Six great reasons to visit Granada (besides the Alhambra)

Most visitors are initially drawn to this wonderful city with the promise of a tour around the Alhambra, the hilltop complex of gardens, palaces and fortifications. But there's so much more to see and do in Granada.

Granada's La Alhambra palace and fortress complex is spectacular, but there's lots more to enjoy in this historic Andalusian city. Photo:  Dimitry B/Unsplash
Granada's La Alhambra palace and fortress complex is spectacular, but there's lots more to enjoy in this historic Andalusian city. Photo: Dimitry B/Unsplash

But don’t let that be your only stop in a city that offers so many more delights.

With its backdrop of the snow topped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, its worth spending a few days discovering the Andalusian city that was the last bastion of the Islamic caliphate in Spain, finally being conquered in 1492.

Here Devour Tours gives The Local its top tips for a visit to the Granada.

Enjoy a sunset at the Mirador de San Nicolás

The view from the Mirador de San Nicolas is one of the most beautiful and memorable in all of Andalusia. Photo: Devour Tours

Visiting the Mirador de San Nicolás is a must on any list of things to do in Granada. Popular with students from the University of Granada and tourists alike, this lookout is often crowded, but well worth the visit. If you’re lucky you may stumble an impromptu flamenco performance in the square from local gypsies – the perfect soundtrack as you take in the exceptional views of Granada’s most treasured monument. If you don’t mind the crowds, this spot also provides one of the best sunsets in all of Spain. 

Shop till you drop on the Alcaiceria

Don’t be intimidated by the hustle and bustle of the Alcaicería, there are beautiful gems to be discovered there! Photo: Devour Tours

The Alcaicería is Granada’s Grand Bazaar and with such vibrant colors lining the street, it’s like being transported to northern Africa! In the 15th century, a series of streets full of shops made up the original Alcaicería.

It burned down in the 19th century and, since being rebuilt, only one section of the original remains. Many of the shops sell souvenirs. If you’re interested in Granada’s regional fajalauza ceramics, this is one place to look.

While you’re in the area, make sure to visit the nearby Plaza Bib-Rambla. It’s a great place to sit down and have a drink or a bite to eat as you watch the world go by.

Explore the Albayzín neighbourhood

The narrow streets of the iconic Albayzín neighborhood in Granada always lead to special corners of beauty. Photo: Devour Tours

Narrow, maze-like streets from the days before cars make up this neighborhood, one of the must-see parts of Granada. 

Plan in some time to explore the area before or after your visit to the famous lookout. Ditch your map and soak up the ambiance as you wander the streets.

The Albayzín is home to the Mirador de San Nicolás., built on a hill in front of the Alhambra, so you will be treated to peeks of the monument around every corner. Sit down in one of the charming plazas to enjoy a drink, or just roam and see where you end up!

See flamenco in a cave in Sacromonte

Seeing the passion and power of an authentic flamenco show in a cave in Sacromonte is not something you’ll soon forget. Photo: Devour Tours

Sacromonte is one of the most fascinating areas in Granada, with a rich folklore and powerful gypsy connection.

This special quarter features “cave houses” built directly into the hills, and it’s here where you can see some of the most spectacular flamenco in Granada.

READ ALSO: Malafollá – Why are people from the Spanish city of Granada so moody?

Head up earlier in the evening to catch amazing views of the Alhambra at sunset before heading to the show.

However, what was once a hidden gem is now one of the most popular places to see flamenco in Granada, so unfortunately, some of the caves have gotten a reputation as being quite touristy. Head to Zambra María la Canastera (Camino del Sacromonte, 89) to experience the real thing.

Visit the often forgotten about Cathedral

Whether you are an architecture buff or not, Granada’s Cathedral is not to be missed – simply stunning. Photo: Devour Tours

When it comes to architectural marvels in Granada, people of course immediately think of the Alhambra Palace. However, did you know that the city is also home to a Renaissance masterpiece?

Many cathedrals throughout Spain were built in Gothic style, but given the prolonged presence of the Moors in Granada, until 1492, by the time the Cathedral in Granada was being built, the country had progressed to a more Renaissance style of architecture.

This unique building’s Royal Chapel is also home to the remains of Spain’s iconic Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Conquerors of the Moors in 1492, unifiers of the kingdoms of Spain and financial investors in the voyages of Christopher Columbus, with such an impressive legacy are you going to miss the chance to see their resting place?

