seville to granada day trip

Seville to Granada Day Trip: The Perfect One Day Itinerary

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If you are planning a trip to Seville, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit Granada. While the two cities are approximately 250 kilometers apart, a day trip from Seville to Granada is undoubtedly worth it. This historic city is home to the UNESCO-listed Alhambra Palace, one of the most visited attractions in Spain, and you must definitely see it on your Granada day trip!

In my opinion, the Alhambra Palace is the most magnificent monument in Spain. I’ve visited it twice and even on the second visit, I was still mesmerized by the beauty of the Alhambra. So really, the Alhambra alone is a top reason to do a Seville to Granada day trip, if you don’t have enough time to do a longer stay in Granada. 

Beyond the Alhambra, you’ll also be able to explore the historic Albaicin neighborhood which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and discover some of the city’s charms that keep attracting thousands of visitors every year. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know to plan the perfect day trip to Granada from Seville!

Seville to Granada: A Day Trip Overview

If you’re visiting Seville, a day trip to Granada is a must-do. Located about 240 km (150 miles) east of Seville, Granada is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. The city is known for its stunning Moorish landmarks, historic architecture, and rich culture.

The easiest way to get to Granada from Seville is by booking a day trip with a local travel company. There are many options available, and you can choose from private or group tours. Most tours include transportation, a guide, and admission to the Alhambra, Granada’s top attraction.

Check out these day tours from Seville to Granada to find one that fits your needs:

Alternatively, you can also easily do this day trip on your own. The journey from Seville to Granada takes about 2.5 to 3 hours by car, train, or bus. If you’re driving, be prepared for narrow streets in Granada’s historic center and shelling out for paid parking. 

Once you arrive in Granada, you’ll have several hours to explore the city’s main attractions, including the Alhambra, the Generalife Gardens, and the historic Albaicin neighborhood. I highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a hat and sunscreen, as the sun can be intense in Granada.

Is One Day in Granada Enough?

If you only have one day to visit Granada, you might be wondering if it’s enough time to see all the main attractions. The answer is that it depends on what you want to see and do.

If you’re only interested in visiting the Alhambra, which is one of the most popular attractions in Granada, then one day is enough. The Alhambra is a massive palace and fortress complex that dates back to the 13th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and intricate tilework.

To fully appreciate the Alhambra, you’ll need to spend at least a few hours exploring the different areas, such as the Nasrid Palaces, the Generalife Gardens, and the Alcazaba fortress. You may also want to learn about the history and significance of the site, which can be done through a guided tour or an audio guide.

But Granada is not just the Alhambra; to get a better sense of the city, you’ll need more than one day to see other attractions and explore its neighborhoods. There’s enough in Granada to fill at least 3 days, in my opinion! 

That said, if you are short on time and just have one day to dedicate to Granada, I feel like it’s totally worth it just to see the amazing Alhambra. Just be sure to plan your itinerary carefully and prioritize the attractions that are most important to you. 

Fair warning: be prepared to fall in love with Granada and return for a longer visit! 

How to Get from Seville to Granada

For a day trip from Seville to Granada, you have a few options for transportation. Here are the most common ways to get from Seville to Granada. 

Seville to Granada By Car

Driving from Seville to Granada takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can rent a car in Seville and drive to Granada on your own. The highways in Spain are well-maintained and have good signage so it’s an easy drive to get there. 

Keep in mind that parking in Granada can be difficult, so it’s best to park outside the city center and walk or take public transportation to your destination. There’s very little free parking available so be prepared to shell out some money for paid parking. 

Car Rental Recommendation

If you’re looking for the best prices for car rental during your stay in Spain, check out Discover Cars. Just plug in your location and dates and you’ll get the best deals available. Super convenient and easy! 

Seville to Granada By Train

If you don’t want to drive, I highly recommend taking the train from Seville to Granada which is a popular option. The train is a comfortable and convenient way to travel, and it allows you to enjoy the scenic countryside along the way.

The train ride takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes, and there are several direct trains per day. To make the most of your day, I recommend getting an early start and taking the first train to Granada which leaves at around 7.30am. You can enjoy a full 12 hours in the city and take the last train back to Seville which leaves at about 7.45pm. 

