximately 6.5 hours, with advance fares from €55.
  • Seville to Granada: Around 3 hours, with tickets from €25.
  • Malaga to Granada: Typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, and prices generally start from around €20 to €30.

I love travelling by train in Andalucia as it’s fuss-free, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive. I recommend buying your train tickets in advance to get the best prices and to avoid any hassle at the train station.

Once you arrive in Granada, you can take Buses 25 and 33 to get to the Gran Via and the historic centre (10-15 minutes). If you have a lot of luggage or want to arrive directly to your hotel, hop into a taxi (€8-10) and it’s a 10-minute drive to the centre.

Travel Tip: Renfe is the train company in Spain and you can book tickets directly on their website. You can also use Trainline which I find easier to use!

By Bus

For budget travellers, buses offer an economical way to reach Granada. The city's bus station has services from across Spain.

  • Madrid to Granada: About 5 hours, with tickets around €18-€35.
  • Malaga to Granada: Roughly 2 hours, with fares starting at €12.
  • Seville to Granada: About 3 to 4 hours, with prices starting €22 to €35

The bus is also a good option if you’re coming from a smaller town/city in Andalucia.

From the Granada bus station, take Bus 33 to get to the city centre (20-25 minutes). A taxi is faster and will cost about €12-15.

If you’re getting to Granada via public transportation, I suggest using a platform like Omio where you can compare travel times, schedules, and costs to find the best way to get there.

Simply input your travel dates below to get started.

By Car

If you have a car, driving to Granada will offer the chance to enjoy Andalucia's scenic routes.

  • From Malaga: The A-92 motorway connects Malaga to Granada in about 1.5 hours.
  • From Seville: Driving takes 2.5 to 3 hours via the A-92 motorway.
  • From Madrid: The journey takes around 4.5 hours via the A-4 and A-44 motorways.

Driving and parking in the city can be tricky due to narrow streets, pedestrian zones, and limited parking spaces. If you're staying in the city centre, it's often more convenient to walk or use public transport.

There is the “Zona Azul” (Blue Zone), paid street parking available throughout the city, but there is a maximum stay of 2 hours during the day. Always check the signs for restrictions and payment instructions.

My advice is to keep your car parked during your Granada stay and explore the city by walking or with public transportation. Consider parking on the outskirts and using public transport or opting for accommodation with parking facilities. Granada's historic centre is largely pedestrianised and subject to traffic restrictions. If you're staying in the centre, check with your accommodation about the best way to arrive and whether they provide access codes for restricted areas.

Travel Tip: Renting a car gives you the ultimate freedom to explore Andalucia at your own pace. Click here to compare car rental prices. (You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is in Spain!)

Getting Around Granada

Navigating Granada is part of the adventure, with various options to suit different preferences and itineraries. Here’s a practical guide to help you explore the city with ease.

On Foot

Granada's historic centre is best explored on foot. Many of the city's attractions, including the Alhambra, the Cathedral, and the Albaicín, are located within walking distance of each other. Walking allows you to appreciate the city's vibrant street life, discover hidden alleys, and stumble upon charming plazas that you might miss otherwise.

Our 2-day Granada itinerary above is doable completely on foot, assuming that you’re staying somewhere in the city centre.

Be warned that there are many hilly areas in Granada so expect some uphill/downhill walking. Wear your most comfortable shoes if you’re planning to explore on foot.

If you have mobility issues, then opt for a taxi or public transportation when needed.

Public Transportation in Granada

Granada's urban bus network is extensive, covering the city and its outskirts, including direct routes to the Alhambra and other major sites. Single tickets cost around €1.40, but if you plan to use the bus frequently, consider purchasing a Credibús card, which reduces the fare per trip and can be shared among multiple riders.

For navigating the narrow streets of the Albaicín and reaching the Sacromonte area, the city operates smaller, mini buses. These routes offer a convenient way to explore these historic districts without the uphill walk.

To get to the Alhambra, you’ll need the C32 bus.

Taxis in Granada are a convenient, albeit more expensive, way to get around, especially at night when public transport services are less frequent. Taxis can be hailed on the street, booked by phone, or picked up at designated stands. Starting fares are around €2.50, with additional charges based on distance and time.

For those looking to cover more ground while still enjoying the outdoors, renting a bicycle or an electric scooter can be a great option. Several shops in the city offer rentals, and there are dedicated bike lanes on many streets.

Remember, the historic centre's cobbled streets and some steep hills can make cycling challenging in certain areas.

2 Days in Granada: Where to Stay

With only 2 days in Granada, my recommendation is to stay within the historic centre so that you’ll be in the heart of the city and close to everything you’ll visit on this itinerary.

Here are 3 recommended hotels in the centre of Granada:

  • Budget: Hotel Carlos V offers a comfortable and convenient stay, with modern amenities in a friendly atmosphere. Plus, you can enjoy the communal terrace with panoramic views of Granada.
  • Mid-range: Housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century building, Hotel Casa 1800 Granada offers a perfect blend of historical charm and modern comforts, including a delightful courtyard, complimentary afternoon tea, and stylish rooms.
  • Luxury: If you’re up for a splurge, Parador de Granada offers an unforgettable stay within the Alhambra grounds.

Read our in-depth guide on Where to Stay in Granada for our neighbourhood guide and more hotel recommendations.

Alternatively, check out the latest deals in Granada below.

2-Day Granada Itinerary: Last Thoughts

I hope our 2-day Granada itinerary has shown you how much there is to love about Granada: its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking beauty.

From the majestic Alhambra to the winding streets of the Albaicín and beyond, there are so many beautiful corners of this city waiting to be discovered. Whether you're indulging in the spectacle of a flamenco show, savouring the flavours of Andalucian cuisine, or simply wandering through its historical quarters, I just know that Granada will captivate you with its charm and diversity.

So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and let Granada reveal its secrets to you.

Buen viaje!

More on Granada

Recommended Spain Travel Resources

Travelling to/around Spain and need some help? Here are our favourite travel resources.

We usually use to look for hotels or apartment rentals. Lots of choice & you can unlock more discounts with their Genius loyalty programme!

To research transportation options around Spain, we like using Omio. It’s an easy way to compare different modes of transport and prices in one place. To search train routes, schedules, and prices, we recommend using Trainline.

Renting a car gives you the ultimate freedom to explore Andalucia at your own pace. Click here to compare car rental prices. (You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is in Spain!)

For last-minute holiday deals, check out Expedia UK.

Looking for things to do? Viator has a huge catalog of activities and tours across many cities in Spain. We also love Get Your Guide!

Guruwalk is our favourite platform to find the best free walking tours in a city.

For money transfers or spending overseas in foreign currency, Wise is our favorite borderless banking service (we love their debit card that's without fees!).

Travel insurance is a must to protect against emergencies and unexpected incidents. Get a quote from SafetyWing here.

For an easy way to stay connected on the road, get an eSim from Airalo. It's affordable and, best of all, you'll be connected the moment you arrive!

Note: This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. That means that if you book through our link, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). For full information, please see our disclaimer here.