Where to stay in Granada for first time: 6 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Granada as a first-time visitor can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find the safe places to stay in Granada for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Granada for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Granada and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Before get into the main topic, let’s look at some highlights of Granada:

Granada is a popular tourist destination in the Andalusia region in southern Spain. It is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture.

The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous landmarks in Granada. It is a palace and fortress complex that was originally built in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid Dynasty. Alhambra is known for its intricate Islamic architecture, beautiful gardens, and breathtaking views.

Adjacent to the Alhambra, the Generalife is a palace and garden that served as a summer retreat for the Nasrid rulers. It features beautiful fountains, patios, and lush greenery.

Granada is situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. The Sierra Nevada is home to the highest peak in mainland Spain, Mulhacén.

Albaicín is the famous historic neighborhood characterized by its narrow, winding streets, white-washed buildings, and traditional Moorish architecture. It offers stunning views of the Alhambra and has a distinct medieval Moorish atmosphere.

Sacromonte is another unique area in Granada known for its cave houses and flamenco shows. It is a popular area to experience traditional Andalusian culture.

Granada is famous for its tapas culture. In many bars, when you order a drink, you’ll receive a complimentary tapa (small appetizer). This tradition makes exploring the city’s culinary scene a delightful experience.

Is Granada safe to visit?

Granada, like most of Spain, is generally safe to visit. But as in any popular tourist destination, you should be cautious of petty crimes and pickpockets, especially in crowded spots and tourist areas such as Bus Station, Albaicin, Sacromonte, Plaza Bib Rambla, and on the slopes from Plaza Nueva to Alhambra. 

Keep an eye on your belongings, such as wallets and electronic devices, to avoid theft. Avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas at night, try to travel in a group. As a visitor, it is recommended to book your accommodations in popular central areas, and avoid staying on the outskirts of the city.

Where to stay in Granada for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Granada for first-timers and tourists are Centro – Sagrario, Near the Alhambra, Realejo, Albaicin, Camino de Ronda, and Beiro. It is also essential to be aware of pickpockets and take care of your belongings regardless of the neighborhood you are in.

Don’t worry too much about which area to book your hotel; just choose one that suits your budget and preferences, and you’ll be good to go. Granada is very compact, so you can easily explore everything on foot, by bus, and by taxi.

Centro – Sagrario is a great base for first-timers who want to stay in a central area with a mix of modern shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. This area is home to the Cathedral, Royal Chapel, and shopping streets such as Gran Vía.

Albaicín is the historic Arab quarter of Granada, known for its narrow winding streets, whitewashed houses, and beautiful views of the Alhambra. It has a bohemian atmosphere with numerous tea houses, small shops, and traditional flamenco bars.

Realejo is the old Jewish quarter, characterized by its charming squares, nice graffiti, popular bars and restaurants. Realejo is a good choice if you want a central location with easy access to both the Alhambra and the city center.

Beiro is a good base for a local authentic atmosphere and a quieter stay. This area is home to Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring), University Of Granada, and many affordable tapas bars.  

During my trip to Granada, I stayed at the BiBo Suites Plaza Nueva. It was a good base to explore the city on foot. Easy to find hop on Hop Off bus and taxi rank nearby. It was a little noisy due to its central location where lots of bars and restaurants are located, but you’re in the middle of everything so that’s to be expected.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Granada for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Granada first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Granada first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Granada, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Granada have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Safe areas to stay in Granada for first-timers and tourists:

1. Centro – Sagrario

Centro – Sagrario is a great base in Granada for first-time visitors who want to be surrounded by the lively energy of the city center, within walking distance of many key sites, modern shops and great eateries.

This area located between Gran Via and Camino de Ronda, where you can find the Cathedral of Granada, Royal Chapel of Granada, C. Elvira antique and cultural street. You’ll be an easy distance to the historic Albaicin and El Realejo neighborhoods with many more attractions.

