Hardly the world-beating nightlife that you'll encounter in other Spanish cities like Madrid or Barcelona, Granada is the type of place that can make the best of tempered expectations. Then again, being a smaller city also contributes to Granada's position as a more welcoming community; combine this with the beer and tapas at full-swing in the plazas downtown and the cave flamenco shows in the Sacromonte neighborhood and you've got nightlife opportunities for miles.
The best place to just stroll around and look for a place to hunker down with a drink is in downtown Granada. The half dozen blocks both east and west of the Granada Cathedral are prime stomping grounds for drinking establishments, as well as lounges and live music venues. To the east, the majority of establishments are between Gran Vía de Colón and Calle Elvira, where tapas joints are in excess (especially near Plaza Nueva) and there are a handful of very nice pubs. Bodegas Castañeda is a tapas institution, while locals swear by the classic pub stylings of Hannigan & Sons and the club atmosphere of Granada 10. To the west of the cathedral, between Calle Gran Capitan and Calle Obispo Hurtado, there is a lot of nightlife. Sala Vogue, the retro-styled Polaroid Club, and the legendary live music of Sala Planta Baja are notable establishments. Also of note, Calle de Pedro Antonio de Alarcón in the city's west end is chock full of dive bars and laid back places that cater to the nearby student population with a focus on socializing and cheap beer. Come here if you're backpacking it or aren't worried about not dressing well enough.
For those who don't mind a whole lot of other travelers sharing the same space, then a a walk through the Albaycin will yield some positive results. There are a not a ton of bars in the classic sense in this area, although you'll find many establishments serving beer or wine on or near famous boulevards like the Paseo de los Tristes or the Carrera de Darro or near the viewpoint of the Alhambra known as Mirador de San Nicolas. The neighborhood immediately east (Sacromonte) is probably the most consistent part of town in which to see the world-famous flamenco, where dancers perform on stage with the accompaniment of traditional Andalucian instruments like the guitar. Shows can be found in a number of places, from fine dining restaurants like the Jardines de Zoraya (Calle Panaderos) or literally in caves built into the Sacromonte hills. More popular and arguably more authentic, these flamenco shows will sometimes include dinner or a tour of the Albaycin. If you aren't sure which to go to, you'll find a handful on and around the Camino del Sacromonte, as well as more spread throughout the city.
For more information on where to catch a flamenco show, have a pint of the local Alhambra Cerveza or where to sit outdoors with a delectable view of the Alhambra, then take a look through our nightlife pages and start your trip planning today.