Granada in 2 Days - My Suggested Itinerary
I pack a lot into my days, so this schedule is tailored towards those short on time! If you like to take your time, or want to fit in some trips further afield, this could easily be made into a 3-day itinerary.
Buy your tickets in advance to the Alhambra so that you can visit either first thing in the morning or late in the day. That way you'll avoid the midday bus crowds (and the scorching sun much of the year!). If you're not going with a guided tour, I would recommend either renting their audio guide (6 euros) or downloading an .mp3 guide in advance. It will help place the massive complex in a historical context, and will point out a lot of artistic details that are easy to miss.
During the crowded midday hours, take a leisurely lunch and then relax at a hamman for a soak and a massage. I recommend the Al-Andalus for it's proximity to the Alhambra and its beautiful design, but there are several around town to choose from. Make sure you have a bathing suit with you for the pools. If you have time and energy, check out the nearby ornate Catedral for it's beautiful design and sculptures. They have a free audio guide to help walk you through the vast space. Once the sun starts to go down, check out the taverns around the central area as well as neighboring Realejo for cañas (small glasses of beer) or wine, and to take advantage of the free tapas served with each drink. Around 9pm, settle in for a longer dinner in one of the plazas, outdoors for extra people watching. Or continue tapas hopping until you're full!
If you have an early start, take a stroll through some of the markets in Granada. The Alcaiceria is what remains of the former grand bazaar, and is worth a look. From there, if you have energy it's time to hike up the streets towards Albayzín. If you're already done with hill-walking after yesterday, take bus 1 or 2 up the hill. Enjoy the view over Mirador de San Nicolas. Have lunch at an outdoor table in one of the plazas. If you're able to reserve a table in advance, Mirador de Morayma has amazing food and views. Make your way up to Sacromonte by bus or by even more hill-walking, for views over the whole city. Visit the picturesque abbey. Stay for dinner and check out the Flamenco show up that evening - a list of some of the higher rated ones can be found here.
Have an amazing trip and let me know what you think of Granada!