Are you planning a trip to Granada? This charming city is one of the top destinations in Spain with a ton to offer for the curious traveller. From ancient palace complexes to a modern science park, there are endless reasons to visit.
Deciding which parts of the city to explore is only half the challenge of planning a trip. You’ll also need to decide where to stay in Granada.
If you’ve never travelled to the city previously, you may have no idea where to lay your head at night. It’s easy to get lost in the narrow streets surrounded by Islamic architecture and busy tapas bars.
Staying on the east side of the city gives you closer access to the historic sites, while staying in the south places you right next to the best shopping and dining in the area.
Don’t know where to look? Start searching for accommodations with this guide to the best areas to stay in Granada…
Where to stay in Granada, Spain: A complete guide to the best neighborhoods & areas for travellers
The districts of Granada are mostly centred around the oldest parts of the city, including the Realejo neighbourhood, which is the old Jewish quarter, and the Albaicin (Albayzin). Near the centre, you’ll find tight streets and a lot of old buildings featuring Islamic architecture.
To the east is Sacromonte. This area is built into the hillside and contains numerous cave homes, mostly owned by the large gypsy community in the area. Staying in Albaicin or Realejo places you a few footsteps from this eccentric neighbourhood.
The more modern parts of the city are further outside of the centre. In the trendy southern Zaidin neighbourhood, for example, you’ll discover large department stores, upscale restaurants, and busy nightclubs.
No matter where you stay, you’ll be within walking distance of the old quarters and shopping centres.
Some of the best places to stay in Granada for travellers include:
- The Centre
✔ Best area to stay for access to everything in the city
As the name implies, the Centre is the central district in Granada. It’s also called “El Centro.” You can also walk to just about anywhere in the city from this central point.
It’s a small part of the city and in the historic centre, surrounded by the various cathedrals and buildings that have existed for several hundred years.
Besides the history of the city, the centre is home to the best food market and a wide array of tapas bars and cafes. This area also includes Plaza Nueva, which is typically crowded with street performers, vendors, and tourists.
This neighbourhood is the best spot to start your exploration of the city if you plan on checking out all the sites and are visiting Granada on a time-crunch. About ten minutes to your east is the Alhambra, and another few minutes to your west is Granada Cathedral.
Just keep in mind that this is one of the hottest destinations for tourists, which means that you may want to book your accommodations well in advance.
Where to stay: The best hotels in the Centre
Due to the coveted location of the neighbourhood, you’ll find a diverse selection of accommodations with slightly higher rates compared to the adjacent districts. These options include some of the best hotels in Granada.
Here are a few of the top hotels & places to stay in the Centre:
- Hotel Plaza Nueva: Walk out the doors, and you’re in Plaza Nueva, the most popular square in the area. This hotel is yards from the Alhambra and offers clean, comfortable accommodations. Besides being one of the top hotels in the neighbourhood, it’s one of the top choices in the city.
- Eurostars Catedral: Staying here puts you just 250 feet from the Granada Cathedral, and close to all the other attractions. If you want to explore the landmarks, this is a good starting point.
- Hotel Inglaterra: Elegant accommodations in the heart of the city. This luxurious hotel is a step up from the ancient charm of the previous hotels. It’s a little further to the west, but still within walking distance of everything.
- Marquis Hotels Issabel’s: This hotel is in Plaza Isabel la Catolica, which is also near the centre of Granada. It’s a top choice for those wanting to check out the ancient architecture. You also get a soundproof room with a great view of the area.
- Hotel Posada del Toro: Decorated in the traditional Andalusian style, this hotel features an authentic courtyard that is almost 200 years old. It is also a five-minute walk from the Alhambra and numerous other sights.
✔ Best area to stay for sightseeing & hiking
Albaicin is also close to the middle of the action, just northeast of the Centre. This is the oldest part of the city and provides impressive views of the Alhambra and the tops of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
For those who want to check out the major attractions, Albaicin is a great base of operations. There are landmarks in every direction. Most spots are close enough to travel on foot, but you may end up spending most of your time in this bohemian neighbourhood.
It’s a hilly region and includes some of the oldest architecture. The winding streets are flanked by whitewashed buildings and open public squares, including the popular Mirador San Nicolas. These squares are often full of people, cafes, and the sounds of Flamenco. Enjoy your meals outdoors while watching people come and go through the busy square.
As the area is close to the northern part of town, you are also closer to the Sierra Nevada. If you enjoy hiking, climbing, and other forms of outdoor adventure, the Albaicin neighbourhood is a good place to start.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Albaicin
The Albaicin neighbourhood offers warm beds in a variety of settings. You can stay in a boutique hotel located in a restored building or sleep at an upscale hotel with a sweeping view of Alhambra.
Here are a few of the best hotels & places to stay in Albaicin:
- Casa Horno del Oro: Featuring terraced views of the Alhambra and Sacromonte Caves, this elegant hotel is a popular place to stay. It’s also just a little further away from the centre, giving you more peace and quiet compared to some of the other hotels.