Best places to stay in Granada in Centro for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Eurostars Gran Via, 5-star hotel located in central Granada, on Gran Vía de Colón, featuring a nice rooftop terrace with views over the city. Short walk from Granada Cathedral, Albaicin, and Mirador de San Nicolás. All the restaurants and shops are a stone throw away. 

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Granada Center, popular 4-star hotel conveniently located within 5 mins walk from the train station, 10 mins from the old town, the Cathedral and the University. You can find a bus stop nearby for easy access to major attractions. The hotel has delicious buffet breakfast, soundproof rooms, 24-hour front desk, a fitness center, and private parking.

Budget ($): Hotel Macià Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites, 3-star hotel located in a strategic location, on Granada’s central Gran Via Avenue, very close to the Cathedral and Albaicin district. 10 mins bus ride/ 25 mins walk to Alhambra. There are direct buses to Airport on the same street.


2. Near the Alhambra

Staying near the Alhambra is ideal for those planning to spend a significant amount of time exploring the palace and its gardens. You can have easy access to the complex for early morning or evening visits when the crowds are smaller and the lighting is ideal for photography.

This area is also a great base for those who want a tranquil environment and relaxing holiday. Just be prepared for some walking downhill/uphill when visiting the old town. 

If you plan to have a deeper knowledge of the Alhambra, you can take a guided tour. Alternatively, you can explore on your own by purchasing a ticket from the Alhambra’s official website. Be sure to arrive early to avoid the crowd and the heat, and wear comfortable walking shoes to explore the complex.

Best places to stay in Granada Near the Alhambra:

Luxury ($$$): Áurea Washington Irving by Eurostars Hotel Company, 5-star hotel, located in a peaceful area on Paseo del Generalife, within a short walking distance to the Alhambra main entrance. It is away from the noise and heat of the city center, but only a €6 taxi ride/ 15 mins walk downhill away. They have a rooftop pool, lovely courtyard, and breakfasts with various dishes. 

Mid-range ($$): Parador de Granada, 4-star hotel, situated in a beautiful area on the grounds of the Alhambra Palace, next to the Generalife Gardens gate, perfect place for visitors who have Alhambra as their main target of visit. It is expensive but it is a one-in-a-life experience, allowing you to visit the Palaces and Gardens first thing in the morning and late in the evening.

Budget ($): Crisol Guadalupe, 3-star Andalusian-style accommodation in a convenient location in front of Alhambra. Great base if you want to see Alhambra. It has great views especially at night with Alhambra lit up. You can have a nice walk down hill/ short taxi, bus ride to the old town where you find lots of restaurants and cafes.


3. Realejo-San Matias

Realejo-San Matias is a great central location to book your accommodation and explore the city. It was the Jewish quarter during the Nasrid dynasty, and remnants of this history can still be seen.

Some popular point of interest are the Plaza del Carmen, Church of Santo Domingo, the Carmen de los Mártires, Iglesia de San Matías, Plaza Isabel La Católica, Corral del Carbón, and Fuente de las Batallas.

Best places to stay in Granada in Realejo for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Alhambra Palace Hotel, 5-star beautiful hotel located in the Realejo neighborhood, within the Alhambra grounds. Great location for visiting the Alhambra, only a short stroll through a park. You can find a bus stop nearby taking you to Alhambra, downtown, and the medieval Moorish quarter of Albayzín. The hotel has paid airport transfers, parking, and comfortable rooms.

Mid-range ($$): Sercotel Palacio de los Gamboa, 4-star hotel in the heart of Granada city center, featuring a lovely Andalusian courtyard with a fountain, 5 mins walk to Albaicin, 25 mins walk to the Alhambra, easily accessible from Airport with a bus stop nearby. Close to the Town Hall square, Cathedral. Many restaurants and shops close by.

