Where to Stay in Granada: 5 Best Neighborhoods (Map included!)

where to stay in Granada, best neighborhoods in Granada
Image by Michael Gaylard via Flickr

Granada, Spain, is more than pretty. With its enchanting Alhambra Palace, a testament to its Moorish grandeur, labyrinthine streets, and the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, it’s hard to find a more fitting symbol of beautiful resilience.

One could even argue that Granada is the heart of Andalusia.

However, Granada isn’t just about robust charm; it also possesses a delicate character. Legend says it got its name from the pomegranate, a symbol of fertility. As the capital of the Granada province, it’s one of the best places to visit in Southern Spain, and it’s easy to see why.

The city’s charm comes from its mix of history and natural beauty. From the Generalife Gardens to the charming Albayzín quarter, and the fresh mountain air, not to mention the best tapas scene (shhh, it’s our secret), Granada is really special.

Loving the city is simple, but finding the perfect stay in Granada can be tricky. After chatting with locals, let me guide you to the city’s best neighborhoods and handpick great hotels in each.

Granada has busy and quiet times, but its attraction stays strong all year. The Alhambra is one of the most visited landmarks in Spain. Even in the quiet times, booking your stay in advance is important as Granada’s charm doesn’t take a break.

While putting this guide together, I found some enchanting hotels that are hard to ignore. Sorted by area, each one is sure to offer you a special experience.

key takeaways

  • The best area to stay in Granada is the Albaicín. Another great place to consider for your stay is El Centro, the city’s main district.
  • Granada is entirely walkable, with most sites being within a 20-minute walk.
  • There are a few hotels located within the Alhambra grounds.
Where to Stay in Granada: 5 Best Neighborhoods (Map included!) where to stay in granada

Here are all your hotel options in Granada

Overview of the best places to stay in Granada

Before we take a look at every neighborhoods in Granada, here are a few things to know. The inland city is nowhere near as big as Seville and is, therefore, much more compact.

Many people agree that the best place to stay in Granada is in a neighborhood called El Albaicín. It’s just north of the historic center of Granada and has a lot of charm. Actually, it’s one of the main tourist attractions in the city.

However, other area are also worth exploring.

Hand picked hotel recommendations:

where to stay in granada, 5 Best Neighborhoods Guide


Staying for the first time in Granada

Tucked away in the northeast part of Granada, Albaicín is like the city’s ancient time capsule. This old Arab neighborhood proudly wears the UNESCO World Heritage badge, keeping its Moorish charm alive since the Middle Ages. Buildings with rooms wrapped around cozy patios – that’s Albaicín’s trademark architecture.

Main attractions in Albaicín:

  • El Albaicín itself
  • Mirador San Nicolás
  • Baños Árabes El Bañuelo
  • Mezquita Mayor de Granada

Now, when it comes to where to lay your head, Albaicín’s got a mix of choices. They range from really well-kept old homes to beautifully restored gems.

The whole neighborhood gives off this laid-back with craft shops and loads of tapas bars just waiting to be explored. And guess what? There are affordable apartments in Albaicín, making it perfect if you’re planning to stick around.

Where to Stay in Granada: 5 Best Neighborhoods (Map included!) where to stay in granada

All your hotel options in Albaicín

Best neighborhood to stay in granada
Image by aschaf via Flickr
Albaicín is the best neighborhood to stay in granada
Image by aschaf via Flickr

But this famous neighborhood of Granada makes you work a bit for the good stuff. You might need to stroll a bit to hit up the main attractions. And hey, those charming cobblestone streets? They look great, but they can get slippery.

Consider staying here if:

  • It’s your first time in Granada
  • You want to stay in the prettiest part of the town
  • You are on a budget and looking for a long-term stay
  • You are okay with being farther from the main sights
Mid-rangeHotel Casa Morisca From € 150 / night
LuxuryHotel Casa 1800From € 244 / night
LuxuryPalacio de Santa PaulaFrom € 400 / night
the streets of Albaicín
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr
Mirador de San Nicolás
Image by aschaf via Flickr

Inside the Alhambra

Although technically part of Realejo, the Alhambra area really stands out. It’s like its own little world.
Sleeping surrounded by the city walls is an incredible experience, especially if you’re here to check out the famous hilltop monument.

There are some really posh hotels in the Generalife neighborhood. But, it comes with a price tag and it’s perfect for those who don’t mind splurging a bit.

Main attractions inside the Alhambra:

  • Nasrid Palaces
  • Generalife Gardens
  • Alcazaba

Staying in the Alhambra area isn’t just about having a beautiful room; it’s a smart choice if you want to explore Granada by walking around. You’re so close to the city center, making it easy to visit attractions like the Cathedral and enjoy the lively nightlife in Realejo.

Where to Stay in Granada: 5 Best Neighborhoods (Map included!) where to stay in granada

Have a look inside the Alhambra

inside the Parador de Granada
Image by etringita via Flickr
Parador de Granada in Generalife
Image by Jolianne via Flickr

Check out the Parador de Granada if you want to stay in a cool old monastery with amazing architecture.

Consider staying here if:

  • You want to be as close as you can to the Alhambra
  • You plan to stay for a short time and want to see as much as possible.
BudgetHotel AméricaFrom € 113 / night
LuxuryParador de GranadaFrom € 388 / night
where to stay in granada - inside the alhambra
Image by anellagrange via Instagram
Inside the Alhambra fortress in Granda
Image by ECV-OnTheRoad via Flickr

Granada Centro

Where to stay in Granada for a luxurious stay

Home to the city’s main attractions, this vibrant neighborhood of Granada offers a central location for exploring on foot. And it’s a beautiful place to explore. In the historic centre of Granada you’ll find churches dressed up in gold, standing tall next to adorable little cafés.

