Albaicin, Granada

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 74 Reviews

Albaicin neighbourhood

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Albaicin
    by leics
  • Albaicin
    by leics
  • El Albaicín from la Alhambra
    El Albaicín from la Alhambra
    by Aitana
  • leics's Profile Photo

    Take the time to walk this ancient area.

    by leics Written Mar 30, 2014
    4 more images

    The Albaicin/Albayzin district of Granada is the site of the ancient Moorish settlement and...for me...Albaicin and the Realejo district were the two areas which most allowed me to 'touch the past'.

    Albaicin is a truly ancient settlement, dating from roman times (although nothing remains visible from that period). It was here that the Zirid court was established in the 1000s, within the encircling citadel wall (some sections of that wall are still standing), and here that the Moorish community grew and expanded as first Moorish control over Spain did the same and then, in the 1200s, began to contract. It was the fall of Cordoba to the Christians in 1236 which led to the centralisation of Moorish control in Granada, the construction of the Nasrid palaces of the Alhambra, and to the height of Albaicin as a Moorish settlement.

    The coming of the Christians in the 1400s led, inevitably, to the destruction of Albaicin's many mosques...they lie under its many churches... but you can still see other remnants of that ancient settlement. When I visited the Palace of

    Albaicin was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994 and, from comparing my visit with my rather old (2007) guidebook, that designation has proved its worth. There has clearly been a goodly sum of money pumped into the area and I saw little of the decay, and felt even less of the 'dubious atmosphere' against which my guidebook warned.

    Many buildings were being renovated, restored and spruced-up, many more have clearly already been sorted out and I very much got the feeling that Albaicin is becoming (if it is not already) a very popular place in which to live....although finding a space to park your car must be a bit of a hassle for some residents.

    Having said that, judging by the number of dreadlocked and interesting characters I encountered during my wanderings, Albaicin's less-conservative residents are clearly still in existence.

    Take at least a couple of hours to walk the narrow cobbled streets and alleyways, visit any churches which are open, seek out the ancient buildings some of which, like the 15th-century Queen's Palace of Dalhahorra, are undergoing restoration) and try to imagine what life was once like......

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • solopes's Profile Photo

    The "poor" twin sister

    by solopes Updated Dec 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Granada - Spain
    1 more image

    Facing each other, two "twin sisters", the hills of Alhambra and Albaicin are the heart of Granada.

    You may either climb to the "poor" Albaicin and enjoy the large sights over the town, with the splendors of Alhambra in face, or approach a window of Alhambra and admire the old houses climbing Albaicin's hill. Or... you better do both things. Two complementary ways to feel the charm of Granada, and two mandatory visits.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Aitana's Profile Photo

    Albaicín

    by Aitana Written Nov 18, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A carmen
    4 more images

    The first settlements in Granada were in this hill in front of the Alhambra.

    Walking along this neighborhood is a must. Don’t go by car of by bus, you won’t experience the beauty of the streets if you don’t go up walking.

    All around the Albaicin, adapted to the slopes, there are beautiful cármenes. A carmen is a garden with garden house, typical of the city of Granada. They date back to the XVI century. After the expulsion of the moors the Albaicin had become a neighborhood in ruins. Cármenes began to occupy the space left by the overthrow of Moorish houses, spreading all over the Albaicin and to other areas of the city. Today some of them are used as restaurants.

    The Albaicín offers the best views of Alhambra. Go up to the Mirador de San Nicolás from where you will see all the complex. The Mirador is a meeting point especially at dusk, when the last sun rays beat the palaces giving them their characteristic red color.

    Other places to visit on Albaicín are the Mirador de San Cristóbal, from which you can see the old walls, and the Convent of Santa Isabel la Real, attached to Daralhorra palace.

    Was this review helpful?

