The must see in Granada; the Alhambra
The Alhambra sits atop the hills behind the city and is a must visit when in Granada. The Alhambra was built during the time when the Moors ruled Europe. The palace gives you a good idea of how the sultans used to live back then.
The complex consists of a number of sights; The Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba Fortress and the Generalife Summer Palace, including the giant gardens. So you can easily walk around the Alhambra for a few hours. There is no certain route along the various sights. There are several entrances, so you can decide for yourself what you want to see first. We first wanted to see the Arab Nasrid palaces. We had booked the first time slot – at 8:30 am – so it was (still) fairly quiet there.
The enchanting Nasrid Palaces
The Nasrid Palaces consist of:
Le Mexuar is the oldest palace in the Alhambra. It was the reception room of the kings and important matters were arranged here.
Palacio de Comares is the palace of the sultan, with its private quarters and the throne and ambassadors hall. In our opinion, the patio de Arrayanes is the most beautiful part of the Alhambra. The basin reflects the beautiful architecture. Be sure to stand still for a while in the throne room. This place is magical. We could stare for hours at the beautiful ornamentation, decoration and geometric figures. So many details!
Palacio de los Leones housed the private quarters of the royal family. The jewel of this palace is the beautiful patio, surrounded by columns and where the fountain of 12 marble lions takes center stage.
The ancient Alcazaba Fortress
Before the Moors invaded Europe and expanded the construction of the Alhambra, the military fortress Alcazaba already stood on the hills. A strategic location! The Alcazaba is therefore the oldest part of the Alhambra of which only the outer walls and meter high towers remain.
The summer palace Generalife
Make sure you have access to the summer palace with your ticket; Generalife. Stroll through the green, relaxing and one of the oldest Moorish gardens with ponds, hedges, flowers, fountains and water jets. What you should not miss is Patio de la Acequia and the beautiful views over the neighborhoods of Granada.
Useful tips for your visit to the Alhambra
- Claim your ticket online! The Alhambra is very popular so it is necessary to buy tickets in advance.
- You can buy an audioguide on site. We definitely recommend it to find out everything about the Alhambra. The audioguide costs €6 and is also available in dutch.
- Booking a ticket can be quite complicated. You must have separate entrance tickets for certain sights. If you want to see it all, make sure your ticket gives you access to the following complexes: the Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba Fortress and the Generalife Summer Palace, including the gardens.
- Make sure you are on time for your booked time slot. Navigate to Calle Real de la Alhambra to arrive at the main entrance. The path to the main entrance is quite steep. So take into account extra time if you go on foot.
Here you experience authentic Granada
If you go to Granada, be sure to stroll through the narrow and atmospheric streets of the authentic neighborhoods Albaicín & Sacromonte. Because they are on top of the hills, you will be surprised by the beautiful viewpoints of the Alhambra and the rest of Granada. Besides that, you will find lots of bars and restaurants and Arabic and Moorish influences in the architecture.
Walk to plaza de San Nicolas during sunset to spot a beautiful view!