Granada Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Granada gay travel guide to the best hotels, things to do, gay bars, and saunas.
The Gay Travel Experience: Granada, Spain
Granada’s unique history, charming architecture, gay-friendly culture, and local feeling gay scene make it the perfect destination for gay travelers who want a bit of everything.
Being able to experience the historic Alhambra, traditional tapas bars, Arab hammams, and friendly gay bars all in the same city is pretty awesome.
Gay Granada: Hotels & Where to Stay
The best place to book a hotel in Granada is in the very center of the city. There’s nothing like having easy access to all the gorgeous cafes and restaurants in the Old Town. The Granada gay area is also close to the historic center, so getting to the local gay bars will be easy.
Keep in mind that the city of Granada is much bigger than it looks on the map. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, far walks from areas outside the center to get to restaurants or other sites means you’ll get pretty sweaty.
Book your accommodations as far in advance as possible, especially if you’re traveling during the peak tourist season of summer and early fall. Prices of hotels become way more expensive last-minute.
Here are my favorite local hotels for Granada gay travelers!
Mirador de Los Arcos Alhambra Apartments
Mirador de Los Arcos Alhambra will make you feel right at home with a spacious and stylish private apartment. They’re also one of the few accommodation options in Granada that is affordable and has a pool!
The views from the Mirador Los Arcos Apartments are incredible, too. You’ll be able to see the Alhambra right from your room. For such a beautiful property and a location right in Granada’s historic center, the price is well worth it.
Palacete 1620 Premium Suites — Adults Only
Palacete 1620 Premium Suites is a perfect place for gay travelers to stay in Granada. Not only is Palacete 1620 one of the most gorgeous, authentic-feeling accommodations around, but it’s right in the middle of the Granada gay area.
These well-decorated, modern, and spacious suites are perfect for gay couples who want a lot of space to relax in the tranquility of an adults-only hotel.
Áurea Catedral by Eurostars Hotel Company
Áurea Catedral by Eurostars is a renovated and modern mid-range hotel with a cozy ambiance. Some of the rooms have adorable views out onto the street below. The basic rooms at this hotel are quite affordable, but more luxurious suite options are also available.
Facilities include a luxurious steam room and spa area, fitness center, and covered outdoor terrace space. Their location directly next to the Granada Cathedral and Plaza de Bib-Rambla is unbeatable.
Gar Anat Hotel Boutique
Staying at Gar Anat Hotel will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Originally owned by a wealthy Muslim family, the hotel has a Moorish flare. It was later taken by the government of the Christian Kingdom and converted into a hospital for local pilgrims.
After being sold to a private owner, the property was again transformed into a series of apartments for various families before being abandoned for a quarter century.
Gar Anat Hotel’s history makes it one of the most unique places to stay in Granada. The next time I visit the city, I definitely want to stay here!
Issabel's Marquis Hotels
Issabel’s Marquis Hotels is another great hotel option for couples. Large beds, double vanities, and deep rich colors are just a few elements that make this hotel stand out.
I love their room’s funky designs and large windows as well. The entire hotel feels both modern and playful, including the large bar and restaurant.
Hotel La Bella Granada
Hotel La Bella Granada’s soft, pink-themed rooms are absolutely adorable. This is a style that you don’t see every day.
Rooms come in several sizes too, ranging from suites with separate living rooms to single twin-bed studios which are perfect for solo travelers. They even have 3-bedroom triple rooms, which could be great for families or traveling groups of friends.
Given how affordable the prices of La Bella Granada’s rooms are, you’d be crazy not to consider booking this hotel!
Room Mate Leo
Room Mate Leo has an upscale budget hotel vibe. This property is popular with gay travelers for its central location and private outdoor terraces on the upper floors. One of the best perks of the hotel is its 24-hour “trust bar” where you can get any snacks, drinks, or coffee anytime and just keep track of what you take.
The building is a bit older, so the air conditioning here isn’t super strong. But since Room Mate Leo often has availability last minute, I still want to include this hotel as an option, especially if you’re traveling when the weather is cooler.
Granada Gay Travel Experiences
Monasterio de San Jerónimo
Escape the tourist trail with a visit to the Monasterio de San Jerónimo. Exploring this impressive royal monastery was so peaceful. I wandered through the cloisters and admired the beautiful Baroque design.
Given how centrally located it is, I was surprised by how few people were there. Definitely make a trip to see this gorgeous, lesser-known gem.
Have Tapas at Ibéricos & Alhambra
Enjoying a fabulous tapas meal at Ibéricos & Alhambra is one of the most memorable experiences of my trip to Granada. This place was so special because you can feel how the waiters and the cooks take so much pride in everything they serve.
After finishing an enormous platter of cured meats cheeses and fruits, the woman in the restaurant’s window who prepared it smiled and gave a wave goodbye. With such delicious tapas and a kind waitress, we felt very taken care of.
Visit the Alhambra
There’s a good chance you don’t need me to tell you that you need to see the famous Alhambra. I do want to share some crucial tips for your visit, though. The Alhambra is world-famous, now more than ever, so you’ll want to be prepared for what to expect.
Most importantly, you have to buy tickets at least 1 to 2 days in advance if you want to see the most popular parts of the Alhambra (the Nasrid Palaces). For any evening or exclusive tours, buy tickets as soon as you can, because they sell out. Also, tickets for the Nasrid Palaces are timed entry, so buying them earlier will give you more flexibility.
I recommend going early in the morning. There are a huge number of tourists at the Alhambra, and it gets so crowded in the afternoon. It will also be cooler, and your photos will look better avoiding the high afternoon sun angle.
