Check out what to do in Granada in 2 days with or without your mummy and make your Andalusian adventure intense!
Granada in Spain is a stunning medieval town and there are at least 3 reasons to visit this Moorish place: Alhambra, gorgeous scenery of Sierra Nevada and free tapas! No wonder it was on the bucket list during our mom & daughter trip in Andalusia. I bet you never get bored in this city, no matter if you travel solo, with your friends, partner or mamma.
1, Book a Cosy Hotel with a View
It wouldn’t be a proper medieval getaway without living like princesses, would it? We took the selection of our hotel pretty seriously and the goal was getting views of Alhambra! Our deluxe apartment with a tearoom totally met our expectations! The hotel we stayed at for 2 nights — Palacio de Santa Inés, was built back in the 16th century and it was a real adventure.
We had to climb up 200+ stairs to get the wonderful views of Alhambra from the fourth floor. Yes, we didn’t count with this — 5 centuries old buildings usually don’t have elevators! My mum managed this unplanned daily exercise like a star and the 24-hour Alhambra views were worth it! Moreover, the accommodation and location were both fantastic.
NOTE: I would recommend the hotel to fitter and younger people. You may want to take your mom to a place where she doesn’t have to torture herself by stepping up and down a 500-year-old staircase.
2, Take a Welcome Walk in the Area
This is my favourite thing to do after any arrival! I love the very first explore walk around the area, getting know the location, cool places, restaurants and bars around.
It is always so much of excitement when you get to a new place and you still don’t know where to find everything. Especially when you’re on travels with your mum who expects that you’ll be her personal guide and prepare a plan for every day!
Granada is quite spread out, so you really want to have a peak look to check out which directions to go next and where you’ll take your mum for dinner. (Believe me, exploring things on your own is still much better than googling everything). For example, within 10 minutes after the check-in we discovered a cosy tapas place just around the corner. It was our favourite spot to get mulled wine before getting back to the hotel.
3, Drink & Eat Free Tapas
Food is one of the reasons why we’re all obsessed with travelling, isn’t it? Imagine that Granada follows the old Spanish rule of serving a little tapas dish with every single alcoholic drink you order! We visited Granada in December, just a few days before Christmas and it was quite cold during evenings!
How splendid was the cosy feeling of taking a seat in a lovely traditional tapas bar, ordering a glass of wine accompanied by warm tortilla! If you want to read more about the tradition of tapas go to my article which explains the history and different opinions about Spanish Tapas.
Yes, drinking and eating small portions of traditional Spanish food is definitely one of the things you should do in Granada in 2 days with or without your mum! My ma totally loved it and who wouldn’t, right? (Moreover, there are like hundreds tapas places in Granada!)
4, Get Amazing Views of Sierra Nevada & Granada
Granada is well-known for its picturesque scenery of the old town, monumental Alhambra and jaw-dropping snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada. There are a few viewing points which you should check out on your 2 days in Granada.
The top viewpoint is Mirador de San Nicolas in Albaicín which is packed most of the time. If you don’t get your tiny little place next to the wall, the views might not be that spectacular — you’ll be basically watching heads of people taking selfies.
Next viewpoints in Granada for you to check out are Ermita de San Miguel Alto, Mirador Alixares, as well as the open terrace next to Manuel De Falla Archive Foundation, which is directly under the Nazires Palace. The last one is not an official ‘mirador’ but it offers miraculous views to Granada’s city.
5, Grab a Dinner at ‘Bar Restaurante Juan Ranas VISTAS ALHAMBRA’
Do you want to know where we had the best panoramic views to the splendid triangle of Granada, Alhambra and Sierra Nevada? It looked wonderful from the exterior of the restaurant called ‘Juan Ranas Vistas Alhambra‘! Even though it was less than 15 degrees outside, we were sat on the terrace enjoying the marvellous views.
What else did we enjoy? Wine and food! Good things cost money though and the restaurant is quite expensive. We spent around 90 euros for lunch, wine, dessert and a coffee. However, we have no regrets. It was one of the highlights of our mother & daughter Andalusian trip. If you have only 2 days in Granada and you want to enjoy it in a relaxing way, go to this restaurant. You’ll take care of your belly, eyes, body and soul! Amazing place.
6, Visit or Walk around Alhambra & Generalife
Would be Granada without Alhambra still Granada? This medieval Arabic castle is a benchmark of this Andalusian Moorish centre. We didn’t have time to buy tickets in advance (or our communication about visiting Alhambra failed), so we ended up walking around this Moorish palace instead. It was lovely anyway!
The park around is beautiful, the views are wonderful and judging the mass of people standing in front of the main entrance, we might have made the right decision. On our way back we stopped at Mirador Alixares, one of the viewing points mentioned above.
TIP: Don’t miss out also on The Alcazaba, fortress right before Alhambra.
7, Explore Granada’s Historical Centre
Alhambra is not the only one which sparks some resemblance of the deep history of this place! There are many other monuments to check out on your 2 days in Granada trip. Walk through the streets of the centre and have a look at one of the places like: Corral de Carbon, Grand Cathedral, Royal Chapel, Plaza de la Trinidad, Plaza de los Lobos or Plaza Isabel la Catolica.
Stop at El Buñuelo — old Arabic baths, get knocked by the beauty of Monasterio de San Jeronimo and buy some snacks at Market Plaza Nueva. Granada’s architecture is fascinating! You will be impressed by the details that cover almost every wall in the city! We even discovered tiny sculptures of devils on the walls of an old block of flats. Scary, man!
8, Get to know famous Granada’s neighbourhoods: Sacromonte and Albaicín
Granada’s vibe wouldn’t be the same without the Moorish movement in the Medieval times. However, many people do not know that gypsies had their input to shape the local folklore too. Sacromonte and Albaicín are probably the most unique areas of Granada.
Sacromonte is the ‘gypsy quarter’; the home of music, dance, passionate flamenco shows and mysterious caves — houses of original habitants of the area dating back to the 16th century.
Albaicín is the Moorish neighbourhood of Granada. Here you can walk up and down the narrow streets full of tiny Arabic shops, tea houses, restaurants, miradores (viewpoints), Arabic baths and more.
Fun fact 1: The original name of Albaicín is Albayzín.
Fun fact 2: Albaicín is both Granda’s district declared a World heritage site by UNESCO which consists of 5 neighbourhoods including Sacromonte; and the biggest neighbourhood of the same named district Albaicín.
8, Feel the Art in one of Granada’s galleries
Granada is soaked with art! Everyone who is at least a bit ‘artsy’ should visit one of the city’s art galleries. They’re especially welcoming during wintertime when you may need a little break from the cold Granada’s wind. I and my mom crawled to one of the city centre’s galleries after hours of freezing outside while exploring Granada on foot. The day before we had explored Picasso’s work and life in Malaga so meeting other Andalusian artists seemed to be a great idea.
We visited Centro Jose Guerrero; a gallery dedicated to one of the most important personas of Granada’s contemporary art. Part of the exposition called Guerrero/Vicente were paintings by another famous Spanish artist Esteban Vicente Perez. Both painters, Guerrero and Vicente, where part of the first generation of New York’s School of abstract expressionists.
If you’re not a fan of contemporary art, you can choose to see something more traditional. Have a look at the list of Granada’s art galleries and museums in Granada on the official Andalucía site.
Next time you’ll plan a trip with your mama, think about visiting Andalusia’s centre of the Moorish history. You can visit Granada in 2 days and follow my tips above but if I may give you an advice — stay in this mystical city for a longer time. Granada has so much to offer!