The city of the Alhambra is full of history & wonder and has various neighborhoods each with its own distinctive character. Check out our list of Granada’s top neighborhoods and accommodations.
Best Neighborhoods in Granada to Stay In 2021
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Here’s What You Need To Know
Like the four cardinal directions of the compass, there are four main districts to downtown Granada. To the North, are the whitewashed houses of the Moorish quarter, the Albaicín. The East, the hilltop fortress of the Alhambra and its lush forest. The South, the labyrinthine cobbled streets of the Jewish quarter, the Realejo. And, finally, the West, the elegant shopping district of Centro Sagrario. Then, set apart from the center are the flamenco caves of the gypsy quarter, Sacromonte. So, why not follow me to the four corners of Granada and beyond, to find your perfect place to stay. ¡Olé!
If you’re new to Granada, head towards the square of Plaza Isabel La Catolica. There, towering above the center of the square is a statue of a throned Isabel the First of Castile. That is the Catholic Monarch responsible for uniting all of Spain. At her feet is Christopher Columbus pleading to her to finance the trip that would later lead to the discovery of the Americas. Just like Columbus, start your journey here. Take a compass in hand and follow one of the four winds to find discover your New World in one of the most charming districts of Granada.
Perfect for: Getting lost among jasmine-scented streets.
The Albaicin a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site and retains the same Moorish character as it did in the Middle Ages. Narrow white and black cobbled streets lead you up and up to stunning viewpoints of the Alhambra fortress. This has the breathtaking backdrop of the ten thousand foot high mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Then there are the twinkling lights of the busy city below.
You’ll find a great variety of tapas bars and restaurants offering amazing panoramas. But also plenty of little craft shops and a hippy vibe. As you wander around, you’ll be tempted along well-lit, jasmine-scented quiet alleyways that will transport you to another time. And then you’ll sure need Google maps to find your way back to your accommodation!
Most buildings maintain the Moorish architecture of rooms arranged with a central patio. And the best accommodation is either the most well preserved or the best restored. There are many hotels and apartments to choose from, and consequently, tend to be very affordable. So, let’s get started!
Our favorite hotels in this area for 2021 are:
€€ | Stunning Views | Small Pool | Sun Deck | Excellent Value for Money
This is fine example of a typical Moorish house in the Albaicín, with rooms arranged around a central covered patio. The panoramic terrace, on the other hand, has a small pool and stunning views of the Alhambra castle. All for a very reasonable price! But book early to get the very best deals.
€ | Whole Apartment | Excellent Location | Inexpensive | Jacuzzi
This is a whole apartment just off the main square, Plaza Larga, at the heart of the Albaicín. Enjoy the bustling morning market there, buy some fruit and veg, and cook at home. Then spend your evening contemplating the setting sun to the sound of live flamenco guitar music from the world-famous viewpoint of Mirador de San Nicolas. Before you head off to bed, entertain yourselves in the arabesque Jacuzzi.
Palacio de Santa Inés
€ | Quiet but near all the action | Helpful staff | Inexpensive | Historical Building
Hidden among the alleyways near to the river in the lower Albaicín is this little gem of a hotel in a 16th-century building. Superior rooms offer views of the Alhambra, which, in fact, is just a short walk through the Alhambra forest or a hop in a taxi.
Hotel Casa Morisca
€€ | Three Stars | Moorish Architecture | Some Rooms With Views of the Alhambra
This is another fabulous medieval Arab house with rooms arranged around a central patio. Accordingly, the three-star hotel’s stone-tiled floors, arabesque arches, wooden balustrades and wooden vaulted ceilings, with all the symbolism of the stars and the heavens, will have you dreaming of the 1001 nights.
Perfect for: Visiting the world-famous monument of the Alhambra.
The citadel of the Alhambra was the last outpost of Arab-ruled Andalusia and is Europe’s finest example of medieval Moorish architecture. Actually within the city walls, and just outside, are a range of fabulous hotels that make visiting the hilltop monument a breeze. In this area of the city, luxury is key!
Parador de San Francisco
€€€ | Four Stars | Excellent Restaurant | Perfect Placing for Visiting the Alhambra
This four-star hotel is a converted 15-century convent right at the heart of the citadel, and thus between the world-famous Nasrid Palaces and the Generalife Summer Palace and Gardens, and right next to the chapel where the first queen of Spain, Isabel I of Castile, asked to be buried. Enjoy all the luxury of clean, contemporary rooms, a quiet courtyard, a renowned restaurant, and a terrace café among the gardens of the Alhambra. What’s more, you’ll sleep peacefully and wake up refreshed for a day for visiting the monument just outside of the front door.
Alhambra Palace Hotel
€€€€ | Five Stars | Luxury | Grand Hotel | At the Edge of the Alhambra Forest
Likely Spain’s oldest five-star hotel, and the first iron-structured building in all of Andalusia, this grand hotel is where the rich and famous have always stayed when they want to visit the Alhambra. But you don’t have to be famous to enjoy its colorful and opulent Arabesque décor, full concierge service and easy access to the Alhambra monument just a short walk through the Alhambra Forest.
Eurostars Washington Irving
€€€€ | Five Stars | Luxury | Modern Comfort | Pool and Sun Deck
If you’re looking for superior, modern, business-class comfort, and, in any case, a pool to cool off in at the end of the day, this hits the spot. Situated just below the main entrance to the Alhambra in the Alhambra Forest.
