Discover how to spend 2 perfect days in Granada, Spain. This Granada itinerary details what to see, the top hotels, where to eat, and what order to do it in!
Granada is nestled in the Andalusia region of Southern Spain…my favorite area. The mix of Moorish and Spanish culture makes for a picturesque and unforgettable destination.
Everywhere you turn you'll see the mark that both cultures left on this great city from the architecture to the food.
This 2 day Granada itinerary will leave time for breaks if you want to linger at lunch or need several coffee stops a day…like me! I also make sure sightseeing is done in an order that makes logistical sense so you don't waste time backtracking.
This two days in Granada post will also discuss a few common questions, such as: how many days in Granada do you really need, where to stay in Granada, and the best time to visit Granada, Spain.
Download this Granada 2 day itinerary in PDF form so you can easily print it and take it with you!
How many days in Granada do you really need?
Before we dive into my 2 day Granada itinerary, let's first discuss how many days in Granada the average tourist needs.
Many visitors spend just one day in Granada. Or they do it as a day trip.
I don't advise this and recommend spending 2 days in Granada, Spain.
Granada is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Don’t rush this city and see the main sights in 1 day. It deserves time to wander the neighborhoods, enjoy a few lengthy meals, and take your time at the top attraction, the Alhambra Palace.
I save the Alhambra for day 2 in Granada so you can arrive before it opens and enjoy the palace at your own pace and have a little bit of time without the hordes of tourist groups.
Those that do Granada as a day trip will have a rushed visit and are forced to go in the late morning/afternoon (when it's the most crowded). You could easily spend four hours here...time a day tripper will not have.
Anything less than 2 days in Granada means you won't have time to truly experience the city. Yes, Granada is small; it's nothing like Paris, London, or Barcelona, but it packs a lot into a small space.
So, how many days in Granada do you really need? Two days and two nights...don't shorten it or you'll regret it.
What's the best time to visit Granada, Spain?
The best time to visit Granada, Spain is spring and late fall; specifically April through early June and late September through November. March is also really nice if you're ok with cooler temperatures (40s and 50s).
Fall sees more rain than Spring. October and November are the rainiest months. April has the highest chance of rain in Spring, though it's still lower than in fall.
Granada has a higher elevation than other towns in the Andalusia region. This means the temperatures are more extreme: hot summers and cold winters.
My personal favorite times/months to visit Granada are April through May and early/mid-October. The weather is great and there are fewer crowds.
How to get around Granada, Spain
Granada is entirely walkable. You can get to most sites within 20 minutes by foot (30 minutes for the Alhambra and Mirador de San Nicolas). I prefer walking as the city is clean and an enjoyable place to wander.
Uber is available in Granada. I typically use Cabify since it's cheaper and works the same as Uber.
If you're averse to hills, have bad knees, etc., you may consider taking a cab vs. walking. The trek to the Albaicin and Alhambra is particularly steep.
This map shows everything listed in this 2 day Granada itinerary. Click the top left button (in the blue bar) to see a list view of each pinned location or the top right button to enlarge the map.
- Blue: day 1 sights and activities
- Red: day 2 sights and activities
Day 1 in Granada, Spain
Start your 2 day Granada itinerary with a walking tour to become acquainted with the city and its history.
I did the Granada Essentials Tour with Cicerone and thought it was perfect. This used to be a small group tour but now is only offered as a private tour.
This is a great way to get a feel for the city and orient yourself on where the main sights and neighborhoods are.
If your budget prefers a free tour, Feel the City offers a great 2.5 hour walking tour. Keep in mind that free tours can get fairly large, especially if you're visiting during high season. They also aren't "free" since a tip is expected for the guide.
Churros con chocolate
You can’t visit Southern Spain without enjoying this Spanish treat. Some of the best churros in Granada, and I’m talking the thick authentic churros, not the skinny ones loaded with sugar, can be found at Gran Cafe Bib Rambla.
Not only are the churros delicious, the location is wonderful. Gran Cafe Bib Rambla is in a pretty square that's always buzzing with activity.
Walk 5 minutes to arrive at Spain’s second-largest cathedral. This isn’t your typical European Gothic cathedral with dark interiors. Granada’s cathedral has a bright white interior designed in lavish Renaissance and Baroque styles. Your €6 ticket includes the audio guide.
Royal Chapel (Capilla Real)
Just around the corner from the cathedral is the resting place of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. The Royal Chapel is a must-visit for history buffs as the Catholic monarchs buried here are the most significant rulers in Spain’s history.
Visit the treasury to see Queen Isabella’s personal art collection, crown, prayer book, and scepter. There is also a box that was supposedly given to Columbus and filled with jewels to fund his journey to America. Your €6 entrance fee includes the audio guide.
Take a coffee break at one of my favorite coffee shops in Granada, La Finca. The location is right next to the cathedral and is perfect for a moment to rest your feet.
Sunset Views at Mirador San Nicolas
Now is the perfect time to wind your way back through the Albaicin neighborhood to reach the best view of the Alhambra at sunset.
The Albaicin is the medieval Moorish neighborhood in Granada and deserves more than one visit during your 2 days in Granada, Spain.
Don’t worry; we'll return to this area on day 2 of your Granada itinerary!
