The fact that the Spanish city of Granada was ruled by the Moors for a number of centuries is still clearly visible. The Arabic influences are clearly visible in various places in the city. Especially in the many palaces that the city has, there are many beautiful details from the past to be seen. Certainly in the neighborhoods of Albaicín, Sacromonte or Alhambra, history is honored. These cozy old parts of the city provide a nostalgic feeling, where you do not always realize that you have indeed ended up in a big city. Here and there people still dance flamenco in the street and the conviviality is paramount.
Top 10 sights of Granada
#1. The Alhambra and the Generalife
When you talk about the absolute top attraction of Granada, you inevitably come to the Alhambra from. These palaces once belonged to the Islamic sultan of Granada Muhammed III and other Moorish rulers. The ‘Palacio de Generalife’, which was built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, is located within the old city walls of Alhambra on the hill La Sabika. Here is also the former defensive fortress Alcazaba. The Generalife Palace has several courtyards and gardens that were used as resting places by the Islamic kings. Good examples of this are the ‘Patio de la Acequia and Cypress Patio de la Sultana’. The architecture can best be described as Moorish with Renaissance influences. Since 1984, these cultural buildings belong to Unesco World Heritage.
In addition to the Alhambra, Granada has an old and historic district that is definitely worth a visit. Officially, the city of Granada actually originated in this part of the city. Albaicín or Albayzín, which is actually right opposite the Alhambra, has many atmospheric narrow streets that take you past special sights. Good examples of this are the archaeological museum ‘Casa de Castril’, the Dar al-Horra palace, the Iglesia de San Nicolás church and several Arab baths ‘Bañuelo’. You have the best view from the Mirador de San Nicolás, near the church of the same name. The district used to be particularly strong in providing drinking water.
#3. Monastery of Jerome
According to Wedding in Fashion, this Catholic monastery was built around the year 1504 for Augustinians. The Renaissance influences are also abundantly present here. The monastery is even seen by some as the cradle of Andalusian architecture. The important position of the Monastery of Jerome becomes even clearer, as there is a separate room where the wife of Emperor Charles, Isabel de Portugal, regularly stayed. After the Spanish War of Independence, the monastery fell into disrepair for a while. Fortunately, the value of the building was recognized in time and several restorations have taken place since then. Another special monastery in Granada is the ‘Cartuja de Granada’.
#4. Palace of Charles V
Because of the beautiful and elevated surroundings, Charles V decided to settle between Nasrid heritages together with his wife Isabel. A palace was built that had to exude a European style. This makes it very different from other buildings in the area. The palace of Charles V consists of two floors with a circular courtyard. For the design, the king consulted a student of Michelangelo, Pedro Machuca. The building houses the museum of fine arts ‘Museo de Bellas Artes de Granada’.
#5. Cathedral of Granada
In the sixteenth century, this important Spanish cathedral was built in the city of Granada. Over 180 years of hard work has been done to give the cathedral of Granada the imposing appearance that we can see today. The ‘Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Anunciación de Granada’ has mostly baroque elements. In the main chapel, beautiful stained glass windows depict all kinds of passages from the history of Jesus. Granada Cathedral is located in the middle of the old medina of the city.
#6. Parque de las Ciencias
In addition to the many cultural attractions from antiquity, there are also scientific and interesting things to discover in Granada. In the ‘Parque de las Ciencias’ all kinds of researches and discoveries are explained. How exactly is human DNA put together, take a journey through the human body, what is the power of air and how you can influence the human brain. All such questions will find an answer here. Particularly for children it is great fun to participate in all kinds of trials and experiments.
#7. Museo Arqueológico
Casa de Castril houses the archaeological museum of Granada. Since it opened its doors in 1919, the museum has welcomed many guests. The Paleoithic goes all the way back to prehistoric times. Here, among other things, skulls of mammoths can be admired. Other areas showcase periods such as the Copper Age, the Bronze Age, the colonization of the Iberian world, the Roman era and Late Antiquity.
#8. Palacio de Dar-al-Horra
This palace belonged to the mother of the last Arab king of Granada, King Boabdil. The palace is located in the Albayzin district. The Arabic influences are mainly reflected in the ceilings and texts that can be found on the walls. A very small swimming pool can be found in the courtyard.
#9. Plaza Bib-Rambla
The bustling heart of the city of Granada can be found around the Bib-Rambla square. In the past, trade was already conducted here, bullfights took place here and commercial life slowly began to develop. Today people like to enjoy themselves on one of the terraces, they like to stay around the fountain or buy a flower at one of the many stalls that can be found there.
#10. Paseo de los Tristes
Parallel to the river Darro is the most romantic walk possible in Granada. On this Paseo de los Tristes you will find a few terraces for delicious tapas and, for example, a good glass of wine. When you cross the northern bridge to the Camino del Avellano you pass an old water source.