Budget ($): Porcel Navas, 3-star hotel in a prime location in the city center of Granada, 5 mins walk from the Cathedral and Royal Chapel. Lots of lively tapas bars nearby. It has comfortable family rooms, luggage storage, 24-hour front desk, and onsite parking with surcharge.


4. Albaicin

Albaicín is one of the best areas to stay in Granada. It is the old Arab quarter, and its labyrinthine streets are filled with whitewashed houses, small squares, and traditional Andalusian architecture.

Albaicín is renowned for its panoramic views of the Alhambra Palace. Mirador de San Nicolás is a popular viewpoint that offers breathtaking vistas of the Alhambra against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

This area is dotted with tea houses, cafés, and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the bohemian atmosphere. These establishments often feature live music and traditional flamenco performances.

Albaicín is home to several historic churches, mosques, and old city gates. The Carrera del Darro, a picturesque street along the Darro River, is lined with historic buildings and offers a pleasant stroll.

While Albaicín is a safe and historic neighborhood, it’s recommended to be cautious in its narrow, winding streets at night.

Consideration: The narrow, winding streets can be challenging to navigate, especially with luggage. If you have mobility concerns, be mindful of the terrain. If you’re traveling by car, it’s advisable to check parking options in advance.

Best places to stay in Granada in Albaicin for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): BiBo Suites Real Chancilleria, 4-star good value for money hotel in a prime location, on Plaza Nueva, close to everything, within walking distance to most attractions, including the Alhambra, San Juan de Dios Museum, and Paseo de los Tristes. 

Mid-range ($$): Smart Suites Albaicin, 4-star modern accommodations in Albaicin, easy walk from the Cathedral, Plaza Nueva, Gran Via, and San Nicolas viewpoint. It has free airport shuttle transfers, paid parking, and spacious rooms with a well-equipped functional kitchen. 

Budget ($): Casa Bombo, great accommodation, in the pedestrian zone of the historic Albaicín. The room has beautiful views of the Alhambra from the bed and the private terrace. It has Outdoor swimming pool, airport shuttle services, and a wonderful breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Mirador del Zenete, 4-star good value for money adults-only accommodation, close to Puerta de Elvira, Palacio de Dar al-Horra, Mirador de San Cristóbal, and Mirador de San Nicolás. It has a big shared terrace with beautiful views of the city.


5. Camino de Ronda

Camino de Ronda is a long street on the edge of Granada’s Centro, where you can find many accommodation options. This street spans along Ronda district, connecting Zaidín district to Beiro district. Also close to the main train station, and easy access to major sights.

Best places to stay in Granada in Camino de Ronda:

Luxury ($$$): Barceló Granada Congress, 5-star hotel located in Ronda,  one of Granada’s main commercial districts, close to everything, a short distance from Federico García Lorca, Calle Recogidas Street, and Palacio de Congresos. The hotel has a pool, airport shuttle, and Excellent Breakfast.

Mid-range ($$): Gran Hotel Luna de Granada, popular 4-star hotel in Ronda, 10 mins walk from the old town, close to the main train station. Short walk/ cab ride to major sights. It is on a busy traffic road, with  direct access to the A44 Granada ring road, but it has good soundproofing rooms.

Budget ($): Apartamentos de Isabella, 3-star accommodation just a block away from Camino de Ronda, 10 mins walk from Basilica de San Juan de Dios, and many major sights in centro.  


6. Beiro

Beiro is a good location to experience local life. It is a residential area north of Centro, and is home to University of Granada and Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring).

The University of Granada, fFounded in 1531, is one of the oldest universities in Spain and has a rich academic history. This area offers a university atmosphere and good transportation connections.

Best places to stay in Granada in Beiro:


In conclusion, Centro, Alhambra, Realejo, Albaicin, Camino de Ronda, and Beiro are the best places to stay in Granada for first-timers and tourists. These areas are generally safe to book hotels, but it’s essential to exercise normal safety precautions to have an enjoyable visit.

You can continue reading about other destinations in Spain in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Granada. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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