Celebrate Christmas in Granada, Spain: The Perfect 5-Day Trip

Celebrate Christmas in Granada, Spain: The Perfect 5-Day Trip
There are many reasons that we decided to celebrate Christmas in Granada, Spain. Picturesque white washed homes and scenic vistas, the burbling fountains of the Alhambra, and copious tapas and sweet wine are just a few of the things in store when you travel to Granada for the holiday season. The opportunity to get some much needed sun combined with rumors of glittering lights and holiday cheer led us to book our Christmas trip to Granada for 5 days. In this post, I’ll share the itinerary we created for ourselves for a relaxing Christmas break in Spain. We hope you find it useful if you’re planning your own trip to Granada around the winter holidays.

Christmas in Granada: Arrival and Getting Settled

Bus from Malaga to spend Christmas in Granada
  • Ground Transportation: Take the train from the airport to Maria Zambrano Station (~10 minutes).  From here, cross the street to the bus station.  Alsa offers frequent bus service to Granada.  Depending on your flight time, you may also be able to catch the less frequent bus service directly from the airport. The journey from Málaga to Granada takes less than two hours.
  • Accommodation: We stayed in a touristic apartment at the comfortable and centrally located Suites Gran Via 44.  Our apartment included a small kitchen (important for Christmas Eve/Day when many shops and restaurants are closed).

Christmas in Granada: Day 1 - Get Oriented by Day and Night

  • Explore Plaza Nueva and the surrounding area in the late afternoon when the buildings are drenched in golden light.
Granada Buildings Drenched in Sunlight at Christmas
  • Count the pomegranates: The pomegranate is the symbol of the city of Granada. As you're walking around town, see how many pomegranates you can spot.
Christmas in Granada, Spain - Pomegranates - Symbol of Granada
  • Admire the holiday lights: After the sun goes down, take a stroll and admire the Christmas lights strung along the main streets and squares. The effect is truly magical.
Christmas in Granada - Holiday Lights

Christmas in Granada: Day 2 - Pretend to be a Local

If you're going to be in Granada for a few days or more, it's fun to pretend to be a local and try some out of the way places to eat and drink.

Map of the Local Places We Enjoyed On Our Christmas Trip to Granada

We particularly enjoyed:

Christmas in Granada - piononos at Olympia 21
Olympia 21: Conveniently located on Calle Gran Via Colon, Olympia 21 offers a dizzying array of sweets; the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee taken standing at the counter. We sampled piononos here (kind of a cross between angelfood cake and creme brûlée) which were amazing!

Christmas in Granada - Chocolate and ChurrosCafe Tramezzini: The locals seem to disappear off the streets in the early evening. Where do they go?...for churros y chocolate of course! The service at Cafe Tramezzini was slow which was understandable given the crowds that had descended on the place but it was worth the wait when we were presented with a thick cup of chocolate and crispy churros fresh from the fryer.

Christmas in Granada - Tapas

Bar Alhambra: Tapas are a staple here in Granada. We tried Bar Alhambra, a higher end tapas bar. The place was so crowded that we had to sit outside under a heat lamp. Still, we enjoyed delicious croquetas and other tapas favorites.

Christmas in Granada - Tapas at Kanela

Kanela: At the other end of the spectrum, we tried Kanela, a 'hole in the wall' place near Elvira Gate. For 2 euros, we were treated to a quiet caña (small glass of local beer) and a free tapa. The local atmosphere was priceless.

Christmas in Granada: Day 3 - The Albayzin

Christmas in Granada - Albayzin Neighborhood
The Albayzin neighborhood of Granada rises above the city centre.  The climb is quite steep but it's totally worth it for the sweeping views you're rewarded with at the top. We recommend 'getting lost' and exploring some of the small streets and alleys that define the neighborhood. Here's an outline of the route we traced if you need some inspiration to get started.

Map of the Albayzin Neighborhood of Granada, Spain

The highlights of the Albayzin for us included:
Christmas in Granada - Dining al fresco
Dining al fresco on Placeta de San Miguel: We were lured in by the value-for-money Menu del Dia offered at Rincon de la Aurora. The 3 course meal somehow tasted even better when splashed with ample amounts of sunshine on the square.

Christmas in Granada - Mirador San Nicolas

Mirador San Nicolás: We marveled at the spectacular views of the iconic Alhambra from Mirador San Nicolás. 

Christmas in Granada - Bodegas La Mancha

Bodegas La Mancha: Let gravity help you descend from the Albayzin and onto Calle Joaquin Costa for a post walk reward of tapas and vermut.

