Granada is a city that wins the hearts of all that visit it. Famous for the Alhambra palace and the Generalife gardens, Granada has many more stories to tell if you choose to wander through its narrow streets and plazas. Be enchanted by the scent of Granada's orange blossom and enjoy a getaway that is perfect for all pockets. Right in the heart of Andalusia, Granada also offers you its famous tapas, an affordable option if you want to enjoy the city's delicacies. Have you packed your bags yet? This article gives you 10 free plans that you won't want to miss on your visit to Granada.

    1

    Wander the streets of the Albaicín neighbourhood

    Take a stroll through the cultural labyrinth with its fine views

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    The Albaicín neighbourhood is one of the best-known and most popular with visitors to Granada. This cultural melting pot was declared a World Heritage Site in 1994. From its old walls to its narrow cobbled streets, this maze hides treasures such as the Santa Inés convent, the Paseo de los Tristes walkway and Sacromonte Abbey. Although getting your bearings in this neighbourhood might seem tricky, we recommend you follow your senses and take the path you most fancy. Discover corners tucked away that breathe history, plazas where you can take a rest after a steep climb and lookout points from which you can admire the spectacular panorama of Granada. The Albaicín is a must-visit spot if you want to find out more about the city's Moorish past.

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    2

    Join a free walking tour

    Walk the centre of Granada and drink in its history

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    Free walking tours are a great way to explore Granada's history and the nooks and crannies that are otherwise easy to miss. Would you like to discover the city's most special details? Join others on a guided tour through the old quarter and learn about the most interesting points. Free tours, which last 2 hours set off from Plaza del Carmen, next to City Hall. During the walk, you will see Granada's most important buildings, such as the cathedral, the Mercado de la Seda covered market and the Palacio Arzobispal, the archbishop's place of residence. For the price of a tip, you can get to know the charm of Granada's old quarter, learn about its history and pick up good advice on local cuisine. If you want to see Granada from another angle, why not try one of the thematic tours? Especially recommended are the nighttime tours, the legends tour and the visits to the Alhambra.

    Location: Plaza del Carmen, 18009 Granada, Granada, Spain

    Open: Daily

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    3

    Enjoy a walk through the Botanical Gardens

    Surround yourself with nature in the heart of Granada

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    The University of Granada's Botanical Gardens opposite the Nuestra Señora de la Piedad convent date back to 1783. Covering some 2,000 square metres and containing nearly a hundred different species, this university garden is organised into 2 large sections in which you can walk and enjoy the different plants that decorate the garden. The first section, known as the Escuela Botánica or Botanical School, comprises 14 quadrants containing plants from America and Asia. Floricultura, the second section, features quadrants of plants that are ordered according to their uses, such as horticultural plants, medicinal plants and climbing plants. This section, which contains both native and exotic plants, is an oasis of calm in the centre of the city.

    Location: Calle Escuelas, s/n, 18001 Granada, Granada, Spain

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 10 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +34 958 24 40 43

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    photo by Londinos (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    See the Alhambra from the San Nicolás lookout point

    Admire the sunset from Granada's best-known lookout points

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    The San Nicolás lookout point, in the Albaicín neighbourhood, is popular for its panoramic views over the city. After your stroll though this Moorish neighbourhood, enjoy a rest here and marvel at the views of the Alhambra, the Generalife and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Unquestionably, the best time of day to enjoy these views is at sunset, as the sun drops behind the walls of the imposing Nasrid palace. Reach the lookout point by walking up through the Albaicín's narrow streets or, if you are in the old quarter and want to make sure you arrive on time for the spectacle, there are 2 city buses that will take you to the lookout point. This is a photo of Granada that you can't miss out on.

    Location: Plaza Mirador de San Nicolás, 2, 18010 Granada, Granada, Spain

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    5

    Explore El Carmen de los Mártires

    A palace surrounded by gardens and panoramic views

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    El Carmen de los Mártires, on the Cerro del Mauror hill, is one of the city's largest stately homes, with grounds covering over 7 hectares. Built over 500 years ago, El Carmen de los Mártires can be visited free of charge, allowing you to enjoy the culture and history that the site breathes. As well as the palace, you can also visit the romantic gardens and the Nasrid vegetable garden, where Granada's best-known peacocks roam freely. The romantic gardens are the ideal spot in which to spend a relaxed afternoon, getting your strength back and enjoying the cool shade of the trees in this idyllic location. If you decide to visit, don't forget to take in the views of the Sierra Nevada and La Vega.

