The Albaicín neighborhood is my top recommendation of where to stay in Granada. You truly feel like you have stepped back in time into the era of the Moorish rule. The Arabic architectural influences and windy cobblestone streets are absolutely charming.
To make it EVEN BETTER, Albaicín is one of those rare pockets of the world that isn’t swarming with tourists. This was a major reason why I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Albaicín, Granada.
Another draw to this area of Granada are the tiny maze-like streets which make getting lost so much fun. You never know what you are going to stumble upon in this neighborhood. We found our fair share of beautiful, hidden courtyards that aren’t even on the maps. You have to see this place to believe it!
In this post I am going to share my top recommendations for AirBnB’s in the Albaicín neighborhood. Also a few bonus tips for planning your trip including the best places to explore and eat while in Granada.
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Where to Stay in Granada – AirBnBs with Views in Albaicin
In the Albaicín neighborhood you will see that it is hard not to find beautiful views due to the elevation. The streets remain narrow and winding just as they were during the Moorish rule over Granada. Most of the houses here have roof top patios, and I promise you don’t want to book anything without a rooftop!
We booked the “Astonishing Views” Airbnb located off of Placeta Del Almez in the Albaicín neighborhood. The rooftop was a great place to relax before dinner and watch the sunset. The price was 165 EUR / per night, but the property has three bedrooms which fits up to 6 people and air-conditioning. Really consider a booking with A/C. It is almost necessary when visiting Southern Spain in the summer!
2021 Update: This exact property is no longer on Airbnb, however I have found some great alternative options in the same neighborhood with the same stunning views with patios.
What To Do in Granada
The View from Mirador de San Nicolas
If you know me at all, I will do just about anything for a good view. One of my favorite views in Spain is the panorama view of the Alhambra (pictured above) from the Mirador de San Nicolas. To get to the Mirador de San Nicolas viewpoint requires a couple flight of stairs along original cobble-stone streets. It’s quite charming and not too strenuous. It’s a popular sunset spot with the locals, but there is plenty of room to enjoy the sweeping views!
Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour
A self-guided tour may or may not just mean, “get lost in the streets of Albaicín” which is actually on most lists of the top things to do in Granada. The Albaicín area is one of the oldest centers of Muslim culture in Granada, contains the Alhambra, the Realejo (which was the Jewish quarter), and the Arrabal de Bib-Arrambla, in the flat part of the city. Today Albaicín is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is an extension of the monuments of the Alhambra and the Generalife.
There are many points of interest in this neighborhood due to the extensive history like the Great Mosque of Granada, the Puerta de Elvira, and the Alhacaba Towers. However, my favorite part was just wandering the windy, steep streets and taking in the charm, history, and burst of flowers hanging from balconies.
Some of my favorite streets to explore are Espaldas se San Nicolas (right photo above), Calle Agua del Albayzin (right photo below), Calle Algibe del Gato (blue painted house photo above), and the passage between Calle Carro and Calle San Juan de los Reyes (steep steps with view of the Alhambra). You will be sure to find some full blooms along these streets in the summertime.
Shop the Open Air Markets
Shop open air markets of all kinds including the Alcaicería of Granada, which is an Arabic-style bazaar, or the San Agustín Market for more of a local food market. These food markets are a great alternative for a sit down restaurant and great for sampling tapas!
Walk the Carrera del Darro
The Carrera del Darro is known as one of the most beautiful walks in Granada. It runs between the river and the forest of the Alhambra. Carrera del Darro in Granada retains many original buildings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and there are remains of Arab houses and exquisite details. Some notable stops along the walk include:
Corral de Carbon – this is a piece of history, and the only surviving building left where ancient merchant used to stop to let their camels rest along the silk road. Today you can find the local tourism center housed here.
Plaza de Bib – Rambla – Also called, Plaza de las Flores (Square of Flowers), was once the center of Moorish Granada back in the day. Here you can find endless cafes and shops.
Paseo de los Tristes – if you walk north along the river away from Plaza Nueva you will find the Paseo de los Tristes, or walk of tears, which is a beautiful cobblestone pathway crossing underneath the Alhambra. It is known by this name as funeral processions would commonly pass through on the way to the cemetery.
Enjoy Dinner and a Flamenco Dance
You must have a flamenco dance on the itinerary when you are visiting Spain. Whether you schedule on in Seville, Madrid, Granada or Cordoba is up to you and your schedule. However, if you are looking for a good recommendation, right around the corner from our Airbnb we enjoyed a fabulous flamenco performance and dinner at Jardin de Zoraya. I could not recommend the performance enough, it was passionate and engaging. The venue was small and intimate, which made the views from every table something to envy.
Visit the Alhambra at Granada
This is an obvious one, but there are certain things you should be aware of ahead of time. Check out my blog about visiting the Alhambra for everything you need to know about planning the perfect visit. We were able to walk to the Alhambra from our Airbnb in less than 30 minutes.
Related Post: Tips on Visiting the Alhambra Palace in Granada
Where to Eat in Granada
This is Spain after all, so it goes without saying that the food culture is fabulous. However, specific to the Andalusian region of Spain is a restaurant concept where the longer you sit and order drinks, the more (and increasingly better in quality) tapas you are served for “free”. These type of restaurants are all over the city of Granada. One especially worth a mention is Los Diamantes which is a tapa style beer hall. Bar Aliatar is known in Albaicín for their snails. Lastly, check out Café Lara for the all around best Andalusian food in the area!