Thanks to Granada in Andalucia, Spain, being a fairly small city and very walkable, you can see a lot with just one day in Granada!
All of the top things to do in Granada are nice and close and with Granada being the home to the Alhambra, easily one of the top tourist sites in Spain, even if you are super tight on time just come to Granada to see Alhambra then you have still seen the best of Granada!
I love this city and I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times recently. All of my trips have been quick, twos day in Granada and one day in Granada only but I’ve still fallen in love with the city. I also know quite a few locals there who have shown me the very best places to visit in Granda!
So in this post, I’ll share a perfect Granada itinerary for one day in Granada with lots of tips and local insights on where to go!
How many days in Granada?
Firstly, let’s just chat about how long to spend in Granada as many people do wonder how many days in Granada is enough?
If you have a busy Southern Spain itinerary moving to different places quickly and 1 day in Granada is all you have, this is totally fine.
However, I would recommend staying at least 1 night in Granada so you can experience this city at sunset and in the evening, and if you do have more time, I would suggest 2 days in Granada or at least 1.5 days if you can as it really is a wonderful and special city in Andalucia with so much to offer!
Tours to book in Granada
To get you started with planning a trip to Granada, here are some of the best tickets and tours you can book in advance:
One day in Granada
Breakfast / Brunch at the Cafes in Granada
Whether you wake up in Granada ready to start this one day Granada itinerary, or breakfast in Granada falls on your second day, be sure to head to one of the many cafes for breakfast.
I really recommend Minuit Pan y Cafe (google maps location here)which is very close to the main Plaza – Plaza Nueva. I went here for brunch in Granada with my friends who are local to the area and I loved it, especially their avocado on toast with tomato and amazing olive oil!
Note that it opens at 9:00 am so don’t try to get there too early. Granada, like many places in Spain, takes some time to wake up in the morning!
As far as things to do in Granada go, Alhambra is really top of the list because it’s one of the top most famous and popular places to visit in Spain!
The Alhambra is a huge complex on a hill looking over Granada. It’s made up of Palaces, a Fortress and beautiful grounds. Constructed during the Nasrid Dynasty with the first building of Alhambra being built in 889 A.D, the Alhambra is the last and most great Moorish fortress. It was home when the Muslims ruled Spain, taken over by the Christians and then fell into despair. It became a UNESCO site in 1984.
Before you visit Alhambra there are a few things you need to note:
- To access all of the grounds and palaces, you NEED TO BUY A TICKET IN ADVANCE. There are limited daily tickets for Alhambra and they do sell out so as soon as you know the date you’ll be in Granada, book a ticket using the options below!
- Without a ticket to Alhambra you can only visit a small area of the grounds.
- You need to take your passport and the passport details you give when booking your ticket and your passport need to match.
- Getting to Alhambra requires an uphill walk from the centre of the city. If you don’t want to start your morning this way, you can get a taxi to Alhambra for about 4.5 euros from the city centre.
When planning your Granada itinerary, for the best time to visit Alhambra, I do recommend going in the morning because you can spend hours here and at least if you go first thing on your list of things to do in Granada, you won’t be rushed for time.
There are a few different tickets for Alhambra depending on how much you want to see and whether you want a guide or just an audioguide.
Audioguide: Alhambra and Nasrid Palaces Ticket from £28.00
If you are Muslim, I recommend doing a Spiritual Islamic Tour of the Alhambra. There are limited guides doing this, I have done the tour 3 times with Ouafa, you can contact her on Instagram here and she does the tours in English, Spanish, Arabic and French.
Lunch in Granada
After finishing your visit to the Alhambra, walk down the hill from Alhambra into the city via Cta. de Gomerez, this is a lovely shaded walk between the trees and once at the bottom, you’ll start seeing some souvenir shops you can visit.
But, by now on your Granada itinerary, I think you’ll be hungry! There are many great restaurants and cafes for Lunch in Granada but one that I really recommend (because I’ve been there all 3 times I’ve been to Granada recently) is called Alhamra Restaurant (google maps location here). This is a Saudi-owned Moroccan-inspired restaurant serving really great food.
Halal Food in Granada
On this note, there is a big Moroccan influence in Granada because of its proximity to Morocco and there are a lot of Muslims living in Granada. If you are Muslim, you won’t have a problem finding halal food in Granada because there are so many Arab and Indian restaurants, especially in the Albaicin area of the city which is the old Muslim quarter.
Ice Cream in Granada
A day in Granada is as much about eating as it is about seeing the top tourist attractions in Granada and after lunch, I recommend getting some ice cream at Heladeria Los Italianos (google maps location here) which is a place I’ve been to twice with my friend who used to live here.
