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Visit the Albaicin and Sacromonte in Granada

The best way to visit the picturesque neighborhoods of the Albaicín and Sacromonte is to do it with a specialized guide. Don't miss these suggestions!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

10 min read

Visit the Albaicin and Sacromonte in Granada

Views of the Albaicín | ©Rosa Armada

During your getaway to the Nasrid kingdom you cannot miss the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods, two of the most emblematic, traditional and interesting places in Granada. You can't say you've been here if you don't know them!

1. Albaicin and Sacromonte tours

Sacromonte neighborhood| ©Jorge Franganillo
Sacromonte neighborhood| ©Jorge Franganillo

There are few cities more beautiful and charming than Granada, the essence of Al-Andalus, to enjoy an unforgettable trip. Monumental, full of legends and dreamy corners, it is a delight for those travelers looking for an exciting vacation.

Among all the enclaves of the city, the neighborhoods of Albaicin and Sacromonte are two of the most genuine places you can explore. Situated on the hill overlooking Granada, these neighborhoods not only have a very interesting history but also wonderful views to fall in love with, and it was here that I understood that it is not only the Alhambra that the people of Granada yearn for!

The neighborhoods of Albaicín and Sacromonte are the oldest in the city, where centuries ago the Andalusian Granada emerged, and are full of labyrinthine alleys, passages and squares that contain beautiful treasures and legends that have survived the passage of time.

What is the best way to get to know them?

There is a lot to see here and it is easy to get lost if you are a first time traveler. From experience, I think that the best way to enjoy the Albaicín and Sacromonte is to let yourself be carried away by the heart of these neighborhoods of Granada, taking a trip back in time with a guided tour that will show you the must-sees of these streets declared World Heritage Sites.

I recommend two tours of the Albaicín and Sacromonte, which will allow you to get to know their many facets both day and night:

You can't leave without having visited these picturesque neighborhoods at least once in your life. And I say more, not without repeating because if something struck me about the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods is that their essence changes from day to night.

Every moment reveals different details and perceptions in a beautiful city that never ceases to fascinate and amaze you.

2. Walking tour of Granada: Albaicin and Sacromonte neighborhoods

Enjoy the beautiful views of the Alhambra from the viewpoint of San Nicolas.| ©Pom'
Enjoy the beautiful views of the Alhambra from the viewpoint of San Nicolas.| ©Pom'

If you are one of those travelers who love to know a city getting lost in its streets, this walking tour through the neighborhoods of Albaicin and Sacromonte in Granada is a fantastic option because it covers several of the landmarks that are hidden in the maze of medieval streets that make up one of the most beautiful and most historic parts of the Nasrid kingdom.

What does this tour consist of?

Departing from the Plaza Isabel la Católica at the agreed time, with this 2.5 hour tour of the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods you will discover the impressive architecture of the two oldest neighborhoods of Granada with a tour guide. A real sight to behold!

This Andalusian city has a lot of history behind it. Different peoples have inhabited it over the centuries and all have left their mark on it in one way or another, so the explanations of a guide in places like this are essential.

What will you see?

You will see the monument to Queen Isabella the Catholic (a key figure in the Reconquest and the discovery of America), the Plaza Larga (the most popular square in the Albaicin), the viewpoint of San Nicolas (whose views of the Alhambra and Sierra Morena will take your breath away) or the Paseo de los Tristes (one of the most beautiful roads in Granada at the foot of the palatine city), among other very special places.

In addition, you will learn about the myths and legends that circulate around Granada, the Albaicín and Sacromonte as well as about the popular characters that once inhabited these neighborhoods (the heroine Mariana Pineda, the gypsy Chorrohumo or the lovers of the Aljibe) and whose figures have remained in popular memory.

The tour ends in the same square from where the group departed. At the end of the tour, do not hesitate to ask your guide for any recommendations to complete your visit to the Nasrid city, he will be happy to help you!