It’s about a 15 to 20 minute walk from La Finca/cathedral to the viewpoint. Take your time and feel free to get lost along the way. Some of my best memories of Granada are the times I threw my map aside and just wandered the Albaicin.
Keep an eye on the time to ensure you arrive at Mirador San Nicolas, also called Plaza de San Nicolas, before sunset. I will warn you, it’s going to be crowded.
Once you arrive you’ll see why as the view of the Alhambra is spectacular. It’s lively this time of day as there are usually flamenco dancers and guitarists performing, vendors selling cheap souvenirs, and visitors enjoying a glass of wine while taking in the view.
Tapas and Spain go hand in hand, so now is the time to end the first day of your Granada itinerary with a feast of sangria and Spanish bites.
Walk 10 minutes from Mirador San Nicolas to Carrera del Darro. This is a gorgeous street to walk down at night as it runs alongside the Darro River and boasts wonderful views of the Alhambra above. There are a few restaurants on this street where you can sit and really take in the view of the Alhambra.
I prefer to continue along Carrera del Darro until it turns into Plaza Nueva. Wander the streets above Plaza Nueva and behind the cathedral. You’ll quickly discover this area is packed with tapas restaurants that are filled with hungry patrons.
Some of the best tapas restaurants in Granada that are casual and well-priced are La Botilleria, Bodegas Castaneda, and Los Diamantes.
Do as the locals do and start your tapas crawl around 9:00 pm. Have a sangria and a tapas or two before moving on to the next place.
This is a fun way to try multiple restaurants.
Day 2 in Granada, Spain
Start day 2 of your Granada itinerary with a bang at one of the top sights in all of Europe. The Alhambra Palace is one of the greatest Moorish palaces in the world and was the last stronghold of the Moors before the Christians took over.
After the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Alhambra is the most visited sight in Spain, which means it gets crowded. I highly recommend purchasing your tickets beforehand (currently up to 3 months in advance). You'll have to choose a specific time slot.
Because the palace receives so many visitors, they are extremely strict on how many people enter the Nasrid Palaces, the main attraction, at a time.
Choose the earliest time slot and arrive 30 minutes beforehand. The last time I visited I booked the first slot at 8:30 am and had a good 1 to 1.5 hours before the tour groups and crowds descended.
The Alhambra is a complex of buildings, gardens, and courtyards. There is a lot to see and you could easily spend all day here. Because time is limited during your 2 days in Granada, plan on 4 hours to have enough time to see all the sights and wander the grounds.
Once you’re done imagining what it was like to live like royalty in Spain, leave the Alhambra and make your way down to the Albaicin neighborhood.
Skip the cab and enjoy the 25-minute walk. You’ll go through some pretty streets and popular areas on your way to the cafe.
Cafe 4 Gatos is near the entrance of the Albaicin and has a great local vibe, strong espresso, and amazing carrot cake.
Wander the Albaicin
The Albaicin is my favorite area to wander aimlessly in Granada. You already got a taste of this area yesterday on the way to Mirador San Nicolas. Now, you can take the time to really get lost and explore.
The Albaicin, or Albayzín, feels worlds apart from the rest of Granada. Here, you feel like you are closer to Morocco than a typical European city. The narrow streets twist and turn and lead you past white stucco buildings with ceramic rooftops.
One moment you'll be completely alone, and the next you're on a busy street reminiscent of the souks in Marrakech. You'll find shops filled with trinkets, golden lamps, and pointy slippers that remind you of Aladdin and his lamp.
If you love walking tours as much as I do, this is a great neighborhood to add a second walking tour to your 2 days in Granada itinerary.
Lunch at Bar La Fragua
Authentic tapas, cheap prices, and a casual local atmosphere…need I say more? If you want a few more tapas restaurants to choose from, head next door to Plaza Larga. There are plenty of tapas bars and cafes surrounding the square.
Once you’ve had your fill of the Albaicin, head to the small neighborhood of Sacromonte, home to Granada’s gypsy community.
Walk along the main street, Camino del Sacromonte and appreciate how the cave homes are built right into the cliffside.
Sacromonte is one of the best areas to catch a Flamenco performance. Jardines De Zoraya is the most popular option for a reason.
The dancers, singers, and guitarists are true talent!6 You can feel the passion in their performance. The food is surprisingly good as well. Many venues that offer a "show and dinner" are usually disappointing.
While there are many other Flamenco performances that feel incredibly touristy, Jardines De Zoraya offers an all-around wonderful experience.
If you didn’t grab dinner during the Flamenco show, return to one of your favorite spots for another tapas crawl. You could return to Plaza Nueva or Plaza Bib Rambla.
A walking food tour is another fun option if you want to try several places.
Spend your final hours in Granada sipping sangria and engraving this city in your memory. I can guarantee you you’ll want to return.
I hope this Granada itinerary helps plan your time in this magical city. This truly is one of my favorite places and I’m sure you will love it as much as I do. Two days is just enough time to explore the city and see all the musts.
Best hotels in Granada, Spain
Luxury hotels in Granada, Spain:
- Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection - I always book Marriott properties direct to work towards status and for loyalty perks
- Seda Club Hotel
- Hotel Hospes Palacio de Los Patos