Granada’s most famous landmark is undoubtedly the Moorish fortress, the Alhambra. It is a magnificent structure dating back to 13th century and its position at the top of a steep hill means that there are view points all over the city where you can enjoy a wide view of the Alhambra. But where can you get the best views? Having spent a month in the sunny city of Granada I can safely say I’ve seen the Alhambra from just about every angle possible. I’ve rounded up a list of places where you can get the best views and photos of the Alhambra, including some hidden gems at the end that tourists, and even some locals, do not know about!
Mirador San Nicolas
I’ll start with the most obvious. If you ask anyone in Granada for things to do, they’ll tell you to head to Mirador San Nicolas just before sunset. Here you’ll find gorgeous panoramic views of the city of Granada and the Alhambra. The view is great, amazing in fact.
However, the experience is marred by the hoards and hoards of tourists who gather here each night. In order to get a seat on the wall for that magical sunset, you’ll need to arrive seriously early. The plaza is packed with people standing around by the time the sun actually sets and you may even need to fight to the front to get your picture on a particularly busy day.
Despite this, this spot remains hugely popular and there are lots of street vendors and musicians at this spot every night too. If you’re in Granada for a stay of a couple of days or more then it’s definitely worth heading to the Mirador to soak up the atmosphere, as busy as it is. However, if you are limited on time in Granada, I’d suggest you check out one the suggestions below, which are more unique and less touristy.
Address: Calle Mirador de San Nicolás, 18010 Granada
There are numerous spots in Sacromonte where you can find amazing views of the Alhambra and the sprawling city below, but this one, taken from Sacromonte Abbey, has to be my favourite. The Abbey is quite a way past the main village of Sacromonte and you’ll have to walk up some long winding roads to get there, but it’s worth it for the view and the Abbey visit.
From this high vantage point you can see the sort of valley that central Granada rests in with the Alhambra high up on the left hand side and Sacromonte high on the right. You can also look down upon all those roads you just walked up and give yourself a big pat on the back!
NB: The Abbey has peculiar opening times, only allowing guided tours on the hour in the late afternoons. I would highly suggest you phone and check what the current opening times are before making the (very long) hike up to see it! Guided tours cost €5 per person.
Address: Abadía del Sacromonte, Camino del Sacromonte, s/n, 18010 Granada
Paseo de los Tristes
The Paseo de los Tristes follows part of the Río Darro through Granada and is lined with numerous restaurants with beautiful outdoor seating. This is where you’ll want to go for a special evening in Granada and the best part is that if you look up from your meal, you’ll be looking straight up at the Alhambra.
My personal recommendation is Restaurante Ruta del Azafran, which is the first restaurant you come across if approaching from the centre of the city. It’s incredibly romantic with a leafy canapé across the outdoor tables and candles when it starts to get dark. There’s often a man wandering around the restaurant playing flamenco music on his guitar for the ultimate “Spanish” vibe.
Address: Restaurante Ruta del Azafrán, Paseo del Padre Manjón, 1, 18010 Granada
Ermita de San Miguel Alto
Ermita de San Miguel Alto is another viewing place that was recommended to me but sadly I didn’t get the chance to go myself. It’s located quite far away from the city centre and is very close to Sacromonte. It might be worth combining a trip to Sacromonte Cave Museum (Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte) with a trip to see the view from here since the two are in the same region as each other.
That said, because of the steep hills, it may still take you up to half an hour to walk between the two! If you’re going to bother hiking this far up for a panoramic view of Granada and the Alhambra, I’d suggest going to Silla del Moro, the last (and best) suggestion on this list. Keep on reading for more info on that!
Address: Ermita de San Miguel Alto, Calle Patio de la Alberca, 36, 18010 Albaicín, Granada
Mirador de Los Carvajales
Mirador de Los Carvajales is very similar to Mirador San Nicolas but there’s one crucial difference – there’s a distinct lack of tourists at the former location. Hooray! This is a lovely little plaza with a small water feature where you’ll find local Spanish people hanging out and playing music during the day. It’s a lovely place from which to view the Alhambra and the overhanging leaves make for a great photo frame.
This mirador is also a lot closer to the centre of Granada so the route there is much less steep!
Address: Mirador de Los Carvajales, Placeta Carvajales, 18010 Granada
Carmen de La Victoria
Carmen de La Victoria is a small open space that I stumbled upon on my last full day in Granada and I’m so glad I didn’t miss this spot! This is one of the most beautiful parks I found in Granada and as if that wasn’t enough, there are incredible views of the Alhambra to boot.
This carmen is particularly beautiful as it is the only carmen in the city that remains a house-garden and the garden is largely unmodified. As you can see there are beautiful leafy arches and a sort of balcony that looks straight out onto the Alhambra. There are lots of benches where you can sit down and relax and there are small water features dotted all around. There’s even a cafe with some very comfy looking armchairs for you to lounge in on a hot afternoon.
It is a little far out from Granada city centre as I visited this place on my way to Sacramonte so I’d highly suggest combining a visit here with a visit to the caves and Abbey of Sacramonte.
Address: Carmen de la Victoria, Cuesta del Chapiz, 9, 18010 Granada
Silla del Moro
Now this one’s a secret. There are pretty much no tourists at this location because it isn’t a very well known Alhambra or sunset viewing spot and it’s a little bit of a climb to get to it. Actually, it’s a lot of climb to get to it. I only discovered this because a friend of mine was recommended it by a Spanish local in a bar. How’s that for an authentic Spanish experience?
This spot is actually very close to the Alhambra on the map but it’s quite high up meaning you get this beautiful view over and into the Alhambra, unlike the other spots on this list. My friend insisted we make the climb here one evening after hearing me ramble about my love for Harry Potter in one of our classes, claiming that this place looked like Hogwarts. That’s quite a high bar to set but I must admit that from this angle I could totally see the Alhambra being the setting for some sort of School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
You’ll want to wear a decent pair of shoes for the mostly uphill climb here, as well as a large bottle of water. As this isn’t a viewing platform or plaza like some other locations on this list, you’ll have to be content with sitting on the dusty ground as you watch the sun set over the Alhambra.
This was definitely one of the most special experiences I had in Granada but I was almost hesitant to share it on my blog because, rather selfishly, I didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag and spoil this little sanctuary! A hike up to Silla del Moro is definitely off the beaten track and something you should try fit onto your list of things to do in Granada.
Address: Silla del Moro, Paseo del Generalife, 1B, 18009 Granada