The Albaicin is the neighborhood that extends from the highest part of the San Miguel hill to Elvira street, which starts in Plaza Nueva. Although it is known as the Arab quarter, Iberians, Greeks, Romans, and Visigoths have lived in its streets, giving the Albaicin a unique cultural mix.
The period of splendor and greatest expansion of the neighborhood took place during the Nasrid period. During this period more than 30 mosques were built and the population reached record numbers: more than forty thousand inhabitants. The layout of the streets corresponds to traditional Muslim urbanism, with maze-like narrow streets and cul-de-sacs.
During the Muslim rule, luxurious walled villas were also built that housed a lush green space that served as a garden and orchard at the same time. This type of traditional Albaicin housing is known as a "carmen". In the Albaicin there was also a large number of Arab baths.
Unesco declared the Albaicin, along with the Alhambra, a World Heritage Site in 1984.
What to see in the Albaicin
Granada's most traditional neighborhood has much to offer visitors who decide to lose themselves in its labyrinthine streets. The Arab legacy is present not only in its urban planning but also in many monuments, such as the Ziri wall, the Arco de las Pesas, the Aljibe de San Nicolas, or the Church of El Salvador, built over the old main mosque.
However, the main attraction of the Albaicin is its atmosphere. Strolling through the neighborhood you will enjoy live music, admire the traditional decoration of the houses dyed in white and you can do some shopping in the Arab-style stalls of its streets.
How to get to the Albaicin
The most comfortable way to get to the Albaicin is to ride the minibuses (lines C31, C32, and C34) that connect the center of Granada with the old Arab quarter. However, we recommend exploring the Albaicin, walking from the Carrera del Darro, and discovering its maze-like streets.