If you love shopping, this district is also a great place to find what you’re looking for.

Main attractions in El Centro:

  • Catedral de Granada and Capilla Real
  • Plaza Nueva
  • Real Monasterio de San Jerónimo
  • Hammam Al Ándalus
  • La Alcaiceria Market
Where to Stay in Granada: 5 Best Neighborhoods (Map included!) where to stay in granada

All your hotel options in the Historic Center of Granada

cathedral of granada
Image by Hicham Benabed via Instagram
where to stay in granada - Plaza de Santa Ana
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr

A quick walk from Plaza Nueva takes you to the historic Albaicín quarter, and the Alhambra is just a manageable 25-minute stroll away. Granada Centro exudes an upscale atmosphere, but it’s also reflected in slightly steeper prices compared to other neighborhoods.

Consider staying here if:

  • You want the most central location.
  • You want a romantic getaway.
  • It’s a family vacation.
  • You’re a foodie.
  • You plan on going shopping.
Luxury Seda Club HotelFrom € 389 / night
LuxuryPalacio Gran VíaFrom € 302 / night
Mid-rangeHospes Palacio de los PatosFrom € 200 / night
BudgetNH Collection VictoriaFrom € 147 / night
historic centre of granada
Image by ajay_suresh via Flickr
where to stay in granada - historic centre
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr


Best Place in Granada for a Unique Stay

Hidden away in the hills above the Albaicín neighborhood, you’ll find Sacromonte. This iconic neighborhood is also known as Granada’s Gypsy Quarter, and it certainly possesses a distinctive charm.

The ancient cave homes of Sacromonte provide a truly one-of-a-kind lodging experience. Whether it’s the heat of summer or the cool of winter raging outside, the caves maintain a consistently pleasant temperature.

Sacromonte gifts its travelers with breathtaking views of the Alhambra and the tops of the Sierra Nevada mountains just peeking behind.

Main attractions in Sacromonte:

  • Sacromonte Abbey
  • Cave Houses Of Sacromonte
  • Flamenco shows
Where to Stay in Granada: 5 Best Neighborhoods (Map included!) where to stay in granada

Read more about the history of the Caves of Sacromonte

the hills of sacromonte
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr
where to stay in granada - sacromonte
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr

While Sacromonte may be a bit further from the city center, staying here is a small odyssey into the heart of Andalusian culture.

Consider staying here if:

  • You want a unique experience
  • You are looking for a local atmosphere
  • You like to stay in a quiet part of town
LuxuryCasa Cueva LujoFrom € 200 / night
BudgetCuevas El AbanicoFrom € 72 / night


Best Place to Stay for Art and Food Lovers

The old Jewish Quarter of Granada is on the other side of the Darro River, lying just at the foothill of the Alhambra fortress.

A distinctive feature of Realejo is its burgeoning street art scene. Its narrow, black-and-white cobbled streets serve as canvases for local artists. Plus, authentic tapas bars line the streets of this neighborhood in Granada, offering a taste of the region’s delicious food. You can begin your gastronomic journey with the Plaza Campo de Principel – it’s the epicenter for getting to know the local flavors.

Main attractions in Realejo:

  • Carmen de los Mártire
  • Museo Sefardí

Realejo is a lively area with clubs that resonate with the heartbeat of the city. But if you’re looking for peace, another part of the city might be more your style.

Consider staying here if:

  • You are on a budget.
  • You like a location with a fantastic local vibe.
  • You don’t mind that it gets a bit noisy.
Mid-rangeGar Anat Hotel BoutiqueFrom € 177 / night
BudgetBoutique Hotel Luna GranadaFrom € 144 / night
BudgetArte Vida Suites & SpaFrom € 115 / night
street art in realejo neighborhood
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr
realejo barrio in granada
Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr

Bola de Oro and La Chana

The neighborhoods you can skip but…

Bola de Oro is Granada’s most peaceful neighborhood. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the green barrio to the historic center. While taking the buses is always an option, it’s a bit far from the main attractions for me as a traveler.

Now, La Chana is close to the University. This neighborhood has two things: students and fantastic tapas. It’s a great place if you’re staying in the city for the semester, but if you’re here for just a few days, you might want to check out another area.

Tips and FAQ

Is 2 days enough for Granada?

Granada, Spain is endlessly romantic! Plus, the surrounding region is not yet under every tourist’s radar. The Geoparque de Granada nearby is as close to the Southwest US as you’ll get in Europe. And if you dare going on the other side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, you’ll find the adorable villages of Las Alpujarras.

you could happily spend a whole week in the region. But many agree that 2 days are enough to see the main sights of Granada.

What is the best time to visit Granada?

While the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) are the best times to visit Granada, there’s really no bad time.

Due to the high altitude, the summer in Granada is much more pleasant (and tolerable) than in Seville. Winter might get a little chilly but it’s also the perfect time of the year for a hot air balloon ride over the Alhambra.

Is Granada walkable?

Definitely! Granada’s size makes it ideal for exploring on foot. Just note the hilly terrain, particularly making your way up to the Alhambra, the Barrio del Albaicín or Sacromonte.

Where should I stay in Granada without a car?

If I’m being honest, every neighborhood in this list is pretty central and more than an acceptable option if you don’t have a car.

On the other hand, if you bring a car withyou to Granada, I wouldn’t recommend staying in the Albaicín Cruz neighborhood.

El Bañuelo in granada
Image by aschaf via Flickr
view of granada from above
Image by Pablo Pecora vis Flickr