Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint, Granada – Best View of Alhambra!

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One of the best places to see the Alhambra Palace in Granada is the Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint.

The vista looks like it’s been plucked from pages of a fairytale, especially with the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the backdrop.

The best time to go would be around sunset to see the colours change in the sky but don’t expect to be alone. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the city. 

Despite the crowds, experiencing a sunset here was one of the highlights of my trip to Andalusia in Spain and it’s something you simply cannot miss. 

Here is a complete guide for Mirador de San Nicolás including how to visit and what to expect! 

Mirador San Nicholas viewpoint Granada
Mirador de San Nicolas

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What is Mirador San Nicholas in Granada?

Mirador de San Nicolás is a plaza that sits in front of the Iglesia San Nicolás church.

It’s one of the most famous viewpoints in the city due to the dramatic romantic views you have of Granada and the Albaicin district.

So say, Bill Clinton visited this viewpoint in 1997 and said he experienced the ‘most beautiful sunset in the world’ here, so it’s been drawing countless tourists ever since. 

Mirador de San Nicolas Viewpoint Granada

What can you see from the Mirador San Nicolás Viewpoint? 

The main draw for visiting this bustling square is the dramatic panoramic view you can get of the fairytale Alhambra Palace and Generalife. 

As you’re located high up on a hillside, you can usually see the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the backdrop and it is truly breathtaking to behold.

I visited this viewpoint in winter, so I got to see the snowcapped peaks and the citadel turn pink with the setting sun. 

It was a completely magical experience and a sunset that I will never forget for the rest of my life. 

Mirador de San Nicholas

How to visit the Mirador de San Nicolás Viewpoint in Granada?

Mirador San Nicolás is in the Albaicin district of Granada but it is located high up on a hill. So, you should plan how you’re going to get there ahead of time. 

Granada is full of cobbled streets and steep steps but if you don’t mind a vertical climb you can walk to the viewpoint from Plaza Nueva in around 20-30 minutes. 

If you’re taking the buses, there are two that head up to Mirador de San Nicolás and these are the C31 and C32. You can take them from Plaza Nueva, Paseo de los Tristes and Carrera de Darro. 

Mirador de San Nicolas Viewpoint

Alternatively, I would recommend taking one of the local taxis up to the viewpoint to save time and effort. This is what I did and I don’t regret a single thing as it was so high up. 

They are very reasonably priced in Granada as they use a taxi metre and are a lot cheaper than Uber. They take both card and cash payments. 

If you’re worried about getting a taxi back at night don’t be, there is a taxi rank just beneath the plaza. You won’t have to wait long until one shows up. 

The address is Plaza Mirador de San Nicolás, Albaicín, Granada. Click here for a Google Pin!

Mirador de San Nicolas Viewpoint

What is the best time to visit the Mirador de San Nicolás viewpoint?

The best time to visit the Mirador San Nicholas viewpoint would be at sunset where you can see fairytale views of candy-floss skies over Alhambra.

As my visit was in February in the chilly off-season, I felt very lucky that I had such a clear sky evening and the snowcapped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains were in view.

As I was sipping my wine overlooking this dreamy castle with so much history, I got a little emotional. 

I’ve dreamed of seeing this palace since I was little when I was learning about Catherine of Aragon so it felt surreal to see these magical views with my own eyes. 

Mirador de San Nicolas Viewpoint Granada
Mirador de San Nicholas Viewpoint Granada

Warning – expect it to be busy and watch your things!

As one of the most famous viewpoints in Granada and even Spain, you can expect this viewpoint to be incredibly crowded.

This is especially important at sunset where people will hold their space for hours. In summer, you will struggle to find space. 

Musicians will be here busking throughout the day but it definitely gets more lively in the evenings and creates a vibrant atmosphere. 

The Spanish melodies along with the changing colours of the sky are truly a magical thing to experience.

That being said, every fairytale has its villains and there may be pickpockets around. So, make sure to mind your things. 

If you wanted to avoid some of the larger crowds, I would visit for sunrise instead or head here during the daytime as there are fewer people. 

Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint Granada

Things to do at Mirador de San Nicholas in Granada

1. Capture the view of Alhambra & Sierra Nevada mountain range

Make sure to have your camera ready to capture the views as they are truly worthy of a postcard.

The only thing I would say is that you need a pretty good zoom lens to capture this panoramic view well. 

I used the x5 on my iPhone and it worked pretty well but I’d say to bring a DSLR camera with you with a good zoom lens if you wanted better quality photos. 

However, simply being present and enjoying this incredible view without a camera is magical too. 

Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint

2. Listen to the music

I think what really makes this viewpoint special, beyond the views, is the lively music you can enjoy.

You’ll find buskers here throughout the day playing ‘gipsy’ music on the guitar and singing traditional songs. 

It definitely creates a relaxing vibe and the crowds will always be joining in, dancing or clapping along. 

Sometimes you can even see flamenco dancing here. Remember to bring some cash to tip performers!

Mirador de San Nicolas

3. San Nicholas Church

If you’re visiting this viewpoint during the day, you may wish to visit the church that gives this famous viewpoint its namesake.

The San Nicholas Church or Iglesia San Nicolás was built in 1525 on the earlier site of an ancient mosque. It was constructed in the Mudéjar and Gothic style.