You can purchase tickets online through Renfe or at the train station. In my experience, it’s best to buy tickets in advance so that you can secure the journey timings that maximize your time in Granada. Plus, it can often be cheaper when you book in advance. 

Seville to Granada By Bus

Taking the bus from Seville to Granada is another option. I recommend this if you’re on a budget it’s typically cheaper than taking the train. The downside is that the bus ride takes about 3 hours which will eat into your sightseeing time. Head to the Seville Plaza de Armas bus station to catch the bus to Granada. 

You can purchase tickets online through ALSA, the Spanish bus company, or at the bus station. It’s best to buy your tickets in advance as there’s a good chance that the 9.00am bus from Seville will sell out. 

Exploring Granada in One Day: The Perfect Itinerary 

With only one day in Granada, you’ll have to carefully plan your itinerary so that you can see the best of the city! Based on my personal experience, here’s my suggested itinerary for the perfect one day in Granada. 

Marvel at the Alhambra

Upon arriving in Granada, don’t waste any time and head straight to the top attraction in Granada, the Alhambra.

This stunning palace complex was built during the 13th and 14th centuries and features a mix of Moorish and Christian architecture. The Alhambra comprises several buildings and areas so a complete visit here will take a few hours. 

One important thing to note is that entry to the Nasrid Palaces is via a timed ticket to avoid overcrowding. However, once you’re inside you can take as long as you want to explore the various parts of the palace. I recommend doing the Nasrid Palaces first thing when you arrive as that will free up your time for the rest of the Alhambra. 

Other than the Nasrid Palaces, you can explore the Palace of Charles V with its impressive circular courtyard. Step back further into time and discover the Alhambra’s role as a fortress as you wander through the remains of the Alcazaba. 

Then discover the lush retreat that is the Generalife and its gorgeous gardens. These beautiful gardens were built during the 13th century and feature fountains, pools, and stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Take a stroll through the gardens and admire the Moorish architecture and beautiful flowers.

Tips for Visiting the Alhambra

I would suggest setting aside at least 2 to 3 hours to see everything in the Alhambra. It’s important to book your tickets in advance as this is a super popular monument and tickets often sell ou, especially during peak tourist season. And if you’re only in Granada for a day, you should secure your tickets to avoid disappointment. 

It’s totally possible to see the Alhambra on your own but if you’re a history buff, you may want to consider a guided tour which will give you much more historical context and details about this magnificent palace complex. 

Another thing to note is that the walk up to the Alhambra is uphill. If you’ll be on foot, I suggest going to the Puerta de la Justicia entrance which is closer to the Nasrid Palaces and is not very steep.

You can also take a bus up to the main entrance, if you prefer not to walk up. The main entrance is a bit further from the Nasrid Palaces but it’s a lovely walk and an excellent way to see the palace grounds. I would suggest taking the main entrance if your timed entry for the Nasrid Palaces is a bit later. 

Have Lunch in Albaicín

After you’ve explored the Alhambra to your heart’s content, I recommend heading to the Albaicín neighborhood for lunch. One of the oldest and most charming areas in Granada, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed neighborhood features narrow streets, stunning views of the Alhambra, and traditional white-washed houses. 

Thanks to its Moorish heritage, the cuisine in Granada has a strong Arabic influence and you’ll find a number of restaurants offering Arabic, Moroccan, and Lebanese-style dishes. 

For a more Spanish meal, I can personally recommend Restaurante Pilar del Toro. Housed in a 17th-century mansion along the Darro River, this restaurant has a lovely ambiance, warm service, and amazing food! My friends and I did a walk-in for lunch and had a memorable lunch there. I would recommend the rabo de toro (oxtail) and the cod which were both excellent. 

granada in one day from seville

Explore Albaicin

After lunch, it’s time to explore Granada’s most historic and charming neighborhood: the Albaicin. Situated on a hillside facing the Alhambra, it is known for its labyrinthine streets, Moorish architecture, and stunning views.