Christmas in Granada: Day 4 - The Alhambra

No trip to Granada is complete without a trip to the Alhambra, Spain's #1 tourist attraction. The Moorish palace and stronghold before the reconquista requires a full day to do it justice.
  • Walk up from town: After the walk to the Albayzin the day before, your legs should be conditioned to do a bit of climbing. A lovely 30 minute hike along a forested path will deposit you at the gate of the Alhambra palace complex.
Christmas in Granada - Walking Path to the Alhambra
      • Tip: buy your ticket in advance online and pick it up at the Tienda de la Alhambra (Alhambra Shop) on Calle Reyes Católicos nº 40 to avoid disappointment as the Alhambra hosts a limited number of visitors each day.
  • Alcazaba: Check out the views of Mirador San Nicolás where you stood the previous day from this crumbling fortification at the edge of the Alhambra complex.Christmas in Granada - Views of Albayzin from Alcazaba
  • Nasrid Palaces: Make sure to arrive in time for your timed entry to the Nasrid Palace, the highlight of the Alhambra. Admire the Moorish textures, windows, and fountains.
Christmas in Granada - Nasrid Palaces - Alhambra

  • Carlos V Palace: Take a quick spin through Carlos V's unfinished Palace and pop into the Museum of the Alhambra which features a variety of artefacts tied to the site.
    • Tip: Check the weather forecast and bring gloves and a hat. The weather was very cold when we visited in late December. The Museum of the Alhambra is one of a very few places on site where you can get inside to warm up. Most of the buildings (including the Nasrid Palaces are open-air).

Christmas in Granada - Carlos V Palace

  • Fountains and Gardens: Give yourself plenty of time to stroll through the fountains and gardens in the wider Alhambra complex including the Jardines del Partal and Jardines del Generalife. The atmosphere is very relaxing. We took some time to listen to the gentle sounds of the fountains, do a bit of birdwatching, and marvel at the breathtaking views over Granada below.
Christmas in Granada - Alhambra Gardens

    Christmas in Granada: Day 5 - How to Celebrate the Holidays in Granada

    Christmas Tree in Granada, Spain
    Granada shuts down for Christmas in the late afternoon of December 24th (Christmas Eve). Shops are restaurants are generally closed until at least evening time on December 25th (Christmas Day).  

    Christmas in Granada - Cakes at Rey Fernando
    Lay in supplies: Visit Cortes Ingles and at least one local bakery to buy a few sweet treats for a bit of holiday indulgence. We tried Rey Fernando (yum!). Plan for a quiet day at your hotel relaxing and recovering from all that walking and exploring!

    Christmas in Granada - Local liqueurRestaurante Poetas Andaluces II: Working through the staff at our hotel, we managed to secure a reservation at a local asador for the late evening on Christmas Day. Christmas cheer apparently transcends language. The waitstaff at the restaurant didn't speak English and we spoke very little Spanish. Still, we managed to communicate through miming and broken sentences and had a delicious meal which culminated in a complimentary glass of local liqueur to toast the holiday and an amazing trip!

    We hope you've enjoyed our recommendations for a Christmas city break in Granada, Spain.  We'd love to hear from you about your own holiday experiences in Granada - please drop us a comment below with your favorite places in Granada.

    Here is a link to more in-depth posts and photos on all of the sites and experiences in Granada highlighted above. Note that you can also click on any of the photo collages above to see full sized images on Google Plus. Read on to learn more about how we celebrated New Year's Eve in Malaga with a 1-week itinerary.
    Granada Christmas Trip Dates: December 22 - 26, 2013 Note: All expenses for the trip were incurred by the author. None of the elements of the trip were sponsored by any of the attractions, hotels, or restaurants referenced.

    Did you enjoy this post? Sharing is caring...

