Granada for 1 day
Like any other city of a certain entity, Granada is absolutely unattainable in a single day. With all injustice and pain we will have to do without many of its most emblematic places, be it the Royal Chapel, the Fajalauza Gate, the Generalife, the Madrasa, the San Cristobal viewpoint, the Cartuja Monastery or the Sacromonte Cuevas Museum, among others. Among many others. The good news is that there will always be something new to see, a reason to return to Granada. From OnMalagaTransfers we will have the audacity to offer you a route for a single day. To those who already know the city, we must warn them to excuse the suffering caused by not introducing some point worth visiting on this humble route. For those who do not know it too much, I hope it will be of sufficient use or reference to spend a magnificent day.
Views of Granada from Abadía del Sacromonte
Notice to visitors
Above all, we want to be honest and tell you that the route that you will see below is hardly practicable in a single day. All the places detailed here are mere proposals of the visitor’s choice but we do not want to mislead anyone by suggesting an excessive number of sites. This would prevent you from enjoying yourself with pause and calm, which is what a walk through Granada demands. Turning it into a time trial rally, prioritizing quantity over quality, would lead them to not be able to savor the taste and pause required by urban goldsmithing that we will explore below. So, unless you can extend your stay in the city, we suggest that you be selective until the next time you can return. Because if Granada has something it is that it will always give you a reason to return, even if it is for pleasure.
View of the Albayzín from Cuesta de los Chinos
Starting from the heart of the city, very close to the nerve center, we will start from the curious handicraft shops of the Alcaicería. Located in the surroundings of the Cathedral, Royal Chapel and La Madraza. The old souk or craft market was totally destroyed in the mid-nineteenth century, and is now in total decline. However, in its reconstruction, an attempt was made to preserve the spirit and aroma of the best times of silk and gold.
Once we have satisfied our curiosity, we will visit the next Corral del Carbón which, despite the modifications, preserves the essence of the social gatherings around the central axis. It’s hard not to move in and join in on the neighborhood gossip and conversations poking out onto the patio.
Corral del Carbón
If the spirit is especially curious and agile, the latter is important, we can still spend a few minutes contemplating the Pilar del Toro and the Church of Santa Ana located in the Plaza Nueva itself.
From there, we will face the start of the Carrera del Darro, from the bridge where the river embossment ends that gives it its name.
Church of Santa Ana and the start of Carrera del Darro in the background
But stop there. Right in a perpendicular alley, if we have been early risers, we can still visit the Casa de los Pisa, which currently houses the Museum of San Juan de Dios where we can enjoy a hidden gem, unfairly overshadowed in most tourist guides. Through a guided tour for a small fee, we will see the rooms occupied by Saint John of God, founder of the religious order to which he gives his name. There we can observe his relics and the room where he gave himself to God until the last moment.
We will continue along Carrera del Darro, considered by some to be the most beautiful street in the world.
Carrera del Darro (Darro Street)
We will walk the cobblestone overcoming the first bridge (called Puente de Cabrera) and erroneously indicated as Puente del Cadí in Google Maps for its infinite shame and that is collapsed almost at the end of the road before reaching the parish of San Pedro and San Pablo. Returning to where we were, the second bridge that we will meet, the so-called Espinosa Bridge, takes us to another charming place where we can, and should, make a stop along the way. On the other side of the river we will find La Tabernilla del Darro where we will enjoy a snack in one of the most charming taverns in the place. Occupying what was an old bread oven, we will get our typical (and free) tapa as a gift with our drink, with unbeatable attention and service.
Cabrera Bridge in Carrera del Darro
It goes without saying that in between we will be enjoying the entire environment and its urbanism. Depending on the availability of time and physical fullness, I would recommend exploring the adjacent streets discovering small treasures that we will not name here because we do not extend ourselves too much and above all for allowing the adventurous spirit to treat itself with some unexpected surprise. Focusing again on the banks of the Darro, we will continue to El Bañuelo opposite (now) the Cadí Bridge of which only one of its two abutments remains. Mandatory stop. The largest and best preserved Arab baths. Your visit on Sunday is free.
A few meters away and going up the next adjacent street we will find the Casa de Zafra. Nasrid House of Andalusian aristocrats built in the 14th century. Just to observe its interior lagoon is worth the minimum detour and the little investment of time.
We continue along the famous street and a few meters away we find the Archaeological Museum, which we will enjoy from prehistoric elements to modern times. Inside we can treat ourselves to one of the most curious and unknown viewpoints of the Alhambra.
We finish the Carrera del Darro at the Puente de las Chirimías, whose continuation is the Paseo de los Tristes. There we will enjoy spectacular views of the Alhambra and if you are curious about the enigmatic and abandoned building that can be seen on the other side of the river, I will tell you what is the famous and loved by the people of Granada Hotel Reúma.
Paseo de los Tristes
The next recommendation is located at the end of Paseo de los Tristes and ascending the Chapiz slope, we will find the Palacio de los Córdova on the right.
Traveling along the Chapiz slope, we came across the Casa del Chapiz. At this point, only the most energetic and fast will arrive with enough time to be able to continue with the steep slope before lunch since we still have an obligatory stop such as the famous San Nicolás viewpoint. To get to it we could cut down a narrow street but we recommend exhausting the demanding slope of Chapiz to avoid that the less knowledgeable of the place get lost in the labyrinth of the Albayzin. In addition to enjoying intermediate places such as the Plaza del Salvador where the Church and the Aljibe of the same name are located.
From there we only have a few meters to reach the viewpoint. We will take advantage of the visit to enter the grounds of the Granada Mosque, which apart from the interest it arouses by itself, adjoins the Plaza de San Nicolás and offers us very similar but less congested views of the Alhambra.
Views from the San Nicolás viewpoint
From here, the offer diversifies even more so with all the pain in our hearts, we will flip a coin to choose an option and continue with our proposal.
We will return almost to the starting point but with a different route. Using our mobile device or under the kind instructions of the locals, we will go to the Plaça de Carvajales where we are shown a different perspective of the Nasrid monument.
Placeta de Carvajales (Little square of Carvajales)
Later we will continue descending to Calderería Nueva street, which is another souk in the famous area known as “las teterías”, where we will find more handicraft and Arab-influenced shops as well as numerous establishments dedicated to the many specialties of infusions that give it the informal name to the place.
Break and we march again
If at this point we have not stopped to eat in the many bars and restaurants of the Albayzín or food that we planned to carry with us, we should do so in the Calle Elvira area, an area of worship of tapas in Granada and thus be able to regain strength. We will need them to face the afternoon and the final part of the route with two of the most beautiful places that Granada offers.
Once recovered, we will cross to the other side of the Darro river, to the Realejo neighborhood. Taking Plaza Nueva, we will ascend the Gomérez slope. We will find it by locating the Taberna la Espera that is on the corner of the aforementioned slope.
We will continue to the imposing Puerta de Las Granadas (Gate of the Grenades) and from there we will be able to browse the surroundings while we continue our ascent.
Gate of the Grenades
All the roads lead to Rome, so taking as a reference that we must continue “up” by the Mauror hill, we can see the Bermejas Towers, the Bib-Rambla Gate, the Rodríguez Acosta Foundation (which also deserves a visit by itself), the Alhambra forest itself that surrounds the entire path, the Angel Ganivet Fountain and the Manuel de Falla Archive Foundation before reaching the Carmen de los Mártires. Depending on the path chosen, we will see some or other elements but because they are scattered over several routes, we will hardly be able to see them all.
Angel Ganivet Fountain and Bib-Rambla Gate
Carmen of the Martyrs
El Carmen is the name given to a type of building typical of Granada’s idiosyncrasy and of Arab origin. It consists of a house that can be a house or mansion, gardens and / or orchards and a walled perimeter. El Carmen de los Mártires is the largest and possibly the most beautiful of them all. There is not a single bucolic and precious element missing in the entire venue. To speak of him, however skilled one may be in description, would be to detract from him. The visit rises above the category of obligatory, rather, very obligatory. Composed of labyrinthine garden areas and orchards, it has fountains, a small pond, particular flora and fauna, a palace and several viewpoints. After the visit, we will continue with the jewel in the crown.
Palace of Carmen de los Mártires
If we were not the lucky holders of tickets to tour the monument, we will still be able to enjoy several spaces of the Alhambra site that can be enjoyed freely. Entering through the Puerta de la Justicia, we will access the free part of the enclosure where we can go to the Placeta de los Aljibes and the majestic Palace of Carlos V where in addition to being able to enjoy the interior, it has a museum that can also be freely visited. In addition, it is worth stopping by the nearby Parador Nacional de San Francisco, built in the 15th century by order of the Catholic Monarchs on the ruins of a Muslim palace.
National Parador of San Francisco
If we had our mandatory tickets, we will go to the entrance a little before the appointed time, preferably at the ticket office. We can only enjoy the extraordinary monument and have treasured special moments in a day that we want to be unique for everyone who wants to enjoy it.
Views of Granada with the mountains in the background from Albayzin
Text & Images: J.Gilete, translated by Michel Guérillot