A great place to start is Carrera del Darro, the picturesque street runs along the Darro River and connects the Albaicín neighborhood with the city center. It is one of the oldest streets in Granada and is lined with historic buildings, traditional houses, and charming cafes. It tends to be crowded but honestly, I find that’s part of the charm. 

As you start to venture up the uphill streets, there are many little delights to discover whether it’s an old church or a cute little plaza. And of course, viewpoints! Head to Mirador de San Nicolás which is famous for its panoramic views of the Alhambra, the Generalife Gardens, and the city of Granada. It also has a lively atmosphere, with street musicians, artisans, and vendors selling handicrafts. 

For a mirador that’s a little quieter, try Mirador Placeta de Carvajales. It’s located a bit more than Mirador de San Nicolás so the view isn’t as panoramic but it’s still very pretty and the tranquility here can’t be beaten!

If you need a break from all the walking, I recommend Tetería El Bañuelo, a lovely traditional teahouse serving a variety of teas and Middle Eastern treats. On my visit, we ordered a few different sweets so that we could try as many as possible. If you can, snag a table on the balcony to enjoy views of the Alhambra!

As you make your way through Albaicin, another cool street to explore is Calle Calderería Nueva which is full of cute little shops selling souvenirs and small cafes.

Visit the Granada Cathedral and the Alcaicería

If you still have some time and energy, I recommend ending your day in Granada with a visit to the Granada Cathedral. This magnificent Roman Catholic cathedral is a significant example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

The cathedral dates back to the early 1500s when it was built on the site of the former Great Mosque of Granada, shortly after the city was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. The project took over 180 years to complete, with various architects and builders contributing to its construction, resulting in a blend of architectural styles.

It’s worth visiting to admire the building’s Renaissance-style exterior, characterized by its symmetrical design, ornate decorations, and intricate detailing. The main entrance, called the Puerta del Perdón, is adorned with sculptures and reliefs depicting biblical scenes. The exterior also features imposing towers, the most famous of which is the Bell Tower (Torre de la Vela), offering panoramic views of Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains.

If you have time, you may want to see the interior as well. The mosque’s main prayer hall was retained and converted into the cathedral’s nave, with soaring vaulted ceilings and elegant columns. There’s an impressive collection of religious artwork and artifacts as well as chapels dedicated to various saints.

A popular section of the cathedral is the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) which houses the tombs of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, along with their daughter Joanna and her husband Philip the Handsome.

Once you’re done admiring the cathedral, take the small side street and enter the city’s old marketplace, the Alcaicería which was a busy silk market during Moorish times. Today, the Alcaicería is a reconstructed version of its former self. Designed in a neo-Moorish style, it consists of a network of covered passages and small shops and it’s a fantastic place to get some souvenirs to remember your visit to Granada. 

Walking through the Alcaicería, you can soak up the ambiance of the past and experience a glimpse of Granada’s historical commercial center. The narrow streets, arches, and vibrant colors create a charming atmosphere, reminiscent of the market’s Moorish origins. 

Note: Separate fees are charged for entrance to the Granada Cathedral and The Royal Chapel. If you’d like to visit both, you can buy a combined ticket. There are often long lines, especially for the Royal Chapel, so I recommend buying your ticket in advance.

Shopping and Souvenirs in Granada

Whether it’s buying something for yourself or for loved ones back home, buying souvenirs is a fun way to remember a place. You don’t have much time on a Seville to Granada day trip, so it’s essential to shop as you go! I’ve mentioned a few shopping areas above but here are some of the best places to shop for souvenirs that you can easily incorporate into your day trip itinerary. 

  • Alcaicería: This is the perfect place to find unique and authentic souvenirs. This covered market is located in the heart of the city and is filled with small shops selling everything from ceramics and textiles to spices and teas.
  • Calle Calderería Nueva: Also known as the “Tea Street,” this narrow alleyway is lined with shops selling all kinds of teas, hookahs, and other Middle Eastern goods. It’s a great place to explore and pick up some unique souvenirs.
  • Plaza Nueva: This bustling square is home to a variety of shops and boutiques selling clothing, jewelry, and other souvenirs. It’s also a great place to stop for a drink or a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants.
  • Mercado San Agustin: This indoor market is a great place to sample local cheeses, meats, and other delicacies. You can also find a variety of artisanal products, including ceramics, textiles, and leather goods.