- El Ladrón de Agua: Stay inside this 16th-century building in the centre of the Albaicin district. The hotel was carefully restored and features detailed marble floors, pillars, and a large painted façade. It’s also within walking distance of the palace.
- Hotel Rosa D’oro: This hotel was also built inside a converted 16th-century structure. It is right next to the Darro River and on the outer edges of the Albaicin district. The hotel itself is a great place to rest, thanks to the stunning courtyard and air-conditioned rooms.
- Hotel Cedran: Pastels and soft lighting greet you at this comfortable hotel. The contemporary hotel is a breath of fresh air and the perfect place to rest between sightseeing. It’s about 500 feet from the cathedral and just five minutes from Plaza Nueva.
- Mirador del Jazmin: Not to be outdone by the other hotels, this spot is also housed inside a 16th-century building. Overall, it’s possibly the most convenient location, as it’s just a few hundred feet from both Mirador del Jazmin and Plaza Nueva.
✔ Best area to stay for lovers of art & architecture
Realejo is the old Jewish quarter and one of the more interesting areas to explore in Granada. This is a charming neighbourhood with friendly locals and quaint cafes. It’s also a lot like Albaicin, due to the history that it contains.
As one of the older neighbourhoods, Realejo houses a lot of older buildings. For those who love checking out examples of early architecture, Realejo is a real treasure.
Art lovers will also find something to enjoy. Raul Ruiz, or El Nino, spray paints detailed artwork on many of older buildings to give them a facelift, creating a unique atmosphere that you won’t find in other parts of the city.
Realejo and Albaicin are right next to each other, ensuring that you’re still close enough to enjoy everything. You’re just a little further south, which puts you a bit closer to the shopping districts to the south and west of the neighbourhood.
At night, the neighbourhood is quite lively. In fact, the nightlife is one of the main reasons to stay in the area. Many of the bars stay open late, which provides you with endless tapas and cocktails.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Realejo
Like Albaicin, Realejo offers quaint hotels in old buildings and modern hotels with all the amenities. There is even a hotel in what used to be a 17th-century hospital.
Here are a few of the most-recommended hotels & places to stay in Realejo:
- Gar Anat Hotel Boutique: This hotel is on the border between Realejo and the Centre. While it’s housed inside an old hospital, the interior is entirely modern. It’s also just a few minutes from the Granada Cathedral.
- Barcelo Carmen Granada: With a rooftop swimming pool that offers panoramic views of the Alhambra, this hotel is hard to beat. It’s a luxurious destination with convenient access to the Granada Cathedral. The area also includes one of the largest department stores in the city.
- Dauro Hotel: This hotel may be further from the landmarks, but it’s closer to the tapas bars. You’re right by Calle Elvira, which is a street known for containing numerous bars. It’s also the perfect place to check out the nightlife in the city.
- Vincci Albayzin: The classic décor and traditional Andalusian courtyard are contrasted by modern features, including free WIFI and a fitness centre. Of course, you’re still in Granada City Centre and close to all major attractions.
✔ Best area to stay for luxury shopping & dining
Zaidin is the furthest from the action and closest to the shopping. The Zaidin neighbourhood is known for its modern apartment blocks, department stores, and quality restaurants. You’ll be right next to Merca 80, an indoor food market with a great selection of edible treats.
For families travelling to the area, this neighbourhood may feel more like home. It’s the most populous area and contains the most residential buildings.
When staying in Zaidin, you’ll notice a lot less of historic architecture than in other parts of the city. It’s got less history and more modern conveniences. It’s also home to the Science Park Museum.
Staying in Zaidin doesn’t mean that you’ll be too far away from the Alhambra and other top things to do in Granada. You can still walk to most places in less than 20 minutes.
Where to Stay: The Best Hotels in Zaidin
Zaidin is a more modern part of Granada, with many recently-built hotels. There is a good selection of mid-range and luxury accommodations for solo travellers or families.
Here are a few of the top-rated hotels & places to stay in Zaidin:
- Hotel Saray: Just across the river from the city’s centre, this hotel places in the residential area of Zaidin. It features beautiful Andalusian designs and all the amenities you need to feel more at home. Keep in mind that you’re about a mile away from the Alhambra.
- Senator Granada Spa Hotel: Featuring a Turkish bath, luxurious settings, and a sauna, you may forget that you’re in a historic city. This upscale hotel is next to the Congress centre and within walking distance of the historic centre.
- Hotel Andalucia Center: If you want to visit the Science Park, you may want to think of staying at this hotel. It’s just 650 feet from the park and about a 15-minute walk from the city centre. As a bonus, the hotel also serves tasty Mediterranean food.
- Hotel San Anton Granada: You may get a view overlooking the Genil River when you stay at this mid-range hotel. It’s a great choice for those wanting to enjoy tapas and have close access to the main tourist traps. You can also relax at your own private outdoor pool.