Granada is a city located in the South of Spain in the region of Andalusia. The southern part of Spain is beautiful because of its cities of Arab influence, the countryside and beaches but especially because of the people who live in this region: the Andalusians.
When visiting Andalusia it must be remembered that the Arab reign in the area was of the same length as the Christian dominance. This fact makes that the Arabic artistic, gastronomic and culinary heritage has an influential role in the beautiful Andalusia, specially, in Granada.
Spanish people love spending time with friends and family, enjoying outdoors meet ups for eating, drinking and specially chatting with friends. Is in Andalusia where this happens more commonly out of all Spanish cities. Andalusians are friendly, welcoming, fun and enjoy eating and drinking but also singing and dancing.
Granada has three main landmarks, which are a must to visit: the Alhambra, the Albaicín and Sacromonte.
The Alhambra was the complex of palaces where Arab Sheikhs used to live when the south of Spain was under the Muslim command back over a thousand years ago. These palaces are majestic and worth visiting, being as part of one of the wonders of the world. Currently, the Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain and part of the heritage of humanity.
Albaicín and the Sacromonte are two neighbourhoods of the city of Granada located in two small mountains in front of the Alhambra. Strolling through the Albaicín and Sacromonte you will experience something that will stay with you forever: the streets, the smells, people in the street, music, dance, cooking and the “fiesta” spirit.
It is worth visiting a “Carmen” in Albaicín and a “Zambra” in Sacromonte.
A “Carmen” is a typical house in Granada where Andalusians live; it has an inner courtyard and, some of them, the beautiful views of the Alhambra.
A “Zambra” is like a cave. These kinds of “caves” are located in Sacromonte, where traditionally gypsy families live. Gypsies have been part of the Spanish culture for hundreds of years. Their culture and their music, “flamenco”, have made Granada known worldwide.
To “feel” Spain you need to listen to flamenco and know the Spanish gypsy heritage. The streets of Sacromonte have given the Spanish culture some of the greatest flamenco guitarists, singers and dancers known around the world, like Paco de Lucía. Zambras have been and will always be the places where the best flamenco in the world will flourish.
Another beautiful place to visit, other than the three previously mentioned, are the Cathedral and the tombs for the Spanish Catholic Monarchs, which are located at the city centre and close to the main avenue: the Gran Vía. We recommend walking around these areas and their surroundings with beautiful squares and gardens, full of life always.
It’s also a good idea to visit the San Agustin Market, typical grocery market where to purchase local goods; and the “teterias” street (next to the Gran Vía), an enchanting Arabic area inside Granada with beautiful “café like” premises where the actual main drink is tea. Trying one of their many different flavoured teas is a must, along with giving “cachimbas” (shisha) a try.
The Alhambra is one of the most visited places in the world, so we would recommend buying the tickets in advance from the Alhambra’s official website (click HERE).
Geographical Location of Granada. Click HERE.
For more information about Granada. Click HERE.
For more information about La Alhambra. Click HERE.
Note that September is the end of the summer. While there may be daytime temperatures of 30-35°C, at night temperatures tend to drop so note a light coat will be required (15ºC approximately).
Summer clothes along with light jacket will suit during your visit. We also recommend comfortable shoes as Granada invites to long walks around beautiful places.
2. About Granada
Granada is a beautiful city located in the eastern part of Andalucía (Southern Spain) at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highest mountain range of the Iberian Peninsula and only 100 km away from the Mediterranean Sea. Granada was founded by the Romans and later settled by Moors (Arabic and Berber descents) who held the city for nearly 8 centuries. It was the last Moorish town to be conquered by the Christians in 1492. Granada enjoys one of Spain’s most important cultural and architectural patrimonies.
The interesting history of Granada is visible in the town with famous monuments like the impressive fortress and palace “La Alhambra” and the historic quarter of “El Albayzin”, a mixture of Mujahardin and Spanish architecture, each designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories. In addition, Granada boasts a Renaissance cathedral dating from the 16th century and many other architectural monuments of the first magnitude.
Granada is also a popular university town and hosts the important modern Technological Center for Research, Development and Innovation. The city is one of the most popular for foreign students wishing to learn Spanish. It is the city of the poet García Lorca, a city “open all year round”, with many activities to enjoy, including the Music and Dance International Festival, the Jazz Festival and the Tango Festival.
The gastronomy of Granada and Andalucía is rich and diverse, with a large number of restaurants and bars where one can taste succulent dishes.
From Granada you can easily travel to Córdoba, and admire its great mosque and other monuments, to Sevilla, or to “Las Alpujarras”, a region of mountain villages at the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada, with deep, sheltered valleys and gorges which run down to the Mediterranean Sea.
3. How to get to Granada
Flying direct to Granada-Jaén Airport (GRX)
If you want to fly to Granada airport, you can catch an international flight to Barcelona or Madrid and then a domestic flight to Granada. There are many more flights to Málaga and they are usually cheaper. So many people fly to Málaga and then catch a bus or hire a car (see information below).
Another way to get to Granada by air is to come via one of the airports used by VUELING, EASYJET, BRITSH AIRWAYS or IBERIA.
British Airways operates direct flights from London City Airport (UK) to Granada several times a week. Easyjet also operates direct flights from London, Berlin and some Italian cities. The flights are fairly reasonably priced.