    Location: Paseo de los Mártires, s/n, 18009 Granada, Granada, Spain

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +34 958 84 91 03

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    6

    Check out the spice stalls near the cathedral

    Let yourself be enchanted by the aroma of exotic spices

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    The spice stalls near the cathedral emit a pleasant intensity that combines with the aroma of the different teas along the streets of Granada. Just a stone's throw from the cathedral, the streets are taken over by stallholders following a family tradition handed down over the generations. Take a few minutes and breathe in the delicious fragrance of green tea and the aroma of fruits, lemon and orange blossom, aromas that take you to the very heart of Granada. If you are passionate about the culinary arts, don't miss these spice stalls, where you will find preparations of the most unusual plants: licorice, bitter chamomile, olive, horse chestnut, chilli and up to 7 different kinds of pepper. On the corner of one street, you will also find an herbalist, where you can find natural products such as royal jelly and molasses to tempt your taste buds.

    Location: Calle Cárcel Baja, 18001 Granada, Granada, Spain

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm (closed Sunday–Monday)

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    7

    Take a rest in the Jardines del Triunfo gardens

    An emblematic spot marked by centuries of history

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    The Jardines del Triunfo reflect the history of Granada's different civilisations. These gardens, which were once the site of an Arab cemetery in the 13th century and used for local fiestas in the 19th century, were opened to the public as we know them today in the 1960s. The garden features a 75-metre-long fountain with light and water displays, a spectacle that will stay forever in the visitor's memory. The fountain is complemented by the lush vegetation, with over 200 trees of different species such as cedars and cypresses. Rest in the shade of a magnolia or make a wish as you throw a coin in the fountain. You are sure to want to return to Granada to enjoy this beautiful natural spot.

    Location: Calle Ancha de Capuchinos, s/n, 18012 Granada, Granada, Spain

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 1 am

    Phone: +34 958 24 71 27

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    8

    Explore the shops in Calle Alcaicería

    Get to know Granada's craftspeople in a great setting

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    The shops in Calle Alcaicería, a street in which silk was manufactured and sold in Muslim times, are found just a short distance from Granada Cathedral. The cobbled streets and old arches and walls will take you back through time and let you imagine what an Arabic souk would have been like. Take a relaxed moment to look in the shops and admire the talent of Granada's craftsmen and women. The shops along the street sell leather products, glass lamps, ceramics, pottery and even magnets showing the city of Granada. Why not buy someone back home a special present? The shops in Calle Alcaicería are a great place to do so.

    Location: Calle Alcaicería, 18001 Granada, Granada, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 9 pm

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    9

    Take a walk along Carrera del Darro

    Granada's most picturesque street, right next to the river

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    Carrera del Darro is one of the old quarter's most popular streets for visitors. Next to the River Darro, the street divides the city's 2 hills – the Alhambra and the Albaicín. Imagine yourself walking along this cobbled street while listening to the river flow and admiring the architecture. Churches, convents and palaces accompany you on your walk until you reach the famous Paseo de los Tristes, where you can rest your feet at one of the bars or restaurants you will find there. This cobbled boulevard is the perfect place from which to see the Mudejar style that was common in Granada's streets for centuries.

    Location: Carrera del Darro, 18010 Granada, Granada, Spain

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    10

    Discover El Niño de las Pinturas' street art

    The urban artist that transformed the city

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    Raúl Ruiz, better known as El Niño de las Pinturas (Paint Boy), is a local street artist who has transformed the city's walls. His work can be found along Calle Realejo and the surrounding streets where he lives. His style is dominated by human figures that tell of moments from his childhood and adolescence. Wander the area and you will find his graffiti accompanied by phrases and poems that will hit home. Do you like modern art? Discover the most creative side of Granada and admire his paintings such as 'Miradas' ('Gazes') in Camino de los Abencerrajes, '¿Cuántas gotas tienen que caer?' ('How Many Drops Have to Fall?') in Calle Molinos and 'Escuchando...' ('Listening') in Callejón del Pretorio. This is a free exhibition in the city's most characteristic corners.

    Location: Barrio de Realejo-San Matías, 18009 Granada, Granada, Spain

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