It was badly damaged during the Spanish Civil War but has been rebuilt and has since undergone several renovations.

Entry is free but donations help towards the upkeep of the temple. You can see some murals and stained glass by Ukrainian artists inside. 

San Nicholas Church Granada
Mirador San Nicholas Church Granada

4. Visit a restaurant/tapas bar! 

If I’m going to be honest, as much as I loved the vista you got from the main viewpoint, I found it far too crowded and a little rowdy.

Even when I showed up an hour before the sunset in early Feb, I was standing behind lots of people and I was looking at the view over people’s heads.

Despite the lovely music, people smoke, shout, mess around and you feel a little crammed in with the crowd. It wasn’t great if you wanted to enjoy the fairytale views.

I far preferred grabbing a table at one of the bars and restaurants in front of the viewpoint instead. Not only was it more peaceful but they also had heaters (it was chilly) and cheap drinks!

Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint
El Balcon De San Nicolas

I went to El Balcon De San Nicolas for sunset but I also went to El Huerto de Juan Ranas for a coffee the next day. Both had reasonably priced drinks with fabulous views of the magical Alhambra!

Glasses of wine were 5 euros and Alhambra draft beers were the same. Although not considered cheap for Spain, you’re paying for the panoramic views and I thought it was a steal compared to the UK.

Meals at these restaurants are far from cheap though. The most basic pasta dish was a minimum of 20 euros but I guess dining with these romantic views is truly a bucket list experience. 

Mirador San Nicholas restaurant

Opening hours and ticket prices

The great thing about this viewpoint is the fact that it’s open 24 hours, so you can visit any time you like.

The most popular time to visit would be sunset for photos but don’t expect to be alone. You can also visit during the day or early morning to avoid crowds. 

It’s also completely FREE to visit Mirador de San Nicolás which makes it a great budget activity in Granada. 

Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint

Other amazing Alhambra viewpoints 

Although the Mirador San Nicholas viewpoint is the best place to see Alhambra, it’s not the only good viewpoint in the city.

As the ancient citadel lies high up on a hill, you can see this incredible palace from just about anywhere in Granada.

One of the best viewpoints in Albaicin has to be the main square of Paseo de los Tristes. There are plenty of restaurants here to enjoy a dramatic view of Alhambra towering above you.

Passeo de los Tristes Granada
Passeo de los Tristes

One of my favourite viewpoints has to be Carmel de la Victoria. It’s a bit of a hidden gem and has one of the best views of Alhambra from the gorgeous manicured gardens.

You can’t enter the house as it’s student accommodation but you can wander around their garden during opening hours which are in the mornings until 1 pm and then in the evening. 

It’s completely free to visit. When you arrive at the gate, buzz the doorbell and someone in reception will let you inside!

Carmen de la Victoria Granada
Carmen de la Victoria

Looking for more things to do in Granada?

Granada is way more than just the Alhambra Palace and the Mirador San Nicholas viewpoint. 

As one of the oldest kingdoms in Spain with a long Moorish history and links to the Reconquista, you have a wonderful melting pot of culture and attractions.

Alhambra Palace Granada
Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace
Can you spot me? I look like Polly Pocket haha

One of the best is Granada Cathedral which is a huge temple in the middle of the city. It’s massive with lots of gorgeous artwork and provides a cool respite from the heat. 

After, you can pop inside the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) to see the burial place of Isabella I de Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragorn. You can see their epitaph and their actual coffins beneath it!

Right outside, you must check out the Alcaiceria market and if you wanted to do more shopping head over to the main market street of Albaicin C. Caldreria Nueva. 

If you want a snack, head over to the lively Bib-plaza for some yummy Churros con Chocolate at the Gran Café.

Granada Cathedral
Granada Cathedral

There are plenty of historical attractions to visit throughout Granada such as El Bañuelo, Casa Horno del Oro and Palacio de Dar al-Horra. You can buy a combo ticket to see them all. 

Granada is also famous for its tapas and you always get a free plate with every drink you buy. However, to experience a real tapas bar I would pop in Los Diamantes for a local experience.

Lastly, you can head over to the historic area of Sacromonte to visit the abbey and history museum. Or, you can head here in the evening to watch a flamenco show in the caves!

Click here to read my guide on the best things to do in Granada

Alhambra Palace
Alhambra Palace
El Banuelo Granada
El Bañuelo

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Save the Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint Granada for later!

Mirador San Nicholas Viewpoint Granada Spain

Here are some Spain travel resources

  • Flights: I use Skyscanner to look for flight deals. Try to be flexible with travel dates for the best prices.
  • Accommodation: Booking.com is my go-to hotel platform and I’ve used them for years. 
  • Public transport: You can book trains through the official Renfe site. Also, Trainline works and I found it cheaper on some journeys.
  • Car rental: Rental Cars is a great choice that compares all sorts of rental companies and gets you the best price.
  • Activities: I love GetYourGuide and use the platform all the time for booking group tours and attraction tickets.
  • e-Reader: I love to read Romantasy books and I always take my beloved Kindle Oasis with me. It has an orange light and is waterproof which is perfect for lounging by the pool.
  • Travel insurance: I always use World Nomads to book travel insurance. You never know when you’ll need cover! 

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