albaicin alhambra generalife ataurique

History

The last kingdom to be reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs has an incredible historical-artistic heritage. Moorish and Christian elements can be found in the streets of Granada. The palace and gardens of the Alhambra and the Generalife, together with the Albaicín neighbourhood, have the UNESCO World Heritage designation. The Gran Vía de Colón and the Avenida de los Reyes Católicos will take visitors to the most important districts and monuments built in the Renaissance.

The reddish hill on which the Alhambra is built holds the Alcazaba and the Nasrid Royal Palaces. This beautiful monument with art by the Moors and from Granada, built between the 13th and 15th century, has many rooms connected with courtyards, gardens and fountains. Its intricate architectural details can be seen in places such as Patio de los Arrayanes and de los Leones courtyards, in the Hall of the Ambassadors or in the Dos Hermanas Room. On this hill you can also find the Generalife Gardens, the summer residence of the Nasrid monarchs, and the Palace of Carlos V. The latter is a Renaissance construction which holds the Fine Arts Museum and the Alhambra Museum. The first has an important collection of artists from the 16th century, including Alonso Cano and Machuca. The second is an excellent way of getting to know the Spanish-Moorish art of Granada.

The Albaicín neighbourhood spreads out on another of the hills in the city. Steep and narrow streets lead to “cármenes” (houses with a garden), old mosques on which churches have been built (San Salvador, San Bartolomé or San José) and small squares such as San Nicolás and San Cristóbal. These two squares have beautiful views of the Alhambra and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Between the walls, Elvira Gate and Carrera del Darro, the Albaicín neighbourhood hides many other treasures. The Arab baths (El Bañuelo), the Mudejar decoration of the Santa Isabel la Real Convent, the Renaissance floor plan of the Córdova palace and of the Santa Catalina de Siena Convent, or the impressive façade of the Real Chancellery are some of them.

How to get there

Granada has an excellent communications network that links it with the rest of Andalusia, Spain and the world.

Arriving by Plane

Road, bus and taxi services run between Federico García Lorca airport, 17 kilometres from Granada, and the city centre. This airport offers dayly services to and from Madrid and Barcelona, and scheduled services to and from Palma de Mallorca, Milán, Manchester, and París. Another option is to use the Costa del Sol International Airport in Malaga, located 130 kilometres from Granada.

Arriving by train

The railway station in Granada is located at one end of the city’s historic centre, and offers connections with Barcelona and Madrid, and other direct, inter-city routes. After 2018, high-speed train will connect the city to other destinations. Another option is to travel from Madrid to Malaga by AVE high-speed train. There are regional rail services from Granada to Almería, Seville, Algeciras (Cadiz province) and Linares – Baeza (Jaén province).

Arriving by bus

You can get to Granada by bus from Europe, North Africa and the rest of Spain. The main bus station is the centrally located.

Arriving by car

Road access is on the A-44. This national route runs northwards from Granada to Jaén, Bailén and Madrid, and south to Motril and the coast. The A-92 runs westwards to Cordoba, Badajoz, Malaga and Seville, and eastwards to Murcia and Almería.These roads are also used by bus companies offering services between Granada and other Spanish and international destinations.

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