It’s really good ice cream and most the most professional-looking ice cream shop I’ve ever been in! You can scan the QR code when you queue up to see the menu in English if you can’t read the Spanish signs on the board.
If you go to Alhamra for lunch, Heladeria Los Italianos is just a few meters down the road.
Shopping in Granada
Granada is really fantastic for shopping. There are a lot of souvenir shops, mostly these sell the same things and are items you might also find in souvenir shops in Morocco and Turkey but they are nice to browse for a bit, and there are some other really lovely boutique stores.
You’ll find the majority of Souvenir stores around the Albaicin area and looking in these shops works perfecting with the next thing on my Granada itinerary, to wander the streets of the Albaicin!
Wander Streets of the Albaicin
The Albaicin neighbourhood in Granada is made up of narrow, windy, inclined streets. This used to be the Muslim neighbourhood of the city which is why you’ll see that the architecture is Moor-ish and has a fortress-style feel to it. One of the reasons for the narrow streets is to keep the streets cool!
I recommend starting your walk into the Albaicin at Plaza Nueva and aim to end at Mirador de San Nicolas which is a viewpoint in Granada (although keep reading as I’m going to tell you about an even better Granada Viewpoint).
This will help you to navigate the windy streets uphill on your own and explore the residential parts of the Albaicin, but I always think having a start and end point helps with exploring!
Free Walking Tour in Granada
Another great way to see Granada and one of the best things to do in Granada in one day is a free walking tour.
Viewpoints in Granada
There are 2 ways to see an amazing view of Granada, 1- from the Alhambra which gives an amazing view of the Albaicin neighbourhood. 2- from the top of the Albaicin which gives an amazing view of the Alhambra.
One of the best places to visit in Granada is Granada Mosque which is called Mezquita Mayor de Granada on Google maps, the mosque has beautiful gardens that are open for everyone to visit and has an incredible view of the Alhambra.
The mosque is located very close to Mirador de San Nicolas, just meters away in fact but Mirador de San Nicolas is always super busy because it’s always recommended as one of the top things to do in Granada, especially at sunset, whereas the mosque viewpoint is much quieter and more serene.
Sunset Spots in Granada
Talking of sunsets, where is the best place to watch the Sunset in Granada?
Well, if you follow this Granada one day itinerary pretty perfectly, you’ll end up at the Albaicin around sunset time, therefore it makes sense to watch the sunset from the Albaicin and again, I really recommend watching it from Granada Mosque.
There are some restaurants on the hill with stunning views of Alhambra that are close to both viewpoints if you want to dine with a view:
Alhambra at Sunset
The other option is to go back to the Alhambra and watch the sunset from up, or you could re-work this one day in Granada itinerary to visit the Alhambra later on and finish ready for sunset.
As mentioned above in the section about Alhambra, there are parts of the Alhambra you can visit for free, and one of the towers that is perfect for watching the sunset from is one of these free places to visit in Alhambra.
The plus to watching the sunset from Alhambra is that you will actually see the sun go down over the city in front of you, whereas the sunset from the Albaicin doesn’t show the sun and just shows the cloud and Alhambra turning a golden yellow and pink as the sun sets.
Evenings in Granada
Like in most places in Spain, Granada comes alive in the evening, especially in the summer months when the evening brings much cooler temperatures.
I have always found the streets of Granada to be very safe and walking around the Albaicin neighbourhood later on when things are shut and much quieter is a really great thing to do.
There are shops, bars, restaurants and ice cream places open until late for things to do in Granada at night. But the very best way to spend your evening in Granada is to watch Flamenco!
Flamenco in Granada
The art form of Flamenco originates in Andalucia Spain. There are so many places to watch Flamenco in Southern Spain and Granada is one of them!
Flamenco will hypnotize you and even if you have a partner who thinks they might not like to watch Flamenco, you should encourage them to go as they will most likely really enjoy it!
You should book Flamenco tickets in Granada in advance to ensure you get a ticket and so you can plan your evening around the time you visit.
Here are the top-rated Flamenco shows in Granada to book via Viator:
More places to visit in Granada
To help you plan your day in Granada even more and as alternative things to do in Granada than what I’ve given above, here are some more Granada places to visit:
- Granada Cathedral
- Botanical Gardens
- Royal Chapel of Granada
- Sacromonte Neighbourhood
- A Hammam
- La Alcaiceria market
Accommodation in Granada
There are so many places to stay in Granada if you do need accommodation for your one day in Granada.
Although the Albaicin is a great area to stay, for a quick trip to Granada, I’d recommend staying near Granada Cathedral and Plaza Nueva.
This is because you will be centrally located and able to get a taxi to your hotel entrance because many of the streets in the Albaicin and other areas of the city do not allow cars to go down them meaning you’ll have to walk and use up precious time from your one day in Granada!