Itinerary

  • San Nicolás viewpoint
  • Church of San Gil and Santa Ana
  • Sacromonte
  • Paseo de los Tristes
  • Isabel La Católica Square
  • Plaza Larga

Languages

This tour is available in English and Spanish.

Isabel's Traveller Tip

Take this guided tour at the beginning of your trip. You will soak up the history and legends of Granada and for the rest of your trip you will see the city through different eyes.

3. Granada: night tour of the Albaicin and Sacromonte

Night view of the Albaicín| ©www.twin-loc.fr
Night view of the Albaicín| ©www.twin-loc.fr

When the sun goes down, the city of Granada is transformed. Sunset can be the ideal time to take a romantic and quiet stroll through the most beautiful neighborhoods of Granada, as the bustle of the daytime in its most touristy streets gives way to the quiet of the night and a more enigmatic version of the city. I admit that I feel a predilection for contemplating the ancient Nasrid city at night and illuminated!

What does this tour consist of?

Taking into account all the legends and stories surrounding the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods, my advice is to tour these places with a local guide who will explain all their anecdotes and show you their most special corners to make the most of the visit.

The tour starts at 8 PM at Calle Cárcel Baja nº 2. Ahead you will have 2 and a half hours to visit the main places of interest of the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods such as the Plaza Nueva (the most central square of Granada), the Plaza de Santa Ana where the church of San Gil and Santa Ana is located (one of the most beautiful in the city with its beautiful Mudejar tower), the Carrera del Darro (one of the most beautiful and oldest streets in the world) or the viewpoint of San Nicolas (in the Albaicin district, from where you get the best view of the Alhambra in Granada), among many other beautiful places.

How to book?

To do the tour Granada: night tour of the Albaicin and Sacromonte you only have to select the date on which you want to do the activity and fill in the information requested when booking online. Then you will receive an email with all the necessary information.

Itinerary

  • New Square
  • San Gil and Santa Ana Church
  • Carrera del Darro
  • Albaicin
  • Viewpoint of San Nicolás
  • Sacromonte

Languages

This tour is available in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Spanish.

Isabel's Traveller Tip

This is the perfect tour for the summer. Strolling at night through the Albaicin and Sacromonte you will get to know the charm of these neighborhoods without being hot and enjoying a gentle breeze.

What will you see during the Albaicín and Sacromonte tours?

Darro River| ©Juan Luis
Darro River| ©Juan Luis
  • Sacromonte: A picturesque neighborhood on the outskirts of Granada where gypsies have lived since the 16th century. It is famous for its views of the imposing Alhambra and the mountains, its whitewashed houses, its typical caves and its tablaos flamencos where you can have a good party. Undoubtedly, one of the most authentic and traditional places that I recommend you to visit in the Andalusian city.

  • Albaicín: Of modest appearance at first glance, this neighborhood of narrow streets, red roofs and white houses keeps in its bosom the origins of what was once the capital of the Nasrid kingdom. Strolling through the Albaicín is a walk through the history of Granada and a delight for the eyes. Not in vain, its unique beauty earned it recognition as a World Heritage Site in 1984, and rightly so!

  • Carrera del Darro: One of the oldest and most beautiful streets in Granada. From here you can contemplate the Alhambra at the top of the Sabika and the lush forests that surround it. Walking along it with the murmur of the water of the Darro River in the background is a pleasure that no visitor should miss.

  • Church of San Gil and Santa Ana: In the Plaza de Santa Ana you will visit the magnificent church of San Gil and Santa Ana, a small Mudejar temple built on the remains of the Almanzora aljama mosque. One of the most unique in Granada and in my opinion one of the most beautiful.

  • Plaza Nueva: One of the liveliest squares in Granada full of souvenir stores, bars and restaurants where you can sit and have a coffee while watching the performances of musicians and other street artists. Here you will find the Real Chancillería, a captivating building from the 16th century wrapped in a halo of mystery and about which many legends of ghosts circulate.

  • Paseo de los Tristes: Despite its melancholic name, this street has a very festive atmosphere and unique views of the Alhambra. Located next to the Darro River, the Paseo de los Tristes is one of my favorite places to have some wine in its coquettish terraces. The origin of its name will surprise you, just like everything else you will see along the street.