Bring your physical government ID or passport with you. You’ll need it to buy a ticket and you have to show identification at every exhibit entrance. They take this very seriously. Honestly, all the re-checking of IDs and tickets so many times once already inside the Alhambra was a little obnoxious. I don’t think I fully understand why they even do this.
If you do forget identification but have a photo of it, there is a separate ticket line where they can give you a verification slip. This just shows that someone officially verified you.
Take a Mountain Drive
If you’re up for an adventurous road trip, rent a car and drive along the gorgeous mountain roads outside of central Granada. There are tons of gorgeous views, all without any tourists around.
Sierra Nevada National Park is just a 30-minute drive away from central Granada and it’s such a fun little trip. With every winding mountain road, there’s another awesome view of the entire surrounding region. The Hoya de Pedraza Botanical Garden is also in this area, a nice place for a nature walk.
On your way back to Granada, there are even more scenic viewpoints. I thought Mirador Embalse de Canales was a neat place to stop. It’s a lookout over the local reservoir. There are quite a few other lookouts nearby to get a view of the reservoir’s strikingly serene and untouched blue waters.
Grab Drinks in Plaza de Bib-Rambla
Plaza de Bib-Rambla is the heart of Granada, a vibrant central square with all kinds of restaurants and cafés. There’s no better place for a casual late afternoon drink outdoors along with some delicious tapas.
The stunning white marble inside the Granada Cathedral truly makes this one of the most memorable cathedrals I’ve seen. I fell in love with the beautiful light shining down through the soaring columns as well as the magnificent altar and stained-glass dome.
A visit here is well worth it. Even if you’ve seen countless churches and cathedrals along your travels, I’m certain the Granada Cathedral will leave you with a lasting impression.
Walk Around The Albaicín
If you search online for things to do in Granada, every travel blog in the world mentions exploring The Albaicín, the city’s medieval Arabic quarter. What they don’t always mention is that if you show up in the middle of the day, you’ll be walking around what feels like a ghost town. Going in the evening will be much more enjoyable.
For a great view of all of Granada in The Albaicín, take a small hike up to the Mirador Morente. It’s a quiet and scenic spot high above the city that you can visit any time of day. I went during the day, but I’d bet sunset is an even prettier time to go.
Granada Gay Bars
Granada has quite a few awesome gay bars to explore. I found them to be so entertaining and friendly, and meeting new friends even as a traveler was easy!
All the gay bars in Granada are located on the northwestern side of the Centro district, so you can easily bar hop and try them all.
Tic Tac Pub
Tic Tac Pub is the best Granada gay bar for casual drinks and a friendly vibe. I had a fantastic time here on a typical weeknight and met a couple of other gay travelers.
The best part was watching all the music videos to songs loved by Spain’s gay community. Some of the queer and drag artists are such fun and hilarious creators!
Hanging out at Six Colours on the weekend is a must! They’re a casual, ostentatiously designed Granada gay bar, where you can order cocktails and food while the DJ plays upbeat pop music.
The crowd here is quite diverse, with people of all different ages, genders, and styles. I thought the guys here were particularly handsome.
Rainbow colors are everywhere, so it’s impossible to miss. I love the funky, beautifully chaotic interior décor.
Eclipse Bar has more of a club feel with louder music and lots of neon lights. It’s the size of a typical gay bar and is completely underground.
They’re one of Granada’s most popular gay bars, especially during celebrations like Granada Pride. The videos I saw on Eclipse Bar’s television screens of the parties they host during these popular events looked amazingly fun.
Cruising Club Septimocielo
Septimocielo is the go-to gay cruising bar in Granada. Since the city doesn’t have much in the way of gay saunas, lots of guys head here for a sexy time. They’re located in Granada’s gay area along with the other gay bars.
Granada Gay Saunas
While you won’t find elaborate gay saunas in Granada as you would in Spanish cities like Madrid, there is a local option you may want to try.
Sauna Gay Boabdil may be small and intimate, but it’s the only gay sauna around. Based on reviews online, guys can definitely find some good fun here.
They’re located in the Carretera de la Sierra neighborhood to the south of the Alhambra, which has a charming local vibe.
Instead of a gay sauna, keep in mind that Granada also has the gorgeous Hammam Al Ándalus. Here you can experience traditional candle-lit Arab baths and other opulent spa facilities. I suggest booking a 90-minute hammam session with hotel pickup.
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Granada Gay Travel Tips
Plan Your Day Around Siesta
Especially here in the south of Spain, siesta is very real. Between the hours of 2 PM and 5 PM, everything closes. Cafés, restaurants, and shops all close their shutters, and the city largely becomes quiet.
During the summertime, this is the perfect time to take a nap back at your hotel. It’s so incredibly hot during the middle of the day that being outside isn’t so comfortable anyway!
Some places will surely still be open. Getting a beer or a cold snack isn’t the most difficult, but having a proper meal during siesta hours or trying to buy something at a local pharmacy is not exactly easy.
Dinner Time is Not as Late
While Spaniards in cities like Madrid and Barcelona typically enjoy late dinners, the same is not exactly true in Granada. I found many restaurants and tapas bars closing around 11 PM.
That leaves about a six-hour window between the end of the siesta and when lots of restaurants start closing. Keep this in mind when planning dinner.
Summers Are Hot!
Inland from the Mediterranean Sea, summertime temperatures in Granada soar to an average of above 90°F (32°C). But especially with Europe’s common yearly heat waves, daily high temperatures over 105°F (41°C) are not uncommon. Add in the humidity and things get sticky.
Whichever hotel you choose, do a little research into making sure that they have good air conditioning.
I hope you’ve found this gay guide useful. Thanks for reading!