One of the most popular hilltop lookouts in Spain offers incredible views of the city of Granada, the Alhambra and the mountainous landscape beyond.
The Mirador San Nicolás is a hilltop plaza at one of the highest points of the Albaicín, Granada’s old Moorish quarter. This well-known lookout point provides panoramic views of the city, the magnificent Alhambra fortress-palace, the Vega de Granada (Meadows of Granada) and the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
This is a place to linger, so take your time to appreciate the views. Most visitors to Granada come here at least once, so you may have to wait a few minutes before you get the best viewing spots. These are by the small stone wall that faces the palace and mountains.
When you’ve finished admiring the sights, enjoy the plaza’s lively atmosphere. Street musicians and performers often perform here; at the very least you’ll find someone playing some gentle flamenco on a guitar. Pack a picnic, sample some tapas in a nearby bar or treat yourself to a meal in one of the many restaurants, which offer unforgettable views.
After you’ve taken in the views, check out the local crafts and souvenirs at the artisan stalls. Visit the 16th-century Church of St. Nicolás at the rear of the plaza. Another religious site to look at is the shrine to San Cecilio, Granada’s patron saint. A Christian missionary in the 1st century and the city’s first bishop, his chapel sits in a narrow, cobbled street called Callejon de San Cecilio.
The Mirador San Nicolás is popular at all times of the day whatever the season. For the best photographs visit at sunset when the sun dips below the mountains and the Alhambra is illuminated in golden light on al-Sabika Hill. Do keep an eye on your belongings, as pickpockets are known to take advantage of those captivated by the views.
The nicest way to get to Mirador San Nicolás, is to walk along the winding cobblestone streets that lead from the Albaicín. A steady walk at a causal pace takes about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, take the a bus from Plaza Nueva and enjoy the bumpy twisty ride to the top.