  • Plaza Larga: Dating back to the 14th century, this is the most famous square in the Albaicín. Here are held open-air markets where you can buy some souvenirs or a sweet in the confectionery "Casa Pasteles", very appreciated in the city. It is always very crowded because it connects with streets that lead to the viewpoint of San Nicolas or the Paseo de los Tristes. Although many simply sit and enjoy themselves on the terraces of the bars.

  • Plaza de Isabel la Católica: Surrounded by trees and several historicist buildings, this central square is the meeting point for many locals and visitors. The square is presided over by a monument in honor of Queen Isabella I of Castile, a key figure in the history of the city. It is located a few meters from the cathedral, where you can visit the tomb of the Catholic Monarchs.

  • Mirador de San Nicolás: The most famous viewpoint in Granada from where you will have the best panoramic view of the Alhambra with the ermine-covered Sierra Nevada in the background. It is a spectacle both day and night. It is located in the Albaicín and is one of the greatest pleasures you can experience in Granada. It will leave you speechless!

5. Organize your tour of the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods.

Walk through the picturesque streets of the Albaicin.| ©Esteban Romero
Walk through the picturesque streets of the Albaicin.| ©Esteban Romero

How to make a reservation

It's easy! These tours in Granada can be booked online and once the purchase is completed you will receive a receipt with the necessary instructions to meet your guide on the day and time chosen.

I recommend these two tours of the Albaicin and Sacromonte neighborhoods if you are one of those travelers who like to improvise during the trip and leave room for unforeseen events, since you can reschedule it for another day 24 hours in advance without losing your money.

Duration

The duration of these tours is usually 2 hours and a half, although it may happen that they are a little longer. They are activities that are carried out calmly because the idea is that travelers enjoy the city, relax, ask the guide and learn new things with the experience.

Schedule

The tours in this area of Granada are done every day of the week and there are usually different schedules to choose from. If you want to escape the crowds avoid weekends in high season and choose the night tours.

Clothing

Wear comfortable shoes during the tour because you will walk a lot and climb some hills. If you go in summer remember to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

Meals

Bring water and something to snack on the way. Longer tours usually have a small break in the middle of the tour. Depending on where the tour ends, the guide will probably recommend good places to have lunch or dinner.

Photographs

Throughout the tour of the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods you will have enough time to contemplate the different points of interest of the tour and you can take as many pictures as you want but without delaying the group. Remember that afterwards you can always come back to visit the monuments and spend as much time as you want taking pictures.

Languages

Visitors come to Granada from all over the world and for this reason most tours are available in several languages. Spanish and English are almost guaranteed but other tours also have the option of French, Portuguese, German or Italian.

Price

Although you can do this tour on your own, my advice is to take a tour of the Albaicin and Sacromonte neighborhood with a guide. The prices are very affordable and with all that you will learn I assure you that you will amortize every euro invested.

Tours with children

The distances covered in most of the walking tours of the city are quite manageable, so if you visit Granada with your family, the children can accompany you since they are not very long and can keep up with the pace.

Also, if at some point during the tour the kids get bored, as these are outdoor activities they can always run around and play while the guide continues to show the adults the sites of interest. After all, these are not museum tours where they have to sit still.

6. If you like a tour of the Albaicin and Sacromonte neighborhoods, you will also be interested in

Interior decoration of the Alhambra| ©Callum Parker
Interior decoration of the Alhambra| ©Callum Parker

If taking a tour of the Albaicín and Sacromonte neighborhoods has excited you, then take the experience to another level and complement it with other tours to get to know other gems of Granada.

There are many, many guided tours in Granada and I have written a guide to show you what I consider to be the best tours and why. You can read it in this article about the best excursions and tours in Granada.

And if you prefer to complete your visit to Granada with an excursion around the city, I recommend you to read this article about Excursions to the Alpujarra from Granada, where you can find a selection of the best ones for me.