Alhambra, Granada

4.6
Once the last Islamic stronghold in Europe, Alhambra reflects the splendor of the Moorish civilization in Spain, and offers visitors a chance to see exquisite ornamental architecture, lush gardens, cascading water features, and panoramic views of Granada. This complex was once a palace, citadel, fortress, and the home of the Nasrid sultans, high government officials and servants of the court. Within the medieval complex of structures you can also explore other prominent buildings belonging to different time periods, including the palace of Carlos V, noted for housing a museum of fine art. To avoid disappointment, be sure to book tickets at least a few days in advance by phone or online. Add Alhambra to your Granada travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Granada trip itinerary planner.
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Alhambra Reviews
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4.7
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  • Muqarnas found in Islamic architecture (design resembling stalactites) ceiling decoration is a must. See the time and effort. Other attractions include lion fountain is will repair work is done now.
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  • I recommend everyone to visit this beautiful place but absolutely book before because there are few tickets and end immediately because of the numerous reservations ... and then get to the ticket counter after a steep climb but recommended
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  • Featured castle complex with beautiful gardens and the impressive Nasrid Palace. Necessarily advance online tickets. Locally you can relate then tickets at special machines (it takes the credit card with which you booked the tickets).
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  • This place is just magical and brimming with history. To be honest, it's big enough to spend hours there and you'd likely still end up feeling like you've not seen it all, especially if you're a history buff. It's definitely worth booking a guided tour since you'll learn things you'd struggle to find out and you'll see areas that you might just miss. Not only that but some tours end up being good value for money and can be booked at short notice, whereas you might not get into Alhambra on spec. Word of advice though: don't go middle of the day during the summer - it gets very hot up there.
  • If you haven't gotten tickets beforehand, and you're desperate to see Alhambra - not a problem. That is if you don't mind waiting for 3+ hours at 5am until the ticket office opens at 8am. They allow a certain number of people to buy tickets right there and then (the permitted number of people allowed to buy tickets on the day is random each day). Best to go at 5am and line up, to ensure you get tickets. If you do, remember to being your passport or official identification (you cannot buy tickets for someone else either, unless you have their ID also with you). This policy can always change though - speaking in terms of when I went, which was first week of October. That aside, Alhambra was well worth the wait in line. You can see Alhambra at any time of day after you buy the tickets. Highly recommend it for practically any traveller - interested in royal/religious/architectural history, beautiful architectural design, spectacular view of literally the whole of the city, best and most beautiful gardens I've ever seen (there's a reason we saw 3 sets of couples taking their engagement photos in the gardens, within just the span of our visit), etc. Families, couples, solo travelers alike - don't miss the Alhambra no matter what, if you re visiting Granada. There's always a way to go see it even without reserving tickets (as stated above), so be sure to visit.
  • What can I add that will be useful? Wasn't able to buy the full access ticket on walk-up but no problems getting the ticket ex the palace. Not a bad consolation prize as the grounds, gardens, structures and towers are nothing short of amazing. The best 8 euro I spent on this trip. I suggest allocating 2 hours to make sure you fit everything in ex palace. Next time I will plan properly and buy a ticket in advance.
  • Tips: Book your tickets in advance. If you are able to freeze a bottle of water to take with you. Especially if your going in July/August time. Snacks are limited just 2 vending machines so take your own snacks. Wear sensible walking boots that you don't mind getting a little dirty. Additional things I took was sun protection, sun hats, face mist spray as I had young children with me. Go well equipped and you will have a fun day jam packed with beautiful Islamic architecture at it's best👌
  • Unfortunately bad experience. Was looking to see the place. Don't go there without booking weeks ahead. Waited nearly 2h in the queue, then they said it's sold out. It could be on the screens or something that everyone can see. I understand places are limited but it can be organized well better. Who likes to be in the queue 6am and then just leave without seeing the place. There are many places in Europe where you have to queue for many hours but finally you get to see the place!

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Where to stay in Granada

Granada is built in a valley looking up to the majestic Alhambra, and most visitors choose to stay where the view can be admired. Plaza Nueva, just down the hill from the Alhambra entry gates, constitutes the touristic center of the city. Many of the famous free-tapas bars and lively restaurants line this famous plaza, as well as a number of small hotels and apartment rentals. Found directly behind the plaza are the city's two historical old Moorish quarters, Albayzín and El Sacramonte, which are characterized by their narrow winding streets and picturesque whitewashed buildings. Here you'll find a number of charming hotels with hillside views of the Alhambra and city center.
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