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Albaicin Quarter

    by SirRichard Written Jan 15, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Alhambra from Albaicin

    This is probably the most famous area in Granada and a must for every visitor. Here you will find typical small white houses, in andalusian-moorish style, narrow alleys, little squares, churches and many many slopes to climb. There is a good view of the Alhambra from many places in Albaicin, though the most famous is the San Nicolas View Point.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    El Albaicin District

    by keeweechic Written Aug 27, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    The Albaicin or Albayzin district covers the hillside opposite the Alhambra. It was once named the Alcazaba district which surrounded the old fortress. The area was first inhabited by the Moors. They built some 30 mosques which were later demolished and replaced by churches. Today the area is popular for its cafés, restaurants and bars.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Mirador de San Cristobal

    by keeweechic Written Aug 24, 2009
    1 more image

    The Mirador de San Cristobal is one of the best places to view Granada. Locted on a hill to the west of the city, the paved view point overlooks the old Albaicin district and across to the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevada Mountain range behind.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Cave Dwellings

    by keeweechic Written Aug 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dotted on the Sacromonte hillside you can see ancient cave dwellings which date back well before the 15th century. It was thought that the idea was brought into the area by the Arabs from North Africa who had the tradition of this way of living in 700’s. There are another couple of areas of cave dwellers. One has been converted into a museum , in Barranco de los Negros, to display the traditional lifestyle of the early cave dwellers.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Simply enjoy Granada's streets on foot!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Mar 5, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Starting out beside Rio Darro
    2 more images

    Our hostal was only a hop, skip and jump away from Granada's historic Albaicin quarter with its old Moorish influenced buildings and winding streets, so we decided to take a little stroll from Plaza Nueva. It actually turns out that the Plaza was built to cover the small Rio Darro as it flows through the city there, providing more open space for the citizens as the river flows quietly below. As a result, it was only a few minutes before we were walking beside the uncovered portion of the river, which was just a trickle at this time of year.

    This area first rose to prominence after the fall of Cordoba to Christians in 1236, forcing the Moors to retreat to Granada and develop this part of the city for the refugees, many of whom were quite rich. We actually had a good view of the Albaicin and its walls earlier in the day from the Alhambra, located high above on the other side of the river. Over the ensueing centuries, the Albaicin quarter has developed an interesting mix of architectural styles, such as the wooden balconies we soon encountered (2nd photo).

    After exploring a few shops with their goods on display, we headed up-hill for a bit before winding our way back toward the Plaza on some of the lesser-used side streets in this part of Granada. We always had to be wary of cars and vans suddenly appearing because these narrow streets often did not have any sidewalks - but at least you could hear the vehicles approaching from around a curve. The final photo shows a view down a typical narrow alley leading toward the river, with the fortress tower of the Alcazaba (part of the Alhambra) looming on the opposite valley hill-top.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    Archaeological Museum

    by SallyM Written Oct 9, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Archaeological Museum

    The Archaeological Museum is located in a 16th century mansion in the Albaicin.

    Admission is free to EU passport holders.

    The descriptions are in Spanish, apart from the general description of each room on the notice at the entrance, but there are drawings which make it clear what most of the exhibits are: e.g. a sketch of a woman using a primitive loom near the display case with loom-weights.

    There are seven rooms, each dealing with a different period.

    Room 1: Paleolithic
    Room 2: Neolithic
    Room 3: Bronze Age
    Room 4: Phoenician and Iberian
    Room 5: Roman
    Room 6: Late Antiquity
    Room 7: Andalus period

    Definitely worth a look whilst you are exploring the Albaicin.

    Opening hours: Tuesday 2.30-8.30; Wed-Sat 9.00-8.30; Sun 9.00-2.30; closed Mon.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • akikonomu's Profile Photo

    Narrow, Winding back alleys

    by akikonomu Written Apr 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The maze-like Albaicin was a bustling settlement and important trade centre back in Moorish Granada. An interesting fact we learned was that after the Christian conquest and the continuous troubles stirred up in the city, the Christian monarchs ordered the total expulsion of the Moors from the city. The economy totally collapsed and the settlement turned into a ghost town. Now, the Albaicin's home to hippies, souvenir shops selling Moroccan and Middle Eastern products, hookah cafes and restaurants serving Middle Eastern cuisine.

    With the Sacromonte (gypsy caves) as a background, the best view of the clustered settlement's from the Alhambra, especially at night.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • lina112's Profile Photo

    El Albaicin

    by lina112 Updated Feb 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    Is one of the oldest and most popular district in Granada. Is a delight walking by its narrows and pave street and the best is when you reach plaza san nicolas and from the balcony you can see la alhambra.

    Es uno de los barrios mas antiguos y populares de Granada. Es un placer caminar por sus empedradas y estrechas calles, pero lo mejor es cuando llegas a la plaza de san nicolas y las vistas de la alhambra desde el mirador.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Albayzin

    by suvanki Updated Jan 21, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hookah pipe, Albaicin, Granada, Spain
    2 more images

    Albayzin or Albaicin is Granadas' old Moorish quarter , where a labrinth of streets wind around the hill west of the Alhambra.

