You bet there is and if you know me at all then you know I went out and tried to see it all. There are several different neighborhoods in Granada, but the two I was most interested in were Central Granada and Albayzin.
For orientation purposes imaging Alhambra up on a hill. Looking down the hill to the north you will find Albayzin, which seems to have been the old Arab city, and to the west is Central Granada, which was built up when Spain was taken back from the Muslims.
Albayzín sits on a small hill itself and tends to have winding and twisting little streets giving you the feel of a Moroccan medina. I spend an entire morning strolling through this neighborhood and simply following one road after another. It was a great relaxing stroll, but I also was able to find some cool things to see.
San José Church – This is one of the oldest churches in Granada and dates from the early 16th century, but it was built on an older mosque and some of the mosque architecture is still visible especially with the bell tower that use to be a minaret.
San Nicolas Viewpoint – This is a fantastic spot to look across the valley to Alhambra and makes a trip into Albayzin worth the effort all by itself. Within this square you will find the old San Nicolas church and the very new mosque.
Carrera del Darro – The river at the bottom of the valley between Alhambra and Albayzin is a fantastic stroll with lots of vegetation and some cafes on one side and old buildings on the other. I also saw signs of an old bridge that has fallen down.
Hamman El Bañuelo – One of the old buildings is the Turkish Bath, which is in remarkable good shape. Along with your admission ticket you can visit two other sites. One of them is an Arab riad from the 15th century. It was interesting to see the changes made to the house once the Christians took over.
The contrast once you get to Central Granada is fairly pronounced as the area is flatish and the streets tend to be in more of a grid pattern.
Plaza Isabel la Catolica – This plaza sits at the base of Alhambra and the end of the main road into town (which separates Albayzin and Central Granda). The main feature of this plaza is the statue of Columbus presenting his sailing plans to The King and Queen. It was made in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of the voyage that changed the world. (See yesterday’s POTD)
Cathedral of Granada – This huge church (2nd largest in Spain) is from the 16th century and sits on the site of an old mosque. It is typical of Renaissance churches with the layout based on a cross and the ceiling several stories high. With the white ceiling, it is bright inside and the sanctuary is beautiful as is the ancient organ.
Royal Chapel – Attached to the cathedral and was the personal chapel of the monarchs is now holds the entombed bodies of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who captured the city from the Arabs.
Corral del Carbón – This building is one of the oldest in the city and gives a fantastic sense of Moorish architecture. Originally used by merchants to rest and store goods and was one of several around the old Arab silk market. Today the only thing to really do is enjoy the quite courtyard and admire the building itself.
There is more to do in Granada, but with the above (and Alhambra) you should have a pretty full three days. Have fun!!!