Granada is a city in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s known for grand examples of medieval architecture dating to the Moorish occupation, especially the Alhambra. This sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens. This is high up on my travel list whether you’re on the FODMAP diet or not!
For all the reasons mentioned above, I am SO glad we took a day trip to Granada from Malaga. The hardest part of the whole day was finding the bus station in Malaga. Once we got over that hurdle the rest of the day was just perfect. *Note: from the bus station in Granada, you will want to take a short cab ride into the city.* Since we only had about 6 hours in the town to explore, my city guide is based on what the time allotted. I also share what I would have done if we had more time!
According to TripAdvisor, this palace is the second most visited place in Europe. After visiting, I can understand by the breathtaking grounds of the property. From the sprawling gardens to the intricate detail in the palace, it is hard to not take a picture every step of the way. Plus you will most likely see over a dozen stray cats roaming quietly around the palace.
Funny side note: I had a pretty embarrassing experience while touring the grounds. I don’t know if it was from the nerves/stress of having trouble finding the bus station and running full speed ahead all morning, but I got these super painful hiccups! I used to get these all the time before going on the FODMAP diet but they still come out (literally) on the rare occasion. I had to sit down for a few minutes and as I was hiccuping I had a small group of people circling around me – NOT kidding! Most people didn’t speak English which made the story even more comical….oops!
Tips for visiting:
- It is super important to purchase tickets ahead of time (even months ahead).
- I read beforehand to pick up tickets before reaching the Alhambra at ticket booths located throughout the city. We learned the hard way that these booths were typically out of order. The line at the Alhambra was short and we had no issues.
- A cafe is available near the entrance of the fortress. I was able to get an egg & potato omelette in a baguette. In order to keep this FODMAP safe, I just ate the omelette. I also made sure to carry FODMAP safe snacks as it’s a full day in the sun. Check out my go to list here!
- The restrooms are in good condition especially when you think about how many of thousands of people visit on any given day.
- You can enter and exit with ease so don’t worry if you suddenly get a huge desire to go to the gift shop. 🙂
Other must do’s:
- Head to the Albayzin-old Moorish quarter where restaurants and shopping can be found. A fun area to explore and walk around.
- Check out the Mirador de San Nicolas-spectacular viewpoint overlooking the city. We took a short cab ride up and walked our way down, stopping and shopping in stores along the way.
- Walk around and explore Plaza Nueva. You can expect to find high end international shopping as well as local stores.
- Visit the Cathedral and Royal Palace from the time of the Spanish monarchy.