Granada airport is 12kms from the city centre. On arrival, you can get a bus (it costs 3€ a trip) and it takes you to the centre of the city or get a taxi from the airport so that you can get to your accommodation without walking through the streets with your luggage. The taxi costs about 28 euros.
The bus times tie in with all the flights. There is more information about the airport bus on this page and a map with the bus stops here.
For domestic flights within Spain use the Iberia web site IBERIA.com.
Flying to Málaga Airport
Málaga is the closest international airport to Granada and there are many flights. Málaga Airport is 125km from Granada and it takes about 90 minutes to drive from Malaga Airport to Granada.
Getting from Málaga by bus
It is best to use public transport to get to Granada. The bus is faster than the train. Buses leave from Málaga bus station (the journey takes approximately 90 minutes) or from the Terminal 3 at the Malaga Airport (the journey takes approximately 120 minutes) and it always arrive at Granada bus station (C/ Minerva, 4, Granada).
The price of a one-way ticket is 11,57€ or 14,91€ or 13,86€ (Supra Economy service Málaga or Granada, respectively) and the price of the return ticket is double the price of a one-way ticket so there is no saving in buying a return (you can see all information in the web site:
a) From Málaga to Granada:https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/coach/malaga-granada?gclid=CjwKCAjw0oveBRAmEiwAzf6_rLI_fmhewwOuboK-Bm7dSc6yowNm6lIoyKBu5Ar8rp1nIvYZhQhuYRoCWcsQAvD_BwE# .
b) From Granada to Málaga:https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/coach/granada-malaga.
If you arrive at another time, it is faster to catch a bus from Málaga airport to Málaga bus station and then catch a bus to Granada.
There are 19 daily buses services from Málaga to Granada and 18 daily buses services from Granada to Málaga. It is necessary to buy your ticket before boarding the bus from the previously mentioned websites or in the ticket office directly outside the arrivals hall. In the Alsa website (owner of the coaches from Málaga-Granada-Málaga), you can check times and prices and even choose your seats.
A taxi from Málaga to Granada is another means of transport but it costs around 140 euros.
Granada bus station is just outside town, so you will have to get a taxi or a bus into the centre (there are buses every 5 or 10 minutes and it is cheaper than the taxi service). When you come out of arrivals, go straight on and you will come to the bus stop.
If you miss the last bus to Granada, you will have to get a hotel in Málaga or club together with 4 people and get a taxi (a taxi from Málaga is about 120 – 160 euros).
Getting from Málaga in a hire car
Remember that the only point in having a car in the centre of Granada is for going on excursions. Once you are in the centre of Granada you can walk everywhere or get a taxi. Parking your car in a public carpark will normally cost at least 25 euros per day but a new carpark has opened which costs 40 euros per week.
Most companies have pick-up and drop-off points both at Granada airport and in the centre of Granada. There is a list of hire car companieshere.
Getting from Málaga airport in a taxi
Just go to the taxi rank at the airport and try to get the best price. You should be able to get the price down to 140 or even lower. You will need to show them the address of where you are going and then ask the price. It is a good idea to get them to write the figure down on a paper so that they can’t later say it was higher and that you didn’t understand.
There are companies who operate a long distance taxi service out of Málaga – for example Málaga Taxi. The price to Granada is 159 euros
Getting to Granada by Train
The train station is fairly central and is in Avenida de Andaluces of Avenida de la Constitución. Granada is not on a high speed line.
The Talgo takes about 5 and a half hours from Madrid. Seville is 4 hours by train. Most people choose the bus rather than the train when coming from Malaga or Almeria.
RENFE have a good website giving full information about trains in Spain, English, French, etc. Follow these links for homepage and timetables.
Getting to Granada by Bus
There are many buses each day to and from other large Spanish cities. To buy tickets online, visit ALSA. You can check times and prices and even choose your seats. The bus station is slightly out of town and you will need to get a taxi or a bus to get to the centre
If you are coming from Madrid you will need to go to “Estación del Sur”. The nearest tube station to “Estación del Sur” is Méndez Álvaro but the buses can have the exit in all bus stops in Madrid (you can get the bus at the airport too). The buses leave every hour and if there is a busy day, for example before or after a fiesta they put on more buses according to demand.
The usual thing (if you haven’t bought tickets in advance) is just to go to the bus station and get on the next available bus. You would be unlucky if you have to wait longer than 2 hours for a bus. Buy your tickets from the ALSA window or machine.
There are various services between Madrid and Granada from “Estación del Sur”:
normal (5 hours – 18.95€): 1:30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 10:30, 11:30, 14:00, 15:00, 16:30, 17:30, 18:30, 20:30)
The bus company owns a cafe half way between Madrid and Granada where they sell overpriced dried up sandwiches and lukewarm coffee. If this is your first time in Spain don’t get depressed, Spanish catering is not normally this bad.
See above in “Getting from Málaga”.
From other Spanish cites
Internet booking systems now function well so it is best to book seat online here ALSA, otherwise the normal procedure for getting a bus is to go to the station and get on the next available bus.
Driving to Granada
The Spanish road network has improved a lot in the last 20 years and there are very good roads to all other Spanish cities. It takes about 5 hours to Madrid, 11 hours to Barcelona, 90 minutes to Málaga.