Drawn by the allure of the Alhambra, many visitors head to Granada unsure what to expect. What they find is a gritty, compelling city where serene Islamic architecture and Arab-flavoured street life go hand in hand with monumental churches, old-school tapas bars and counterculture graffiti art.

The city, sprawled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, was the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors and their legacy lies all around: it’s in the horseshoe arches, the spicy aromas emanating from street stalls, the teterías (teahouses) of the Albayzín, the historic Arab quarter. Most spectacularly, of course, it’s in the Alhambra, an astonishing palace complex whose Islamic decor and landscaped gardens are without peer in Europe.

There’s also an energy to Granada’s streets, packed as they are with bars, student dives, bohemian cafes and intimate flamenco clubs, and it’s this as much as the more traditional sights that leaves a lasting impression.

Source: www.lonelyplanet.com

 

TOP SIGHTS IN GRANADA

Alhambra

The Alhambra is Granada’s – and Europe’s – love letter to Moorish culture. Set against a backdrop of brooding Sierra Nevada peaks, this fortified palace complex started life as a walled citadel before going on to become the opulent seat of Granada’s Nasrid emirs. Their showpiece palaces, the 14th-century Palacios Nazaríes, are among the finest Islamic buildings in Europe and, together with the gorgeous Generalife gardens, form the Alhambra's great headline act.

 

Capilla Real

The Royal Chapel is the last resting place of Spain’s Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs), Isabel I de Castilla (1451–1504) and Fernando II de Aragón (1452–1516), who commissioned the elaborate Isabelline-Gothic-style mausoleum that was to house them. It wasn't completed until 1517, hence their interment in the Alhambra’s Convento de San Francisco until 1521.

Their monumental marble tombs (and those of their heirs) lie in the chancel behind a gilded wrought-iron screen created by Bartolomé de Jaén in 1520.

 

Basilica San Juan de Dios

Head to this historic basilica, built between 1737 and 1759, for a blinding display of opulent baroque decor. Barely a square inch of its interior lacks embellishment, most of it in gleaming gold and silver. Frescos by Diego Sánchez Sarabia and the Neapolitan painter Corrado Giaquinto adorn the ceilings and side chapels, while up above, the basilica's dome soars to a height of 50m. The highlight, however, is the extraordinary gold altarpiece in the Capilla Mayor (main chapel).

 

 

Mirador San Nicolás

This is the place for those classic sunset shots of the Alhambra sprawled along a wooded hilltop with the dark Sierra Nevada mountains looming in the background. It's a well-known spot, accessible via Callejón de San Cecilio, so expect crowds of camera-toting tourists, students and buskers. It's also a haunt of pickpockets and bag-snatchers, so keep your wits about you as you enjoy the views.

 

Read more:

 https://www.pcgr.org/en/granada/what-to-see-in-granada/   

 https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/granada/attractions/                   

 

 

SURROUNDINGS

The province of Granada is full of places in which getting lost may be the most enjoyable excursion.

Read more: https://www.pcgr.org/en/granada/surroundings/