Experience the famous, authentic tapas scene in the city

There are a number of touristy establishments in Granada, breeze past them and into authentic gems on one of our food tours. Photo: Devour Tours

Tapas are an integral part of Granada’s culture, and no visit to the city would be complete without an authentic tapeo through the city’s windy streets.

However, with so many tapas bars to choose from in, it can be a little overwhelming trying to choose which ones to eat in. And as visitors, sometimes it’s especially hard to know which places are the real deal.

Avoid the tourist traps and step into Granada’s most authentic bars and restaurants when you join us on a foodie adventure with Devour Granada Food Tours. You’ll eat your way around Granada like a local and create unforgettable (and delicious!) memories of Spain’s most famous tapas scene!

READ MORE: Top ten ultimate pintxos to devour in San Sebastián

Devour Tours was founded by Spanish food lovers as a way to connect hungry travellers with the local, family run businesses that make amazing food. Offering award-winning fun and delicious food tours and tapas tours in Malaga, Seville, Barcelona and Madrid. Follow them on InstagramPinterestFacebook and Twitter for Spanish food news, tips and recipes.



TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

Britons, Americans and other non-EU/Schengen travellers who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered from Covid-19 will not be able to visit Spain for tourism for at least another month, Spanish authorities have confirmed.

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

The Spanish government has again extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel (including tourism) from most third countries for another month, until June 15th 2022.

That means that non-EU/Schengen adults who reside outside of the EU and who haven’t been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from the illness in the past six months cannot go on holiday to Spain during the next month. 

Therefore, Spain continues to not accept negative Covid-19 tests from British, American, Canadian, Indian or other third-country nationals who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered. 

There had been hopes that the shorter two-week extension to the ban on non-essential travel issued on April 30th, as well as talk of the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, would mean that unvaccinated third country nationals would be allowed into Spain in May.

But in the end, Saturday May 14th’s state bulletin confirmed that Spain will keep the same measures in place for another 31 days, stating that they “will eventually be modified to respond to a change of circumstances or to new recommendations in the context of the European Union”.

Spain’s ban on unvaccinated non-EU travellers is arguably the last major Covid-19 restriction in place in the country, and other EU countries such as Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Ireland are allowing unvaccinated tourists in.

This latest announcement by the Spanish government marks the umpteenth extension to non-essential travel from outside of the EU/Schengen area over the past two years of the pandemic, the previous one was due to expire on May 15th. 

But perhaps this extension is the most surprising, as the Spanish health ministry has modified its rulebook to treat Covid-19 like the flu and the country wants to recover the tourism numbers it had pre-pandemic.

The ban affects unvaccinated British tourists in particular, as the UK is still the biggest tourism market for Spain, but Britons’ non-EU status means they have to follow the same Covid-19 travel rules as other third-country nationals.

Vaccinated or recovered third-country travellers

Those who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 more than two weeks prior to travel to Spain will need to show a valid vaccination certificate with an EMA or WHO approved vaccine.

If their initial vaccination treatment was completed more than 9 months ago (270 days), they’ll need to show they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot. 

As for non-EU/Schengen travellers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, they will need to show a recovery certificate to prove this

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, recovery certificates accepted as valid are those “issued at least 11 days after the first positive NAAT or RAT, and up to a maximum of 180 days after the date of sampling”, as well as being issued by the relevant authorities.


In early February, Spanish authorities also decided to start allowing unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen teenagers aged 12 to 17 to visit Spain for tourism if they provided a negative PCR.

Spain continues to have a small list of low-risk third countries whose travellers visiting Spain for non-essential reasons can enter without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing, recovery or vaccination. 

This is updated weekly and can be checked here by clicking on the PDF under “risk and high risk countries/areas”. 

READ ALSO: Can I travel to my second home in Spain if I’m not vaccinated?

If you’re not vaccinated or recovered, the exceptions for travel to Spain from third countries that fall under the non-essential travel restrictions are:

  • You are a resident in the EU or Schengen country.
  • You have a visa for a long duration stay in an EU or Schengen country.
  • You work in transport, such as airline staff or are in a maritime profession.
  • You work in diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military or civil protection or are a member of a humanitarian organisation.
  • You have a student visa for a country in the EU or Schengen zone.
  • You are a highly qualified worker or athlete whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely.
  • You are travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • You are allowed entry due to force majeure or on humanitarian grounds.
  • And as mentioned earlier in the article, if you have a vaccination certificate that Spain’s Ministry of Health recognises, as well as for any accompanying minors (unless they’re under 12 years of age).

READ ALSO: When do I need to fill out Spain’s Covid health control form for travel?