Granada was the last bastion of the Moors in Spain, and their legacy remains on display throughout this history-rich city in Andalucia. Above all, there’s the mighty Alhambra, the finest example of palatial Islamic architecture in Europe. However, it’s also a modern city, with busy cafes, hipster bars, flamenco-fuelled nightclubs and unique boutique hotels. Here’s our pick of the best places to stay – bookable on Culture Trip.
At the foot of the Alhambra, this upscale boutique hotel sits inside a renovated 19th-century structure, with a facade that seamlessly combines the old and new. It’s all on-trend contemporary inside, with glass and wood playing key roles throughout, including the understated guest rooms. Head to the rooftop terrace for drinks and nibbles under the gaze of the ancient fortress. When you’re ready to explore, ask at reception about its free guided tours.
As you might guess from the name (meaning Moorish House), Casa Morisca wonderfully captures the spirit of Granada’s Arabic past. The coffered ceilings, intricate plasterwork and ancient timber detailing from the original 15th-century residence have been superbly restored, and gothic and renaissance elements add to the enchanting Moorish-Spanish melange. Guest rooms are equally captivating, and to pile on even more historical charm, some offer views out to the neighbouring Alhambra.
With its roots trailing as far back as the 16th century, this family-run hotel balances historical charm and a cosy setting with aplomb. A central courtyard with an elevated wood-carved walkway forms the heart of the property, while the welcoming, unpretentious rooms continue the traditional Spanish vibe. Upgrade to the upper-floor deluxe for Alhambra views. Before heading out to explore the city – you’re only a 10-minute stroll from the centre – enjoy the complimentary breakfast with cooked-to-order eggs.
Originally the house of a wealthy Moorish family, the Gar Anat then passed into the hands of the Catholic Church and became a hospital and refuge for pilgrims. After many other incarnations, it reopened as an inviting city centre hotel. Individually styled rooms range from simple to playful and contemporary to traditional, with artworks and literary snippets lending cultural cachet. Room service and pillow menus provide comfort where it counts, and you can help yourself to tea and coffee in the hotel’s library.
This adults-only hotel, on a hillside below the Alhambra, offers some of the city’s finest views over the surrounding plains and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The former Moorish-style residence has been updated in calming tones while maintaining a timeless and intimate atmosphere. A secluded and leafy terraced garden makes a lovely spot to relax while soaking up the surrounding Realejo district. Spread across three floors and a tower, the guest rooms offer some wonderful vistas, too.
As it sits on a cobblestone riverside footpath lined with Medieval buildings, arriving at the Shine Albayzín hotel truly feels like stepping back in time. The building itself is a lovely 16th-century palace, complete with an ornate frescoed facade and a columned courtyard. Meanwhile, the rooms lean more towards the modern, with neutral tones and comfy seating, not to mention some fabulous views of the Alhambra. If you’re staying for a while, it also offers apartment-style accommodation with cooking facilities.
Looking for somewhere a little more elegant during your stay in Granada? The Hotel Casa 1800 could be the place for you. Guest rooms in this 16th-century mansion don’t hold back, combining items such as cut-glass chandeliers, gilt-framed headboards and rococo-style antique furnishings to palatial effect. Many also feature Alhambra views, while a few add jacuzzi tubs, too. Breakfast is served in its pretty central courtyard, and you can also return here for afternoon tea.
With a history that can be traced back to 16th-century nobility, it’s certainly easy to imagine this grand mansion occupied by the aristocracy. However, it was its 20th-century owners who commissioned the beautiful fresco on the facade, complete with Masonic symbols. Today, literature and art remain at the heart of this storied boutique hotel, with a well-stocked library and monthly exhibitions. Terracotta tiling, Asian rugs and dark wood furnishings lend the rooms a traditional, atmospheric air, while high-end toiletries and quality bedding add a touch of luxury.
Why not extend your trip in Andalucia and visit Seville? Read our guide to the best boutique hotels in Seville, then book your stay on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.