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The Albaicín picture in Granada
kapyos / Getty Images

Details

  • Cafes, Churches/Religious Sites, Entertainment and Nightlife, Recreation, Shopping, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.9
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Food Scene
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

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The Albaicín neighborhood is the stuff of Spanish dreams. Narrow cobblestone roads weave through traditional homes, charming plazas, quaint courtyards and multiple historic sites. There are also plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options to be found within. What's more, the neighborhood's placement on the hillside north of the Alhambra affords plenty of vantage points of the UNESCO World Heritage site, including those seen from the popular Plaza de San Nicolas. And believe it or not, UNESCO's World Heritage distinction also extends to the Albaicín. That's because the neighborhood is the old Moorish quarter of the city. Walking around, it's easy to spot remnants of the once thriving Muslim neighborhood (once boasting more than 40,000 residents). For example, any churches you run into along the way were probably once the site of a mosque, including the Church of San Salvador, which still features some Arab inscriptions.

Plan to stop by Calle Elvira and Calle Caldereria Nueva for tapas and shopping and Mirador de Los Carvajales for views of the Alhambra. And for truly panoramic (and unforgettable) views of the city, there's El Mirador de San Miguel Alto, the highest viewpoint in Granada. However you choose to spend your time in the Albaicín, you cannot leave without a walk along the Carrera del Darro. This incredibly scenic pathway resembles that of a fairytale: small, stone arch bridges connect one side of town to the other as the modest Darro river trickles through foliage-laden banks, eventually stopping right below the Alhambra itself.

Recent visitors were completely charmed by the Albaicín. Travelers found the architecture beautiful, the streets delightful and the views incomparable. Many agreed that walking is the easiest way to get around the neighborhood (there are a number of streets where cars simply can't fit) and the best way to experience the Albaicín. Visitors were keen to note that the streets can get steep fast, advising future travelers to wear sturdy shoes. The Albaicín is free to explore and is open all hours year-round. For more information, visit the Granada tourism board's website.

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El Ladrón de Agua

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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 ... Read more » AnaPR / Getty Images

#2 The Albaicin The Albaicín neighborhood is the stuff of Spanish dreams. Narrow cobblestone roads weave through traditional homes, charming plazas, quaint courtyards and multiple historic sites. There are also plenty of shopping, dining ... Read more » kapyos / Getty Images

#3 Sierra Nevada National Park Though Granada's storied history should be absorbed as much as possible, the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains are worth just as much exploration. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are part of ... Read more » Fotomicar / Getty Images

#4 Historical Center If you're still itching to tour more historical, not to mention architecturally gorgeous, attractions after the Alhambra, Granada's historical center is your best bet. This small neighborhood, adjacent ... Read more » JoseIgnacioSoto / Getty Images

#5 Plaza de San Nicolas 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 ... Read more » Antonio Luis Martinez Cano / Getty Images

#6 Flamenco in Sacromonte The Sacromonte district is actually part of the Albaicín, occupying the northern tip of the neighborhood. But what the Sacromonte really stands out for is its caves, and the flamenco ... Read more » Park Hoonkap / Flickr

#7 Arab baths There's a history lesson to be had anywhere you go in Granada, and the city's spas are no exception. The Arab baths were once a gathering place for ... Read more » javi_indy / Getty Images

#8 The Alcaiceria If you're looking to do some serious shopping while in Granada, the Alcaiceria market is the place to go. Upon first glance, the market may seem like a tourist ... Read more » Sergey Borisov / Getty Images

The Alhambra picture in Granada
The Albaicín picture in Granada
Sierra Nevada Mountains picture in Granada
Historical Center picture in Granada
Plaza de San Nicolas picture in Granada
Flamenco picture in Granada
Hammam Al Andalus picture in Granada
Alcaiceria Market picture in Granada
The Alhambra picture in Granada
The Albaicín picture in Granada
Sierra Nevada Mountains picture in Granada
Historical Center picture in Granada
Plaza de San Nicolas picture in Granada
Flamenco picture in Granada
Hammam Al Andalus picture in Granada
Alcaiceria Market picture in Granada

AnaPR / Getty Images

The Albaicín neighborhood is as charming as they come. Cobblestone streets, quaint plazas and beautiful carmenes, or traditional whitewashed homes dot the area. What's more, it's considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. kapyos / Getty Images

Bordering the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Granada is brimming with hiking opportunities. The Los Cahorros gorge is a popular hike and Sierra Nevada Ski Resorts affords access to plenty of alpine trails, but if you don't want to travel too far, hit up the Dehesa del Generalife.  Fotomicar / Getty Images

JoseIgnacioSoto / Getty Images

The most popular vantage point in Granada is Plaza de San Nicolas for its unobstructed views of the Alhambra. Come at night to see the attraction lit up, as well as locals dancing and drinking.  Antonio Luis Martinez Cano / Getty Images

Granada is a great place to catch a flamenco show. Sacromonte, the neighborhood just above the Albaicín, hosts flamenco shows in caves that were previously occupied by gypsies. Gypsies are said to have developed flamenco in Andalusia when they emigrated to the province.  Park Hoonkap / Flickr

Those wanting to experience the Arab baths in Granada should check into Hammam Al Andalus, one of the most popular working bath houses in the city.   javi_indy / Getty Images

Once Arab markets, the Alcaiceria features a number of goods difficult to find outside of Andalusia, including Moroccan leather bags, taracea, or wooden inlay goods and fajalauza, or painted ceramics. Sergey Borisov / Getty Images

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