    Albayzin was designated a World Heritage site in 1994.

    Iberian & Romans had settlements here. During the 11th C. Zirid monarchs established their feifdom or taifa. In the 13th C. Christian conquorers drove the Naorids south to Granada, and on seizing power built The Alhambra palace on the opposite hill.

    The defeated Zirids left their city to crumble -all that remains today are a short stretch of the city walls, and the gates - Elvira , El Arode las Pesas , Monaita and part of Bab-Al-Bonud.

    Albayzin possibly means 'Quarter of the people of Baeza'.
    Moors living in the northern city of Baeza, were driven out by the Christians in the 13th century, whereupon they fled south, arriving at Granada. Here they set up home in the northern part of the hill, naming it after their old city.

    Some think the name means Quarter of the falconers.

    Many visiters only see a small part of Albaicin, heading to the Mirador St. Nicholas, for a view of the Alhambra, ticking that off their list, then heading to Sacromonte or back into Granada.

    On my first visit I caught the mini bus, then walked up and down and around, but later realised I had only seen a small part - mainly Alto Albaicin or High Albaicin.

    On my 2nd visit, as part of a guided tour, we approached by crossing Gran Via de Colon near the Cathedral.

    Walking up one of the small side streets, we were soon 'off the beaten track' catching glimpses of the Alhambra , peering into Carmens, visiting museums and learning about this area of Albaicin, and some of the lesser known attractions.

    Some popular places to see in Albaicin :-

    Carrera del Darro (Considered the prettiest street in Granada with its bridges, palaces and churches), Banuela (Arabic baths), Ig. Santa Ana ,Mirador St Nicholas, Coliegiata de Salvador, Pl Largo (the heart of Albaicin), Paseo del Triestes (restaurants and terrace with view of the Alhambra)

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • amapola66's Profile Photo

    Wandering around the Albaicin

    by amapola66 Updated Nov 13, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance to the Albaicin

    We stayed on the edge of the Albaicin - I love this neighbourhood, little streets and shops and still a good community feel, although some of the restaurants are rather overpriced, it is worth it. You are not supposed to take your car into the Albaycin, but everyone did, us included. However, if cobbles, narrow streets and impossible parking make you tense, I would not recommend it ; )

    We had many a happy hour strolling around the Albaicin and there are some good little local cafes and restaurants have a good atmosphere in most parts (not so much Plaza de Nicolas).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Calle Calderie Nueva and Calle Vieja

    by suvanki Updated May 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Calle Calderia Nueva Granada

    Wandering onto either of these 2 narrow winding streets, You might think that You've stepped into a Morrocan Souk. Small shops are crammed full of the same kind of gifts that You can purchase in Morocco or Fez, with their colourful displays spilling over onto the pavement. Moroccan music drifts in the air, which is scented with incense, oils and tempting cooking smells.

    A good reason to visit these streets besides shopping, is to experience a Moroccan tea house - or teteria. Here you can try the refreshing mint tea, or any variety of aromatic fruit or herbal infusions, milk shakes or freshly squeezed juices. Small sweet pastries and baclava type delicacies can also be enjoyed (Don't worry about the calories- You can easily walk them off climbing the steep streets around Albaicin)

    Apparently this area used to be a " No-Go area", but in 1983 Antonia Munaz Feres (or Leyla as her chosen name on embracing Islam) opened a tea-shop. To the Councils surprise, more tea shops opened, followed by restaurants and gift shops, and the area 'cleaned-up'

    This first tea shop is called Al - Sirat - "The path". It is still one of the most popular teterias on C/Calderia.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • mcbeal_ally's Profile Photo

    El Albaicín

    by mcbeal_ally Written Apr 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    El Albaicín is the old Moorish quarter of the city. It's located on a hill facing the Alhambra and there are dramatic views of this area from the palace's famous rose gardens. The Zirid Monarchs first established their court here in the 11th century although little remains from this era today, apart from some crumbling remains of the wall (including the section which used to encircle the Albaicín and the gates of El Arco de las Pesas, Monaita and Elvira).
    It rises on a hill facing the Alhambra and many tourists journey into the Albaicin primarily for the spectacular views of the Alhambra from the viewing point by the church of San Nicolas.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Granada

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

91 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Albaicin
4.0 out of 5 stars
205 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
202 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
147 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices

View all Granada hotels