Boutique Hotel Puerta de las Granadas
€ | Modern Boutique Hotel | Roof-top | Great Value for Money
This is everything you’d expect from a modern boutique hotel. Reasonable price, cozy, clean, cheerful rooms, helpful staff and great location. At the entrance to the Alhambra Forest, the hotel also offers easy access by foot to all the other areas of Granada.
Perfect for: Discovering the trendy yet still lesser-known part of town.
This is not only the old Jewish quarter but the hip place to stay on the other side of the Alhambra Forest, with narrow, black and white cobbled streets, just like the Albaicín, and plenty of great bars and restaurants. It offers plenty of budget accommodation and awesome examples of street art. So get real in the Realejo!
Carmen Real del Realejo B&B
€ | Classic B&B | Large Pool | Comfortable Rooms | Great Price
Some of the most luxurious hotels in Granada don’t have just what you need after a hot, sweaty day visiting the city – an outdoor pool! Thus, as you cool off in the water and then lay under the shade of some lemon trees, you’ll be glad you booked this quaint B&B at the heart of the Realejo.
Vita & Bar
€ | Hostel with Triple Rooms | Restaurant and Bar | Social Life
If you’re looking to socialize and meet people, or you’re backpacking with friends, this is ideal. In addition to colorful twin and triple rooms with their own bathroom, there’s a little rooftop terrace with views of the mountains, a funky bar, a high ceiling-ed restaurant and a social area, swing-chairs, plants, deep-seated couches and books to swap.
Gar Anat Hotel Boutique
€€ | Three-Star | Contemporary Flourishes | Afternoon Tea & Cakes
This is a lusciously converted 17th-century hospital with individual touches of contemporary styling. After that, it offers spacious rooms with high ceilings and a great location on the more elegant side of the Realejo. Quiet, though very near to plenty of tapas bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and nightclubs. At about 5 pm, they offer afternoon tea and cakes, so you can take a welcome break before heading out again!
Perfect for: Shopping and visiting some of the most beautiful churches you will ever see.
This is Granada’s downtown true and proper. That is the more modern Catholic city encompassing the crumbling Medina and an excellent shopping district. First of all, you’ll find the magnificent Cathedral and Royal Chapel, and a never-ending series of elegant shopping streets and fountain-bearing squares. Then, there are plenty of gold-adorned churches to visit, and as many tapas bars and restaurants as you could shake a palm tree at!
Casa de la Catedral
€€ | Relaxed Hotel | On the Cathedral Square | Discount at the Coffee and Tapas Bar Below
A relaxed hotel offering beautifully designed studio apartments with marvelous views across the small square to the imposing cathedral façade. The owners also run the excellent coffee and tapas bar with tables in the square below, offering discounts to hotel residents.
€€€ | Four Stars | Superb Tasting Menu| Sauna | Valet Service
This converted 19th-century manor house has a beautiful little garden, comfortable rooms, wellness center, and, in addition, all the services you’d expect from a downtown four-star hotel. Also, watch out for the up-and-coming top chef who offers a delicately constructed tasting menu.
€ | Hostel | Uber Clean, Fresh & Modern | Just Off the Main Shopping Street
If you’re looking for a cheap bunk bed in downtown Granada, but you’re terrified of ending up in a shabby dive of a hostel ridden with bed bugs, you’ll go nuts for Hostel Nut! Uber clean, fresh and modern, this hostel, also with some private double and quadruple rooms, is just off the main shopping street.
Perfect for: Understanding what all the fuss is about Flamenco.
This neighborhood of Granada is like no other on the face of this planet. Indeed, set along the ‘Valley of Paradise’, with truly enviable views of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s a village formed almost entirely of cave houses and Flamenco clubs dug out of the hillside. Moreover, the gypsies who pioneered the art form of Flamenco, making it world-famous and a symbol of Spain’s complex mix of cultures, continue to live here, offering nightly shows and intensive courses in guitar and dance for those seeking a bit of ¡Olé! of the very highest caliber.
Casa Cueva Lujo Sacromonte Con Vistas Alhambra
€€€€ | High-end Cave | Exclusive Privately Rented Property
This privately rented holiday home is exactly what its title says. In other words, a luxury cave home with views of Alhambra. Hence, far from the Neanderthal concept of cave life, inside its brightly whitewashed walls, it has spot-lighting, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen, four bedrooms, and three bathrooms with walk-in showers. So just like Fred Freestone won the lottery and invested early in Bitcoin!
Cueva el Duende
€ | Cave Home | Live Like the Locals
‘Duende’ is a Spanish word that encapsulates the folkloric and mythological spirit of Flamenco culture. Other than meaning, precisely, ‘spirit’, the great poet Federico García Lorca describes it as, “irrationality, earthiness, a heightened awareness of death, and a diabolical touch”. In any case, in this cave home, at the heart of Sacromonte, the ‘Sacred Mountain’, you’ll be much closer to living exactly how the locals live. Therefore, step out of your cave, behold the wonder of the red sunset-painted Alhambra, and dive into a gypsy flamenco club to feel all the febrile power of el duende.
€€ | Caves and Apartments | Alhambra Views | Swimming Pool
Choose from a selection of clean and comfortable cave homes or apartments with Alhambra views. At the end of the day, cool off in the pool and then reach out with your hand – it almost feels like you can touch the Alhambra on the other side of the valley!