When shopping for souvenirs, keep in mind that Granada is known for its intricate ceramics, colorful textiles, and delicious spices. Look for items that are handmade and unique to the region. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs to bring back home or just want to browse and explore, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. 

And don’t be afraid to haggle a little – it’s a common practice in many of the markets and shops!

granada in one day itinerary

Seville to Granada Guided Tour Options

If you’re planning a day trip from Seville to Granada, there are several tour options available to help you make the most of your time. Here are the three main types of tours to consider.

Skip-The-Line Tickets

I’ve already mentioned this above but it bears repeating: please secure your tickets to the Alhambra in advance! Tickets often sell out and you don’t want to turn up at the Alhambra entrance without a ticket and be disappointed. 

With a skip-the-line ticket, you’ll secure your entry and be able to bypass the crowds and head straight into the fortress. Some skip-the-line tickets also include a guided tour of the palace, which can be a great way to learn more about the history and architecture of this incredible monument.

Check out this skip-the-line Alhambra ticket with audio guide that includes an audio guide in multiple languages or this skip-the-line ticket that includes a guided tour.

Group Tours

While I usually prefer to DIY my day trips, there have also been times when I’ve happily chosen to take a group tour instead. It’s convenient, stress-free, and allows you to just relax and enjoy the day without worrying about logistics. It’s also a good way to explore Granada with a group of fellow travelers and make new friends if you’re travelling solo. 

These group tours typically include transportation to and from Seville, as well as a guided tour of the Alhambra Palace and other top attractions in Granada.

Consider these options:

Private Tours

For a more personalized experience, a private tour may be the best option. With a private tour, you’ll have a professional guide all to yourself, as well as the flexibility to customize your itinerary to suit your interests. 

Private tours can be more expensive than group tours, but they offer a more intimate and personalized experience.

Here are some Seville to Granada private tours to consider:

Seville to Granada Day Trip: Final Thoughts

I hope this post has shown you that doing a Seville to Granada day trip is totally doable! Yes, it will be a long day, given that it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to get there and back, but the effort is totally worth it! 

The key to doing a Granada day trip is to resist the temptation to do everything (I know that’s hard). In my perfect one-day Granada itinerary above, I’ve picked out the 3 main areas in Granada that you can squeeze in in a day… but of course, if you prefer a slower pace, then simply doing the Alhambra in the morning and then keeping your afternoon free and easy is also a good plan. Do what works best for your travel style. 

And don’t forget: you can always come back to Granada again!

Seville to Granada Day Trip: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best day trips from Seville?

Seville is surrounded by many beautiful cities and towns that are worth visiting. Some of the best day trips from Seville include Granada, Cordoba, Ronda, and Jerez de la Frontera. Each of these places has its own unique charm and attractions, so it’s worth considering what you are interested in seeing and doing before deciding which one to visit.

How long does it take to get from Seville to Granada?

The distance between Seville and Granada is approximately 250 kilometers, and the travel time depends on the mode of transportation you choose. By car, it takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to reach Granada from Seville. By train, the journey takes around 3 hours.

What is the best way to travel from Seville to Granada?

The best way to travel from Seville to Granada depends on your preferences and budget. You can choose to travel by car, which gives you the flexibility to explore the area at your own pace. Alternatively, you can take the train or book a guided tour. Both options are convenient and comfortable, but they can be more expensive than driving.

Is it possible to do a day trip to Granada from Seville?

Yes, it is possible to do a day trip to Granada from Seville. However, it’s important to note that it will be a long day, as the journey takes around 3 hours each way. If you are short on time, you may want to consider spending a night in Granada to fully experience the city’s attractions.

What is the distance between Seville and Granada?

The distance between Seville and Granada is approximately 250 kilometers.

Which is nicer, Seville or Granada?

Both Seville and Granada are beautiful cities with their own unique charm and attractions. Seville is known for its stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and delicious food. Granada, on the other hand, is famous for its rich history, stunning Alhambra palace, and beautiful surroundings. It’s difficult to say which one is nicer, as it depends on your interests and preferences.

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