The Alhambra Palace
The Alambra and the Generalife in Granada is one of the best known tourist highlights in Spain. A world heritage site listed by UNESCO the Alhambra (from the Arabic "Calat Alhambra" - Red Palace ) is not just a single palace but rather a complex of buildings, gardens and defensive fortifications.
The Alhambra Palace was a royal city built for the last Muslim ruler of the Nasrid dynasty in the 14th Century which was later occupied and modified by successive Christian rulers following the reconquest of Granada by the “Reyes Catolicos” in the 15th Century. The site had originally been fortified by the Sultans of the Caliphate of Cordoba as early as the 9th century and a castle was built in the 11th Century.
Places to visit within the Alhambra include:
- The Alcazaba and fortifications
- The Generalife and Moorish gardens
- The Lions Courtyard (Patio de Leones)
- The Nasrid Palaces
- The Charles V Palace
Visiting the Alhambra
- Visiting times:
- Morning: 8.30am to 14.00pm
- 16th March to 15th October from 14.00pm to 20.00pm
- 16th November to 15th March from 14.00pm to 18.00pm
As previously mentioned the Alhambra is one of the most famous tourist sites in Spain (and for that matter Europe) and entrance tickets sell out quickly, especially in the summer. You are therefore advised to buy tickets before you arrive in Granada.
The most convenient way is to buy your tickets online through the Spanish bank La Caixa via their "Servicaixa" website here.
How to Get to the Alhambra
You can walk to the Alhambra from the centre of Granada but it is uphill and especially in the hot summer months you may prefer to take one of the regular minibuses ( route number 32 ) which run every 15 minutes. The current fare is 85 cents.
The Junta de Andalucia ( the local government of Andalusia ) has a good website with detailed information about the Alhambra and Generalife including history, photos and a 3D virtual tour here.