When we had the opportunity to collaborate with Sercotel Hotels, I already knew our holidays with dream destinations. One of these destinations was Granada. Granada is located in Andalusia, South of Spain. Many travellers come from Malaga, Seville or Cordoba. But, in our case it was destination number one.
We took a direct flight from Barcelona to Granada with a special offer that vueling is launching from time to time. So, it cost us 100EUR, one way tickets for all 4. Yessss, such prices exist. It is true, that the flight was earlier in the morning, but we didn’t get upset, it is exactly what we look for. We love enjoying all day in the place we travel.
Granada is a very special destination, it is very different to what you can see in other parts of Spain. Having a great history, it crosses many different cultures, and every culture left something great behind. Granada granted UNESCO World Heritage Status, below you will see it why.
Once arrived in Granada, first half of the day we enjoyed at the hotel Sercotel Gran Hotel Luna de Granada. As getting to a really hot weather, we felt like we needed to cool a little bit. And kids, were grateful that we didn’t went exploring from the first minute. After having some family time by the pool, we went on a local bar to eat something.
All the people say it is a must to go for tapas, and I can’t agree more, but with kids, you know, you need a plate of food apart of tapas. Apart, neither one, loves fish so it makes our choice to change in the direction of their needs.
Our second half of the day was all dedicated to exploring the city. Both kids, were tired, and didn’t want to walk too much. So, we thought on the easiest way to explore the city. It was to take a ride on a touristic train of Granada. That was included in our Granada City Card.
This time, we collaborated with Granada Tourism Office, and they provided us Granada City Card. This allows you to enter the main attractions easily, and you can even use it for public transportation. By the end of this post, I will share all that was included in our Granada City Card.
You can’t use Granada City Card for the Alhambra, though. Visiting the Alhambra requires a separate ticket booked in advance, later will share with you the details about Alhambra.
Day 1. Let’s say only half day, we enjoyed that touristic train ride, that takes you to the best places of the city. One round takes almost 1h. It was the most amazing 1h, as we were tired enough, and while seated, we could enjoy all the prettiest places of Granada. Kids have fallen asleep by the end of our 1h journey. Me and hubby wanted to explore more of the city, and enter the Cathedral. But, then, we decided that a stop to eat and go back to the hotel will be a better decision.
Day 2. The second day of our trip went well, we went directly to the Cathedral of Granada and visited it. It is also included in the price of Granada City Card. The price is 6EUR adult and children till 5 years enter free. The audio guide was included as well on Granada City Card. It was lovely to have it, as listening to the history of a place is a better way to enjoy it.
Granada Cathedral (from 1523) is right in the heart of Granada, and if you’re fascinated by Spanish history, this is a must see.
Two things set it apart: For starters, it’s the first Renaissance cathedral in Spain whereas the others built during this period are Gothic. And second, two of the most notable historical figures from Spain, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, are buried next door in the Royal Chapel.
After amazing Cathedral of Granada, we went to Alhambra. Here to say, we haven’t pre-booked our tickets, ERROR. We thought, that we will be lucky enough to buy those there. At the end, we bought those tickets for the next day, and walked around Alhambra till we got to the city center.
Many people say, that if you come to Granada and you don’t visit Alhambra and you don’t eat in the famous bar Diamantes, then your visit wasn’t worth it. This saying made us, to go right to Diamantes tapas, but we went for lunch and not only for tapas.
In Diamantes we had to wait in a queue almost 15-20 minutes to enter the place. The local was full, and it was 3pm. The food was delicious, but I think it is a little bit overrated and overpriced. Even though, it is not expensive, we thought that we also ate well in a local bar, that do not have so many reviews and are less famous, and we have paid less.
Don’t get me wrong, the food was great in this place, and the price fare enough. But, we think that it was not worth to wait in a queue with 2 kids, eat in so much crowd, and by the end pay more than in any other place.
After having our lunch we took a local bus and went to Mirador de San Nicolas. Public transport is included in Granada City Card, very easy to use. Mirador de San Nicolas, was recommended to us, by my co-worker, who went to Granada 1year ago.
One of the best viewpoints in the city is from the Mirador de San Nicolas. Located on Callejón de San Cecilio, this romantic spot has breath-taking views of the Sierra Nevada and Alhambra. Just perfect place, for those who love enjoying views from above.
Mirador de San Nicolas was overcrowded, and we had to wait to take a decent picture there. But, in this case it was worth it. It is a pleasure to stay there and stare at the beauty that surrounds you.
Little by little we went to take our bus to the hotel, as it was already darkening, but before this, we thought to take a walk through the Arab quarter Albayzin.
Part of the UNESCO site in Granada’s Arab quarter lies Albaycin. Here you will see the Moorish influences in the architecture with hand-painted tiles and whitewashed house.
Due to its hillside location, Albaycin also provides stunning outlooks to the Alhambra Palace with Mirador San Nicolas being the best.
The lights were on, and the streets looked like in a fairytale. It was worth our stroll there. The houses become even more beautiful than without lights. All in one amazing experience. Kids enjoyed taking pictures there. And Damian was asking to buy him a magic lamp like Aladdin.
It was the longest day for us in Granada, we visited so many places. And I was really proud of our kids, that we did it all together, in public transport and without stroller. It was tough, I won’t lie, but what an experience.
Day 3. Our day began in Alhambra. Even if you buy your ticket for a specific hour, you can enter the fortress during the day, whenever you want. The hour is for getting into Nasrid Palace, where is all real beauty of Alhambra.
Alhambra is the one thing you cannot miss on a trip to Granada. And at the same time it’s also reason enough to even visit the town – it’s that beautiful.
I will write a separate post about how amazing Alhambra is and how to plan your trip there, so I’ll keep it short here. The Alhambra is an Islamic fortress, built in the 1200s and 1300, overlooking the snow capped mountains and city of Granada. It has numerous ruins, gardens, rooms and pools, with the highlight being the Nasrid Palace.
You should schedule at least four hours for a trip to the Alhambra. And if you go with kids, it is almost all day long. We took sandwiches and water with us, but there are several bars and restaurants, that you can eat on the place.
By the end of the day, we were just so tired, we went back to the hotel. And on our next day we went to Malaga, our second destination on the plan, but about it later.
There are several things we missed, like Flamenco. Which is very famous in these places. In Granada you can enjoy an authentic passionate flamenco dance. And we missed gypsy streets, that we think are a must see place. I think this is a great reason to repeat Granada in our future travels.
We budgeted three days in Granada, which was enough to see all the sights in this post. I’d say 2-3 days is ideal for a couple travels and maybe 4 days if you travel with kids. Because it gives you time to explore, relax and eat tapas aplenty.
Many thanks to Granada Tourist Office for supplying me with a Granada city card. As always, all opinions are my own.
Granada City Card
I think that such kind of card are the best invention ever for traveller who loves to explore cultural side of a city. I wish we could visit more, but with kids, we had to limit our number of spots to visit.
Granada City Card includes entries to museums like:
Catedral de Granada
Monasterio de la Cartuja
Monasterio de San Jeronimo
Parque de las Ciencias
Casa de Zafra
Abadia del Sacromonte
Museo de Bellas Artes
Museo Casa de los Tiros
Monumentos Andalusies (Corral del Carbon, Banuelo, Casa Horno de Oro, Palacio de Dar al-Horra, Casa de Chapiz)
9 rides on public transport, with the possibility to change the line during 60minutes.
Touristic train: 1 round trip on a touristic train Granada (hop on and hop off is not included).