    Celebrate Christmas in Granada, Spain: The Perfect 5-Day Trip

    My Travel Monkey


    BLOGGER: 16

    #DrJSabbatical #pigsonparade #SligoFoodTrail #tasteoftravel 1916 Rebellion a City Break Absolut Fringe Adelaide Adriatics Africa Agra Aix-en-Provence Alameda Alamo Square Alfama Algarve Alliance Francaise Americas Amnesty Amsterdam Andolu Kavagi Android Ann Arbor Antwerp Argentina Arizona Art Gallery Arthur's Day Asia Asia Pacific Athens Augsburg AUNZ AUNZ_Archive Auschwitz Austin Australia Austria Auto Awesome Avignon Baixa Baltics Bangkok Barcelona Barrio Alta Basel Basque Basque Country Bath Bazaar Beijing Belem Belfast Belgium Bellagio Bergamo Berlin Bern Bernal Heights Best of Beyond Dublin Bidart Big Island Bird Watching Birmingham Blackrock Market bleisure Bloco de Dublin Blogger Fiesta BloggerFiesta Bologna Bonn Boston Brad Pitt Bray Brighton Bristol Bruges Brussels BTW Bucharest Budapest Buffalo California Camargue Cambodia Cambridge Canada Canary Islands Cannes Cannonball Cannonball Run Canterbury Cape Town Carcassonne Cardiff Carnival Castro Catalonia Catalunya Cats Central Europe Central Richmond Chemistry China Chinatown Christmas Christmas Market City Break Itinerary Civic Center Cobh Coffee cole valley Cologne Comedy Club Commute Chronicles Connemara Copenhagen Cork Costa Brava County Kerry Cow Hollow Critical Mass Croatia Culture Night Cyprus Czech Republic Dalkey Dalkey Castle Danang Delft Delhi Den Haag Denmark Denver Derry Diamond Head Disneyland Dolores Heights Donegal Dortmund Dover Downtown Dresden Dublin Dublin Castle Dublin Culture Night Dublin_Archive Dubrovnik Ducks Dun Laoghaire Dusseldorf Eastern Europe Edinburgh Eindhoven England Eruption Essen Estonia Europe Europe_Archive Evora Fado Fall Foliage Faro Faversham Festival Film Film Festival Financial District Finland Fisherman's Wharf Flanders Florida Flugtag Food France Frankfurt French Riviera Fringe Fringe Festival Galway Gandhi Gdansk Gdynia Georgian Dublin Germany GhostBus Gig Girona Glasgow Glen Park Golden Gate Park Google Plus Granada Grand Canal Greece Greece and Cyprus Guest Posts Guiness Storehouse Guinness Gurgaon Half Moon Bay Halloween Hamburg Hangzhou Hanoi Hawaii Hayes Valley HCMC Helsinki Hermanus Hilo Ho Chi Minh City Hobart Hoi An Holland Honolulu Hula Hungary Hurling Hyderabad Ice Cream Sandwich Iceland ICS India Inner Richmond Inner Sunset Ireland Ireland_Archive Istanbul Italy Itinerary Izmir Jackson Square Jaipur Japan Japantown Johannesburg Kaunas Kenmare Kilauea Kilkenny Kilkenny Cats Killarney Kiluaea Kona Krakow Kuala Lumpur Kyoto Lake Como Lake Street Languedoc Lanzarote Las Fallas Las Vegas Latvia Laurel Heights Leeds Leinster Leipzig Lemesos Let's French 2011 Liechtenstein Lima Limerick Lincoln's Inn Lisbon Lithuania Liverpool Lloret de Mar London Los Angeles Louisiana Lower Pacific Heights Lübeck Lucerne Lyon Mackintosh Madeira Madrid Mainz Malaga Malaysia Mallorca Malta Manchester Marina Marrakech Marrakesh Marseille Massachusetts Mdina Med Melbourne Menton Milan Mission Bay Mission Dolores Modena Monaco Monte Carlo Montenegro Monterey Montpellier Morocco Muenster Munich Munster Music NA_Archive Naples Netherlands New Orleans New Year 2011 New Year Festival New Years Eve 2010 New York New Zealand Nice Nicosia Nob Hill Noe Valley NOPA Nordics Normandy Norrkoping North America North Beach Northern Ireland Nuremberg Oahu Oakland Oktoberfest Oliwa Olympics On The Road Osaka Outer Richmond Outer Sunset Oxford Pacific Heights Padua Palafrugell Palma Panorama Paphos Paris Parma Pearl Harbor Pennsylvania Perth Peru Philadelphia Pingyao Pittsburgh Poland Porto Portugal Potrero Hill Prague Presidio Presidio Heights Pride Provence Queensland Rabat RAF2010 Rainbow Ranelagh Ranelagh Arts Festival Recent Red Bull Regensburg Reims Restaurant Review Reykjavik Riga Ring of Kerry Rochester Roman Ruins Romania Rome Rotterdam Rugby Russia Russian Hill Salt Lake City Samba San Diego San Francisco San Sebastian Sand Castles Santa Cruz Scandinavia Science Gallery Science Museum Scotland Seattle Segovia Seoul Seville SF - Further Afield SF_Archive Shakespeare Shave Ice Sicily Siem Reap Silent Film Festival Singapore Sintra Sligo Snow SOMA Sonoma Sopot South Africa South America South Beach South Korea South San Francisco Soweto Spain SPWC St. Petersburg Stellenbosch Stirling Stockholm Strasbourg Street Performance Stuttgart Sultanahmet Sweden Switzerland Sydney Tallinn Tasmania Tavira TBEX Telegraph Hill Temple Bar Tenderloin TenderNob Tenerife Texas Thailand Thames Festival The Haight The Kruger The Mission Theatre ThisIsAthens Tipperary Tokyo Toledo Toronto Toulouse Trad Trad Sessions Transylvania Trinity College Turkey UBTD10 Uganda UK Ulster Bank Theater Festival Union Square United States Uruguay Utrecht Vacation Rental Valencia Valletta Venice Vienna Vietnam Vilnius Volcano Volcanoes National Park Waikiki Wales Walking Walking Tour Warsaw Washington Waterford Western Addition Western Australia Westerplatte Westfield Where's Wally? Whiskey Whitsundays Wicklow Wine Tasting Wisconsin World Record World War II Wroclaw WWI WWII Xi'an York Ypsilanti Zurich
    Sidewalk Safari: Celebrate Christmas in Granada, Spain: The Perfect 5-Day Trip
    Celebrate Christmas in Granada, Spain: The Perfect 5-Day Trip
    Check out a 5-day independently organized itinerary to spend Christmas in Granada, Spain. Written by Dublin-based travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) of Sidewalk Safari.
    Sidewalk Safari
    Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read more Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy