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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Granada's hilly landscape makes for fantastic vistas, and there are few better than the views offered at the Plaza de San Nicolas. Located in the Albaicín neighborhood, less than a mile north of the Paseo de los Tristes, Plaza de San Nicolas directly faces the Alhambra and the majestic snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountain range that sits right behind it. Lush rolling hills and traditional clay-tiled rooftops fill space in between the vista's two focal points. That, combined with the plaza's decorative cobblestones, whitewashed church and lively buskers make for a truly picture-perfect moment.

Recent travelers were in awe of the incredible views of the historic site and loved the plaza's atmosphere. Many recommended visiting at night, when the Alhambra is lit up and the locals come by to drink, dance and play music. Keep in mind that reaching the Plaza de San Nicolas may be tough for some travelers. Visitors described the uphill climb to the vantage point as easy to moderate, so those who aren't confident with their physical stamina should consider taking a taxi. Plaza de San Nicolas is free to explore and is open 24 hours a day. 

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#1 The Alhambra

The Alhambra is the crown jewel of Granada. Perched high atop a hill in the center of the city, this UNESCO World Heritage site dominates the skyline. The Alhambra is not only Granada and Andalusia's biggest tourist attraction, it's one of the most-visited spots in all of Spain. It draws about 2 million visitors per year, with some traveling to Granada just to see the Alhambra. And for good reason – it boasts a rich history, magnificent architecture, gorgeous gardens and stellar views.

Aesthetics aside, to really appreciate the Alhambra is to understand its history. The palace was primarily built between the 13th and 14th centuries by the Moorish Nasrid Dynasty (though small parts of it were initially constructed in the ninth century by the previous dynasty), acting as a residence for royals as well as fortress. After the Conquest of Granada, Spanish rulers made the Alhambra more their own – transforming interiors, replacing the on-site mosque with a church and adding other Renaissance-style structures, including an extra palace for Charles V. Many of what visitors see today is centuries of rebuilding and restoration. 

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